1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

Walter Scott, 27 June 1825; The Journal of Sir Walter Scott, 1825-32 (1891) 218.



I wonder often how Tom Campbell, with so much real genius, has not maintained a greater figure in the public eye than he has done of late. The Magazine seems to have paralyzed him. The author, not only of the Pleasures of Hope, but of Hohenlinden, Lochiel, etc., should have been at the very top of the tree. Somehow he wants audacity, fears the public, and, what is worse, fears the shadow of his own reputation. He is a great corrector too, which succeeds as ill in composition as in education. Many a clever boy is flogged into a dunce, and many an original composition corrected into mediocrity. Yet Tom Campbell ought to have done a great deal more.