1852 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

William Jerdan, in Autobiography of William Jerdan (1852-53) 4:11-13.



Among the attendants at his funeral in Westminster Abbey, there were not many who mourned him more sincerely than I did, for I had participated in his eccentricities, regretted his little weaknesses, studied his better qualities, and admired his genius. Campbell's was a curiously mixed character, partaking of the sublime and ridiculous in an extraordinary degree. In this respect there was a certain similarity between him and Goldsmith, as the latter is handed down to us in his social habits and high poetic mission — the

—Noll,
Who wrote like an angel, and talked like poor Poll.

Campbell's conversation was not of this absurd description, but his head was easily affected, and then a remarkable jealousy respecting any merely civil courtesies from the fair sex, bestowed on others, and a puerility of manner between boyishness and coxcombery, seemed to be the attributes of the metamorphosed bard. Generally speaking, he was rather an entertaining companion, and at droll anecdote and story-telling few could surpass him.