1826 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

Sumner Lincoln Fairfield, in "Four Months in Europe" New-York Literary Gazette and American Athenaeum 2 (2 September 1826) 303.



When, on my introduction to Campbell, I gazed intently at him, it seemed impossible to realize that the author of The Pleasures of Hope and Gertrude of Wyoming was actually before me; so little did the outward man recommend the poet. There was nothing noble, elevated, striking, or unusual about him. I saw neither a high forehead, a bright eye, nor an intellectual face. He appeared to me saving his exceedingly polite and agreeable manners, just such a man as one would pass a thousand times in the street, without imagining that any celebrated character was near him. There was not a particle of poetry in his countenance, although almost his whole conversation was upon the subject. He seemed to feel considerably troubled at the unfavourable reception of his Theodric; and spoke, particularly, of two or three bitter reviews, which some vain and foolish persons (the editors, probably,) had officiously exported from America, to Upper Scymour-street, his customary residence.