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A few days later he writes :
“September 19, 1813. “I cannot tell you how much a kind letter, when I receive it in the morning, contributes to give a cheerful tone to my thoughts for the rest of the day. . . . Worthing is a pleasant-looking place. I made the jaunt in company with an American gentleman, who knew my brother Archibald intimately, and spoke of him in kindness itself... The parrot left my lodgings yesterday. It is bought for eight guineas, being an excellent speaker, by an elderly lady who, I suppose, had advertised for a companion ;' but, alas, the dear children are those of a widower, who is obliged to leave them to the charge of a nursery-maid. The poor mother died very sud
“I intend to come home on Wednesday.... T. C.”
Once more at Sydenham, Campbell resumed his study of the “ British Poets," and finished several of the biographical prefaces. His progress, however, was suddenly interrupted by a summons to Liverpool, where a sister of Mrs. Campbell's had been taken alarmingly ill. On his return home, his pen was again active; and, among many private letters, is one to a lady, which shows so remarkable a dexterity, in touching a very delicate point, that I will not withhold what places the writer in a very amiable light.
"SYDENHAM, December 9, 1813. ". i. I know not if I ain breaking a false or a true delicacy when I send you this note, which I wish you to make entirely confidential; but I know that I am very sorry for losing one day-one hour in communicating a little piece of information which I was prevented from giving you, partly by the presence of others, and partly by an embarrassment on the subject; not, I think, unflattering to you, nor wrong in me. The seal*
to more than hypothesis, having some degree of probability. Sir John Herschel remembers his father saying—"If that hypothesis were true, and if the planet destroyed were as large as the earth, there must have been at least 30,000 such fragments;" but always as an hypothesis—he was never heard to declare any degree of conviction that it was so. [Nov. 1847.1 W. B.
* Á fancy seal which had been given to his friend by a young lady, as a specimen of lithoglyphic art.
LETTER DO A FRIEND. is a vignette from a little French poem, of which neither you nor your amiable friend ever heard, or are likely to read a line. Not one person in a thousand would recognise the reference of the picture to the poem, or verses; for a poem is a sacred name, and should not be applied to such a degradation of rhyme and metre. But the verses may possibly be recollected by seeing the seal; and my pride takes alarm at the idea of your being smiled at, in your entire ignorance of the licentious verses to which the seal alludes, by one who may happen to have read them. I hope you know that I am not a searcher for such verses; but you may depend upon the accuracy of my recollection in having instantly recognised the connexion of the vignette and the verses. You need not alarm yourself with thinking that many persons could know this disagreeable association of ideas; for, unless I had by chance made the subject of modern imitations of antique gems a particular study at one time of my life, I should have looked on the seal, with you, as one of the simplest of all things. At the same time, I could not delay sending this veto about the device. I thought it was everything to gain time. I hesitated and fretted about it, but concluded that, supposing myself in your place, I should have thought it the kindest part to be honest, and even free. A third person, who did not understand my motives as you do, would be apt to call me a prig-a puritan an officious fellow; but I thought that if done at all, the sooner the better. Would not you, in a similar case, be equally free? -I can trust you would.
In the following letter to Mr. Alison, with authority to draw his pension, and containing various particulars of public and private interest, he reverts with great pleasure to the day spent with Dr. Herschel
“SYDENHAM, Dec. 12, 1813. “MY DEAREST ALISON,
“I inclose the little certificate, according to eustom, by which it appears that I was alive this morning. You know the sequel of the problem-quod est faciendum-namely, to get as much as you can in exchange for it at the Royal Exchequer. My heart bleeds at the idea of taking money from the public at this terrible moment, when we have just heard in the city, that thirteen millions are to be immediately raised for the support of our allies, on the continent, independent of the new taxes. I have been in London to-day, and I assure you the general face looks long. I met with an American, on whose word I have the greatest reliance, who was in France within the last five weeks ; he says iš is known that Buonaparte, in drawing out the Conscription of 1815, which will be organized this winter, will have assuredly at his disposal eight Lundred thousand men ! ... And yet the public prints talk of his being surrounded! : “ If I heard a little more from you, my dearest Alison, I should talk to you less about things foreign to our old subjects of correspondence. But from dearth of particular information from yourself, I am obliged to grow a politician, or an egotist. Do, I pray, take up your pen when you have a spare moment of leisure. Ten years of absence have only deepened the interest that subsisted between us on my part
Time but the impression deeper makes,
As streams their channels deeper wear.' I would not wish, however, to impose either a tax or conscription on your time. Give me but a word or two, ... I spent three weeks with my family at Brighton, in charming weather, and much pleased with, as well as benefited by the place.
“There I met a man with whom you will stare at the idea of my being congenial, or having the vanity to think myself som the great Herschel. He is a simple, great being—I had almost said, as pleasant as yourself. I once in my life looked at Newton's
Principia,' and attended an astronomical class at Glasgow ; wonderful it seemed to myself, that the great man condescended to understand my questions, to be even apparently earnest in communicating to me as much information as my limited capacity and preparation for such knowledge would admit. He invited me to see him at his own abode, and so kindly, that I could not believe that it was mere good breeding; but a sincere wish to see me again. I had a full day with him ; he described to me his whole interview with Buonaparte ; said it was not true, as reported, that Buonaparte understood astronomical subjects deeply ; but affected more than he knew.
" In speaking of his great and chief telescope (which I trust I shall see in a few months), he said with an air, not of the least pride, but with a greatness and simplicity of expression that struck me with wonder,—'I have looked further into space than ever human being did before me. I have observed stars, of which the light takes two millions of years to travel to this globe.' I mean to pay him a reverential visit at Slough, as soon as my book is out this winter.
ÆT. 35.) RICHARD HEBER-DE STAEL-MOREAU.
17 “Telford has not been in London since I wrote you last, nor have I heard of the dear Stewarts. If you see or hear from either, will you offer them my best remembrance, as well as to all your beloved family. Believe me, with unceasing affection,
The correspondence of this year concludes with a letter from Mr. Heber, to whom, in the progress of his “ Selections,” Campbell was indebted for the use of some very rare editions of the old poets.
“ WESTMINSTER, Dec. 30, 1813. “ MY DEAR SIR,
“I owe you many apologies—first, for delaying to forward the books you wished to examine; and secondly, for having omitted thanking you for your kind note. The occasion of both has been a very severe cold, from which I am just beginning to recover; and which, though it kept me pretty closely confined at home, made a visit to the Charnel-house, in which my poetry is deposited, too like a prelude to the entrance of my own. However, I hope you received my second parcel safe, as I did the first, containing Greene's pieces, which you returned. I now forward a third to St. James's Place, composed entirely of Elizabethan poetry, most of which will, I hope, prove useful. By dint of rummaging, I think others, of the same era, may yet be furnished; but whether before I leave town, or not until my return in February, is uncertain. . . . Of course you have seen “The Quintessence of English Poetry," in 3 vols., 12mo., 1740, as well as Herdley's Selections? If not, I can furnish you with both. Believe me, dear sir, your very faithful and humble servant,
His Lectures on Poetry had been so well received in London that, at the urgent request of his friends, Campbell agreed to repeat the course in Edinburgh. His intention, however, was defeated by unforeseen difficulties : “My resolution," he writes, "to lecture in Scotland is deferred, not laid aside. I think it will do famously; but Murray's work, The Poets,' must be first printed.” The same scheme was subsequently revived, but never carried into effect.
In his letters from Ratisbon, the reader may remember his having been courteously received by General Moreau, and presented to his "young and beautiful wife.” That lady was now in London ; and Campbell, in the height of his popularity, and with a grateful remembrance of her gallant husband, was among the first to bid her welcome. Madame de Staël had also arrived: and at her house the Poet was a frequent and favorite visiter.
Writing to Mr. Richardson, in great admiration, he says, “I have dined with Madame Moreau ! ..Tell Mrs. Archibald Grahame that she is excessively like the warrior's widow-who is, indeed, like nothing I ever saw for simplicity-somewhat Scotch-like, with a fascinating benignity of expression. She did me the honor of talking almost exclusively to me. I sate between Madame de Staël and the lovely widow."
At Holland House, also, as well as at St. James's Place-in the society of Lord Holland and Mr. Rogers-he came into familiar contact with the great talents of the day. “I have spent,” he writes to a friend, "a pleasant day at Lord Holland's. We had the Marquis of Buckingham, Serjeant Best, Major Stanhope, Sir James Mackintosh, and a swan at dinner. Lord Byron came in the evening. It was one of the best parties I ever saw." The first interview between Lord Byron and Campbell was in November, 1811, when they met at the table of Mr. Rogers. On another occasion-after a dinner party at Holland House Lord Byron writes, “ Campbell looks well, seems pleased, and dresses to sprucery.* A blue coat becomes him-so does a new wig. He really looked as if Apollo had sent him a birth-day suit, or a wedding garment. He was lively and witty. ... We were standing in the ante-saloon when Lord H. brought out of the other room a vessel of some composition, similar to that used in Catholic churches; and, seeing us, he exclaimed, “Here is some incense for you!' Campbell answered, Carry it to Lord Byron; he is used to it."".
Turning from literature to art, and the British loom, Campbell mentions (Feb. 27) that he had just received from his dear old friend, Mr. Thomson, of Clitheroe, a specimen of English manufacture, which struck him with the greatest surprise. He was always an admirer and, so far as he was able, a promoter of native industry; but “I did not conceive it possible," he writes, “to have made such a fabric out of cotton. It is splendidly beautiful. The oriental richness of the coloring, and the softness of the texture, give one the idea of the most costly oriental loom; and yet there is a regularity and solidity of texture
* "Memoirs of Lord Byron.” (MS. note). Campbell, in reference to his own personal appearance, bas given a less flattering account See. Vol. L pp. 448, 486.