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wrapt up in all the uncertainty of an oracle. The complaint, indeed, admits of no certainty. Finch has persuaded me to postpone my visit to him, in hopes of giving his mode of cure a further trial. If I were single, I should not be able to bear this; but the consequences of my going to Salisbury, he says, might be fatal; and then I could not prevent others from going as naturally as myself. Ah-it is sometimes an agonizing business! . . . I can bear the day-time-but, when I attempt to sleep, I dream of Thomas--I have horrible dreams. I see them torturing him--I awaken--and can sleep no more. "I think that, about the end of the twelvemonth, I may be able to take him again under my own charge. The uncertainty about this issue makes me feel at times as if I were to be tried for my life at the end of a few months: Well-the most unhappy beings will have their hopes."

"In the meantime I have not been able to write poetry, and with difficulty competent to the dry task of editorship; but if I had not done that, I should have done nothing else. Was it not better then, to do something than nothing-something that enabled me to pay my apothecary's bill?"

"I was at S. ten days ago, and was struck by the kindness of your nephews, Dacres, Mayow, and William Pitt.* Dearest boys; I would not for anything tell them how much I feel their young attentions to a man growing old; for it would spoil the unconsciousness of their kindness. When Dacres, especially, absent on all other occasions, comes to help me on with my great coat, I feel as if I had grown old-even to a second generation-in your family.

"Now, in my own private affairs, I can tell you nothing greater than that the Lord Mayor has invited me to dine with him on the 17th of May. If that does not inspire you with respect for me, I know not what will. T. C."

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The interval between this and the preceding date was marked by nothing that could relieve the anxiety under which his health was sinking; and besides, he writes:

"June 27th.My eldest sister is come to town in very bad health, and looking much more ghastly than your or

These talented young favorites, Campbell, before he died, had the pleasure to see prospering in life. He felt the contrast. The passage quoted is very characteristic of the Poet-a forty years' friend of that family.

ET. 46.]


dinary well-favored ghost." Then turning to his own case, he adds:- "A French proverb says, conspiracies are not put on paper. Heaven knows we are not conspirators; but how many things have I to say to you, how many little things-but great things to little me to consult you upon, that I cannot sit down to write. They would interest, at least, if they did not amuse you; but to detail them would be to write a rigmarolliad of petty cares and anxieties.

"In looking at the bright side of things, I am fain to think that I shall get two grand objects accomplished-the settlement of my sister, and the furnishing of my house. Ay, you smile at the conjunction of ideas; but the latter object is no trifle. . . It will keep me in good humor-enable me to open my house to my friends, and to see society as I ought.* In the meantime, I am going to Cheltenham with Matilda, to visit Mrs. Sellar, and drink the water. Mr. S. being there, and having the civility to include me with my wife, will prove a very opportune incident for making trial of the Spa. If I can be spared for a whole month, young Roscoe is to be my locumtenens; and, in case of emergency, I can be summoned to town. T. C."


His visit to Cheltenham was short, but, in regard to health, very satisfactory. The improvement, however, could neither be ascribed to the water nor the walks, in which, at first setting out, he had promised himself great indulgence. He went very seldom out of doors, and made no trial of the Spa; yet the change of scene and respite from labor restored him to comparative health and spirits: and, in a confidential letter to Mr. Gray, he sends a ludicrous report of his "new furniture," with one or two striking observations respecting his last poem in the N. M.

"SEYMOUR-STREET WEST, Sept. 5. Every article of the drawing-room is now purchased the most amiable curtains-the sweetest of carpets


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"I give you a sketch of the first dinner party which I mean to give : Mrs. is to be sent for from Wales, and she will no doubt come to meet Lord L.; farther down, I mean to place Lady B., flanked by T. H.; Lady H. by Mr. C.; A. M. Porter and T. Courtenay; Mrs. Siddons and Mr. R. S. The entire party I have not determined upon; but it will certainly contain Mrs. J. Baillie, Miss Benger, Horace T., Mr. Kean; and, if poor Mrs. Allsop be alive and forthcoming, I do not see why she should not join us-["a mirthful mixture of incongruities."]-T. C.”

-the most accomplished chairs-and a highly interesting set of tongs and fenders! I hope to have the pleasure of showing you through the magnificent suite of chambers-the front one of which is actually sixteen feet long!"

"Did you see "The Last Man' in my late number? Did it immediately remind you of Lord Byron's poem of 'Darkness?' I was a little troubled how to act about this appearance of my having been obliged to him for the idea. The fact is, many years ago I had the idea of this Last Man in my head, and distinctly remember speaking of the subject to Lord B. I recognised, when I read his poem 'Darkness,' some traits of the picture which I meant to draw, namely, the ships floating without living hands to guide them-the earth being blank-and one or two more circumstances. On soberly considering the matter, I am entirely disposed to acquit Lord Byron of having intentionally taken the thoughts. It is consistent with my own experience to suppose that an idea, which is actually one of memory, may start up, appearing to be one of the imagination, in a mind that has forgot the source from which it borrowed that idea. I believe this. Nevertheless, to have given the poem to the world with a note, stating this fact, would have had the appearance of picking a quarrel with the noble bard, and this appearance I much dislike, from the kindly feeling I have towards him, in consequence of his always having dealt kindly by me. Another consideration was, that the likeness of our subjects does not seem to strike any reader of my poem so much as I expected; so that, unless charged with plagiarismn, I may let the matter T. C."


On the 20th of October, Campbell announces, in sorrowful terms, that the period to which he had looked with intense anxiety* had expired; but that little, if any, benefit had resulted from the experiment to which he had resorted on behalf of his son. "Thomas," he writes with desponding brevity, "is come back to us!" and again his correspondence became tinctured, for several weeks, with the complexion of his own sad thoughts. Yet his keen and delicate sympathy in the sorrows of others was never blunted-though he often affected to think otherwise -by the severity or frequency of his own. To an intimate friend, who had just lost a sister, he writes:- "Dec. 23.-I cannot for a moment pretend to measure my grief with yours:

* See his own remarkable expression, page 152.



but I feel that I have lost a friend, and a branch of the family dearest to my friendship. I tender you the consolation of one who had a sincere affection for her deeply connected, in mental associations, with affection for yourself. I have been touched by your attention in communicating these tidings-melancholy as they are; but I have really no words to express how much I enter into your present feelings.—T. C."

His contributions* to the New Monthly for this year were of a superior stamp; and at their head stands his admirable poem of "The Last Man." The next letter is addressed to his cousin, Mr. Gray :

"SEYMOUR-STREET WEST, January 9, 1824.

"I love you too much, my dear Gray, not to accept a present; but I cannot be a beggar of presents; and I know you have too much delicacy to let me be so. Your procuring these for me is a real favor; for every second time that I buy a kit of herrings in London, I am cheated with a bad article; and eating a pickled herring, like reading Homer, at breakfast time, is become by long habit a thing necessary to my existence. I have no very important intelligence to communicate. Thomas is but so and so. How do you like Pyramus and This be? My friends would not let me put my name to it; though I say, who should not, it is the sweetest thing I ever warbled on my lyre. And now that I am my own panegyrist, I must tell you what an incorruptible Liberal I have shown myself in these corruptible times!.. I had a communication from the Secretary and several Members of the Association, offering to place my name among their Honoraries, with a hundred a year under the royal endowment. I declined accepting it. You probably know that this society is nothing else than an effort to buy the literary men of the country to what they call the cause of religion and loyalty-which may be interpreted canting and time-serving... As something of personal kindness, however, might have mixed with the choice of those who proposed me, I declined the office in civil terms. They will get few but milk-and-water men into their fraternity. Moore is blacker than myself in the great man's books; I dislike him as much as he; but I congratulated myself when the offer came,

* I find among the MS. of this autumn an elaborate review of the Hora Ionica-a congenial subject, which he treats with a perfect knowledge of its classic antiquity and the condition of modern Greece.

See New Monthly Magazine.

that it arose, in some shape, from a negative propriety on my part, of having never been a scurrilous writer. I do think that great truths and great causes may be always defended without personality.

T. C."

“February 4, 1824.

". . . I have found my silver box,* I need not say with what delight; and the sight of it comforts me so as to support a bad cold with more than my usual patience. Wretched catarrh were it not for thee, I think I should be to-day very happy, and not even worry myself for having behaved so like an old, or a young, child on the occasion of my false alarm. Alas, Men are but children of a larger growth!' as the undiscoverable poet said who was quoted in Parliament. After all, there is something excusable in my liking my litle pocket companion almost to foolishness. It was given me when my mind was comparatively young and romantic to what it is now; and though I have forgotten the exact feelings with which I first looked on your three names engraved inside, friendships are no doubt all the better for being old. Yet there is still in the early commencement and youth of our friendly feelings towards any object, a tinge of romance-a kind of gratuitous and generous prophecying that the object will never disappoint, or become indifferent to us, which has all its peculiar charm. I received this little token from you when all the compound sensation of faith, hope, and novelty was strongly operating on my mind: and my mind, I know not how, has acquired a habit of always summoning up associations more or less complacent, but always to a certain degree, soothing and complacent when I look at this token. It is true we have all had our trials in the interval of time over which it carries my memory: but I have had many happy days which I owe to you-many a hearty welcome-and never a moment's defalcation of hospitality and kind offices. It is not wonderful, therefore, that this souvenir of far by-gone days, should be an amulet of a very pleasing and touching spell to my recollection. I say this in no exaggerating state of mind, but on a very calm and fair retrospect of our whole acquaintance with each other. T. C."

February [16], 1824. ". . . . I spent a delightful day yesterday at McKenzie's, where, besides Mina, there was Sir W. Congreve, who has

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*For the history of this friendly souvenir, see his Letters from the Isle of Wight, 1807, Vol. I. page 465.

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