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of the month; and writing to his sister, he says "I am sorry there should be any great expectation excited about the poem, which is not of a nature to gratify such expectation. It is truly a domestic and private story. I know very well what will be its fate; there will be an outcry and regret that there is nothing grand or romantic in the poem, and that it is too humble and familiar. But I am prepared for this; and I also know that, when it recovers from the first buzz of such criticism, it will attain a steady popularity.-T. C."
These remarkr show the author was not insensible to the radical defects of the poem; but, unhappily, he did not live to see his predictions realized as to its popularity. In judging of "Theodric," however, the fact should always be kept in view, that it was composed in the midst of distracting cares, when the inspirations of poetry were vainly contending with the stronger feelings of the parent.
An event that now affected him most deeply, was the second removal of his son to Dr. Finch's. Another twelvemonth had elapsed; and as no mitigation of the malady had taken place, it was found absolutely necessary to resort to the same measure as before. This painful step again unhinged the mind of Campbell; and notwithstanding the assumed hiliarity with which he strives to act up to his philosophy, we can discover, under a cheerful mask, the traces of a deep and settled melancholy. He went more into society; he saw company frequently at his own house; but in the intervals of business or amusement, he was oppressed with a sense of heaviness which nothing could remove. Mrs. Campbell was also in a very delicate and irritable state of health; so that, with this last affliction, the cheerfulness of domestic life was permanently obscured; yet the fond mother, he writes, "was still buoyed up with the idea that the cure was to be instantly accomplished."
In very significant allusion to this event, he writes
"Nov. 16th.-You have heard what prevented me from writing. Matilda has continued to bear the event very well; and I have resumed my studies with tolerable tranquillity. We have had one comfortable letter from Mrs. Finch, stating that T. is reconciled to the place, and amuses himself, both with dress and with active amusements. . . I have just been reading the Report of the House of Commons on Asylums for the Insane, published many years ago; and there I find the descrip
ET. 47.] INCREASED ANXIETY-THEODRIC PUBLISHED,
tion of Dr. Finch's house holds a conspicuous superiority. The gentleman-patients have a space of nine acres of pleasureground. In short, the more I think of Laverstock, the more mitigated I feel my poor boy's misfortune. Still, I feel as if I needed a day's repose at Sydenham very much. My late cold, too, has shaken me out of all the benefit I had derived from Cheltenham, and has left a plaguing cough. . . . But let not living man complain. .. I am to be out in print on Monday; and if I should not see you on that day, Theodric will. T. C."
The poem accordingly appeared at the time mentioned; and, "in a week," says the author, "full of accidental occupation and anxiety."
Change of scene was again recommended; and on the 23d of December he writes to Mr. Richardson :-" I am engaged to go westward, to Althorp, and spend the holidays at Lord Spencer's. . . . I am tempted to Althorp by the hope of seeing books, to which I should otherwise have no access. Nothing but this would have made me break my resolution of keeping close to my study; although the Spencers invited me with a cordiality, which, as my friend, you would have felt pleased with. . . ."
"I am very glad that Jeffrey is going to review me; for I think he has the stuff in him to understand Theodric. You have no conception of the blazing letter which Mrs. F. has written. . . . Is it not a shame that the stories of Medwin are not publicly contradicted? . . . T. C."
On his visit to Althorp, Campbell has left several memoranda, from which I make the following extract:
"December 28, 1824.
"Here I am in Althorp-a most beautiful Castle of Indolence-lounging and learned indolence. I am breathing refreshment from the fatigues of the last month. I find it setting me on my legs again. Unhappily, however, I have seen nothing but the house and its domain; for it has rained wretchedly all but one day, and on that arrived Colburn's close pages for revision!... On the 23d, before leaving home, I sat down to the composition of the pages heading the Number, at eight A. M., and finished at two next morning. It is twenty close-written pages. At five, I rose, and got to the Northampton stage, which started at seven. I got to Althorp just as the fami
ly and a large party were sitting down to dinner. One gentleman, about my own age, took upon himself the payment of hospitable attention to me. Imagine my surprise, when I heard him addressed as Mr. L., at the sound of which all associations of satire and Dr. Parr's wig thronged my imagination; but the trick of taking Parr's wig and wearing it at dinner with the Doctor, he persists in denying. . . ."
"The time goes on very pleasantly in the family: all are so unexceptionable, that it would be almost invidious to speak of one more than another. Their hospitality is like a genial atmosphere; you breathe it refreshingly without feeling its weight. You are left so much at leisure, and yet can always find society in one or other of the Libraries. We have Lord Duncannon and his brother, Col. Ponsonby, whose military anecdotes are very amusing. We had yesterday the reinforcement of a Keeper of the Records named Patric, a man of great information, in the Lysson's style, and Dr. C- -tone, who shows to more advantage here than at Oxford. I did him injustice in forming a rash opinion of him. I have been talking with him the greater part of the morning; and it verifies a remark I have often made, that if you get hold of a well-informed and well-bred man, it is your own fault if an hour or two cannot be pleasantly got over with him. He is just gone to examine some books on a commission which Courtenay gave him. . . . I shall regret to be obliged to leave this place on the second of January; for I have pressing reasons to get an interview with my London booksellers. T. C."
Among the smaller poems of this year were Reullura, The Ritter Bann, and A Dream*-all familiar to the readers of poetry, and exhibiting the Lyric Muse of Campbell in a new and attractive dress. In the last of these pieces, as it strikes me, there is throughout a marked allusion to his own private fortunes in the race of life. It is worthy of its predecessor, The Last Man, which it much resembles, but does not reach, either in poetical conception or expression.
These lyrics appear from the MS. to have undergone much judicious alteration before they were admitted to a place in the authorized edition.
THE next event in Campbell's life, was the part he took in founding the London University-an event to which he always looked back with peculiar satisfaction-" the only important one," as he modestly expresses it, "in his life's little history." The project of a great metropolitan school had dwelt upon his mind, and occupied his serious thoughts, ever since his return from Germany; but it was only to a select few of his private friends, that he had ventured to propound the scheme, and ask the benefit of their suggestions. During the past year, however, his opinions had became gradually matured by communication with those in whom he had confidence, and on whose talents and co-operation he could fully rely, whenever his plan should be brought before the public. This experiment was now to be tried; and to prepare the way for its favorable reception, private conferences were held, where the merits of the scheme were freely discussed, and arrangements concluded for a public meeting on the subject. From various documents regarding these meetings, and the first stage of the University-scheme, I annex the following particulars in the words of the writer :—
"Saturday, Feb. 12th, 1825.-The establishment of an University in London has for a considerable time been a favorite object with my friend Thomas Campbell. It is now more than a year since he first mentioned the project to me. I agreed with him as to the great importance of such an Institution; but I did not concur with him in the probability he thought there was of raising money to carry his project into execution. In several subsequent conversations, he developed his plan, which was comprehensive; but I still remained in doubt that money could be raised to carry it into execution. About a month ago, Mr. Campbell told me he was resolved to bring his project before the public, that, at least, it might be known; that he was sanguine of success, from the assistance which making it known would procure for him. . . . On the 31st ult. a gentleman called upon me, said he had dined with several other gentlemen the preceding evening, at Mr. Brougham's; he named the gentlemen who dined there, and among them, Mr. T. Campbell. After dinner, he said, Mr. Campbell talked of his project of a London University, which was countenanced by all who were
present. Mr. Campbell, he said, evidently calculated on the assistance of every one of them. It was this, I conclude, which induced Mr. Campbell to publish his letter to Mr. Brougham, on the 9th inst., in the Times newspaper, as a project for a University.
In a conversation which I have just had with Mr. Hume, he informed me that there would be a dinner on Monday next, at Mr. John Smith's; where Mr. Hill, Mr. Brougham, Mr. Campbell, and himself, would be guests; and he hoped something would be done to promote Mr. Campbell's project. I told Mr. Hume that I saw but one obstacle to it, and that was want of money; and this obstacle I did not expect would be removed. Mr. Hume replied, that if a sketch of what Mr. Campbell intended, as well in teaching, as in moral discipline, and expense to students, were drawn up, he doubted not that he could procure subscribers to a large amount, which he named; and this induced me to promise, on the part of Mr. Campbell, that such a paper should at once be drawn up. I objected, however, to Mr. Hume, that the large sum he had named might not be subscribed; and that he might be disappointed. To this he replied-Get the paper drawn up, and trust to me to make good my promise.'
“Sunday, Feb. 13th.-Mr. Campbell has been with me, and has undertaken to produce such a paper as Mr. Hume requires. I have no doubt that his project will be crowned with success."*
From these memoranda regarding the University, we turn to the Poet's own account of it, in a more advanced stage.
“SEYMOUR-STREET WEST, April 30, 1825.
".. I have had a double-quick time of employment since I saw you. In addition to the business of the Magazine, I have had that of the University in a formidable shape. Brougham, who must have popularity among Dissenters, propounded the matter to them. The delegates, of almost all the dissenting bodies in London, came to a conference at his summons. At the first meeting, it was decided that there should be Theological chairs, partly Church of England and partly Presbyterian. I had instructed all friends of the University to resist any attempt to make us a Theological body; but Brougham, Hume, and John Smith, came away from the first meeting, saying: We think with you, that the introduction of Divinity will be mischievous; but we must yield to the Dissenters, with Irving at their head. We must have a theological college.' I immediately waited on the Church of England men, who had already subscribed to the number of a hundred, and said to them;-You see our paction is broken; I induced you to subscribe, on the faith that no ecclesiastical interest, English or
"The substance of notes which I made when the proposal for an University in London was first countenanced by Mr. Campbell's friends. "FRANCIS PLACE."