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delicacy which this event called forth, and which was very characteristic of his heart. Writing to a private friend, and not knowing in what circumstances his brother's family might have been left-yet fearing to give pain by a direct questionhe begs him "to apply the bank note inclosed in his letter to the purchasing of mourning for his sister-in-law and her infant family." In acts of this kind-and several have come to my own personal knowledge-Campbell always enhanced the kindness by anticipating the request, doing "good by stealth, and blushing," it might truly be said, "to find it fame."
While the arrangements for the election of a new Lord Rector were in active progress, Campbell was kindly, but urgently requested by his friends to make his personal appearance amongst them. A serious return of illness, however, had again laid him up; and, to an application from the same quarter, he replied as follows:
“SEYMOUR-STREET WEST, October 10, 1826. "... I write in such torture with the rheumatism, that I can hardly hold a pen; yet, thank God, not so ill as I was. I was at one time on the eve of writing to you, to advertise my inability to go down to Scotland-whether the election were to succeed or not-and thus prevent my name being put up at all. But now, though I have not got rid of pain, I have got above the alarm and despondency which exhaustion occasioned; and you will agree with me, that this nomination having been once talked of, I ought, as a brave man, to face even the danger of defeat. I may be worse-I may be driven to Bath as a last cure; but the election will be over this month, and it would be a pity to anticipate my case getting worse. . . I must leave the matter entirely to your own discretion, in which, as in your zeal and kindness, I have unlimited confidence. The subject of my letter to D. is to thank him for his public eulogium, which certainly deserves gratitude, and shows a very warm heart. I write in a state of pain that makes it difficult to collect my thoughts; but the election, as I have said, must be in the main left to itself. T. C."
This attack was so protracted and severe as to preclude the hope of visiting Scotland within the limited period; but, after three weeks' confinement, the subject is thus resumed :-"Nov. 3rd. I have recovered from the paroxysm of rheumatic pain, in which I was yesterday. I really wish I had not troubled so much about the business of the Glasgow rectorship. If you
ELECTED LORD RECTOR OF GLASGOW.
have made it known in G. that I expressed to you the fear of being able to visit you, I must abide by the natural effect of my writing under too strong and painful excitement: but, otherwise, my commission to you is, to do nothing. Let us wait the event. I know that you are by much too prudent to have done anything too much in the way of assisting me; and now I am convinced that, with all your friendship, you cannot do too little. We must let the matter take its course.
“Nov. 6th.- . . . In any discrepancy which you may perceive in the tone of my letters, you must make allowance, not only for my being very unwell, but for my being in a state of great uncertainty about my pecuniary affairs. I am now better -but my affairs are not. I got in bills on Saturday morning, for the making up of my new house, treble the amount expected; and also confirmation of an acquaintance being bankrupt, for whom I had advanced the deposits on three shares in the London University. . . . I could not now accept the rectorship, if it were at my option. If I travelled to accept it, it must be on borrowed money. Friends I have in plenty, who would lend -but I fear debt, as I do the bitterness of death. I know not what is going on about the election, more than a vague rumor that some of the students meant to propose me. Last week I saw nothing that could induce me to forbid my name being put up; but before its close, I have seen that, let my chance be great or small, I could not accept the honor if it were offered me. I request you therefore to thank, in my name, such of the students as intended to vote for me; and to assure them, that I am fully sensible of their kindness; but that I beg not to be considered as a candidate. . . . I trust you will add that the circumstances, on being explained to you, appear to be very cogent, * and make it impossible for me to leave my family at this time, without the most serious inconvenience. T. C."
How far his friend and relative acted upon this candid avowal does not appear; but, with the generosity of his character, it is known that the pecuniary obstacles that stood in Campbell's
* Circumstances connected with the painful state of his son's malady are here stated, which far outweighed all pecuniary obstacles, and apparently left him no alternative but to decline the honor proposed. But other views were soon presented which enabled him to accept the high office to which he was invited.
way were removed as soon as mentioned. To this, also, the payment of a legacy materially contributed; and all other objections being waived, the partialities of the students were allowed to have free course.
In the meantime, the canvass went on with great spirit; all the machinery employed on similar occasions was called into action. Wit and eloquence-satire, epigram, and pasquinade --were brought to the service of the rival candidates; and the election was contested with a skill and perseverance that, added to political excitement, heightened the interest of the scene, but left the result neither tedious nor doubtful. By an immense majority" the unanimous vote of the four nations "-Campbell was returned duly elected; and received the following notification of the fact from the Very Reverend the Principal of the University:
"GLASGOW COLLEGE, November 15, 1826.
"I beg to inform you, that you have this day been elected Rector of the University of Glasgow for the ensuing year. The statutes require that your acceptance of the office be notified within fourteen days.
"I have the honor to be, respectfully,
"Your most obedient servant,
"To THOMAS CAMPBELL, Esq."
LORD RECTORSHIP OF GLASGOW.
LORD RECTORSHIP OF GLASGOW.
THE election of Campbell to the Rectorship of Glasgow was not only gratifying to himself, but of lasting importance to the University. By this act, his young constituents gave full expression to their confidence in his zeal for literature, and his love for that ancient seat of the Muses, of which he was himself a chief ornament.
A presentiment of this "sunburst of popular favor," as he describes it, had more than once crossed his mind; but he had formed no idea that it could have been so soon, or so happily verified. He knew that, as a Poet, he had a large share of popularity among the students of the University; but, until the announcement arrived, he had formed no adequate conception of its warmth and unanimity. The rival candidates were men of acknowledged merit, and high 'standing in the country; and when he measured his own public deserts with theirs, he appears, on the evidence of his letters, to have made up his mind for defeat. The result, however, was a most flattering testimony in his favor.-In his new position, he felt alike the honor, and the responsibility; and, from the first day of accepting the office, he devoted himself to the faithful discharge of its duties. The success with which these were carried out, will appear in the ensuing chapter.
The correspondence to which the election gave rise, though more copious than usual, does not possess much interest for the general reader. It is marked with the party spirit which too often, in those days, characterized popular movements, disturbed the peace of families, and alienated fast friends. This spirit has happily subsided: and, although familiarly remembered by his surviving friends, it will not be expected that we should revive those political feuds, which Campbell himself had wished to be forgotten. The history of his Rectorship and that of his literary life, is given with so much clearness in his private letters, that I shall hope to consult the reader's wishes by laying before him,
such passages from the original papers, as may convey a distinct notion of the acts of the new Lord Rector, in what he considered the "crowning honor of his life."
The resistance offered to his election by the Professors, was "based on political distrust ;" and although completely frustrated by the unanimous votes of his young constituents, the mere fact of their opposition was not so readily forgotten. In immediate reference to the course adopted by his colleagues, Campbell thus writes to Mr. Richardson :
"SEYMOUR-STREET WEST. LONDON. November 20, 1826.
You have probably heard that I am elected Rector of G. C. by the students, against the united wishes of all the Professors-perhaps Miller and Jardine only excepted, and who, I think, had reason to be ashamed to vote against me. Private intelligence has reached me that the animus against me among the regents is particularly vehement. Now I know not how far this spirit may yet be carried. I am ill-very ill, and write in sharp pain. I have not been without pain, more or less, for weeks; and I am totally incompetent to take the journey with safety. But, sooner than allow myself to be ousted for not appearing in the legal time, I will set off in the mail, if I should arrive dead! . Write to Mr. Hill, and get notice from him of two things:-How soon must I, in law, appear on the spot? and will the principal Regents grant me the same indulgence, as to time, which they granted to Mr. Brougham, and Sir James Mackintosh? I have already requested my friend Gray to wait on the Rev. Principal, explain the state of my health, and request the indulgence; so that Mr. Hill has only to second the application by his personal interest.
"You may see from my hand writing in what a state my arm is. I cannot apply to our common friend for advice or assistance; and I know not where Mackintosh is. T. C."
From a voluminous correspondence on this subject, I collect a few particulars. The majority of the Professors having agreed to support Mr. Canning, one of the rival candidates, employed all their influence to secure his election. The "Nations," however, mustered very strong in support of Campbell; he was extolled as the beau-ideal of a patriot, a poet, a British classicabove all, as one of themselves-a son of the same Alma Mater; the only man living who could fill the office with dignity, and restore the "invaded rights" of his Constituents! It is amusing,