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over your reception of me. I don't believe the traditional re
mark that it is best for us not to foresee future events. How much happier I should have been at Stoke, if I could have foreseen future events! Had I known what I know now, I should. have been happy at your house, instead of being the weak and dolorous man which I fear I was.
"I came to town just in the nick of time to prevent an injudicious visitation of my dear boy. I spent Sunday with him. No doubt all ideas of his recovery are to be set aside. I will cherish that delusion no longer. But he is better. The last time I saw him, his complexion was pale and sodden. It is now restored, and he is beautiful. His beauty may perhaps give me deeper grief for his case-but still, it takes off the horror which his bad looks inspired. All the time I was at Stoke, there was a suspicion blistering, or rather causticating my mind, that I had done wrong in allowing Dr. Allen to remove him—on account of some waywardness in his temper-from being a parlorboarder, to live in a house where the keepers have patients. But imagine the relief that came into my heart, when my son told me that he liked his new residence better than his old one.
"When I was with you, I was uncertain of being one of the proprietors of the Journal-The Metropolitan'-which I conduct. Let the name of my brother Poet, Rogers, be for ever sacred. He has bought me a share in the partnership; and, with noble generosity, has refused even the mortgage of my Scotch property, as security for the debt. But mortgaged my Scotch property shall be, in order that he may be secure.
"All this time I am an egotist. But egotism is, after all, a compliment to those for whom we may be believed, bona fide, to bear a regard. In the midst of all my egotism, your Derbyshire has a pleasant hold over my imagination. You are with me-and your music. Never did I surrender to any one but to you my verses on They were too sacred (as to
*The following verses, given to me many years ago by the Poet, are probably the same as those mentioned in the letter. They are addressed "To
"Whirl'd by the steam's impetuous breath,
But soon, that life-like scene to stop,
POLISH ASSOCIATION-66 METROPOLITAN."
my feelings) to be given to the printer. My mind and heart are full of Derbyshire.
The first notice of a "Polish Association" occurs in the following passage:
"Oct. 18th.-To-morrow I am obliged to stop in town out of compassion to the poor Polish Poet,* whose grief in his old age may well be imagined. I am forming an Association who will support the good old man, and, I dare say, all the other Polish exiles.
"Turning from that horrid subject, let me tell you a piece of good luck. Captain Chamier, the principal proprietor of 'The Metropolitan,' who is very much attached to me, has always been pressing me to take a share in the work; but as it could not be got without money, and as I had given all my money to the Poles, I told him it was in vain to ask me to take a share. . . . . I went to Rogers, and said I would insure my life, and hand over my library to him-which has been valued by an impartial bookseller at £700 at least. He said, 'You shall neither insure your life, nor hand over your library; you shall have the money when you want it.' Noble, generous, beautiful conduct! I am to get the £500 to-morrow! but, in spite of his prohibition, I have insured by life, and I have got a legal instrument, by which my library and furniture will be at his disposal till the debt is repaid. T. C."
Under this pleasing delusion, he calls upon his sister to congratulate him on his good fortune, and adds:
My partners in the concern are Mr. Cochrane, the publisher, and Captain Chamier, author of 'The Life of a Sailor,' in The Metropolitan,' and several other amusing papers. is one of the merriest and dearest souls in existence; and, though diametrically opposite to me in politics, is the best literary partner I could possibly have got-for I laugh at his Toryism, and
It needed but one single drop
Of water cold-and all was still!
It kills the bliss that once was mine;
Who caused a tear to heart like thine.
Thee, Niemciewitz, whose song of stirring power,
The Czar forbids to sound in Polish lands.-POEMS, p. 260.
make the publication Whiggish, in spite of his teeth. And as my editorial power is absolute and dictatorial, I often threaten to make personal attacks upon him, by name and surname, in 'The Metropolitan,' if he presumes to interfere with me! But Chamier, though the merriest joker in the world, is a shrewd, active, and business-like man. I expect great gains from our co-operation. So God save our gracious King William the Fourth!-preserve my sister Mary!-and speed the sale of The Metropolitan!"
Full of "El Dorado prospects," Campbell returned to St. Leonards; and, writing to Mrs. Arkwright, says:—
"Nov. 22d.-I snatch a moment to refresh myself with the delightful recollection of Stoke-and the pleasurable recollection is more tempting, perhaps, for being illicit-I mean that I ought not to write till I could answer the question about Miss B's Polish letters. You ask about my health and spirits. Upon my truth I cannot tell you whether I am well or ill-I am so absorbed in the whirl of business-business composed of 'Metropolitan' proof-sheets-papers to be corrected-and correspondents, very unlike yourself-that my head spins. But my heart is not dizzy. It still recollects sweet tones of song, and sweet banks of streams.
"You thought, at Stoke, that I was a man rather too much given to sadness; but I was, on the whole, very happy! The world's affairs stand now pretty fairly with me; and when I can snatch leisure here, I am so fortunate as to find more pleasant society than I expected. The Ponds are here still, and Sir John and Lady Hobhouse, with other very covetable persons.
"Adieu, my dear Mrs. Arkwright. I scent the morning air, and my spirit must return to penal fires,'-but, even in these, still I am sincerely yours, T. C."
In the meantime, a change came over the spirit of his dream," -some startling facts were brought to light; and, in a hasty letter to his sister, he says:
"Nov. 25th.-Very shortly after I wrote to you that I had taken a third share in 'The Metropolitan,' I learnt, with dismay, that Captain Chamier, as well as myself, had been too credulous! Chamier was off to Paris before I learnt this news. I wrote to him, saying, Come back-all is not well; I am sorry I embarked my all in this property! When he came home, he
ET. 54.] LETTER TO HIS SISTER-MR. ROGERS.
behaved exceedingly well, and gave up all claim to my money, as proprietor of The Metropolitan.' He only wrote to me, with the frankness of a gallant tar, saying-As I have been honorable to you, be so to me. Don't give up the editorship of the Magazine, else it will sink, and I shall suffer.' My answer was,-'Assuredly I shall be as honorable as you, but I cannot live on air. Assure me that the publisher pays my monthly salary, and I will stick fast to "The Metropolitan," for your sake.' His reply was,-'I cannot be answerable for Cochrane.' 'Very well,' I wrote back, 'I enclose you a poem for next month; but I charge you not to give it to be published, until he has paid my £50 of arrears for salary.'
The subject of the poem enclosed was "The Power of Rus"A strange subject for verse," he adds; "but I begin to think that men reason better in verse than in prose-in rhyme than in reason." To account for this new opinion, he says,"I had been for weeks trying to hammer into the head of my friend Dr. Madden, my views as to the danger of the world from Russia-and to no purpose. But when, in reading the poem to him, I came to the line
'The stripling giant,* strengthening year by year,
he said 'Now you have convinced me more than by all that you ever said in prose.' Here, then, a metaphor convinced a man."
"For some weeks Campbell was left in painful uncertainty as to the money; but, at last, it was recovered, and in a letter to Mr. Rogers, he says:—
“Dec. 6th. . . . I am very happy to tell you that the five hundred, which you so generously lent me, is safe at my banker's in St. James-street, and waits your calling for it. Blessed be God, that I have saved both it and myself from being involved, as partner, in 'The Metropolitan !""
"The pain I suffered before I made this rescue was not slight. Amidst the horror of bad news-public and private-I felt at times misanthropic enough to pronounce my species all rascals! But still, when I recalled your loan, ah-there, I thought to myself there is a fact to show that benevolence has not left the earth-Aye-days and sleepless nights went over my head,
* In the printed poem, giant was changed to Titan.-РOEмs, p. 258.
in which I knew not whether even that loan was not to be thrown into a gulf of bankruptcy!
"All, however, is now safe; and my feeling of obligation to you is as thoroughly grateful as if all my chimerical dreams had been realized. I shall now quietly go on with 'Mrs. Siddons' Life. T. C."
With the feelings of a man who has just escaped shipwreck, Campbell returned to Hastings; and in a letter to Mrs. Arkwright, the first depositary of his secret,-acquaints her with the result:
"Dec. 21st. I mentioned to you having been enabled, by my worthy friend Rogers, to purchase a third share of a periodical. Imagine how foolish I looked when I found the concern a bubble. After weeks of agitation, and many a sleepless night, I got back the money by dint of remonstrance, and Rogers has got it again, though he kindly offered to let me have it for another purpose. It was not till the business was settled, some ten days ago, that I could retire with an easy mind to my cabin here, where I am fallen once more in love with the sea; and I have now set myself down in earnest, and with heart and hand disembarrassed, to 'Mrs. Siddons' Life. . . ."
"In the first chapter of the Biography I had to speak of your father,* and his name brought strong feelings to my mind. The scene of honest Harry Siddons' lodgings on the Calton Hillthe landscape seen from the window-the plain but hospitable table, and the pleasantry, wit, and inexhaustible anecdote of your dear father, together with his kindness to me, a bashful boy, came in recollections as fresh as yesterday. They would have been desolate recollections, but I felt a really comforting thankfulness that you were alive, and that I could call you friend to my sensations at the moment I could have almost said sister. T. C."
The ensuing holidays Campbell spent in town, in daily intercourse with the friends of Poland, and her exiled Chief, whose noble bearing, under the weight of adversity, had added lustre to his name, and inspired deeper sympathy for his cause. Of his visit, the Poet gives the following account to his sister :
* See the anecdote, as already told, Vol. I., page 219.