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pamphlet published about the colony, I find my own opinion quoted from a paper in 'The New Monthly,' and my name honorably mentioned. What is still more curious, I actually found the aide-de-camp of the Commander in Chief of the Colonial Army, (a very accomplished man,) Captain St. Palais, translating my poems, and about to publish the translation. His general, Baron Voirol, is returning home, having been succeeded by General Comte D'Erlon, to whom I was presented at his first levee by our Consul. I dine with Baron Voirol to-day. He is to try to get the Commandant of Oran to take me with him in the steamer as his pretended secretary; and also to furnish me with an Arab at Oran, who will take me sixty leagues into the interior, among the patriarchal encampments of the Bedouins.. "St. John, our Consul-General, has been excessively kind to As for his wife, he is almost as well off as yourself—she is quite a darling-pleasing, animated and intelligent. They have a sweet family, a noble old Moorish house, and a paradise of a garden around it.
"Oh, my old crony! it would do your heart good to see your friend prancing gloriously on an Arabian barb over the hills of the white city, (for Algiers, with all its forts, battlements, mosques, and minarets, is as dazzling white as snow,) and enjoying the splendid scenery!* I have no words to convey the impression it has made on me. I felt, on my ride, as if I had dropt into a new planet! Some parts of the hills, it is true, are bare; but wherever there is verdure it has a bold, gigantic richness, a brilliancy and odor, that mock even the productions of our hot-houses. Never shall I forget my first ride! It was early morning; the blue Mediterranean spread a hundred miles beneath a line of flamingoes shot over the wave-the white city blazed in the rising sun--the Arabs, with their dromedaries loaded with fruits for the market, were coming down the steeps. Around, in countless numbers, were the white, square, castle-looking country houses of the Moors, inclosed in gardens; the romantic tombs of the Marabouts, held sacred, and surrounded with trees and flowers, that are watered with a perpetual spring from marble fountains, where you see the palm towering with its feathery tufts as high as a minaret. Wherever I looked, the vegetable world was all novelty in its beauty and grandeur. Save the blackberry, the ivy, and a sort of wild
* In all Campbell's writings, there is nothing perhaps more poetical than the following descriptions.
lint-bell, I recognised not one old friend among the 'field flowers.' The fig-tree-the nopal-the banyan-the cork-tree-the vine and myrtle, all were growing wild on the roadside, with aloes ten feet high in long rows-like the sword-blades of a race of giants; and the cactus, with oval leaves, a foot long and an inch thick-sticking one at the end of another, and forming with their fantastic trunks an impregnable hedge. Its fruit, called the Barbary fig, so rich and delicious, grows on the roadside, to the size of a lemon; it is to be had for the gathering, and sells at twelve for a sou. These are a day's food for an Arab or a Cabyle. The latter is the old Numidian, different both from the Moor and the Arab.
LETTER FROM ALGIERS-SCENERY.
"Then the ravines that run down to the sea! I alighted to explore one of them, and found a burn, that might have gurgled in a Scottish glen. A thousand sweet novelties of wild flowers grew above its borders; and a dear little bird sang among its trees. The view terminated in the discharge of the stream among the rocks and foam of the sea
"And where this valley winded out below,
The murmuring main was heard-and scarcely heard to flow.'*
"In short, my dear John, I feel as if my soul had grown an inch taller since I came here. I have a thousand, and a thousand curious things to tell you; but I shall keep them all bottled up to tell you in Fludyer-street-unless the cholera comes over me. If it should, I have at least had some happy days; and the little void that I leave in the world will be soon filled up. I commend my poor nephew to your kindness. He is a good, and intelligent young man; and being now deprived of almost the only solace of his hard-working life-that is, of coming to me of a Sunday-he is rather forlorn. Give my kindest regards to Mr. Richardson-remember me affectionately to Sir Charles and Lady Bell; and with all my heart, believe me ever, as of old, yours, T. C."
The impressions, thus vividly described, lost nothing of their freshness by a longer residence. To his nephew, Mr. Alexander Campbell, he writes:
"Nov. 9.--I had the greatest pleasure in receiving your letter;
*Thomson's "Castle of Indolence."
In a P.S. he adds: "Thursday I dined at Baron Voirol's, and the Commandant of Oran is to take me thither; but about my getting among the Arabs, there seems to be some difficulty and danger. We shall see."
the second that I have opened in Africa; and I need not tell you with what sensations. The country is superb. The vegetation, though scorched at this season, is indescribably magnificent. To say that I have been satisfied with the sight of this country, is far short of the truth; I have been delighted with it to ecstacy. . . I mix much with the French general officers, from whom I expect my principal information regarding Algiers, as well as designs from their artists. The English Consul, Mr. St. John, has been most kindly attentive, and so has the Vice-Consul, Mr. Tulin.. I keep two horses, a groom, and a valet. You will say, 'Mine uncle hath grown a dandy!' No, no: this is all necessary: no body here in the rank of a gentleman walks beyond the walls: all is horseback, or muleback-equally costly; so that I must keep a saddle for my servant as well as myself. This deuced expense, however, irks me a little; but I have no fear, it is true, of running aground as to finances. T. C."
So much enjoyment, however, could not be lasting; he had begun to feel the effects of climate; and in the next letter to his nephew he says:
"Nov. 21.-The extreme change of the weather from broiling heat to moist, damp, cold, has a good deal affected me. I was two days seriously ill in bed; and though set upon my legs again, I am weak in animal spirits. My resolution to brave the chance of cholera, which is getting nearer, is not shaken. I am determined to remain, most probably, till March; but my mind is often very uneasy about the possibility of being carried off by that deadly fiend, and, with one thing and another, I cannot boast of being very happy. I am annoyed on the subject of money-being on the very verge of running in debt; for after buying a horse at a good price, I lent him to a French friend, who accidentally made the animal slip his shoulder-and so I have six hundred francs to pay for another. Here a gentleman can no more dispense with a horse, than with his trowsers. I have, also, been obliged to shift into another suit of M. Descousse's chambers. The additional furniture has cost me about 201.; for the tiled floors require thick carpeting, and the expense of making a chimney is quite ruinous!"
"Well, I will not croak any more, except to tell you about one anxiety that is preying upon my mind; and upon which it is in your power to relieve me-at least from suspense. I write
ALGIERS -SACRIFICE TO DEVILS.
according to agreement, every week; and until the last three, she has regularly answered me. I believe you know in what a state of health I left her-now she knows my solicitude about her health too well to be silent from any other cause than sheer inability to hold a pen. I am thus left shaping the gloomiest fears respecting her. Do, my dearest nephew, make inquiries about her at
He then adverts to the 'state of his Exchequer'-gives directions for another remittance, and adds
You will think I am a "Gargantua' for swallowing money! But in truth, every object I have in travelling will be frustrated if I am not amply supplied, so that I must call in all my reI wish very much to see Tunis, in order to inspect the ruins of Carthage. I have here found some Roman ruins that are not mentioned by any traveller that I have read.
"Among the amusing novelties which I have lately seen, I may reckon that of a Sacrifice to Devils. There are seven fountains near the sea-shore of Algiers, which are regularly haunted by demons-but they are good-natured demons, when you appease them by sacrificing a fowl or a sheep. Nay, the flesh of the victims, when eaten by sick people, recovers them; and for this purpose, crowds of negroes, Jews, Arabs, Cabyles, and Moors, all go out pell-mell, men and women, to sacrifice at the fountains, and bring home healing food for their sick friends. The institution is not warranted by the Koran, and seems a superstition more Pagan than Mahometan. The high-priest is a negro from Timbuctoo. I saw no mark of priesthood about him, except that he collected money. They sang a hymn quite fit for Devil-worship. They washed the victim in the sea-then turned to the east; an old woman squatted before the priest, who waved the knife thrice round her, and then killed the fowl by cutting its throat. The whole ceremony reminded me somewhat of Homer. A merchant here introduced me to the highpriest, as a Christian Marabout who had preached divine things against black slavery;' so that the niggers and niggeresses' came all grinning about me, and the Blacky hierophant did me the honor of giving me snuff out of his 'bacco-box. T. C."
*See letters to Mr. Richardson and to Mr. Rogers, pages 311-14.
The ill health and anxiety of mind, under which he was suffering at the above date, were speedily removed by unexpected good news* from home; so that he returned to the grand object of his pilgrimage with unabated ardor.
The ensuing two months were spent in short excursions within the frontier-among the native tribes, and in collecting such materials from oral and written testimony, regarding their political history, social habits, and prospects, as were likely to interest a curious and indefatigable traveller. To the success with which he prosecuted his research-relieving the gravity of history, by lively and characteristic anecdotes; sketches of society-peculiar customs-classic associations-climate, produce, and population; by everything, in short, that is amusing, or instructive-the two volumes, since given to the public, bear unequivocal testimony, and establish his title as an authority, in all that relates to the French domination in Algiers.
At length, taking a much wider circuit, with Leo Africanus in his hand, Campbell made several voyages along the coastvisited Bougia, Bona, and Oran, entered into familiar intercourse with Arab Chiefs-feasted and slept in their encampments— heard the lion roar in his native desert-wrote lines on a Dead Eagle and, after a journey full of novelty and adventure, returned, at the end of April, to the British Consulate at Algiers. But to return to his letters :
"ORAN, March 18th, 1835.
"I received your kind and welcome letter, announcing Mr. Telford's legacy before I left Algiers. I need not say the bequest is a providential windfall-but how strange it is that the executors gave me no notice of it!
"I had a dreadful passage in the steamboat from Algiers to Oran. The Captain at one time had the idea of taking refuge in the nearest Spanish port; but, happily, before his last bushel of coals was consumed, we got into Arzei, where, after waiting two days, we got a fair wind that brought us hither. I was so ill with sea-sickness during this passage, that I brought up blood,
A legacy of 1000l. had just been left him.
This legacy from his early and munificent friend was nominally 1000%, part of which was paid to Campbell soon after his return to London-the last and greater portion, still in the hands of Mr. Telford's executors, is payable to the Poet's niece, Mrs. W. Alfred Hill.
"During the danger, and even my sickness," he told the Editor, "I was haunted by the picture of your happy fireside, and the friends there."