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Our most stupendous towers!
Thou 'st seen them pass away!
Looks down, a Mentor on the pride
* These lines first appeared in the Scenic Annual.
SHAKSPEARE AND PETRARCH.
SHAKSPEARE AND PETRARCH.
FROM Brougham Hall Campbell returned direct to London; but after an absence of three months-the "happiest three of his life"-he confessed it was no easy matter to break off idle habits, and pull once more in harness. The friends and festivities of Scotland were still uppermost in his thoughts; and in a letter to Mrs. Ireland-the "Mary Kenny" of early days-he thus reverts to them :
"Oct. 13th. The joy of my heart at meeting so many unchanged friends in Scotland has not yet subsided; and I need not say that, among the choicest of those friends, I reckon yourself and yours. How exquisitely went off your petits soupers! I send you the enclosed letter, because I know it will please you, as containing honorable mention of one who is dear to you.
"You will better understand the letter when I explain to you that during my three days' sojourn with Lord B. we quarrelled about the pronunciation of words! He said Lunnon, I said London ! I told him he pronounced no better than John Moody in the Comedy. I reproached him, also with pronouncing haunted haunted!† and asked him why it should not rhyme
*The passage is this:-" I wish you had been here when the Edinburgh deputation came t'other day. I never saw better men; but they were strangers to me, and one of them, Mr. Ireland, is, it seems, a friend of yours. We were exceedingly pleased with him indeed. I was extremely vexed at their having the trouble of such a journey, and I never shall forget their kindness." Extract of a letter from Lord Brougham to T. Campbell.
Returning playfully to the charge, Lord Brougham writes:-Oct. 8th. I must, and shall, and will haunte you, even if I'murder sleep.' Nor do I value your rhyme more than your reason-there's for you! Talk after this of the man's foolhardiness, who discoursed to Hannibal on the art of war! But to proceed, though I do hawnte, I see no kind of reason why you should not chawnte. If I had time, I am sure I could recollect scores of authorities for much greater deviations than the au and aw in rhyme: 'obey' and
with enchanted? The matter is a trifle; but I have a full conviction of being in the right!"
To this " grave discussion" Campbell often reverted in after days, with a laugh of affected triumph.
"Jan. 15th. . . . . I have been made very uneasy by hearing bad accounts of my poor sister Mary. Her sight is almost entirely failing, so that she can neither read nor write a letter. Strange, that we not only pray for life to continue to ourselves, when it is scarcely a blessing, but pray for its continuance to those we love! I cannot make up my mind for the time when my sister Mary shall be no more.
"To turn to pleasanter subjects-I spent yesterday a very agreeable dinner evening at Rogers's. We had Whishaw,my old friend, now a far gone valetudinarian,-who took both my hands in his, in his gladness to see me. One of the young Romillys, who lives with and tends him like a son, dined with us; as also Mr. Rush, American minister, who wrote a most liberal account of his residence in England. There was another American, still superior in mind, mien, and conversation. We all agreed, when he was gone, that you could not turn out, in the best European society, a more presentable man. He told us that Mrs. Trollope's book had wrought a surprising change for the better among his countrymen and countrywomen; for instance, it was, not very long ago, not unusual for a New York lady at the theatre to turn her back to the audience, and, what was worse, to sit on the front of the box, with her face towards those within it. What made this ill-breeding the more remarkable was, that the New York ladies, being mostly of Dutch origin, are Dutch-built--like Rubens' beauties. But at present, he assured us, no American gentleman dances at a ball without his coat, nor does any American lady lean more than her elbow on the front of the box!
'tea' for instance; though our excellent friend, Gaffer Gray,' (?) used to hold this rhyme of Pope's a proof that tea was once pronounced in the first way-tay, wherein I hold the Gaffer to be wrong! But one occurs immediately: Denham, in his famous description of the Thames, makes 'wants' and plants' rhyme; now take your choice between waunts and plaunts. Clearly it must be that waunts' and 'plaunts' are a lawful matrimony. Indeed, wind and mind may be cited; for, though we might say wynde, in reading the two lines-So the poor Indian,' &c., we should not say so in common parlance. You will find, I see, by that rare author, Johnson's Dictionary,' that Waller makes haunt and complaint rhyme-but this proves too much. Letter from Lord Brougham to T. Campbell, [The MS. is partly illegible.]
"How many interesting anecdotes float on the surface of conversation, which are never remembered. I have written to you many little circumstances that struck me in the company of Grattan. I gave some of these to our little society, and endeavored to communicate to our transatlantics some idea of the brilliant, and unparalleled conversation of Grattan. But Grattan's eloquence, though founded in a false artificial taste, had become natural to him. His very pronunciation was like that of a foreigner; but still it was natural, and the artificial Grattan was strange to say-the most natural being you could meet. I told (what I had heard myself) his answer to a Tory, who was praising an Irish Orange Bishop, whose name I forget. It was said of him that he strangled a man with his own hands during the Rebellion. What is your objection to that bishop?" quoth the Tory. Is he not learned, pious, and so forth?' 'Oh, yes,' said Grattan, 'very learned, and very pious; but he is fond of blood, and prone to intoxication.'
"Rogers backed my Grattanism by one still better :--Grattan was once violently attacked in the Irish House of Commons by an inveterate Orangeman, who made a miserable speech. In reply, Grattan said,' I shall make no other remark on the personalities of the honorable gentleman who spoke last, thanAs he rose without a friend, so he sat down without an enemy.' Was ever contempt so concentrated in expression?
"Sir Robert Peel has made two very good speeches at Glasgow. I have now no other ambitious wish in this world than to have the Duke of Wellington and Daniel O'Connell among my future successors in the Rectorship!"
"April 19th.-Lord Melbourne has promised to my nephew a situation in the Customs of 300l. a year. I have a letter from one of the secretaries of the Treasury, explicitly promising the situation. I have been for several days haunting the Treasury with a view to this place. . . . . I find that Sir Henry Hardinge somewhat, though not very much, misrepresented my evidence respecting the French Algerine Army, in his speech on the subject of military flogging. La Presse has absurdly abused both Sir Henry and myself for things which he never spoke, and which I never wrote. In order to set matters right, I have sent a letter to the Morning Chronicle. It is a strange thing that I should be quoted as an authority for military flogging! My back and shoulders writhe at the bare idea. ... T. C."
"April 22.-I wrote to Lord Holland almost immediately
after the good news, telling him that, though the appointment did not come directly from him, yet I knew full well that his lordship was my decided friend, and had powerfully, though indirectly, contributed to favor my position with regard to the Whig leaders. I send you his answer, which breathes all the amiable warm-heartedness of his character. I must pray you to let me have the letter again, in order that I may show it to several persons who are still believers in an unfounded rumor that Lord H. and I had fallen out. True it is, that I had ceased for a long time to frequent Holland House after had, on one occasion, shown me a face of frost and snow; for, accustomed as I am to cordial receptions, I am not the man to submit to chilling ones. But between my good Lord Holland and myself, there was never any estrangement.
The following was Lord Holland's answer, dated Friday night, April 21:
TO THOMAS CAMPBELL, ESQ.
"MY DEAR SIR,
"I found your letter, upon my return from the House of Lords, on my table, and lose no time in acknowledging it. In congratulating you, I must thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kind recollections of friendship which prompted you to give me such early intelligence, and to accompany the news with such warm and touching expressions of your feelings towards me. You are, I assure you, quite right in supposing that any good that can befall you or yours gives me unfeigned pleasure; but I am afraid you listen rather to the partiality of friendship than to the facts, when you imagine that any known opinion, or exertions of mine can have been of use. Truth is, I can claim no such merit, though I should rejoice if I could; for, till the receipt of your letter, I knew nothing about it. Unless, therefore, you agree with the maxim of Maro, who says, somewhere,— 'Quid interest inter suasorem facti et illum qui probat et laudet factum ?" -or some such words, you must not admit me to any share of your gratitude on this occasion; but if you do accede to Maro's doctrine, there is, I assure you, no one among your numerous friends better entitled to a share; for there can be none who more unequivocally approves of, or more cordially rejoices in, any mark of regard from a Whig Government to you or yours. I sincerely hope that you may derive as much permanent satisfaction from the conduct and career of your nephew, as you seem to have felt pleasure at the first piece of good fortune which Lord Melbourne has had the gratification of conferring on him. Lady H., to whom I showed your kind letter, joins in congratulations; and I am, my dear sir, with sincere regard, your truly obliged HOLLAND."
"April 23d.—I am altogether a restored man in health; but I went foolishly to the opera, and coming home in the rain, caught a little cold. The opera piece was Cinderella. I think