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it is drawling in action, and not overspirited in music. Then the ballet-fie for shame! But all opera dancing is ———."
May 3d.-I should have been down to see you at Sbut am busy at a new task. I am writing my own Life.' It is to oblige a very particular friend, Dr. Beattie. To set about this task went against the grain with me. In the first place, no man-unless he be a poet of the Lake school-thinks himself a hero; and it is no mock modesty to say, that I wonder how anybody can care about my life and history. Again, though I don't take a gloomy view of life, I think the retrospect of it has always something sad, because it is retrospect. I am not, to be sure, one of those who (in supposing the question put to the majority of human beings, if they would lead their lives over again) would predict their answer to be in the negative. Even supposing, for the sake of argument, that such were the case, it would not prove anything against life being happier than otherwise. In supposing ourselves beginning life anew, we can by no effort imagine ourselves bereft of the memory of the past, or imbued with the hope--the curiosityand the novelty that carry us forward in existence. I am confident, therefore, that existence is pleasanter in reality than retrospect. But in reality itself, how many bitternesses are mixed with its sweets; and how much more closely do the former, than the latter, cling to our memories! The mind lets fall its recollections of happiness, like flowers from the hand of a sleeping child; but it holds fast to its treasured sorrows with a miser's grasp!
"I had almost refused, on the ground of these considerations, to write any sketch of my own recollections. It occurred to me, however, that others may write about me, if I do not write myself.
"At the day of opening the exhibition of pictures, I saw the Duchess of Kent and the Princess Victoria. The latter is charmingly simple and unassuming, and, to my taste, very pretty..
"June 6th.-I am now at Mr. Clare's, Hill-street, Richmond, comfortably lodged, well in all respects, but that I miss my Club, and feel a little lonesome.
"To amuse my solitude, I had only two books-one of them a treatise on the Millennium, the other ***'s Memoirs of himself. The latter disgusted me. His book had been sent to
* See Vol. I., page 122, Journey to Mull.
me by a periodical editor, with a request to criticise and cut up the work. No-poor old man: he has cut up himself: and if he chooses to lay the morbid anatomy of his breast before the public, I have no taste for being his demonstrator. . . . He swears that the world has given him nothing but injustice-both as an author and as a man. He pleaded for the title of but could not get it; then for the title of a poet-with little better success; and now, when turned of seventy, he shows the ulcers of his festering spirit, and talks of injuries that stick like barbed arrows in his brain.' It is shocking to see human nature, not untalented, thus disgracing old age with a spectacle of undignified misery. At his years-if he has not religion enough to be thinking of a better immortality than that of his writings, he should at least have the philosophy to estimate the vanities of this world-and among these the bubble reputation' at their proper value.
"Lord help us! If one had the brains of Newton and Napoleon minced into his own individual celebrity, what would it be worth to him in a few years? Why-that a plaster-image of his dead skull would be carried about on the head of some Italian boy, vending it in company with cats and mandarins, all wagging their heads together! *** is too crazy ever to learn anything on the subject: but I think his book ought to be a striking lesson to every one, approaching to old age, as to the government of their minds. A being more bereft of all that resignation, which alone can make old age respectable, never was painted more hideously than by ***, when painting himself. He inspires pity-but it is a haggard kind of pity; for, by his own showing, he seems never to have had a heartfelt affection for any human being, except himself.
Yesterday I called on Lady Scott, having previously looked into her novel, which I found agreeable. She is a sensible woman, who speaks with extreme modesty, and even apologetic humility, about her work. I missed Lady Charlotte Lindsay. I came back to dine alone in my lodgings at three-not a soul to speak to—and even the newspapers exhausted! Richmond Hill-hem-a fine walk-a noble prospect-but no picture. The park, too, is noble: but the deer all shunned me, as if I had come to eat their venison.
"Well-to the library again; and there I found a most pleasant book, Mrs. Carmichael's account of the West Indies-a clever woman, and the best apologist, by far, for the West India slave-proprietors that has ever put pen to paper. In real
CRITICAL NOTICE-VISIT TO EDINBURGH.
principles, as to black-slavery, I believe that though she and I
The following are extracts from letters written during a short visit to Scotland :
"TAIT'S HOTEL, EDINBURGH, June 27.
"The voyage by sea, though very propitious, gave me a small degree of sea-sickness that was worse than a dose of it. Complete sickness clears off the bile-a little of it brings it on, and leaves it troublesome. All Saturday I was uncomfortable. On Sunday I found Dr. Alison, who gave me a little medicine, that relieved my indisposition like a miracle. In the evening I accompanied him to Woodville, where the dear old Priest, Margaret, Mrs. W. Alison, and Dora received me just as you could have wished. My dear old friend, the 'Man of Taste,' is still in very fair health for a man of eighty, and his faculties are as fresh as ever; but he is not so able, even as last year, to stand the excitement of meetings and partings with friends. I soon perceived, by the heat of his hand, in which he held mine, that my unexpected arrival had over-excited him; and, by the advice of his son, we retired, after being in his room some ten minutes.
"The evening we spent in the drawing-room with a pleasure to me never to be forgotten. M. and Dr. Alison said they should so much like to see you, but added that they had a sort of anticipation of your being a formidable person! No, no,' I said; 'no more than I am, nor so much; for I have some gall and satire, and she has none.'-Oh! but you are a formidable perour cousin, who son, Mr. C. There was the Dean of K
* His opinion of this work was afterwards reconsidered and retracted.
met you at dinner to-day, said he was nervous at the prospect of meeting you!' Well, to be sure, the idea of any one being nervous at the prospect of meeting me, seems ludicrous indeed. But I cured the Dean of his apprehensions before he left us, and found him quite worthy of being M.'s cousin—a sensible, refined man, but a desperate Tory. Why is it that I cannot acquire a true and liberal hatred of all your horrible party? It turns out that all the Alisons and Gregorys are rank Conservatives! To conclude, I persuaded them that you are not a person to be afraid of, like Lady
"I found my sisters, I am glad to say, infinitely better than I expected. I am quite satisfied that I did right in coming, independently of the pleasure I have in revisiting the Alisons, and shall have in seeing the Grays. It is lucky for me also that Mrs. Dugald Stewart is coming out to-morrow, on a visit to the Alisons; so that I shall see her and her daughter Maria. . .
"July 18th. . . . The managers of the Printers' Festival waited upon me in despair. They could find no man publicly known to take the chair. Whigs and Tories were hanging fire, and shying out of the concern, because it was a three-andsixpenny soirée.' This put up my democratic blood. I have remained; and the good-the very little good-that I could contribute to the great cause, I have endeavored to contribute. It went off most happily and harmoniously. Nothing that allows scandal itself to exaggerate into a charge of over great festivity."
A lady, who was present on the occasion, thus writes to her friend in London :-
"I send you a few hurried lines to tell you how gratified, how delighted we were last night with Mr. Campbell's appearance at the Centenary meeting, which he was so kind as to honor with his presence. His appearance was hailed with universal applause, and his speech received with cheers throughout; but when his health was given by Delta,' one of our Scotch poets, the pride and delight of the people rose to a very high pitch. As Mr. Moir enumerated the different works of the gifted chairman, the applause increased; and when he closed by naming Ye Mariners of England,' it became rapturous. It was afterwards sung amidst continual cheers-encored, and, at the conclusion, the whole people rose with one accord, and joined in the chorus; after which they cheered him by repeated rounds of applause-waving hats, handkerchiefs, with every possible demonstration of enthusiasm. The Scotch 'got their hearts out,' in honor of their gifted bard. Indeed, I never saw anything so cordial, so sincere, or so general. The meeting appeared to be much more in honor of him, than
ANECDOTE-DEATH OF HIS SISTER.
of the Art of Printing. How we wished you had been there, to hear and see the honor in which he is held in his native land.
An instance of the Poet's inattention to money matters occurred soon after his arrival in Edinburgh. "Calling upon a friend who, for many years, had attended to his interest in the Argyllshire estates, &c., he mentioned that, on examining his purse that morning, he discovered that his funds were nearly all gone; that he would have to draw money before he left Scotland, to defray his expenses to London, although he fully believed that, on leaving home, he had brought with him ample means for that purpose. On returning to his hotel, however, he mentioned to his servant the low state of his purse, when it was proposed to examine the pockets of his clothes. This was instantly assented to; and in rummaging the pockets of his coat, a sum in bank notes was discovered, loosely rolled up, but more than sufficient to defray all the expenses of his subsequent delay in Scotland, and return to London. He then called and mentioned the discovery to his friend; from which it was apparent that he kept no account of his expenditure, and only became aware of his money being exhausted by finding his purse unexpectedly empty."x"
This habitual carelessness, of which he was never fully conscious, was the source of frequent anxiety, if not loss, and was particularly remarked by his friends in Algiers. But the habit, though often pathetically deplored, was never conquered; yet no man was ever more punctual in his payments. He often forgot what he spent, or gave away, but never what he owed.
A few days after his return from Scotland, Campbell received the melancholy tidings of the death of his sister Isabella; and in a letter to Mrs. Ireland he says:
66 Aug. 31st. I shall not easily forget the abundant kindness which you, my dear friend, have shown to my deceased sister. As to the survivor, poor soul, Mary has been a bruised reed in the world-in all, except the consolations she has had from a few friends, myself included. If anything could increase the regard which I have had for you, from very early years, it would be the grateful sense I entertain of your attentions to Mary, and your being now included in the nearest circle of her few friends. Your son, Alexander, has also laid me under perpetual obligations, by the attentions which he has paid to both my living and deceased sisters. T. C."
* Letter from Mr. Cormack per Lord Cuninghame, Nov. 25, 1845.