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Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Campbell, he begs their acceptance, as young housekeepers, of a stock of tea, sugar, rice, barley, and currants; and concludes with the following lecture on domestic economy :--"The last of these (currants) make a nice ingredient in a plain bread pudding, which fills up a small dinner very conveniently. I send you also a gallon of whiskey, though it is not an essential in housekeeping. You were so kind as to ask me to dine with you, which I shall do soon, and not unfrequently. But I must make conditions for my doing so on the strictest convention; and on this point I require it, as a duty and a kindness from you, that you comply with my terms, and consider them as binding:
"In the first place, as I am the very plainest of eaters, I must paction that, when I dine with you, I shall have only your plain pot-luck put before me-no variety. I invariably dine on a single meat dish. Now, here I am quite serious. As to puddings and pastry, I hate them-so never set down anything of the sort to me. If you like a little pudding yourselves, pray have it, but don't press me to it.
"Secondly, I shall give up dining with you, if I find that you invite friends to meet me-unless we fix upon some specified days of exception, but such days must be rare and very few. . . . My dear young friends-consider that it is easier to begin a friendly dinnering system than to end it; and, for God's sake, keep in view the dreadful eventuality of living beyond your means. Avoid, I conjure you, allowing social droppers-in to cross your threshold. This may seem cold-hearted counsel, but you will find it safe to follow it. I repeat my request, that I may always dine with you alone, except when we agree mutually to the contrary.
LETTER TO HIS NEPHEW-ECONOMY.
Thirdly, You may drink as much wine as you please, by yourselves, but you must not set wine before me; and here, also, I am quite serious-that is, I wish to see no wine set down before me, except when you have other company. Dr. Beattie persuaded me that I had contracted a liver complaint in Africa; and, in accordance with his advice, I abstained for several months from every beverage but white wine negus. But my own experience is better than my doctor's; and I now find that a glass of rum and water after dinner does me more good than a glass or two of wine, and therefore I prefer the former.
"On Sunday next, at five, I propose to dine with pray that you will in kindness remember my terms. fectionate uncle,
you. Your afT. C."
The next letter relates a tale of "witchcraft :".
"Yesterday, being the 6th of Feb. of our era, I awoke sound in body and mind, shaved, and took my breakfast. I then went into my study, and opened a strong-box that contained my silver plate and money. Of money I had two little canvass bags, one of which I took out (at least I imagined only one) to be ready to pay some accounts. The other bag I thought I could have sworn having left in the strong box, that was open in my bed-room. Mrs. Vanderpump, my landlady or housekeeper, (by the way, her name always reminds me of the song—‘in the days of the Rump, Rear-Admiral Van Trump,') came in, while I was counting the contents of the smaller bag in my study. I sent her into the bed-room for something that I wanted. She was, therefore, the only person who could have seen my platechest open; and in that moment she might have seen and whipt up the other bag, containing 761 sovereigns, and a bill for 907., which I intended to have taken to my banker; but, on re-entering my bed-room, no such bag was in my strong-box! Death! -furies!-fire!-butter and brimstone !-what was to be done? I searched every repository, nook, corner, and closet in my chambers-and, twirling my fingers in despair, as I looked at my own reflection in the glass, I thought myself as haggard as Ugolino in the tower of Famine! The purse,' said I, ‘with my 76 sovereigns and 907. bill, are everlastingly gone! I hastened to Mr. Ward, my friend and lawyer in Lincoln's-InnFields, and told him all my grief! Why,' said he, 'let us go instantly for a search-warrant against Mrs. V.' 'Ah, but,' said I, 'what good will that do? I cannot swear to the identity of a bag of sovereigns, if they should even be found. Indeed, I have been so often convinced (up to the most conscientious swearing) of things that proved to be mistakes, that, if my oath was to injure a living being, I should hardly dare to swear that my head is my own.' 'Well,' said Mr. Ward, at least advertise the bill, in order to prevent its being negotiated.' I did so: but it was still a question what to do as to the lost sovereigns. True, a search-warrant might find the canvass bag, &c.; but, supposing I could swear to the identity of the bag, can I drag before the magistrate my laundress-my Vanderpump?-the good woman who has cooked my puddings? Oh, no: I will say nothing about it.
"I came home at six to dine. My laundress brought up my dinner. I cast a searching look at her. She returned me so
EDITING SHAKSPEARE-MENDICITY OFFICE.
indifferent a look, that I swore to myself she must be innocent. Well, next morning I found the canvass bag with the sovereigns and the bill lying on my chair in the sitting-room!—a chair with a red-bottomed cover, in full daylight, under my window. How came it back? The laundress-girl, who had arranged my room before I rose, said she had not seen it. Could it have been brought back in a fit of repentance? No, that is impossible; for Mrs. V. knew not that I had missed it, and behaved with a coolness inconsistent with the supposition of her guilt, which I do not now even imagine. Who was it, then, that played me this trick? Why, it was the devil-tired of George Gand the Canadians, he comes to vent his spleen upon me! T. C."
"Feb. 18th. Malone draws questionable inferences, not only from his discoveries, but from his non-discoveries. For instance, he found nothing in the records of Stratford parish, about Shakespeare's grandfather (and in that parish, by his own showing, it is unlikely that the poet's grandsire resided); but from thence Mr. M. concludes that he could not have been a gentleman-an inference equally logical with that of the hackney coachman, the other day, who, when I refused him an exorbitant fare, was 'satisfied that I could be no gentleman!' . . On this account I must hasten slowly with Shakespeare, but I am getting on. By the way, I have given up writing the name Shak, being so habituated to the shake in pronouncing it."
"Feb. 19th.-I fear you have been almost killed by the frost. For me, I was one day absolutely dead: but my corpse, conscience-haunted, stalked to Red Lion Square, and was brought to life again by giving an extra donation to the Mendicity society.
"March 10th. I have been corresponding with the Queen. I took a crotchet in my old head that I should like her to read my works, so I got your Letters from the South, and a copy of the vignette edition of my poems, bound with as much gilding as would have gilt the Lord Mayor's coach, and, with a note of introduction from Sir John Macdonald, I went to Sir H. Wheatley to beg he would lay them at the feet of Her Majesty. Sir Henry received me very politely, but told me it was a fixed
I remember this circumstance-distressed beyond expression at witnessing so much suffering in the streets, he went hastily to the Mendicity Office, and gave all that he could muster in cash.--ED.
rule with the Queen to decline all presentation copies from authors, wishing to lay herself under no obligations. 'Hum,' thinks I to myself, and is all my 67. binding gone for nothing?" I said, Sir Henry, will you pardon me for wondering that a Queen of England should fear to be under obligation to an author for a paltry volume or two? But the rule is only a delicate way of conveying-that crowds of authors might annoy her Majesty by officious presentations, in the hope of intruding on her Royal notice. But, stranger as I am, I am known to you by character; and may I beg of you to convey to the Queen,― if it can be done with tact and delicacy, that I am in perfectly easy circumstances; that I covet no single advantage that is in the gift of her sceptre; and that I would rather bury my book in the ground, than that the offering of it should be interpreted into a selfish wish to intrude myself on her notice. But it is not selfishness to desire that a token of my loyalty may be laid before her Majesty-it is the only token I can offer. I am a veteran author, and I hope she will make an exception to the general rule.'
"Well,' said Sir Henry, 'I will take charge of and speak to her Majesty on the subject.'
"I went, and sent Sir Henry the books with a note, in these words: Sir,-I thank you for your kind promise to take charge of my works, and to apply to her Majesty to receive them. I have been for nearly forty years one of the popular living poets of England, and I think it no overweening ambition to wish to be read by my Sovereign.'
Saucy enough you will say; but since the cholera carried off that poor man, my trumpeter, I have been obliged to trumpet for myself. That evening I had a note from Sir Henry, saying that the Queen had been graciously pleased to accept the volumes, and desired that I should write my name in them. I repaired to St. James's next morning: Sir Henry began stammering out a dictation of what I should write about her Majesty's feet-loyal duty, and so forth-when I wrote on each blank leaf, To her Majesty Queen Victoria, from her devoted subject, Thomas Campbell.'-' Ah, that will do,' said Sir Henry.
"And now, M., you are possibly thinking that your poet is dreaming of wishing, and expecting-an invitation to her palace from the Faëry Queen! Much as you know me, you perhaps do not know how time has cooled down my character.
Very true, I love my little Sovereign; and it was from nothing but an impulse of loyalty (qualified, it may be, with the selfish wish for my pages to be read by her) that I sent my books. But to have a dinner, or audience with her-upon my honor I have not the life of life enough in me to desire it. It would have flattered me once-and gratified my curiosity; but it would now fever me, and I hope she will not send for me. Indeed, if Sir Henry tells her all I said, she will take me at my word, and prove that she thanks me sincerely for having no earthly wish to obtrude on her. T. C."
VISIT TO HIS SON.
May 9th.-Those who have listened the most patiently and kindly to our misfortunes have the first and best right to hear of our good fortunes. I therefore hasten to tell you that my interview with my son* yesterday gave me more satisfaction than any that I have had with him, perhaps, since his malady commenced. I was very nervous at the prospect of the visit, and I had a second night of bad rest; but, by ten o'clock, I was at Woodford, some three miles from Dr. Allen's, where I met my dear Thomas waiting for me. Oh, how my heart yearned!. We walked through the forest. . He looks well; and, but for the sort of leap-frog play of thoughts in his conversation—i. e., an abrupt transition from one subject to another, and a something besides in his look, which, though not alarming, is not easily described, one could scarcely suspect that there was anything the matter with him.
"It is plain, nevertheless, that his mental affection is still as decided as ever; but, God be thanked! he is by no means gloomily affected. When I told him, if I could hear of a better place for him, I would give my last shilling to have him placed in it, he said that he should like to see Scotland; he liked so much the Grays and the Alisons; and he thought Edinburgh so beautiful. Well, I said it might be contrived to give you a trip to Scotland; but could you be anywhere, on the whole, better placed than here? No, he admitted, that he could not, all things considered. 'I am attached to this place. I have many friends, even among the worse patients, and the servants of the house are most attentive to me. It would be difficult to find a better place.
As this letter is another proof of what has been maliciously disputed since his death-namely, the Poet's deep-rooted affection for his son, I feel that to withhold it from the public would be an act of injustice to both.--ED.