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ET. 66.]



and although he mustered strength, in one or two instances, to join a friendly dinner party at the British consulate, Mr. Hamilton remarked symptoms of increased languor and debility, which were much aggravated by his habitual disregard of regimen. His furthest walk did not extend beyond the readingroom, in the lower town; and his daily promenades were often confined to a short turn on the Boulevards, attended by his niece, when the weather was inviting. But these were gradually shortened, until, at last, with his books around him, and the comfort of a cheerful hearth, he resigned himself to an arm-chair in the library, and shut himself up for the winter.


The early part of the day was devoted to the work already named-lectures or lessons on classical geography;* and to render it worthy of his own name, he entered upon an extensive course of reading. To have carried out his plan to the extent proposed, would have engaged him for at least two years; but it was a pleasing labor, and well calculated, he thought, to supply a desideratum in our school libraries. The new year, however, brought additional causes for alarm. He complained of debility, and felt increased disinclination to mental or bodily exertion. His usual studies were laid aside; and what was formerly resorted to as a pleasant relaxation, was now regarded as an insufferable task. His interest in political events, however, was little abated. The daily papers threw open to him the great political movements, in which he often evinced the anxiety of a patriot, with a foreshadowing of events that was almost prophetic. He still dreaded and foretold the progress of Russia, and her designs upon the general policy of the Continent

Norwegian woods shall build

His fleets; the Swede his vassal, and the Dane;
The glebe of fifty kingdoms shall be till'd,
To feed his dazzling, desolating train.”

At length, as the symptoms of his malady increased, he dropped all personal intercourse with his friends-several of whom were his countrymen-residents in Boulogne; and it was, latterly, only by messages that any communication was kept open. His reluctance to see company amounted to prohibition; and several, whose conversation might have diverted his attention or soothed his mind, were discouraged by the daily answer, that "he was not well enough to see any one."

* This work was to have been entitled "Lectures to my Niece."

But although unable to receive his friends, he was not left to a cheerless solitude. His favorite authors were read to him; letters from anxious and admiring friends followed him to his retreat; the public prints spoke of him as they had ever done; he had the most pleasing evidence that the world, which he endeavored to forget, had not forgotten him; and that, to his private friends, distance and separation had only rendered his memory more precious. He was always fond of music-particularly those airs with which he had been familiar in early life. His great favorite was the Marseillaise hymn, which he first heard at Ratisbon, in 1800; and he now listened with evident satisfaction while Miss Campbell played it to him. In the long winter evenings, his library was the family-room; and often, when the hours appeared to move heavily, some witty or quaint remark from the invalid threw a cheerful light into the little circle, and inspired hopes which the speaker himself, nevertheless, could not feel. He appeared to be fully aware of his situation; and confessed, when speaking of his own sensations, that he "had a forecast of death." In conversation, however, he still continued cheerful and communicative-quoting his favorite authors, and pointing out their beauties.




It was now more than two months since I had received any letter from his own hand; and the casual reports that reached me from Boulogne were vague and unsatisfactory. At length, in answer to one of my letters, expressing an earnest desire to know the actual state of his health, I received the following particulars from his niece, Miss Mary Campbell :

"Feb. 13th.—I ask pardon for having allowed your very kind note to remain so long unanswered. I can only say that I have been exceedingly occupied. . . . . The weather here is miserably cold; and our house being built for summer-full of airholes, doors, and windows-you may imagine we are not quite so comfortable as we should like to be. By means of list, paper, and a large screen, I have managed to improve the atmosphere of the library, where my uncle generally sits; but with all this, his body is constantly chilled, and he is obliged to go to bed from nothing but cold. His health is not by any means improved by Boulogne; on the contrary, I have observed him get daily worse for some time back; but I am in hopes

* Comprising Miss Carruthers, now Mrs. P. Park.

ET. 66.]


when the warm weather comes, that he will revive. My uncle is not writing anything at present: it is a great pain to him to write two or three lines. M. C."


On receipt of this sad report I wrote to the Poet, and also to Miss Campbell, with a few suggestions respecting the treatment to be adopted in the absence of his usual medical adviser. After an interval of several weeks, when some improvement had taken place, he wrote as follows-it was his last letter :

"March 23d.-This climate upon the whole agreed with my health, but now the coldness of it renders me torpid and indolent. If I had money to spare, I should remove to a warmer spot-but I am in a cleft stick; for I have neither money to meet the expense, nor courage to face the toil and trouble of removal. From so dull a place as this, you can hardly expect that I should send you much interesting news. This is a city of priests, cloisters, and bells. The last of them are intended to indicate the hours-but they fail to do so; for they clash and clank all together, so that to my ears they are as unintelligible as persons in a squabble-all speaking at the same time. . . . . Î amuse myself with my favorite study, Ancient History, and sometimes am agreeably surprised to find that I discover novelties in the subject. Among these is this-that, whereas it was my full belief that the Greeks invented almost everything for themselves, I now perceive that they borrowed almost everything-their oracles, their mysteries, their music, painting, and sculpture, from Egypt; although it must be granted that the Greeks were improving borrowers.


“T. C."

"April 28."—I was informed, "His health, though not what it used to be in London, is much better now, since the weather has come in more mild. M. C."

The slight improvement here mentioned was soon followed by an aggravation of symptoms, a gradual and visible decay of bodily strength, from which he never rallied. He could no longer apply to any definite task; but he added, though at long intervals, a few pages to his proposed lectures; and endeavored to find amusement in reading, or the conversation of his niece, whose education was still continued under his direction. On the 8th of May, he was sufficiently well to write a codicil to his will, by which he left her all moneys and personal effects belonging to him, or to which he might be entitled, in the

This was,

kingdom of France, at the time of his decease. probably, the last document written with his own hand. And now he might have said, with an elder poet, "I have done with the world—I have tasted the sweets and the bitters of life, and have no desire to repeat the draught !"



In another month our worst apprehensions were confirmed by the following passage in a letter from Miss Campbell:— "Since I last wrote to you, my poor uncle has been very ill. He is now confined to bed; and although Dr. Allatt says there is no immediate danger, he has little hopes of his ultimate recovery. Although he is in a state of the greatest weakness, his mind is perfectly collected."

This was the time when I knew, from experience, that the visit of an old friend would be thankfully received. He had often told me that if taken seriously ill, care should be taken to acquaint me with the fact; and with that conditional assurance we had parted. So long, therefore, as I did not hear to the contrary, I flattered myself with the hope, though ill-founded, that he would recruit as formerly when the warm weather came. But now that the case appeared in its worst light, there could be no hesitation as to the part I was called on to perform* -although several days elapsed before I was enabled to carry my wishes into effect.

The following extracts are taken from a private journal, written at the time. But to select such passages only as may bring the closing scene before the reader is a difficult-a delicate task. It is only from a sense of historical responsibility, and with a timid hand, that I venture to make the attempt; omitting, as far as I can, all professional details:

"June 4th.-Having executed the commissions contained in Miss Campbell's letter, I made what arrangements I could for

* [Having serious illness in my own family at the time, it was not easy to decide between two duties; but the moment the state of the Poet's health was mentioned to her, my wife forgot her own, and resolvedthough at imminent risk-to accompany me to his bedside. The prospect of engaging in the active duties of Christian charity inspired her, as usual, with renewed strength. In this resolution she was supported by her sister, who, like herself, had ministered to the Poet under many painful circumstances, and drawn from him the grateful confession, that if consolation was to be found in society, experience told him it was in theirs. This much is due to the memory of both-and such as, in truth and tenderness, I may be permitted to notice for the last time.-ED.]

ET. 66.]


ten days' absence. We started from London at half-past eleven -reached Folkestone at a quarter before three; and next morning proceeded by the first packet for Boulogne, where we arrived early in the afternoon. From the Hôtel des Bains, we went to the Poet's house in the Upper Town. Miss Campbell had been very anxious for our arrival, both on her uncle's account and her own. She had only a Religieuse to assist her in the duties of the sick chamber. She told us her uncle had been confined to his bed more than three weeks, and thought we should find him much altered. Dr. Allatt, an English physician at Boulogne, had seen him frequently, but pronounced the case hopeless. Great interest had been expressed by the Consul and other British residents during his illness, and personal inquiries were made daily at the house; but he had neither seen nor conversed with any one for many weeks.






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"We then entered the library, adjoining the Poet's bedroom, and the next minute found us at his side. We were all greatly shocked; for he was sadly changed. The arrival of old friends seemed to revive him. His words were, as he held my handVisit of angels from heaven,'-thinking, perhaps, of the dreary interval since we parted in London. He spoke to each with a faint smile, but in few words, and with that peculiar lightening of the eye which gave forcible expression to all he


"To every question respecting his health, he merely repeated-tolerably well;' and then, with an apathy as if he felt little interest in the subject, he turned to something else, or remained silent. He was not suffering from any pain; all that he complained of was weakness, and a morbid sensation of chilliness, for which he was allowed the use of stimulants. He lay on his left side in a half reclining posture, looking to the windows eastward, and with an expression of anxiety in his countenance that was very touching. To others it seemed to address an appealing question- What is to be done?' I must not allow fancy to be mixed up with these little details; but words, we thought, could not have asked the question more plainly.

"I remarked that his eyes followed me, as I passed from one part of the room to the other, and seemed to imply that he had much to say-but little strength to say it. This was still more evident when, holding out his hand eagerly, he again thanked us with a feeble voice for this proof of old friendship.

VOL. II. - 29

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