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"I have buckled the sword to my side,
“Oh, my saint! Oh, my mistress! this morn
In the moment of death and alarm!
For what are those foemen to fear,
"Fallen chiefs, when the battle is o'er,
Let my love in thy memory rest;
Nor my name shall be lost-for I know
That it lives in the shrine of thy breast !"-T. C.
LECTURES AND SPECIMENS.
AFTER much anxious labor, and some unavoidable delays, it was at length decided that the "Specimens " should be brought out in April; and to that event Campbell looked forward as the day of his "emancipation!" This, however, was retarded by unforeseen occurrences; but, having completed the Essay, the most arduous portion of the work, he found leisure to deliberate and to write upon other subjects, to which his attention had been strongly directed. At the new year he was honored with a visit from Mrs. Siddons, to whom he had the pleasure of presenting an American friend. The visit was accepted as a happy omen, and his correspondence is thus pleasantly resumed.
"SYDENHAM, January 14, 1816. "Your old friend, the pensioner, my dearest Alison, comes again his quarterly round to you. As the compliments of the season are passing thick, and the tradesmen exceedingly polite in swarming about me with their good wishes, I shall be obliged to you to present also, in due season, my compliments and best wishes to the Exchequer of Scotland! More pleasing visitants than tradesmen, however, have done me the honor of calling upon me-independently of a most interesting day which Mrs. Siddons came down and spent with us-a day in which we looked often, and with much conversation, at your likeness* by Heming in my parlor. . . And now I cannot help boasting, also, of my hospitality to a robin, who slept last night in a geranium close to my writing-table. He passed the night in my study, and in the morning I found him perched over my folios, on which he had bestowed some relics of his presence, as if in contempt of human learning. This morning he pecked the butter instead of the bread. Another bird, I suppose his mate, came to the window, fluttered and chirrupped; we opened it, and my guest flew off and joined his partner.. T. C."
* The medallion, already noticed.
In the following letter to his sister may be traced the first indications of a malady, which, although it excited no serious apprehensions at the time-nor until some years afterwardswas nevertheless slowly gaining ground, till at last it clouded every cheering prospect, as regarded his only surviving child. But of this hereafter.
LETTER TO HIS SISTER-HIS SON.
SYDENHAM, January 16, 1816.
Since I heard from you last, my dear Mary, the only change that has taken place in our affairs is, that Thomas has been sent to school, and has come back. I found a very good school, and I believe, seriously, that his health would have continued very well upon the whole; but as no institutions are perfect, we heard a great many complaints from the boy, of such hardships as boys are generally obliged to suffer. He pined so much, and his mother at every visit to him was so very wretched, and found such dreadful faults with the school, that I would not again undergo the worry of such a scene for any consideration in this world. His mother's fears about his health laid involuntary hold of me, though I argued against them. She boded his death so often, that the anticipation became infectious. I have been, therefore, obliged to set my face once more to the duty of teaching him. This is no sinecure; and though I do not rest yet very well, I force myself up at six every morning, and set about his Greek and Latin by seven." I give him three good hours every day at Greek, Latin, and writing English, and have other masters come through the day. My own time is occupied also quite sufficiently. My printing goes on; and if the printer does his duty, I shall be out in April. I saw the Traversest lately, who inquired very kindly after you. They are among the few acquaintances whom I shall study to retain, for I believe them to be well-principled and good-hearted people. Your Sydenham friends are very well, and often desire to be remembered to you. *** has at last been successful in getting her protégée, Mrs. Allsop, on the
* In another letter, his opinion of the system is thus strongly expressed: "I am employed some hours a day hammering Greek and Latin into my boy's head. I know it is all nonsense; but I cannot act up to my theory, which would be boldly to leave Greek and Latin, and instruct him in other things. Except figures, however, he learns nothing else." April 6.
Old and steady friends, as well as relations of the Poet, whom Mr. T., the head of the City firm, survived but a few weeks.
stage, who gets twelve guineas a week. She has made a most noble exertion in getting her out of all her difficulties, and once more before the public. T. C.
Of a short but delightful visit to Hampstead, where some of his earliest and dearest friends were now residing, a very interesting record is preserved in the following letter. The Misses Hill, as the reader has seen, were part of the Edinburgh "flowerknot," so often mentioned in the Poet's early letters, and nearly related, by marriage, to Mr. Richardson, who had a private residence near the Heath. The intellectual resources, thus brought within a small compass, were neither few nor inferior; and when it is remembered that this circle was often brightened by the conversation of Mrs. Joanna Baillie and her sister, the charm is complete. The letter, though rather long, possesses a romancelike interest in its traits, that seem to recal the stirring times of the Covenanters, with those of a later and darker period—the Reign of Terror!
SYDENHAM, March 4, 1816.
I was on Friday and Saturday at Hampstead, with my good friends the Hills, and found them better than usual in their health, and in high spirits, on one account-namely, at the prospect of seeing a favorite brother, who has been many years in India, and now proposes to come home and live with them. He writes to them to desire that they will consider how precious they are to him that he has no happiness to look to, in coming home, but only the pleasure of spending the rest of his life in their society; and says, if their health require it, they must go to the South of Europe, for some months, and recruit themselves. For this purpose he sent home money this winter to defray their journey to Italy, where he had imagined they would go. They have not however gone, nor mean to go. This good brother, also, sent home a sum of money to an old uncle, a most eccentric character, who is too independent to accept of assistance from any one, and who, anticipating the Indian brother's intention, gave the money to the Miss Hills. They, again, divided it into presents for their little nieces and family, independent of the six orphans, whom these good women maintain from their own little income of some five or six hundred a year.
These are fine traits of human nature. I found my excellent friends, as usual, teaching their family of nieces, with whom they rise every morning at seven, and continue all day their schoolmistresses. Their joy to see me was as kind as ever.
spent a most delightful day and a half with them, as I found their affectionate hearts depressed by only one anxiety. It was on having received a letter from a venerable clergyman of France, Rabaut-the brother of the Historian of France. Rabaut de St. Etienne, who is seventy years of age, is driven into exile, and deprived of his living, by the unhappy bigotry that reigns at present against the Protestants in France. When the Miss Hills were abroad at the short peace of Amiens, they met, in the South of France, this clergyman Rabaut, who seems, by his letters, to have formed a heart-felt friendship for them; a proof of it was his writing, with his wife, a letter to them on receiving his order of banishment, though he had only two days allowed to arrange his affairs for departure. He tells shortly, and with a saint-like calmness, the story of his calamity. In the Convention, he was one of the friends of Louis XVI., who held secret interviews with Louis's Counsellor, respecting the line of conduct to be pursued by them, that might have the best chance of saving the monarch. Louis knew the fury of the mountain faction, and wished, as the best chance of safety, to fly from their atrocity, by an appeal to the people. By an understanding with his Counsellor Deseze, it was therefore agreed that Rabaut and the other moderator should vote for the appeal to the people. The Robespierrians, with their usual inconsistency, first declared that the votes for this appeal were really votes for his being guilty, which was false, and then sent those who had so voted to the guillotine, for having tried to save Louis, which was true. Rabaut and his brother, Rabaut de St. Etienne, the elegant historian, were long prescribed and pursued by the blood-hounds. A lady in Paris, with intrepid humanity, conveyed intelligence to them, that if they would come to her house, she had a secret concealment made for plate, which should be their asylum; and assured them that it was known only to one man, the workman who had made it. They came and lived long in that closet, and in an adjoining room which was kept secret for them. There Rabaut de St. Etienne composed some of his finest writings. One day the poor workman was taken up, and threatened with death to himself and his whole family, if he did not reveal any concealment that he had ever made for the purpose of secreting plate. The poor man was terrified into acknowledgment of the only one he knew, namely, at the house of this lady. He came to her with the domiciliary visitants of Government, and said, "I know that you would rather give up all your plate than suffer me and mine to be put
VISIT TO HAMPSTEAD-THE HILLS-RABAUT.