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burgh. There he was very quickly noticed for It was set to an old Irish air of the most touching his talents, and grew familiar with the cele- pathos, and will perish only with the language. brated men who at that period ornamented the Campbell travelled over a great part of Ger. Scottish capital. The friendship and kindness many and Prussia, visiting the universities and of some of the first men of the age, could not acquiring a knowledge of German literature. fail to stimulate a mind like that of Campbell. From the walls of a convent he commanded a He became intimate with Dugald Stuart; and part of the field of Hohenlinden during that almost every leading professor of the Univer- sanguinary contest, and proceeded afterwards sity of Edinburgh was his friend. While in in the track of Moreau's army over the scene of Edinburgh, he brought out his celebrated "Pleas- combat. This impressive sight produced the ures of Hope" at the age of twenty-one. It is celebrated "Battle of Hohenlinden;" an ode not too much to say of this work, that no poet which is as original as it is spirited, and stands of this, or perhaps any other country, ever pro- by itself in British literature. The poet tells a duced, at so early an age, a more elaborate and story of the phlegm of a German postilion at finished performance. For this work, which for this time, who was driving him post by a place twenty years produced to the publishers between where a skirmish of cavalry had happened, and two and three hundred pounds a-year, the author who alighted and disappeared, leaving the car. received at first but 10l., which was afterwards riage and the traveller alone in the cold (for increased by an additional sum, and the profits the ground was covered with snow) for a conaccruing from a 4to edition of his work. By a siderable space of time. At length he came subsequent act of the legislature, extending the back, and it was found that he had been emterm of copyright, it reverted again to the author;|ploying himself in cutting off the long tails of but, as might be expected, with no proportional the slain horses, which he coolly placed on the increase of profit. To criticise here a work which vehicle and drove on his route. Campbell was has become a British classic, would be superfluous. also in Ratisbon when the French and Austrian Campbell's pecuniary circumstances were by no treaty saved it from bombardment—a most anxmeans liberal at this time, and a pleasant anecdote ious moment. is recorded of him, in allusion to the hardships of In Germany, Campbell made the friendship of an author's case similarly situated with himself; the two Schlegels, of many of the most noted he was desired to give a toast at a festive moment literary and political characters, and was forwhen the character of Napoleon was at its utmost tunate enough to pass an entire day with the point of disesteem in England. He gave "Bo- venerable Klopstock, who died just two years naparte." The company started with astonish- afterwards. The proficiency of Campbell in the ment. "Gentlemen," said he, "here is Bonaparte German language was rendered very considerable in his character of executioner of the booksell- by this visit, and his own indefatigable perseers." Palm the bookseller had just been executed verance in study. He eagerly read all the works in Germany by the orders of the French. he met with, some of them upon very abstruse After residing not quite three years in Edin- topics, and suffered no obstacle to intervene beburgh, Campbell quitted his native country for tween himself and his studies, wherever he might the continent. He sailed for Hamburgh, and chance to be. Though of a cheerful and lively there made many acquaintances among the more temper and disposition, and by no means averse enlightened of the society both in that city and from the pleasures which are so attractive in Altona. There were numerous Irish exiles in the morning of existence, they were rendered the neighborhood of Hamburgh at that time, and subservient to the higher views of the mind, and some of them fell in the way of the poet, who after-were pursued for recreation only, nor suffered wards related many curious anecdotes of them. to distract his attention a moment from the great There were sincere and honest men among them, business of his life. who with the energy of the national character, The travels of Campbell in Germany occupied and an enthusiasm for liberty, had plunged into about thirteen months; when he returned to the desperate cause of the rebellion two years England, and for the first time visited London. before, and did not despair of liberty and equality He soon afterwards composed those two noble in Ireland even then. Some of them were in marine odes, "The Battle of the Baltic," and "Ye private life most amiable persons, and their fate Mariners of England," which, with his "Hohenwas every way entitled to sympathy. The poet, linden," stand unrivalled in the English tongue; from that compassionate feeling which is an and though, as Byron lamented, Campbell has amiable characteristic of his nature, wrote the written so little, they are enough alone to place "Exile of Erin," from the impression their situ- him unforgotten in the shrine of the muses ation and circumstances made upon his mind. In 1803 the poet married Miss Sinclair, a lady of
Scottish descent and considerable personal beauty, rather than wit with which they are seasoned. Of all the natives of Scotland, however, he has least of the patois of the country in his delivery, which is surprising, when it is considered he was above twenty-one years of age before he quitted
During the residence of Campbell at Sydenham,
but of whom he was deprived by death in 1828. His residence was at Sydenham, and the entire neighborhood of that pleasant village reckoned itself in the circle of his friends; nor did he quit his rural retreat until, in 1821, literary pursuits it, and shows how accurately he must have atdemanded his residence in the metropolis. It was tuned his ear to the English pronunciation early at Sydenham, in a house looking towards the res- in life. Besides his knowledge of the Latin and ervoir, that the poet produced his greatest work, Greek languages, Campbell is a good German "Gertrude of Wyoming," written in the Spen- scholar, has acquired a considerable knowledge serian stanza. It is a simple Indian tale, but the of Hebrew, and speaks French fluently. tenderness and beauty of the thoughts and expressions are scarcely equalled, certainly not sur-there were several individuals in that village who passed, in any English poet. The speech of Outa- were fond of inviting literary men to their tables, lissi seems to have furnished Byron with a hint for and were conspicuous for their conviviality. the style and form of several of his stories. About Numerous choice spirits used to meet together the same time Campbell was appointed professor there, and among them was Campbell. The of poetry in the Royal Institution, where he de- repartee and joke were exchanged, and many a livered lectures, which have since been published. practical trick played off which now forms the He also undertook the editorship of selections from burden of an after-dinner story wherever the the British poets, intended as specimens of each, various individuals then present are scattered. and accompanied with critical remarks, extend- Many of these have been since distinguished in ing to several volumes. These remarks show the the literary world; among them were the faceerudition of the author, but they also proclaim tious brothers, the Smiths, James and Horace, that fastidiousness of taste and singular sensi- Theodore Hook, and others; but it appears tiveness regarding all he publishes, which is so Campbell was behind none of them in the zest distinguishing a characteristic of this poet. He with which he entered into the pleasantries of refines, and re-refines, until his sentences appear the time, and many an anecdote is recorded of to have lost connexion with each other, in his him on these occasions, to which some biographer anxiety to render them as perfect as possible. will doubtless do justice hereafter.
Soon after the publication of his Selections he In 1824 Campbell published his "Theodric, a again visited Germany, and spent some time in Domestic Tale," the least popular of his works. Vienna, where he acquired a considerable know- Many pieces of great merit came out in the same ledge of the Austrian court and its manners, and volume, among which are the "Lines to J. P. closely observed that unrelaxing despotism by Kemble," and those entitled the "Last Man." P which it governs. He remained long at Bonn, The fame of Campbell, however, must rest on where his friend, A. W. Schlegel, resides, and his previous publications, which, though not passed his time in cultivating the intimacy of numerous, are so correct, and were so fastidiousother literary men there. Leaving his son under ly revised, that, while they remain as standards the care of a tutor in Bonn University, Campbell of purity in the English tongue, they sufficiently returned to England in 1820, to undertake the explain why their author's compositions are so editorship of the New Monthly Magazine, a pub- limited in number, “since he who wrote so cor. lication which speedily came into extensive cir- rectly could not be expected to write much." culation, and, with Blackwood's Magazine, which espouses the opposite side in politics, takes the lead in English menstrual literature. To the New Monthly Magazine Campbell has contributed little, indeed nothing more than is before the public with his name. He is slow, and even idle in his habits of business. To fix his attention closely for any considerable time to literary labor is a difficult thing, and composition seems rather a task than a pleasure, since the fire of his youth has cooled. He is fond of the society of his this way, during which the mental disease considfriends, and of the social hour; his stock of erably relaxed, so that young Campbell became anecdotes and stories, which is extensive, is often wholly inoffensive, his father received him into displayed on these occasions, but it is humor his house. The effects of such a sight upon a
By his marriage Campbell had two sons, One of them died before attaining his twentieth year; the other while at Bonn, where, as already observed, he was placed for his education, exhibited symptoms of an erring mind, which, on his return to England soon afterwards, ripened into mental derangement of the milder species. This disease, it is probable, he inherited on his mother's side, as on his father's no symptoms of it had ever been shown. After several years passed in
mind of the most exquisite sensibility, like the exhibits great fondness for recondite subjects; poet's, may be readily imagined; it was, at times, and will frequently spend days in minute inves. a source of the keenest suffering. tigations into languages, which in the result are of no moment: but his ever-delighted theme is Greece, her arts and literature. There he is at
We must now allude to an event in Campbell's life, which will cause him the gratitude of millions of unborn hearts, and the benefits of which home; it was his earliest and will probably be are incalculable. It is to Campbell that England his latest study. There is no branch of poetry or owes the London University. Four years before history which has reached us from the "mother it was made public, the idea struck his mind, from of arts" with which he is not familiar. He has having been in the habit of visiting the univer- severely handled Mitford for his singular praise sities of Germany, and studying their regulations. of the Lacedemonians at the expense of the AtheHe communicated it at first to two or three friends nians, and his preference of their barbarous and only, until his ideas upon the subject became ma- obscene laws to the legislation of the latter peo. ture, when they were made public, and a meeting ple. His Lectures on Greek Poetry are already upon the business convened in London, which before the public, having appeared in parts in Mr. Campbell addressed, and where the establish- the New Monthly Magazine. He also published ment of such an institution met the most zealous "Annals of Great Britain, from the accession of support. Once in operation, the men of the city, George the Third to the Peace of Amiens;" and headed by Mr. Brougham, lost not a moment in is the author of several articles on Poetry and advancing the great and useful object in view. Belles-Lettres in the Edinburgh Encyclopædia. In The undertaking was divided into shares, which addition to the profits derived from these literary were rapidly taken. Mr. Brougham took the lead-labors, our Poet enjoys a pension from Governing part, and addressed the various meetings on ment, supposed to have been granted to him for the subject. Mr. Campbell, ill fitted for steady writing political paragraphs in an evening paper, exertion, seems to have left the active arrange- in support of Lord Grenville's administration. ments to others better qualified for them by habits of business, and contented himself with attending the committees. With a rapidity unexampled the London University has been completed; and notwithstanding the opposition of the professors Campbell has had the satisfaction of seeing his and the excellent individuals who were placed projected instrument of education in full opera- against him; among whom were the late minister tion, in less than three years after he made the Canning and Sir Walter Scott. The students of scheme public. Glasgow College considered that the celebrity of the poet, his liberal principles, his being a fellowtownsman, and his attention to their interests, entitled him to the preference.
Campbell was, as has been before observed, educated at Glasgow, and received the honor of election for Lord Rector, three successive years,
Finally, Campbell has all the characteristics of the genus irritabile about him. He is the creature
In person, Campbell is below the middle stature, well made, but slender. His features indicate great sensibility, and that fastidiousness for which he is remarkable in everything he undertakes. His eyes are large, peculiarly striking, and of a deep blue color, his nose aquiline, his ex- of impulses, and often does things upon the spur pression generally saturnine. He has long worn of the moment, which upon reflection he recalls. a peruke, but the natural color of his hair is He is remarkable for absence of mind; is charita dark. His step is light, but firm; and he appears ble and kind in his disposition, but of quick temto possess much more energy of constitution than per: his amusements are few, the friend and men of fifty-two, who have been studious in their conversation only. His heart is perhaps one of habits, exhibit in general. His time for study is the best that beats in a human bosom; it is, in mostly during the stillness of night, when he can effect, that which should belong to the poet of be wholly abstracted from external objects. He "Gertrude," his favorite personification.
Why do those cliffs of shadowy tint appear
THE Poem opens with a comparison between the beauty of remote objects in a landscape, and those The promised joys of life's unmeasured way, ideal scenes of felicity which the imagination de- Thus, from afar, each dim-discover'd scene lights to contemplate the influence of anticipation More pleasing seems than all the past hath been; upon the other passions is next delineated-an allu- And every form, that Fancy can repair From dark oblivion, glows divinely there.
sion is made to the well-known fiction in Pagan tradition, that, when all the guardian deities of mankind abandoned the world, Hope alone was left be- What potent spirit guides the raptured eye hind-the consolations of this passion in situations To pierce the shades of dim futurity? of danger and distress-the seaman on his watch-Can Wisdom lend, with all her heavenly power, the soldier marching into battle-allusion to the The pledge of Joy's anticipated hour? interesting adventures of Byron. Ah, no! she darkly sees the fate of manThe inspiration of Hope, as it actuates the efforts of Her dim horizon bounded to a span; genius, whether in the department of science, or of Or, if she hold an image to the view, taste domestic felicity, how intimately connected "T is Nature pictured too severely true. with views of future happiness-picture of a mother With thee, sweet HOPE! resides the heavenly light, watching her infant when asleep-pictures of the That pours remotest rapture on the sight: prisoner, the maniac, and the wanderer. Thine is the charm of Life's bewilder'd way, From the consolations of individual misery, a That calls each slumbering passion into play. transition is made to prospects of political improve- Waked by thy touch, I see the sister band, ment in the future state of society-the wide field On tiptoe watching, start at thy command, that is yet open for the progress of humanizing arts And fly where'er thy mandate bids them steer, among uncivilized nations from these views of To Pleasure's path, or Glory's bright career. amelioration of society, and the extension of liberty
and truth over despotic and barbarous countries, by
Primeval HOPE, the Aönian Muses say,
a melancholy contrast of ideas, we are led to reflect When Man and Nature mourn'd their first decay; upon the hard fate of a brave people recently con- When every form of death, and every woe, spicuous in their struggles for independence-descrip- Shot from malignant stars to earth below; tion of the capture of Warsaw, of the last contest When Murder bared her arm, and rampant War of the oppressors and the oppressed, and the mas-Yoked the red dragons of her iron car; sacre of the Polish patriots at the bridge of Prague-When Peace and Mercy, banish'd from the plain, apostrophe to the self-interested enemies of human Sprung on the viewless winds to Heaven again; improvement-the wrongs of Africa-the barbarous All, all forsook the friendless guilty mind, policy of Europeans in India-prophecy in the Hin- But HOPE, the charmer, linger'd still behind. doo mythology of the expected descent of the Deity to redress the miseries of their race, and to take vengeance on the violators of justice and mercy.
At summer eve, when Heaven's ethereal bow Spans with bright arch the glittering hills below, Why to yon mountain turns the musing eye, Whose sun-bright summit mingles with the sky?
Thus, while Elijah's burning wheels prepare
Auspicious HOPE! in thy sweet garden grow Wreaths for each toil, a charm for every woe;
Won by their sweets, in Nature's languid hour,
Angel of life! thy glittering wings explore Earth's loneliest bounds, and Ocean's wildest shore. Lo! to the wintry winds the pilot yields His bark, careering o'er unfathom'd fields; Now on Atlantic waves he rides afar,
Where Andes, giant of the western star,
Now far he sweeps, where scarce a summer smiles On Behring's rocks, or Greenland's naked isles: Cold on his midnight watch the breezes blow, From wastes that slumber in eternal snow; And waft, across the wave's tumultuous roar, The wolf's long howl from Oonalaska's shore.
Poor child of danger, nursling of the storm, Sad are the woes that wreck thy manly form! Rocks, waves, and winds, the shatter'd bark delay; Thy heart is sad, thy home is far away.
But HOPE can here her moonlight vigils keep, And sing to charm the spirit of the deep: Swift as yon streamer lights the starry pole, Her visions warm the watchman's pensive soul; His native hills that rise in happier climes, The grot that heard his song of other times, His cottage home, his bark of slender sail, His glassy lake, and broomwood-blossom'd vale, Rush on his thought; he sweeps before the wind, Treads the loved shore he sigh'd to leave behind; Meets at each step a friend's familiar face, And flies at last to Helen's long embrace; Wipes from her cheek the rapture-speaking tear, And clasps, with many a sigh, his children dear! While, long neglected, but at length caress'd, His faithful dog salutes the smiling guest, Points to the master's eyes (where'er they roam) His wistful face, and whines a welcome home.
Friend of the brave! in peril's darkest hour, Intrepid Virtue looks to thee for power; To thee the heart its trembling homage yields, On stormy floods, and carnage-cover'd fields, When front to front the banner'd hosts combine, Halt ere they close, and form the dreadful line. When all is still on Death's devoted soil, The march-worn soldier mingles for the toil; As rings his glittering tube, he lifts on high The dauntless brow, and spirit-speaking eye, Hails in his heart the triumph yet to come, And hears thy stormy music in the drum!
And such thy strength-inspiring aid that bore The hardy Byron to his native shore—(1) In horrid climes, where Chiloe's tempests sweep Tumultuous murmurs o'er the troubled deep, "T was his to mourn Misfortune's rudest shock, Scourged by the winds, and cradled on the rock,
To wake each joyless morn, and search again
Congenial HOPE! thy passion-kindling power, How bright, how strong, in youth's untroubled hour! On yon proud height, with Genius hand in hand, I see thee light, and wave thy golden wand.
"Go, child of Heav'n! (thy winged words proclaim) "T is thine to search the boundless fields of fame! Lo! Newton, priest of nature, shines afar, Scans the wide world, and numbers every star! Wilt thou, with him, mysterious rites apply, And watch the shrine with wonder-beaming eye! Yes, thou shalt mark, with magic art profound, The speed of light, the circling march of sound; With Franklin grasp the lightning's fiery wing, Or yield the lyre of Heav'n another string. (3)