« AnteriorContinuar »
To his surprise, he tells us, he received a ready sanction, but five instead of three shillings, and orders to rest a night by the way on each journey." He could sleep for sixpence at the half-way house."
“She then gave me, I shall never forget the beautiful coin a king William and Mary crown-piece. I was dumb with gratitude; but sallying out to the streets, I saw at the first bookseller's shop a print of Elijah fed by the ravens. Now I had often heard my poor mother say confidentially to our worthy neighbour Mrs. Hamilton, whose strawberries I had plundered, that in case of my father's death, (and he was a very old man,) she did not know what would become of her. But she used to say, 'Let me not despair, for Elijah was fed by the ravens.' When I presented her with the picture, I said nothing of its tacit allusion to the possibility of my being one day her supporter; but she was much affected, and evidently felt a strong presentiment."
But his affections were soon to be put to a different trial from these amiable little tokens of love. The trial was a severe one, and nobly he stood it. When he had published "The Pleasures of Hope," at the age of twenty-two, and risen suddenly into fame, he was irresistibly attracted to visit Germany. On his return the following year, on reaching London he received the news of his father's death. He hastened to his mother. He found her surrounded by her daughters, all in indifferent health, and deprived of the means of living-for Mr. Campbell's annuity had died with him. The poet had spent all, even the mighty sum of 607. he had received for "The Pleasures of Hope." The other brothers, if indeed able and willing, were all beyond the seas. Thomas buckled on his armour, obtained literary labour, and divided with his bereaved relatives every penny. From this time forward he continued to aid his family, even to a second generation, until his dying hour. Some of his friends calculated that at least 100. yearly was set aside for this purpose; and it was often on the same account that he asked temporary aid, never denied, from his richer friends.
On this subject Dr. Beattie says :—
"It is only by a plain statement of the difficulties that now beset his path, that the reader can form a just appreciation of his character. The favourite of the Muses, but the step-child of Fortune, his whole life was a struggle with untoward circumstances; and though it met with only partial success, it was always maintained with honour. These little points of family history I desire to notice with all possible delicacy; but to pass them over in silence would be an act of injustice to all parties. His conduct at this trying period is worthy of imitation; and others who may be similarly placed on the shifting stage of life, may learn from his example the manly virtues of courage and perseverance. His kindness to his mother and sisters was that of a most affectionate relative, and with them he shared his still scanty earnings."
The next event in the poet's domestic history is his marriage. But ere this took place he had removed to London. We ought here to explain that Campbell had chosen no profession. This we deem most unfortunate; nor are the causes assigned at all satisfactory to our minds. Had he been in any profession-even nominally a lawyer—it would have been
easy for his friends or the Government to give him some office of moderate leisure and some emolument; but in a nation of shopkeepers, to provide for a man who is nothing but a poet, is no easy matter even for it is true, but the success of the experiment was not a Government. They had made Burns an exciseman, such as to invite repetition.
Campbell, therefore, had no resource but literature, and London was found to be the widest field for his talents.
He had not been long there when he fell in love with his second cousin, Matilda Sinclair; and she, very naturally-for at this period he was not only a genius and amiable, but remarkably handsome—fell in love with him. They married in spite of the grave shakings of the head of some of their elder friends,
and enjoyed a tolerably long life of happiness together, not unchequered by some severe trials. He soon afterwards took a house at Sydenham, where, for many years, he seems to have enjoyed as much felicity as falls to the lot of man. He thus announces his married happiness to John Richardson, a prosperous member of the legal profession, and one of the most judicious and warmest friends a man could be blessed
"Pimlico, Nov. 3, 1803. "Now that the public astonishment has a little subsided, and the nation at large grown familiar with contemplating my unhappy marriage, I picture to myself the precincts of Edinburgh; be sure a cottage, as the best compromise one could make between town and country Edinburgh; John Richardson and Jemmy Grahame shaking their heads like two mandarins at my fireside, moralizing upon the folly of early wedlock: Mocha coffee-my wife has been in Geneva, and makes it in perfection; she is besides a very mild body, and, except in points of consequence, would give us leave to make as much and talk as much as we liked: such are the scenes. I trust, not in distant perspective. I cannot tax my. self with either misapprehending or changing my opinion before me. of the summum bonum. It is precisely what is now I see the book of life opened: the characters written upon it are, mental employment, such as to amount to industry without swelling to fatigue; a friend to be always with, and a friend to have for ever, although met with only in the gay moments of leisure. I have a little too much industry, I own, at present; for the constant consciousness of what I have now to answer for beats an alarm-bell in my heart when I detect myself indolent, and my hours of writing are now from morning to night.
"The worthy being who stands first on my list of blessings is such, that if I asked my affections, Did they ever find her match? they would say, upon oath, Nay, never! And now for my friends, John. It was no compliment for a dreary forlorn pilgrim in Germany to wish for your society, and to think that it would be better than solitude; but it is now a pledge how dear I hold you, when I think how blest, how supremely blest I should be, if I had the sum of God's gifts made complete, by having the friend who wishes me most happy to
come and see me happy."
family happiness :A young lady, a distant relative, thus describes his
"I spent a short but delightful visit with my amiable and talented cousins. They were greatly attached. Mrs. C. studied her husband in every way. As one proof, the poet being devoted to his books and writing
every day, she would never suffer him to be disturbed by questions or intrusion, but left the door of his room a little ajar, that she might every now and then have a silent peep of him. On one occasion she called me to come softly on tiptoe, and she would show me the poet in a moment of inspiration. We stole softly behind his chair-his eye was raised, the pen in his hand, but he was quite unconscious of our presence, and we retired unsuspected."
About this time it occurred to Miss Campbell that she might better her circumstances by becoming a governess in an English family of rank; and she applied to Thomas, now a companion, as she heard, of the great. What an opportunity for a heartless man to stave off a poor relation! What! bring his sister as a governess into a noble family where he might have to act the lion? Never! Not so thought Campbell. The following letter we deem a model of good-heartedness and manly feeling; and for commonsense business views, it rivals even Walter Scott :
It is gratifying to know that this brotherly-kindness was rewarded with all the success that could be desired.
The next event, the source of bliss and woe, he thus announces to Mr. Richardson :
"Upper Eaton-street, Pimlico, July 1st, 1804. "My dear John,-A son was born to me this morning. I hope he will live to regard you with the same affection as yours, T. CAMPBELL."
He had now, in the words of Dr. Beattie, given hostages to society for his own good behaviour, and speaks of the new relationship as the sweetener of his existence, and the sacred motive to cheerful and persevering industry.
In a letter to Dr. Currie, of Liverpool, whose friendship he valued much, he thus dilates upon this joyous event; and if the extract seems long, we are sure that all women, and all fathers, whatever may become of the bachelors, will thank us for it.
"August 7th, 1804.
"This little gentleman all the time looked to be so proud of his new station in society, that he held up his blue eyes and his placid little face with perfect indifference to what people about him felt or thought. Our first interview was when he lay in his little crib, by Matilda's hands long before the stranger's arrival. in the midst of white muslin and dainty lace, prepared I'verily believe, in spite of my partiality, that lovelier babe was never smiled upon by the light of heaven. He was breathing sweetly in his first sleep. I durst not waken him, but ventured to give him one kiss. He gave a that time he has continued to grow in grace and stature. faint murmur, and opened his little azure lights. Since I can take him in my arms, but still his good-nature
"Sydenham Common, 25th Feb. 1805. "My dear Mary,-I shall be as ingenuous as possible in speaking of the subject you propose to me. I cannot pretend to much interest among the great: I would not be right in saying I have none. How near to much or none my interest is, I cannot exactly say. One has no exact measure or standard of a thing so dependent on accident or the feelings of others. I shall tell you how many people of the above sort I know in London. I know Lord Minto, the Marquis of Buckingham, Lord Webb Seymour, Lord Henry Petty, and some others of that rank. I lived with the first, and still make friendly calls on him. The Marquis of Buckingham has also said he would be glad to see me at Stowe. Lord Webb Seymour once interested himself to get me a small appointment, and failed. Lord Henry Petty has lately failed in another. These men speak highly of my literary character, and have been heard to lament that I was not provided for. I have been introduced to others of the nobility, but acquaintance with them I never could keep up. It requires a life of idleness, dressing, and attendance on their parties. I exhausteding a good deal of time and money in one London campaign: I got no object attained that I desired. I acquired certainly a very genteel circle of acquaintances; but having now my bread to make by industry, I could not possibly occupy my hours in forenoon calls and levees. I have still retained acquaintance with one or two families, but not in the highest rank. I think they are better hearted than the high gentry, and enter into one's affairs more in earnest. I shall now state a
and his beauty are but provocatives to the affection which one must not indulge he cannot yet stand a Worrying. Oh that I were sure that he would live to the days when I could take him on my knee, and feel the strong plumpness of childhood waxing into vigorous youth! My poor boy! shall I have the ecstasy of teach- | him thoughts, and knowledge, and reciprocity of love to me? It is bold to venture into futurity so far. At present his lovely little face is a comfort to me; his ips breathe that fragrance which it is one of the loveliest kindnesses of nature that she has given to infants, a sweetness of smell more delightful than all the treasures of Arabia. What adorable beauties of God and nature's
bounty we live in without knowing! How few have
ever seemed to think an infant beautiful! But to me there seems to be a beauty in the earliest dawn of short list of my can do's. I can write to Lady Char-infancy, which is not inferior to the attractions of childlotte Campbell, or, rather, cause my friend Scott to hood, especially when they sleep. Their looks excite a write; I can speak to the Lords Seymour and Petty, to interest their female relatives; I can speak to a son of Lord Dudley Ward, who knows many fashionable ladies. . I have some hopes from two intimate friends, a
Mr. Weston, in the city, and Sydney Smith, the preacher. I wish to God you had a situation here. If it can facilitate the plan, I shall have a snug little apartment for you at Sydenham, and there you are close to the great city.. . I have all my early and equal friends still attached to me, and I have reason to think, very truly. The great and the rich have been kind to me, and have said such things as would have made you believe I was to be amply provided for. As to intimacy, I never could even wish it, with them: it is got by sacrificing independent feelings. I have never parted with the best part of my character. The things I have mentioned you may rely on my doing eagerly. I shall write to-morrow to Walter Scott."
more tender train of emotions. It is like the tremulous train of anxiety we feel for a candle newly lighted, which we dread going out."
of his happiness, and it beams forth in his correspondCampbell seems now to have been at the summit ence. Another son was born to him in little more than a year after the first. This was named Alison, after the friend of that name, the eldest being named from Mr. Telford. His letters from the nursery are full of almost infantile joy; but it was by no means a life of ease which he led. It required all his exertions to meet his expenses; and upon any attack of illness in himself or his wife, or upon any disappointment in his affairs, he seems to have given way to despondency to an extent unworthy of him, and for
which there was no justifiable cause.
Let other bards their favour sue;
A more delightful boast is mine
I teach the Graces while I'm teaching you."
Vol. ii. p. 189.
It is pleasanter to be a teacher from choice than upon compulsion; but upon one occasion was our poet obliged to act upon compulsion as a fencingmaster. Let us have the story in his own words. (To be continued.)
MY OWN PLACE:
A RHYME FOR ALL GOOD MEN AND TRUE.
BY MARTIN F. TUPPER, AUTHOR OF PROVERBIAL PHILOSOPHY," ETC.
WHOEVER I am, wherever my lot,
Whatever I happen to be,
Contentment and Duty shall hallow the spot
No covetous straining and striving to gain
I know my own place, and you tempt me in vain
I care for no riches that are not my right,
But stand in my station, by day or by night,
He lent me my lot, be it humble or high,
And whether I live in His service, or die,
The good that it pleases my God to bestow,
The evil,-it can be no evil, I know,
But only a good in disguise;
Away then with "helpings" that humble and harm,
I felt that I stood like a man at my post,
If "better" were better indeed, and not "worse,"
But many a gain and a joy is a curse,
And many a grief for the best:
I pine not for praise or for pelf,
My better or worse for myself!
I will not, I dare not, I cannot !--I stand
An honest mechanic,-or lord in the land,-
Whatever my state, be it weak, be it strong,
This, this is my glory, my strength, and my song,
From our Writing-desk.
THE LAST TIME! What magic is there in those three simple words! what strange power do they possess over our minds!-power completely to transform the aspect of things familiar to us, even from our childhood upwards. Let us take one of the commonest examples we can select-some household duty performed mechanically till it has become matter of habit, and we do it instinctively, as it were, without bestowing a minute's thought upon it from year's end to year's end-till at length some change takes place which renders it unnecessary, and we do it for the last time; but no longer mechanically it has now become matter of deep, and often painful reflection; memory recals old associations connected with it; some loving speech, some glance of kindly sympathyheart-treasures of which even death may fail to deprive us these throw a halo around it; and as we do it for the last time slowly and musingly, we feel that many a greater sorrow has pained us less, than the knowledge that we shall never be called upon to do it again.
And if this be so in trifles, how much more strongly does the feeling influence us when the occasion is one really calculated to excite it! when, as years roll on, the loved things of life are taken from us one by one, and for the last time we gaze on some dear familiar face, and know that after a few short minutes we shall see it again no more, till time shall
have lapsed into eternity. We may display no outward | ing rather more "method in our madness" than may signs of woe-the firm voice may not falter-no drop may tremble in the steadfast eye, for those who have suffered know there is a grief too deep for tears; but, when the last farewell has been spoken, and the bitter hour has passed away, the heart is conscious of an aching void, a loss which no earthly affection can ever replace.
Reader, would you know what has suggested these reflections to our mind at this particular period? 'Tis soon told;-we are writing our last Postscript! Yes, dear reader, the pleasant bond which we would fain believe has existed between us is about to be broken. With the February Part, which concludes the Eighth Volume, FRANK FAIRLEGH resigns the editorship of SHARPE'S LONDON MAGAZINE. Various considerations have led to this determination; but the two which have exerted the most powerful influence upon us-(for we will not anticipate our abdication by discarding the regal WE of office-that comfortable pronoun, which lessens individual responsibility by wrapping the editorial unit in an impenetrable mystery, suggesting the united wisdom of, at least, a general council)-the two reasons which have mainly induced us to take this step are--first, the discovery which many a literary man has made before us, that the labours of editing and of composition are not only incompatible, but diametrically opposed to each other; the latter requiring a mind in
"Studious meditation, fancy free;"
the former necessitating a ceaseless routine of active business. This conviction, at which we have arrived by painful experience-coupled, secondly, with the fact that the confinement consequent on the double duty was proving injurious to our health-has induced us to cede the conduct of "SHARPE" to other, and, we have every reason to believe, fully competent hands. Our intercourse with the readers of the Magazine will therefore, for the future, be regulated by the degree of favour they may be disposed to accord to their new acquaintance, Lewis Arundel.
have at first sight appeared, we have directly or indirectly strengthened the hands of those good men who are working zealously in their Master's cause-we shall never regret the many toilsome hours we have devoted to SHARPE'S MAGAZINE. And so end we our last Postscript.
Amongst the books which have come under our notice, we may mention
The third and concluding volume of "Laneton Parsonage," by Miss Sewell; which, as it more fully developes the various characters of the children, ex-| cites a deeper interest than the two preceding volumes. One of the peculiar excellences of this lady's writing, is her unequalled power of individualizing character by small traits. Her young ladies wear frocks, eat bread-and-butter, and talk small conversation, with the most common-place uniformity; and yet a sentiment of Ruth's could no more be mistaken for one of Madeline's, than a corn-law speech of Sir Robert Peel's for a Young-England rhapsody of Mr.D'Israeli's. Miss Sewell has written nothing since Amy Herbert which has afforded us more pleasure than Laneton Parsonage.
"The Winds and the Waves." A pretty Christmas tale, very nicely got up. The writer occasionally imitates Dickens, and that in one of his peculiarities which, having been a virtue, has degenerated into a vice, we allude to his interminable picturesque descriptions of things inanimate, whereof the "thousandand-one" whens at the beginning of the "Haunted Man" are a lamentable instance. The writer of The Winds and the Waves inculcates emigration as the first duty of man, and paints Australia as a "valley of tranquil delights." Probably when this little book was written, that jewel of a country, California, had not been discovered to be set in gold, or our author would doubtless have laid the venue of transatlantic felicity in that modern Tom Titler's ground; still the book is a good little book, and as such we recommend it to our readers. The wood-cuts of the ornamental initial designed with taste, and are very well executed. The other larger cuts are inferior. Cruikshank's illustrations in the second number of Frank Fairlegh are worthy his reputation as a comic artist. The ejection of Lawless from the window of the pupil's room is perfectly inimitable.
Lest, by prating more about ourselves, we lay our-letters are selves open to the charge of (Irish?) Egotism, we will, in conclusion, offer our best thanks to the Contributors and Subscribers to the Magazine, for the kindness and courtesy with which, during the year and a half we have held the office of Editor, they have on all occasions come forward to meet our wishes. To the former we can only say, that, in the difficult task of selection and rejection, it has been our aim so to act, as to unite the "suaviter in modo" with the necessary "fortiter in re;" and if at any time we have failed in accomplishing our intentions, we now beg them to believe the fault has been one of execution rather than of design. At
the same time let us assure our indulgent friends, the Public, that the favour they have shown us as Editor has not a little tended to lighten our labours in their behalf. It is our earnest hope that we may still continue to enjoy that kind consideration as Author; and if in either capacity we may have influenced some "to avoid the evil, and choose the good,"-if, by hav
"The Lancashire Witches." A very clever novel by Mr. Ainsworth, in which the agreeable and the frightful are judiciously blended. The Lancashire Witches are not beauties, but quite regular oldfashioned witches of the time of James I., whose famous (and very heavy) work on Demonology is often referred to as a test for detecting them. This is the best novel Mr. Ainsworth has written for some time.
“Dr. Birch and his Young Friends." Clever sketches, with proportionate letter-press, in Mr. Thackeray's lightest style; worth much, but not so much as 7s. 6d., when the cuts are so odiously coloured into the bargain. The uncoloured ones are, in our opinion, much more desirable than the coloured.