LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

My Friends and Acquaintance
Thomas Campbell VII

Vol I Contents
Charles Lamb I
Charles Lamb II
Charles Lamb III
Charles Lamb IV
Charles Lamb V
Charles Lamb VI
Charles Lamb VII
Charles Lamb VIII
Charles Lamb IX
Charles Lamb X
Thomas Campbell I
Thomas Campbell II
Thomas Campbell III
Thomas Campbell IV
Thomas Campbell V
Thomas Campbell VI
‣ Thomas Campbell VII
Lady Blessington I
Lady Blessington II
Lady Blessington III
Lady Blessington IV
Lady Blessington V
R. Plumer Ward I
R. Plumer Ward II
R. Plumer Ward III
R. Plumer Ward IV
R. Plumer Ward V
R. Plumer Ward VI
Appendix vol I
Vol II Contents
R. Plumer Ward VII
R. Plumer Ward VIII
R. Plumer Ward IX
R. Plumer Ward X
R. Plumer Ward XI
R. Plumer Ward XII
R. Plumer Ward XIII
R. Plumer Ward XIV
R. Plumer Ward XV
R. Plumer Ward XVI
R. Plumer Ward XVII
R. Plumer Ward XVIII
R. Plumer Ward XIX
R. Plumer Ward XX
R. Plumer Ward XXI
R. Plumer Ward XXII
R. Plumer Ward XXIII
Horace & James Smith I
Horace & James Smith II
William Hazlitt I
William Hazlitt II
William Hazlitt III
William Hazlitt IV
William Hazlitt V
William Hazlitt VI
William Hazlitt VII
William Hazlitt VIII
Appendix vol II
Vol III Contents
William Hazlitt IX
William Hazlitt X
William Hazlitt XI
William Hazlitt XII
William Hazlitt XIII
William Hazlitt XIV
William Hazlitt XV
William Hazlitt XVI
William Hazlitt XVII
William Hazlitt XVIII
William Hazlitt XIX
William Hazlitt XX
William Hazlitt XXI
William Hazlitt XXII
William Hazlitt XXIII
William Hazlitt XXIV
William Hazlitt XXV
William Hazlitt XXVI
Laman Blanchard I
Laman Blanchard II
Laman Blanchard III
Laman Blanchard IV
Laman Blanchard V
Laman Blanchard VI
Laman Blanchard VII
Laman Blanchard VIII
R & T Sheridan I
R & T Sheridan II
R & T Sheridan III
R & T Sheridan IV
R & T Sheridan V
R & T Sheridan VI
R & T Sheridan VII
R & T Sheridan VIII
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The following description of Campbell’s personal appearance was written during his life-time, and formed part of what was intended as a series of Sketches from Real Life, taken at one of the chief resorts of the literary and other celebrities of the day:—

The person of this exquisite writer and delightful man is small, delicately formed, and neatly put together, without being little or insignificant. His face has all the harmonious arrangement of features which marks his gentle and elegant mind; it is oval, perfectly regular in its details, and lighted up not merely by ‘eyes of youth,’ but by a bland smile of intellectual serenity that seems to pervade and penetrate all the features, and impart to them all a corresponding expression, such as the moonlight lends to a summer landscape: the moonlight, not the sunshine; for there is
a mild and tender pathos blended with that expression, which bespeaks a soul that has been steeped in the depths of human woe, but has turned their waters (as only poets can) into fountains of beauty and of bliss.

There are persons whom we cannot help associating together in our imagination, without feeling or being able to fancy any sufficient reason for doing so. When we see one, we think of the other, as naturally and necessarily as if they stood to each other in the relation of mutual cause and effect. The poets Campbell and Rogers hold this imaginary relationship in many more minds, we suspect, than ours, or we should not have felt it to be worth a passing word of mention, much less have made it the reason, as we shall now do, of placing them as companion portraits in our literary gallery. But there is, in fact, a curious and beautiful assimilation between the minds and persons of the bards of Hope and of Memory, a similitude in dissimilitude, and one of a nature which corresponds as curiously with the subject of their best known works, Hope and Memory; the one looking eagerly onward, as if life were in the future only; the other looking
anxiously back, as if all but the past were a shadow or a dream. In the mind of the bard of Memory we see the same natural grace and elegance, the same cultivation and refinement, the same delicacy of taste, and the same gentle and genial cast of sympathy with his fellow-beings and with external things, that we find in the bard of Hope. And when twenty years more of mingled joy and sorrow shall have passed through the heart and over the head of the latter, we may look to see as little difference in the personal attributes of the two, or rather, the bard of Hope will have gently subsided into the bard of Memory—the living type of the latter having, in the common course of nature, cast off the ‘mortal coil’ which holds him reluctantly to a state of being ‘where nothing is but what is not.’

It must not be supposed from the above, that we see or fancy any actual physical resemblance between the person and features of Mr. Campbell and those of Mr. Rogers. If we did, our visual organs would be essentially unfitted for the task we have imposed upon them. All we mean to intimate is, that a similar conformation of mind and
temperament, modified by similar trains of thought, feeling, and study, have imparted to these two accomplished men, not a similarity, but a correspondence, in the general expression of the symbols by which their intellectual characters respectively interpret themselves to our bodily senses. Nobody will see any ‘family likeness’ between them; but every one duly qualified to catch ‘the mind’s observance in the face,’ will perceive in each the evidences of equally high intellectual cultivation, expended upon a soil similarly composed in its chief attributes, and calculated to produce flowers and fruits of a similar generic character, however differing in species or individual instances. Finally, the main difference and dissimilarity they may observe will be, that in the one case (of the bard of Memory) the passions have yielded themselves willing servitors to that mild philosophy of the heart and senses which can alone subdue without subverting them; whereas in the bard of Hope they still burn with a bright intensity that would consume the altar on which they are kindled, were it a shrine less pure and holy than a poet’s heart.


Begging indulgence for yielding to the temptation of straying so far from the mechanical limits of our task, we return to them by pointing to the head and face of Mr. Rogers, as an object of peculiar interest and curiosity to those who are students in such living lore. There is something preternatural in the cold, clear, marbly paleness that pervades, and, as it were, penetrates his features to a depth that seems to preclude all change, even that of death itself. Yet there is nothing in the least degree painful or repulsive in the sight, nothing that is suggestive of death, or even of decay—but, on the contrary, something that seems to speak beforehand of that immortality at which this poet has so earnestly aimed, and of which he is entitled to entertain so fair a hope. It is scarcely fanciful to say that the living bust of the author of ‘Human Life,’ ‘The Pleasures of Memory,’ &c., can scarcely be looked upon without calling to mind the bust of marble, sculptured by some immortal hand, which he so well deserves to have consecrated to him in the Temple of Fame.


The following characteristic letters have never appeared in print, except in the ephemeral pages of a newspaper. The first was sent to me in MS., by Campbell, to be used as I might think fit, and I inserted it in a popular weekly journal of the day.

“To Thomas Moore, Esq.

My dear Moore,—A thousand thanks to you for the kind things which you have said of me in your ‘Life of Lord Byron,’—but forgive me for animadverting to what his lordship says, at page 463 of your first volume.—It is not every day that one is mentioned in such joint pages as those of Moore and Byron.

Lord Byron there states that, one evening at Lord Holland’s, I was nettled at something, and the whole passage, if believed, leaves it to be inferred that I was angry, envious, and ill-mannered.—Now I never envied Lord Byron, but, on the contrary, rejoiced in his fame; in the first place from a sense of justice, and in the next place, because, as a poetical critic, he was my beneficent friend.—I never was nettled in Lord
Holland’s house, as both Lord and
Lady Holland can witness; and on the evening to which Lord Byron alludes, I said, ‘Carry all your incense to Lord Byron,’ in the most perfect spirit of good humour.—I remember the evening most distinctly—one of the happiest evenings of my life, and if Lord Byron imagined me for a moment displeased, it only shows me that, with all his transcendant powers, he was one of the most fanciful of human beings.—I by no means impeach his veracity, but I see from this case that he was subject to strange illusions.

“What feeling but that of kindness could I have towards Lord Byron?—He was always affectionate towards me, both in his writings and in his personal interviews. How strange that he should misunderstand my manner on the occasion alluded to—and what temptation could I have to show myself pettish and envious before my inestimable friend Lord Holland. The whole scene, as described by Lord Byron, is a phantom of his own imagination. Ah, my dear Moore, if we had him but back again, how easily could we settle these matters. But I have
detained you too long, and, begging pardon for all my egotism,

“I remain, my dear Moore,
“Your obliged and faithful servant,
“T. Campbell.
“Middle Scotland Yard, Whitehall,
Feb. 18, 1830.”

Sir,—I am obliged to you for discrediting a silly paragraph from the ‘Sligo Observer,’ which is quoted in your paper to-day.

“It charges me with having abstracted the MS. of the ‘Exile of Erin’ from the papers of the late duke (you call him marquis) of Buckingham. If my character did not repel this calumny, I could refute it by the fact that I never in my life had access to any papers of either a Duke or Marquis of Buckingham. I wrote the song of the ‘Exile of Erin’ at Altona, and sent it off immediately from thence to London, where it was published by my friend, Mr. Perry, in the ‘Morning Chronicle.’ With the evidence of my being the author of this little piece I shall not trouble the world at present. Only if my Irish accuser has any proof that George Nugent Reynolds, Esq., ever affected
to have written the song, he will consult the credit of his memory by not blazoning the anecdote, for if he asserted that the piece was his own, he assuredly told an untruth. I am inclined to believe, however, that the ‘Sligo Observer’s’ proffered witnesses are not eminently blessed with good memories, for they offer to testify that they heard Mr. Reynolds for years before his death, and prior to my publication of the song, repeat and sing it as his own. If the matter comes to a proof, I shall be happy to prove that this is an utter impossibility, for I had scarcely composed the song, when it was everywhere printed with my name; and it is inconceivable that Mr. Reynolds could have had credit for years among his friends for a piece which those friends must have seen publicly claimed by myself.

“But the whole charge is so absurd, that I scarcely think the ‘Sligo Observer’ will renew it. If they do, they will only expose their folly

“I am, Sir,
“Your obedient servant,
“Thomas Campbell.
“Middle Scotland Yard, Whitehall,
June 16, 1830.”