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mity; and “
CAMPBELL'S THEODRIC.* Whar man of middle age does not themes ; and while yet upon the verge remember, with something like a re of manhood, and by one startling and petition of the pure, bright, original wonderful effort, which commanded feeling, the enthusiastic transport of glory, Campbell was admitted, by hail delight with which, in his youthful and acclamation, into the company of prime, he hung over the beautiful the immortals. pages of “ The Pleasures of Hope?" We have been speaking of our youthAs he read that noblest production ful feelings some twenty-five years of early genius, what music sounded ago, (for opinions we shall not call through his imagination and his sen- them,) of “The Pleasures of Hope ;" ses, now like the murmur of a river, and perhaps they were not greatly difand now like the voice of the sea !- ferent from the feelings with which Everything was splendid and sono we still occasionally peruse that poem. rous in that dream of beautified subli- But now we are critics, which then
a purer ether, a diviner we were not, and that must make conair," seemed shed over our lower siderable difference, whether we will world. The young poet poured forth or no, between the present and the kis emotions in the evident rapture of past. Faults and vices of diction now inspiration, and rejoiced in the yet stare us in the face in the composition unbaffled prowess of his genius, as he we once esteemed pure, faultless, percareered over the course that his fancy fect. Nay, what is far worse, we canshaped through the glittering domains not but discover many imperfect and of life, all fresh and fair to the spirit confused conceptions, no-meanings inthat poured over them the charms of numerable, vague and indefinite aspi. its own creative energies. Truly might rations, needless repetitions, pompous it be said of Mr Campbell, du- and inane common-places, boyish dering his composition of that immortal clamations, much false glitter, fecblepoem, in the language of Collins,- ness strutting on stilts, melodies wea
that Hope enchanted, smiled, and risomely monotonous, and the substiwaved her golden hair.” He seemed tution of phantasmagorial shadowings to have no fixed plan-no regular or of fancy, for the permanent realities of der—but all was one glorious tumult life. Is all this, indeed, true? and if of exulting passions, moving to their true, is it at all reconcilable with our cwn music. The untamed soul of previous panegyrical paragraph ? youth spoke in every line-in every Now, the solution of the difficulty, image. A beautiful array of words (if there be a difficulty here) is to be came processionally onwards, “ the found in this—that Mr Campbell was long-resounding march and energy di
a very young man when he wrote his vine ;” and we felt, from the begin- poem, and we were a very young man ning to the end,“ this indeed is poe, when we read his poem. But, fortutry.” A visionary loveliness bedewed nately for his fame, there will always the whole world of the young poet's be a vast crowd of young people in the genius; and not one homely concep- world, and most of them will admire tion, not one prosaic form of speech, and delight in Mr Campbell. Such at any time broke the dream of imagie of them as do not, will never be good nation. If the feeling flagged, the for much, and most probably will fancy was instantly on the wing—if prove to be Cockneys. Every promithe sense failed, the sound conquered sing youth will buy a copy of the -pictures of mind alternated richly Pleasures of Hope, in his fifteenth year, with pictures of nature-pathos ex or sooner if precocious. Edition will panded into majesty, and a strain that pursue Edition : Campbell will always . began perhaps in graceful simplicity, be a classic—and elegantly bound and ended in the most gorgeous magnifi- richly lettered, he will, as far as we
The whole was the work of a can see, lie on the drawing-room tables fine and fortunate genius, inspired by of the ingenuous and polite, until the the finest and most fortunate of extinction of civility in this empire.
• Theodric, a Domestic Tale; and other Poems. By Thomas Campbell. LORdon : Longman and Co. 1824.
We know that Mr Campbell himself, Collins, the other from Campbell himshould be perchance ever look into a self-and we know of no other third periodical publication such as ours,will name that could, without a feeling of think the above observations very ju, impropriety or incongruity, be linked dicious. He will agree with us too, in with those of the two illustrious bro. thinking, that there are good reasons thers. why he never can again write so fine a Is not something very like this poem as his “ Pleasures." He wrote visible in Gertrude of Wyoming ? the Pleasures, to use a Scottish phrase, That is a far better written poem than with all his birr-i. e. with all his the Pleasures of Hope. It is polished, genial and native might and main. worked up, touched, and retouched, He had no fears of writing badly; for, into sweet artificial beauty. But the in the glow and animation of impas- beauty is cold and statue-like-passioned youth he was strong through sionless, formal even-simple, but inhis very ignorance. No doubt, he sipid-much moonlight glimmerthought many things exceedingly fine little sunlight glory. It scarcely susthen, which he now regards with pity tained the high character of Campbell, or disdain, in his great work; but the bard of Hope ; yet we do not think what, in mature life, can make fulland that he was pledged to greater things, complete amends for the loss of that or that the world was entitled to exaerial and mounting spirit, that, like pect greater from his hands. His ina spark, flies upwards, but, unlike a tellect was more ripened, and his taste spark, also flies downwards, in un more judicious; but he was an older dimmed lustre, made brighter by mo man by twelve or fourteen years, and tion? Wordsworth somewhere deplores his mind did not appear to have gained the decay and death of youthful en- as much as it had necessarily lost in thusiasm, but closes his lament with the change of time. He still " looked the consolation drawn from “ years on nature with a poet's eye,” but that that bring the philosophic mind.” eye, which had seen all that lay dazBut if years do not bring the philoso- zling on the surface, did not now seem phic mind—if, when the fervour, the imbued with a power to penetrate into ferment, the tumult, the excitation, the the life of things, into“ the beauty pride, the transport of novel existence, still more beauteous ;” and it rested be all dead and buried- the spirit with less fervent delight than long ago, feel much gone, and but little taking on the more obvious and prominent its place-if the animal and constitu- charms of the creation. Gertrude of tional gladness, that brightened all the Wyoming was sweet, pretty, even visions of boyhood into a close resem- beautiful; but she bore not the divine blance to the creations of genius, and cestus; and how far less captivating, gave to those creations themselves a with her copy of Shakespeare in her more vivid and vigorous character, die lap, than Wordsworth's Ruth, the away into the soberness and austerity truc infant of the woods, and the child of manhood, while intellect, left un- of nature ! A few noble, even magaided and self-dependent, discovers nificent stanzas, occur in The Gerthat its reach is not great-and if that trude, but they are all laboriously love of fame, which the brilliant suc- written, and do not seem to us to cesses of youth had fostered and fed, form parts of a living whole. Indeed, begins to pine for triumphs, more in the entire composition is the effect of despair than hope, and gradually pre- study, not of inspiration ; beauty pare the spirit of him whom it posa comes at last, slowly and almost res sesses for fastidiousness or envy-then luctantly, at his bidding, but seldom the Man of Genius must look back or never "smooth-sliding without with a strange sorrow, and a depress- step," as if impatient of a call; there ing regret, on himself, the Boy of is clearness of water, but no depthi ; Genius, and, listening to the echoes of the very flowers of the forest are too other years, almost hate the harp that pale and delicate; something of a has lost its strings, or his hand its cun- city character is in his sylvan solitudes, ning, “ while starting back, he knows and there is a suburban spirit, even in not why, even at the sounds himself the heart of the old woods. Than the had made” “ in life's morning march, story, nothing can be more unnatural, when his spirit was young.” of these yet, at the same time, more common two last apt quotations, one is from place. Outalissi is like a well sup
ported Indian at a masquerade, but Herds tinkling roam'd the long-drawn not the real Logan; his talk is of to vales between, mahawks, but gives us no high idea of And hamlets glitter'd white, and gardens the oratory of savage life, which we know to be noble he has no influence 'Twas transport to inhale the bright on the poem, and, but for his being a sweet air ! portrait, might have been away on a
The mountain-bee was revelling in its fishing or shooting excursion, without glare, detriment to plot or person. Yet still And roving with his minstrelsy across we love this poem-we suppose it is The scented wild weeds, and enamella very popular-suspect it would not be easy to write one so good, and have Earth’s features so harmoniously were given it, and will give it again, this She seem'd one great glad form, with life very evening, the tribute of a tear. It
instinct, is a sweet poem.
That felt Heav'n's ardent breath, and With aīl these genial but some
smiled below what subdued feelings of admiration Its Aush of love, with consentaneous and love of Mr Campbell's poetical
glow.” character, we came to the perusal of Theodric, a Domestic Tale; and, on
Is that a very beautiful descriptive the whole, we have not been so great passage, or only a good one? We cane ly disappointed as all the rest of the not say. Would such a passage stamp reading world. Theodric is a still a new writer, a man of poetical genia fainter, dimmer, more attenuated poem us? We cannot say. What is a Phæthan Gertrude; but still it is very, nix like? We cannot say. Does the very pretty, very pathetic even; there mountain-bee “ revel in the glare is much that is Campbellish about of the bright sweet air” after sunset? it, and it cannot be said, fairly and We cannot say. Are the four last lines candidly, that it does him absolute good or bad, natural or artificial, strong discredit. Yet, we did expect a bet
or inflated? We cannot say. Gentle ter poem, and if Mr Campbell were reader, judge for yourself-we are not an only son, we should have attri. somewhat sceptical. “ She seemed buted Theodric to his younger bro- one great glad form, with life instinct," ther. We should have said, “Mr is, we fear, indifferent poetry.—But let Henry Campbell, who, we under- us proceed. stand, is many years younger than his " A Gothic church was near; the spot celebrated brother, has written a, &c.
around &c.," and we should have concluded a Was beautiful, even though sepulchral kind of complimentary article, with
ground; roundly rating him for divers faults For there nor yew nor cypress spread and sundry mannerisms. But when their gloom, we view I'heodric as a work by an But roses blossom'd by each rustic tomb. elderly gentleman, we cannot help Amidst them one of spotless marble looking rather grave, and, therefore, shoneshall proceed to analysis and extract. A maiden's gravemand 'twas inscribed “ 'Twas sunset, and the Ranz des thereon, Vaches were sung,
That young and loved she died whose And lights were o'er th' Helvetian moun dust was there."
tains flung, That gave the glacier tops their richest
But we now feel that it would be glow,
foolish regularly to analyze a small And tinged the lakes like molten gold poem like this—of which the story is below.
really good for nothing, and we supe Warmth flush'd the wonted regions of pose well known. So let us give a few the storm,
of the best passages. Theodric, an Where, Phænix-like, you saw the eagle's Austrian Colonel, visits London, and form,
during an illumination sees and falls That high in Heav'n's vermilion wheel'd in love with a beautiful English girl, and soar'd.
named Constance--whom, in due time, Woods nearer frown'd, and cataracts he woes, wins, and weds.
dash'd and roar'd, From heights brouzed by the bounding
“ 'Twas a glorious sight. bouquetin;
At eve stupendous London, clad in light,
Pour'd out triumphant multitudes to dently, considerately, wisely, and mogaze;
destly, says to her, at the close of a Youth, age, wealth, penury, smiling in painful eclaircissement,
the blaze; Th'illurined atmosphere was warm and
“ Swear that, when I am gone, you'll do bland,
To chase this dream of fondness from And Beauty's groups, the fairest of the
land, Conspicuous, as in some wide festive
It is hard to tell what is natural room,
and what is unnatural, what is deli. In open chariots pass'd with pearl and cate and what is indelicate, what is
plume. Amidst them he remark'd a lovelier mien
pathetic and what is ridiculous, in the
delineation of so very complex, shiftThian e'er his thouglıts had shaped, or eyes had seen :
ing, various, and anomalous a passion The throng detain'd her till he rein'd his
as Love. Therefore we pretend not to steed,
speak authoritatively—to lay down the And, ere the beauty pass'd, had time to
law-or to decide in that great Court read
of Chancery. Young girls form wild The motto and the arms her carriage
and romantic attachments-pineaway, bore.
and in good earnest die, and are buLed by that clew, he left not England's ried, for apparently very insufficient shore
reasons, and on the most unsatisfactory Tul be had known her: and to know her grounds. This being admitted, Mr well
Campbell is perhaps entitled to avail Prolong'd, exalted, bound, enchantment's himself of any such historical fact, and spell ;
make the most of it. But the situaFor with affections warm, intense, re tion he has chosen to place poor Julia fined,
in, is, to say, the least of it, extremely She mix'd such calm and holy strength painful, nay, it is degrading to the of mind,
dignity of the sex. Had a woman writThat, like Hear'n's image in the smiling ten so, we could have sympathised brook,
with the victim, and would have beCelestial peace was pictured in her look. lieved anything she happened to say Hers was the brow, in trials unperplex'd, on the subject. But a man shews a That cheer'd the sad, and tranquillized sad want of gallantry in telling the
the vex'd: She studied not the meanest to eclipse,
whole reading-public, that he knew
a Colonel in the Austrian service, with And yet the wisest listen’d to her lips;
whom a beautiful Swiss maiden fell She sang not, knew not Music's magic desperately in love—that the Colonel
skill, But yet her voice had tones that sway'd took the poor creature's passion into the
kindest consideration--read her a most the will. He sought-he won her—and resolved to
affectionate and yet firm lecture, on the
imprudence and impropriety of giving make His future home in England for her way to such emotions in favour of his sake."
too-killing person-and, finally, reBefore marrying Constance, how quested her brother to row him across ever, Theodric returns to “ Cæsar's
a lake, that he might be off to Vienna. Court,” “ on matters of concern;"
of the poem are here and, on his way thither, he visits quite despicable,-that is the factUdolph, a young Swiss Cornet, who, and far inferior in sentiment and exunder bim, had borne an Austrian pression to the general run of verses banner on the Rhine." Udolph's sis- in the Lady's Magazine, or La Belle ter, who does not know that Theodric Assemblè. “is engaged,” falls in love with him, or
Theodric returns to London, marrather has a romantic affection, which
ries Constance, and is happy. she had received for her brother's de
“ To paint that being to a grovelling liverer from the sight of a miniature mind picture of that handsome hero, fanned Were like pourtraying pictures to the into the flame of passion by his living blind. breath. Theodric sees with grief the 'Twas needful ev'n infectiously to feel deep impression he has made on her Her temper's fond and firm and gladsome too susceptible heart—and very pru zeal, VOL. XVII.
To share existence with her, and to gain “ That winter's eve how darkly Na-
now! Life's ills, gave all its joys a treble zest, The tempest, raging o'er the realms of Before the mind completely understood ice, That mighty truth—how happy are the Shook fragments from the rifted precipice; good !”
And whilst their falling echoed to the
wind, Rather heavy-somewhat dull, my The wolf's long howl in dismal discord dear Campbell, is the above; but it join'd, cannot be helped now—so let it pass.
While wbite yon water's foam was raised Theodric and Constance are so hap
in clouds py in their wedded being, that Mr That whirl'd like spirits wailing in their Campbell, whose intention it is to shrouds : make out“ a tale of tears, a mournful Without was Nature's elemental dinstory,” finds considerable difficulty in And beauty died, and friendship wept,
within ! destroying their connubial bliss; and, in
“ Sweet JULIA, though her fate was lack of expedients, falls upon one of the
finish'd half, most prosaic curses that ever afflicted a new-married pair, in a house of their Still knew him-smiled on him with
feeble laughown, with a door to the street, and a
And blest him, till she drew her latest brass knocker. The mother and sis
sigh! ters of Constance (all save one conge
But lo! while UDOLPH's bursts of agony, nial sister) are a set of vixens, full of
And age's tremulous wailings, round him strife and gall-arrant mischief-ma
rose, kers-greedy gossips—plain-featured, What accents pierced him deeper yet hard-favoured, mean, and malignant.
than those ! In short, Theodric has married into 'Twas tidings, by his English messenger, a most disgusting family. These vul
Of CONSTANCE-brief and terrible they gar she-devils almost succeed in making the young people quarrel, and She still was living when the page set out much base and low scheming goes on, From home, but whether now, was left the details of which sorely puzzled our in doubt. organ of causality. Meantime Theo
Poor JULIĄ! saw he then thy death's dric is about to be called out once reliefmore on active service ; and, on being Stunn'd into stupor more than wrung credibly told so by Mr Campbell
with grief? himself, we could not but pity Con It was not strange; for in the human stance, destined to widowhood « for breast one campaign,” and a widowhood like Two master-passions cannot co-exist, ly to be worried by weasels. Udolph,
And that alarm which now usurp'd his the standard-bearer, arrives at this
brain crisis, telling Theodric that
Julia Shut out not only peace, but other pain. is dying, broken-hearted, and the vic
'Twas fancying CONSTANCE underneath tim of her miserable passion; and that
the shroud her beseeching prayer is to see Theo- That cover'd JULIA, made him first weep dric, but for an hour, at her death.
loud, bed. Theodric breaks the matter to
And tear himself away from them that Constance, who, with many tears and
wept. forebodings, gives him permission to
Fast hurrying homeward, night nor day he see her innocent, distant, and dying Till, launch'd at sea, he dreamt that his
slept, rival. The scene now changes to Swit
soul's saint zerland; and here Mr Campbell is Clung to him on a bridge of ice, pale, himself again, or nearly so. The fol
faint, lowing passage is far from being fault- O'er cataracts of blood. Awake, he less, indeed is very faulty, and through bless'd out wants ease and flow; but it is very The shore; nor hope left utterly his good, although our kindness for the breast, distinguished writer makes us like it, Till reaching home, terrific omen! there perhaps, better than it deserves. The straw-laid street preluded his de