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No! imaged in the sanctuary of your
There let me smile, amidst high thoughts
And let contentment on your spirit
As if its peace were still a part of mine :
For you I shall have worse than lived in
"THEODRIC, this is destiny above
Rave not to learn the usage I have borne,
Sent from me by my own well-meant
Your soul, I know, as firm is knit to
But I conjure your manliness to bear
The latest from my living lips for yours."
We have said, we believe, somewhere in this hasty, but hearty article, that we are critics; but we really have no wish to prefer any especial claim to that character. Critics, however, or no critics, we may be permitted to say a very few words on the merits of Theodric, a Domestic Tale. We cannot help expressing our extreme surprise, that a man so highly gifted as Mr Campbell, could have pure affection breathcontemplated ing household laws," that is to say, could have surveyed domestic life, its relations and events, and, after all, shewn himself unable to invent any more interesting and impressive exemplification of them, than what is exhibited in this pretty but insignificant poem. There actually seems something here too like a barrenness, not of invention only, but absolutely of feeling; his mind takes no hold either of the more stirring, or the more still humanities; and if human life can present to the imagination and heart of a true poet nothing better than this, the sooner we complete our journey between Dan and Beersheba the better; nor does the invention of printing seem one likely to be turned to much more account. Mr Campbell's object has evidently been pathos, but all the suffering is provoking rather than affecting; sorrow assails man and woman from mere misunderstanding, and an unlucky game of cross purposes; nobody is to blame, and everybody is punished; most excellent people are brought together by mere accident, and immediately set about marring each other's happiness; the tide never suits; the time is either half an hour too soon or too late; a sort of small fatality attends each petty movement of
As these clasp'd hands in blessing you now join:
Shape not imagined horrors in my fate Ev'n now my sufferings are not very great;
And when your grief's first transports shall subside,
I call upon your strength of soul and
To pay my memory, if 'tis worth the
I charge my name with power to conjure
up Reflection's balmy, not its bitter cup. My pard'ning angel, at the gates of Hea
Shall look not more regard than you have given
To me; and our life's union has been
In smiles of bliss as sweet as life e'er had.
the somewhat insignificant personages; we almost are tempted to believe that Theodric and Constance must have been married on a Friday; and if they took a wedding-jaunt, we offer a trifling bet that their carriage broke down, and that they had some difficulty in getting into an inn towards the fall of evening. It is impossible for any reader of a good heart to peruse, without discomfort, the record of such perplexing misfortunes; but he is not, cannot, be rivetted to the narrative by any spell of which Mr Campbell seems to be in possession; on the contrary he reads on, merely that he may get rid of a dark but dull riddle; and at last he cannot but be a little angry with Mr Campbell, for putting to death two such beautiful and innocent young creatures as Constance and Julia, who might have suffered much affliction, and yet not missed the world so very unsatisfactorily as they do, both maid and bride. The tale illustrates nothing that we can discern worth illustrating, and whatever beauty and pathos there may be in a few passages, they are rendered almost entirely ineffective by the unfortunate, unpoetical, and unphilosophical choice of the situations in which the interlocutors are placed; a free, full, and unrestrained sympathy, is never once excited during the whole poem; the heart of the reader is almost always pained, and his understanding dissatisfied; and if he recalls to his remembrance any of the more affecting incidents in his own life, or in the lives of any one of his friends, he will feel that they were somewhat different in their nature, and their accompanying circumstances, from those in Theodric, although here a poet of acknowledged genius has employed his utmost power of fiction to invent, embellish, and adorn, with mournful beauty, a tale, illustrative of the feelings, fates, and fortunes, that fluctuate over the bosom of domestic life.
With respect to the style of execution-language, versification, imagery, &c., we have already said that we could not help reading the poem with much occasional delight. There are many most graceful, elegant, and beautiful lines, that could have been distilled only from the pen of a true poet -but the composition wants pith, fire,
It is often, we are sorry to say it, most elaborately feeble, andwill the world believe, even when they see them with their own eyes?-sprinkled with manifest and undeniable Cockneyisms. Mr Campbell has frequently sounded the very lowest key in the gamut of poetry, just as Mr Wordsworth has often done in the lyrical ballads. But Mr Campbell has in all such trials miserably failed, and is no better than a boy playing upon a sycamore-pipe. Mr Wordsworth has, in almost all such trials, admirably succeeded, and the low simple note has been from a harp-string. The great Laker sometimes drives his fine, true, bold theories rather far, but he never fails to smite the heart, and generally his simplicity is sublime. Mr Campbell's genius is altogether of a different stamp; he must have the air of elegance to breathe, or he gasps, chokes, and dies. In Theodric he often tries to be homely, familiar, conversationally narrative, to write as if in a newspaper of daily occurrences, marriages, births, and deaths. Then is he uniformly silly and conceited, and that too to such an unfortunate extent, that we verily believe this poem, with all its tenderness and beauty, is now in the greatest jeopardy, and can only be saved by Mr Jeffrey from being damned. That ingenious and amiable critic has written for the next Edinburgh a most laudatory critique on Theodric. That is quite right. Mr Campbell is his friend-and what is friendship without active offices? It is the bounden duty of every good critic and honest man to praise his friends to the skies-if they be men of genius, even although they write indifferent poems. Abuse your friends in private, in the small social circle round the hearth, and in the misty silence of the Cigarium,-but in public let eulogy be the order of the day. Often have we held up to universal and well-merited admiration in Maga, the man whom in Ambrose's we have anatomized; and the author whom we have not left the likeness of a goose in the Sanctum Sanctorum, often and often have we bowed and congeed down the front steps of No. 17, Prince's Street, as if he had been, at the very least, a Phoenix.
SCOTCH POETS, HOGG AND CAMPBELL, HYNDE AND THEODRIC.
We are proud of Scotland-proud of our native country, for a thousand reasons. We are not so enthusiastic as the young Squire in Marmion, who is filled with joy and wonderment at the sight of the objects surrounding "mine own romantic town," for our eyes have assuredly rested upon loveher prospects in the course of our chequered peregrinations through the four quarters of the globe. Nor do we claim for ourselves the fame of being a nation of gentlemen, and we scout altogether the title of Modern Athenians. In a word, we are, we flatter ourselves, as free from the vulgar vanity of our countrymen as any people in the world, but still we hold to our original position, that we are proud of Scotland. We are proud of its MIND. Let nobody imagine, that we are going to give, what our dear Irish friends call blarney, to our population. What we have said, we have no design to enlarge farther on. If we be asked, where are the proofs of our assertion, we shall answer in the sublime word of Sir C. Wren's epitaph, "Circumspice." Look round every department of literature and scienceof arts and arms-of wisdom and of wit-and you will find them full of Scotchmen. But one of the greatest evidences of the mental power abounding in our country is afforded by the circumstance, that our lowliest ranks have produced and continue to produce intellects the most refined, tastes the most cultivated, and genius the most powerful.
Jon Bee, the most illustrious writer perhaps of the present age, (and to whom, by the way, his friend Tom Campbell addressed the beautiful sonnet, beginning Star, that bringest home Jon Bee,") may imagine, that in this assertion, we are only showing another specimen of what he, in his admirable dictionary, ironically styles Modesty. In that erudite and excellent work, he, after quoting from our pages a remark of our own, which went the length of saying, that " A loftier and a wiser people than the Scotch are not to be found now upon the earth, nor do the records of any such survive;"-(a remark to be read in that glorious Number of ours, which by universal consent has been called ROYAL,)-After quoting this remark, we say, Vir-Apis, the
Bee, adduces the contrary testimony of Petrarch with a chuckle of satisfaction, to the effect, that "of all the barbarous and cowardly nations, none is more cowardly and barbarous than the English, excepting only the rascally Scotch." This might have been true enough in the mouth of Laura's lover; but the accurate mind of Jon ought to have reflected, that the days of Pe trarcha are vastly dissimilar, and by no means like to the days of Georgius Quartus. However, letting that be as it may, wishing to convince Jon that we are not vapouring in braggadocio fashion on the present occasion, we beg leave to call the attention of him, and the public in general, to the two works which we have prefixed to our article, and to ask modestly, but firmly, whether any other country has produced the phenomenon of two poems similar to Theodric and Queen Hynde, being published within two or three weeks of each other, by two of the humblest of its natives one sprung from the humblest class of its mechanical, the other from the humblest class of its agricultural, or rather pastoral, population. Let any other nation in Europe shew us a poem by a cotton-spinner's product such as Campbell, and another by a herdsman's, such as Hogg, forcing their way simultaneously into the very thick-the very press of a polished and jealous literature-and we are dumb. We accept even Jon Bee, anti-Caledonian as he is, to be the umpire in this cause, of Scotland v. the World.
And as we have happened to mention it, we may at once say, that there are many points of similitude between these great poets of the lower orders, which we shall hastily digest into a parallel, after the manner of Plutarch. It may be imagined that our wellknown, our universally proclaimed, our much-boasted-of affection, friendship, and compotationship with Hogg, may warp us into giving him an undue preference in this our closecoming contrast; but we here most solemnly assert, that we shall banish all such considerations from our minds, and be as impartial as Rhadamanthus, the son of Jupiter and Europa. Fond are we of Hogg-yea, even to a fault;-but nobody can deny that we have several times, in the course of our undis
tinguishing Periodical, abused him most grossly, we might say diabolically; while, though no one can suspect us of any friendship or affection for any of the curs and crosses of Conduit-Street, yet it will be equally conceded to us, that Campbell's works have frequently received from us the highest meed of praise; and that of one of them, viz. the Ritter Bann, we alone, of all the periodicals, had the honour and the manliness to take any notice whatever. We are pleased to see that Tom has reprinted the whole of this beautiful poem in this volume of his. This is digressing, however: proceed we with our parallel.
First, then-both are Scotchmenlowly in birth-in manners-and in conversation. As for birth, Campbell was born in the Goose-dubbs of Glasgow-Hogg in the hills of Ettrick, in Muckrath, which, being interpreted, signifies, the PLACE OF THE SWINE. In this the Shepherd is superior, inasmuch as the smell of the green hills, and the sight of the clear waters, is far preferable to the muck of the Molendinar, and the gardyloo of the Gallowgate. Again, Hogg's sire was a herd; one who dwelt among the pastoral images to be derived from sheep and kine, from the objects which called forth the poetry of a Moses, the warblings of a Theocritus, and the mimic elegances of a Virgil and a Pope. Campbell's progenitor was a cotton-spinner, a pursuit which calls much more for jennies than genius, and which, though useful, is but mechanical, and without the slightest twist of poetry. Homer (and every true poet, in fact) draws similes everlastingly from sheep, and beautiful things they are; who, in the name of the Nine, ever drew anything from the cotton-mill, except so much per cent on capital sunk? With respect to conversation, Campbell has much to say in his favour that Hogg has not. Camp bell has kept company with Lady Morgan, and such like fashionables; and no doubt has thereby contracted fine habits of speech and manners. Hogg has been, at least of late, very much with us; and it is excessively blameable, that he has not acquired our tone and delicacy. But it is ill teaching an old dog new tricks, as Lord Chesterfield says.
stupid as the Balaamite portion of the Pleasures of Hope, nor anything quite so pathetic as O'Connor's Child. Campbell, on the other hand, was never guilty of such poetry as what composes the Mountain Bard; nor did he ever soar to the height of Bonny Kilmeny. In prose, Hogg's Tales and Campbell's Lectures on Poetry may pretty well stand against one another, both being equal outrages against literature. So likewise let the Jacobite Relics pair off with the Specimens of English Poetry. One work remains which sets Hogg far above the laureate of Lanark. Hogg wrote the Chaldee MS. !-Impartial justice, therefore, directs that we, in this respect, should exalt the horn of the Shepherd.
Again, both are writers of prose and Here is a difficult scale to balanee. Hogg never wrote anything so
Thirdly, both are great Magazine writers. Hogg boasts that it was he who established this Magazine-it is a bounce on the part of the Shepherd; but beyond doubt, he has been an eager writer in it. Campbell contributes to Colburn, having succeeded the late Jack Polidori in that employment, at a fixed wage of five pounds, fifteen shillings, and fourpence halfpenny per week. It would be absurd were we to point out Hogg's inferiority in this particular.
Fourthly, Campbell is occasionally asked to Holland-House; there he gets now and then a side look from its lady, which fills him with gratitude. Hogg has ere now taken toddy fist to fist with a duke, and thought little about it. Campbell breakfasts with Redding and Fudgiolo, and other such highones. Hogg sups at Ambrose's. This round is, we opine, in favour of the Bard of Benger.
Fifthly, Hogg can drink eight-andtwenty tumblers of punch-Campbell is hazy upon seven. Four to one on the Shepherd.
Sixthly, Hogg is a Tory-Campbell a Whig. Hogg always said that the English would beat the French, and he was right-Campbell said that the French would beat the English, and he was wrong. Hogg despises the Edinburgh Review, and he is right -Campbell calls it in his Magazine a noble, critical work, and he is wrong. Other instances are needless. The follower of the Macallummore is here inferior beyond all chalks. But,
Seventhly, with which we mean to conclude our laboriously wrought-up parallel-in which our readers must perceive that we have most carefully
and faithfully collected the particulars of comparison, and most rigidly balanced them with a dexterous finger, one against the other-seventhly, Hogg, the Tory, has sung the praise of his King in strains the most pure, and songs the most abominable; he has huzzaed to his glory, and got drunk in his honour. In return for which, he never had any further remuneration than a headache in the morning; while Campbell, the Whig, who has, by his political creed, been linked with the most filthy and scoundrel-like revilers of that Kinghas that Whig Campbell, we say, for such good service received about L.5000, and is still receiving L.200 aThis last round is wonderfully year. in favour of Campbell.
So far for the personal comparison of these great men ; and we shall descend now to a consideration of the poems which have called forth our parallel. We shall not analyse the plot or plan of these compositions, for several reasons. First, because we know every man, woman, and child, have already got them by heart; and, secondly, because we are not able to do it. For, with respect to Queen Hynde, we have read it over six times back ward and forward, up and down, round and round-we have held the book in every possible posture that can be conceived, sideways, angularly, topsy-turvy, upsides down, and downsides up; and yet, for the life of us, we have not been able to discover what it is about. A puzzling sense of unintelligibility came over us, yet was our pleasure not in the slightest degree diminished. We have at all times risen from the Shepherd and his Hynde delighted and instructed, without knowing why or wherefore. And with respect to Theodric, we have begun it four times; and regularly, with a strange certainty which we must leave to psychologists to account for, we have fallen asleep at the end of the third page. Yet we have, by means of a most potent dose of Roman punch, nerved ourselves to get through the task of comparing the two poems, and shall do it by extracting the most beautiful passages of each, and putting them in contrast with one another. To begin with something bright, we shall give an illumination, by Campbell, and a town-burning, by Hogg. At the illumination, Campbell's man loses his heart-Hogg's heroes, in his blaze, lose their lives.
Hear Mr Campbell.
At eve, stupendous London, clad in light,
Youth, age, wealth, penury, smiling in
Hear Mr Hogg.
"Just while their horrid sacrifice
Here we have fire-light opposed to
"The liquid sounding flame enclosed them, And roll'd them in its furnace bosom."
II. Love-making has long been the staple of poetry, and we must see how the Hogg and the Camel get through this important particular. A prince of Norway comes to court a lady, who he imagines is the Queen of
Scotland. Andhe does it in this wise:
"and to know her well
Prolong'd, exalted, bound enchantment's spell."
What this means is past comprehension.] Then
"He sought-he won her-and resolved to make
His future home in England for her
What a vile contrast to the glowing description of the Shepherd! One is, that of a robust mountaineer roaming about Muckrath, in all the majesty of