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Thomas Campbell von Hadden, J. Cuthbert (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 22.06.2017
  • Verlag: anboco
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Thomas Campbell

Reviewing Beattie's Life of Campbell in the Quarterly in 1849, Lockhart expressed the hope that no one would ever tell Campbell's story without making due acknowledgment to 'the best stay of his declining period.' He would be a bold man who would think of doing so. As well might one expect to write a life of Johnson without the aid of Boswell as expect to tell Campbell's story without reference to Dr Beattie. In addition to my acknowledgments to him, I have to express my indebtedness to Mr Cyrus Redding's 'Reminiscences of Thomas Campbell,' which, though badly put together, yet contain a mass of valuable information about the poet, especially in his more intimate relations. For the rest I have made considerable use of Campbell's correspondence, and have, I trust, acquainted myself with all the more important references made to him in contemporary records, and in the writings of those who knew him. To several of my personal friends, particularly to Mr G. H. Ely, I am obliged for hints and helpful suggestions, which I gratefully acknowledge. J. C. H. Edinburgh, October 1899.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: watermark
    Seitenzahl: 284
    Erscheinungsdatum: 22.06.2017
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783736420663
    Verlag: anboco
    Größe: 281 kBytes
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Thomas Campbell


When Campbell said farewell to the Grammar School prior to entering his name at College, it was observed of him that no boy of his age had ever left more esteemed by his classfellows or with better prospects at the University. His first College session began in October 1791. At that time the University was located in the High Street, the classic Molendinar, as yet uncovered, finding a way to the Clyde through its park and gardens. Johnson thought it was 'without a sufficient share in the magnificence of the place'; and not unlikely the scarlet gowns worn by the students were in Campbell's day pretty much what they were when Wesley reported them 'very dirty, some very ragged, and all of coarse cloth.' But there must have been something very pleasant about the quaint old world life which was then lived in and around the College Squares. Close upon four hundred students used to gather about the time-honoured courts, the windows of the professors' houses looking down upon them from the north side; and the memories of many generations must have gone some little way to atone for the lack of 'magnificence' so much deplored by the great Cham of literature.

The list of professors in 1791, when Campbell entered, did not include any name of outstanding note. His father's old friend, Dr Reid, now a veteran of eighty-one, had retired, though he was still living in the Professors' Court, and had been succeeded by Professor Arthur, a scholar of respectable ability and varied acquirements, for whom Campbell expressed a sincere admiration. The Greek class was taught by Professor Young, a character of the Christopher North and John Stuart Blackie type, 'a strangely beautiful and radiant figure in the then grave and solemn group of Glasgow professors.' William Richardson filled the Humanity-in other words the Latin-Chair, and filled it with some distinction too, in his curled wig, lace ruffles, knee breeches and silk stockings. Richardson was not of those who combine plain living with high thinking. Dining out was his passion. It is told of him that one evening, when the turtle soup was unusually fine, he exclaimed, after repeated helpings, 'I know there is gout in every spoonful, but I can't resist it.' For all this, he was a good scholar and an expert teacher, enjoying some repute as one of Mackenzie's coadjutors in The Mirror ; a poet, too, and the author of one or two books which were read in their day. The Logic class was in the hands of Professor Jardine, 'the philosophic Jardine,' as Campbell calls him-'a most worthy, honest man, neither proud nor partial.' Campbell says he could not boast of deriving any great advantage from Jardine's class, but he 'found its employment very agreeable' nevertheless, and he seems to have honestly liked the professor. The Law Chair was occupied by Professor Millar, a violent democrat, who, in the dark days of Toryism, 'did much in Glasgow to inoculate Jeffrey and the academic Liberals with zealous views of progress.' Campbell regarded him as the ablest of all the professors; and although he was not a regular student of law, he attended some of the lectures, and was inclined to credit Millar with influencing his views on what he termed the ascendency of freedom.

Such were the men under whose direction the poet completed his education. Of fellow-students with whom he was intimate it is not necessary to say much. Perhaps the best known was Hamilton Paul, a jovial youth with a talent for verse, who afterwards, when minister of Broughton, narrowly escaped censure from the Church courts for an attempt to palliate the shortcomings of Burns by indiscreet allusions to his own clerical brethren. Paul and Campbell were frequently rivals in competing for academical rewards offered for the best compositions in verse, and in one case at least Campbell was beaten. It was Paul who founded the College Debating

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