« السابقةمتابعة »
1784—1842. No better representative of the genu- | went to London on the invitation of ine Scot, pure and undefiled, could be Cromek, with whom he stayed till pointed out than Allan Cunningham; he saw what may be called his first and Scott's epithet of "honest Allan” work through the press. Cromek died is the most natural reflection suggested shortly after the issue of Remains of by his whole character. If he were a Nithsdale and Galloway Song, which great genius, we could not regard him was mostly written by Cunningham, as a type of the cautious common-sense though palmed upon Cromek as reScot, ambitious to get on, but deter- covered antiques. After Cromek's mined to work his way up.
death, he wrought at his trade, and He was the fourth son of John Cun- also tried to maintain himself by writningham and Elizabeth Harley, and ing for the press ; but in 1814, he was was born on the 7th December 1784, engaged by Sir Francis Chantrey, the at Blackwood, in Nithsdale. His father sculptor, as superintendent or clerk of was gardener to a neighbouring gentle- works, and in this situation he remained man, and afterwards became land-steward for the rest of his life. His after-writings to Mr Miller of Dalswinton.
were the recreations of his leisure hours. He received an ordinary education, In 1822, he published Sir Marmaduke and in his eleventh year was appren- Maxwell, and from that time till 1824, ticed to his elder brother as a mason. Traditional Tales appeared as magazine He displayed an early love for reading, I contributions, and were after wards puband in his sixth year heard Burns read | lished in two vols. In 1825, appeared
Tam o' Shanter” in his father's his collection of The Songs of Scotland : house.
Ancient and Modern, and from 1826 He early became acquainted with to 1832, the novels Paul Jones, Sir the Ettrick · Shepherd, who was for Michael Scott, and Sir Roldan. After this some time a tenant in Dumfriesshire, he wrote The Maid of Elvar, a rustic and his emulation was roused by the epic, and published Burns's Life and literary atmosphere into which his love Works in eight volumes. The Lives of of reading and his youthful ambition Eminent British Painters, Sculptors, and led him. When Marmion was pub- | Architects next appeared. His last work lished, he came all the way to Edin- was The Life of Sir David Wilkie, in three burgh for the purpose of getting a look volumes. It was only completed two at its author.
days before his death, which took place His first appearance in literature was suddenly on October 29th, 1842. in the Scots Magazine. In 1810, he Allan's writings are not of the highest
touches a deeper chord in man's moral to Mundell & Co. for £60, but was prenature than Pope ever attempted, or sented with £50 for some time on the knew how to reach.
publication of every edition of two thouCampbell was born in Glasgow, in the sand copies, besides being permitted to High Street, on July 27th, 1777, and publish a subscription copy in 1803, by was the youngest of a family of eleven. which he realized £1000. He visited He was descended from the Campbells the continent in 1800, and witnessed the of Kirnan, in Argyleshire, a branch of battle which placed Ratisbon in possesthe ducal stock; but his father had been sion of the French, and was received in reduced circumstances through hav- with distinction by General Moreau. ing failed as a trader with Virginia. While on the continent, the wrote his Thomas, as their youngest child, was “Exile of Erin ” and some other of his his parents' favourite, and received minor poems, which were published in his rudimentary education from his the Morning Chronicle. The Exile of eldest sister, after which he was sent to Erin" excited the apprehensions of the the grammar-school. His mother was Government, and on his return to Edina woman of a superior order, whose ex- burgh, Campbell's papers were searched, ample impressed the young poet with when the discovery of “ The Mariners noble sentiments. He was early sent of England,” and the absence of anyto Glasgow University, and his poetic compromising papers placed his loyalty precocity attracted the attention of the beyond suspicion. In 1802, he wrote Greek professor, who pronounced his 6. The Battle of Hohenlinden” and translation from the Clouds of Aristo- “ Lochiel's Warning,” besides Annals phanes, the best ever given in by any of Great Britain, for which he received student. In his seventeenth year he £300. became tutor to a Highland family in In 1803, Campbell removed to Lonthe island of Mull, but returned to col-don, with the view of following literalege in 1795, and maintained himself by ture as a profession ; and married his private teaching. Next year he again cousin, Matilda Sinclair. In 1806, he went to the Highlands as a tutor, and obtained a pension of £ 200 a-year from on his return went to Edinburgh with the civil list, and in 1809 he published the view of preparing for the bar. He Gertrude of Wyoming, with some minor soon, however, gave up all thought of pieces. He now attained a high literthe law as a profession, and maintained ary position, and was admitted into the himself by teaching and literary work. highest society of the metropolis. In
In Edinburgh, he soon made the ac- 1811, he delivered five lectures on quaintance of Jeffrey, Brougham, and poetry at the Royal Institution, and in other literary notabilities of the time. In 1814 visited Paris, where he met 1799, in his twenty-second year, he pub- Madame de Staël, Humboldt, and lished the “Pleasures of Hope,” which Schlegel. was written two years earlier in a lodging An effort made by Scott in 1816 to in Alison Square. He sold the copyright obtain him a professorship in Edin
burgh University, was not successful ; To his hills that encircle the sea. so, after visiting Germany, he returned Yet wandering, I found on my ruinous to London, and in 1819 produced
walk, Specimens of the British Poets. In 1820,
By the dial-stone aged and green, he became editor of the New Monthly One rose of the wilderness left on its
stalk, Magazine, which he conducted till 1830.
To mark where a garden had been. In 1824, besides issuing “Theoderic Like a brotherless hermit, the last of its and other Poems,” he, along with Lord
race, Brougham, took a leading part in the All wild in the silence of nature, it drew establishment of the London Univer- From each wandering sun-beam a lonely sity. In 1827, and the two following embrace, years, he was elected Rector of the For the night-weed and thorn overGlasgow University. His last literary shadow'd the place, works were lives of Mrs Siddons, and Where the flower of my forefathers Petrarch, the Italian poet. In 1834, he grew. made a voyage to Algiers, and returned Sweet bud of the wilderness ! emblem of by France, when he was presented to
all Louis Philippe. His health gave way
That remains in this desolate heart ! soon after, and he settled at Bologne, for the fabric of bliss to its centre may fall, the benefit of its milder atmosphere. But patience shall never depart ! Here he died, on the 15th June 1844, in Though the wilds of enchantment, all his 67th year. He was buried in West- vernal and bright, minster Abbey. A monument to his In the days of delusion by fancy con
bined memory is presently (1877) being erected in his native city.
With the vanishing phantoms of love and
Abandon my soul, like a dream of the
And leave but a desert behind.
Be hush'd, my dark spirit ! for wisdom At the silence of twilight's contemplative condemns hour,
When the faint and the feeble deplore; I have mused in a sorrowful mood, Be strong as the rock of the ocean that On the wind-shaken weeds that embosom the bower,
A thousand wild waves on the shore ! Where the home of my forefathers Through the perils of chance, and the stood.
scowl of disdain, All ruin'd and wild is their roofless abode, May thy front be unalter'd, thy courage And lonely the dark raven's sheltering
Yea! even the name I have worshipp'd And travell'd by few is the grass-cover'd in vain road,
Shall awake not the sigh of remembrance Where the hunter of deer and the again : warrior trode
To bear is to conquer our fate.
WRITTEN ON VISITING A SCENE IN
The antiquated little town of An-, which ended William's commercial struther, in Fife, has within one gener- career. ation been the birth-place of three During those eight years of unconeminent men—Thomas Chalmers, Wil- genial trafficking, he did not abandon liam Tennant, and John Goodsir. his studies, but by unwearied applica
William Tennant, the second of the tion, during his leisure hours, read such group, was born on the 15th of May poets as Ariosto, Wieland, and Cam1784. He was the second son of oens, in the original, and he also Alexander Tennant, a small merchant mastered the Hebrew Bible. Nor did and farmer in Anstruther. Physically he altogether forsake the Muses, with he was
never robust, and though whom he first dallied at St Andrews ; born without any defect, he lost the for we find him, before his twentieth use of his limbs so early that he may be year, attempting to sing his enjoyment said never to have had it. In due time of the classics. he was sent to the burgh school, where His first attempt in the humorous diligent application, and a special gift vein was “Anster Concert,” a purely of acquiring languages, placed him at local poem, of twenty-three stanzas, no the head of his classes. At the age of way above the average of such effusions. fifteen, he was sent to St Andrew's Uni- | Anster Fair was completed in 1811, versity, where he made rapid progress and was published anonymously, the in Greek and Latin ; but at the end of preface being dated Edinburgh, 5th his second session, it was found that his May 1812.
came under father's means were insufficient to en- the notice of Lord Woodhouselee, who able him to complete his curriculum. was so struck with the genius it dis. After remaining some time at home, in played, that he took immediate steps to 1803 he was sent to Glasgow, to act as find out the author's name ; and in clerk to his elder brother, then in busi. August 1812, he wrote Mr Cockburn, ness there as a corn-factor. The busi- | Anstruther, its publisher, in terms that ness, not a very prosperous one, was
must have filled Tennant's heart with transferred to Anstruther in 1805, when joy and gratitude. both brothers returned to their native In the autumn of 1813, Tennant was place, William still acting as clerk, and appointed to the office of schoolmaster living at his father's house. He con- of Dunino, and though the salary did tinued in this capacity till 1811 when a not exceed forty pounds a-year, it was crisis occurred in his brother's affairs, more than equal to his wants. The
office, too, was congenial, and gave
His last publication, “ Hebrew him access to the University library at Dramas,” founded on incidents of St Andrew's. Here he added Arabic, Bible history, was published in 1845. Syriac, and Persian to the list of his of this work Lord Jeffrey expressed a linguistic acquirements. In 1814, he high opinion. It served to cover his published a second edition of Anster retreat from the poetic arena with Fair, on the publication of which dignity, though it can hardly be said to Jefirey reviewed it in The Edinburgh have increased his fame. His death in very flattering terms. In 1816 he took place at Dollar, in 1848 ; and at was promoted, chiefly through the in- his own request he was buried at Anfluence of George Thomson, the friend struther, where his friends and admirers and correspondent of Burns, to be have placed a monument over his reparish teacher of Lasswade. In 1819, mains. he was elected by the trustees of Dollar The works already noticed are all Academy, teacher of Classical and that he published in a collected form ; Oriental languages in that institution. yet, besides a number of small poems
Here settled in a highly agreeable and ballads, he contributed prose transand interesting locality, and in a posi- lations from Greek and German to the tion suited to his tastes, it was expected Edinburgh Literary Journal, in 1830, that the promise of Anster Fair would and in the same periodical, carried on a be redeemed by something worthy of correspondence with the
“ Ettrick his literary and scholastic reputation. Shepherd,” anent a new metrical transAccordingly, much interest was excited lation of the Psalms, which was pubwhen, in 1822, his second poem, “ The lished separately. In 1836-37, he conThane of Fife," appeared. The public tributed a series of five “Hebrew expectation was disappointed, for the Idylls” to the Scottish Christian Herald, poem was a manifest falling off, and it which, with a project for an edition of not an entire failure, so much so, that the Scottish poets, for which he wrote its second part never was published. a life of Allan Ramsay, and a Synopsis Of his next three poems it will be of Syriac Grammar, published in 1840, enough to give the names, seeing none form all his literary labours which apof them added to his reputation. They pear to have been published. The fame were issued in the following order: of his linguistic acquirements conveys “Papistry Stormed, or the Dingin' the impression that his power of masterDown o' the Cathedral ;" “Cardinal ing languages was something wonderBethune, a Drama in 5 acts; " " John ful. In character he was humble Baliol, an Historical Drama."
unassuming, and unaffectedly pious In 1834, a vacancy occurred in the simple in his tastes, and fond of nature chair of Oriental languages in St Mary's and innocent enjoyment, had a quick College, St Andrew's, and he was at sense of the ludicrous in all things; and once appointed to the professorship by was an acute observer of men and his friend Jeffrey, then Lord Advocate.