LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

My Friends and Acquaintance
Thomas Campbell V

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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On one of the occasions when I met Campbell at the house of the gentleman before alluded to, we had a long and most earnest conversation on a topic which at that time occupied universal attention, no less in general than in literary society—the quarrel between Lord Byron and his wife; and I was not a little surprised that Campbell had taken up the cause of Lady Byron in the spirit, not of an impartial judge, or even of one who fancied or pretended that he was such, but of a paid and unscrupulous advocate;—the fee, in this case, being the personal compliment on the part of the lady, of having sent for him, and confided to him her version of the true nature of her grievances. This was of course done under the seal of inviolable secrecy; so that, while it was absolutely impossible, from what Campbell said, to judge
for oneself as to the validity of the alleged enormities of his “friend” Byron, his tone and words in referring to them, and the solemn earnestness with which he pronounced his own opinion as to the justice of Lady Byron’s treatment of her husband, and at the same time the alleged impossibility of his giving any reasons for the faith that was in him on the matter in question—were calculated to produce, and in my case did produce, an impression which nothing but facts, testified in plain words by unbiassed witnesses, ought to produce; and (I cannot help thinking) the production of such an impression ought not to have been attempted, even by a prosecutor, much less by an advocate, in the absence of the power or the will to confirm it by unquestionable facts.

It was impossible to escape the frightful inference which Campbell’s words on this occasion were calculated to produce; while, at the same time, it was impossible to feel safe in admitting that inference, or even to feel absolutely certain that it was the one he intended.

I can compare the effect which Campbell
produced upon me on this occasion only to that which was sought to be produced on the jury in a celebrated criminal trial a few years ago, when (as it has since been universally admitted) the advocate overstepped even the extremest limits of his professional duty, by attempting to screen his client at the risk of an innocent person’s life; and which attempt, while it did but heighten public indignation against the guilty party, it would scarcely be too much to say, actually destroyed the innocent life against which it was so heedlessly and unjustifiably directed.

Whether the dark and fearful insinuations so studiously propagated by Campbell on the occasion I have alluded to above, and doubtless, therefore, on every other which offered itself, and supported by similar ones from other quarters, were not the “apple-pips” that killed poor Byron before his time, may be fairly made the subject of question when (if ever) the point becomes one capable of being freely and fearlessly discussed.