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works, and to consider his own little lights put out, whenever they come blazing out with their great torches.’

“I repeated the conversation to Scott some time afterward, and it drew forth a characteristic comment. “Pooh!” said he, good humoredly; “how can Campbell mistake the matter so much P Poetry goes by quality, not by bulk. My poems are mere cairngorms, wrought up, perhaps, with a cunning hand, and may pass well in the market as long as cairngorms are the fashion; but they are mere Scotch pebbles, after all. Now, Tom Campbell's are real diamonds, and diamonds of the first water.’”

Returning to Birmingham, Irving made excursions to Kenilworth, Warwick, and Stratford-on-Avon, and a tour through Wales with James Renwick, a young American of great promise, who at the age of nineteen had for a time filled the chair of natural philosophy in Columbia College. He was a son of Mrs. Jane Renwick, a charming woman and a life-long friend of Irving, the daughter of the Rev. Andrew Jeffrey, of . Lochmaben, Scotland, and famous in literature as “The Blue-Eyed Lassie” of Burns. From another song, “When first I saw my


Jeanie's Face,” which does not appear in the poet's collected works, the biographer quotes : — “But, sair, I doubt some happier swain Has gained my Jeanie's favor;

If sae, may every bliss be hers,
Tho' I can never have her.

“But gang she east, or gang she west,
'Twixt Nith and Tweed all over,
While men have eyes, or ears, or taste,
She'll always find a lover.”

During Irving's protracted stay in England he did not by any means lose his interest in his beloved New York and the little society that was always dear to him. He relied upon his friend Brevoort to give him the news of the town, and in return he wrote long letters, –longer and more elaborate and formal than this generation has leisure to write or to read; letters in which the writer laid himself out to be entertaining, and detailed his emotions and state of mind as faithfully as his travels and outward experiences.

No sooner was our war with England over than our navy began to make a repu

tation for itself in the Mediterranean. In

his letter of August, 1815, Irving dwells with pride on Decatur's triumph over the Algerine pirates. He had just received a letter from that “worthy little tar, Jack Nicholson,” dated on board the Flambeau, off Algiers. In it Nicholson says that “they fell in with and captured the admiral's ship, and killed him.” Upon which Irving remarks: “As this is all that Jack's brevity will allow him to say on the subject, I should be at a loss to know whether they killed the admiral before or after his capture. The well-known humanity of our tars, however, induces me to the former conclusion.” Nicholson, who has the honor of being alluded to in “The Croakers,” was always a great favorite with Irving. His gallantry on shore was equal to his bravery at sea, but unfortunately his diffidence was greater than his gallantry; and while his susceptibility to female charms made him an easy and a frequent victim, he could never muster the courage to declare his passion. Upon one occasion, when he was desperately enamored of a lady whom he wished to marry, he got Irving to write for him a loveletter, containing an offer of his heart and hand. The enthralled but bashful sailor carried the letter in his pocket till it was worn out, without ever being able to summon pluck enough to deliver it. While Irving was in Wales the Wiggins family and Madame Bonaparte passed through Birmingham, on their way to Cheltenham. Madame was still determined to assert her rights as a Bonaparte. Irving cannot help expressing sympathy for Wiggins: “The poor man has his hands full, with such a bevy of beautiful women under his charge, and all doubtless bent on pleasure and admiration.” He hears, however, nothing further of her, except the newspapers mention her being at Cheltenham. “There are so many stars and comets thrown out of their orbits, and whirling about the world at present, that a little star like Madame Bonaparte attracts but slight attention, even though she draw after her so sparkling a tail as the Wiggins family.” In another letter he exclaims: “ The world is surely topsy-turvy, and its inhabitants shaken out of place : emperors and kings, statesmen and philosophers, Bonaparte, Alexander, Johnson, and the Wigginses, all strolling about the face of the earth.”

The business of the Irving brothers soon absorbed all Washington's time and attention. Peter was an invalid, and the whole weight of the perplexing affairs of the failing firm fell upon the one who detested business, and counted every hour lost that he gave to it. His letters for two years are burdened with harassments in uncongenial details and unsuccessful struggles. Liverpool, where he was compelled to pass most of his time, had few attractions for him, and his low spirits did not permit him to avail himself of such social advantages as were of. fered. It seems that our enterprising countrymen flocked abroad, on the conclusion of peace. “This place [writes Irving] swarms with Americans. You never saw a more motley race of beings. Some seem as if just from the woods, and yet stalk about the streets and public places with all the easy nonchalance that they would about their own villages. Nothing can surpass the dauntless independence of all form, ceremony, fashion, or reputation of a downright, unsophisticated American. Since the war, too, particularly, our lads seem to think they are ‘the salt of the earth’ and the le

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