Left: James Currie. Right: a portrait of Burns by Archibald Skirving, published in The Works of Robert Burns, by Blackie and Son, Glasgow, 1854.
Date : 01-03-1802
Correspondent : James CurrieCorrespondent Location : Liverpool
Recipient : Graham Moore Recipient Location : Unknown
Subject : Currie remembers Burns’s friend, Graham Moore’s father, Dr John Moore.

My dear Graham
      I wrote to you a few days ago on the melancholy subject of your last, and hope soon to hear from you – At present I write to introduce you to Mr.Tho’s Campbell, a young man of Glasgow, the author of the “Pleasures of Hope”, and according to my notion the first of our living poets. I dare say you have seen the “Pleasures of Hope”, but you are perhaps una↑c↓quainted with his smaller poems not yet collected, some of which have equal or perhaps superior merit. One of these is his song entitled “Ye mariners of England” which ought of itself to recommend him to all men of your noble [profession].
      Britannia needs no bulwarks, no towers upon the steep
      Her march is o’er the mountains, her home is on the deep
Campbell was introduced to me by Dugald Stewart of Edinburgh, the first of our Scottish literati, who takes much interest in him – His father was a merchant of Glasgow, who failed during the American war - & this young man (not yet 24) is a child of fortune – He sold the Copyright of his “Pleasures of Hope” before it was printed, otherwise it would alone have secured his independence. But the Booksellers have permitted him to publish a [Q.to?] edition for his own advantage – He has engaged Bensley as his printer, & is going to London to superintend the [press]. – The edition is printed by subscription – price a Guinea. You must take one, & get the General (if he can afford it) to take one – You are children of one who interested himself in all men of genius, & you are yourselves, all of you, of the family of Genius.
      Campbell has [passed] a fortnight under my roof – He is all intellect & sensibility – certainly a very interesting man.
      Adieu my dear Graham
           Yrs ever
                J Currie

Mar. 1. 1802

Notes :

Tho’s Campbell “Pleasures of Hope”: Thomas Campbell (1777-1844), poet, educated at Glasgow University. Mundell published his ‘The Pleasures of Hope’ in April 1799 to the praise of many including Thomas Telford. He offered radical sentiments without being suspected of French revolutionary sympathies.

“Ye mariners of England”: One of a number of patriotic songs produced by Campbell in 1801.

Dugald Stewart: Dugald Stewart (1753-1828 ), chair of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University from 1785. In the aftermath of Burns’s demise a number of individuals, Currie included, felt that Stewart might be the best person to undertake the biography and first collected edition of the poet.

You are children of one: Reference Graham Moore's father, John Moore (1729-1802), Burns’s friend and correspondent.

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