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into the same path, when I have the pleasure again to hear from you.

It would probably be wasting paper to mention Southey, as no doubt you hear from him. I saw Mrs. S. and four of his children the other day; two of the girls most beautiful creatures. The eldest daughter is with her father in town. S. preserves excellent health, and, except that his hair is grizzled, a juvenile appearance, with more of youthful spirits than most men. He appears to be accumulating books in a way that, with my weak eyes, appals me. A large box of them has just strayed into my house through a blunder in the conveyance.

Pray be so good as to let me know what you think of Dante. It has become lately-owing a good deal, I believe, to the example of Schlegel-the fashion to extol him above measure. I have not read him for many years; his style I used to think admirable for conciseness and vigour, without abruptness; but I own that his diction often struck me as offensively grotesque and fantastic, and I felt the poem tedious from various causes. I have a strong desire to become acquainted with the Mr. Hare whom you mention. To the honour of Cambridge, he is in the highest repute there, for his sound and extensive learning. I am happy to say that the Master of Trinity College, my brother, was the occasion of his being restored to the Muses from the Temple. To Mr. Hare's brother, Augustus, I am under great obligation for having volunteered the tuition of my elder son, who is at New College, Oxford, and who, though he is not a youth of quick parts, promises, from his assiduity and passionate love of classical literature, to become an excellent scholar. . . .-Believe me, ever sincerely and affectionately yours, WM. WORDSWORTH."

In the Forster Collection at South Kensington, there is a volume of Ms. letters from Southey to Landor, and at the end



of one of them, dated December 11, 1824, there is the following letter from Wordsworth, also to Landor:

"MY DEAR SIR,—I have begged this space from S., which I hope you will forgive, as I might not otherwise for some time have courage to thank you for your admirable Dialogues. They reached me last May, at a time when I was able to read them, which I did with very great pleasure; I was in London then, and have been a wanderer most of the time since. But this did not keep me silent; I was deterred by a consciousness that I could not write what I wished. I concur with you in so much, and differ with you in so much also, that, though I could have easily disposed, I believe, of my assent-easily and most pleasantly I could not face the task of giving my reasons for my dissent. For instance, it would have required almost a pamphlet to set forth the grounds upon which I disagreed with what you have put into the mouth of Franklin on Irish affairs, the object to my mind of constant anxiety. What would I not give for a few hours' talk with you upon Republics, Kings, and Priests and Priest-craft? This last I abhor; but why spend our time in declaiming against it? Better endeavour to improve priests, whom one cannot, and ought not therefore endeavour to do without. We have far more to dread from those who would endeavour to expel not only organised religion, but all religion, from society, than from those who are slavishly disposed to uphold it; at least I cannot help feeling so. Your Dialogues are worthy of you, and great acquisitions to literature. The classical ones I like best, and most of all that between Sully and his brother. That which pleases me the least is the one between yourself and the Abbé de Lille. The observations are just, I own, but they are fitter for illustrative notes than the body of a Dialogue, which ought always to have some little spice of dramatic effect. I long for the third volume. . . . I sent a message of thanks through Julius Hare, whom I saw at


Cambridge in May last.-Ever affectionately and gratefully W. WORDSWORTH."


In May 1824, Dorothy Wordsworth went with her brother to Cambridge, on a visit to her brother, the Master of Trinity. Thence she went with Mrs. Luff to Playford Hall, near Ipswich, where their friends the Clarksons lived; and it was from their house that Dorothy wrote to Crabb Robinson about her Journal of the Continental Tour of 1820. In the same letter she said:

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. . . My brother was well and in good spirits at Cambridge, and we all enjoyed our visit there very much. The weather was delightful the first week. Then came the flood-a new scene for us, and very amusing. On the Sunday, when the sun shone out again, the Cam, seen from the Castle Hill, resembled one of the lake-like reaches of the Rhine. The damage was, I fear, very great to the farmers; but though the University grounds were completely overflowed up to Trinity Library, in the course of four days most of the damage was repaired.

I think we shall remain here about a fortnight longer. We intend to stay two nights at Cambridge, two in Leicestershire, two in Yorkshire; and, after that, one day's journey, a night spent at Kendal, and a three hours' ride before breakfast will take us to Rydal Mount. . . .-Truly yours,




IN April 1824, Wordsworth was in London. Henry Crabb Robinson records, under date 19th April 1824:

"At Monkhouse's I met Wordsworth and Edward Irving together. Wordsworth stated that the pressing difficulty on his mind had always been to reconcile the prescience of the Almighty with accountability in man. I stated mine to be the incompatibility of final and absolute evil with the Divine supremacy. Irving did not pretend to answer either objection. He was no metaphysician, he said, and knew no more of God than was revealed. This did not meet, but evaded the difficulty. The poet he felt to be too great to be angry with, and he seemed to take no offence even with me.

An anecdote probably belongs to this year (1824), though I have not found it in my Journal, and have but an imperfect recollection of it. The incident was amusing when it occurred. Wordsworth and Lady Morgan were invited to dine at-I forget whose house. The poet would on no account take her downstairs; and he disturbed the table arrangements by placing himself at the bottom, when her ladyship was at the top. She was either unobserving of his conduct, or resolved to show him she did not care for it; for she sent the servant to beg him to drink a glass of wine with her. His look was as solemn as if it had been a death-summons.

This I saw. I

was told she asked her neighbour, 'Has not Mr. Wordsworth written some poems


Robinson tells us that Ludwig Tieck was on a visit to Eng land during this year, and that he read to him two of Wordsworth's sonnets, when Tieck remarked, "Das ist ein Englischer Goethe.”

In August 1824, Wordsworth made a tour in North Wales with his wife and daughter. They were absent from Rydal nearly three months. It was during this year-and possibly during the tour in Wales-that the two poems were addressed to Mrs. Wordsworth, which perhaps rival the lines written of her in her youth-the two beginning


O dearer far than life and light are dear,

Let other bards of angels sing,

respectively. Memorial poems followed, bearing on the Welsh Tour. The following is Wordsworth's own account of the

tour, written to Sir George Beaumont :

"Hindwell, Radnor, Sept. 20, 1824.

MY DEAR SIR GEORGE,-After a three weeks' ramble in North Wales, Mrs. Wordsworth, Dora, and myself are set down quietly here for three weeks more. The weather has been delightful, and everything to our wishes. On a beautiful day we took the steam-packet at Liverpool, passed the mouth of the Dee, coasted the extremity of the Vale of Clwyd, sailed close under Great Orme's Head, had a noble prospect of Penmaenmawr, and, having almost touched upon Puffin's Island, we reached Bangor Ferry, a little after six in the afternoon. We admired the stupendous preparations for the bridge over the Menai; and breakfasted next morning at Carnarvon. We employed several hours in exploring the interior of the noble castle, and looking at it from different points of view in the

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