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And thou may'st mark the hint, fair maid-
How vain is worldly esteem,

Good fortune turns-affections fade-
And fancy is an idle dream.

Yet not on this poor frame alone,

My palsied hand, and deafened ear,

But on my countrie's fate . . .

The bolts of fate seemed doomed to spend.

The storm might whistle round my head,
I would not deprecate the ill,

So I might say when all was sped

My country, be thou glorious still.


The reference in the Abbotsford sonnet to "the might of the whole world's good wishes," and the lines

Blessings and prayers in nobler retinue

Than sceptred king or laurelled conqueror knows,
Follow this wondrous Potentate,

-are a sufficient commentary on Lamb's remark that true poets know no jealousies, and counterbalance anything that Wordsworth incidentally, and (when in a critical mood) justly, said of the poems of the greatest of all modern novelists.

In his Autobiography Henry Taylor* refers, in a specially interesting way, to this visit of Wordsworth to Scott, and to both of the poets :

"In the autumn of 1831 I paid a visit to the Lakes, and after passing some time in the society of Southey and Wordsworth, it occurred to me that I ought to make an effort to see Walter Scott, whose health had been broken by more than one shock of paralysis, and who might not be much longer to be seen in this world. . . . I was much and mournfully impressed with his manner and appearance. There was a homely dignity, and a sad composure in them, which perhaps belonged to his state of health, and to a consciousness that his end was not

* Vol. i. pp. 178-82.

far off; and along with these there was the simplicity and singleness he must have had from nature. . .

I had brought him word that Wordsworth intended to pay him a visit later in the autumn. He answered, Wordsworth must come soon, or he will not find me here.' I understood this as said in contemplation of his approaching death; but perhaps it had reference only to his intended departure for Naples, whither he went not long after to escape the English winter. Wordsworth paid him the proposed visit, and of that came the sonnet written on the occasion of his departure. It is a sonnet which I often repeat to myself. . . .

Wordsworth and Scott dwelt in regions as far apart as it was possible for men to occupy who each covered so large a space. Neither, I should think, could appreciate the other in full measure; but Scott would perhaps go nearer to a full appreciation of Wordsworth, than Wordsworth of Scott; and I value the more on this account the feeling expressed in this grand valedictory sonnet.

They were as little alike in their aspect as in their genius. The only thing common to both countenances was that neither expressed a limitation. You might not have divined from either frontispiece the treasures of the volume, it was not likely that you should;-but when you knew that there they were, there was nothing but what harmonized with your knowledge. Both were the faces of considerable men. Scott's had a character of rusticity. Wordsworth's was a face which did not assign itself to any class. It was a hardy, weather-beaten old face, which might have belonged to a nobleman, a yeoman, a mariner, or a philosopher; for there was so much of a man that you lost sight of superadded distinctions. For my own part I should not, judging by his face, have guessed him to

*Haydon once said, "Scott's success would have made Wordsworth insufferable, while Wordsworth's failure would not have rendered Scott a whit less delightful." (See Life of B. R. Haydon, vol. ii. p. 12.)

be a poet. To my eyes there was more of strength than refinement in the face. But I think he took a different view of it himself. Whatever view he took, if occasion arose, he would be sure to disclose it; for his thoughts went naked. I was once discussing with him the merits of a picture of himself hanging on the wall in Lockhart's house in London. Some one had said it was like:

'Yes,' he replied, 'I cannot deny that there is a likeness; such a likeness as the artist could produce; it is like me so far as he could go in me; it is like if you suppose all the finer faculties of the mind to be withdrawn: that, I should say, is Wordsworth, a Chancellor of the Exchequer,-Wordsworth, the Speaker of the House of Commons.'

In this there was not more vanity than belongs to other men; the difference being that what there was, like everything else in him, was wholly undisguised. He naturally took an interest in his own looks, and wished to take the most favourable view of them; as most men do, though most men do not make mention of it. And there is something to be said for his view. Perhaps what was wanting was only physical refinement. It was a rough grey face, full of rifts and clefts and fissures, out of which, some one said, you might expect lichens to grow. But Miss Fenwick, who was familiar with the face in all its moods, could see through all this; and so could I too at times. The failure of the face to express all that it might have expressed was indicated by Coleridge with characteristic subtlety and significance. He said that Chantrey's bust of Wordsworth was more like Wordsworth than Wordsworth was like himself."

Wordsworth went with his daughter from Abbotsford to Roslin, and thence to the Trossachs, where one of the finest of his later sonnets-coloured, he tells us, by the remembrance of his recent visit to Sir Walter, and his melancholy errand

to Italy-was composed, thence to the West Highlands, to Glen Etive (where they spent a week), to Mull, back to Tyndrum and Killin, thence to Glencroe, Loch Lomond, Bothwell, Hamilton, etc. Rubens's picture of Daniel in the lions' den at Hamilton Palace gave rise to a sonnet, in connection with which Henry Crabb Robinson's account of the picture, in his Scottish tour of 1821, may be read with interest.

"Hamilton Palace, 29th September. . . . Rubens's picture. of Daniel in the lions' den, a wonderful work. The variety of character in the lions is admirable. One fancies that one can enter into their feelings much more easily than into those of the prophet. They are respectively indignant at the power (to them unintelligible) which restrains them, or they reverence the being they dare not touch. One consoles himself by the contemplation of the last skull he picked, another is consoling himself by the hopes of his next meal. Two are debating the matter together. But the prophet, with a face like Curran's, foreshortened so as to lose its best expression, sits with all his muscles in the extreme tension of terror. He looks upward, but not with joy or hope, and seems to expect that, though not yet devoured, his fate is not the less certain. It is a painting rather to astonish than delight."

The following is one of the few letters we have from Dora Wordsworth, the poet's daughter. It was written to Miss Hamilton, Rowan Hamilton's sister, shortly after she returned with her father from their tour in Scotland ::

"RYDAL MOUNT, October 26, 1831.*

MY DEAR MISS HAMILTON.- .. Father and I were among the Highlands when your brother's last letter arrived-a late season for touring, you may think-and so it was, but the additional beauty given to the colouring of the woods by

* See the Life of Sir W. Rowan Hamilton, vol. i. pp. 471-3.

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October's workmanship, and to the mountains by her mists and vapours and rainbows, reflected again and again both in the waters and on the clouds, more than compensated for shortened days and broken weather. Father has called Scotland the Land of Rainbows.' I, who had never been in Scotland, was more delighted than words can tell; but may be I am not an unprejudiced judge. I could not look at Inversnaid, 'The lake, the bay, the waterfall,' nor at that Wild Relique beauteous as the chosen spot In Nysa's isle, the embellished Grot," etc., with common eyes. Almost every spot of peculiar interest was interesting to me, for my father's sake, more so even than its own. And Yarrow too, and 'Newark's towers'; and here I was introduced, not only by my father, but by Sir Walter Scott; so one cannot imagine a place seen under happier circumstances. Our main object in leaving home was a visit to Abbotsford, which had long been promised; and Sir Walter's state of health, and his great wish to see my father, determined him to undertake the journey, late in the year as it was, and bad as were his eyes. When so near Edinburgh, it was a pity to return without a peep at that fine city; and then-finding travelling agreed with his eyes— we crept on into the Highlands, and as far as Mull. Staffa was the height of my travelling ambition, but that we could not accomplish; the steamboat had ceased to ply, and it was much too late to trust our precious lives to an open boat. . . I will only add a sonnet which was written a day or two after we left Abbotsford, which was only the day before Sir Walter was to quit it for Italy, and for his health's sake

A trouble, not of clouds, or weeping rain,

. . . All are well, father, mother, and aunts, the first-mentioned still prophesying ruin and desolation to this hitherto flourish

*Compare the line in the sonnet on The Trossachs

October's workmanship to rival May.

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