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sopher, and not one bit like a poet. There was an inflexible matter-of-fact manner and spirit in all he said, which came out in a rather hoarse and harsh burr that made it disagreeable as well as unimpressive. I could hardly believe in the man's identity, or be convinced that I walked beside the author so remarkable for his imaginative and vapoury abstractions.

Near the summit of our path we came to a very picturesque shrine, with a cross and the sculptured figure of a Madonna inside. We sat down on the steps of this rural temple, and remained for some time enjoying the beautiful prospect of the Meuse, winding away through a landscape that united many charms. Wordsworth half promised that he would write something on the subject of that shrine, and the view from it. . . .

After walking for some time on the table-land, at top of these almost perpendicular rocks, without any subject being started of any particular interest-for such a situation rather invited the mind to dreamy commonplace-we at length got on a topic of a fixed and definable kind, one that my companion had evidently studied and felt, and on this he soon proved himself able to talk ably. It was Lord Byron and his poetry that thus excited him, and it was quite by chance that it was kicked up, as I might say, on our path.

He began, after a somewhat prolix explanation of his private feelings, and held forth for full half an hour in a strain of real sound sense and good criticism. He was, however, in my opinion, very undervaluing in his estimate of Byron as a poet, though very just in that of Byron as a man. But there was nothing on either point ungenerous or unfair. what he said, and all that he did say gave of his probity and good feeling. It was exceedingly perspicuous, and might have been printed word for word. . . .

He clearly felt me a high idea

The chief heads were his notions of the great errors of Lord Byron as a writer; first, as regarded morals, as supposing that crime constituted heroism, violence power, etc. Secondly,

regarding knowledge of the human heart, in making persohages of overwrought and overwhelming passion susceptible of tenderness, constancy, etc. Thirdly, in regard to style, of which he cited many examples. All this was widely open to reply, and much of it very unconvincing, though a great deal was just and striking. But he allowed Byron to have possessed great ability in the expression of strong and lively sentiment and command of language, and admitted that he must have been a very remarkable person' to have produced such an effect on the public as he unquestionably did. He summed up his judgment by saying that 'Lord Byron has been greatly overrated; will soon, and has already begun to sink in public opinion far below his real merit, and will then take his rank among the poets in his proper place which he intimated as not a very distinguished one. He very much doubted Lord Byron's having been a man of much originality of mind.' . . .

Of his own poetry I did not give him any temptation to speak over-much.. He showed no anxiety to obtrude the subject on me; but he remarked that 'he did not like writing he preferred short pieces, as sonnets, etc., to continuing his long work, The Excursion-he had no intention of more of it being published during his lifetime.

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Another account of a meeting with Wordsworth and Coleridge, during this tour on the Rhine, occurs in the Memoir of Charles Mayne Young (tragedian), by Julian Charles Young. Part of it is worthy of reproduction. The biographer, J. C. Young, at that time a youth of twenty-two, was a fellow-guest with Wordsworth and Coleridge at the Aders's house. He writes:

"July 6, 1828.—The reported presence of two such men as Coleridge and Wordsworth soon attracted to Mrs. Aders's house all the illuminati of Bonn-Niebuhr, Becker, Augustus

* Beaten Paths, vol. ii. chap. iv.

Schlegel, and many others. . . . Schlegel praised Scott's poetry. Coleridge decried it, stating that no poet ever lived, of equal eminence, whose writings furnished so few quotable passages. Schlegel then praised Byron. Coleridge immediately tried to depreciate him. Ah!' said he, 'Byron is a meteor, "which will but blaze, and rove, and die: " Wordsworth there' (pointing to him) is a "star luminous and fixed." During the first furore of Byron's reputation the sale of his works was unparalleled, while that of Wordsworth's was insignificant, and now each succeeding year, in proportion as the circulation of Byron's works has fallen off, the issue of Wordsworth's poems has steadily increased.

I observed that, as a rule, Wordsworth allowed Coleridge to have all the talk to himself; but once or twice Coleridge would succeed in entangling Wordsworth in a discussion on some abstract metaphysical question.

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I must say I never saw any manifestation of small jealousy between Coleridge and Wordsworth; which... I thought uncommonly to the credit of both. I am sure they entertained a thorough respect for each other's intellectual endowments. . ..

Wordsworth was a single-minded man: with less imagination than Coleridge, but with a more harmonious judgment, and better balanced principles.

Coleridge, conscious of his transcendent powers, rioted in a licence of tongue which no man could tame. Wordsworth, though he could discourse most eloquent music, was never unwilling to sit still in Coleridge's presence, yet could be as happy in prattling with a child as in communing with a sage.

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If Wordsworth condescended to converse with me, he spoke to me as if I were his equal in mind, and made me pleased and proud in consequence. If Coleridge held me by the button, for lack of fitter audience, he had a talent for making me feel his wisdom and my own stupidity; so that I was miserable and humiliated by the sense of it.

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I had occasional walks with Coleridge in the garden, and many with Wordsworth over the fields. The former was an indifferent pedestrian, the latter a practised one. I revert with great delight to a long expedition I one day made with Wordsworth alone. He had heard of the ruins of an old Cistercian abbey, Heisterbach, on the side of the Rhine opposite to that on which we were staying. He asked me, playfully, to join him, in these words :

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And let us there, at large, discourse our fortunes.

Hitherto I had only seen Wordsworth in the presence of Coleridge; and had imagined him, constitutionally, contemplative and taciturn. To-day I discovered that his reticence was self-imposed, out of consideration for the inordinate loquacity of his brother poet. Coleridge always speechified or preached. His argument

Was all too heavy to admit much talk.

Wordsworth chatted naturally and fluently, out of the fulness of his heart, and not from a wish to display his eloquence. As I listened to him in this happy walk, I could not but apply to him one of Hooker's wise saws, 'He who speaketh no more than edifieth is undeservedly reprehended for much speaking.'

Idolatry of Nature seemed with Wordsworth both a passion and a principle. She seemed a deity enshrined within his heart. Coleridge studied her rather as a mighty storehouse for poetical imagery than for innate love of her, for her own sweet sake. If once embarked in lecturing, no landscape, however grand, detained his notice for a second; whereas, let Wordsworth have been ever so absorbed in argument, he would drop it without hesitation to feast his eyes on some combination of new scenery.

In that same stroll to Heisterbach, he pointed out to me such beauty of design in objects I had used to trample

under foot, that I felt as if almost every spot on which I trod was holy ground which I had rudely desecrated. His eyes would fill with tears and his voice falter as he dwelt on the benevolent adaptation of means to ends discernible by reverential observation.

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It must not be assumed that the reciprocal admiration entertained by the two poets for each other's gifts made them blind to each other's infirmities. Wordsworth, in speaking of Coleridge, would admit, though most regretfully, the moral flaws in his character; such, for instance, as his addiction to opium, his ungrateful conduct to Southey, and his neglect of his parental and conjugal obligations. Coleridge, on the other hand, ever forward as he was in defending Wordsworth from literary assailants, had evident pleasure in exposing his parsimony.

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Of Dorothy Wordsworth's journey to the Isle of Man, the best record is, as usual, in her own Journal. She was accompanied by her nephew, William Wordsworth. The "Harry referred to in her Journal was Mrs. Wordsworth's brother, the "retired Mariner" of the 9th Sonnet, composed during the subsequent tour of her brother in 1833. They left Rydal on the 26th of June 1828. The following are extracts from that Journal:

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Thursday, June 26th, 1828.-Called at half-past two, and breakfasted by kitchen fire. Walked to the end of gravel terrace; grey calm, and warbling birds; sad at the thought of my voyage, cheered only by the end of it. Sat long at Morris's door; grey and still; coach full, and sour looks within, for I made a fifth; won my way by civility, and communicating information to a sort of gentleman fisher going to Wytheburn. English manners ungracious: he left us at Nag's Head with

* See Memoir of Charles Mayne Young (1871), chap. v. pp. 117-122.

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