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Writing to Rowan Hamilton from Rydal Mount, on June 13, 1831,* Wordsworth gave some particulars of his return from London.

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I saw little or nothing of Cambridge on my return, which was upon the eve of the election; but I found that the mathematicians of Trinity-Peacock, Airy, Whewell-were taking what I thought the wrong side; so was that able man, the geological professor, Sedgwick. But what matter?' was said to me by a lady; 'these people know nothing but about stars and stones;' which is true, I own, of some of them. . . .

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I have scarcely written a hundred verses during the last twelve months; a sonnet, however, composed the day before yesterday,† shall be transcribed upon this sheet, by way of making my part of it better worth postage. It was written at the request of the painter, Haydon, and to benefit him, i.e., as he thought. But it is no more than my sincere opinion of his excellent picture. . . .

A selection from my poems has just been edited by Dr. Hine, for the benefit chiefly of schools and young persons. 1500 copies have been struck off.

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Dorothy Wordsworth added an interesting postscript to this letter:

"As you, my dear friends, Mr. and Miss Hamilton, may have discovered by the slight improvement in legibility of penmanship, other hands have been employed to finish this letter, which has been on the stocks half as long as a man-of-war... .

This very moment a letter arrives-very complimentary— from the Master of St. John's College, Cambridge (the place of my brother William's education), requesting him to sit for his portrait to some eminent artist, as he expresses it, 'to be placed in the old House among their Worthies.' He writes in

* Life, vol. i. pp. 428-9.

+ The sonnet beginning-"Haydon ! let worthier judges praise the skill.”

his own name, and that of several of the Fellows.

Of course my brother consents; but the difficulty is to fix on an artist. There never yet has been a good portrait of my brother. The sketch by Haydon, as you may remember, is a fine drawing; but what a likeness! All that there is of likeness makes it to me the more disagreeable."

Haydon's picture of Napoleon Buonaparte, in the island of St. Helena, was exhibited in London in April 1831. Haydon asked Wordsworth to write a sonnet on it, which, on his return to Rydal, he did, and sent it to his artist-friend early in June, with the following letter:-*

"MY DEAR HAYDON,-I send you the sonnet, and let me have your 'Kingdom' for it. What I send you is not warn, but piping-hot from the brain, whence it came in the wood adjoining my garden not ten minutes ago, and was scarcely more than twice as long in coming. You know how much I admired your picture both for the execution and the conception. The latter is first-rate, and I could dwell upon it for a long time in prose, without disparagement to the former, which I admired also, having to it no objection but the regimentals. They are too spruce, and remind one of the parade, which the wearer seems to have just left.

One of the best caricatures I have lately seen is that of Brougham, a single figure upon one knee, stretching out his arms by the sea-shore towards the rising-sun (William the Fourth), which, as in duty bound, he is worshipping. Do not think your excellent picture degraded, if I remark that the force of the same principle, simplicity, is seen in the burlesque composition, as in your work,-with infinitely less effect, no doubt, from the inferiority of style and subject; yet still it is

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pleasing to note the undercurrents of affinity in opposite styles of Art.

I think of Napoleon pretty much as you do, but with more dislike, probably because my thoughts have turned less upon the flesh-and-blood man than yours, and therefore have been more at liberty to dwell with unqualified scorn upon his various liberticide projects, and the miserable selfishness of his spirit. Few men of any time have been at the head of greater events, yet they seem to have had no power to create in him the least tendency towards magnanimity. impression, can I help despising him? thousands. As to the Reformers, the leaders is only to be surpassed by the wickedness of those who will speedily supplant them. God of Mercy, have mercy upon poor England! To think of this glorious country lacqueying the heels of France in religion (that is no religion), in morals, government, and social order! It cannot come to good, at least for the present generation. They have begun it in shame, and it will lead them to misery. God bless you.—Yours,

How, then, with this So much for the idol of folly of the ministerial


You are at liberty to print the sonnet with my name, when and where you think proper. If it does you the least service, the end for which it is written will be answered. Call at Moxon's, Bond Street, and let him give you from me, for your children, a copy of the Selections he has just published from my poems."

A year before this time, on the 2d of June 1830, Wordsworth wrote to Edward Moxon, London, congratulating him on beginning business as a publisher for himself, and hoping to be able to help him at Cambridge.

"As to publishing anything myself, I am not prepared for it, but I believe the edition of my poems of '27 is now low;



and, in consequence of an urgent application, I have entertained some thoughts of republishing, when this edition is all sold, in a cheap form-something under a pound, instead of 45s., the present price. I should like to know from experienced persons whether such a mode of publication would be likely to repay me. Perhaps you may be able to throw some light on the subject. -Very sincerely yours,


Next year-on the 9th of June 1831-he wrote to Moxon from Rydal, giving him a list of errata, apparently for the volume of Selections from his poems, which had been made by Mr. Hine.

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As to improving the selection in another edition, I am very sceptical about that. You would find no two persons agreeing upon what was best; and upon the whole, tell Mr. H. . that I think he has succeeded full as well, if not better, than most other persons would have done. . . He adds: "Mr. Leigh Hunt is a coxcomb, was a coxcomb, and ever will be a coxcomb.-I am, faithfully yours, W. WORDSWORTH."

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In the following month he wrote to Moxon from Rydal— July 21, 1831—

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"MY DEAR SIR,-. I have an aversion little less than insurmountable to having anything to do with periodicals. If I could bring myself, out of personal kindness for any editor or proprietor of a periodical, to contribute, it would be to the channel of Alaric Watts, who has a sort of claim upon me, for literary civilities, and intended services, some time ago...

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And now may I take the liberty of expressing my regret that you should have been tempted into this experiment at all? . . . It strikes me that there is something like attempting to take the public by storm in putting forth your personal friends in the way you propose to do. The public is apt to revolt at. any such step.

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THOUGH belonging to the previous year, I have reserved for this chapter some correspondence between Sir Walter Scott and Wordsworth, as it forms a fitting preface to the visit of the latter to Abbotsford in 1831:

· Rydal Mount, June 7th [1830].

MY DEAR SIR WALTER,-Being upon a visit lately to Workington Hall, I there met with the elder brother by the father's side of Mr. Curwen, of that place-Mr. Christian of Unerigg, in Cumberland, and deemster of the Isle of Man. He asked if I was acquainted with you. I replied that I had for thirty years, nearly, had that honour, and spoke of you with that warmth I am accustomed to feel upon such an occasion. He then told me that Professor Wilson, at his request, had some time ago undertaken to write to you upon a point in which innocently you had been the cause of a good deal of uneasiness to him. You will guess, perhaps, that he alluded to the novel Peveril of the Peak. So it was. The conduct and character of his ancestor, Christian, had there been represented, he said, in colours which were utterly at variance with the truth, and threw unmerited discredit upon his family. He said that the great historic families of the country were open to the fictions of men of genius, the facts being known to all persons of education; but in the case of a private family like his, it was very different—a false impression was easily made, and could

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