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consider this as a figure of speech. It looks as if I thought myself an angel!

I have written to him to ask him to come hither. I do not expect that he will. If he does, I shall hope that I may be able to do away some of the false notions which he entertains respecting W. and his household. I may also learn something from him, which may be the ground of a letter to them, and which may bring about a thorough reunion. At all events, it is not fit that he should go to them in the present state of his feelings. It might give him a handle to justify himself in future no-doings (I will not say mis-doings), and this would be doing injustice to the Morgans-injustice to the children and their mother. And now, having finished my Elegy, I shall conclude like Milton,

To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new.

If I do not hear better accounts from Grasmere, I shall make an effort and go and see them. I think they will be better when they get into their new house, and perhaps better than if they had moved into it immediately. Indeed, I see in the effects of these losses upon them the evil of living so entirely out of the world, especially in that country. I remember the effect which it had upon me. Those mountains give a character of permanency to everything else. After middle life is past, the buoyancy of youth is gone. We have more need of variety in our occupations, our associates, &c. If human life is to be an uninterrupted scene of happiness, then retirement in a beautiful country, with books and a few friends and intimates, would be enough and more than enough. But liable as all things here are to change, we should provide against accidents. Our friends have no acquaintances. They have neighbours, but in their present circumstances they need the sight of

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equals who are not intimate friends, in whose company they must put some restraint upon themselves, and in return they would be won from their sadness by hearing of other things-the goings on of life in various ways. In the end, no doubt, this acquisition to their income will be a great good-it will enable them to obey the generous impulses of their nature. It will relieve the females from a great deal of hard work, which they have performed most cheerfully, but which has certainly at times been prejudicial to them. It will raise them in the opinion of the world, and increase their usefulness, and what is the greatest good of all, it will release Wordsworth's mind from all anxiety about money.

If you hear anything about Remorse being played again, let me know.

-Your very affectionate friend,

Monday, 29th March 1813.

C. C."



In the previous chapter a few details of Wordsworth's visit to London, in May 1812, have been given. Some additional particulars of this visit are recorded in Henry Crabb Robinson's Diary; and as Wordsworth's literary judgments, on his contemporaries and others, are disclosed in these jottings in an interesting way, extracts from the Diaries may be added in this chapter.

One or two notes from the previous year, however (1811), so far as they bear on Wordsworth, Coleridge, Lamb, &c., may serve as a preface to the Diary of 1812.

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Jan. 8, 1811.-Spent part of the evening with Charles Lamb and his sister. . . . We spoke of Wordsworth and Coleridge. C. L., to my surprise, asserted Coleridge to be the greater man. He preferred the Mariner to anything W. had written. W., he thought, is narrow and confined in his view compared with C.* He does not, like Shakespeare, become everything he pleases; but forces the reader to submit to his individual feelings. This, I observed, lies very much in the Lyrical Character, and C. L. concluded by expressing his high admiration of W. He had read many of his things with great admiration, especially the Sonnets, which I had before spoken of as my favourites. C. L. also spoke in high praise of Hart Leap Well, as one of W.'s most exquisite pieces, but did not think highly of The Leechgatherer.

* The Diary has 'W.,' but this is evidently a clerical error.

March 13.-A call on Coleridge. : . Speaking of Southey, he said he deemed him not qualified to appreciate Spanish poetry. He was a jewel-setter; whatever he read he instantly applied to the formation and adorning of a story.

C. spoke of himself. He alluded to sufferings endured from the North, and to his difficulties in publishing the Friend. He said none of his works had been popular; and it was only from his connection with Southey, he supposed, that he was much known.

June 11.-A pleasant chat with Coleridge. He explained the ideal beauty as being formed from observing what is common to all individuals of a class, taking away from each individual that which is the result of accident in him. This explanation resolves the ideal into universality and generality. I observed to C. that I had remarked that the caricature is the converse of the ideal, being the individuality of the thing caricatured, without the general character.


Oct. 9.-[After a descriptive analysis of Christabel.] is written in irregular rhyme, and was lent to Walter Scott before the publication of any of his poems. C. and his friends consider Scott as having stolen the verse; but certainly, except in the general form of the verse, there is little in common in the works of the two poets. Scott has caught all the arts of popularity which Coleridge despises, and he must therefore be content to forego its meed. The mystical sentimentality of C., however, adorned by original imagery, can never interest the gay and frivolous, who are to be attracted by the quick succession of common place, and amusing objects; and, for the same reason, the deep glances into the innermost nature of man, and the original views of the relations of things, which C.'s works are fraught with, are a stumbling-block and an offence to the million, not a charm.

[On the 10th and 23rd November the Diary contains an admirable criticism of Faust.]

May 13, 1812. .. The Wordsworths came to the Sergeant's (Rough's) to dinner. . . . W. talked at his ease, having confidence in his audience. He spoke with respect of Landor's powers. The tragedy which he is now publishing has very fine touches, he says. He spoke of Kirke White. Both he and R. agreed in considering him as a man of more talents than genius, and that the great correctness of his early writings was a symptom unpromising as to his future works. He would probably have been rather a man of great learning than a great poet. . . . He assented to the observation that the secret of Scott's popularity lies in the conceptions which the million can at once comprehend.* I asked him concerning Wilson's poems. . . . He said, 'Wilson's poems are an attenuation of mine. Everything he has he owes to me.'. . . This attenuation is, I have no doubt, the reason why the Edinburgh Reviewers are disposed to place him above W. The most significant are the least admired of W.'s poems, for the very qualities that make them most admirable.

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[I once met Jeffrey at Talfourd's. I managed to introduce the subject, and obtained from him the strange assertion, 'I was always an admirer of Wordsworth.'

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Indeed,' I answered, the Edinburgh Review had a strange way of expressing admiration.' But Jeffrey intimated the same sort of thing to Coleridge. Such declarations are worse than foolish.] To go back to this dinner at Rough's. Doctor Wordsworth was there. He and Rough were old college friends, and they retained a regard for each other. The Doctor and I sparred about the Bible Society, to which

* It must be remembered that this judgment upon the Poems of Scott was passed before the Novels had appeared.

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