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quiet in their public life; full of affection in their simple home life; so it seems the poet and his wife lived and died. Thought a deal of for the fact that accounts were strictly met at the tradesmen's shops, they were thought more of because they were ever ready to hear the cry of the suffering, and to enter the doors of those ready to perish.

I do not think I have been able to tell the world anything new about the poet or his surroundings. But the man who hedn't a bit of fish in him, and was no mountaineer,' seems to have been in the eyes of the people always at his studies; and that because he couldn't help it, because it was his hobby,' for sheer love, and not for money. This astonished the industrious money-loving folk, who could not understand the doing work for 'nowt,' and perhaps held the poet's occupation in somewhat lighter esteem, just because it did not bring in 'a deal o' brass to the pocket.' I think it is very interesting, however, to notice how the woman part of the Rydal Mount family seemed to the simple neighbourhood to have the talent and mental ability; and there must have been, both about Dorothy Wordsworth and the poet's daughter Dora, a quite remarkable power of inspiring the minds of the poor with whom they came in contact, with a belief in their intellectual faculties and brightness and cleverness. If Hartley Coleridge was held by some to be Wordsworth's helper, it was to Dorothy he was supposed by all to turn if ivver he was puzzelt.' The women had 'the wits, or best part of 'em,'this was proverbial among the peasantry, and, as having been an article of rural faith, it has been established out of the mouths of all the witnesses it has been my lot to call."



IT seems advisable to place Wordsworth's views on Education in an appendix, rather than in a chapter in the body of this work, as it was a subject he frequently referred to, on which he wrote elaborately as far back as 1806, and which he discussed almost to the close of his life.

From letters written at Allan Bank to his friend Wrangham (afterwards Archdeacon Wrangham) in 1808, it is obvious that the subject had a singular fascination to him and comparing these letters with subsequent ones, and especially with his speech at Bowness in 1836, it will be seen that, as the child was father to the man, so was the man in middle life to the sage approaching his threescore years and ten. These letters also show Wordsworth, in the capacity of moral analyst and critic of character, as well as a student of human nature and of social forces, under an interesting light; and it is noteworthy that the second letter was called forth in answer to a request that he would give his friend some idea on "education as a national object."

"GRASMERE, June 5, 1808.

"I am writing from a window which gives me a view of a little boat, gliding quietly about upon the surface of our basin of a lake. I should like to be in it, but what could I do with such a vessel in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean? As this boat would be to that navigation, so is my letter to the subject upon which you would set me afloat. . . . As far as my own observation goes, which has been mostly employed upon agricultural persons in thinly-peopled districts, I cannot find that there is much disposition

to read among the labouring classes, or much occasion for it. Among manufacturers and persons engaged in sedentary employments, it is, I know, very different. The labouring man in agriculture generally carries on his work either in solitude or with his own family-with persons whose minds he is thoroughly acquainted with, and with whom he is under no temptation to enter into discussions, or to compare opinions. He goes home from the field, or the barn, and within and about his own house he finds a hundred little jobs, which furnish him with a change of employment which is grateful and profitable; then comes supper, and bed. This for week-days. For Sabbaths, he goes to church, with us, often, or mostly, twice a-day; and on this day the mistress of the house almost always teaches the children to read, or, as they express it, hears them a lesson; or if not thus employed, they visit their neighbours, or receive them in own houses as they drop in, and keep up by the hour a slow and familiar chat.

This kind of life, of which I have seen much, and which I know would be looked upon with little complacency by many religious persons, is peaceable, and as innocent as (the frame of society and the practices of government being what they are) we have a right to expect; besides, it is much more intellectual than a careless observer would suppose. One of our neighbours, who lives as I have described, was yesterday walking with me, and as we were pacing on, talking about indifferent matters, by the side of a brook, he suddenly said to me, with great spirit and a lively smile, 'I like to walk where I can hear the sound of a beck!' (the word, as you know, in our dialect for a brook). I cannot but think that this man, without being conscious of it, has had many devout feelings connected with the appearances which have presented themselves to him in his employment as a shepherd, and that the pleasure of his heart at that moment was an acceptable offering to the Divine Being.

But to return to the subject of books. I find, among the people I am speaking of, halfpenny ballads and penny and twopenny histories in great abundance; these are often bought as charitable tributes to the poor persons who hawk them about (and it is the best way of procuring them). They are frequently stitched together in tolerably thick volumes, and such I have read; some of the contents though not often religious, very good; others objectionable, either for the superstition in them, such as prophecies, fortune-telling, &c., or more frequently for indelicacy. I have so much felt the influence of these straggling papers, that I have many a time wished that I had talents to produce songs, poems, and little histories that might circulate among other good things in this way, supplanting partly the bad flowers and useless herbs, and to take place of weeds. Indeed, some of the poems which I have published were composed, not without a hope that at some time or other they might answer this purpose. . . . The situation of manufacturers is deplorably different. The monotony of their employments renders some sort of stimulus, intellectual or bodily, absolutely necessary for them. Their work is carried on in clusters,-men from different parts of the world, and perpetually changing; so that every individual is constantly in the way of being brought into contact with new notions and feelings, and being unsettled in his own accordingly. A select library, therefore, in such situations may be of the same use as a public dial, keeping everybody's clock in some kind of order.

I will allow, with you, that a religious faculty is the eye of the soul; but, if we would have successful soul-oculists, not merely that organ, but the general anatomy and constitution of the intellectual frame must be studied; for the powers of that eye are affected by the general state of the system. My meaning is, that piety and religion will be

best understood by him who takes the most comprehensive view of the human mind; and that for the most part, they will strengthen with the general strength of the mind, and that this is best promoted by a due mixture of direct and indirect nourishment and discipline. For example, Paradise Lost, and Robinson Crusoe, might be as serviceable as Law's Serious Call, or Melmoth's Great Importance of a Religious Life; at least, if the books be all good, they would mutually assist each other.

In what I have said. . . I have only kept upon the surface of the question, but you must have deduced, that I deem any plan of national education in a country like ours most difficult to apply to practice. In Switzerland, or Sweden, or Norway, or France, or Spain, or anywhere but Great Britain,-it would be comparatively easy. Heaven and hell are scarcely more different from each other than Sheffield and Manchester, &c., differ from the plains and valleys of Surrey, Essex, Cumberland, or Westmoreland. We have mighty cities, and towns of all sizes, with villages and cottages scattered everywhere. We are mariners, miners, manufacturers in tens of thousands, traders, husbandmen, everything. What form of discipline, what books or doctrines—I will not say would equally suit all these-but which, if happily fitted for one, would not perhaps be an absolute nuisance in another? You will, also, have deduced that nothing romantic can be said with truth of the influence of education upon the district in which I live. We have, thank heaven, free schools, or schools with some endowment, almost everywhere; and almost every one can read. But not because we have free or endowed schools, but because our land is, far more than elsewhere, tilled by men who are the owners of it; and, as the population is not over crowded, and the vices which are quickened and cherished in a crowded population do not therefore prevail,

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