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as you are so indulgent to me, it would be the highest injustice were I otherwise to you.

We have read Madoc, and been highly pleased with it. It abounds in beautiful pictures and descriptions, happily introduced, and there is an animation diffused through the whole story, though it cannot, perhaps, be said that any of the characters interest you much, except, perhaps, young Llewellyn, whose situation is highly interesting, and he appears to me the best conceived and sustained character in the piece. His speech to his uncle at their meeting in the island is particularly interesting. The poem fails in the highest gifts of the poet's mind, Imagination in the true sense of the word, and knowledge of human nature and the human heart. There is nothing that shows the hand of the great master; but the beauties in description are innumerable; for instance, that of the figure of the bard, towards the beginning of the convention of the bards, receiving the poetic inspiration; that of the wife of Thalaba, the savage, going out to meet her husband; that of Madoc, and the Aztecan king with a long name, preparing for battle; everywhere, indeed, you have beautiful descriptions, and it is a work which does the author high credit, I think. I should like to know your opinion of it. Farewell! Best remembrances and love to Lady Beaumont. Believe me, my dear Sir George, your most sincere friend,


A poem, which belongs to the year 1806, has both a personal and political interest. It is The Character of the Happy Warrior, suggested in part by an event which all England was lamenting-the death of Lord Nelson-and in part by the personal loss, which he still felt so keenly, his brother John's removal. On the 4th of February 1806, Southey wrote thus to Sir Walter Scott:

"GRETA HALL, KESWICK.* Wordsworth was with me last

MY DEAR SIR,—. week; he has of late been more employed in correcting his poems than in writing others; but one piece he has written, upon the ideal character of a soldier, than which I have never seen anything more full of meaning and sound thought. The subject was suggested by Nelson's most glorious death, though having no reference to it. He had some thoughts of sending it to The Courier, in which case you will easily recognise his hand. Believe me,-Yours very truly,


Of The Happy Warrior it has recently been said, that there is "no portrait fitter to go forth to all lands as representing the English character at its height—a figure not ill-matching with Plutarch's men. For indeed this short poem is a manual of greatness: there is a Roman majesty in its simple and weighty speech." I cannot refrain from quoting the additional words of Mr Myers † :

"We were already aware that the ideal hero should be as gentle as he is brave, that he should act always from the highest motives, nor greatly care for any reward save the consciousness of having done his duty. We were aware that the true strength of a nation is moral and not material; that dominion which rests on mere military force is destined quickly to decay; that the tyrant, however admired and prosperous, is in reality despicable, and miserable, and alone; that the true man should face death itself rather than parley with dishonour. These truths are admitted in all ages; yet it is scarcely stretching language to say that they are known to but few men.

To those who would know these things with a vital

* See the Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, vol. iii., p. 19. + See his Wordsworth in the “English Men of Letters" series, p. 84.

knowledge-a conviction which would remain unshaken were the whole world in arms for wrong-it is before all things necessary to strengthen the inner monitions by the companionship of these noble souls. And if a poet, by strong concentration of thought, by striving in all things along the upward way, can leave us in a few pages as it were a summary of patriotism, a manual of national honour, he surely has his place among his country's benefactors, not only by that kind of courtesy which the nation extends to men of letters of whom her masses take little heed, but with a title as assured as any warrior or statesman, and with no less direct a claim."



WHEN Dove Cottage proved too small for the accommodation of the Wordsworth household, and no suitable home could be found in the vale of Grasmere, the poet accepted an invitation from Sir George Beaumont to occupy the Farm House of Coleorton, during the winter of 1806-7. In the long summer days the Town End residence sufficed for the modest requirements of an unambitious family. They were much in the open air, and often spent the entire day in the moss hut" of their orchard, where many poems were composed and long letters written; but, in the dark winter nights, with broken weather and smoky chimneys, it was impossible to get on in the cottage of the "Dove and Olive Bough," which the Wordsworths had entered in 1799.

On the 2nd of June 1806, Dorothy Wordsworth wrote thus to Mrs Marshall:- .


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We have no servant but a little girl, twelve years

My brother has been in London for two months. [He was visiting Richard at Lambeth, and the Cooksons at Windsor.] As for us, we shall at last be driven out of our cottage, for we do not think we ought to live here another winter, and with a third child. It is so very unwholesome for a large family; the rooms being so small and low (only one sitting-room, &c.), and no other suitable house in the neighbourhood, we are quite undetermined what to do. . . . We have got a beautiful hut, lined with moss, at the top of

our orchard, and we live there almost constantly in fine weather."

Sir George and Lady Beaumont were leaving Coleorton for the winter of 1806-7, and they placed their temporary residence at the disposal of the Wordsworths.

Coleorton is about four miles to the south-east of Ashbyde-la-Zouche in Leicestershire. For details as to the Beaumont family, and the numerous letters addressed to Sir George and Lady Beaumont by the Wordsworths, Coleridge, Southey, and Sir Walter Scott, I must refer to the Memorials of Coleorton, published by Mr Douglas, Edinburgh, in 1887. Only a few facts need be mentioned here.

The pedigree of the Beaumonts of Coleorton may be traced to the times of William of Normandy. Robert de Beaumont, one of the "Companions of the Conqueror," came over to England in 1066.* Francis Beaumont, the dramatist -Fletcher's friend and fellow-worker, and Sir John Beaumont, Francis' elder brother, and author of Bosworth Field— were of the same family.

With Sir George, the seventh Baronet, the present mansion of Coleorton is specially identified. He rebuilt it, and by his friendship with the men of letters and artists of his time, he made the Hall a centre of associations which posterity will not willingly let die.

Sir George had visited the district of the English Lakes long before he became acquainted with its poets. Southey tells us that he spent part of the summer in which he was married (1774), at Keswick. In 1803 he lodged for a time

Rogier li Veil, eil de Belmont,
Assalt Engleis al primier front.

-Roman de Rou, 1. 13,462.

(Compare The Conqueror and his Companions, by P. R. Planché, vol. i.,

pp. 203-216.)

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