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QUEEN ADELAIDE'S VISIT.
should be feminine than to define what is feminine. 'Let no lady' was the reply,‘on pain of my displeasure for a twelvemonth, write a sonnet in favour of capital punishments. Murderers no doubt ought to be hanged ; but God forbid that one of the softer sex should advocate in numbers the rights of the gallows. I have no great predilection for the subject myself. Wordsworth has chosen it, – let him keep it, – he is man enough for it anyhow'.
On a bright sunny day in July, the Queen Dowager and her sister, attended by Lords Denbigh and Howe, visited Rydal, when Wordsworth met them at the lower waterfall, with which her majesty was much pleased. She was also gratified with the simple rural spectacle which greeted them as they left the Park. A procession of fifty children was drawn up in two lines near the gate of Rydal Mount. They were accompanied by a band of music, and carried flags and bright garlands of flowers, such as, about this season, are annually prepared for the time-honoured ceremony of RushBearing. After cordially shaking hands with Mrs. Wordsworth, and in the most friendly manner enquiring for Dora, the poet's daughter, who was introduced to her, she proceeded on her tour. Wordsworth treats the desire which she professed, of having a cottage in the district, merely as a natural way of expressing the pleasure which the scenery excited in her mind.
This summer was further enlivened by a pleasant little excursion from Lowther to Rydal in company with Rogers. Alighting at Lyulphs Tower on the banks of Ullswater, they proceeded to Ara Force, and found the torrent dashing down in its fullest grandeur, in honour of the two bards. Ariother short journey which he took in November of this year, had nearly termi
MARRIAGE OF HIS DAUGHTER.
nated disastrously, for when travelling in a gig towards Keswick, and toiling up a narrow and precipitous part of the road, he espied the mail coach coming furiously down the slope at only forty yards' distance. His servant made all speed to get over a narrow bridge which was just before them, and draw up close to the wall. The driver of the mail, being an unpractised hand, was unable to slacken his pace, or to avoid the impending collision, but came on at full speed, and striking violently against the gig, drove it, and those in it, as well as the horse, back some yards, when all together were precipitated through a gap in the wall and lost sight of in a plantation below. Most fortunately they escaped without serious bodily injury. We have heard the driver of the mail say, that the pleasantest words ever spoken to him, did not gratify him so much as the vigorous abuse with which he was greeted by the poet as he emerged from the plantation.
The spring of the succeeding year was signalized by an event of the deepest interest to Wordsworth, namely, the marriage of his only daughter, Dora, to Edward Quillinan, Esq. They were married in St. James's Church, Bath, May 11, 1841, the Wordsworth family being at the time on a visit to a very intimate friend in that city. How dear was his daughter to the poet, is shewn by every allusion he makes to her, whether in his poems or in private letters. An intimate friend says of her,--She was endeared to him, and all around her, by her entire freedom from all thought of self, by the graces of her lively social character, and the solidity and correctness of her understanding. Her presence, like that of Una, “made a sunshine in a shady place”).
Edward Quillinan, Esq., was eldest son of John
Quillinan, a merchant of Oporto, and was in early youth sent to various Roman Catholic schools in England for education, on the completion of which he returned to Oporto. Shortly after, however, on the advance of the French, he quitted Portugal, and entered the English army as cornet, by purchase, in the 2nd Dragoons (Queen's Bays) in 1808. On the return of the 23rd Light Dragoons from Talavera, he purchased a lieutenancy in that regiment, and finally exchanged into the third Dragoon Guards, joining his regiment in Spain in 1813, and was with it during the campaign of 1814 until the close of the war at Toulouse, when he received a medal of honour for that day. In 1817, Mr. Quillinan married Jemima, the second daughter of Sir Egerton Brydges, Bart. of Denton, near Dover, widely known as a literary amateur. He impaired his fortune by indulging in the expensive luxury of a private press, (at Lee Priory), from which he issued his own poems and numerous reprints of old English books : but still more by an unsuccessful attempt to prove his title to the Dukedom of Chandos. Mr. Quillinan was for some time with his regiment in Ireland, and subsequently in Scotland. In 1820 he was quartered at Penrith, which afforded him the opportunity of introducing himself to Wordsworth, of whose works he had always been a zealous admirer. Shortly after this, he quitted the army and went to reside at Rydal; attracted thither as much by a desire to be near the poet, as by the beauty of the scenery. Mrs. Quillinan, his first wife, lived but a few years, it having been her sad fate to perish from injuries sustained in consequence of her dress taking fire. During the short interval allowed her after the accident, she commended her two infant daughters to
the care of her friend and neighbour, Dora Wordsworth. The intimacy thus occasioned, led, after the lapse of nearly twenty years, to the marriage we have recorded.
From the time when he left the army, Mr. Quillinan devoted much of his time to literary pursuits, writing many poems, and contributing various articles to the periodicals of the day, among which his reviews of foreign literature will perhaps be read with most interest, as he was possessed of considerable critical talent, and excelled in the epigram. He translated a large portion of the 'Lusiad’of Camoens, the Virgil of Portugal', but not meeting with sufficient encouragement to the undertaking, did not complete it for publication. The translation of the History of Portugal, by Senor Herculano, librarian to the king, was also a task in which he heartily engaged. This work, at least so much of it as was then published, is described by Dr. Wordsworth as so elaborately and ably written by the Portuguese author, as to lessen regret for the non-accomplishment of Mr. Southey's longmeditated work on the same subject. A pleasing essay on the Laureates of England is also from the pen of Mr. Quillinan.
Au interesting tour was now made by Wordsworth in Devon and Somerset, in the course of which he renewed his acquaintance with scenes from which he drew so much of his early inspiration, when he and his sister took up their abode in that large mansion at Alfoxden, in an extensive park alive with deer,- where they found woods wild as fancy ever planted, brooks clear and pebbly as in Cumberland, romantic dells and villages, and formed dreams of future happiness as they walked unimpeded for miles over the hill tops with the distant sea ever in view. It was a renewal of acquain
tance; but it was also a farewell, and as the doing of anything for the last time has proverbially an element of sadness in it, it may be that Wordsworth did not pass unmoved through scenes which recalled the memory of his early intercourse with Coleridge, and of those happy rambles with his sister now lost to such enjoyment.
From this period there is but little of literary interest to note respecting Wordsworth : he added now and then an Ecclesiastical Sonnet or some occasional verses to the list of poems, and made alterations, not always improvements, in his earlier works. Many are of opinion that all his best productions appeared before his fortieth year, and that after that period however gracefully he may have written, yet his later works lack the grandeur and originality which were developed in those of earlier date. Professor Shairp divides Wordsworth's poetry as pertaining to three epochs, and describes the spring-time of his genius as reaching from his first settling at Racedown, about 1797, to his leaving Town End cottage at Grasmere, in 1808. The second epoch, or midsummer of his poetry, is made to include the time at Allan Bank and his first years at Rydal, as far as 1818–20, during which period the Excursion, Laodamia, Dion, and the Duddon Sonnets were composed. The third, or sober autumnal epoch, reaching from 1820 till he ceased the work of composition, is the time of the Ecclesiastical Sonnets, Yarrow Revisited, and the Scottish poems of 1833, and lastly of the Memorials of his Italian Tour in 1837. The two volumes published in 1807, containing the very prime ore of his genius, called forth the vituperation of Jeffrey ; but many shafts were levelled at him from other quarters besides the Edinburgh Review, and