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worth thus describes their home and home-life : “We are daily more delighted with Grasmere and its neighbourhood. Our walks are perpetually varied, and we are more fond of the mountains as our acquaintance with them increases. We have a boat upon the lake, and a small orchard, and smaller garden, which, as it is the work of our own hands, we regard with pride and partiality. Our cottage is quite large enough for us, though very small, and we have made it neat and comfortable within doors, and it looks very nice on the outside ; for though the roses and honeysuckles which we have planted against it are only of this year's growth, yet it is covered all over with green leaves and scarlet flowers; for we have trained scarlet beans upon threads, which are not only exceedingly beautiful but very useful, as their produce is immense. We have made a lodging-room of the parlour below stairs, which has a stone floor, therefore we have covered it all over with matting. We sit in a room above stairs; and we have one lodging-room, with two single beds, a sort of lumber-room, and a small, low, unceiled room, which I have papered with newspapers, and in which we have put a small bed. Our servant is an old woman of sixty years of age, whom we took partly out of charity. She was very ignorant, very foolish, and very difficult to teach. But the goodness of her disposition, and the great convenience we should find, if my perseverance was successful, induced me to go on.” // It is recorded in the transactions of the Wordsworth Society for 1882, that Professor Knight thus alluded to the journals of Miss Wordsworth, written during the years 1800, 1801, 1802, and 1803: “These journals were a singularly interesting record of ‘plain living and high thinking;'—of very plain living, and of very lofty thought, imagination, and feeling. They were the best possible commentary on the poems belonging to that period; because they shewed the manner of life of the brother and the sister, the character of their daily work, the influences of Nature to which they were subjected, the homeliness of their ways, and the materials on which the poems were based, as well as the sources of their inspiration. One read in these journals the tales of travelling sailors and pedlars who came through the lake country, of gipsy women and beggar boys, which were afterwards, if not immediately, translated into verse. Then the whole scenery of the place and its accessories, the people of Grasmere Vale, Wordsworth's neighbours and friends, were photographed in that journal. The Church, the lake, its Island, John's Grove, White Moss Common, Point Rash Judgment, Easedale, Dunmail Raise—everything given in clearest outline and vivid colour. Miss Wordsworth's delineations of Nature in these daily jottings were quite as subtle and minute, quite as delicate and ethereal, as anything in her brother's poems. Above all there was in these records a most interesting disclosure of Dorothy Wordsworth's friendship with Cole

ridge—and a very remarkable friendship it was. One also saw the sister's rare appreciation of her brother's genius, amounting almost to a reverence for it; and her continuous self-sacrifice that she might foster and develop her brother's powers. Well might Wordsworth say, ‘She gave me eyes, she gave me ears.' Another very

interesting fact disclosed in those journals was the very slow growth of many of the poems, such, for example, as “Michael' and the ‘Excursion,’ and the constant revisions to which they were subjected.” The poem, “To a Young Lady, who had been reproached for taking long walks in the country,” written about this time, was, I am informed on excellent authority, addressed to Miss Wordsworth. It will be observed that the prophecy therein contained did not in all respects meet with fulfilment:

“Dear Child of Nature, let them rail I
—There is a nest in a green dale,
A harbour and a hold ;
Where thou, a Wife and Friend, shalt see .
Thy own heart-stirring days, and be
A light to young and old.

- “There, healthy as a shepherd-boy,
And treading among flowers of joy,
Which at no season fade,
Thou, while thy babes around thee cling,
Shalt shew us how divine a thing
A Woman may be made.

“Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die,
Nor leave thee, when grey hairs are nigh,
A melancholy slave;
But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.”

Thus were passed, in happy converse and mutual love and help, the three years which intervened between Miss Wordsworth and her brother going to Grasmere, and the marriage of the latter. A tour which they together made on the Continent in 1802 pleasantly varied this period. A sonnet of Wordsworth's composed when on this occasion, they were, in the early morning, passing

Westminster Bridge is well known. It is here repeated .

only that his sister's account of her impressions may be placed along with it. He says:—

“Earth hath not anything to shew more fair;
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty;
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still l’”

Miss Wordsworth in her almost equally graceful prose writes: “Left London between five and six o'clock of the morning, outside the Dover coach. A beautiful morning. The city, St. Paul's, with the river—a multitude of boats—made a beautiful sight as we crossed Westminster Bridge; the houses not overhung by their

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clouds of smoke, and were spread out endlessly; yet the sun shone so brightly, with such a pure light, that there was something like the purity of one of Nature's own grand spectacles.” She adds: “Arrived at Calais at four in the morning of July 31st. Delightful walks in the evening; seeing, far off in the west, the coast of England, like a cloud, crested with Dover Castle, the evening star and the glory of the sky; the reflections in the water were more beautiful than the sky itself; purple waves brighter than precious stones for ever melting away upon

the sands.” o

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