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beauty to the prospect.” From the reflection of the crimson clouds the water appeared of a deep red, like melted rubies, yet with a mixture of a gray or blackish hue; the gorgeous light of the sky, with the singular color of the lake, made the scene exceedingly romantic; yet it was more melancholy than cheerful. With all the power of light from the clouds there was an overcasting of the gloom of evening - a twilight upon the hills."
This tour was rich in its results, not only in the sister's journal but also in the poems of the brother, to which it gave birth. Alluding to these a contributor to Blackwood, so long ago as 1835, says: “Wordsworth in Scotland as in England and Switzerland, and Italy and the Tyrol, is still Wordsworth. Here, too, he reaps : —
"The harvests of a quiet eye
His thoughts, and feelings, and visions, and dreams, and fancies, and imaginations, are all his own, by some divine right which no other mortal shares along with him; and, true as they all are to nature, are all distinguished by some indefinable, but delightful charm peculiar to his own being, which assuredly is the most purely spiritual that ever was enshrined in human dust. Safe in his originality he fears not to travel the same ground that has been travelled by thousands — and beaten, and barren, and naked as it may seem to be
- he is sure to detect some loveliest family of wild flowers that had lurked unseen in some unsuspected crevices — to soothe his ears with a transient murmur, the spirit of the wilderness awakens — the bee that had dropped on the moss as if benumbed by frost — the small moorland bird revivified by sunshine, sent from heaven for the poet's sake, goes twittering in circles in the air above his head, nor is afraid that its nest will be trodden by his harmless feet; and should a sudden summer shower affront the sunshine, it is that a rainbow may come and go for his delight, and leave its transitory splendors in some immortal song. On the great features of Nature – lochs and mountains, among which he has lived his days — he looks with a serene but sovereign eye, as if he held them all in fee, and they stood there to administer to the delight — we must not say the pride — of him, “Sole king of rocky Cumberland ; ' and true it is that from the assemblage of their summits, in the sunset, impulses of deeper mood have come to him in solitude than ever visited the heart of any other poet. ... The true Highland spirit is there ; but another spirit, too, which Wordsworth carries with him wherever he goes in the sanctuary of his own genius, and which colors all it breathes on lending lovelier light to the fair, and more awful gloom to the great, and ensouling what else were but cold death.”
LIFE AT GRASMERE. — CAPTAIN WORDSWORTH.
VISIT paid by Coleridge to Grasmere, shortly A after the Scottish tour, is thus alluded to in a letter written by him to his friend, Mr. Thomas Wedgewood, in January, 1804. He says : — “I left my home December 20th, 1803, intending to stay a day and a half at Grasmere and then walk to Kendal, whither I had sent all my clothes and viatica, from thence to go to London, and to see whether or no I could arrange my pecuniary matters, so as, leaving Mrs. Coleridge all that was necessary to her comforts, to go myself to Madeira, having a persuasion strong as the life within me, that one winter spent in a really warm, genial climate, would completely restore me ... I staid at Grasmere (Mr. Wordsworth's) a month; three-fourths of the time bedridden; and deeply do I feel the enthusiastic kindness of Wordsworth's wife and sister, who sat up by me, the one or the other, in order to awaken me at the first symptoms of distressful feeling; and even when they went to rest continued often and often to weep and watch for me even in their dreams."
The death of her brother, Captain John Wordsworth, in the early part of 1805, was a great sorrow to Miss Wordsworth, as well as to the other members of the family. Captain Wordsworth was a younger brother of the poet, and a great favorite with him and his sister. In consequence of their early orphaned condition, and subsequent separation, they had not enjoyed much of each other's society until the time of Wordsworth's residence at Grasmere. Previously to this, and since the two brothers had been at school together at Hawkshead, they had only occasionally seen each other.
After the settlement of Wordsworth and his sister at Grasmere, this brother, who was in the service of the East India Company, had paid them a prolonged visit, extending over eight months. The fraternal ties were then renewed and strengthened, cemented as they became by mature sympathies. A kinship of thought and feeling, added to warm natural affections, bound together these three poetic souls in mutual love more than usually devoted. Captain Wordsworth recognized his brother's genius and greatness of soul, and felt assured that the time would arrive when they would be widely acknowledged. Writing of him to Miss Wordsworth, Coleridge says : _“Your brother John is one of you - a man who hath solitary usings of his own intellect, deep in feeling, with a subtle tact, and swift instinct of true beauty.” Himself so thoroughly in harmony with his brother's pursuits, and an ardent lover of the beautiful in Nature, as well as in life, he became, as Wordsworth says, “a silent poet," and was known among those of his own craft as “ The Philosopher.” Captain Wordsworth had so identified himself in heart with his brother's pursuits, and had become so enamoured of the life led by him and their sister in this quiet and beautiful vale, “ far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife," that he had formed the idea, if prospered during a few voyages, of settling at Grasmere, and adding his worldly store to theirs, in the hope of thus enabling Wordsworth to devote his attention to his muse, unfettered by anxious thoughts of a monetary character. With this loving object before him, he had made a voyage in the year 1801 without success. Again, in the spring of 1803, he sailed with the same hope in his heart, but only on this occasion also to return, without having in any degree been able to further its realization.
In the mean time, money which had been long withheld from the Wordsworths by the former Earl of Lonsdale, had been honorably paid by his successor. Although the main object which Captain Wordsworth had in view in his former expeditions thus no longer existed, he decided once more to brave the fortunes of the deep. Being, in the year 1804, appointed to the command of the East Indiaman, Abergavenny, bound for the East, he sailed from Portsmouth, in the early part of 1805, upon a voyage on which many hopes were built. We are informed that on this occasion the value of the cargo (including specie) was £270,000, and that there were on board 402 persons. Not only did Captain Wordsworth take with him the share which had come to him of the money paid by the Earl of Lonsdale, but also £1,200 belonging to his brother William and his sister. The bright hopes were, however, doomed to end in the saddest of disaster.