The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth - Vol. 3

By Mary Moorman; Alan G. Hill | Go to book overview
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Be so good as to let Mrs Wordsworth know when she returns, or if you have occasion to write to her, that the demand of Jackson was a dishonest one--and he has proved to be ₤40 in debt to the Trust.


452. W. W. to R. P. GILLIES

Address: R. P. Gillies Esqre, King Street, Edinburgh.

Postmark: June 9 1817.

MS. Library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Gillies. K. ii. 590, p. 788.

My dear Sir,

I am unworthy of the many kind marks of attention which you bestow upon me. I knew nothing of the treatise of Wieland,1 which you enquired after, or I should have written immediately on the Receipt of your Letter. But as I was absent when it arrived, and you must consequently have incurred some disappointment, without any fault of mine, I was foolish enough to press that circumstance into the service of my procrastinating habits. I have read your Poem.2 I like it better than any of the preceding ones. There is a strong family resemblance, no doubt, in them all--but this as a whole is to me the most interesting. It is natural throughout, and contains many pleasing passages, though I think that in the merits of particular parts some of the others are equal and perhaps superior to it. But the general impression of this last is to my mind much more agreeable than any of the preceding ones. Oswald's feelings on learning that his first passion was hopeless, are given in an animated style--and his recovery.

Even in an hour of sun-illumined Rain is very fine, but observe that here are eight lines together all rhyming in the Vowel A, which gives a heaviness to the movement of this paragraph which every Reader will feel, without being aware of the cause. Lady Clara's character and Residence are very well described, and one is pleased to meet such a couplet as this, it is a sort of beauty that seems natural to you.

All through the copse wood winding walks there were
That led to many a natural parterre

____________________
1
Christopher Martin Wieland ( 1733-1813) was the first translator of Shakespeare's plays into German. He was also the author of the poetic romance Oberon, and of many essays, articles, and poems.
2
Oswald, A Metrical Tale, published 1817.

-384-

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