Grasmere, Nov. 6, 1836.
My dear Mother
Mrs. Woollam's departure has taken me by surprize. I could not let her go without a few lines, though I have nothing of importance to add to my last, to which by the way, I expected an answer ere now. I received a newspaper to day, which informs me that you are living, but I am cruelly anxious about dear Sara. I hope to God she is at home by this time, and Henry too. I dare say he would be very happy in the enumeration of the poor radicals he has struck off the rolls, if something nearer to his heart than even Toryism did not damp his self-congratulations. Mr. Woollam not coming is a disappointment to me--perhaps to you also. I am resolved never in future to send compositions by private hand. If they be worth any thing, they must be worth carriage. I was at Rydal a day or two ago. All much at one. Of course, I do not now see Miss Wordsworth, but I heard her, which I had rather not, for to be anywise witness to distress one cannot relieve is unprofitable pain. And yet not altogether unprofitable, for the very fact that the All good should have permitted such an intellect to fall into confusion, proves how little we ought to value ourselves on intellectual endowments, apart from our moral use of them. Perhaps the dispensation which seems to us so severe, is really merciful; God has tied a bandage over her eyes, while she is passing the awful river, which he will remove when she has arrived upon the happy shore. There has been much sickness among my friends hereabouts--no great wonder--for the weather is ferocious. I never knew it so bad at the time of year. We had a thick snow on the 29th October. Poor Mrs. Brancker has been very ill indeed. Do you remember the pretty Miss Jane Moss who used to live in the cottage next to our home at Clappersgate? She is Mrs. B. and pretty still, though sadly faded with continual sickness, arising, I have heard, from injudicious treatment in her first and only confinement. She never had a living child. I believe her husband would be a happier man, and perhaps some people might think, a more judicious, that is to say, less political man, if he was a father-- but he is a father to Mrs. Claude's children, who are four sweet girls and a noble John Bull of a boy, whom she will have enough to do to manage. The loss of a parent is ever