Dorothy Wordsworth

Ernest De Selincourt and Chester L. Shaver (eds), The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 1: The Early Years: 1787–1805 (Second Revised Edition)

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pg 485222. D. W. to MRS. THOMAS CLARKSON

  • Address: Mrs Clarkson | at Dr Beddoes's | Clifton | Bristol
  • Postmark: 2 July 1804.
  • Stamp: Keswick.
  • MS. Brit. Mus. LY, 1353.

Grasmere Sunday 24th June 1804

My dear Friend

William arrived at home yesterday evening—he has been about twelve days with Mary and John at Park House and has left them there. They will perhaps make out their stay a month, but it will certainly not be more. Mary is plagued with a lameness which she persuades herself is the Rheumatism, because she would fain indulge the hope that it will soon be removed, but I am afraid it will abide with her till the Child is born. It is a troublesome and disheartening thing, though no great pain and particularly forces itself upon her notice now that she would wish to walk about and see something of the neighbourhood of Parkhouse—(it is the neighbourhood of Eusemere too!)—William has heard that Lord Lowther has bought Eusemere—I hope it is so for the sooner the last parting with it is over the better. William was at the house and saw Ellen, but he did not learn when Mr Clarkson was expected. I wish you could have stayed all the summer at Bristol, for I have such a faith in the eye of Dr Beddoes that I feel assured that you cannot possibly do as well when he does not daily overlook you. What a good Man he is! how very good he has been to you! I shall be grateful to him for it as long as I live. I hope you are still under his Care, if so perhaps you may have seen the letter I wrote to him a few days ago from which you would learn how grievously we had mismanaged about the medicines he was so kind as to prescribe for me—You know how inconvenient it is in such cases to be so far from the Apothecary, and how easily one is persuaded to delay from time to time because there is a little trouble in sending, else when we did not get the Scales, though I was so well, we should have certainly sent the medicines back to be weighed by Mr Edmundson. I have been quite well ever since I wrote to you, as if the very name of Dr Beddoes had acted upon me like a charm—that is, I have had no vomitings or Bowel complaints, but my weakness and faint feelings at my stomach still continue to trouble me when I am over wrought or want food. John's Birthday was the 18th of this month—perhaps you might remember it and think of us all. It was a pity it was not passed at home,—the more so as two days pg 486after he walked across the floor alone:—William and Mary both regretted very much when they went away that I should not see his first going off, for we were assured he would walk before his return. I would give many of the best things I have that you could see him; he is certainly the noblest Child I ever beheld, he has so fine a countenance—his figure too is thoroughly beautiful except his legs which I think will be very like his Father's. William was at Captn Wordsworth's1 last Sunday, poor Mary did not like to go on account of her lameness—they called at Park house on Tuesday and were delighted with Johnny. I went with William and Mary to Keswick we stayed all night at Greta Hall, and parted at Threlkeld—I came home through St John's Vale. Mrs Coleridge, Mrs Southey, Mrs Lovel were all in raptures with John he was much stouter than they expected, but his countenance impressed them as very remarkable. Mrs Southey who is not of very warm feelings said she never could forget it, and they were all sure he could not look more sensible more full of thought if he were six years old. Derwent, little affectionate creature! was overjoyed to see us, but he was in sad distress that Johnny did not love him, because the Child was frightened both of Derwent and every Bod[y] Sara is a pretty Creature, her eyes are beautiful, and her whole figure is very elegant—but she is such a little little thing beside our Johnny—her motions are remarkably quick, much more resembling those of Hartley than Derwent. Mrs C. is to bring them all as soon as Mary returns. We shall make a Nursery of Fletcher's house and borrow a Bed at Thomas Ashburner's. We like our Servant very much. I assure you it is a great comfort that we have got Molly so nicely disposed of, she is as happy as possible, and very busy with her one cow. She is continually bringing us in a little present, a pound of Butter, a few curds, a Bason of gooseberries, &c. &c. I wish you could see our Garden—we shall be grown up presently the plants thrive so. We have a Broom under one of the Yew trees that is quite a wonder. William I find has not written to Dr Beddoes, but he intends writing in a few days. Tom Hutchinson has been very poorly since he came to Park house but he is now growing strong again. Sara is very thin—George has left his Farm having been unfortunate and sold up—he is gone to a place in a Compting House at Newcastle—Joanna is come to Park house. Miss Weir is there with Bessy and little Jane,2 so they are a houseful. You have never told me pg 487where you intend to spend the summer, whether at your Father s or your Uncle Hardcastle's.1

Do write as soon as you can—Mind a short letter. God grant that you may feel yourself stronger! Williams tender remembrances—God bless you my dear Friend! Believe me yours

evermore Dorothy W.  

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1 The retired commander of the Abergavenny, now living at Brougham Hall, about two miles south-east of Penrith.
Editor’s Note
2 Probably Elizabeth (d. 1827) and Jane (d. 1827), daughters of M. W.'s brother John Hutchinson (Letter 83) and his first wife Jane Wilkinson (1772–15 June 1798).
Editor’s Note
1 Joseph Hardcastle (1753–3 Mar. 1819), a London cotton-importer and a Methodist. At one time or another he belonged to seventeen philanthropic societies. Among these were the London Missionary Society, of which he was the first treasurer (1795–1815), and the British and Foreign Bible Society, which he and Wilberforce planned in Apr. 1803 at his office. He lived at Hatcham House, New Cross, Surrey.
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