William Wordsworth

Ernest De Selincourt, Alan G. Hill, and Mary Moorman (eds), The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 3: The Middle Years: Part II: 1812–1820 (Second Revised Edition)

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pg 399459. W. W. to R. P. GILLIES

  • MS. Amherst Wordsworth Collection
  • Postmark: 23 Sept. 1817.
  • MY ii. 591, p. 791.

Friday [Sept.] 19th 18171

My dear Sir,

Your letter of the 15th Instant, I have this moment received on my return from an Excursion of a few days.—I fear this note will arrive too late to be of use—but I write to mention that I quit home on the 22nd or 23d of this month. I shall be absent I fear at least a fortnight. I shall regret this much if it should deprive me of the pleasure of seeing you in this Country. My first visit is to Lord Lonsdale at Lowther, and afterwards I go to a Friend's House a Mr. Marshall who lives upon the Banks of Ulleswater; so that though absent for some time I shall not be far from home—

I have not read Mr. Coleridge's 'Biographia', having contented myself with skimming parts of it; so that you will not be surprized when I tell you that I shall never read a syllable of Mr. Jefferson2 Critique. Indeed I am heartily sick of even the best criticism, of course cannot humor an inclination to turn to the worst—

I have no intention to print any of my little pieces in periodical works, a practice I never had recourse to, except in the case of poems which have a political bearing—Excuse this wretched scrawl written in extreme haste to catch the post—I shall be truly sorry if I hear of your arrival here after my departure.

  • Believe me most sincerely yours,     
  • W. Wordsworth  

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 Although de Selincourt ascribed this letter to June, it cannot be earlier than July, when Biographia Literaria was published, and is most probably September as the June visit to the Marshalls was over before the 25th (see L. 457, p. 395), and on 16 Oct. D. W. wrote to Mrs. Clarkson that she and Mary had returned from Ullswater 'last Monday', i.e. 13 Oct., and that 'William was at Thomas Wilkinson's', probably after a visit to Lowther. See L. 460 below, and also n. 2.
Editor’s Note
2 W. means 'Mr. Jeffrey's'. He refers to Hazlitt's review of Biographia Literaria in the Edinburgh Review for Sept. 1817, to which Jeffrey added a note, replying to Coleridge's strictures on him in Biographia Literaria. See HCR, i, p. 209.
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