William Wordsworth, Dora Wordsworth [Quillinan]

Ernest De Selincourt and Alan G. Hill (eds), The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 4: The Later Years: Part I: 1821–1828 (Second Revised Edition)

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183. W. W. and DORA W. to MARIA JANE JEWSBURY

  • MS. Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
  • LY. i. 221 (—). Letters of Dora Wordsworth, ed. Howard P. Vincent, Chicago, 1944, p. 21.

[6 Aug. 1825]

Dear Miss J—

A thousand thanks for your services3 towards procuring me a fair remuneration through Mr Watts for my labours—You know how ignorant I am in these matters, and still better how experienced your Friend is—so that I regard this opening as very promising—ever most faithfully yours.

W. W

[Dora W. writes]

My very dearest Friend,

My best thanks for the half letter4—we are all much disappointed that your Friends did not think you looking better. I am sure you pg 378were growing quite rosy before you left this place and it is the worry and bustle of Manchester that has thrown you back—and your poor dear Sister1 we most sincerely hope to have more favorable reports of her health.

My father has spoken for himself so that it is unnecessary for me to repeat how much he is obliged to you—he is just come to tell me that he 'has disposed of Mr Murray', meaning he has written to him2 to say that in consequence of his not answering a letter sent three months ago he, my Father, feels himself at liberty to make other arrangements. This delights my Mother and myself, and I am sure it will my Aunt, more than we can tell—and we shall be for ever obliged to you for being the means of my Father's having naught to do with that vile John Murray.3

My Father leaves us tomorrow—and does not intend returning to Kent's Bank as he thinks he might as well pay his visit to Lowther now that he is on the wing. My Mother Willy and I remain here—till the 16. Aunt Hutchinson4 also if the situation agrees with her but I am grieved to say she has not been at all well these two last days—Miss Barlow5 too, will most probably not go home until the 16. Oh dear me, I am so thankful for an excuse to get into my own room to think of my dearest Friend. I contrive to have some-thing to do or to write every day—but indeed I behave very prettily, and I do like Miss Barlow but the 'attachment' is at its height—it will never get beyond liking I fear.

The weather is so changed that we are all gathering round a bright warm fire in the hall, and the trees in the garden are all but stripd of their leaves. Let me correct a mistake which I led you into, the tree which you long for is a Poplar not a Pear tree. My dear Daddy set me to rights about it—but I was so convinced that it was a pear tree he had some difficulty in making me confess I was mistaken—My dear we are now quite splendid! An elegant Grecian Couch in the Drawing Room, new fire Irons and all sorts of gay things, purchased by Mrs Ashbum at a Sale near Levens. We have pg 379a black Cat at home. I shall make up to it as soon as I get back to Rydal, that I may have a pet like yours, and when I am looking at it I shall fancy you too looking at the same thing. It must not be admitted into my Sanctum as the Doves and it would not agree well together. Aunt sends word the sitting goes on prosperously.

You bid me tell you exactly how I am—quite well except for the tooth ache. I am thinking of going as far [as] Kendal tomorrow with my Father, to have it drawn—if when the time comes I dont turn coward for even now I feel nervous about it.

Neddy is quite well, but not in high favor—he will not go for any body. My Mother has mounted him several times, but if we want to stand still for a second or two his Honor does not relish it and immediately lies down. He wants you again …

[cetera desunt]

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Notes

Editor’s Note
4 The other half, along with the second volume of Phantasmagoria, was addressed to W. W. 'I was proud and happy, when I only knew and appreciated you as a poet. What then are my feelings, now that I am emboldened to look up to you as a friend!' (WL MSS.)
Editor’s Note
1 Geraldine Jewsbury (1812–80), later a popular novelist, and friend of the Carlyles.
Editor’s Note
3 So called, not only on account of his dilatoriness, but also because he was Byron's publisher.
Editor’s Note
4 Mary Hutchinson, who had been forced to leave Brinsop while the renovations were in progress.
Editor’s Note
5 According to K, Fanny Barlow of Middlethorpe Hall, York, who married 1. the Revd. Edward Trafford Leigh (1798–1847), rector of Cheadle, Cheshire, from 1829, and 2. Dr. Eason Wilkinson of Manchester. Her name appears frequently along with Mrs. Barlow's in D. W.'s MS. Journals, and they often visited Rydal Mount.
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