William Wordsworth

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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pg 6833. W. W. to JOHN KEN YON

  • Address: To John Kenyon, Esqre, at the Granby Hotel, Harrowgate.
  • Postmark: Kendal Penny Post.
  • MS. untraced.
  • Transactions of the Wordsworth Society, no. 6, p. 78. K(—). LY i 39.

[In D. W.'s handl

Rydal Mount, July 23rd, 1821.

My dear Sir,

My eyes have lately become so irritable that I am again forced to employ an amanuensis.

I learned with much concern from Monkhouse and Tillbrooke that you had been unwell for some time, and am truly grieved not to find in your last an assurance that your health is restored.

I hear from Miss Hutchinson such striking accounts of the benefit which invalids derive from Harrowgate waters, and of their general salutary effect (in which she speaks from experience, having been there lately with a sick Friend), that I more than hope you will have reason also to speak highly in their praise for their effect upon yourself.

We are disappointed at not seeing you before you go into Scotland, myself more particularly so, because I have held out expectations to an Irish Gentleman1 who has lately taken lodgings in this neighbourhood that I might accompany him on a Tour through a considerable part of his country, including the two extremities, Killamey and the Giant's Causeway, which he says might easily be accomplished in five weeks by our shipping at Whitehaven for Dublin. If this plan should be adopted, I fear I must purchase the pleasure at the cost of not seeing you unless you could be tempted to prolong your stay in the neighbourhood till towards the end of September. If I do go (which certainly I should not have thought of this summer, were it not for the disordered state of my eyes), I shall make all possible speed back for the sake Of seeing you and your Brother,2 to whom I have a strong wish to be made known. Happy should I be, could what I have thrown out tempt you to make Ireland your object instead of Scotland. I have myself made three tours in Scotland, but cannot point out anything worthy of notice that is not generally known. Of particular sights and spots those which pleased me most were (to begin with the pg 69northernmost) the course of the river Bewley up to the Sawmills, about twenty miles beyond Inverness,—the fall of Foyers upon Loch Ness, (a truly noble thing, if one is fortunate as to the quantity of water), and Glen Coe. These lie beyond the limit of your route—and within your route I was not much struck with anything but what every body knows.

I cannot hasten my departure for Ireland so [as] to suit your arrangement on account of the expected confinement of the Gentleman's wife whom I am to accompany.

I am glad you have seen Bolton Priory. You probably know that Gordale, Malham Cove, and Wethercote Cove, which lie north of Bolton, are interesting objects, though dependent—two of them—upon water, and we have had such a drought as was never before known.

Mrs Wordsworth, Miss Hutchinson, and my Sister, who writes for me, join me in kindest remembrance and sincere wishes for the recovery of your health. We are all well, and shall be most happy to see you.

  • Ever sincerely yours,     
  • [signed] Wm Wordsworth   

If you have not an Introduction to Sir Walter Scott, and should wish for one, pray let me know and I will write to him.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1 Edward Quillinan. See L. 37 below.
Editor’s Note
2 John and Edward Kenyon came to Ambleside a month later. See L. 42 below.
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