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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76. W. W. to SAMUEL ROGERS

  • Address: Saml Rogers Esq., St. James's Place, London.
  • Franked: Penrith Sepr sixteen 1822 Cecil Jenkinson.1
  • Postmark: (1) 16 Sept. 1822. (2) 18 Sept. 1822.
  • Stamp: Penrith.
  • Endorsed: not to be published. S.R.
  • MS. Sharpe Collection, University College, London.
  • Rogers K(—). LY i. 88.

Lowther Castle [16 Sept. 1822]

My dear Rogers,

It gave me great pleasure to hear from our common Friend, Sharp, that you had returned from the Continent in such excellent health, which I hope you will continue to enjoy in spite of our fogs, rains, east winds, coal fires, and other clogs upon light spirits and free breathing.—I have long wished to write to you on a little affair of my own, or rather of my Sister's; and the facility of procuring a frank in this house has left my procrastinating habit without excuse. Some time ago you expressed (as perhaps you will remember) a wish that my Sister would publish her Recollections of her Scotch Tour,2 and you interested yourself so far in the scheme, as kindly to offer to assist in disposing of it to a Publisher for her advantage. We know that your skill and experience in these matters are great; and she is now disposed to profit by them provided you continue to think as favorably of the measure as heretofore. The pg 153fact is, she was so much gratified by her tour in Switzerland, that she has a strong wish to add to her knowledge of that country and to extend her ramble to some part of Italy. As her own little fortune is not sufficient to justify a step of this kind, she has no hope of revisiting those Countries, unless an adequate sum could be procured through the means of this Mss. You are now fairly in possession of her motives; if you still think that the publication would do her no discredit, and are of opinion that a respectable sum of money might be had for it, which she has no chance of effecting except through your exertion, she would be much obliged, as I also should be, if you would undertake to manage the Bargain, and the Mss shall be sent you as soon as it is revised. She has further to beg that you would be so kind as to look it over and strike out what you think might be better omitted.—

I detected you in a small collection of Poems entitled, Italy,1 which we all read with much pleasure. Venice, and The Brides of Venice, that was the title I think, pleased as much as any; some parts of the Venice are particularly fine. I had no faul[t] to find but rather too strong a leaning [to]2 the pithy and concise, and to some peculiarities of versification which occur perhaps too often.

Where are the Beaumonts? and when do they come to England—We hear nothing of them.

Lord and Lady Lonsdale are well, Lady Frederic3 is here, so is Lady Caroline,4 both well. Before I close this I will mention to Lady F. that I am writing to you. My own family were well when I left them two days ago. Please remember me kindly to your Sister, and believe me, my dear Rogers, faithfully yours,

Wm Wordsworth    

PS. Lady F. says, if Holland House were but where Brougham Hall is, we should see more of Mr Rogers. She adds that we have really some sunshine in this country and now and then a gentle day like those of Italy.—Adieu—

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 The Hon. Charles Cecil Cope Jenkinson, later 3rd Earl of Liverpool (1785–1851): M.P. for Sandwich (1807), Bridgnorth (1812), and East Grinstead (1818): Under-Secretary for the Home Department, 1807, and for War and the Colonies, 1809. He succeeded to the title on the death of his half-brother, the former Prime Minister, in 1828.
Editor’s Note
2 Of 1803. See DWJ i. 195 ff. These (and later) negotiations finally fell through, and the Journal was not published in full until J. C. Shairp's edition of 1874. See also L. 88 below.
Editor’s Note
1 The First Part of Italy, [anon.], 1822.
Editor’s Note
2 MS. torn.
Editor’s Note
3 i.e. Lady Frederick Bentinck.
Editor’s Note
4 Lady Caroline, Lord Lonsdale's fourth daughter. In 1815 she had married William John Frederick Vane, 3rd Duke of Cleveland (1792–1864).
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