William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth

The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 5: The Later Years: Part II: 1829–1834 (Second Revised Edition)

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674. W. W. to JOHN GARDNER

  • Address: John Gardner Esqre, 16 Foley Place, Portland Place, London.
  • Postmark: 3 Feb.
  • Stamp: Kendal Penny Post.
  • MS. Miriam Lutcher Stark Library, University of Texas.
  • LY ii. 602.
  • [In M. W.'s hand]

[c. 2 Feb. 1832]

Your very acceptable letter I sit down to answer, as soon as I am able—not having seen my Nephew till yesterday. I am very much gratified by the prospect of his being placed under your care being assured that he will find protection and instruction in a situation most favourable to him—and were he my own Son I should send him off to you at once. But my position in regard to him is a delicate one. His Mother is living, and married to a Person3 with whom I have no intimacy—and she hesitates about his being sent to London, preferring his being placed for a couple of years in some country Town, naming Carlisle—to this I decidedly object, as would his other Guardian Dr Wordsworth. And as I do not find that his Mother is disposed to press the point of his not going to London—I consider that at present as his destiny, and am truly happy at the thought of his being placed with you, as I have said before.

Previous to this however, circumstanced as I am in respect to him—something is due to form, and I am sure that your delicacy will not be wounded when I state, that I should be obliged if you would furnish me with a reference to any Practitioner, or Person of note, who would give me such Testimony, (as might go further than my own opinion) of your merit and character, towards satisfying his Mother, and my fellow-guardian (who has not yet been consulted) that I had not taken so important a step without due precaution.

pg 487I have examined the youth this day in Latin. Justice cannot have been done to him at School, or he would have known more—I am afraid you will find him very backward. Hence I have great pleasure in the plan you propose in having a Teacher for him together with your own Nephew—to whom I hope he may recommend himself, as I believe him to be of an amiable disposition: and well inclined to improve himself.

I should be glad to write more but I am very much tired having had a series of hard work for the last two months. Of course no time must be lost—and he shall be prepared to go to London as soon [as]1 this point is settled.

  • With great respect I remain dr Sir  
  • faithfully yours           
  • [signed] Wm Wordsworth   

Give my kind regards to Mr Boxall.—

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
3 Lightfoot, the Keswick attorney.
Editor’s Note
1 Word dropped out.
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