W. J. B. Owen and Jane Worthington Smyser (eds), The Prose Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. 3

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II (Healey, item 2435)

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus1"Burke says," as in a letter was lately observed to me by a much 2esteemed friend, "that between certain services that he had rendered to 3the State & money, there was no common measure of comparison— 4that they are qualities incommensurable"—this applies with tenfold 5force my friend goes on to say, in the case of sound literature in as Critical Apparatus6much as the services here rendered [are] for all states & for all time. 7Still there has always appeared to me, something monstrous in the 8existing relation between Author & Bookseller or Publisher, as 9regards remuneration of this sort—a positive reversing of the natural 10order of things, as we find it obtains in all matters else—a subser-Critical Apparatus11vience (pro tanto) of the spiritual to the material".

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II. 1 Before "Burke MS. deletes: esteemed friend of mine thus expresses himself [by del.] in a letter [ on this del.] which I have rec within these few days
Editor’s Note
1–11. To Wordsworth's appeal for support of Talfourd's Bill among his 'parliamentary Friends' (L.Y., p. 920), William Gomm replied, 30 March 1838 (Healey, item 2844):

… although I feel [? assured], that Burke's Estimate of Some Services that he had borne a part—and a very large one—in rendering to the State—"That between money and such Services there is no common measure of Comparison:—they are Quantities incommensureable"—applies with a tenfold force in the Case here adduced: inasmuch as the Services here rendered are for all States and for all time.—Still, there has always appeared to me, something monstrous in the existing Relation between Author and Book-seller or publisher, as regards Remuneration of this sort;—a positive reversing of the Natural Order of Things, as we find it obtains in all matters else:—a Subservience (pro tanto) of the Spiritual to the Material.

Mainly by omissions, Wordsworth mends Gomm's tangled syntax, but neither he nor Gomm quotes accurately the passage from Burke's Letter to a Noble Lord (1796): 'my exertions, whatever they have been, were such as no hopes of pecuniary reward could possibly excite; and no pecuniary compensation can possibly reward them. Between money and such services, if done by abler men than I am, there is no common principle of comparison; they are quantities incommensurable' (Works (Bohn's Standard Library, 1886), v. 114).
For Gomm's career and his friendship with Wordsworth see de Selincourt's n., L.Y., pp. 699–700.
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6 are Edd.: all MS.
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11 material"] MS. omits the opening quotation marks.
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