William Wordsworth

Ernest De Selincourt and Chester L. Shaver (eds), The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 1: The Early Years: 1787–1805 (Second Revised Edition)

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101. W. W. to HENRY GARDINER3

  • Address: Mr Henry Gardiner | King Street | Norwich | England
  • MS. Mr. Roger Clarke (1935).4 EL, 201.

Hamburg 3rd October 1798

Dear Sir

As you have heard nothing from us you would doubtless conclude that we had given up the idea of visiting Norwich. We arrived at Hamburg a fortnight ago, after a very pleasant voyage, of three days and three nights. We are now on the point of setting off to Brunswick whence we shall proceed into upper Saxony. The place of our destination is yet undetermined, but we intend to fix on some pleasant village or small town. We were very sorry that pg 232we did not see you on your return to Bristol. Our going into Wales was quite an unpremeditated scheme. Mr Coleridge proposed it to us one evening and we departed the next morning at six o' clock.1 We had a very pleasant tour along the banks of the Usk and the Wye, into Brecknockshire. We can scarcely say how we like Germany, Hamburgh is, I hope, a miserable specimen of what we are to find.

Every thing is very dear and the inn-keepers, shop-keepers &c. are all in league to impose upon strangers. We intend to apply with the utmost assiduity to learning the language when we are settled.

I hope you have arranged the troublesome business in which you were engaged when you left us at Bristol. My sister begs to be kindly remembered to you. I am, dear Sir

  • Yours sincerely    
  • Wm Wordsworth  

I do not yet know what is become of my poems, that is, who is their publisher. It was undecided when I came off, which prevented my sending you a copy, but you will see them advertized and so will learn where you may get them.

Lyrical ballads with a few other poems, is their title

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Editor’s Note
3 A Norwich merchant. When the poll for members of Parliament was taken on 5 July 1802, he was a freeholder living in the parish of St. Julian, through which King Street (note his address) runs. He was not listed in the parliamentary poll for 1796, but either he or a man with the same name was living in St. Helen's parish in 1832.
Editor’s Note
4 The present owner of this manuscript has not been ascertained.
Editor’s Note
1 On 3 Aug. S. T. C. wrote to Poole from Bristol that he would 'dart into Wales' and return to Bridgwater by 10 Aug. While he and the Wordsworths were in Wales they visited Thelwall at Llyswen, in Brecknockshire.
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