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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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pg 311151. W. W. to NATHANIEL BIGGS

  • Address: Messrs Biggs & Cottle | Printers | St. Augustine's Back | Bristol
  • Postmark: 23 December 1800.
  • Stamp: Keswick.
  • MS. Yale Univ. Lib. White(—), 34. L, i. 132. EL, 258.

[Grasmere, 19 Dec. 1800]1

  • Mr Biggs,
  • Sir,

I sent off the three last sheets of the L. B. in a great hurry yesterday; and I have to request that you will take your pen and transcribe into the first sheet, which I sent yesterday, the three following verses, which I think I neglected to insert. They relate to the 4th Poem on the naming of places. If you look towards the end of that poem you will find these words

  •                                   "was chang'd
  •         To serious musing and to self-reproach."2

Immediately after which ought to follow these 3 verses.

  •         "Nor did we fail to see within ourselves
  •         What need there is to be reserv'd in speech,
  •         And temper all our thoughts with charity.
  •         Therefore, unwilling &c.["]

These three lines are absolutely necessary to render the po[em] intelligible. In the Poem of Michael abo[ut the] middle of the first part you will find this line—

  •         "The Clipping Tree, a name which still it bears. ["]

Take a pen and alter the word "still" into the word "yet" let the line be printed—

  •         "The Clipping Tree, a name which yet it bears. ["]

A few lines from the End of the first part of the same poem you will find this line—

  •         "But when the Lad, now ten years old, could stand ["]

&c alter the manuscript with a pen and let it be printed thus

  •         "But soon as Luke, now ten years old, could stand.["]

pg 312From a printed sheet I received yesterday from Mr Coleridge I see that the sheet containing the Pet-lamb &c has been received but I am afraid that that sheet containing the Old Cumberland Beggar &c must either have miscarried, or reached you much later than it ought to have done, else I cannot conceive why, in your last letter you should have said that four sheets were wanting to complete the work. If this sheet should have miscarried Do not begin to print the poem of Michael till you have written to tell me what poems have been received and printed. The sheet which contained the Cumberland Beggar contained also a part of the Poet's Epitaph, without which what followed in the next sheet would be nonsense. In the Page of Errata. Let Lucretius be read for Lucretia—in the Preface. 2nd volume Page 145 Line first—Place a Comma after the words "disconsolate creature ["] and omit the comma after "perhaps." Page—147—for "both grey red and green" substitute "grey, scarlet, and green["],.


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Editor’s Note
1 As the final sheets of copy had been sent on 18 Dec. (Letter 150), the date of this letter is fixed by W. W.'s statement here that he had posted them the day before.
Editor’s Note
2 A narrow girdle of rough stones and crags, lines 69–70.
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