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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  • Address: R. P. Graves Esqre, Trinity Col., Dublin.
  • Postmark: 1 Feb. 1834.
  • Stamp: Kendal Penny Post.
  • Endorsed: W. Wordsworth Janry 30/34.
  • MS. Lilly Library, Indiana University.
  • London Mercury, vi (1922), 398. LY ii. 694.

[In M. W.'s hand]

  • Rydal Mount Jan. 30th [1834]

My dear Sir,

My first words must thank you for your admirable letter,5 which is in every point satisfactory; my next, to express my belief pg 690that you will have imputed my silence to any thing rather than remissness. I have made several fruitless attempts at an interview with Mr Dawes. He promised some time ago to call upon me, but he has not kept his engagement—yesterday I went again to his house, but did not find him at home, so that I have resolved to defer writing to you no longer. I do not know whether it was before or since my last letter, that I accidentally met him in the road, when he told me 'that if you were not in orders, there was an end of the business, as he would not give any one a title'. This objection I should have considered insurmountable, but that he has since offered to give a title to the son of a friend of his, as I know from a gentleman who was present when he made the offer. During that short accidental conversation Mr D. said to me that as long as his health was as good as at present he did not think it right that he should receive any portion of income from the Chapelry without doing its duties. This feeling I met with observing that as there was much to do, an assistant Curate might be desirable and with that view I was disposed to recommend you. He concluded by saying that you had best come over in summer and then perhaps the matter might be arranged. So that tho' I cannot reckon the affair promising in its present state it is not altogether hopeless. But far the most discouraging thing about it is Mr D's unsteadiness of mind. Tho' a Person of wonderful strength for his years, and in many respects a very amiable and excellent Man, he has been, during his whole life remarkable for extreme irritability of nerve; in fact some of his nearest relatives have been insane—and this restless temperament has produced in Mr D. contradictions and changes of purpose which have both disappointed and harassed his neighbours and friends upon many occasions. It is no doubt the cause of his not having called upon me, as he promised to do. I assure you, I attach so much importance to your being employed as a Minister of the Gospel at Ambleside, and feel confident that by the good you do there, you would entitle yourself to the gratitude of the Parish, that I will exert myself to the utmost to effect what we both desire. This is all that I can say at present—but you shall hear from me as soon as anything decisive or important occurs—in the meanwhile believe me very faithfully

  • Yours                  
  • [signed] Wm Wordsworth  

Pray give my kind regards to Mrs Hemans and your Brother.

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Editor’s Note
5 Of 4 Jan., explaining his religious position. See L. 797 above.
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