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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pg 717825. W. W. to HENRY TAYLOR

  • Address: H. Taylor Esqre.
  • MS. Bodleian Library.
  • K (—). LY ii. 704.

[In M. W.'s hand]

Rydal Mount, June 10th [1834].

My dear Sir,

I have just recd your two volumes,1 and send my thanks before I have read them; not from the fear that I might not be able to report favorably of their impression upon my mind, but from apprehension that some time may elapse before the State of my eyes will allow me to read them. My eyes, I am glad to say, are not actually inflamed, nor have they been for some time, but I am under medical restrictions as to the use of them. On my table are no less than 6 books, lately received from the kindness of different authors, that I have not acknowledged, having deferred doing so from a hope that I might without injury peruse them—and I have really been so harrassed in mind, by this procrastination that I am determined your case shall not be added to them. When we meet again we will talk over your dramatic labours.

You are young, and therefore will naturally have more hope of public affairs than I can have: principles, which after all are the only things worth contending about, are sacrificed every day, in a manner which I have foreseen since the passing of the Reform Bill, and indeed long before, but does not on that account the less disturb me. The predominance in Parliament given to the dissenting interest, and to Towns which have grown up recently without a possibility of their being trained in habits of attachment either to the Constitution in Ch: and State, or to what remained of the feudal frame of Society in this Country, will inevitably bring on a political and social Revolution. What may be suffered by the existing generation no man can foresee, but the loss of liberty for a time will be the inevitable consequence. Despotism will be established, and the whole battle will be to be fought over by subsequent generations.

I remain very faithfully your much obliged

[signed] Wm Wordsworth   

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Editor’s Note
1 Henry Taylor's drama Philip van Artevelde was published in two volumes in June 1834.
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