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William Wordsworth

Ernest De Selincourt and Alan G. Hill (eds), The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 4: The Later Years: Part I: 1821–1828 (Second Revised Edition)

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  • MS. untraced.
  • Mem. Grosart. LY i. 343.

[mid-Dec. 1828]

My dear S.,

I am ashamed not to have given your message about the Icôn to my brother. I have no excuse, but that at that time both my body and my memory were run off their legs. I am very glad you thought the answer2 appeared to you triumphant, for it had struck me as, in the main points, knowledge of the subject, and spirit in the writing, and accuracy in the logic, one of the best controversial tracts I ever read.

I am glad you have been so busy; I wish I could say so much of pg 687myself. I have written this last month, however, about 600 verses, with tolerable success.

Many thanks for the Review: your article1 is excellent. I only wish that you had said more of the deserts of government in respect to Ireland; since I do sincerely believe that no government in Europe has shown better dispositions to its subjects than the English have done to the Irish, and that no country has improved so much during the same period. You have adverted to this part of the subject, but not spoken so forcibly as I could have wished. There is another point that might be insisted upon more expressly than you have done—the danger, not to say the absurdity, of Roman Catholic legislation for the property of a Protestant church so inadequately represented in Parliament as ours is. The Convocation is gone;2 clergymen are excluded from the House of Commons; and the Bishops are at the beck of Ministers. I boldly ask what real property of the country is so inadequately represented: it is a mere mockery.

  • Most affectionately yours,      
  • W. W.   

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2 C. W.'s King Charles the First the author of Icon Basilike.
Editor’s Note
1 On 'The Roman Catholic Question—Ireland', in the Quarterly: see L. 380 above.
Editor’s Note
2 Both Houses of Convocation were suppressed for all practical purposes in the early eighteenth century after growing tension between the high-church clergy and the Whiggish bench of Bishops came to a head in the Bangorian Controversy of 1717; and thereafter their meetings were purely formal. The Convocation of Canterbury claimed the right to discuss business again in 1852 after the Gorham Judgement. York followed the example of Canterbury in 1861.
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