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William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth

The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 6: The Later Years: Part III: 1835–1839 (Second Revised Edition)

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MS. Cornell. Hitherto unpublished.

Rydal Mount March 7th. [18]36

My dear Sir,

I wish I could have sent this Letter under Cover, as it will scarcely be worth Postage; but I cannot defer thanking you for the great pleasure which your excellent Sermon1 gave me, and for which I beg you will accept my sincere thanks. It was well timed, and could not, I think, but do good.

Today I am going from home, and do not expect to be at Liberty to return for at least ten days. One of my objects is, to pg 181attend the Christening of my Grandchild1 at Workington, who is to be called after me, and I hope will be taken to the font next Sunday. John was here not long ago and seemed to be a good deal dismayed at having ventured upon the sea of Authorship. The doctrines maintained in his sermon,2 will be as I hope he is prepared to expect, obnoxious in certain quarters; but ours is at present truly a Church Militant, and it becomes every Soldier to be faithful to his duty and maintain his post.

Our Invalids are both better especially my sister, who has become quite improved, though still enfeebled in mind, and her bodily health is greatly improved. She is now making efforts to walk, though to her own great astonishment, as she feels so well, she can scarcely stand without some support. But if she goes on as she has done lately, she will soon be able to move about in her own room.

You will be pleased to hear that there are good dispositions among several of the leading gentry in our County and in Cumberland to support the establishment by enlarging and building Churches. A large new one is erecting, at Kendal,3 one at Mil[n]thorp[e];4 another within a mile or two of Ambleside.5 My neighbour Lady Fleming has just subscribed £100 towards a new church at Keswick,6 Lord Lonsdale will assist in the same work, and he has just given £100 towards enlarging the Church at Bootle7 where a new Parsonage is also building; and I hope that both his Lordship and the Earl of Egremont will contribute to the erecting of a new Church in my native place, Cockermouth. It is a desperate stronghold of Radicalism; and the Inhabitants in general are little inclined to support the Undertaking; a proof how much, (circumstanced pg 182as they are with only one Church for 6,000 Souls), they stand in need of it. We however hope to succeed in the end; the chief obstacle in our way, I regret to say, is the indifference or supineness of the Minister1 himself of the present Church, which

[cetera desunt]

[Fragment of postcript at side of letter in D. W's hand] but was still poorly. Surely we shall be having direct news soon—but they are all so much and so exclusively involved in their own …

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Editor’s Note
1 Popery a new religion, compared with that of Christ and his apostles. A sermon preached in the Parish Church of Whitwick …, Ashby de la Zouch, 1835 (3rd edn., 1836).
Editor’s Note
1 John W.'s second son, William.
Editor’s Note
2 Church Membership and Discipline should be better understood and more zealously maintained …, Ashby de la Zouch, 1835.
Editor’s Note
3 St. Thomas's, at the north end of Stricklandgate, in 'Commissioners' Gothic' by George Webster (1837).
Editor’s Note
4 The church of St. Thomas, completed the same year in a similar style.
Editor’s Note
5 Holy Trinity, Brathay, built by Giles Redmayne (see pt. ii, L. 758). Thomas Arnold preached there occasionally while in residence at Fox How.
Editor’s Note
6 The new church of St. John the Evangelist, built at the expense of John Marshall and his family, was finally completed in 1838. See L. 933 above and Curry, ii. 453–4.
Editor’s Note
7 Near Ravenglass, where Lord Lonsdale was the patron of the living. The ancient church was enlarged by the addition of north and south transepts in 1837.
Editor’s Note
1 Mr. Fawcett.
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