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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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1061. W. W. to EDWARD MOXON

MS. Carl H. Pforzheimer Library. Hitherto unpublished.

[late July or early Aug. 1836]

My dear Mr Moxon,

To save the Post my last through Mr Stephens2 was sent off in so great a hurry as not to leave time to my Daughter to thank you for your Present. Never was a gift more happily chosen; she is delighted with the Book, so is her dear Mother, and so would my poor Sister have been, had it pleased God to leave her in full possession of her powers of mind. Pray be so kind as to forward pg 282the corrections on the other leaf to Mr Evans.1 And let us know his address, as it might save trouble and time perhaps if we were to enclose the sheets, under cover to him, sometimes, without their passing through your hands, though I shall like you to see them all before struck off.

  • affectionately yours          
  • W Wordsworth   

I shall now proceed to correct the Excursion and the Poems regularly,2 and hope that the work will advance at a good pace, as it is not impossible that I may go abroad in the Autumn.

We have sent a small Parcel, to your care, for my nephew John Wordsworth. It contains a Watch, be so good as to take charge of it till he calls for it.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2 James Stephen, of the Colonial Office.
Editor’s Note
1 Of Messrs. Bradbury and Evans, who were to print the new edition of the Poetical Works which Moxon now had in hand.
Editor’s Note
2 The task of revising the poems was well under way by early August, after E. Q.'s arrival at Rydal Mount, and his MS. Diaries (WL MSS.) for 3 Aug. onwards record a good deal of 'tinkering' (the word was W. W.'s) with the poems, in particular with The Female Vagrant and Alice Fell ('restored at my request') on the 4th and the 5th. 'Descriptive Sketches.—Mr W today, and subsequently has given these Alpine Sketches a careful revision and correction, and has, I think, very greatly improved them, as this juvenile production was as full of corrupt diction as of vigorous poetry. Mrs. W. says full of "swagger and flourish".' W. W. was still 'tinkering' with Alice Fell (in proof) and with An Evening Walk on 1 Sept., and on the 3rd E. Q. records some alterations to The Idiot Boy, 'one of Wordsworth's early poems, one of those that has been most ridiculed … but full of nature and tenderness. There are delicate and subtle touches in it that are admirable. Here and there I would quarrel with an expression … but the whole is so good and complete, that it would be rash perhaps to suggest troublesome objections. Mr W. says he never wrote anything more currently than this poem, nor when he was in a happier and more poetical state of feeling.'
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