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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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pg 5551230. W. W. to THOMAS NOON TALFOURD

  • Address: Mr Sergeant Talfourd M.P., Russel Square, London [In M. W.'s hand]
  • Postmark: (1) 18 Apr. 1838 (2) 20 Apr.
  • Stamp: Kendal.
  • MS. Cornell and Berg Collection, New York Public Library.1 Hitherto unpublished.

[18 Apr. 1838]

My dear Sir,

Your's reached me while I was preparing rather a long Letter to you on the subject. But I shall not proceed, and am contented to send you the introduction,2 of which pray make what use you like; if you think it would at all serve the cause or it would be on any account grateful to you to publish it pray do.

I am rather surprized and withal a little mortified by learning that you fear we shall be beaten. Adieu with a thousand thanks your sincere friend [W. W.]3

By way of mixing a little pleasure with the disagreeable, I send you a Sonnet which I threw off last Sunday evening almost extempore—4 I shall write to Sir R. Peel today.

[There follows 'Hark! 'tis the Thrush', as in PW iii. 56, except that in l.9 read 'face' for front']

W. W. Easter Sunday.  

Pray shew the above, with my best regards, to Mrs Talfourd. It will be printed in the Volume now going through the press, consisting of all the sonnets I have written. And Mrs W. will thank you to forward the enclosed at your early convenience.

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Editor’s Note
1 The two parts of this MS. have become separated. The first half, which was quoted by Zall, op. cit., p. 137, is at Cornell: the second half, from the sonnet onwards, together with the address sheet, is in the Berg Collection.
Editor’s Note
2 See next letter, which Talfourd published in the Morning Post. The rest of this 'rather long letter' was never published, but fragments have survived among the Cornell MSS., and were published by Paul M. Zall in the TLS, 16 Oct. 1953. See Prose Works, iii. 308, 315–17.
Editor’s Note
3 MS. torn. Talfourd replied on 23 Apr. (Cornell MSS.), thanking him for his encouraging letter and promising to publish it in the Morning Post. 'I am also most grateful for your delicious Sonnet—may you have very many returns of the season which inspired it!'
Editor’s Note
4 'Some of the expressions he softened', M. W. wrote to Thomas and Mary Hutchinson, 'otherwise, it was not the labour of more than an hour, if so much—A proof, I think, that age is not making the havoc with him as he seems to apprehend.' (MW, p. 209.)
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