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decline, enabled him to follow his inclinations.
This benefit the poet has gratefully

'Calvert, it must not be unheard by them
Who may respect my name, that I to thee
Owed many years of early liberty.
This care was thine, when sickness did condemn
Thy youth to hopeless wasting, root and stem;
That I, if frugal and severe, might stray
Where'er I liked; and finally array
My temples with the Muse's diadem.'

After leaving College he made extensive
tours on foot, in Scotland and on the
Continent with a youthful friend. In 1793 he
for the first time ventured into print. Two
small volumes appeared in that year:
"Descriptive Sketches, in verse, taken during a
Pedestrian Tour among the Alps;" and "An
Evening Walk, an Epistle in Verse, addressed
to a young Lady from the Lakes in the North
of England." In these poems we find no
traces of the poetical theory which he
subsequently adopted. But they are characterised
by the same, almost exclusive, preference for
lakes, cataracts and mountains, the elementary
beauty of external nature, human passions
and incidents, and they contain many
passages of glaring imagination powerfully

In 1796 he took up his abode with his
sister at Allfaxden, at the foot of the Quantock
Hills, in Somersetshire. This was an
important era in the development of his
intellect and imagination. During his residence
at Allfaxden he was in constant and
unreserved communication with Coleridge.
Totally dissimilar as the two men were in
character, they had many sympathies. Upon
both, the classical tastes and ecclesiastical
opinions inculcated at English schools and
colleges, had, without their being aware of
it, made a deep and indelible impression. Both
had been animated by the vague but ardent
longings after an undefined liberty, and
perfection of human nature, then prevalent.
They were isolated from general sympathy
without knowing it; from the revolutionary
party by their literary tastes and strong
attachment to traditional English morals;
from the Church and State party by their
freedom from sectarian narrowness. The
resolute independence of thought of the
young poets is worthy of all admiration;
their frank and cordial communication of
all their thoughts, equally so. A pleasing
though brief sketch of them at that time
has been given by Hazlitt, in an essay,
entitled, 'My first Acquaintance with Poets;'
a more petulant and shallow account, which
yet contains some valuable information, by

The result of this literary alliance was the
first volume of the "Lyrical Ballads." The
quiet but perfect melody of Wordsworth's
versification and the depth of the human
sentiment in his reflections, the more swelling
tone of Coleridge's verse and his wild
unearthly imaginings, might have secured
a more favourable reception for his work,
had it not been announced as the result of
a new theory of poetry. That theory was
misapprehended by the critics of the day,
and was indeed inadequately expressed by
its authors themselves. Coleridge
subsequently developed it in more precise and
unexceptionable language in his Biographia
Literaria. The effect of its premature
announcement was, that the Lyrical Ballads
were judged, not by their own intrinsic merits,
but by the theory upon which they were said
to have been constructed.

The insurmountable indolence of Coleridge
always planning works too great for human
accomplishment, and resting satisfied with
projectsleft Wordsworth to pursue his path
alone. This he did with characteristic
pertinacity of purpose; if criticism had any
influence on him at all, it was only to confirm
him in his foregone conclusions. After an
excursion to Germany, in which he was
accompanied by his sister and Coleridge, he
returned to his native country, 'with the
hope,' as he has told us in his Preface to the
Excursion, 'of being enabled to construct a
literary work that might live.'

In 1803, William Wordsworth married
Miss Mary Hutchinson, and settled at
Grasmere. He removed in a few years to Rydal
Mount, where he continued to reside till his
death. Subsequently to this time his life is
utterly devoid of personal incident, and may
be briefly recapitulated before proceeding to
chronicle his poetical productions, which are
indeed his life. By his wife, who survives
him, he had one daughter, who died before
him, and two sons, one of whom holds a
vicarage in Cumberland, the other is a
distributor of stamps. In 1814, Wordsworth,
by the patronage of the Earl of Lonsdale,
was appointed distributor of stamps for
Cumberland and Westmoreland-- a recognition of
the claims of genius to public support only
second in eccentricity to the making of Burns
an exciseman. After holding this office for
twenty-eight years, he was allowed to
relinquish it to his second son, and retire upon a
pension of £300 a year. In 1843, he
succeeded Southey in the limited emoluments
and questionable dignity of the Laureateship.
His slender inheritance, the beneficence of
Raisley Calvert, his office under Government,
his retiring pension, and his emoluments as
Laureate, sufficed, with his simple tastes, to
enable him to wait the slow pecuniary returns
of his literary labours.

While the critical storm awakened by the
Preface to the Lyrical Ballads was still
raging, he composed his Peter Bell and his
Waggoner, which were not, however, published
till many years later. They are full of fine
and deep-felt poetry. Their language is
genuine racy English, and their versification
unsurpassed for sweetness. It cannot,