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process will go on, and in time what is really
valuable in his poems will take the place that
is due to it in the land's literature.

Of the first writings of Wordsworth little
need be said. Though they contain valuable
thoughts, they are lumbering and sufficiently
unreadable. The once furious controversy
about his literary creed as heresy, need not
be resuscitated; there were great errors on
both sides. If his merits were individually
depreciated, there was much in his seemingly
supercilious re-assertion, rather than defence
and explanation of his views, to extenuate
the petulance with which he was often treated.
As for his wanderings in the fields of politics
and polemics, he is no exception to the
general truth, that the warmest admirers of
poets must regret their deviations into such
uncongenial by-ways.

The man was like his poetry; simple and
therefore conservative in his tastes: self-reliant
and sometimes repulsive from his austerity,
yet with a rich fund of benevolence beneath
the hard exterior. His frame was strong
and sinewy from his habits of exercise; his
look heavy, and, at first sight, unimpressive;
but there was an inexpressible charm in his
smile. He was the antithesis of the materialist
and practical activity of the time. He did
not understand, and therefore could not
appreciate, the ennobling tendencies of the social
and scientific career on which this age has
entered-- an age into which he had lingered,
rather than to which he belonged. He looked
out upon the world from his egotistic isolation
rather as a critical spectator, than as a
sympathiser. His views of it were rusted over
with the conservative prejudices of the past.
Railways he hated, and against them waged
a sonneteering war. Although they were
rapidly increasing the commerce, comforts,
intercourse, affluence, and happiness of the
whole community, they invaded the selfish
solitude of the one man; and single-handed
he did battle against the armies of invading
tourists, who came to share with him the
heathful pleasures of the mountain and the
lake, in which he would have almost
preserved a patent right for the few.

This anti-natural spirit, however, did not
always lead him astray from the right path. In
the Excursion, were promulgated, for the first
time, these views respecting the embruting
tendency of the unintermitting toil of our
factory labourers, the necessity of universal
education by the State, and the vocation of the
English race to colonise the earth, which have
been so many zealous missionaries. We cannot
better conclude these desultory remarks,
an imperfect prelude to the lip of a truly
good and great man-- than by quoting part
of his weighty words in the Excursion,
respecting National Education :—

'Oh! for the coming of that glorious time
When, prizing Knowledge as her noblest wealth
And best protection, this Imperial Realm,
While she exacts allegiance, shall admit
An obligation, on her part, to teach
Them who are born to serve her and obey;
Binding herself by statute to secure
To all her children whom her soil maintains,
The rudiments of Letters, and to inform
The mind with moral and religious truth,
Both understood and practised-- so that none,
However destitute, be left to droop
By timely culture unsustained; or run
Into a wild disorder; or be forced
To drudge through weary life without the aid
Of intellectual implements and tools;
A savage horde among the civilised,
A servile band among the lordly free!

* * * * *

'The discipline of slavery is unknown
Amongst us-- hence the more do we require
The discipline of virtue; order else
Cannot subsist, nor confidence, nor peace.
Thus duties rising out of good possess'd,
And prudent caution, needful to avert
Impending evil, do alike require
That permanent provision should be made
For the whole people to be taught and trained.
So shall licentiousness and black resolve
Be rooted out, and virtuous habits take
Their place; and genuine piety descend,
Like an inheritance, from age to age.'

These are indeed worthy to become Household


ONE EVENING in the month of March, 1798,
that dark time in Ireland's annals whose
memory (overlooking all minor subsequent
émeutes) is still preserved among us, as 'the
year of the rebellion '-- a lady and gentleman
were seated near a blazing fire in the old-
fashioned dining-rooom of a large lonely
mansion. They had just dined; wine and fruit
were on the table, both untouched, while Mr.
Hewson and his wife sat silently gazing at
the fire, watching its flickering light becoming
gradually more vivid as the short Spring
twilight faded into darkness.

At length the husband poured out a glass
of wine, drank it off, and then broke silence,
by saying

"Well, well, Charlotte, these are awful
times; there were ten men taken up to-day
for burning Cotter's house at Knockane; and
Tom Dycer says that every magistrate in the
country is a marked man."

Mrs. Hewson cast a frightened glance
towards the windows, which opened nearly to
the ground, and gave a view of a wide tree-
besprinkled lawn, through whose centre a
long straight avenue led to the high-road.
There was also a footpath at either side of
the house, branching off through close thickets
of trees, and reaching the road by a circuitous

"Listen, James!" she said, after a pause;
"what noise is that?"

"Nothing but the sighing of the wind
among the trees. Come, wife, you must not
give way to imaginary fears."