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moral elevation, simple grandeur, and personal purity of aim, which he read of in his favourite Plutarch, than the complexities of character which delight modern analysis, or that glorification of the successful

strong man which sometimes receives and abuses the name Hero-worship. As the Athenian loved Athens, as the Roman reverenced Rome, such were his reverence and his love for England

Ah! not for emerald fields alone,
With ambient streams more pure and bright
Than fabled Cytherea's zone
Glittering before the Thunderer's sight,
Is to my heart of hearts endeared

The ground where we were born and reared ! Let us briefly note, further, that taking what may be called the English side in the war against Napoleon, Wordsworth was led (a constant result in politics) to identify himself altogether with that side,-embracing hence its unalloyed hostility to France: that maturer years, although never shaking his profound sympathy with the people, yet brought with them their almost inevitable “something too much" of conservatism; lastly, and in the case of his sensitive poetical nature, not to be neglected, that about this time he resumed that study of the ancient literature which reproduced itself in his noble “Laodamia," "Dion," "Lycoris," and other poems;—and we may probably find here the key to that peculiar modification of sentiment which marks his latter writings, in regard to human life and the aspects of nature, and is distinctly traceable in their style and diction. When trying to follow the developments in the mind of a great poet, we should rather aim at general suggestions than at rigorous definition; and these remarks must, therefore, not be pressed far; yet it may be useful to observe that something of (perhaps unconscious) republicanism was blended with the homeliness in choice of subject and simplicity in matter of words which Wordsworth professed, with rather indiscreet openness, in the Preface to his earlier lyrics; qualities which were naturally, though, perhaps, not altogether well, exchanged for the greater floridity and the more directly moralizing and dogmatic colour of the poems that followed the “Excursion.”

At first, however, his renewed interest in politics found utterance itself in prose, and he composed an address on the so-called “ Convention of Cintra ” (1809), which expresses in manly terms his deep regard for national liberty, seriously menaced in the Spanish peninsula, as he thought, by that treaty with the French government.

The excellence of a poet's prose is well known to those who care for excellence in literature ; indeed, looking at literature from the beginning, it is comparatively rare to find a prose writer of the first rank who has not himself made a serious practice of poetry. The “ Cintra” tract has not been reprinted; but the truth of the preceding

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remarks may be easily verified by readers of Wordsworth's “ Essay on Epitaphs,” his “ Prefaces," already noticed, and some of the “Letters” contained in his nephew's “Memorials."

A singular and almost unbroken felicity, seldom so well deserved, attended the last half of William Wordsworth's life, which was prolonged with vigour of mind and health of body to the age of eighty. An ideal picture, drawn in one of his own letters, might be fitly applied to himself : “ This man was not the victim of his condition, he was not the spoiled child of worldly grandeur, the thought of himself did not take the lead in his enjoyments; he was, when he ought to be, lowly minded, and had human feeling; he had a true relish of simplicity, and therefore stood the best chance of being happy.” “Profusion and extravagance had no hold over Wordsworth,” says Mr. De Quincey, “ by any one passion or taste. not luxurious in anything, was not vain or even careful of external appearances, was not even in the article of books expensive. Very few books sufficed him ; he was careless habitually of all the current literature, or indeed of any literature that could not be considered as enshrining the very ideal, capital, and elementary grandeur of the human intellect.”

“ What he gave to others, and what he most desired for himself,” says another witness, “was love."

" was love." He felt for his friends and family, neighbours and dependents, that intense

He was

tenderness which his poetry expresses towards what, by a narrow phrase, we call Nature. — Frequent journeys through Great Britain or on the Continent,Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy; the education of children, amongst whom the death of one, Dora, was the single great sorrow of his age (1847); the publication of some miscellaneous poems, founded in part upon his journeys; “honour and troops of friends," with the assured blessings of home, such euthanasia, in a word, as human life admits of: these, and similar circumstances, accompanied his later days to a calm and Christian death-bed (April 23, 1850). He had overlived the chilling want of sympathy which original genius never fails to arouse among commonplace minds; he had out-lived the mis-estimation of some nobler spirits, and the overpartiality of undiscriminating worshippers; his work for his countrymen, wherever scattered over the world, was at length fairly judged, and found to rank in quality with the best to which England has given birth; and he now rests from his labours in the quiet churchyard of Grasmere, among neighbours and kinsmen, within the bosom of the hills he loved so heartily, and the Rotha running at his feet with a music hardly sweeter than his own.

Beati . . . ut requiescant à laboribus suis ; opera enim illorum sequuntur illos.—This life would not have been worth recounting unless Wordsworth had left

some work behind him of the kind which men do not willingly let die. What is the speciality of that work? He has told us that “ Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge, it is the impassioned expression which is in the countenance of all science.” How far has the poet himself conformed to this high ideal ?—Wordsworth somewhere has expressed what he thought or hoped might be the destiny of his poems : “To console the afflicted; to add sunshine to daylight, by making the happy happier ; to teach the young and the gracious of every age to see, to think and feel, and therefore to become more actively and securely virtuous: this is their office." And again, “ There is scarcely one which does not aim to direct the attention to some moral sentiment, or to some general principle, or law of thought or of our intellectual constitution.” Or we might give another application to a line in the “Prelude," and sum up his desire as one, “to Nature's self to oppose a deeper Nature ;” or speak of

The light that never wa

on sea or land, The consecration, and the poet's dream :

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or take the phrase of his only distinguished follower in poetry, and, with the author of the “ Christian Year,” say that Wordsworth's work was to raise us to holier things.”—But Wordsworth, like his fellows in immortal verse, may not be compressed within the bounds

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