previous next
[212] radicalism of temperament and instinct. Haydon tells us that in 1809 Sir George Beaumont said to him and Wilkie, ‘Wordsworth may perhaps walk in; if he do, I caution you both against his terrific democratic notions’; and it must have been many years later that Wordsworth himself told Crabb Robinson, ‘I have no respect whatever for Whigs, but I have a great deal of the Chartist in me.’ In 1802, during his tour in Scotland, he travelled on Sundays as on the other days of the week.1 He afterwards became a theoretical churchgoer. ‘Wordsworth defended earnestly the Church establishment. He even said he would shed his blood for it. Nor was he disconcerted by a laugh raised against him on account of his having confessed that he knew not when he had been in a church in his own country. “All our ministers are so vile,” said he. The mischief of allowing the clergy to depend on the caprice of the multitude he thought more than outweighed all the evils of an establishment.’2

In December, 1792, Wordsworth had returned to England, and in the following year published ‘Descriptive Sketches’ and the ‘Evening Walk.’ He did this, as he says in one of his letters, to show that, although he had gained no honors at the University, he could do something. They met with no great success, and he afterward corrected them so much as to destroy all their interest as juvenile productions, without communicating to them any of the merits of maturity. In commenting, sixty years afterward, on a couplet in one of these poems,—

And, fronting the bright west, the oak entwines
Its darkening boughs and leaves in stronger lines,—

1 This was probably one reason for the long suppression of Miss Wordsworth's journal, which she had evidently prepared for publication as early as 1805.

2 Crabb Robinson, I. 250, Am. Ed.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Scotland (United Kingdom) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John Wordsworth (5)
Crabb Robinson (2)
Wilkie (1)
Haydon (1)
George Beaumont (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1809 AD (1)
1805 AD (1)
1802 AD (1)
December, 1792 AD (1)
7th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: