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[217] of unmistakable prose; perhaps we might add the incongruous clothing of prose thoughts in the ceremonial robes of poesy.

During the same year (1793) he wrote, but did not publish, a political tract, in which he avowed himself opposed to monarchy and to the hereditary principle, and desirous of a republic, if it could be had without a revolution. He probably continued to be all his life in favor of that ideal republic ‘which never was on land or sea,’ but fortunately he gave up politics that he might devote himself to his own nobler calling, to which politics are subordinate, and for which he found freedom enough in England as it was.1 Dr. Wordsworth admits that his uncle's opinions were democratical so late as 1802. I suspect that they remained so in an esoteric way to the end of his days. He had himself suffered by the arbitrary selfishness of a great landholder, and he was born and bred in a part of England where there is a greater social equality than elsewhere. The look and manner of the Cumberland people especially

1 Wordsworth showed his habitual good sense in never sharing, so far as is known, the communistic dreams of his friends Coleridge and Southey. The latter of the two had, to be sure, renounced them shortly after his marriage, and before his acquaintance with Wordsworth began. But Coleridge seems to have clung to them longer. There is a passage in one of his letters to Cottle (without date, but apparently written in the spring of 1798) which would imply that Wordsworth had been accused of some kind of social heresy. ‘Wordsworth has been caballed against so long and so loudly that he has found it impossible to prevail on the tenant of the Allfoxden estate to let him the house after their first agreement is expired.’ Perhaps, after all, it was Wordsworth's insulation of character and habitual want of sympathy with anything but the moods of his own mind that rendered him incapable of this copartnery of enthusiasm. He appears to have regarded even his sister Dora (whom he certainly loved as much as it was possible for him to love anything but his own poems) as a kind of tributary dependency of his genius, much as a mountain might look down on one of its ancillary spurs.

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