But I doubt if he was ever really convinced, and to his dying day he could never quite shake off that habit of over-minute detail which renders the narratives of uncultivated people so tedious, and sometimes so distasteful.1
,’ after his latest revision, still contains verses like these:—
And he is lean and he is sick;
His body, dwindled and awry,
Rests upon ankles swollen and thick;
His legs are thin and dry;
Few months of life he has in store,
As he to you will tell,
For still, the more he works, the more
Do his weak ankles swell,—
which are not only prose, but bad
prose, and moreover guilty of the same fault for which Wordsworth
condemned Dr. Johnson
's famous parody on the ballad-style,—that their ‘matter
The sonorousness of conviction with which Wordsworth
sometimes gives utterance to commonplaces of thought and trivialities of sentiment has a ludicrous effect on the profane and even on the faithful in unguarded moments.
We are reminded of a passage in the ‘Excursion’:—
List! I heard
From yon huge breast of rock a solemn bleat,
Sent forth as if it were the mountain's voice.
In 1800 the friendship of Wordsworth
began, and was thenceforward never interrupted.