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[213] bodily eye, and to have read little save his own poetry, he was in fact a systematic student in the field of travel and observation, for the ends of poetical composition. Accordingly, he writes to Archdeacon Wrangham, perhaps in 181I: “You inquire about old books; you might almost as well have asked for my teeth as for any of mine. The only modem books that I read are those of travels, or such as relate to matters of fact-and the only modem books that I care for.” What they meant to him may be seen in Ruth, which is full of images from Bartram — the magnolia, the cypress, green savannas, and scarlet flowers that set the hills on fire; in The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian woman, based on Heame; in the address to Hartley Coleridge, reminiscent of Carver; in Book Third of The Prelude, where the ideal environment for a university and its students is clearly that of Bartram's “Alatamaha” River, “where the generous and true sons of liberty securely dwell” ; and in Book Third of The Excursion. Here the Solitary, a returned American traveller, first relates his dissatisfaction with the “unknit Republic,” echoing Ashe, and English opinion in the year 1814, and then tells of his vain search for the natural man of Rousseau. He found little more to please him than “the Muckawiss,” of Carver:

So, westward, tow'rd the unviolated woods
I bent my way; and, roaming far and wide,
Failed not to greet the merry Mocking-bird;
And, while the melancholy Muccawiss
(The sportive bird's companion in the grove)
Repeated o'er and o'er his plaintive cry,
I sympathised at leisure with the sound;
But that pure archetype of human greatness,
I found him not. There, in his stead, appeared
A creature, squalid, vengeful, and impure;
Remorseless, and submissive to no law
But superstitious fear, and abject sloth.

The Solitary is not Wordsworth, but a dramatically conceived malcontent. The animating note that is characteristic of American travel at its best was sounded, not by English poets in the time of George the Third, but forty years before the

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