Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 132.djvu/311

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It is in your power to attain a permanent place among the poets of England. Your thoughts, feelings, knowledge, and judgment in style, and skill in metre, entitle you to it; and, if you have not yet succeeded in gaining it, the cause appears to me to lie in the subjects which you have chosen. It is worthy of note how much of Gray's popularity is owing to the happiness with which his subject is selected in three places; his "Hymn to Adversity," his "Ode on the Distant Prospect of Eton College," and his "Elegy." I must, however, in justice to you, add that one cause of your failure appears to have been thinking too humbly of yourself, so that you have not reckoned it worth while to look sufficiently round you for the best subjects, or to employ as much time in reflecting, condensing, bringing out, and placing your thoughts and feelings in the best point of view as is necessary.

It would be well if the writers of the present day would take to heart this advice, given by Wordsworth to Quillinan four years before his marriage with Dora. She also was an accomplished scribe, and her husband was wont to call her "the queen of letter-writers." But not many years after the epitaph to Prince was written, she, like the faithful dog,

Slept the sleep that knows no waking.

Unlike her parents, she died young, and is the last of the spectres that flit before us as we sit, facing her father's portrait, in the wainscoted dining-room of our moated grange. Neither the Mount, the Hall nor the Court could preserve a life so dear; and, after a vain effort to keep her here below a little longer by residence abroad, she was laid to rest in Grasmere churchyard, where, three years later, in 1850, her father was placed by her side.

There is one other member of this united family party who, though "unknown to fame," was not undeserving of it. This was Mrs. Hutchinson's brother, John Monkhouse, known as "the blind agriculturist," a very remarkable man, who was much at Brinsop Court, and in his later years at Rydal Mount. We are told that after Wordsworth's death his widow also became blind, and it was a touching sight to see her and her blind cousin, Mr. Monkhouse, both in extreme old age, walking arm in arm about the spot where the poet had lived and wandered.

All this and much more recurs to us as we roam within and around this old moated court. Fresh inmates dwell here now, and Wordsworths and Hutchinsons are dead or scattered; still memory holds them by her invisible chords, and would gently detain their unsubstantial presence where they have once been.

Not only here, however, where they habitually lived or visited, but in the old church where they worshipped, is the remembrance of them preserved. And if the Court is, in some sort, idyllic from old associations and modern surroundings, from its situation in the heart of nature and the pastoral occupations of its inhabitants, the church and schoolhouse are equally so. Situated within easy distance of the Court, they are also surrounded by woods and meads. The present vicar, the Rev. William Fowle, has restored the one and erected the other. Outside the picturesque schoolhouse is a merry-go-round, on which a dozen or more joyous children ride energetically together, their cheerful voices echoing to the quiet churchyard beyond. Within "God's acre" is a tombstone to a faithful female servant, who died at Brinsop Court while Wordsworth and his wife were paying their last visit there, in 1845. The turf of the churchyard is smoothly mown, and dotted and surrounded by evergreens. A seemly and quiet spot for Christian burial. Inside the ancient church is a memorial window to the poet who frequented it. This has been raised in the chancel by the vicar and a few friends; and it is refreshing in this exciting age to come upon a peaceful country oasis where one who sung so bravely and sweetly of God and nature is thus affectionately remembered. The vicar hopes soon to see a second memorial window in this interesting old church, to recall to this and future generations three other members of the Wordsworth family who also knelt within the sacred walls — the poet's wife, sister, and daughter — Mrs. Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, and Dora Quillinan.

From The Gentleman's Magazine.



No reader of Bismarck's diplomatic despatches or speeches in Parliament, even in the meagre reports of our daily papers, can have failed to be impressed by an extraordinary power of individual thought and expression widely differing from the ordinary style of such utterances. His most official statements are frequently interrupted by striking observations or turns of language — all the more impres-