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SELECTED AND EDITED
BY ROBERT ARIS WILL MOTT.
ILLUSTRATED WITH ONE HUNDRED DESIGNS BY BIRKET FOSTER,
J. WOLF, AND JOHN GILBERT,
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH was born in the town of Cockermouth, Cumberland, April 7, 1770. His father, an attorney of skill and repute, died December 30, 1783. The birthplace of the Poet favoured the growth of his poetical feelings; the Derwent soothed him with its murmurs, and the mouldering castle opened its green courts for the chase of the butterfly. He lost his mother early; and soon afterwards the sweet companionship—in later years to be recovered and prized of his sister DOROTHY. Like Shenstone, he began with a “ Schoolmistress ;"
No pompous title did debauch her ear,
Or dame, the sole additions she did hear. In his ninth year Wordsworth was removed to a School at Hawkshead, a small market-town in Lancashire, embosomed in the green Vale of Esthwaite, with the still lake for a mirror. The School, which was founded by Archbishop Sandys, consisted of a schoolroom on the groundfloor, and some apartments for the Master; the boys being boarded in the neighbouring cottages. The indoor education was good, but the out-of-door was better. The Poet has told us of the fair seed-time of his soul ; and even then he felt
Gleams like the flashing of a shield : the earth
Rememberable things. He had already begun to write verses. But a new scene opened. In his eighteenth year he was sent to Cambridge, and on a dreary morning, as he informs us, of October, 1787, he
at the Hoop alighted, famous Inn. The Evangelist St. John was his patron ; in prosaic phrase, he was entered a student of St. John's College; the Kitchens were under his rooms, and Trinity's “ loquacious clock” and pealing organ were his near neighbours. His picture of Academic life is drawn in dark and forbidding colours. But the place was full of solemn interest. One of his friends occupied the room which had been Milton's ; and there his