Yesterdays with Authors eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 464 pages of information about Yesterdays with Authors.
noticeable.  Mrs. Wordsworth sat knitting at the fireside, and she rose with a sweet expression of courtesy and welcome as we entered the apartment.  As I had just left Paris, which was in a state of commotion, Wordsworth was eager in his inquiries about the state of things on the other side of the Channel.  As our talk ran in the direction of French revolutions, he soon became eloquent and vehement, as one can easily imagine, on such a theme.  There was a deep and solemn meaning in all he had to say about France, which I recall now with added interest.  The subject deeply moved him, of course, and he sat looking into the fire, discoursing in a low monotone, sometimes quite forgetful that he was not alone and soliloquizing.  I noticed that Mrs. Wordsworth listened as if she were hearing him speak for the first time in her life, and the work on which she was engaged lay idle in her lap, while she watched intently every movement of her husband’s face.  I also was absorbed in the man and in his speech.  I thought of the long years he had lived in communion with nature in that lonely but lovely region.  The story of his life was familiar to me, and I sat as if under the influence of a spell.  Soon he turned and plied me with questions about the prominent men in Paris whom I had recently seen and heard in the Chamber of Deputies.  “How did Guizot bear himself?  What part was De Tocqueville taking in the fray?  Had I noticed George Lafayette especially?” America did not seem to concern him much, and I waited for him to introduce the subject, if he chose to do so.  He seemed pleased that a youth from a far-away country should find his way to Rydal cottage to worship at the shrine of an old poet.

By and by we fell into talk about those who had been his friends and neighbors among the hills in former years.  “And so,” he said, “you read Charles Lamb in America?” “Yes,” I replied, “and love him too.”  “Do you hear that, Mary?” he eagerly inquired, turning round to Mrs. Wordsworth.  “Yes, William, and no wonder, for he was one to be loved everywhere,” she quickly answered.  Then we spoke of Hazlitt, whom he ranked very high as a prose-writer; and when I quoted a fine passage from Hazlitt’s essay on Jeremy Taylor, he seemed pleased at my remembrance of it.

He asked about Inman, the American artist, who had painted his portrait, having been sent on a special mission to Rydal by Professor Henry Reed of Philadelphia, to procure the likeness.  The painter’s daughter, who accompanied her father, made a marked impression on Wordsworth, and both he and his wife joined in the question, “Are all the girls in America as pretty as she?” I thought it an honor Mary Inman might well be proud of to be so complimented by the old bard.  In speaking of Henry Reed, his manner was affectionate and tender.

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Yesterdays with Authors from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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