International Weekly Miscellany - Volume 1, No. 9, August 26, 1850 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about International Weekly Miscellany.
may attribute this to his want of the stimulus which the necessity of writing for a livelihood imparts, and in part they may be right; but this is not the whole secret.  That his isolation from the stirring contact of competition, that his utter disregard of contemporary events, allowed his mind, which for perfect health’s sake requires constantly-renewed impulses from without, to subside into comparative hebetude, there can be no doubt whatever.  But the main secret of the freezing up of his fountain of poetical inspiration, we really take to have been his change of politics.  Wordsworth’s muse was essentially liberal—­one may say, Jacobinical.  That he was unconscious of any sordid motive for his change, we sincerely believe; but as certainly his conforming was the result less of reasonable conviction than of willfulness.  It was by a determined effort of his will that he brought himself, to believe in the Church-and-State notions which he latterly promulgated.  Hence the want of definite views, and of a living interest, which characterizes all his writings subsequent to that change, when compared with those of an earlier time.  It was Wordsworth’s wayward fate to be patronized and puffed into notice by the champions of old abuses, by the advocates of the pedantry of Oxford, and by the maintainers of the despotism not even of Pitt but of Castlereagh.  It is already felt, however, that the poet whom these men were mainly instrumental in bringing into notice, will live in men’s memories by exactly those of his writings most powerful to undermine and overthrow their dull and faded bigotries.  Despite his own efforts, Wordsworth (as has been said of Napoleon) is the child and champion of Jacobinism.  Though clothed in ecclesiastical formulas, his religion is little more than the simple worship of nature; his noblest moral flights are struggles to emancipate himself from conventional usage; and the strong ground of his thoughts, as of his style, is nature stripped of the gauds with which the pupils of courts and circles would bedeck and be-ribbon it.  Even in the ranks of our opponents Wordsworth has been laboring in our behalf.

It is in the record of his extra-academic life that the poet soars his freest flight, in passages where we have a very echo of the emotions of an emancipated worshiper of nature flying back to his loved resorts.  Apart from its poetic value, the book is a graphical and interesting portraiture of the struggles of an ingenuous and impetuous mind to arrive at a clear insight into its own interior constitution and external relations, and to secure the composure of self-knowledge and of equally adjusted aspirations.  As a poem it is likely to lay fast and enduring hold on pure and aspiring intellects, and to strengthen the claim of Wordsworth to endure with his land’s language.

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International Weekly Miscellany - Volume 1, No. 9, August 26, 1850 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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