More Trachoma, Poetry, and Travel (1822–31)

  • F. B. Pinion
Part of the Macmillan Literary Companions book series (LICOM)


In February 1822 Wordsworth had the misfortune to read a mischievous article at his expense in one of the copies of The London Magazine he had obtained principally to read some of Lamb’s essays. Hazlitt’s ‘On Consistency of Opinion’ included an anecdote which he had heard from Charles Lloyd and dressed up as an illustration of the poet’s ‘impertinence’ and ‘ostentatious servility’. It describes how, about 1802, a romantic acquaintance who was ‘smit with the love of simplicity and equality’ (Wordsworth) used to call on a gentleman (Lloyd) in the evening, and snuff out one of the two candles on the table because he thought it ‘a shame to indulge in such extravagance’ when many a cottager had not even a rush-light. In 1816 this hater of luxury asked his extravagant friend to dine with him and a lord (Lowther), and lend him his man-servant to wait at table. Just before they were about to sit for dinner, the friend heard him (Wordsworth) instruct the servant to have six candles on the table. It was left to Mary Wordsworth, in an indignant letter to Tom Monkhouse, to deny the ‘cant’ about the rush-light, and to explain that William had once snuffed out a candle at Brathay because the light hurt his eyes, that Lloyd’s servant attended the dinner to watch and restrain his master, after his return from a Birmingham asylum, and that Lord Lowther had brought his own servant to wait at table.


Memorable Line Boat Race Extensive Tour Arthurian Romance Spiritual Renewal 
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  1. 2.
    F. M. Todd, Politics and the Poet, A Study of Wordsworth, London, 1957, pp. 226–8.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    In a note to 1. 171 of An Evening Walk (1793), Wordsworth states, for the benefit of the ‘curious traveller’, that ‘up the Duddon … may be found some of the most romantic scenery’ in the Lake District.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    A.M. Terhune and A. B. Terhune (eds), The Letters of Edward FitzGerald, Princeton, 1980, vol. I, p. 60;Google Scholar
  4. And Robert B. Martin, Tennyson: The Unquiet Heart, Oxford, 1980, p. 126. 1830 had been a year of revolutionary outbreaks in Europe, one leading to Belgian independence.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Mrs Humphry Ward, A Writer’s Recollections, London, 1919, p. 76.Google Scholar

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© F. B. Pinion 1984

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  • F. B. Pinion

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