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In the autumn of the year 1847, when the author of this Memoir was on a visit at Rydal Mount, the conversation turned on the Biography of departed poets a subject which has been handled by Mr. Wordsworth in his Letter to a Friend of Robert Burns, published in the year 1816.1

It was to be expected that this topic would not be dismissed without some reference to himself. Whether any, and if any - what kind of memorial should be given to the world of his life - this was a question which often presented itself to the mind of his nearest friends, as doubtless it did to his own.

On that occasion, as on many others, he expressed an opinion, that a poet's Life is written in his wORKS; and this is undoubtedly true, in a remarkable manner, in his own particular case.


1 London, Longmans, pp. 37. It is dated Rydal Mount, January, 1816.

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