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LIFE OF WORDSWORTH.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, son of the law agent on the estates
of the first Earl of Lonsdale, was born at Cockermouth, in Cumberland, on the 7th April 1770. He was first sent to school at Penrith; but, after the death of his mother in 1778, he was transferred to the public school at Hawkshead, in Lancashire, where he completed his earlier education. His father's death in 1783 left the family in straitened circumstances, Lord Lonsdale having refused to pay a considerable sum of money due to them. In 1787 he was entered at St John's College, Cambridge, where in 1791 he passed his examination for the degree of B.A. During the previous year he made, with a fellow-student, a pedestrian tour through France, then in the first wild hopes of the Revolution. With the aspirations of the Republican party he at first ardently sympathised, but the subsequent excesses of the revolutionists completely alienated him from the cause.
In 1793, Wordsworth came before the public as an author, in two poems entitled The Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches. In 1795, an intimate friend, named Calvert, died and bequeathed to the poet £900-a sum which enabled him, with his attached sister Dorothy, to settle in comfort at Racedown Lodge, in Dorsetshire. Two years afterwards he removed to Alfoxden, in Somersetshire, where he enjoyed the friendship of Coleridge. To this period belong the Lyrical Ballads, a joint adventure of the two poets, which did not prove remunerative. After a short tour in Germany, along with his sister and Coleridge, Wordsworth returned to his native Cumberland, which he never again permanently left. He settled first at Grasmere ; in 1808, he removed to Allan Bank, in the vicinity; and in 1813, he transferred his household to Rydal Mount, where he spent the remainder of his life. In 1802, his claim against the Lonsdale estates was admitted, and he received £8000; and in the same year he married his cousin, Mary Hutchinson, with whom he had been intimate from childhood. In 1813 he was appointed Distributor of Stamps for the county of Westmorland, with a salary of £500 a year.