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believe, the nunister and people are exceedingly satisfied with eacii other; and indeed how should they be dissatisfied, when they have a person of su much worth and probity for their pastor? A man who, for his cardour and meekness, his sober, chaste, and virtuous convérsation, his soundness in principle and practice, is an ornament to his profession, and an honour to the country he is in ; and bear with me if I say, the plainness of his dress, the sanctity of his manners, the simplicity of his doctrine, and the vehemence of his expression, have a sort of resemblance to the pure practice of primitive Christianity.'
In a letter from Mr. Walker himself, it is stated that the annual income of his chapel was at this time, as near as he could compute it, about 171. 108. And yet, when the Bishop of the diocese recommended the joining to the curacy of Seath waite the contiguous one of Ulpba, it was a sufficient reason for his declining the offer, that it might be disagreeable to his auditory 'at Seathwaite,' and that the inhabitants of Ulpha despaired of being able to support a schoolmaster who should not be curate there also. In a second letter to the Bishop, he writes thus :
• My Lord, • I have the favour of yours of the 1st. instant, and am exceedingly obliged on account of the Ulpha affair : if that curacy should lapse into your Lordship's hands, I would beg leave rather to decline than embrace it; for the chapels of Seathwaite and Ulpha annexed together, would be apt to cause a general discontent among the inhabitants of both places; by either thinking themselves slighted, being only served alternately, or neglected in the duty, or attributing it to covetousness in me; all which occasions of murmuring I would willing: ly avoid.'
The stipend attached to the curacy was subsequently ang. mented, but Mr. Walker's income was still extremely scanty. Nevertheless, the frequent offer of much better benefices, could not tempt bin to quit a situation where he had been so long happy, with a consciousness of being useful.' It appears that he met with some liberal benefactors, or such as he deemed liberal, by whose assistance he was enabled to rear a numerous family, and, strange to say, to support one of his sous for some time as a student at Dublin college. The same man who was thus liberal in the education of bis family,' was even munificent,' it is added, “ in hospitality as a parish priest.'
• Every Sunday, were served upon the long table at which he has been described sitting with a child upon his knee, messes of broth for the refreshment of those of his congregation who came from a distance, and usually took their seats as parts of his own household. It seems scarcely possible that this custom could have commenced before the augmentation of his cure; and, what would to many have been a high price of self-denial, was paid by the pastor and his family, for this gratification; as the treat could only be provided by dressing at one time the whole, perhaps, of their weekly allowance of fresh
animal focd; consequently, for a succession of days, the table was covered with cold victuals only.'
The following explanatory details are requisite to shew by what ineans such a man as this could at his decease leave bebiud him no less a sum than 20001.
• To begin with his industry; eight hours in each day, during five days in the week, and half of Saturday, except when the labours of husbandry were urgent, he was occupied in teaching. His seat was within the rails of the altar ; the communion-table was his desk; and, like Shenstone's school-mistress, the master employed himself at the spinning-wheel, while the children were repeating their lessons by his side. Every evening, after school hours, if not more profitably engaged, he continued the same kind of labour, exchanging for the benefit of exercise, the small wheel at which he had sate, for the large one on which wool is spun, the spinner stepping to and fro.--Thus, was the wheel constantly in readiness to prevent the waste of a moment's time. Nor was his industry with the pen, when occasion called for it, less eager. Entrusted with extensive management of public and private affairs, he acted in his rustic neighbourhood as scrivener, writing out petitions, deeds of conveyance, wills, covenants, &c. with pecuniary gain to himself, and to the great benefit of his employers. These labours (at all times considerable) at one period of the year, viz. between Christmas and Candlemas, when money transactions are settled in this country, were often so intense, that he passed great part of the night, and sometimes whole nights, at his desk. His garåen also was tilled by his own hand; he had a right of pasturage upon the mountains for a few sheep and a couple of cows, which required his attendance; with this pastoral occupation, he joined the labours of husbandry upon a small scale, renting two or three acres in addition to his own less than one acre of glebe ; and the humblest drudgery which the cultivation of these fields required was performed by himself.
• He also assisted his neighbours in hay-making and shearing their flocks, and in the performance of this latter service he was eminently dexterous. They in their turn, complimented him with a present of a hay-cock, or a fleece, less as a recompence for this particular service than as a general acknowledgment. The Sabbath was in a strict sense kept holy; the Sunday evenings being devoted to reading the Scripture and family prayer. The principal festivals appointed by the Church were also duly observed; but through every other day in the week, through every week in the year, he was incessantly occupied in work of hand or mind; not allowing a moment for recreation, except upon a Saturday afternoon, when he indulged himself with a Newspaper, or sometimes with a Magazine. The frugality and temperance established in his house, were as admirable as the industry. Nothing to which the name of luxury could be given was there known; in the latter part of his life, indeed, when tea had been brought into almost general use, it was provided for visitors, and for such of his own family as returned occasionally to his roof, and had been accus. tomed to this refresho.ent elsewhere ; but neither he nor his wife ever partook of it. The raiment worn by his family was comely and decent, but as simple as their diet; the home spun materials were made up into apparel by their own hands. At the time of the decease of (his thrifty pair, their cottage contained a large store of webs of woollen and linen cloth, woven from thread of their own spinning And it is remarkable, that the pew in the chapel in which the family used to sit, remained a few years ago neatly lined with woollen cloth spun by the pastor's own hands. It is the only pew in the chapel so distinguished; and I know of no other instance of his conformity to the delicate accomodations of modern times. The fuel of the house, like that of their neighbours, consisted of peat, procured from the mosses by their own labour. The lights by which in the winter evenings their work was performed, were of their own manufacture, such as still continue to be used in these cottages; they are made of the pith of rushes dipped in any unctuous substance that the house affords. White candles, as tallow candles are here called, were reserved to honour the Christmas festivals, and were perhaps produced upon no other occassions. Once a month, during the properseason, a sheep was drawn from their small mountain flock, and killed for the use of the family: and a cow, towards the close of the year, was salted and dried, for winter provision; the hide was tanned to furnish them with shoes.By these various resources, this venerable clergyman reared a dumeróus family, not only preserving them, as he affectingly says, “ from wanting the necessaries of life;" but afforded them an unstinted education, and the means of raising themselves in society.
• It might have been concluded that no one could thus, as it were, have converted his body into a machine of industry for the humblest uses, and kept his thoughts so frequently hent upon secular concerns, wirhout grievous injury to the more precious parts of his nature. How could the powers of intellect thrive, or its graces be displayed, in the midst of circumstances apparently so unfavourable, and where, to the direct cultivation of the mind, so small a portion of time was allotted ? But, in this extraordinary man, things in their nature adverse were reconciled; his conversation was remarkable, not only for being chaste and pure, but for the degree in which it was fervent and eloquent; his written style was correct, simple, aud animated. Nor did his affections suffer more than his intellect; he was tenderly alive to all the duties of his pastoral office : the poor and needy " he never sent empty away,” the stranger was fed and refreshed in passing that unfrequented vale,--the sick were visited ; and the feelings of humanity found further exercise among the distresses and embarrassments in the worldly estate of his neighbours, with which his talents for business made him acquainted; and the disinterestedness, impartiality, and uprightness which he maintained in the management of all affairs confided to him, were virtues seldom separated in his own conscience from religious obligations. pp. 58–62.
"The afternoon service in the chapel was less numerously attended than that of the morning, but by a more serious auditory: the lesson from the New Testament on those occasions, was accompanied by Birkett's Commentaries. These lessons he read with impassioned emphasis, frequently drawing tears from his hearers, and leaving a
lasting impression upon their minds. His devotional feelings and the powers of his own mind were further exercised, along with those of his family, in perusing the Scriptures: not only on the Sunday even ings, but on every other evening, while the rest of the household were at work, some one of the children, and in her turn the servant, for the sake of practice in reading, or for instruction, read the Bible
and in this manner the whole was repeatedly gone through.' 'To complete the sketch of this admirable person', we need but give the following anecdote. His wife died a few months before him, after they had been married to each other above sixty years. They were both in the ninety third year of their age. He ordered that her body should be borne to the grave by three of her daughters and one grand daughter. And when the corpse' was lifted * from the threshold, he insisted upon lending his aid, and'feeling • about, for he was then almost blind, took hold of a napkin ' fixed to the coffin ; and, as a bearer of the body, entered the • Chapel, a few steps from the lowly Parsonage. Such was the sense of his various excellencies prevalent in the country, that the epithet of Wonderful is to this day attached to his name,
We really feel indebted to Mr. Wordsworth for having presented us with the full-length portrait of a man of such sterling and almost obsolete excellence. It shall cancel us half the defects of his poetry. And poetry after all, be it of the best quality, is exceedingly less affecting than such a simple record of unvarnished realities. The Sonnet on Seathwaite Chapel, wo thought passably good, till we had read the Note which is given in illustration of it ; and then we found it miserably inadequate to the theme. And this tempts us to suspect that Mr. Wordsworth is not so much to blame, after all, for the choice of many of his subjects, as for writing ballads and lyrical pieces about them, instead of throwing them into the forın of honest prose. In some of his narrative poems, however, where he has adopted a free blank verse, which is the species of poetry by far the best suited to his habits of thinking and style of composition, he has risen to a very unusual height of excellence. The Excursion, with all its faults, assuredly contains some of the most exquisite blaok verse in the language. It is remarkable, that both his prose and bis blank verse are in general quite free from the puerilities and vulgarities which disfigure many of his lyrical pieces. The diction of the former, as well as that of his sopnets, is frequently, in direct opposition to bis theory, extremely elevated and richly figurative; sometimes to an excess bordering upon affectation. The River Duddon flows through a series of thirty-three sonnets which are for the most part of no ordinary beauty. Here and there, a little metaphysical mud, or a Lakish tincture, mingles with the stream, and it occasionally runs somewhat shallow ; but the general character of the series is that of very noble doVol. XIV. N.S.
scriptive poetry. They are the growth of many years: the fol. lowing, which stands the fourteenth, was the first produced ; others being added upon occasional visits to the Stream, or as recollections of the scenes upon its banks awakened a wish to de scribe them.
O Mountain Stream! the Shepherd and his cot
The Clouds and Fowls of the air thy way pursue ! In thus breathing a lonely sentiment intothe material elements of picturesque beauty, no living poet has shewn greater skill and fancy than Mr. Wordsworth. The next we sball select, is, it is true, no more than a sonnet; but pages of description are compressed within the compass of fourteen lines, and hours of feeling are concentered in the spirit which aniinates them. Child of the clouds! remote from every
Thousand of years before the silent air
• No fiction was it of the antique age: