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William Wordsworth
by [?]

Happiness was there and good society; few books, but fine culture; plain living and high thinking.

Wordsworth lived at Rydal Mount for thirty-three years, yet the sweetest flowers of his life blossomed at Dove Cottage. For difficulty, toil, struggle, obscurity, poverty, mixed with aspiration and ambition—all these were here. Success came later, but this is naught; for the achievement is more than the public acknowledgment of the deed.

After Wordsworth moved away, De Quincey rented Dove Cottage and lived in it for twenty-seven years. He acquired a library of more than five thousand volumes, making bookshelves on four sides of the little rooms from floor to ceiling. Some of these shelves still remain. Here he turned night into day and dreamed the dreams of “The Opium-Eater.”

And all these are some of the things that Mrs. Dixon told me on that bright Summer day. What if I had heard them before! no difference. Dear old lady, I salute you and at your feet I lay my gratitude for a day of rare and quiet joy.

“Farewell, thou little nook of mountain ground,
Thou rocky corner in the lowest stair
Of that magnificent temple which does bound
One side of our whole vale with gardens rare,
Sweet garden-orchard, eminently fair,
The loveliest spot that man has ever found,
Farewell! We leave thee to Heaven’s peaceful care,
Thee, and the Cottage which thou dost surround.”

* * * * *

At places of pleasure and entertainment in the Far West, are often found functionaries known as “bouncers.” It is the duty of the bouncer to give hints to objectionable visitors that their presence is not desired. And inasmuch as there are many men who can never take a hint without a kick, the bouncer is a person selected on account of his peculiar fitness–psychic and otherwise–for the place. We all have special talents, and these faculties should be used in a manner that will help our fellowmen on their way.

My acquaintanceship with the bouncer has been only general, not particular. Yet I have admired him from a distance, and the skill and eclat that he sometimes shows in a professional way has often excited my admiration.

In social usages, America borrows constantly from the mother country. But like all borrowing it seems to be one-sided, for seldom, very, very seldom, in point of etiquette and manners does England borrow from us. Yet there are exceptions.

It is a beautiful highway that skirts Lake Windermere and follows up through Ambleside. We get a glimpse of the old home of Harriet Martineau, and “Fox Howe,” the home of Matthew Arnold. Just before Rydal Water is reached comes Rydal Road, running straight up the hillside, off from the turnpike. Rydal Mount is the third house up on the left-hand side, I knew the location, for I had read of it many times, and in my pocketbook I carried a picture taken from an old “Frank Leslie’s,” showing the house.

My heart beat fast as I climbed the hill. To visit the old home of one who was Poet Laureate of England is no small event in the life of a book-lover. I was full of poetry and murmured lines from “The Excursion” as I walked. Soon rare old Rydal Mount came in sight among the wealth of green. I stopped and sighed. Yes, yes, Wordsworth lived here for thirty-three years, and here he died; the spot whereon I then stood had been pressed many times by his feet. I walked slowly, with uncovered head, and approached the gate. It was locked. I fumbled at the latch; and just as there came a prospect of its opening, a loud, deep, guttural voice dashed over me like a wave:

“There–you! now, wot you want?”