1889 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Wordsworth

P. W. Clayden, in Rogers and his Contemporaries (1889) 2:197.



Southey died, after a long decline of his physical and intellectual powers, on the 21st of March, 1843. He had been Laureate for thirty years, during which period other poets, greater than he, had arisen, and of those associated with him some had increased while he had decreased. There could be no question who should be Laureate while Wordsworth lived, and to Wordsworth it was offered at once. He accepted it with some little flutter of feeling at the idea that he must appear at Court. As usual, Rogers was resorted to, and when the time for presentation came, Wordsworth came to London and went to Court from St. James's Place. He was to have Rogers's Court suit, and, as Talfourd told Haydon, Davy's sword. When the eventful moment came, Moxon was there to assist in dressing him. It was a question of getting a big man into a small man's clothes, and great was the tugging and squeezing to get him in. But it was done, and the high-priest of mountain and of flood, as Haydon calls him, went through the ordeal with dignity and success.