Diplomatic Transcription of the First Grasmere Journal Notebook (DCMS 20)


May 14 1800 [Wednesday].    
Wm & John


DW’s younger brother, who worked as a merchant sailor for the East India Company and whom DW had not seen for eight years.

set off into York=    
=shire after dinner at ½ past    
2 o’clock – cold pork in their    
pockets. I left them at the    
turning of the Low-wood bay    
under the trees. My heart    
was so full that I could    
hardly speak to W when    
I gave him a farewell kiss.    
I sate a long time upon    
a stone at the foot of    
margin of the lake, &    
after a flood of tears my    
heart was easier. The [Page]

lake looked to me I knew    
not why dull and melancho-    
-ly, the weltering on the    
shores seemed a heavy    
sound. I walked as long    
as I could amongst the stones    
of the shore. The wood    
rich in flowers. A beau-    
-tiful yellow, palish yellow    
flower, that looked thick    
round & double, & smelt    
very sweet – I supposed    
it was a ranunculus –    
Crowfoot – the grassy    
leaved Rabbit toothed white    
flower, strawberries, Gerani-    
-um – scentless violet, [Page]

anemones two kinds, orchises,    
primroses. The heckberry    
very beautiful ^The crab coming out as a low shrub.    
Met a blind man driving    
a very large beautiful    
Bull & a cow – he walked    
with two sticks. Came home    
by Clappersgate. The valley    
very green – many sweet views    
up to Rydale head when    
I could juggle away the    
fine houses – but they    
disturbed me even more    
than when I have been    
happier – one beautiful    
view of the Bridge, without    
Sir Michaels.[Page]

Sate down very often – tho’    
it was cold – I resolved to    
write a journal of the time    
till W & J return – & I    
set about keeping my re=    
=solve because I will not quar=    
=rel with my myself & because    
I shall give Wm Pleasure by    
it when he [illegible deleted word] comes home    
again. At Rydale a woman    
of the village, stout & well    
=dressed, begged a halfpenny    
she had never she said done    
it before – but these “hard    
times!” – Arrived at home    
with a bad head-ach – set    
some slips of privett. The    
evening cold – had a fire –    
my face now flame-coloured [Page]

It is nine o’clock, I shall soon    
go to bed. A young woman    
begged at the door – she had come    
from Manchester on Sunday morn    
with two shillings & a slip of paper    
which she supposed a Bank    
note – it was a cheat. She    
had buried her husband & three    
children within a year & a    
half – All in one grave burying    
very dear – paupers all put    
in one place – 20 shillings    
paid for as much ground as    
will bury a man – a grave stone    
to be put over it or it the right will    
be lost: 11-6 each time the    
ground is opened. Oh! that I    
had a letter from William![Page]

May 15 Thursday    
A coldish dull morning – hoed    
the first row of peas, weeded &c    
&c – sat hard to mending till    
evening. When the rain which    
had threatened all day came on    
just when I was going to    
walk –

Friday morning [May 16th]. Warm & mild    
after a fine night of rain    
Transplanted raddishes after    
breakfast. Walked to Mr Gells    
with the Books – gathered, moss    
& plants. The woods extremely    
beautiful with all autumnal    
variety & softness – I carried    
a basket for mosses, & gathered    
some wild plants – Oh! that we    
had a book of botany – all    
flowers now are gay & deli    
=ciously sweet. The primrose    
still pre-eminent among    
the later flowers of the spring.[Page]

Foxgloves very tall – with their heads    
budding. – I went forward round    
the lake at the foot of Lough    
=rigg fell – I was much amused    
with the business of a pair of    
stone chats. Their restless voices    
as they skimmed along the    
water following each other    
their shadows upon under    
them, & their returning back    
to the stones on the shore, chirping    
with the same unwearied voice    
could not cross the water so I    
went round by the stepping stones    
The morning clear but cloudy, that    
is the hills were not overhung by    
mists. After dinner Aggy


Agnes (Aggy) Fisher, who with her husband, John, and sister Molly lived across the road from WW and DW. They are often described as helping DW with gardening and housework.

onions & carrots – I helped for a    
little – wrote to Mary Hutchinson    
washed my head – worked. After    
tea went to Ambleside. A pleasant    
cool but not cold evening. Rydale    
was very beautiful with spear-    
=shaped streaks of polished    
steel. No letters! – – only one    
newspaper. I returned by Clappers=gate. [Page]

Grasmere was very solemn in    
the last glimpse of twilight    
it calls home the heart to    
quietness. I had been very melan    
choly in my walk back. I had    
many of my saddest thoughts    
& I could not keep the tears    
within me. But when I    
came to Grasmere I felt    
that it did me good.    
I finished my letter to M    
H. – ate hasty pudding, &    
went to bed. As I was going    
out in the morning I met    
a half crazy old man. He shewed    
me a pincushion, & begged    
a pin, afterwards a halfpenny.    
He began in a kind of indistinct    
voice in this manner “Matthew    
Jobson’s lost a cow. Tom Nichol    
has two good horses strained    
Jim Jones’s cow’s brokken her    
horn, &c &c – –’ [Page]

He went into Aggys & persuaded    
her to give him some whey & let    
him boil some porridge. She    
declares he ate two quarts.

Saturday [May 17th] Incessant rain from    
morning till night. T. Ashburner


Thomas Ashburner was a neighbor, a resident of a cottage nearly opposite the Wordsworths’, who supplied them with coals to heat their home. He was a widower with five younger girls. Sara/Sally is mentioned in this journal.

brought us coals. Worked hard    
& Read Midsummer nights’ dream    
Ballads – sauntered a little    
in the garden. The Skobby sate    
quietly in its nest rocked by    
the winds & beaten by the    

Sunday 19th [May 18th] Went to church    
slight showers, a cold air.    
The mountains from this    
window look much greener    
& I think the valley is more    


Here, “green” seems to be written over something else.

than ever. The corn    
begins to shew itself. The ashes    
are still bare. Went part of    
the way home with Miss    
Simpson… – A little girl    
from Coniston came to beg. She [Page]

had lain out all night – her    
step-mother had turn’d her out of    
doors. Her father could not stay    
at home “She flights so”. Walked    
to Ambleside in the evening round    
the lake. The prospect exceeding    
beautiful from loughrigg fell.    
It was so green, that no eye    
could be weary of reposing    
upon it. The most beautiful    
situation for a house in the    
field next to Mr Benson’s –    
It threatened rain all the    
evening but was mild &    
pleasant. I was overtaken    
by 2 Cumberland people on    
the other side of Rydale who    
complimented me upon my    
walking. They were going to sell    
cloth, & odd things which they    
make themselves in Hawkshead    
& the neighbourhood. The post    
was not arrived so I walked    
thro the town, past Mrs Taylors    
& met him. Letters from [Page]

Coleridge & Cottle – John Fisher    
overtook me on the other side    
of Rydale – he talked much    
about the alteration in the    
times, & observed that in a    
short time there would be only    
two ranks of people, the    
very rich & the very poor,    
for those who have small    
estates says he are forced    
to sell, & all the land goes    
into one hand. Did not    
reach home till 10 o clock.

Monday [May 19th] – Sauntered a good    
deal in the garden, bound car=    
=pets, mended old clothes. Read    
Timon of Athens. Dried linen –    
Molly weeded the turnips,    
John stuck the peas –    
We had not much sunshine    
or wind but no rain till    
about 7 o’clock when we    
had a slight shower just [Page]

after I had set out upon    
my walk. I did not re-    
=turn but walked up into the    
Black quarter. I sauntered    
a long time among the rocks    
above the church. The most    
delightful situation possible    
for a cottage commanding    
two distinct views of the    
vale & of the lake, is    
among those rocks – I strolled    
on, gathered mosses, &c. The    
quietness & still seclusion    
of the valley affected me    
even to producing the deepest    
melancholy – I forced myself    
from it.


Illegible canceled word before “The.”

wind rose before I went    
to bed. No rain – Dowell    
& Wilkinson called in my    

Tuesday Morning [May 20th] A fine mild    
rain – after Breakfast the    
sky cleared & before the clouds    
passed from the hill, I went    
to Ambleside – It was    
a sweet morning – Every    
thing green & overflowing    
with life, & the streams    
making a perpetual song    
with the thrushes & all    
little birds, not forgetting    
the Stone chats. The post    
was not come in – I walked    
as far as Windermere. I    
met him there. No letters! No papers Came home    
by Clappersgate – I was sadly    
tired, ate a hasty dinner; &    
had a bad head-ach. Went    
to bed & slept at least 2    
hours – Rain came on in the    
Evening – Molly washing[Page]

Wednesday [May 21st] Went often    
to spread the linen which    
was bleaching – a rainy    
day – & very wet night

Thursday [May 22nd] A very fine day    
with showers – dried the    
linen & starched. Drank    
tea at Mr Simpsons.    
Brought down Batchelors    
Buttons (Rock Ranunculus)    
& other plants – went part    
of the way back. A show-    
=ery, mild evening all the peas up.

Friday 23rd [May] Ironing till tea    
time. So heavy a rain    
that I could not go for    
for letters – put by the linen    
mended stockings &c

Saturday May 24th [Page]

Walked in the morning to Ambleside    
I found a letter from Wm & from    
Mary Hutchinson & Douglass. Returned    
on the other side of the lakes –    
wrote to William after dinner –    
nailed up the beds worked in    
the garden – sate in the evening    
under the trees. I went to bed    
soon with bad head-ache –    
a fine day

Sunday [May 25th] A very fine warm day – had    
no fire. Read Macbeth in the    
morning – sate under the trees after    
dinner. Miss Simpson came    
just as I was going out & she    
sate with me I wrote to my    
Brother Christopher


Christopher Wordsworth (1774–1846), the youngest of the Wordsworth siblings and three years younger than DW, was then a Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He married Charles Lloyd’s sister, Priscilla, in 1804.

& sent John    
Fisher to Ambleside after tea.    
Miss Simpson & I walked to the    
foot of the lake – her Brother met    
us. I went with them nearly    
home & on my return found    
a letter from Coleridge & from    
Charles Lloyd & three papers — — [Page]

Monday May 26 A very fine    
morning worked in the garden    
till after 10 when old Mr Simp=    
=son came & [illegible deleted word] talked to me    
till after 12. Molly weeding    
wrote letters to J H Coleridge    
C Ll & W.


Initials referring to Joanna Hutchinson, S. T. Coleridge, Charles Lloyd, and William Wordsworth.

I walked towards    
Rydale & turned aside at my    
favourite field. The air & the lake    
were still. One ∧cottage light in the vale,    
had so much of day left that    
I [illegible deleted word] could distinguish objects    
the woods; trees & houses. Two or    
three different kinds of Birds    
sang at intervals on the opposite    
shore I sate till I could hardly    
drag myself away I grew so    
sad. “When pleasant thoughts”    

Tuesday [May] 27th I walked to Am=    
=bleside with letters – met the post    
before I reached Mr Partridges    
one paper, only a letter for    
Coleridge – – I expected a lr    
from Wm. [Page]

It was a sweet morning – the    
ashes in the valleys nearly in full    
leaf but still to be distinguished,    
quite bare on the higher grounds.    
I was warm in returning    
& becoming cold with sitting    
in the house – I had a bad    
head-ach, went to bed after dinner    
& lay till after 5 – not well    
after tea. I worked in the gar-    
=den but did not walk further.    
A delightful evening before the    
Sun set but afterwards it grew    
colder. Mended stockings &c

Wednesday [May 28th] In the morning walked    
up to the rocks above Jenny    
Dockeray’s sate a long time upon    
the grass the prospect divinely    
beautiful. If I had three hundred    
pounds & could afford to have a bad    
interest for my money I would    
buy that estate & we would    
build a cottage there to end our [Page]

days in – I went into her garden    
& got white & yellow lilies &c    
periwinkle &c which I planted.    
Sate under the trees with    
my work – no fire in the    
morning. Worked till between    
7 & 8 & then watered the    
garden, & was about to go    
up to Mr Simpson’s when Miss    
S & her visitors passed the door.    
I went home with them a    
beautiful evening the crescent    
moon hanging above helm crag.


Helm Crag (1,328 ft., or 405 m) rises dramatically just north of the village of Grasmere.

Thursday [May 29th]    
In the morning worked in    
the garden a little, read King    
John. Miss Simpson & Miss Falcon    
& Mr S came very early went    
to Mr Gells boat before tea    
we fished upon the lake &    
amongst us caught 13 Bass.    
Miss Simpson brought gooseberries    
& cream left the water at near [Page]    
nine o’clock, very cold. Went    
part of the way home with    
the party.

Friday [May 30th]. In the morning went    
to Ambleside, forgetting that    
the post does not come till    
the evening – how was I grieved    
when I was so informed –    
I walked back resolving to    
go again in the evening.    
It rained very mildly & sweetly    
in the morning as I came    
home, but came on a wet    
afternoon & evening – lucki-    
-ly I caught Mr Ollifs Lad    
as he was going for letters –    
he brought me one from    
Wm & 12 papers. I planted    
London pride upon the    
wall & many things on    
the Borders. John sodded    
the wall. As I came past [Page]

Rydale in the morning I    
saw a Heron swimming with    
only its neck out of water –    
it beat & struggled amongst    
the water when it flew away    
& was long in getting loose.

Saturday [May 31st] A sweet mild rainy    
morning. Grundy the    
carpet man called I    
paid him 1–10 – – –.    
Went to the Blind man’s    
for plants. I got such a load    
that I was obliged to leave    
my Basket in the Road &    
send Molly for it – – Planted &c.    
After dinner when I was    
putting up valances Miss    
Simpson & her Visitors called    
I went with them to Brathay    
Bridge – We got Broom in    
returning, strawberries &c.    
Came home by Ambleside    
Grasmere looked Divinely beautiful [Page]

Mr, Miss Simpson & Tommy    
drank tea at 8 o’clock – I walked    
to the Potters with them

Sunday June 1st Rain in the night –    
a sweet mild morning – Read Ballads    
went to church. Singers from    
Wytheburn. Went part of the    
way home with Miss Simpson.    
Walked upon the hill above    
the house till dinnertime –    
went again to church – a Christening    
& singing which kept us very late.    
The pewside came down with    
me. Walked with Miss Simpson    
nearly home. After tea went    
to Ambleside – [three illegible deleted words]    
round the lakes – a very fine warm    
evening. I lay upon the steep of    
Loughrigg my heart dissolved in    
what I saw when I was not startled    
but recalled from my reverie by a    
noise as of a child paddling without    
shoes. I looked up and saw a [illegible deleted word] [Page]    
lamb close to me – it approached    
nearer & nearer as if to examine    
me & stood a long time. I did not    
move at last it ran past me    
& went bleating along the pathway    
seeming to be seeking its mother.    
I saw a hare in the high road    
The post was not come in I    
waited in the Road till Johns    
apprentice came with a letter    
from Coleridge & 3 papers. –    
The moon shone upon the    
water – reached home at    
10 o clock – went to bed imme=    
=diately Molly brought Daisies &c    
which we planted.

Monday [June 2nd]. A cold dry windy    
morning. I worked in the garden    
& planted flowers &c – sate under    
the trees after dinner till tea time    
John Fisher stuck the    
peas. Molly weeded & washed. I went    
to Ambleside after tea, crossed    
the stepping-stones at [illegible deleted word] the [Page]    
foot of Grasmere & pursued my    
way on the other side of Rydale    
& by Clappersgate – – I sate a long    
time to watch the hurrying waves    
and to hear the regularly irregu    
-lar sound of the dashing waters –    
The waves round about the little    
seemed like a dance of spirits    
that rose out of the water,    
round its small circumfer-    
-ence of shore. Inquired about    
lodgings for Coleridge, & was    
accompanied by Mrs Nicholson    
as far as Rydale. This    
was very kind, but God be    
thanked I want not society    
[three illegible deleted words] by a moonlight    
lake – – It was near 11    
when I reached home. I wrote    
to Coleridge & went late to bed [Page]

Tuesday [June 3rd] Sent off my letter    
by the Butcher – a boisterous    
drying day – – [two illegible deleted words] &    
worked in the garden before    
dinner. Read Rd. Second    
was not well after dinner &    
lay down. Mrs Simpsons    
grandson brought me some    
gooseberries – I got up & walked    
with him part of the way    
home, afterwards went down    
rambling by the lake side    
got Lockety goldings, strawberries    
&c, & planted. After tea    
the wind fell I walked towards    
Mr Simpsons. Gave the newspa-    
-pers to the Girl, reached home    
at 10. No letter, no William    
a letter from Rd to John. [Page]

Wednesday [June 4th] A very fine day    
I sate out of doors most of the    
day, wrote Coleridge – Mr    
Jackson. … Ambleside fair.    
I walked to the lake side    
in the morning – took up plants    
& sate upon a stone reading    
Ballads. In the Evening I was    
watering plants when Mr &    
Miss Simpson called. I accom-    
=panied them home – & we went    
to the waterfall at the head    
of the valley – it was very    
interesting in the Twilight.    
I brought home lemon thyme    
& several other plants, & planted    
them by moonlight. I lingered    
out of doors in the hope of hearing    
my Brothers tread. [Page]

Thursday [June 5th] I sate out of doors    
great part of the day &    
worked in the Garden – had    
a letter from Mr Jackson    
& wrote an answer to Cole=    
=ridge. The little birds    
busy making love & pecking    
the blossoms & bits of moss off    
the trees, they flutter about    
& about & thru the trees as    
I lie under them – Molly    
went out to tea – I would    
not go far from home ex=    
=pecting my Brothers – I rambled    
on the hill above the house    
gathered wild thyme & took    
up roots of wild Columbine.    
Just as I was returning with    
my “load” Mr & Miss Simpson [Page]

called. We went again upon    
the hill, got more plants, set     
them, & then went to the     
Blind Mans for London Pride     
for Miss Simpson. I went     
up with them as far as     
the Blacksmith’s. A fine     
lovely moonlight night.

Friday [June 6th] Sate out of doors reading    
the Whole Afternoon, but    
in the morning I wrote to    
my aunt Cookson. In the    
Evening I went to Ambleside    
with Coleridge’s letter – it    
was a lovely night as the    
day had been. I went    
by Loughrigg & Clappersgate    
& just met the post at    
the turnpike he told me [Page]

there were two letters but    
none for me. So I was in    
no hurry & went round    
again by Clappersgate,    
crossed the stepping stones    
& entered Ambleside at    
Matthew Harrisons – A    
letter from Jack Hutchinson    
& one from Montagu en    
-closing a 3£ note –    
No William! I slackened    
my pace as I came home    
near home fearing to    
hear that he was not    
come. I listened till    
after one o’clock to every    
barking dog cock fighting & other    
sports: it was Mr Borricks    
opening. Foxgloves just    
coming into blossom [Page]

Saturday [June 7th] – A very warm    
cloudy morning, threatening to    
rain. I walked up to Mr Simpsons    
to gather gooseberries – it was    
a very fine afternoon – little    
Tommy came down with me,    
ate gooseberry pudding & drank    
tea with me. We went up    
the hill to gather sods & plants    
& went down to the lake side    
& took up orchises &c – I    
watered the garden & weeded    
I did not leave home in the    
expectation of Wm & John    
& sitting at work till after 11    
o clock. I heard a foot go    
to the front of the house,    
turn round, & open the gate    
It was William – – after our    
first joy was over we got    
some tea. We did not go [Page]

to bed till 4 o clock in the morning    
so he had an opportunity of    
seeing our improvements.    
The birds were singing,    
& all looked fresh though not    
gay. There was a greyness    
on earth & sky. We did not    
rise till near 10 in the morning.    
We were busy all day in writ    
=ing letters to Coleridge, Montagu,    
Douglass, Richard. Mr &    
Miss Simpson called in the    
Evening the little Boy carried our    
letters to Ambleside. We    
walked with Mr & Miss S    
home on their return the    
evening was cold & I was    
afraid of the tooth-ach    
for William. We met John    
on our return home. [Page]

Monday [June] 9th In the morning W    
cut down the winter cherry tree    
I sowed French Beans &    
weeded. A coronetted Landau    
went by when we were sitting    
upon the sodded wall. The ladies    
(evidently Tourists) turned an    
eye of interest upon our    
little garden & cottage. We    
went to R Newtons for pikefloats    
& went round to Mr Gell’s    
Boat and on to the Lake to    
fish we caught nothing – I    
was extremely cold. The Reeds    
& Bulrushes or Bullpipes of    
a tender soft green making    
a plain whose surface    
moved with the wind. The    
reeds not yet tall. The    
lake clear to the Bottom, but    
saw no fish. In the evening    
I stuck peas, watered the garden    
& planted Brocoli – [Page]

Did not walk for it was very    
cold. A poor Girl called    
to beg who had no work at home    
was going in search of it to Kendal.    
She slept in Mr Bensons    
Lathe – & went off after    
Breakfast in the morning with 7d    
& a letter to the Mayor of Ken-    

Tuesday [June] 10th A cold    
yet sunshiny morning. John    
carried letters to Ambleside.    
I made tarts, pies &c. – after    
Wm stuck peas. After    
dinner he lay down. John    
not at home – I stuck peas    
alone – Molly washing.    
Cold showers with hail &    
rain but at half past    
five after a heavy rain [Page]    
the lake become calm - - & very    
beautiful. Those parts of the    
water which were perfectly unruffled    
lay like green islands of various    
shapes – W & I walked to Am    
bleside to seek lodgings for C.    
No letters – no papers – It was    
a very cold cheerless evening. John    
had been fishing in Langdale & was    
gone to bed.

On Tuesday May 27th a very    
tall woman, tall much beyond    
the measure of tall women,    
called at the door    
She had on a very long brown    
cloak, & a very white cap    
without Bonnet – her face    
was excessively brown, but it    
had plainly once been fair. She    
led a little bare footed child about    
2 years old by the hand & said her    
husband who was a tinker was    
gone before with the other children.    
I gave her a piece of Bread –    
Afterwards on my road to Am    
-bleside, beside the Bridge at [Page]    
Rydale, I saw her husband sitting    
by the road-side his two asses    
feeding beside him & the two young    
children at play upon the grass.    
The man did not beg – I    
passed on & about ¼ of a mile    
further I saw two boys before me one about    
10 the other about 8 years old    
at play chasing a butterfly.    
They were wild figures, not    
very ragged, but without    
shoes & stockings, the hat of    
the elder was wreathed round    
with yellow flowers, the    
younger whose hat was only    
a rimless crown, had stuck    
it round with laurel leaves.    
They continued at play till    
I drew very near & then they    
addressed me with the Begging [Page]    
cant & the whining voice of    
sorrow – I said I served your    
Mother this morning. (The Boys    
were so like thewoman who had called at the door that I could    
not be mistaken) – O! says the    
elder you could not serve    
my mother for she’s dead &    
my father’s on at the next    
town – he’s a potter” – I per    
=sisted in my assertion & that I    
would give them nothing. Says    
the elder Come let’s “away” &    
away they flew like lightning    
They had however sauntered so    
long at Ambleside in their    
road that they did not reach    
Ambleside before me, & I saw them    
go up to Matthew Harrison’s    
house with their wallet upon the    
elder’s shoulder, & creeping with    
a Beggars complaining foot [Page]

On my return through Ambleside I met in the street the    
mother driving her asses; in the    
two Panniers of one of which was    
the two little children whom    
she was chiding & threaten-    
=ing with a wand which    
she used to drive on her asses    
while the little things hung in    
wantonness over the Panni    
-ers edge. The woman had    
told me in the morning that    
she was of Scotland, which    
her accent fully proved    
but that she had lived (I think    
at Wigton) that they could not    
keep a house, & so they travelled. [Page]

Wednesday 13th June [11th]–    
A very cold morning – we went    
on the lake to set pike floats with John’s fish – [illegible deleted    
words] W & J went first    
alone. Mr Simpson called &    
I accompanied him to the Lake    
side. My Brothers & I again went    
upon the water, & returned to    
dinner we landed upon the    
Island where I saw the whitest    
Hawthorn I have seen this year,    
the generality of hawthorns    
are bloomless – I saw wild    
roses in the hedges – went    
to bed in the afternoon & slept    
till after six – a threatening    
of the tooth-ach. Wm & John    
went to the pikefloats – they    
brought in 2 pikes. I sowed    
Kidney-beans & spinnach, a cold evening.    
Molly stuck the peas. I weeded    
a little – – Did not walk. [Page]

Thursday 14th June [12th]–    
William & I went upon the    
water to set pike floats.    
John fished under Loughrigg.    
We returned to dinner –    
2 pikes boiled & roasted. A    
very cold air but warm sun.    
W & I again went upon    
the water – [illegible deleted word] we    
walked to Rydale after tea, &    
up to the potter’s – a cold night,    
but warmer

15 Friday [June 13th] A rainy morning    
W & J went upon the Lake    
very warm & pleasant    
gleams of sunshine    
went upon the water    
after tea – caught a pike    
7½ [lbs] Mr Simpson trolling    
Mr Gell & his party come [Page]

Saturday [June 14th] – A fine morning but clou=    
=dy … W & John went upon the    
lake. I staid at home –    
We drank tea at Mr Simpsons    
Stayed till after 10 o clock

Sunday [June 15th] John walked to Coniston    
W & I sauntered in the Garden    
Afterwards walked by the lake-    
side: a cold air – we pushed through    
the wood –walked behind    
the fir grove and returned    
to dinner. We lay down after    
dinner. Parker, the Tanner    
& the Blacksmith from Hawkshead    

Monday [June 16th] Wm & I went to Brathay    
by Little Langdale & Collath    
& Skellth. It was a warm    
mild morning with threatening    
of rain. [Page]

The [illegible deleted word] vale of Little Langdale    
looked bare & unlovely … Collath    
was wild & interesting. From the    
Peat carts & peat gatherers – the    
valley all perfumed with    
the Gale & wild thyme.    
The woods about the waterfall    
[illegible deleted word] veined with rich yellow    
Broom. A succession of    
delicious views from Skelleth    
to Brathay – we met near    
Skelleth a pretty little    
Boy with a wallet over    
his shoulder he came from    
Hawkshead & was going to    
“late” a lock of meal. He    
spoke gently & without    
complaint. When I asked    
him if he got enough to    
eat he looked surprized &    
said “Nay”. He was 7 [Page]

years old but seemed not    
more than 5. We drank    
tea at Mr Ibbetsons & returned    
by Ambleside. Sent 3-9-0 to    
the Potter at Kendal. Met    
John on our return home at    
about 10 o clock. Saw a primrose in blossom

Tuesday [June 17th] We put the new    
window in. I ironed & worked    
about a good deal in house &    
garden. In the Evening    
we walked for letters. Found one    
for Coleridge at Rydale, &    
I returned much tired

Wednesday [June 18th] we walked round    
the lake in the morning &    
in the evening to the lower    
waterfall at Rydale – it was    
a warm, dark, lovely evening [Page]

Thursday [June 19th] A very hot morning.    
W & I walked up to Mr Simpsons    
W & old Mr S. went to fish in    
Wytheburn water. I dined with    
John, & lay under the trees    
The afternoon changed from    
clear to cloudy & to clear    
again – John & I walked    
up to the waterfall & to    
Mr Simpsons, & with Miss    
Simpson met the fishers.    
W. caught a pike weigh=    
=ing 4¾ lb. There was    
a gloom almost terrible    
over [illegible deleted words]Grasmere water & vale –    
a few drops fell but not    
much rain. No Coleridge whom    
we fully expected

Friday [June 20th] I worked in the garden    
in the morning. Wm prepared    
pea sticks. Threatening for rain [Page]

but yet it comes not –    
On Wednesday evening a poor    
man called, a hatter – he had    
been long ill – but was now    
recovered & his wife was lying in    
of her 4th child. The parish    
would not help him because    
he had [illegible deleted words] imple=    
=ments of trade &c. &c.    
We gave him 6d.

Saturday [June 21st] In the morning W.    
& I went to Ambleside to get his    
tooth drawn, & put in – a fine    
clear morning but cold. – Ws    
tooth drawn with very little pain    
he slept till 3 o’clock. Mr    
Young Mr. S drank tea & supped    
with us they fished in Rydale    
water & they caught 2 small fishes.    
W no bite. John 3. Miss Simp    
son & 3 children called I walked    
with them to Rydale. The evening cold    
& clear & frosty, but the wind [Page]

was falling as I returned. I staid    
at home about an hour & then    
walked up the hill to Rydale lake.    
Grasmere looked so beautiful    
that my heart was almost    
melted away. It was quite calm    
only spotted with sparkles of light    
The church visible. On our return    
all distant objects had faded    
away – but all but the hills.    
The reflection of the light    
bright sky above Black quarter    
was very solemn. Mr S did not    
go till 12 o’clock.

Sunday [June 22nd] In the morning W & I    
walked towards Rydale & up into the    
wood but finding it not very pleas    
=ant we returned – sauntered in    
the garden – a showery day –    
In the evening I planted a    
honey suckle round the yew tree    
In the evening we walked for letters    
No letters, no news of Coleridge [Page]

Jimmy Benson came home    
drunk beside us

Monday [June 23rd] Mr Simpson called in    
the morning Tommys Father dead    
W & I went into Langdale to    
fish. The morning was very    
cold. I sate at the foot    
of the lake till my head ached    
with cold— — The view exquisitely    
beautiful, through the gate &    
under a sycamore tree beside    
the first house going into    
Loughrigg – Elter water looked    
barren barren & the view from the    
church less beautiful than    
in winter. When W went    
down to the water to fish I    
lay under the wind my head    
pillowed upon a mossy rock    
& slept about 10 minutes which    
relieved my headach. [illegible deleted word]    
We ate our dinner together    
& parted again. Wm was afraid [Page]

he had lost his line & sought    
me. An old Man saw me    
just after I had crossed the    
stepping stones & was going    
thro’ a copse – Ho, where were    
were you going? To Elterwater    
Bridge – Why says he its well    
I saw you, ye were gane    
to Little Langdale by Wrynose    
& several other places, which    
he ran over, with a mixture    
of triumph, good-nature, & wit.    
Its well I saw you or youd    
ha been lost. The evening    
grew very pleasant we sate    
on the side of the hill looking    
to Elterwater. I was much    
tired & returned home to    
tea. W went to fish for    
pike in Rydale. John    
came in when I had done    
tea, & he & I carried a    
jug of tea to William. We    
met him in the old road    
from Rydale – he drank his    
tea upon the turf – the [Page]

setting sun threw a red purple    
light upon the rocks & stones    
walls of Rydale which gave    
them a most interesting & beau-    
-tiful appearance

Tuesday [June 24th] W went to Amble    
-side – John walked out –     
I made tarts &c. Mr B Simpson     
called & asked us to tea –     
I went to the view of Rydale     
to meet William. John went     
[blot] to him – I returned –     
W & I drank tea at Mr     
Simpsons brought down     
Lemon Thyme, greens &c –     
The old woman was very     
happy to see us & we were     
so in the pleasure we gave.     
She was an affecting picture     
of Patient disappointment suffer    
-ing under no particular afflict    
=tion. [Page]

Wednesday [June 25th]. A very rainy    
day – I made a shoe – Wm &    
John went to fish in Langdale    
In the evening – I went above    
the house, & gathered flowers    
which I planted, fox-glove &c.

On Sunday Mr & Mrs Coleridge    
& Hartley came. The day was    
very warm we sailed to the    
foot of Loughrigg. They    
staid with us three weeks    
& till the Thursday following,    
ie. till the 23 [24th] of July. On    
the Friday preceding their de=    
=parture we drank tea at the    
island. The weather very delight    
-ful – & on the Sunday    
we made a great fire, & drank    
tea in Bainriggs with the    
Simpsons – I accompanied    
Mrs C to Wytheburne & returned    
with W – to tea at Mr [Page]

Simpsons. It was excessively hot.    
But the day after    
Friday July 24 [July 25th] still hotter.    
All the morning I was engaged    
in unpacking our Somersetshire goods    
& in making pies –The house    
was a hot oven but yet we    
could not bake the pies –    
I was so weary I could not    
walk so I went & sate with    
Wm in the orchard – we had    
a delightful half hour – in the    
warm still evening –

Saturday 25th [July 26th]. Still hotter    
I sate with W. in the    
orchard all the morning &    
made my shoe.    
In the after noon from excessive    
heat I was ill in the headach    
& toothache & went to bed –    
I was refreshed with washing    
myself [illegible deleted words] after I got    
up – but it was too hot to [Page]

walk till near dark, & then    
I sate upon the wall finishing    
my shoes –

Sunday Mor. 26th [July 27th] very warm    
Molly ill – John bathed in the lake    
I wrote out Ruth in the afternoon,    
in the morning I read    
Mr Knight’s Landscape. After tea    
we rowed down to Loughrigg    
Fell – visited the white fox=    
=glove, gathered wild strawberries    
& walked up to view Rydale we    
lay a long time looking at the    
lake, the shores all embrowned    
with the scorching sun – The    
Ferns were burning yellow, that    
is here & there one was quite    
turned. The lake of [illegible deleted word]    
We walked round by Benson’s    
wood home. The lake was    
now most still & reflected the    
beautiful yellow & blue &    
purple & grey colours of the    
sky. We heard a strange sound    
in the Bainriggs wood as we     
were floating on the water it    
seemed in the wood, but it [Page]

must have been above it, for pre-    
-sently we saw a [illegible deleted word] raven very    
high above us – it called out    
& the Dome of the sky seemed    
to echoe the sound – it called    
again & again as it flew    
onwards, & the mountains    
gave back the sound, seeming    
as if from their [illegible deleted word] center    
a musical bell-like answering    
to the birds hoarse voice. We    
heard both the [illegible deleted words]    
call of the bird & the echoes    
[illegible deleted word] after we could see him no    
longer. We walked up to the    
top of the hill again in view    
of Rydale – met Mr & Miss    
Simpson on horseback– The    
crescent moon which had shone    
upon the water was now gone    
down. Returned to supper at    
10 o clock

Monday morning [July 28th] received a letter from    
Coleridge enclosing one from Mr    
Davy about the Lyrical Ballads [Page]

intensely hot I made pies in    
the morning. Wm went into the wood    
& altered his poems. In the Evening    
it was so very warm that I    
was too much tired to walk

Tuesday [July 29th] still very hot. We gathered    
peas for dinner.


There is a large X across much of the material for July 29. It stops at “We walked,” the beginning of the next entry. See n10 for an explanation of the cancel.

The evening excessively    
beautiful a rich reflection of    
the moon. The moonlight clouds &    
the hills & from the Rays gap    
a huge rainbow pillar. We sailed    
upon the lake till it was    
10 o clock

We walked up in the Evening    
to find out Hewetson’s cottage, but    
it was too dark. I was sick &    

Wednesday July 30th gathered peas for Mrs    
Simpson. John & I walked    
up with them – very hot – Wm    
had intended going to Keswick.    
I was obliged to lie down after    
dinner from excessive heat & headach    
The Evening &c see above


“See above” refers to the cross-out described in n9. Apparently, DW began an entry for 29 July but canceled it because in fact it described 30 July.


Thursday [July 31st] All the morning I was busy    
copying poems – gathered peas, & in    
the afternoon Coleridge came    
very hot, he brought the 2nd volume    
of the Anthology – – [illegible deleted word]    
The men went to bathe & we after    
=wards sailed down to Loughrigg    
read poems on the water & let    
the boat take its own course – we    
walked a long time upon Loughrigg    
& returned in the grey twilight.    
The moon just setting as we    
reached home

Friday 1st Aug In the morning I copied    
The Brothers. Coleridge & Wm went    
down to the lake. They returned    
& we all went together to Mary    
Point where we sate in the    
breeze & the shade & read    
Wms poems altered ‘The Whirl-    
=blast &c’–Mr Simpson came    
to tea & Mr B Simpson afterwards    
we drank in the orchard [Page]

Saturday [August] 2nd Morning Wm & Coleridge    
went to Keswick. John went    
with them to Wytheburn & staid all    
day fishing & brought home 2    
small pikes at night. I accompanied    
them to Lewthwaite’s cottage & on    
my return papered Wm’s room –    
I afterwards lay down till tea    
time & after tea worked at my    
shifts in the orchard. A grey evening –    
about 8 o’clock it gathered for    
rain & I had the scatterings of a    
shower, but afterwards the lake    
became of a glassy calmness    
& all was still. I sate till I    
could see no longer & then continued    
my work in the house

Sunday [August] 3rd Morning. I made pies &    
stuff’d the pike, baked a loaf    
Head ach after dinner. I lay    
down, a letter from Wm rouzed    
me, desiring us to go to Keswick    
After writing to Wm we walked as far [Page]

as Mr Simpson’s & ate black cherries     
A Heavenly warm evening with     
scattered clouds upon the hills    
There was a vernal greenness     
upon the grass from the rains of     
the morning & afternoon – peas fordinner

Monday [August] 4th Rain in the night.    
I tied up Scarlet beans, nailed the    
honeysuckles &c &c. John was    
prepared to go walk to Keswick all    
the morning – he seized a    
returned chaise & went after    
dinner. I pulled a large    
basket of peas & sent to Kes-    
=wick by a returned chaise a    
very cold evening – assisted    
to spread out linen in the morning – –

Tuesday [August] 5th Dried the linen in    
the morning, the air still cold    
I pulled a bag full of peas for    
Mrs Simpson. Miss Simpson drank    
tea with me & supped on [Page]

her return from Ambleside. A    
very fine evening. I sate on    
the wall making my shifts till    
I could see no longer – walked    
half-way home with Miss Simpson

Wednesday 6th August a rainy morning    
I ironed till dinner time – sewed    
till near dark, then pulled a    
basket of peas, & afterwards    
boiled & picked gooseberries. William    
came home from Keswick    
at 11 o clock a very fine night

Thursday morning. packed up 7th August the    
mattrass, & sent to Keswick –    
boiled gooseberries – NB 2    
lbs of sugar in the first panfull    
3 quarts all good measure –    
3 lbs in the 2nd 4 quarts 2 ½ lbs    
in the 3rd – a very fine day.    
William composing in the wood in    
the morning in the evening    
we walked to Mary Point, a very    
fine sun-set. [Page]

Friday morning [August 8th]. We intended    
going to Keswick – but were    
prevented by the excessive    
heat. Nailed up scarlet beans    
in the morning – Drank tea    
at Mr Simpsons; & walked    
over the mountains by Wattenlath –    
very fine gooseberries at    
Mr S’s – a most enchanting    
walk – Wattenlath a heavenly    
scene. Reached Coleridge’s at 11 o clock.

Saturday morning [August 9th] I walked    
with Coleridge in the Windy    
Brow woods

Sunday [August 10th] very hot the Cs went    
to church. We sailed upon    
Derwent in the evening.

Monday afternoon [August 11th] Walked with    
Mrs C to Windy Brow.

Tuesday [August 12th] drank tea with the    
Cockins – Wm & I walked [Page]    
along the Cockermouth road    
he was altering his poems

Wednesday [August 13th] Made the Windy Brow seat

Thursday morning [August 14th] Called    
at the Speddings. In the    
evening walked in the woods    
with W – very very beautiful    
the moon

Friday morning [August 15th] W in the wood    
I went with Hartley to see    
the Cockins & to buy Bacon    
in the evening we walked    
to Water End – feasted on    
gooseberries at Silver hill

Saturday morning [August 16th]. Worked for    
Mrs C & walked with Cole-    
-ridge intending to gather    
Raspberries – joined by Miss    
Spedding [Page]

Sunday 16th August [17th] Came    
home – Dined in Borrowdale    
A rainy morning but a    
fine evening – saw the Bristol    
prison & Bassenthwaite at    
the same time – Wm read    
us – the 7 Sisters on a stone

Monday [August 18th]. Putting linen by &    
mending. Walked with John    
to Mr Simpson’s & met Wm    
in returning a fine warm day

Tuesday [August 19th] Mr & Mrs Simpson    
dined with us Miss S & Brother    
drank tea in the orchard

Wednesday [August 20th] I worked in the    
morning. Cold in the evening    
& rainy. Did not walk.

Thursday [August 21st] read Wallenstein    
& sent it off – worked in the    
morning – walked with John    
round the two lakes [Page]

gathered white fox glove seeds    
& found Wm in Bain-riggs at    
our return

FriSaturday 21st [August 22nd] very cold baking    
gathered pea seeds & took up    
in the morning. –– lighted    
a fire up stairs. Walked    
as far as Rydale with John    
intending to have gone on    
to Ambleside but we found    
the papers at Rydale – Wm    
walking in the wood all the    
time. John & he went out    
after our return. I mended    
stockings. Wind very high    
shaking the corn

Saturday 22nd [August 23rd] – A very fine morning.    
Wm was composing all the    
morning – I shelled peas    
gathered beans, & walked in the    
garden till ½ past 12 then [Page]

walked with William in the wood    
The Gleams of sunshine & the    
stirring trees & gleaming [illegible deleted word] bright    
cheerful lake – most delightful    
After dinner we walked to    
Ambleside – showery, went to    
see Mr Partridges house.    
Came home by Clappersgate    
we had intended going by Rydale    
woods, but it was cold –    
I was not well, & tired got    
tea immediately, & had a    
fire – did not reach home    
till 7 o clock – mended    
stockings – & W read Peter    
Bell. He read us the    
Poem of Joanna beside    
the Rothay by the road    

Sunday 23rd [August 24th]. A fine cool pleasant    
breezy day walked in the wood in    
the morning. Mr Twining called    
[illegible deleted word] John walked up to Mr    
Simpsons in the evening I staid    
at home & wrote to Mrs Rawson [Page]

& my aunt Cookson. I was ill in    
the afternoon and lay down – got    
up restored by a sound sleep

Monday a 24 [August 25th] a fine day – walked in    
the wood in the morning & to    
the fir-grove – walked up to    
Mr Simpsons in the evening

Tuesday25 [August 26th] we walked in the even=    
=ing to Ambleside Wm not quite    
well I bought sacking for    
the mattrass – a very fine    
solemn evening The wind blew    
very free from the island & at    
Rydale – we went on the other    
side of Rydale, & sate a    
long time looking at the mountains    
which were all black at    
Grasmere & very bright in    
Rydale – Grasmere exceedingly    
dark & Rydale of a light    
yellow green

Wednesday [August 27] In the morning we walked    
John Baty passed us    
We walked along the    
shore of the lake in the Evening    
& went over into Langdale & down [Page]

to Loughrigg tarn a very fine evening    
calm & still.

Thursday 27 August [28th] Still very fine weather I    
baked bread & cakes. In the    
Evening we walked round the    
Lake by Rydale & [illegible deleted words]    
[illegible deleted line]    
Mr Simpson came to fish.

Friday [August 29th] evening we walked    
to Rydale to inquire for letters    
We walked over the hill    
by the Firgrove. I sate    
upon a rock & observed a flight    
of swallows gathering toge    
=ther high above my head they    
flew towards Rydale. We    
walked through the wood over    
the stepping stones – The lake    
of Rydale very beautiful    
partly still. John & I left    
Wm to compose an Inscrip    
tion – that about the path. We had    
a very fine walk by the gloomy  
 lake. There was a curious [Page]

yellow reflection in the water    
as of corn fields, there was no    
light in the clouds from which    
it appeared to come

Saturday morning 28th August [30th] I was baking    
Bread pies & dinner. It was    
very warm. Wm finished    
his Inscription of the Pathway    
Then walked in the wood &    
when John returned he sought    
him & they bathed together    
I read a little of Boswells    
life of Johnson. I had a head=    
=ache & went to lie down in    
the orchard. I was rouzed    
by a shout that Anthony    
Harrison was come. We    
sate in the orchard till    
tea time, drank tea early    
& rowed down the lake which    
was stirred by Breezes. We    
looked at Rydale which [Page]

was soft, cheerful & beautiful    
We then went to peep into    
Langdale. The Pikes were very    
grand. We walked back to    
the view of Rydale, which    
was now a dark mirror    
We rowed home over a    
lake still as glass & then    
went to George Mackareth’s    
to hire a horse for John    
A fine moonlight night.    
The beauty of the moon    
was startling as it rose    
to us over Loughrigg Fell    
We returned to supper at 10    
o’clock Thomas Ashburner

Sunday morning    
brought us our 8th cart    
of coals since May 17th

Sunday 29th [August 31st] Anthony Harrison    
& John left us at ½ past seven    
a very fine morning – [Page]

a great deal of corn is    
cut in the vale, & the    
whole prospect though not    
tinged with a general au=    
=tumnal yellow, yet softened    
down into a mellowness of    
colouring which seems to    
impart softness to the    
forms of hills & mountains    
At 11 o’clock Coleridge came    
when I was walking in    
the still, clear moonshine    
in the garden – he came over    
Helvellyn – Wm was gone to    
bed & John also, worn out with    
his ride round Coniston We    
sate and chattered till ½ past    
three W in his dressing gown    
Coleridge read us a part of    
Christabel. Talked much about    
the mountains &c &c Miss    
Thrale’s hatred – Losh’s opinion [Page]

of Southey – the first of poets

Monday 30 morning 1st September We walked in    
the wood by the Lake – W read    
Joanna & the Firgrove to    
Coleridge. They bathed. The morn    
=ing was delightful with    
somewhat of an autumnal    
freshness. After dinner Coleridge    
discovered a rock seat    
in the orchard, cleared away    
the brambles. Coleridge obliged    
to go to bed after tea. John    
& I followed Wm up to the hill    
& then returned to go to Mr    
Simpsons – we borrowed some    
bottles for bottling rum.    
The evening some what frosty    
& grey but very pleasant    
[line struck through]    
I broiled Coleridge a mutton    
chop which he ate in bed [Page]

Wm was gone to bed – I chatted    
with John & Coleridge till    
near 12.

Tuesday 3rd 2nd [September] In the morning they    
all went to Stickel Tarn    
A very fine, warm sunny    
beautiful morning. I baked    
a pie &c for dinner – little    
Sally was with me.


Sara Ashburner, born 1790, seems to have helped DW around the house and garden.

The fair    
day. Miss Simpson & Mr    
came down to tea we    
walked to the fair. There    
seem’d very few people &    
very few stalls yet I believe    
there were many cakes    
& much beer sold. My    
Brothers came home to dinner    
at 6 o’clock – We drank    
Tea immediately after by Candle    
-light. It was a lovely [Page]

moonlight night. We talked    
much about a house on Hel-    
vellyn. The moonlight shone    
only upon the village it    
did not eclipse the village    
lights & the sound of    
dancing & merriment came    
along the still air – I    
walked with Coleridge &    
Wm up the Lane & by    
the Church I then lingered    
with Coleridge in the garden    
John & Wm were both    
gone to bed & all the lights    

Wednesday 3rd September Coleridge Wm &    
John went from home to    
go upon Helvellyn with    
Mr Simpson. They set out    
after breakfast. I accompa=    
=nied them up near the [Page]

Blacksmith’s. A fine coolish    
morning. I ironed till ½    
past three – now very hot.    
I then went to a funeral    
at John Dawsons. About    
10 men & 4 women. Bread    
cheese & ale – they talked    
sensibly & cheerfully about    
common things. The dead    
person 56 years of age    
buried by the parish – the    
coffin was neatly lettered    
& painted black & covered    
with a decent cloth they    
set the corpse down at    
the door & while we stood    
within the threshold the    
three men with their hats    
off sang with decent &    
solemn countenances a [Page]

verse of a funeral psalm    
The corpse was then borne    
to church down the hill    
& they sang till they had got    
past the town end. I was    
affected to tears while we    
stood in the house, the    
coffin lying before me.    
There were no near kind    
-red, no children. When    
we got out of the dark    
house the sun was shining    
& the prospect looked so    
divinely beautiful as I    
never saw it. It seemed    
more sacred then I had    
ever seen it, & yet more    
allied to human life.    
The green fields, neighbours    
of the churchyard were    
green [illegible deleted words] as possible [Page]

and with the brightness of    
of the sunshine looked quite    
gay. I thought she was    
going to be a quiet spot &    
I could not help weeping    
very much – When we    
came to the bridge they    
began to sing again &    
stopped during 4 lines    
before they entered the    
church-yard – The priest    
met us – he did not    
look as a man ought    
to do on such an occasion    
I had seen him half drunk    
the day before in a pot-    
house. Before we came    
with the corpse one of    
the company observed [Page]

he wondered what sort of    
cue “our Parson would be in.”    
N B it was the day after    
the Fair. I had not finished    
ironing till 7 o clock. The    
wind was now high &    
I did not walk – writing    
my journal now at 8    
o clock. W & John came home at 10 o clock

Thursday 4th September A fine warm day    
I was busy all the morning    
making a mattrass. Mr Simpson    
called in the afternoon. Wm    
walked in the wood in the    
morning & in the evening as    
we set forward to walk a    
letter from Mrs Clarkson.


DW first met Catherine Clarkson (1772–1856), wife of Thomas Clarkson (1760–1846), later this week (see entry for 6 September). They became close friends and regular correspondents. The Clarksons lived from 1794 to 1803 in the Lakes, at Eusemere, on Ullswater. Thomas Clarkson was a well-known abolitionist who worked alongside William Wilberforce and others.

Wm & John [illegible deleted word] We walked    
into the black quarter. The    
patches of corn very interesting. [Page]

Friday morning ⟨3rd 4 [5th September]. Finished5    
the mattrass ironed the    
white bed in the afternoon    
When I was putting it up    
Mr & Mrs Losh arrived while    
Wm & John were walking

Saturday 6th September morning Break=    
=fasted with the Loshes – very    
warm – returned through    
Rydale woods. The Clarksons    
dined after tea we walked    
round Rydale, a little rain

Sunday morning 7th [September] rainy–    
walked before dinner over    
the stepping stones to Lang-    
-dale & home on the other    
side of the lake I    
lay down after dinner Wm [Page]

poorly – walked into the    
Black quarter.

Monday 8th September morning very rainy    
The Clarksons left us after    
dinner – still rainy    
We walked towards Rydale    
& then to Mr Olliff’s gate a    
fine evening

Tuesday 9th [September] morning Mr Mar-    
-shall came – he dined with    
us. My Brothers, walked    
with him round the lakes    
after dinner – windy we    
went to the island. W & I    
after to tea. John & I went    
to the B quarter, before    
supper went to seek a horse    
at Dawsons – fir grove – [Page]

after supper talked of Wms    

Wednesday Sept. 10 10th After Break=    
-fast Mr Marshall, Wm    
& John went on horseback    
to Keswick – I wrote    
to Mrs Marshall – a fine    
autumnal day. I had a fire.    
Paid Mr. Bousfield 8.2.11.    
After tea walked with French    
Beans to Mr Simpsons.    
Went up to the Forestside    
above a deserted house sat    
till twilight came on    
Mr & Miss S came down    
with me & supped

Thursday 1111th [September] all the morning [Page]

[illegible deleted word] mending white gown    
washed my head – Molly    
washing. Drank tea at Mr    
Simpsons – Found Wm at home    
at my return he was unable to go    
on with Mr Marshall & parted from    
him in Borrowdale – Made tea    
after my return.

Friday 12th Sept. I worked in the morning    
cut my thumb. Walked in the    
Fir-grove before dinner – after    
dinner sate under the trees    
in the orchard    
a rainy morning but very fine    
afternoon. Miss Simpson called    
for my packing needle. The    
Fern of the mountains now    
spread yellow veins among    
the trees. The coppice wood    
turns brown. William observed    
some affecting little things in    
Borrowdale – a decayed    
house with this inscription [Page]

in the church-yard, the tall    
silent rocks seen thro’ the    
broken windows – a kind    
of rough column put upon    
the gavel end of a house    
with a ball stone smooth from    
the river placed upon it    
for ornament near it one    
stone like it upon an old    
mansion carefully hewn

Saturday 13 September morning William    
writing his preface did not    
walk. Jones & Mr Palmer    
came to tea – we walked    
with them to Borricks    
a lovely evening but the    
air frosty – worked when    
I returned home. Wm walked    
out – John came, horse [Page]

from Mr Marshall sent    
backward to Mrs Clarkson

Sunday 14th [September] morning – Made    
bread – a sore finger    
thumb from a cut –    
a lovely day – read Bos-    
-well in the house in the    
morning & after dinner under    
the bright yellow leaves    
of the orchard – the pear    
trees a bright yellow    
the apple trees green still    
a sweet lovely afternoon

Here I have long neglected my    
Journal. John came home    
in the evening after Jones left us    
Jones returned again on the    
Friday the 19th September – Jones    
stayed with us till Friday 26th    
September. Coleridge came on [Page]

Tuesday 23rd [September] & went home    
with Jones. Charles Lloyd    
called on Tuesday 23rd &    
on Sunday 27th we drank tea    
& supped with him, & on that    
day heard of the Abergavennys    
arrival. While Jones was    
with us we had much rainy weather    
through the [illegible deleted word] On    
Sunday the 21st Tom Myers    
& Father called, & on the    
28th Mr & Miss Smith.    
On Monday 29th John    
left us. Wm & I parted with    
him in sight of Ulswater. It    
was a fine day, showery but    
with sunshine & fine clouds    
– poor fellow my heart was    
right sad – I could not [Page]

help thinking we should see him again    
because he was only going to Penrith    
On Tuesday 30th October September Charles Lloyd    
dined with us. We walked home=    
=wards with him after dinner –    
it rained very hard. Rydale    
was extremely wild & we    
had a fine walk. We sate    
quietly & comfortably by the    
fire. I wrote – the last sheet    
of notes & preface – Went    
to bed at 12 o’clock

Wednesday 1st October – A    
fine morning – a showery    
night the lake still in the    
morning – in the forenoon    
flashing light from the    
beams of the sun – as it    
was ruffled by the wind    
We corrected the last sheet [Page]

Thursday 2nd October –    
A very rainy morning – We    
walked after dinner to observe    
the torrents – I followed    
Wm to Rydale, he after-    
-wards went to Butterlip    
How. I came home to    
receive the Lloyds. They    
walked with us to see    
Churnmilk force & the    
Black quarter. The black    
quarter looked marshy    
& the general prospect    
was cold – but the Force    
was very grand. The    
Lychens are now coming    
out afresh. I carried home    
a collection in the afternoon [Page]

We had a pleasant conversa    
-tion about the manners of    
the rich – Avarice, [illegible deleted word]    
inordinate desires, & the    
effeminacy unnaturalness    
& the unworthy objects of    
education – After the    
Lloyds were gone we    
walked – a showery even    
=ing. The moonlight lay    
upon the hills, like snow

Friday 3rd October Very rainy all    
the morning – little Sally    
learning to mark. Wm walked    
to Ambleside after dinner    
I went with him part of    
the way – he talked much    
about the object of his [Page]

Essay for the 2nd volume    
of LB. I returned ex-    
=pecting the Simpsons –    
they did not come. I shd    
have met Wm but my    
teeth ached & it was    
showery & late – he returned    
after 10 – Amos Cottle’s    
death in the Morning Post    
Wrote to S Lowthian

N.B When Wm & I re=    
=turned from accompa=    
-nying Jones we met an    
old man almost double,    
he had on a coat thrown    
over his shoulders above his    
waistcoat & coat. Under    
this he carried a bundle    
& had an apron on & a    
night cap. His face was [Page]

interesting. He had Dark    
eyes & a long nose – John    
who afterwards met him    
at Wythburn took him    
for a Jew. He was of Scotch    
parents but had been born in    
the army – He had had a    
wife “& a good woman &    
it pleased God to bless us    
with 10 children all these    
were dead but one of whom    
he had not heard for many    
years, a Sailor – his trade    
was to gather leeches but    
now leeches are scarce    
& he had not strength for    
it – he lived by begging    
& was making his way    
to Carlisle where he


should buy a few god=    
=ly books to sell. He said    
leeches were very scarce    
partly owing to this dry    
season, but many years    
they have been scarce – he    
supposed it owing to their    
being much sought after,    
that they did not breed fast     
& were of slow growth.    
Leeches were formerly 2/6    
100 – they are now 30/[illegible deleted figure]    
He had been hurt in driv-    
ing a cart, his leg broke    
his body driven over his    
skull fractured – he felt    
no pain till he recovered    
from his first insensibility.    
It was then “late in the evening    
[Page] when the light was just    
going away”

Saturday October 4th 1800


1800 added in pencil.

A very rainy – or rather    
showery & gusty morning    
for often the sun shines    
Thomas Ashburner could    
not go to Keswick.    
Read a part of Lambs    
play. The language is    
often very beautiful, but    
too imitative in particular    
phrases, words &c. The    
characters except Marga    
=ret unintelligible, &    
except Margaret do    
not shew themselves in    
action. Coleridge came


in while we were at dinner    
very wet … We talked till    
12 o clock. He had sate    
up all the night before    
writing Essays for the    
newspaper. His youngest    
child had been very ill in    
convulsion fits – Exceedingly     
ngly delighted with the    
2nd part of Christabel

Sunday Morning. 5th October.    
Coleridge read a 2nd time    
Christabel – we had increasing    
pleasure. A delicious morning.    
Wm was & I were employed    
all the morning in writing    
an addition to the preface    
Wm went to bed very i[ll?] [blot or deletion]    
[Page] after working after dinner –    
Coleridge & I walked to    
Ambleside after dark with    
the letter – Returned to tea    
at 9 o’clock. Wm – still    
in bed & very ill Silver How in both    

Monday [October 6th] a rainy day – Cole=    
=ridge intending to go but    
did not get off – We walk    
ed after dinner to Rydale    
After tea read The Pedlar.    
Determined not to print    
Christabel with the LB.

Tuesday [October 7th] Coleridge went off    
at 11 o clock – I went as far    
as Mr Simspon’s returned with    
Mary She drank tea    
here – I was very    
ill in the Evening at the [Page]

Simpsons – went to bed    
supped there. Returned    
with Miss S & Mrs J –    
heavy showers – Found Wm    
at home – I was still weak &    
unwell – went to bed imme=    

Wednesday [October 8th] – A threatening    
bad morning – we dried the    
Linen frequent threatening    
of showers – Received a    
5£ note from Montagu    
Wm walked to Rydale    
I copied a part of the    
Beggar in the morning    
– I was not quite well    
in the Evening therefore I did not    
walk. Wm walked a very    
mild moonlight night [Page]

Glowworms everywhere!

Thursday [October 9th]. I was ironing all    
the day till tea-time. Very    
rainy – Wm & I walked    
in the evening – intending to go    
to Lloyds but it came on    
so very rainy that we were    
obliged to shelter at Flemings    
A grand Ball at Rydale    
After sitting some time – we    
went homewards & were again    
caught by a shower & shel-    
-tered under the Sycamores    
at the boat house – a    
very cold snowlike rain    
A man called in a soldiers    
dress – he was thirty years    
old – of Cockermouth, had    
lost a leg & thigh in    
battle was going to his    
home [Page]

He could earn more money in    
travelling with his ass than at    

Friday 10th October – In the    
morning when I arose the mists    
were hanging over the oppo=    
=site hills & the tops of the    
highest hills were covered with    
snow – There was a most lovely    
combination at the head    
of the vale – of the yellow    
autumnal hills wrapped in    
sunshine, & overhung with par-    
=tial mists, the green &    
yellow trees & the distant snow    
-topped [illegible deleted word] mountains – It    
was a most heavenly    
morning. The Cockermouth    
Traveller came with thread [Page]

hardware mustard, &c. She is very    
healthy, has travelled over the    
mountains these thirty years.    
She does not mind the storms    
if she can keep her goods    
dry. Her husband will not    
travel with an ass – because    
it is the tramper’s badge    
She would have one to    
relieve her from the wea-    
-ry load. She was going    
to Ulverston & was to    
return to Ambleside Fair.    
After I had finished baking    
I went out with Wm Mrs    
Jameson & Miss Simpson to-    
=wards Rydale – the fern    
among the Rocks exquisitely    
beautiful – we turned home    
& walked to Mr Gells [Page]

After dinner Wm went    
to bed – I read Southey’s letters    
Miss Simpson & Mrs Jameson    
came to tea – After tea we    
went to Lloyds – a fine    
Evening as we went but    
rained in returning – we    
were wet – found them not    
at home – I wrote to Mrs    
Clarkson – sent off The    
Beggar &c by Thomas Ash-    
burner – who went to fetch    
our 9th cart of coals    
Wm sat up after me writing    
Point Rash judgment.

Saturday 11th A fine October    
morning – sat in the house    
working all the morning    
Wm composing – Sally    
Ashburner learning to mark    
After Dinner we walked up Green    
head Gill in search of a Sheep-    
-fold. We went by Mr Ollifs &    
through his woods – His It was    
a delightful day & the views looked    
excessively chearful & beautiful    
chiefly that from Mr Ollif’s    
field where our house is    
to be built. The Colours of the    
mountains soft & rich, with    
orange fern – The Cattle pastur    
ing upon the hill-tops Kites    
sailing as in the sky above    
our heads – Sheep bleating    
& in lines & chains & patterns    
scattered over the mountains.    
They come down & feed on    
the little green islands in    
the beds of the torrents & [Page]

so may be swept away. The    
Sheep fold is falling away it    
is built nearly in the form    
of a heart unequally divided    
Look down the brook &    
see the drops rise upwards    
& sparkle in the air, at    
the little falls, the higher    
sparkles the tallest. We walked    
along the turf of the moun-    
-tain till we came to a    
Cattle track – made by    
the cattle which come upon    
the hills – We drank    
tea at Mr Simpson’s returned    
at about nine – a fine    
mild night. Sunday October 12th    
beautiful day – Sate in the    
house writing in the morning [Page]

while Wm went into the    
wood to compose – wrote to    
John in the morning – copied    
poems for the LB. in the    
evening wrote to Mrs Rawson    
left Mary Jameson & Sally    
Ashburner dined – We pulled    
apples after dinner, a large    
basket full – We walked before    
tea by Bainriggs to observe    
the many coloured foliage    
the oaks dark green with    
yellow leaves – The birches    
generally still green, some    
near the water yellowish.    
The Sycamore crimson    
& crimson-tufted – The mountain    
ash a deep orange – the    
common ash Lemon colour [Page]

but many ashes still fresh    
in their summer green – Those    
that were discolouring chiefly    
near the water. William    
composing in the Evening    
went to bed at 12 o clock

Monday October 13th A grey    
[illegible deleted word(s)] day – Mists on    
the hills – We did not walk    
in the morning – I copied    
poems on the naming of    
places walked in the black quarter at night a fair at Ambleside

Tuesday [October] 14th    
Wm lay down after dinner – I    
read Southeys Spain. Wm The    
wind rose very high at    
[illegible deleted word] Evening. Wm walked    
out just at bed time. I went    
to bed early – we walked before    
dinner to Rydale – [Page]

Wednesday [October 15th] a very fine clear    
morning – after Wm had com    
-posed a little – I persuaded    
him to go into the orchard –    
we walked backwards & forwards    
the prospect most divinely bea    
-utiful from the sight seat – all    
colours, all melting into each    
other. I went in to put    
bread in the oven & we    
both walked within view    
of Rydale – Wm again    
composed at the sheep-fold    
after dinner – I walked with    
him to Wytheburn, & he    
went on to Keswick. I    
drank tea & supped at    
Mr Simpsons – a very    
cold frosty air, & a spangled    
sky in returning. Mr &    
Miss S came with me [Page]

Wytheburn looked very    
wintry but yet there    
was a foxglove blossoming    
by the road-side — — —

Wedne Thursday 16th October    
a very fine morning. Starch-    
-ed & hung out linen a very    
fine day – John Fisher    
TA, SA, & Molly    
working in the garden    
Wrote to Miss Nicholson    
I walked as far as Rydale between    
3 & 4 – Ironed till six – got    
tea & wrote to Mr Giffith.    
A letter from Mr Clarkson

Friday [October] 17th a very fine grey    
Morning – The swan hunt    
Sally working in the garden [Page]

I walked round the lake between    
¼ past 12 & 1 ½ past one – wrote    
to M H. After dinner I walked    
to Lloyds – carried my letters to    
Miss N. & M H. The Lloyds    
not in – I waited for them    
Charles not well – Letters    
from M H. Biggs, & John    
In my walk in the morning    
I observed Benson’s Honey-suckles    
in flower, & great beauty –    
It was a very fine mild [illegible deleted word]    
evening Lls servants came    
with me to Parkes. I found    
Wm at home where he had been almost    
ever since my departure – Coleridge    
had done nothing for the LB –    
Working hard for Stuart    
Glowworms in abundance

Saturday [18th] a very fine October    
morning [Page]

William worked all the    
morning at the sheep fold    
but in vain. He lay down    
in the afternoon, till 7 o clock    
but could not sleep – I slept    
My head better – he unable    
to work – we did not    
walk all day

Sunday [October 19th] morning – we arose late    
& walked directly after    
breakfast. The tops of Gmere    
mountains cut off – Rydale    
was very very beautiful the    
surface of the water quite    
still like a dim mirror. The    
colours of the large island exqui    
=sitely beautiful & the trees [Page]

still fresh & green were magni    
=fied by the mists. The prospects    
on the west side of the Lake    
were very beautiful we sate    
at the two points looking up    
to Park’s The lowing of the    
Cattle – was echoed by a    
hollow voice in Knab Scar    
We went upon Loughrigg    
Fell – & were disappointed    
with Gmere it did not    
look near so beautiful    
as Rydale. We returned home    
over the stepping-stone Wm    
got to work – we are not to    
dine till 4 o’ Clock –––    
Dined at ½ past 5 – Mr    
Simpson dined & drank tea    
with us. We went to bed    
immediately after he left us [Page]

Monday [October] 20th    
William worked in the morning    
at the sheep-fold – After dinner    
we walked to Rydale crossed    
the stepping stones & while    
we were walking under    
the tall oak trees the Lloyds    
called out to us – They went with    
us on the western side of    
Rydale. The lights were    
very grand upon the woody    
Rydale Hills – Those behind    
dark & topp’d with clouds    
The two lakes were divinely    
beautiful – Grasmere excessively    
solemn & the whole lake was    
calm & dappled with soft grey    
dapple. The Lloyds stayed    
with us till 8 o clock. We [Page]

then walked to the top of the    
hill at Rydale – very mild    
& warm – about 6 glowworms    
shining faintly – We went up    
as far as the groove When    
we came home the fire    
was out – We ate our    
supper in the dark & went    
to bed immediately – William    
was disturbed in the night    
by the rain coming into his    
room – for it was a very    
rainy night – The Ash leaves    
lay across the Road

Tuesday [October] 21st – We walked in the    
morning past Mr Gells – a    
very fine clear & sharp    
sunny morning We drank tea    
at the Lloyd – it was [Page]

very cold in the evening    
quite frosty, & starlight.    
Wm had been unsuccessful    
in the morning at the sheep    
fold The reflection of the    
ash scattered, & the tree stripped

Wednesday Morning [October 22nd] we walked to    
Mr Gells a very fine morning –    
Wm composed without much    
success at the sheep fold –    
Coleridge came in to dinner.    
He had done nothing. We    
were very merry – C.    
& I went to look at the    
prospect from his seat.    
In the evening Stoddart    
came in when we were [Page]

at tea – and after tea Mr    
& Miss Simpson with large    
potatoes & plumbs. We    
read after supper, Ruth    
&c – Coleridge Christabel

Thursday [October] 23rd – Coleridge    
& Stoddart went to Keswick –    
we accompanied them to    
Wytheburne – A wintry    
grey morning from the    
top of the Rays Grasmere    
looked like winter &    
Wytheburne still more    
so – we called upon    
Mrs Simpson & sate 10    
minutes in returning [Page]    
Wm was not successful    
in composition in the Evening.

Friday [October] 24th A very fine    
morning we walked before    
dinner Wm began to work    
to the Top of the Rydale    
Hill. He was afterwards only    
partly successful in compo-    
-sition. After dinner we    
walked round Rydale Lake    
rich, calm, streaked    
very beautiful – We went    
to the top of Loughrigg    
Grasmere sadly inferior    
We were much tired Wm    
went to bed till ½ past [Page]    
seven The ash in our garden    
green – one close to it bare the    
next nearly so

Saturday [October 25th] a very rainy    
day – Wm again unsuccess    
-ful – We could not    
walk it was so very rainy – We read Rogers Miss    
Seward, Cowper &c

Sunday [October 26th] heavy rain all    
night. A fine morning after    
10 o clock – Wm composed    
a good deal – in the morning.    
The Lloyds came to dinner    
& were [illegible deleted word] caught in    
a shower. Wm read some    
of his poems after dinner    
a terrible night I went    
with Mrs Lloyd to Newtons [Page]

to see for Lodgings.    
Mr Simpson in coming from    
Ambleside called in for    
a glass of rum, just before    
we went to bed…

28th October Monday [27th] Not    
fine a rainy morning.    
The Hill tops covered with    
snow. Charles Lloyd came for    
his wife’s glass. I walked home     
with him past Rydale    
When he came I met    
him as I was carrying    
some cold meat to Wm in    
the Fir-grove He I had    
before walked with him [Page]

there for some time. It was    
a fine shelter from the    
wind. The Coppices now    
nearly of one brown. An    
oak tree in a sheltered    
place near John Fisher’s –    
not having lost any of    
its leaves was quite brown    
& dry – We did not walk    
after dinner – it was a    
fine wild moonlight    
night. Wm could not    
compose much fatigued    
himself with altering.

Tuesday 29th [October 28th] a very rainy    
night I was baking bread    
in the morning & made a    
giblet pie. We walked    
out before dinner to our [Page]    
favourite field – The mists    
sailed along the mountains    
& rested upon them enclosing    
the whole vale. In the

Wednesday 30th    
A cold & rainy m    
Evening the Lloyds came    
We drank tea with them    
at Borricks & played a    
rubber at Whist stayed    
supper – Wm looked very    
well. A fine moonlight    
night [illegible deleted word] when we came    
home – –

Wednesday [October 29th] William working [Page]

at his poem all the    
morning – After dinner Mr    
Clarkson called – We    
went down to Borrwicks    
& he & the Lloyds & Pri=    
=scilla came back to    
drink tea with us.    
We met Stoddart upon the    
Bridge – Played at Cards    
The Lloyds &c went    
home to supper. Mr    
Clarkson slept here.

Thursday [October 30th]    
A rainy morning Mr    
C went over Kirkstone    
Wm talked all day & almost    
all night with Stoddart [Page]

Mrs & Miss Ll called    
in the morning. I walked    
with them to Tail End    
a fine pleasant morning    
but a very rainy afternoon    
W & S in the house    
all day

Friday [October 31st] W & S did    
not rise till 1 o clock    
W very sick & very    
ill. S & I drank tea    
at Lloyds & came    
home immediately after    
a very fine moonlight    
night – The moonshine [Page]

with herrings in the water

Saturday [November 1st] William better    
We met as we walked    
to Rydale a Boy from    
Lloyds – coming for    
Don Quixote – Talk    
in the evening Tom Ash=    
=burner brought our 10th cart of    

Sunday morning [November 2nd] we walked    
into the Black Quarter    
a very fine morning    
a succession of beautiful    
views mists &c, &c    
Much rain in the night    
In the Evening drank [Page]

tea at Lloyds found    
them all ill in colds    
came home to supper.

Monday Morning [November 3rd] walked    
to Rydale a cold day    
Wm & Stoddart still    
talking frequent showers    
in our walk – In    
the evening we talked    
merrily over the fire    
The Speddings stopped at the door

Tuesday [November 4th] Stoddart left    
us -- I walked a little way    
with W & him, W went    
to the Tarn afterwards    
to the top of Seat San--dal [Page]

he was obliged to lie    
down in the tremendous    
wind – the snow blew    
from Helvellyn horizon    
=tally like smoke –    
the Spray of the un-    
=seen Waterfall like    
smoke – – Miss Lloyd    
called upon me – I walked    
with her past Rydale    
Wm sadly tired, threa=    
=tening of the piles

Wednesday [November 5th] Wm not well    
A very fine beautiful    
clear winter’s day – I walked    
after dinner to Lloyds [Page]    
drank tea & Mrs &    
Miss Lloyd came to    
Rydale with me – the    
moon was rising but    
the sky all over cloud    
I made tea for William Piles

Thursday 6th November A very rainy    
morning & night –    
I was baking bread    
dinner & parkins. Charles    
& P Lloyd called – Wm    
somewhat better read    
Point Rash Judgment    
The lake calm & very    
beautiful a very    
rainy afternoon &    
night. [Page]

Friday 7th November –    
a cold rainy morning Wm    
still unwell. I working &    
reading Amelia. The    
Michaelmas daisy droops    
The pansies are full    
of flowers. The Ashes opposite    
are green, all but one    
but they have lost    
many of their leaves.    
The copses are quite    
brown. The poor woman & child    
from Whitehaven drank tea nothing warm    
that day

Friday [November] 7th – a very rainy    
morning – it cleared    
up in the afternoon    
We expected the Lloyds [Page]

but they did not come. A rainy night    
Wm still unwell [illegible deleted word]

Saturday 8th November    
a rainy morning – a whirl-    
=wind came – that tossed    
about the leaves & tore    
off the still green leaves    
of the Ashes. A fine after-    
-noon. Wm & I walked    
out at 4 o clock – went    
as far as Rothay Bridge    
met the Butcher’s man    
with a Lr from Monk    
Lewis. The country very    
wintry – some oaks quite    
bare – others more sheltered    
with a few green leaves [Page]

others with brown leaves –    
but the whole face of the    
country in a winter covering.    
We went early to bed

Sunday [November 9th] Wm slept tolerably    
better this morning. –    
It was a frosty night we    
walked to Rydale after    
dinner, partly expecting    
to meet the Lloyds    
[illegible deleted word] Mr Simpson    
brought newspapers    
but met Molly with    
them – W burnt the sheep fold – a rainy night

Monday [November 10th] I baked bread    
a fine clear frosty    
morning. We walked [Page]

after dinner – to Rydale    
Jupiter over the Hill-    
=tops – the only star    
like a sun flashed    
out at intervals from    
behind a black cloud.

Tuesday Morning [November 11th] walked to    
Rydale before dinner for    
letters. William had been    
working at the sheep-fold.    
They were salving sheep    
a rainy morning. The    
Lloyds drank tea with    
us. Played at Cards –    
Priscilla not well. We    
walked after they left    
us to the Top of the Rydale [Page]

Hill then towards Mr    
Ollifs & towards the    
village – A mild night    
partly cloudy partly star-    
-light – The cottage lights    
the mountains not very    

Wednesday [November 12th] – we sate in the    
house all the day – Mr    
Simpson called & found    
us at dinner – a rainy evening    
he staid the evening &    
supper – I lay down after    
dinner with a headach.

Thursday [November 13th] A stormy night – We sate in    
the house all the morning    
rainy weather — [Page]

Old Mr Simpson, Mrs J    
& Miss S. drank tea    
& supped played at cards,    
found us at dinner – a    
poor woman from Haw-    
kshead begged – a widow    
of Grasmere – a merry    
African from Longtown

Friday [November 14th]. I had a bad    
head-ach. Much wind but a sweet mild    
morning. I nailed up    
trees. Sent Molly Ash-    
=burner to excuse us    
to Lloyds – 2 letters from    
Coleridge – very ill.    
One from Sara H.    
on from S Lothian. I [Page]    
wrote to S Hutchinson & received    
3£ from her

Saturday morning [November 15th] a terrible    
rain so Wm prevented from    
going to Coleridges – The after    
noon fine & mild I walked    
to the top of the hill for    
a head-ach. We both set    
forward at 5 o clock after    
tea – a fine wild but    
not cold night – I walked    
with him over the Rays    
it was starlight. I parted    
with him very sad unwilling    
not to go on – The hills    
& the stars & the white    
waters with their ever va    
-rying yet ceaseless sound [Page]    
were very impressive –    
I supped at the Simpsons    
Mr S. walked home with    
me – –

Sunday 16th November    
a very fine warm sunny    
morning a Letter from    
Coleridge & one from Stod-    
-dart – Coleridge better…    
my head aching very much    
I sent to excuse myself    
to Lloyds – then walked    
to the Cottage beyond Mr    
Gell’s. One beautiful ash    
tree sheltered with yellow    
leaves – one low one    
quite green – some low [Page]

ashes green – a    
noise of boys in the    
rocks hunting some    
animal. Walked a little    
in the garden when I    
came home – very pleasant.    
Now rain came on    
Mr Jackson called in the    
evening when I was at tea    
brought me a letter from    
C & W – C better –.

Monday morning [November 17th] – a fine    
clear frosty morning with a    
sharp wind. I walked to Kes-    
=wick, set off at 5 minutes    
past 10, & arrived at ½    
past 2. I found them all [Page]    

On Tuesday [November 18th] morning W & C    
set off towards Penrith    
Wm met Sara Hutchinson    
at Threlkeld – they arrived    
at Keswick at tea-time.

Wednesday [November 19th] We walked    
by the lake side,    
& they went to Mr    
Denton’s. I called upon    
the Miss Cockyns.

Thursday [20th] – We spent    
the morning in the Town    
Mr Jackson & Mr    
Peach dined with us [Page]

Friday [November 21st] a very fine day    
went to Mrs Greaves    
Mrs C & I called upon    
the Speddings a beautiful    
Crescent moon –

Saturday morning [November 22nd] after    
visiting Mr Peaches    
Chinese pictures we    
set off to Grasmere – a threatening    
& rather rainy morning.    
Arrived at G – very    
dirty & a little wet    
at the closing in of Even-    
-ing – Wm not quite    
well [Page]

Sunday [November 23rd] Wm not well     
I baked bread & pie for     
dinner. Sarah & I walk    
-ed after dinner & met     
Mr Gawthorpe – paid     
his bill & he drank tea     
with us paid 5£ for     
Mr Bousfield – – –

Monday [November 24th] a fine morning.    
Sara & I walked to    
Rydale. After dinner    
we went to Lloyds    
& drank tea & supped    
a sharp cold night    
with sleet & snow [Page]

I had the tooth-ach in the    
night – took Laudanum

Tuesday [November 25th] very ill – in bed    
all day – better in the Evening    
I read Tom Jones – very    
sleepy slept all night

Wednesday [November 26th] Well in the    
morning. Wm very well    
We had a delightful    
walk up into Eastdale.    
The Tops of the mountains    
covered with snow – frosty    
& sunny – the roads slippery    
a letter from Mary    
The Lloyds drank tea. [Page]

we walked with them    
near to Ambleside –    
a beautiful moonlight    
night – Sara & I walked    
before home – William very    
well & highly poetical

Thursday 27th November wrote to Tom    
Hutchinson to desire him    
to bring Mary with him from    
Stockton – a thaw & the    
ground covered with snow    
Sara & I walked before    
dinner. Miss Simpson    
Drank tea

Friday [November 28th] Coleridge walked over    
Miss Simpsons drank [Page]

tea with us – William walked    
home with her. Coleridge    
was very unwell – he    
went to bed before Wm’s    
return – Great Boils    
upon his neck.

Saturday [November 29th] a fine day

Sunday 29th November [30th]    
A very fine clear morning    
Snow upon the ground    
every where – Sara & I    
walked towards Rydale by    
the upper road & were    
obliged to return – because    
of the snow walked by    
moonlight –

Monday [December 1st] A thaw in    
the night & the snow    
was entirely gone Sara    
& I had a delightful    
Baking day little loaves    

walk round by the    
upper Rydale road &    
Mr King’s – Coleridge    
unable to go home for    
his health — we walked by    
moonlight –

Tuesday December 2nd a    
Rainy morning – Coleridge    
was obliged to set off –    
Sara & I met C Lloyd    
& P – turned back with    
them. I walked round    
the 2 lakes with Charles    
very pleasant – passing    
lights – I was sadly    
wet when we came [Page]

home & very cold – Pris    
-cilla drank tea with    
us – we all walked to    
Ambleside – a pleasant    
moonlight evening but    
not clear – Supped    
upon a hare – it came    
on a terrible evening    
hail & wind & cold    
& rain –

Wednesday December 3rd –    
We lay in bed till 11 o clock    
Wrote to John & MH.    
Pork from Mr Simpson    
William & Sara & I    
walked to Rydale after [Page]

tea – a very fine frosty    
night Sara & W walked    
round the other side    
I was tired & returned    
home – We went to bed    

Thursday [December 4th] – Coleridge    
came in just as we    
finished dinner – Pork    
from the Simpsons    
Sara & I walked round    
the 2 lakes – a very    
fine morning. C. ate    
nothing to cure his boils    
We walked after tea    
by moonlight to look [Page]

at Langdale covered with    
snow – the pikes not grand    
but the old man very    
impressive – cold &    
slippery, but exceeding    
ly pleasant. Sat up till    
½ past one

Friday morning [December 15th] terribly    
cold & rainy Coleridge    
& Wm set forwards    
towards Keswick but    
the wind in Coleridge’s    
eyes made him turn back    
Sara & I had a    
grand bread & cake    
baking we were very    
merry in the evening    
but grew sleepy soon [Page]

tho’ we did not go     
to bed till 12 o clock.

Saturday [December 6th] Wm accompan    
ied Coleridge to the foot    
of the Rays – a very    
pleasant morning – Sara    
& I accompanied him    
half way to Keswick.    
Thirlemere [illegible deleted word] was    
very beautiful – even    
more so than in summer    
William was not well    
had labored unsuccessfully    
Charles Lloyd had called    
Sara & I drank tea    
with Mrs Simpson. [Page]

A sharp shower met    
us – it rained a little    
when we came home    
Mr B S accompanied    
us – Miss S at Ambleside    
William tired & not    
well – A letter from    
MH —

Sunday [December 7th] a fine morning    
I read – Sara wrote to Hartley    
Wm to Mary, I to Mrs C    
We walked just before dinner    
to the Lake-side & found    
out a seat in a tree windy    
but pleasant. Sara    
& Wm walked to the water-    
=falls at Rydale. I was    
unwell & went to bed [Page]

till 8 o clock – a pleasant    
mild evening – Went to bed    
at 12 – Miss Simpson    

Monday 8th December – A sweet    
mild morning … I wrote to Mrs    
Cookson & Miss Griffith

Tuesday [December] 9th I


DW seems first to have first written “we,” then superimposed “I” on second thoughts.

dined at    
Lloyds – Wm drank tea    
walked home a pleasant    
starlight frosty evening – reached    
home at one o clock – Wm    
finished his poem today –

Wednesday [December] 10th walked to Keswick    
Snow upon the ground . . .    
A very fine day ate bread    
& ale at John Stanley’s [Page]

Found Coleridge better    
Stayed at Keswick till    
Sunday 14th December.    
Monday [December 15th] – Baking & starching    
Tuesday [December 16th] Ironing – the Lloyds    
called – Wednesday [December 17th] a very    
fine day – Writing all    
the morning for William    
Thursday [December 18th] Mrs Coleridge    
& Derwent came – sweeping    
chimneys. Friday [December 19th] – baking    
Saturday [December 20th] Coleridge came    
very ill rheumatic, feverish    
Rain – incessantly – Monday [December 22nd]    
S & Wm went to Lloyds Wm    
dined it rained very hard    
when he came home at…

[from the other end of the book after stubs]

Taken from the life of Dr    

Here lie    
Tobias Franklin and Abiah his wife    
They lived together with recipro    
=cal affection for fifty nine years;    
And without private fortune,    
Without lucrative employment.    
By assiduous labour & honest    
industry decently supported a    
numerous family, & educated with    
success thirteen children and    
seven grandchildren. Let this    
example, reader, encourage thee    
diligently to discharge the [Page]

duties of thy calling, and rely    
on the support of divine Pro-    
He was pious and prudent    
She discreet and virtuous    
Their youngest Son* from a senti=    
=ment of filial duty consecrates    
this stone to their memory—    
*Dr Franklin

Epitaph written by Dr Frank=    
=lin many years before his    

The Body    
Benjamin Franklin Printer    
(Like the cover of an old book)    
the contents torn out, [Page]

And stript of its lettering & gilding]    
Lies here food for worms    
Yet the work itself shall not be lost    
For it will (as he believed) appear once more    
In a new    
And more beautiful edition.    
Corrected, and amended    
The Author

Epitaph taken from the    
Parish church of Long Newton    
in the county of Durham    
See Hutchinson history of Durham    
p. 168 – 3rd Volume.    
(a figure of brasswork on the    
marble) [Page]

Epitaph taken from the Parish Church-Yard    
of Marsh in the County of York

A virtuous woman I have been    
And many troubles I have seen    
When I was alive I did my best    
But now my bones are laid at rest.

Here lieth the [Page]

Here lieth the Body of Sir George Vane interred    
May the first 1679 Second Son of Sr. Henry Henery    
Vane, some time principal Secretary of State     
To King Charles the first. He married Elizabeth,    
The Heiress of Sir Lionell Maddison of New-    
Castle upon Tyne, by whom he had thirteen    
Hopeful children viz foure Sons and nine Daughters.

His Honour wonne i’th field lies here in dust    
His honours got by grace shall never rust    
The former fades, the latter shall faile never    
For why, he was Sr George once, b’t St. George ever. [Page]

The snow-tracks of my friends I see


The lines that follow, all ultimately discarded, are draft material for WW’s “The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian Woman.”

Their foot marks do not trouble me    
For ever left alone am I    
Then wherefore should I fear to die    
Me to the last my friends did cherish    
And to the last were good and kind    
Methinks ‘tis strange I did not perish    
The Moment I was left behind

Why do I watch those running deer    
And wherefore, wherefore come they here    
And wherefore do I seem to love    
The things that live the things that move    
Why do I look upon the sky    
I do not live for what I see    
Why open thus mine eyes? to die    
Is all that now is left for me    
If I could smother up my heart    
My life would then at once depart [Page]

My Friends you live & yet you seem    
To me the people of a dream    
A dream in which there is no love    
And yet my friends you live & move    
With [three illegible words] to [stream?]    
And can one hour to me remain    
[Seven illegible words]    
One moment one to me arrive    
When I could live without a pain    
And feel no wish to be alive    
In quiet hopelessness I sleep    
Alas how quiet and how deep!

Ah no I do not cannot rue    
I did not strive to follow you    
I might have dropp’d & died alone    
On unknown snows, a spot unknown    
This spot to me must needs be dear    
Oh my dear Friends I see the trace    
You saw me friends you laid me here    
This spot must needs to me be dear    
You know where my poor bones shall lie    
Then wherefore should I fear to die [Page]

Alas that one beloved, forlorn    
Should lie beneath the cold starlight    
With them I think I could have borne    
The journey of another night    
And with my friends now far away    
I could have lived another day.


The reader must invert the notebook to read these last six lines of verse.


1. DW’s younger brother, who worked as a merchant sailor for the East India Company and whom DW had not seen for eight years. [back]
2. Agnes (Aggy) Fisher, who with her husband, John, and sister Molly lived across the road from WW and DW. They are often described as helping DW with gardening and housework. [back]
3. Thomas Ashburner was a neighbor, a resident of a cottage nearly opposite the Wordsworths’, who supplied them with coals to heat their home. He was a widower with five younger girls. Sara/Sally is mentioned in this journal. [back]
4. Here, “green” seems to be written over something else. [back]
5. Illegible canceled word before “The.” [back]
6. Christopher Wordsworth (1774–1846), the youngest of the Wordsworth siblings and three years younger than DW, was then a Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He married Charles Lloyd’s sister, Priscilla, in 1804. [back]
7. Initials referring to Joanna Hutchinson, S. T. Coleridge, Charles Lloyd, and William Wordsworth. [back]
8. Helm Crag (1,328 ft., or 405 m) rises dramatically just north of the village of Grasmere. [back]
9. There is a large X across much of the material for July 29. It stops at “We walked,” the beginning of the next entry. See n10 for an explanation of the cancel. [back]
10. “See above” refers to the cross-out described in n9. Apparently, DW began an entry for 29 July but canceled it because in fact it described 30 July. [back]
11. Sara Ashburner, born 1790, seems to have helped DW around the house and garden. [back]
12. DW first met Catherine Clarkson (1772–1856), wife of Thomas Clarkson (1760–1846), later this week (see entry for 6 September). They became close friends and regular correspondents. The Clarksons lived from 1794 to 1803 in the Lakes, at Eusemere, on Ullswater. Thomas Clarkson was a well-known abolitionist who worked alongside William Wilberforce and others. [back]
13. 1800 added in pencil. [back]
14. DW seems first to have first written “we,” then superimposed “I” on second thoughts. [back]
15. The lines that follow, all ultimately discarded, are draft material for WW’s “The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian Woman.” [back]
16. The reader must invert the notebook to read these last six lines of verse. [back]

Reading Text (diplomatic transcription) © 2023 by Romantic Circles, Dorothy Wordsworth, and Michelle Levy is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0