DW to Mrs William Rawson (her aunt): Alfoxden, 13th June, 1798.
[Dorothy explains their reasons for going to Germany, the length of their stay and their intentions]
We have long wished to go into that country [Germany] for the purpose of learning the language, and for the common advantages to be acquired by seeing different people and different manners. Coleridge has had the same wish; and we have so arranged our plans that I hope we shall sail in two or three months. Our first intention was to have gone immediately to the neighbourhood of one of the universities; but as we find that the price of lodgings &c. is much greater in the towns where there are universities we have resolved to go into some small town or village, till we have acquired the language, which we imagine we shall have a good knowledge of in about twelve months. . . . We are advised to go into Saxony. Some parts of that country are extremely beautiful and boarding is very cheap. It is our intention (William's and mine) to board in some respectable family for the benefit, or rather the obligation of talking German constantly. . . . . Such are our plans for one year, at least; what we shall do afterwards it is impossible at present to say. If the state of Europe will permit we shall endeavour to get into Switzerland; at any rate we shall travel as far as the tether of a slender income will permit. We hope to make some addition to our resources by translating from the German . . . (EY, 220-221).