Letter/Extract 25

DW to Mrs John Marshall: Grasmere Wednesday Morng. September 10th [and 12th] 1800.

[Dorothy describes their life in the valley, the cottage and the people]

Mr Marshall will give you a fuller description than I can by letter of our dwelling and our manner of life – but I will not keep back what I have to tell you from the fear that you may hear it twice over as that will not I know be tiresome to you. We are daily more delighted with Grasmere, and its neighbourhood; our walks are perpetually varied, and we are more fond of the mountains as our acquaintance with them encreases. We have a boat upon the lake and a small orchard and a smaller garden which as it is the work of our own hands we regard with pride and partiality. This garden we enclosed from the road and pulled down a fence which formerly divided it from the orchard. (EY, 295).

Our cottage is quite large enough for us though very small, and we have made it neat and comfortable within doors and it looks very nice on the outside. . . . The only objection we have to our house is that it is rather too near the road, and from its smallness and the manner in which it is built noises pass from one part of the house to the other. . . . We have made a lodging-room of the parlour below stairs, which has a stone floor therefore we have covered it all over with matting. The bed, though only a camp bed, is large enough for two people to sleep in. We sit in a room above stairs and we have one lodging-room with two single beds, a sort of lumber room and a small low unceiled room, which I have papered with newspapers and in which we have put a small bed without curtains. (EY, 295-296).

My Brother John has been with us 8 months during which time we have had a good deal of company, for instance Mary Hutchinson for 5 weeks, Coleridge a month, and Mr [and] Mrs C and their little boy nearly a month. (EY, 296).

We are very comfortably situated with respect to neighbours of the lower classes, they are excellent people, friendly in performing all offices of kindness and humanity and attentive to us without servility – if we were sick they would wait upon us night and day. We are also upon very intimate terms with one family in the middle rank of life, a Clergyman with a very small income, his wife, son and daughter [the Sympsons]. (EY, 299).