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Boccaccio defends his own choice of vocation, against medieval detractors, emphasizing the importance to the creative life of solitude and communion with nature,37 and anticipating the considerations that Wordsworth eventually advanced in The Excursion, and indeed in the Recluse project as a whole. Boccaccio in fact provides what amounts to a commentary on Wordsworth's argument in Book IV of TheExcursion, though this may not be obvious at first since the poet's exposition is ordered by his own priorities and somewhat broken up by the demands of a 'conversation poem'.

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The history of Cumbria as a county of England begins with the Local Government Act 1972
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Wordsworth and his Publisher, a Bookplate and an Inscription

was, for him, a better guide to the living processes of nature than the old anthropo- morphic cults. The English Bible spoke of analogous 'powers' having control or influence in creation,' and Shakespeare in The Tempest attributed to them the retribution that fell on Alonzo and his companions for their treachery to Prospero:

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A universe of active 'powers', pagan or Christian, was not incom- patible with the forces of Newtonian physics, and even with Godwin's law of Necessity, and could thus be accepted as a poetic embodiment of both ancient and modern experience. It was for the poet to convey his own emotional responses to nature, not a body of doctrines. Wordsworth may have had this in mind in his letter of c.1804 about education in which he recommended, along with the study of fairy

Furthermore, Robinson utilizes themes of nature and witchcraft throughout the poem. Regarding the theme of nature, the protagonist herself is compared to a flower bud glowing “with pure tints of varying hue (line 54)” and whose body parts seem to have nature laden throughout them.
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Coleridge, the Hutchinsons, and the Wordsworths ..

The Wanderer confronts the Solitary's death-wish by arguing that superstition is preferable to apathy, which is contrary to nature but encouraged by scientific or analytic modes of thought, 'Where soul is dead, and feeling hath no place'.38 He goes on to show that, from the beginning of time, man has never lacked some form of spiritual guidance, however imperfect, to nourish the admiration, hope, and love which are innate propensities of the human soul and natural antidotes to the Solitary's moral lethargy. The Wanderer's spirited evocation of the ancient religions is an exemplification of the power of poetry to embody in fable and myth mankind's early attempts to commune with the spirit of nature and to understand its processes and laws. For in the ancient world, 'The imaginative faculty was lord I Of observations natural'.39

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Wordsworth's emphasis, on the other hand, is quite different. Just because in 'The world is too much with us' the pagan creed is 'outworn' but not 'exploded', it still retains its imaginative force and appeal which can be revived by the poet's visionary power. There is a sense in which it remains a permanent part of man's imaginative inheritance, a folk memory that is never entirely superseded. Like the pagan temples, it lingered on in the imagination long after the old religion had given way to the new. Wordsworth's delight in 'the universal Pan'27 and the other tutelary powers seems in fact to owe little or nothing either to Schiller or to Coleridge, and another source must be found for the new feeling about the pagan gods which enters his poetry around 1803 and reaches full development in The Excur- sion. A likely source can be found, I suggest, in Boccaccio's Latin treatise Genealogia Deorum Gentilium.

Vol. IV, No. 11, November 2013 Archives | Numéro Cinq

The ancient Poets haue indeed wrapped as it were in their writings diuers and sundry meanings, which they call the sences or mysteries thereof. First of all for the litterall sence (as it were the vtmost barke or ryne) they set downe in manner of an historie, the acts and notable exploits of some persons worthy memorie; then in the same fiction, as a second rine and somewhat more fine, as it were nearer to the pith and marrow, they place the ILIorall sence, profitable for the actiue life of man, approuing vertuous actions and condemning the contrarie. hlanie times also vnder the selfsame words they comprehend some true vndestanding of natural1 Philosophie, or sometimes of politike gouernement, and now and then of diuinitie: and these same sences that comprehend so excellent knowledge we call the Allegorie . . . 32