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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER
His unsympathetic guardians naturally wanted him to settle to a profession, and their desire was, if anything, a reason for going against it. To become a clergyman or a tutor was his only apparent chance, and yet either position involved concession, if not absolute subservience, to commonplaces and respectability. For some years, accordingly, Wordsworth lived what he calls an 'undomestic wanderer's life.' Travelling was congenial to his state of mind. A youth rambling with a knapsack on his back and a few pounds in his pocket can enjoy a sense of independence of the most exquisitely delightful kind. Wordsworth, before leaving Cambridge, had managed a tour in the Alps, and afterwards spent some time in London. He was equally in both cases a looker-on. The Swiss tour prompted a poem which (with the previous Evening Walk) shows that he was still in search of himself. He already shows his minute and first-hand observance of nature, but the form and the sentiment are imitative and partly fictitious. He is working the vein of Beattie's Minstrel and Goldsmith's Traveller; with some impulse, perhaps, from Rousseau. M. Legouis observes very truly that the sentimental sadness which he thinks proper to affect is in odd contrast with the hearty