May 31 1812: Wordsworth Expatiates

On May 31 1812, Henry Crabb Robinson meets with William Wordsworth and other friends. Wordsworth is discussing his theory of poetry and his fears of a "social war between the poor and rich". In this fear he echoes Southey who on May 14 1812 had also warned of such a war: 
This country is upon the brink of the most dreadful of all conceivable states—an insurrection of the poor against the rich; and if by some providential infatuation, the Burdettites had not continued to insult the soldiers, the existing government would not be worth a week’s purchase, nor any throat which could be supposed to be worth cutting, safe for a month longer.
...Things are in that state at this time that nothing but the army preserves us: it is the single plank between us and the red sea of an English Jacquerie,—a Bellum Servile; not provoked, as both those convulsions were, by grievous oppression, but prepared by the inevitable tendency of the manufacturing system, and hastened on by the folly of a besotted faction, and the wickedness of a few individuals.
They both tie such a conflict to the "manufacturing system." In some ways, both are Marxists before Karl Marx had been born.

Wordsworth and Southey also supported the established church. Their support was not based on religious doctrine but as a bulwark against social disorder. Crabb Robinson's entry for May 31 reads as follows:
May 31st. — A day of great enjoyment. Walked to Hampstead. Found Wordsworth demonstrating to Hamond some of the points of his philosophical theory. Speaking of his own poems, he said he valued them principally as being a new power in the literary  world. Hamond's friend Miller esteemed them for their pure morality. Wordsworth said he himself  looked to the powers of mind they call forth, and the  energies they presuppose and excite as the standard by which they should be tried. He expatiated also on his fears lest a social war should arise between the poor and the rich, the danger of which is aggravated by the vast extension of the manufacturing system. 

Wordsworth defended earnestly the Church Establishment. He even said he would shed his blood for it. Nor was he disconcerted by a laugh raised against him on account of his having before confessed that he knew not when he had been in a church in his own country. "All our ministers are so vile," said he. The mischief of allowing the clergy to depend on the caprice of the multitude he thought more than outweighed all the evils of an Establishment. And in this I agreed with him. 

Dined with Wordsworth at Mr. Carr's Sir Humphry and Lady Davy there. She and Sir H. seem to have hardly finished their honeymoon. Miss Joanna Baille said to Wordsworth the other day, "We have witnessed a picturesque happiness." Mrs. Walter Scott was spoken of rather disparagingly, and Miss Baillie gave her this good word : " When I visited her I thought I saw a great deal to like. She seemed to admire and look up to her husband. She was very kind to her guests. Her children were well-bred, and the house was in excellent order. And she had some smart roses in her cap, and I did not like her the less for that." 

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