A reply by Wordsworth to a letter from John Wilson (then an undergraduate of seventeen), dated 24 May 1802, containing a thoughtful and reasoned criticism of Lyrical Ballads; for useful extracts see Elsie Smith, An Estimate of William Wordsworth by his Contemporaries, Oxford, 1932, 52–9. A draft manuscript of Wordsworth’s letter survives in the Wordsworth Library, Grasmere, and is the basis of the following text, which is from EY, 352–8.