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Brown (Ford Madox)-continued.
tights, if not with you, or here, ought to be in that best chest-of-drawers which
73 BROWN (Dr. John). Essayist. Author of "Rab and his Friends." A.L.S. to Thos. Macquoid. 24 pp., Svo. Edinburgh, 10th Dec.,
Concerning a dog.
"I am afraid I can do little for you & Colley. He must be a true of nature' & I don't think you will ever recone le him to London. He will long for his hills & his work & will kill cats to pass the time. As for his fond dog biscuits, one a day with an occasional bare bone should keep him well." Etc.
74 BROWNE (Sir Richard). Charles II.
A VERY FINE LETTER.
Diplomatist. Resident at the French Court of
A.L.S. to "Mr. Secretary Long." 2 pages, folio. Paris, 1650.
£7 10s A long and most interesting letter (entirely autograph) of historical importance as to affairs on the Continent, also as to matters concerning Charles II., then in exile.
That afternoon the Duke of Beaufort and Coadjutor were by the Duke of Orleans presented to the Queen Regent, Cardinal Mazarin being present, whome the day following they visited apart in his own Lodgings; and the differences between the Duc de Beaufort and the Duc de Candales upon the old quarrell at the Tuilleries was then also reconciled. .. Upon Munday the Duke of Orleans disgraced and dismissed.
"I doe not find that the Imprisoned Princes Governments are yet disposed of, but 'tis thought when they are the Duke of Beaufort and perhaps the Coadjutor (who are already become your Courtiers) will have their shares, so necessary it is now found to Court the same Fronde which this tyme twelmonth was so Capitally Criminall. I cannot yet assure yor. Honr. of the Peace of the Provinces, here being speech of some Creatures of the Prince of Conde's stirring in Burgundy; that the Duke of Bouillon is at Belleguarde. That the Mareschal de Turenne, with young la Moussaye is at Stenay, with a thousand horse and two thousand ffoot, that the Dutchess of Longuerille is in possession of the Castle at Diepe and the King, Queen and whole Court goe next Munday towards Normandy, and the Duke of Mercoeur is already gon for Catalonica" Etc., etc.
A.L.S. to "Mr. Secretary Long." I page, folio. Paris, 27th
75 BROWNING (Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett). Poet. Married Robert Browning. Autograph MS. signed "E. B. B.," of an early poem, Stanzas on her love for poetry.
Comprising 15 Verses of four lines each, and contained on 3 pp.,
(SEE ILLUSTRATION, PLATE No. II.).
Written when some 18 or 19 years of age. In the poem she declares her communings with the sprite of poesy from her childhood days. The manuscript contains various corrections in the text.
"The Sprite of blessed Poesy
Hath been a blessed Sprite to me:
And i can call to mind no spot
I as i pass amidst the throng
They shall turn on my lips to song;
Is aye a pleasant Sprite to me." Etc.
ON HER MARRIAGE.
"My marriage was my only wilful act through life."
A lengthy A.L.S. "Ba," to her friend Mademoiselle Dowglass Fanny) at Bagni di Lucca. 6 pp., 8vo. Florence, 2nd August, 1847.
Written the year after her marriage to Robert Browning, which she explains and defends at great length, describing their early married life together; also making reference to an interesting experience at the monastery at Vallambrosa. Mrs. Browning's father refused his consent to the marriage, she accordingly left home unbeknown to him; he never spoke to her again, nor would be answer any of her letters. We proceeded to scale the heights of Vallambrosa & persuade the monks to take us in for two months. Obdurate monks, who wouldn't hear of it, and sent us back, rolling at the heels of white oxen, at the end of five days.-because they have a new Abbot who being a holy man puts away from before his face as fast as possible, all manner of unclean beasts-& women of course. It is a malign satisfaction to me that I put my foot over their threshold & stamped thrice on the ground, profaning it for ever-the only vengeance left to me.
So good of you it is to wish to have us-one of us a stranger too!-to be received in faith.-and who might be as my husband says naïvely, so very disagreeable. One day I shall be happy & proud to make him known to you indeed. Our chief cause for hesitation about Rome is the prices, some of these Florentines assuring us that they quadruple the prices there, and as we are not rich it is a thing to consider of course. We have been paying nineteen scudi a month for an apartment including plate and linen.
Florence is over cold in the winter as it
is over hot now. Yet oh, 'tis beautiful Florence, how we have delighted in it these three months past & more!
"It is scarcely fair perhaps to other countries that I should see Italy when (Continued over).
Browning (Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett)-continued.
I am happiest-it makes it look too beautiful.
I was thrown back into confirmed illness, he should be happier with me, than with-
We live in great retirement & very happily & cheerfully none the less-with books, a piano, and my dog. I am able to walk out every evening, and cant believe in my own identity with what I was three years ago my face against a tombstone, & the ends of life hanging loosely in my hands! Even my spirits which I thought broken for ever, are putting forth green leaves. I have displeased some whom it was painful to me to displease-but have wronged nome-as far as I know & believe. Nearly a year it is now since my marriage-a gear in September-and I have known only since then how happy it is possible to be beneath the sun,' a being regularly petted & spoiled one day more than another--never was so tender a heart as the one I lean on through God's gift to me." Etc.. etc.
A.L.S. "Ba," to the same. 6 pp., 12mo. Florence, 25th Aug. £7 10s As to their proposed residence in Rome; mentioning their quiet and retired mode of living.
“.. .. You have set us on tiptoe of expectation towards the Tarpeian Rock, and every word you say of it, seems to set us higher. We don't want the English quarter-we dont care for any manner of glory in the way of furniture & champagne-glasses. We live in the quietest way imaginable, & see nobody & go A comfortable chair & a comfortable sofa, and a complement of legs to the table, would satisfy us perfectly. The vision you hold out of ancient Rome, would compensate for all--and then we like your suggestion about the Lutheran Chapel close by-it sounds perfect altogether.
"Talking of Jesuitism & Jesuits, my husband knows Mr. Mahony, the famous Father Prout, now at Rome- a very dangerous person' as everybody knows-and the first whom we caught sight of in landing at Leghorn. He drifts from land to land like a phantom.
Good, good of you it is to care to keep me from the supposed risk of passing a winter in Florence. Well! Florence has its temptations, there's no denying-and to break the spell & leave it behind is difficult-the spell of beauty and of association with happy days. Then on one side the Arno, the sun is said always to shine. But content without seeing Rome, one cant be quite! Of Venice we had thought first-and I gave up my risionary gondola with a pang for which you must help to console me by the sight of your face & sound of your voice" Etc., etc.
Browning (Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett)-continued.
A.L.S. "Ba" to the same. 3 pp., 12mo. Florence, 6th Sept. £5 5s A charming letter on various interesting subjects, including an important expression on the Roman Catholic religion in Italy.
The people here are in great triumph & joy in the grant of a Civic Guard; and the Te Deum in the Duomo, which Robert went to hear yesterday, was a fine thing, he said. Nothing, however, disappoints me more than the poetical effect than the impressiveness of the R. Catholic_ceremonies. There seems a want of reality & earnestness. When I expected to be shaken & prostrated, I sit calmly, & coldly still. We agree sometimes that there is more poetry, in the best sense, in the poorest wildest methodist congregation, where the people lift up with their hearts the rugged rhymes of the old psalm, than in what we see & hear in Italy. But God looks through tinsel as through rags-the One finds the unity where are court the divisions, we with our bisecting eyes.'
79 BROWNING (Robert).
OF SHAKESPEARE INTEREST.
A.L.S. to W. Hepworth Dixon.
October 12th, 1863.
2 pp., 8vo. Warwick Crescent,
£7 10s Concerning the "Shakespeare Celebration"; with which he is not in accord. My absence from London was the cause of such a delay in thanking you for the paper concerning the intended Shakespeare Celebration,' and your note appended thereto. What can I say but the plain truth in reply to your kindness? Just this, which I think I might not say, were the proofs of your success less apparent, that my feeling goes another way-rightly or wrongly-and in such a matter the feeling is all. I honor yours heartily, and count upon you tolerating mine.”
2 pp., 8vo. £6 6s
A.L.S. to Mr. F. G. Fleay, the Shakesperian scholar. Warwick Crescent, 6th February, 1881. Concerning trouble with Furnivall, and the New Shakespeare Society," of which Browning was President. The responsibility incurred by the President (why not the Committee?) of sanctioning the proceedings of the Society.' Does a publication by a number of the Society come under that category when it is altogether independent and unsanctioned in any way! The writer avows himself and may therefore be directly dealt with; and as he receives no shelter from the Society, he surely may expect no interference on its part. I repeat my true sorrow that language which I scarcely understand and by no means have any sympathy with should be applied to a scholar and a gentleman; but the assailant is at all events no anonymous skulker behind an editorial We,' and the assailed party has already taken advantage of that circumstance to retaliate-fairly enough."
A.L.S. to A. W. Hunt, the landscape painter. 1 full page, 8vo. Warwick Crescent, 29th April, 1866. With franked addressed envelope.
As to one of his poems having inspired a picture by Hunt. I feel proud indeed, and something better, that any poem of mine should have associated itself with the power which conceived and executed so magnificent a picture. I weigh the word and repeat it. My own Marsh' was only made out of my head, with some recollection of a strange solitary little tower I have come upon more than once in Massa-Carrara, in the midst of low hills." Etc.
A.L.S. to Mr. Hunt. (N.Y.), circa 1856-7.
4 pp., 12mo.
Devonshire Place, 20th Aug. £3 10s
"My dear Hunt-Master Hunt, that is, as they would have addressed you in Shakespeare's time.
"I write for my wife, or even more for her than myself-but she will soon equal me in knowledge of you. Of my books-I dare only to reply to your third note on them, that I know they err in obscure and imperfect expression-wishing it were not so, and trying always that for the future it may be less so." Etc.
A.L.S. to John Ruskin. 2 pp., 8vo. Warwick Crescent, 24th February, 1865. £3 3s I know and love Milsand thoroughly, and his existence to me is proof of innumerable good things which the daily rabble of rascaldom goes near to cast doubt upon sometimes. I hope you will see him face to face one day. Kindest regards to Mrs. Ruskin if you please."
I page, 8vo.
A.L.S. to Hale White. Warwick Crescent, May 2nd, 1879. On paper bearing Browning's crest. With signed envelope.
£3 5s Thanking Hale White for his sympathetic appreciation of his work and for the gift of a portrait of Bunyan.
Few more gratifying occurrences than the reception of your letter have rewarded my work this many a year. So, I have had a friend without knowing it! and a lover of Bunyan too, the object of my utmost admiration and reverence. I will not deprive your wall of its decoration-the portrait-though I thank you gratefully for your offer, and I repeat-for making known to me that I am richer, by the possession of your sympathy than I could have supposed." Etc.
A.L.S. to Miss Gladstone. I page, Svo. Warwick Crescent, 28th December, 1883. £2 15s As to Mr. W. E. Gladstone's translation of one of Cowper's hymns into Italian. In common with everybody, I read while abroad Mr. Gladstone's translation of Cowper's Hymn, and noticed a prefatory remark that there existed few or no Hymns, original or translated in Italian. In Venice I attended the interesting Waldensian Service held there, and fancied that Mr. Gladstone might care to look over the Hymnal in use-of which I venture to send a copy."
A.L.S. to Havelock Ellis. 5th June, 1886.
I page, small Svo.
In appreciation of Walter Savage Landor's "Imaginary Conversations.” the worst must be better than nearly all the best pieces of writing now in currency. I rejoice at every fresh attempt to circulate these admirable works of my old friend."
I found there was a party at the house where I dined, and could
not get away." Etc.