First Italian Journey--Letters to Miss Haworth--Mr. John
Kenyon--'Sordello'--Letter to Miss Flower--'Pippa Passes'--'Bells and
Mr. Browning sailed from London with Captain Davidson of the 'Norham
Castle', a merchant vessel bound for Trieste, on which he found himself
the only passenger. A striking experience of the voyage, and some
characteristic personal details, are given in the following letter to
Miss Haworth. It is dated 1838, and was probably written before that
year's summer had closed.
Dear Miss Haworth,--Do look at a fuchsia in full bloom and notice the
clear little honey-drop depending from every flower. I have just found
it out to my no small satisfaction,--a bee's breakfast. I only answer
for the long-blossomed sort, though,--indeed, for this plant in my room.
Taste and be Titania; you can, that is. All this while I forget that you
will perhaps never guess the good of the discovery: I have, you are to
know, such a love for flowers and leaves--some leaves--that I every
now and then, in an impatience at being able to possess myself of them
thoroughly, to see them quite, satiate myself with their scent,--bite
them to bits--so there will be some sense in that. How I remember the
flowers--even grasses--of places I have seen! Some one flower or weed, I
should say, that gets some strangehow connected with them.
Snowdrops and Tilsit in Prussia go together; cowslips and Windsor Park,
for instance; flowering palm and some place or other in Holland.
Now to answer what can be answered in the letter I was happy to receive
last week. I am quite well. I did not expect you would write,--for none
of your written reasons, however. You will see 'Sordello' in a trice, if
the fagging fit holds. I did not write six lines while absent (except
a scene in a play, jotted down as we sailed thro' the Straits of
Gibraltar)--but I did hammer out some four, two of which are addressed
to you, two to the Queen*--the whole to go in Book III--perhaps. I
called you 'Eyebright'--meaning a simple and sad sort of translation
of "Euphrasia" into my own language: folks would know who Euphrasia, or
Fanny, was--and I should not know Ianthe or Clemanthe. Not that there is
anything in them to care for, good or bad. Shall I say 'Eyebright'?
* I know no lines directly addressed to the Queen.
I was disappointed in one thing, Canova.
What companions should I have?
The story of the ship must have reached you 'with a difference' as
Ophelia says; my sister told it to a Mr. Dow, who delivered it to
Forster, I suppose, who furnished Macready with it, who made it over
&c., &c., &c.--As short as I can tell, this way it happened: the captain
woke me one bright Sunday morning to say there was a ship floating keel
uppermost half a mile off; they lowered a boat, made ropes fast to some
floating canvas, and towed her towards our vessel. Both met halfway, and
the little air that had risen an hour or two before, sank at once. Our
men made the wreck fast in high glee at having 'new trousers out of the
sails,' and quite sure she was a French boat, broken from her moorings
at Algiers, close by. Ropes were next hove (hang this sea-talk!) round
her stanchions, and after a quarter of an hour's pushing at the capstan,
the vessel righted suddenly, one dead body floating out; five more were
in the forecastle, and had probably been there a month under a blazing
African sun--don't imagine the wretched state of things. They were,
these six, the 'watch below'--(I give you the result of the day's
observation)--the rest, some eight or ten, had been washed overboard at
first. One or two were Algerines, the rest Spaniards. The vessel was a
smuggler bound for Gibraltar; there were two stupidly disproportionate
guns, taking up the whole deck, which was convex and--nay, look you!
(a rough pen-and-ink sketch of the different parts of the wreck is here
introduced) these are the gun-rings, and the black square the place
where the bodies lay. (All the 'bulwarks' or sides of the top, carried
away by the waves.) Well, the sailors covered up the hatchway, broke up
the aft-deck, hauled up tobacco and cigars, such heaps of them, and
then bale after bale of prints and chintz, don't you call it, till the
captain was half-frightened--he would get at the ship's papers, he said;
so these poor fellows were pulled up, piecemeal, and pitched into the
sea, the very sailors calling to each other to 'cover the faces',--no
papers of importance were found, however, but fifteen swords, powder
and ball enough for a dozen such boats, and bundles of cotton, &c., that
would have taken a day to get out, but the captain vowed that after five
o'clock she should be cut adrift: accordingly she was cast loose, not a
third of her cargo having been touched; and you hardly can conceive the
strange sight when the battered hulk turned round, actually, and
looked at us, and then reeled off, like a mutilated creature from some
scoundrel French surgeon's lecture-table, into the most gorgeous and
lavish sunset in the world: there; only thank me for not taking you at
your word, and giving you the whole 'story'.--'What I did?' I went to
Trieste, then Venice--then through Treviso and Bassano to the mountains,
delicious Asolo, all my places and castles, you will see. Then to
Vicenza, Padua, and Venice again. Then to Verona, Trent, Innspruck (the
Tyrol), Munich, Salzburg in Franconia, Frankfort and Mayence; down the
Rhine to Cologne, then to Aix-la-Chapelle, Liege and Antwerp--then home.
Shall you come to town, anywhere near town, soon? I shall be off again
as soon as my book is out, whenever that will be.
I never read that book of Miss Martineau's, so can't understand what
you mean. Macready is looking well; I just saw him the other day for a
minute after the play; his Kitely was Kitely--superb from his flat cap
down to his shining shoes. I saw very few Italians, 'to know', that is.
Those I did see I liked. Your friend Pepoli has been lecturing here, has
I shall be vexed if you don't write soon, a long Elstree letter. What
are you doing, writing--drawing? Ever yours truly R. B. To Miss Haworth,
Barham Lodge, Elstree.
Miss Browning's account of this experience, supplied from memory of her
brother's letters and conversations, contains some vivid supplementary
details. The drifting away of the wreck put probably no effective
distance between it and the ship; hence the necessity of 'sailing away'
'Of the dead pirates, one had his hands clasped as if praying; another,
a severe gash in his head. The captain burnt disinfectants and blew
gunpowder, before venturing on board, but even then, he, a powerful man,
turned very sick with the smell and sight. They stayed one whole day
by the side, but the sailors, in spite of orders, began to plunder the
cigars, &c. The captain said privately to Robert, "I cannot restrain my
men, and they will bring the plague into our ship, so I mean quietly in
the night to sail away." Robert took two cutlasses and a dagger; they
were of the coarsest workmanship, intended for use. At the end of one of
the sheaths was a heavy bullet, so that it could be used as a sling.
The day after, to their great relief, a heavy rain fell and cleansed the
ship. Captain Davidson reported the sight of the wreck and its condition
as soon as he arrived at Trieste.'
Miss Browning also relates that the weather was stormy in the Bay of
Biscay, and for the first fortnight her brother suffered terribly. The
captain supported him on to the deck as they passed through the Straits
of Gibraltar, that he might not lose the sight. He recovered, as we
know, sufficiently to write 'How they brought the Good News from Ghent
to Aix'; but we can imagine in what revulsion of feeling towards firm
land and healthy motion this dream of a headlong gallop was born in
him. The poem was pencilled on the cover of Bartoli's "De' Simboli
trasportati al Morale", a favourite book and constant companion of his;
and, in spite of perfect effacement as far as the sense goes, the pencil
dints are still visible. The little poem 'Home Thoughts from the Sea'
was written at the same time, and in the same manner.
By the time they reached Trieste, the captain, a rough north-countryman,
had become so attached to Mr. Browning that he offered him a free
passage to Constantinople; and after they had parted, carefully
preserved, by way of remembrance, a pair of very old gloves worn by him
on deck. Mr. Browning might, on such an occasion, have dispensed with
gloves altogether; but it was one of his peculiarities that he could
never endure to be out of doors with uncovered hands. The captain also
showed his friendly feeling on his return to England by bringing to Miss
Browning, whom he had heard of through her brother, a present of six
bottles of attar of roses.
The inspirations of Asolo and Venice appear in 'Pippa Passes' and 'In
a Gondola'; but the latter poem showed, to Mr. Browning's subsequent
vexation, that Venice had been imperfectly seen; and the magnetism which
Asolo was to exercise upon him, only fully asserted itself at a much
A second letter to Miss Haworth is undated, but may have been written at
any period of this or the ensuing year.
I have received, a couple of weeks since, a present--an album large and
gaping, and as Cibber's Richard says of the 'fair Elizabeth': 'My
heart is empty--she shall fill it'--so say I (impudently?) of my grand
trouble-table, which holds a sketch or two by my fine fellow Monclar,
one lithograph--his own face of faces,--'all the rest was amethyst.' F.
H. everywhere! not a soul beside 'in the chrystal silence there,' and
it locks, this album; now, don't shower drawings on M., who has so many
advantages over me as it is: or at least don't bid _me_ of all others say
what he is to have.
The 'Master' is somebody you don't know, W. J. Fox, a magnificent and
poetical nature, who used to write in reviews when I was a boy, and
to whom my verses, a bookful, written at the ripe age of twelve and
thirteen, were shown: which verses he praised not a little; which praise
comforted me not a little. Then I lost sight of him for years and
years; then I published _anonymously_ a little poem--which he, to my
inexpressible delight, praised and expounded in a gallant article in a
magazine of which he was the editor; then I found him out again; he got
a publisher for 'Paracelsus' (I read it to him in manuscript) and is in
short 'my literary father'. Pretty nearly the same thing did he for
Miss Martineau, as she has said somewhere. God knows I forget what the
'talk', table-talk was about--I think she must have told you the results
of the whole day we spent tete-a-tete at Ascot, and that day's, the
dinner-day's morning at Elstree and St. Albans. She is to give me advice
about my worldly concerns, and not before I need it!
I cannot say or sing the pleasure your way of writing gives me--do go
on, and tell me all sorts of things, 'the story' for a beginning; but
your moralisings on 'your age' and the rest, are--now what _are_ they?
not to be reasoned on, disputed, laughed at, grieved about: they are
'Fanny's crotchets'. I thank thee, Jew (lia), for teaching me that word.
I don't know that I shall leave town for a month: my friend Monclar
looks piteous when I talk of such an event. I can't bear to leave him;
he is to take my portrait to-day (a famous one he _has_ taken!) and very
like he engages it shall be. I am going to town for the purpose. . . .
Now, then, do something for me, and see if I'll ask Miss M----to help
you! I am going to begin the finishing 'Sordello'--and to begin thinking
a Tragedy (an Historical one, so I shall want heaps of criticisms on
'Strafford') and I want to have _another_ tragedy in prospect, I write
best so provided: I had chosen a splendid subject for it, when I learned
that a magazine for next, this, month, will have a scene founded on my
story; vulgarizing or doing no good to it: and I accordingly throw it
up. I want a subject of the most wild and passionate love, to contrast
with the one I mean to have ready in a short time. I have many
half-conceptions, floating fancies: give me your notion of a thorough
self-devotement, self-forgetting; should it be a woman who loves thus,
or a man? What circumstances will best draw out, set forth this feeling?
. . .
The tragedies in question were to be 'King Victor and King Charles', and
'The Return of the Druses'.
This letter affords a curious insight into Mr. Browning's mode of work;
it is also very significant of the small place which love had hitherto
occupied in his life. It was evident, from his appeal to Miss Haworth's
'notion' on the subject, that he had as yet no experience, even
imaginary, of a genuine passion, whether in woman or man. The experience
was still distant from him in point of time. In circumstance he was
nearer to it than he knew; for it was in 1839 that he became acquainted
with Mr. Kenyon.
When dining one day at Serjeant Talfourd's, he was accosted by a
pleasant elderly man, who, having, we conclude, heard who he was, asked
leave to address to him a few questions: 'Was his father's name Robert?
had he gone to school at the Rev. Mr. Bell's at Cheshunt, and was he
still alive?' On receiving affirmative answers, he went on to say that
Mr. Browning and he had been great chums at school, and though they had
lost sight of each other in after-life, he had never forgotten his
old playmate, but even alluded to him in a little book which he had
published a few years before.*
* The volume is entitled 'Rhymed Plea for Tolerance' (1833),
and contains a reference to Mr. Kenyon's schooldays,
and to the classic fights which Mr. Browning had instituted.
The next morning the poet asked his father if he remembered a
schoolfellow named John Kenyon. He replied, 'Certainly! This is his
face,' and sketched a boy's head, in which his son at once recognized
that of the grown man. The acquaintance was renewed, and Mr. Kenyon
proved ever afterwards a warm friend. Mr. Browning wrote of him, in a
letter to Professor Knight of St. Andrews, Jan. 10, 1884: 'He was one
of the best of human beings, with a general sympathy for excellence
of every kind. He enjoyed the friendship of Wordsworth, of Southey, of
Landor, and, in later days, was intimate with most of my contemporaries
of eminence.' It was at Mr. Kenyon's house that the poet saw most of
Wordsworth, who always stayed there when he came to town.
In 1840 'Sordello' appeared. It was, relatively to its length, by far
the slowest in preparation of Mr. Browning's poems. This seemed, indeed,
a condition of its peculiar character. It had lain much deeper in the
author's mind than the various slighter works which were thrown off in
the course of its inception. We know from the preface to 'Strafford'
that it must have been begun soon after 'Paracelsus'. Its plan may have
belonged to a still earlier date; for it connects itself with 'Pauline'
as the history of a poetic soul; with both the earlier poems, as the
manifestation of the self-conscious spiritual ambitions which were
involved in that history. This first imaginative mood was also
outgrowing itself in the very act of self-expression; for the tragedies
written before the conclusion of 'Sordello' impress us as the product of
a different mental state--as the work of a more balanced imagination and
a more mature mind.
It would be interesting to learn how Mr. Browning's typical poet became
embodied in this mediaeval form: whether the half-mythical character
of the real Sordello presented him as a fitting subject for imaginative
psychological treatment, or whether the circumstances among which he
moved seemed the best adapted to the development of the intended type.
The inspiration may have come through the study of Dante, and his
testimony to the creative influence of Sordello on their mother-tongue.
That period of Italian history must also have assumed, if it did not
already possess, a great charm for Mr. Browning's fancy, since he
studied no less than thirty works upon it, which were to contribute
little more to his dramatic picture than what he calls 'decoration', or
'background'. But the one guide which he has given us to the reading of
the poem is his assertion that its historical circumstance is only to
be regarded as background; and the extent to which he identified himself
with the figure of Sordello has been proved by his continued belief that
its prominence was throughout maintained. He could still declare,
so late as 1863, in his preface to the reprint of the work, that his
'stress' in writing it had lain 'on the incidents in the development of
a soul, little else' being to his mind 'worth study'. I cannot therefore
help thinking that recent investigations of the life and character of
the actual poet, however in themselves praiseworthy and interesting,
have been often in some degree a mistake; because, directly or
indirectly, they referred Mr. Browning's Sordello to an historical
reality, which his author had grasped, as far as was then possible, but
to which he was never intended to conform.
Sordello's story does exhibit the development of a soul; or rather,
the sudden awakening of a self-regarding nature to the claims of other
men--the sudden, though slowly prepared, expansion of the narrower into
the larger self, the selfish into the sympathetic existence; and this
takes place in accordance with Mr. Browning's here expressed belief that
poetry is the appointed vehicle for all lasting truths; that the true
poet must be their exponent. The work is thus obviously, in point of
moral utterance, an advance on 'Pauline'. Its metaphysics are,
also, more distinctly formulated than those of either 'Pauline' or
'Paracelsus'; and the frequent use of the term Will in its metaphysical
sense so strongly points to German associations that it is difficult to
realize their absence, then and always, from Mr. Browning's mind. But
he was emphatic in his assurance that he knew neither the German
philosophers nor their reflection in Coleridge, who would have seemed a
likely medium between them and him. Miss Martineau once said to him
that he had no need to study German thought, since his mind was German
enough--by which she possibly meant too German--already.
The poem also impresses us by a Gothic richness of detail,* the
picturesque counterpart of its intricacy of thought, and, perhaps for
this very reason, never so fully displayed in any subsequent work. Mr.
Browning's genuinely modest attitude towards it could not preclude
the consciousness of the many imaginative beauties which its unpopular
character had served to conceal; and he was glad to find, some years
ago, that 'Sordello' was represented in a collection of descriptive
passages which a friend of his was proposing to make. 'There is a great
deal of that in it,' he said, 'and it has always been overlooked.'
* The term Gothic has been applied to Mr. Browning's work, I
believe, by Mr. James Thomson, in writing of 'The Ring and
the Book', and I do not like to use it without saying so.
But it is one of those which must have spontaneously
suggested themselves to many other of Mr. Browning's
It was unfortunate that new difficulties of style should have added
themselves on this occasion to those of subject and treatment; and the
reason of it is not generally known. Mr. John Sterling had made some
comments on the wording of 'Paracelsus'; and Miss Caroline Fox, then
quite a young woman, repeated them, with additions, to Miss Haworth,
who, in her turn, communicated them to Mr. Browning, but without making
quite clear to him the source from which they sprang. He took the
criticism much more seriously than it deserved, and condensed the
language of this his next important publication into what was nearly its
In leaving 'Sordello' we emerge from the self-conscious stage of Mr.
Browning's imagination, and his work ceases to be autobiographic in the
sense in which, perhaps erroneously, we have hitherto felt it to be.
'Festus' and 'Salinguerra' have already given promise of the world of
'Men and Women' into which he will now conduct us. They will be inspired
by every variety of conscious motive, but never again by the old (real
or imagined) self-centred, self-directing Will. We have, indeed, already
lost the sense of disparity between the man and the poet; for the
Browning of 'Sordello' was growing older, while the defects of the poem
were in many respects those of youth. In 'Pippa Passes', published one
year later, the poet and the man show themselves full-grown. Each has
entered on the inheritance of the other.
Neither the imagination nor the passion of what Mr. Gosse so fitly calls
this 'lyrical masque'* gives much scope for tenderness; but the quality
of humour is displayed in it for the first time; as also a strongly
marked philosophy of life--or more properly, of association--from
which its idea and development are derived. In spite, however, of these
evidences of general maturity, Mr. Browning was still sometimes boyish
in personal intercourse, if we may judge from a letter to Miss Flower
written at about the same time.
* These words, and a subsequent paragraph, are quoted from
Mr. Gosse's 'Personalia'.
Monday night, March 9 (? 1841).
My dear Miss Flower,--I have this moment received your very kind
note--of course, I understand your objections. How else? But they are
somewhat lightened already (confess--nay 'confess' is vile--you will
be rejoiced to holla from the house-top)--will go on, or rather go
off, lightening, and will be--oh, where _will_ they be half a dozen years
Meantime praise what you can praise, do me all the good you can, you and
Mr. Fox (as if you will not!) for I have a head full of projects--mean
to song-write, play-write forthwith,--and, believe me, dear Miss Flower,
Yours ever faithfully, Robert Browning.
By the way, you speak of 'Pippa'--could we not make some arrangement
about it? The lyrics _want_ your music--five or six in all--how say you?
When these three plays are out I hope to build a huge Ode--but 'all
goeth by God's Will.'
The loyal Alfred Domett now appears on the scene with a satirical poem,
inspired by an impertinent criticism on his friend. I give its first two
On a Certain Critique on 'Pippa Passes'.
(Query--Passes what?--the critic's comprehension.)
Ho! everyone that by the nose is led,
Automatons of which the world is full,
Ye myriad bodies, each without a head,
That dangle from a critic's brainless skull,
Come, hearken to a deep discovery made,
A mighty truth now wondrously displayed.
A black squat beetle, vigorous for his size,
Pushing tail-first by every road that's wrong
The dung-ball of his dirty thoughts along
His tiny sphere of grovelling sympathies--
Has knocked himself full-butt, with blundering trouble,
Against a mountain he can neither double
Nor ever hope to scale. So like a free,
Pert, self-conceited scarabaeus, he
Takes it into his horny head to swear
There's no such thing as any mountain there.
The writer lived to do better things from a literary point of view; but
these lines have a fine ring of youthful indignation which must have
made them a welcome tribute to friendship.
There seems to have been little respectful criticism of 'Pippa Passes';
it is less surprising that there should have been very little of
'Sordello'. Mr. Browning, it is true, retained a limited number of
earnest appreciators, foremost of whom was the writer of an admirable
notice of these two works, quoted from an 'Eclectic Review' of 1847, in
Dr. Furnivall's 'Bibliography'. I am also told that the series of poems
which was next to appear was enthusiastically greeted by some poets
and painters of the pre-Raphaelite school; but he was now entering on
a period of general neglect, which covered nearly twenty years of his
life, and much that has since become most deservedly popular in his
'Pippa Passes' had appeared as the first instalment of 'Bells and
Pomegranates', the history of which I give in Mr. Gosse's words. This
poem, and the two tragedies, 'King Victor and King Charles' and 'The
Return of the Druses'--first christened 'Mansoor, the Hierophant'--were
lying idle in Mr. Browning's desk. He had not found, perhaps not very
vigorously sought, a publisher for them.
'One day, as the poet was discussing the matter with Mr. Edward Moxon,
the publisher, the latter remarked that at that time he was bringing out
some editions of the old Elizabethan dramatists in a comparatively
cheap form, and that if Mr. Browning would consent to print his poems
as pamphlets, using this cheap type, the expense would be very
inconsiderable. The poet jumped at the idea, and it was agreed that each
poem should form a separate brochure of just one sheet--sixteen pages
in double columns--the entire cost of which should not exceed twelve or
fifteen pounds. In this fashion began the celebrated series of 'Bells
and Pomegranates', eight numbers of which, a perfect treasury of fine
poetry, came out successively between 1841 and 1846. 'Pippa Passes'
led the way, and was priced first at sixpence; then, the sale being
inconsiderable, at a shilling, which greatly encouraged the sale;
and so, slowly, up to half-a-crown, at which the price of each number
Mr. Browning's hopes and intentions with respect to this series are
announced in the following preface to 'Pippa Passes', of which, in later
editions, only the dedicatory words appear:
'Two or three years ago I wrote a Play, about which the chief matter I
care to recollect at present is, that a Pit-full of good-natured people
applauded it:--ever since, I have been desirous of doing something in
the same way that should better reward their attention. What follows
I mean for the first of a series of Dramatical Pieces, to come out at
intervals, and I amuse myself by fancying that the cheap mode in which
they appear will for once help me to a sort of Pit-audience again.
Of course, such a work must go on no longer than it is liked; and to
provide against a certain and but too possible contingency, let me
hasten to say now--what, if I were sure of success, I would try to say
circumstantially enough at the close--that I dedicate my best intentions
most admiringly to the author of "Ion"--most affectionately to Serjeant
A necessary explanation of the general title was reserved for the last
number: and does something towards justifying the popular impression
that Mr. Browning exacted a large measure of literary insight from his
'Here ends my first series of "Bells and Pomegranates": and I take the
opportunity of explaining, in reply to inquiries, that I only meant
by that title to indicate an endeavour towards something like an
alternation, or mixture, of music with discoursing, sound with sense,
poetry with thought; which looks too ambitious, thus expressed, so the
symbol was preferred. It is little to the purpose, that such is
actually one of the most familiar of the many Rabbinical (and Patristic)
acceptations of the phrase; because I confess that, letting authority
alone, I supposed the bare words, in such juxtaposition, would
sufficiently convey the desired meaning. "Faith and good works" is
another fancy, for instance, and perhaps no easier to arrive at: yet
Giotto placed a pomegranate fruit in the hand of Dante, and Raffaelle
crowned his Theology (in the 'Camera della Segnatura') with blossoms of
the same; as if the Bellari and Vasari would be sure to come after,
and explain that it was merely "simbolo delle buone opere--il qual
Pomogranato fu pero usato nelle vesti del Pontefice appresso gli
The Dramas and Poems contained in the eight numbers of 'Bells and
I. Pippa Passes. 1841.
II. King Victor and King Charles. 1842.
III. Dramatic Lyrics. 1842.
Cavalier Tunes; I. Marching Along; II. Give a Rouse;
III. My Wife Gertrude. ['Boot and Saddle'.]
Italy and France; I. Italy; II. France.
Camp and Cloister; I. Camp (French); II. Cloister (Spanish).
In a Gondola.
Waring; I.; II.
Queen Worship; I. Rudel and The Lady of Tripoli; II. Cristina.
Madhouse Cells; I. [Johannes Agricola.]; II. [Porphyria.]
Through the Metidja to Abd-el-Kadr. 1842.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin; a Child's Story.
IV. The Return of the Druses. A Tragedy, in Five Acts. 1843.
V. A Blot in the 'Scutcheon. A Tragedy, in Three Acts. 1843.
[Second Edition, same year.]
VI. Colombe's Birthday. A Play, in Five Acts. 1844.
VII. Dramatic Romances and Lyrics. 1845.
'How they brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix. (16--.)'
Pictor Ignotus. (Florence, 15--.)
Italy in England.
England in Italy. (Piano di Sorrento.)
The Lost Leader.
The Lost Mistress.
Home Thoughts, from Abroad.
The Tomb at St. Praxed's: (Rome, 15--.)
Garden Fancies; I. The Flower's Name;
II. Sibrandus Schafnaburgensis.
France and Spain; I. The Laboratory (Ancien Regime);
II. Spain--The Confessional.
The Flight of the Duchess.
Song. ('Nay but you, who do not love her.')
The Boy and the Angel.
Night and Morning; I. Night; II. Morning.
Claret and Tokay.
Saul. (Part I.)
The Glove. (Peter Ronsard loquitur.)
VIII. and last. Luria; and A Soul's Tragedy. 1846.
This publication has seemed entitled to a detailed notice, because it is
practically extinct, and because its nature and circumstance confer on
it a biographical interest not possessed by any subsequent issue of Mr.
Browning's works. The dramas and poems of which it is composed belong to
that more mature period of the author's life, in which the analysis of
his work ceases to form a necessary part of his history. Some few of
them, however, are significant to it; and this is notably the case with
'A Blot in the 'Scutcheon'.