939.  EBB to Hugh Stuart Boyd

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 5, 302–303.

50 Wimpole Street

April 2. 1842–

My very dear friend,

I am sorry I should have omitted to notice any part of your letter—but I did not neglect it really. Mr Hunter spent an hour or two with us the other day, having come to London upon business, & I did not neglect making the enquiry of him you desired. The enquiry was vain—he did not know of any young person likely to suit you. Arabel will speak about it either to Mr Stratten or his wife—& take courage, for we shall succeed at last. There must be many young persons who would be delighted to make themselves useful to you. The difficulty is to take knowledge of them.

Arabel is much obliged to you for wishing to see her still oftener—& would I am sure go oftener to you if the distance were not so great & herself engaged much in different ways. She talks of paying you a visit next week.

Is this better writing? I try to make it clear.

In regard to Mr Burgess I mean to repeat what you have said to me to Mr Kenyon, that, the mistake being cleared away, you may have your visitor again.[1]

As to your kind desire to hear whatever in the way of favorable remark I have gathered for fruit of my papers,[2] I put on a veil & tell you that Mr Kenyon thought it well done altho’ “labor thrown away from the unpopularity of the subject”—that Miss Mitford was very much pleased, with the warmheartedness common to her,—that Mrs Jamieson read them “with great pleasure” unconsciously of the author,—& that Mr Horne the poet & Mr Browning the poet were not behind in approbation! Mr Browning is said to be learned in Greek, especially in the dramatists—& of Mr Horne I shd suspect something similar. Miss Mitford & Mrs Jamieson altho’ very gifted & highly cultivated women are not Græcians & therefore judge the papers simply as English compositions–

The single unfavorable opinion is Mr Hunter’s who thinks that the criticisms are not given with either sufficient seriousness or diffidence, & that there is a painful sense of effort through the whole. Many more persons may say so whose voices I do not hear. I am glad that your’s, my dear indulgent friend, is not one of them.

Believe me

Your ever affectionate

Elizabeth B Barrett.

Address: H S Boyd Esqr / 21. Downshire Hill / Hampstead.

Publication: EBB-HSB, pp. 245–246.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. George Burges (1786?–1864), classical scholar and editor, had called on Boyd, but was rebuffed by what he felt was an unfriendly reception, so had not repeated the visit. Boyd lamented his “unhappy manner” and told EBB that he had been very glad to see Burges; EBB related this to Kenyon (see letter 962) in the hope that he would pass it on to Burges.

2. i.e., the series on the Greek Christian Poets.


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