Correspondence

1104.  EBB to Richard Hengist Horne

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 6, 251–252.

[London]

Dec. 29. 1842–

Illus.

Tell me, Mr Horne,—<…> [1] is it like? to Keats I mean. [2] My hands have the ague this morning—otherwise it wd be a copy of a sketch of Keats—& I want to know if you have any recognition.

For my own part, .. my observation is .. I am afraid almost of saying it—but my observation is, that there is a resemblance between the mouth in this sketch, & that which I blasphemed against in a certain miniature—resolute, fifth-act lips! Do confess to me supposing that you preserve for me any common degree of patience,—whether any one in the world ever detected a likeness between the two poets in question. [3] Do tell me.

The world is better than I imagined—& since I wrote to you about booksellers I have had an inkling of a reason for believing what I had not faith for previously, that in the case of my resolving to deliver up a volume of poems to my own former publisher he wd print it “without being paid for it”. And now perhaps I shant print it, out of the spirit of contradiction– [4]

Dear Mr Horne’s

Ever & truly

EBB–

Address: R H Horne Esqr / 36. New Broad Street / City.

Publication: EBB-RHH, I, 56–57.

Manuscript: Keats-Shelley Memorial Association.

1. Five words (“when you have done drawing”) crossed through, possibly by Horne.

2. See letter 1102.

3. EBB had recently seen miniatures, by Margaret Gillies, of Wordsworth, Leigh Hunt and Horne (see letter 1063). Her remarks on Horne’s likeness in letter 1075, and Horne’s comment in letter 1116, indicate that the resemblance she notes was between him and Keats.

4. Bickerstaffe, The Hypocrite (1768), act I, scene 2.

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