1681.  RB to Frederick Oldfield Ward

An amended version of the text that appeared in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 9, 93.

New Cross, Hatcham, Surrey

Sunday Nt [11 August 1844][1]

My dear Ward,

You wondered, I dare say, why I did not sooner reply to your very kind note: but the inconceivable uncertainty that attaches itself to all things maritime hindered my saying till now—(and now, with a trembling)—that I sail to-morrow early.

And now, I will tell you—I will try—try, really,—to write you some letters from the sea-way to Naples—and then you may advertise after what fashion you will, so that it be your fashion and not mine—not one, that is, which takes the matter out of the inconsequential shape of a few letters to a friend, and book-makes on it. I should be very cautious and explicit with most other men in Editorial power—but I thoroughly confide in your tact and friendliness. I can put down some interesting things that have already happened to me in the midland sea—but you shall judge. I looked again & again over my romances—but they would not bear cutting, and were too long without it. I will certainly manage better in a month or two. Please send all letters &c here—to New Cross—whence they will be forwarded most expeditiously & cheaply to me. I am glad you like “Colombe”—if you can write about it, particularly while I am away, I shall be glad also. Give my extemporaneous respect to Mr Winter.[2] And keep me in mind, my dear Ward, as—if one of your latest, still not the least ardent of your friends.

R Browning.

Publication: None traced.

Manuscript: Armstrong Browning Library.

1. Dated by RB’s departure for Naples, 12 August 1844.

2. Presumably Andrew Winter whose London addresses appear as 7 Bolton St., Piccadilly, and 337 Strand, in RB’s earliest extant address book (see p. 394).


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