1838.  RB to Frederick Oldfield Ward

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 10, 72–73.


Wednesday [Postmark: 12 February 1845]

Woe’s me, my dear Ward, shall I never be able to do your bidding as I would? I recd your letters on Mondy Nt & sought out Mr Procter yesterday—we talked over the matter in its length & breadth: and so unfortunately decided is his opinion, from what he knows of Mr K’s[1] habits & present engagements, that it would be quite impossible for him to do any thing, except be very greatly grieved at doing no more, that I went on to your house in the eg to suggest whether it would not be advisable to keep the chance for an after talk-over with Mr K,—rather than cut it up by the root by writing now. Mr Procter sympathizes deeply with Mr Hood, and is going to try and find something that may suit. For Mr K—I take him to be a literary Ichaboe Island,[2] whence all the guano-deposit of Ages has been stripped and sent to market in a few months, leaving not a shovel-ful for the next disastrous ship that touches there, be its want never so urgent. I hurry now for first post, but will probably write again.

Ever yrs


Mr. K’s address in Directory &c.[3]

Address, on integral page: F. O. Ward Esq / 12 Cork Street / Burlington Gardens.

Publication: None traced.

Manuscript: Armstrong Browning Library.

1. i.e., Kinglake (see letter 1831).

2. An island off the coast of S.W. Africa known for its valuable deposits of guano.

3. Boyle’s Court Guide for 1845 lists Alexander William Kinglake, barrister, 24 Old Sq., Lincoln’s Inn, as does RB’s address book (see vol. 9, p. 392).


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