2050.  RB to Francesco del Giudice

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 11, 105–106.

New Cross, Surrey.

Sepr 30. 1845.

My dear Sir,[1]

Although a combination of unfortunate circumstances has prevented me sooner replying to your most kind and welcome letter, received at the beginning of the year,—yet I cannot but believe that your goodness has suggested to you that, whatever might be the reasons of my silence, forgetfulness of your friendship or insensibility to your regard could have no part in them whatever. Our mutual friends[2] will be able to assure you of the contrary in every respect—they will also inform you that the state of my health is very indifferent and such as to render even the task of writing an ordinary letter burthensome after my daily and unavoidable labours have been terminated: however, I am much better at present, and do not fear to promise a more prompt acknowledgement of your favors, should you continue to indulge me with them, as well as a more graceful method of communication,—for, emboldened by your kind promise to overlook and excuse the unavoidable barbarisms, of a dweller in the “Ultima Thule[3] of England, I shall certainly attempt the difficult beauties of your own divine language: indeed, I had intended to make my first essay on the present occasion, but the promise of our friend the accomplished Mezzofantina[4] to serve this once as interpreter, renders such a formidable enterprise unnecessary. She also engages to tell you how soon I expect the pleasure of seeing you again in the Eternal City; and to beg your acceptance of a print of our own London, if but for the sake of contrast.

Pray offer my best remembrances and kindest regards to Madame Del Giudice—and believe me,

Your most faithfully ever,

Robert Browning.

Publication: None traced.

Manuscript: Armstrong Browning Library.

1. Identified by the London book firm who originally sold this letter (Maggs, Catalogue 314, September–October 1913) as “Francesco Del Giudice, Professor of Languages.” He is presumably Francesco del Giudice (1815–80), Italian engineer and writer from Capua. Probably RB met him while travelling in Italy the previous year.

2. Presumably the Carduccis.

3. Vergil, Georgics, I, 30.

4. Literally, “part-time messenger,” or “part-time servant.”


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