3071.  RB to Julia Martin

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 18, 175–176.

58 Welbeck St

July 27. ’52.

My dear Mrs Martin,

It is very hard indeed to say anything but “yes” to your note. I should dearly like to go & see you & Mr Martin for yourselves—dearly also for the sake of Ba’s country & old home—indeed I seem as if I ought to see them if I would quite understand her—but just at present I cannot leave London. I feel so sorry in answering your invitation so—that if I dared I would still hang on to the chance of being allowed to visit you somewhat later—but I do not know your plans, or time of departure. In every case, be sure, dear Mrs Martin, that I am very grateful for having been invited,—and that to have accepted your invitation would have been most delightful to me. You speak of “friends of mine”[1] who are with you—but if I can see them elsewhere, I should prefer having you & the place to myself.

Ba will write– I leave her to tell whatever may be worth telling to your affectionate sympathy.

Meantime, dear Mrs Martin, take all the truest thanks—(giving Mr Martin his due share)—of

yours ever gratefully

& faithfully,

Robt Browning–

Publication: None traced.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. One of whom was evidently Frances Flood (née Hanford), as indicated by EBB in letter 3102. Another friend may have been her brother Compton John Hanford, who witnessed the Brownings’ marriage settlement in May 1847; see letter 2627, note 8.


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