552.  RB to William Harness[1]

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 3, 215.


Thursday. [1837][2]

My dear Sir,

Pray accept my best thanks for your kind present (which should have arrived in my school-days to render “simplex munditiis”[3] illustrateable if not translateable) and believe that highly as I esteem the favor of being for a time one of the select depositaries of “Welcome and Farewell”—I shall forego it, at no distant period, cheerfully enough—solacing my philanthropy at the expense of my dignity—and thus remaining ever,

My dear Sir

Your most obliged and

obedient Servt

Robert Browning.

May I take the opportunity of presenting my sincere respects to Miss Harness?[4]

Rev. W. Harness.

Publication: None traced.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. The Rev. William Harness (1790-1869) was the school-mate and friend of Byron, and the son of Miss Mitford’s god-father. He was the incumbent of the Regent Square Chapel and the author of an edition of Shakespeare (1825). He later (1870) wrote The Life of Mary Russell Mitford.

2. Dated by reference to his drama Welcome and Farewell, published in 1837.

3. “Simple elegance” (Horace, Odes, I, v, 5).

4. His sister, Mary Harness, the god-daughter of Nelson.


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