628.  EBB to John Kenyon

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 4, 30.

129 Crawford Street

Wednesday– [18 April 1838][1]

Hearing last night dear Mr Kenyon, of your return, I do not delay to tell you, by Miss Mitford’s desire, that her father is very much better—indeed so well as to be able to attend the Quarter Sessions & to relieve her from present anxiety. I had such a delightful affectionate letter from her a few days ago which is refreshing to me even now to think about!——

Besides, I wish to know—or rather Henrietta does—whether your parcel goes to Torquay today or tomorrow. Papa told us of your allowing us to send a letter in it;[2] but he was a little uncertain in respect to the chronology.

I like your book better & better, the more & more I am familiar with it. As to the type & paper, my brother George is of opinion that I have suffered agonies of envy ever since they met my eyes,—but whether this be true or not, the agonies have not distorted me yet from the pleasure of being obliged to you for a gift, the beauty of whose print does not put out the beauty of its poetry.[3]

I have been trying to beguile Mr Boyd into reading it—but English poetry he scarcely ever will read,—& for modern typography & paper has the utmost contempt,—extending itself to my opinions on the same– He paid me the very questionable compliment of reading “nine tenths” according to his own calculation, of my ‘Poet’s vow’,—& is under a vow himself of going thro’ the Seraphim; and so, altho’ there is not a chance of his admiring your printer he may give himself an opportunity of estimating you.

My last note was sent to you on Saturday; & it was only on Sunday that I knew of Papa’s wishing to send me & my sisters here.

Ever most truly yours

E B Barrett–

Address, on integral page: John Kenyon Esqr / 4 Harley Place.

Publication: None traced.

Manuscript: Armstrong Browning Library.

1. Dated by EBB’s removal from Gloucester Place earlier in the week.

2. i.e., to EBB’s aunt, Jane Hedley, who was living at Torquay.

3. EBB’s presentation copy of Poems: For the Most Part Occasional formed part of Browning Collections (see Reconstruction, A1361).


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