Wednesday. Feb 21st. [sic, for 22 February.]
Another letter from Mr. Boyd. “My dear Mr. Boyd” seems to agree with him. He enclosed a letter from Mrs. Smith[,] Dr. A Clarke’s youngest daughter. Mr. Boyd’s letter was written by Miss H M,—& cool enough still. I wonder he shd. have thought it worth while to write it at all. He “cannot see” why I should regret having ever published. I wish I could not. He does not “disapprove of Valpy.” He is translating the exordium of Gregs. 2 Paschal oration. I read it with him last november. He desires me to send him the beginning of my translation, & 30 or 40 lines of one of the choral odes. What is his motive? Not, I am afraid, a wish of seeing my work. Perhaps he perceives that my manner of writing is not what it was. I sent the extracts, & wrote in my “new style”,—begging him not to read what I sent.
Would I not a thousand & a thousand times rather have his work attended to than mine?—
Mr. & Mrs. Curzon came. A discussion about Mr. B in the evening. Mr. C evidently does not think well of his religious state. I was writing some of my preface this morng.
1. Mary Ann Smith, a close friend of H.S.B., who was with him when he died. It was to Mrs. Smith that E.B.B. then addressed a request for the return of her letters to H.S.B. Mrs. Smith declined to conform to this convention, and it was some forty years before Robert Browning secured possession of them. In a letter to her sister Arabel, dated 6–7 June , E.B.B. wrote that Mrs. Smith “is, we must all confess, a vulgar, coarse woman, .. only I know her to be excellent in her peculiar way, & respect & am grateful to her for her faithful affection to my dear friend, Mr. Boyd. Robert only sees the indelicacy of keeping my letters” (BC, 15, 286–290).
2. Underscored twice.
3. Published in H.S.B.’s The Fathers Not Papists: or, Six Discourses by the Most Eloquent Fathers of the Church, a new edition, considerably enlarged (London, 1834).
4. Three lines excised.