[Boston—Wednesday, 2 December 1868]

Dec. 2. Have read Browning’s new poem—the longest single poem, I believe, from a noted hand, in the English language. It is obscene, dirty, unpoetic. He has slain himself.

As for his publishers I fear the poem will be a dead loss of several thousand dollars to them. I see no help for this. I am sure the world is too wise to read such twaddle. Yet it is the work of a great brain.

Dr. Bartol came to see us. Pale, weak, clear-eyed, I fear his course is almost run.

News comes through the London Times from Dickens that he has made a wondrous triumph in his murder scene from Oliver Twist.


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