Life of Robert Browning
by William Sharp
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"Fifine at the Fair," on the other hand, is so powerful and often so beautiful a poem that one would be rash indeed were he, with the blithe critical assurance which is so generally snuffed out like a useless candle by a later generation, to prognosticate its inevitable seclusion from the high place it at present occupies in the estimate of the poet's most uncompromising admirers. But surely equally rash is the assertion that it will be the "poem of the future." However, our concern is not with problematical estimates, but with the poem as it appears to us. It is one of the most characteristic of Browning's productions. It would be impossible for the most indolent reader or critic to attribute it, even if anonymous, to another parentage. Coleridge alludes somewhere to certain verses of Wordsworth's, with the declaration that if he had met them howling in the desert he would have recognised their authorship. "Fifine" would not even have to howl.

Browning was visiting Pornic one autumn, when he saw the gipsy who was the original of "Fifine." In the words of Mrs. Orr, "his fancy was evidently set roaming by the gipsy's audacity, her strength—the contrast which she presented to the more spiritual types of womanhood; and this contrast eventually found expression in a pathetic theory of life, in which these opposite types and their corresponding modes of attraction became the necessary complement of each other. As he laid down the theory, Mr. Browning would be speaking in his own person. But he would turn into some one else in the act of working it out—for it insensibly carried with it a plea for yielding to those opposite attractions, not only successively, but at the same time; and a modified Don Juan would grow up under his pen."

One drawback to an unconditional enjoyment of Balzac is that every now and again the student of the Comedie Humaine resents the too obvious display of the forces that propel the effect—a lesser phase of the weariness which ensues upon much reading of the mere "human documents" of the Goncourt school of novelists. In the same way, we too often see Browning working up the electrical qualities, so that, when the fulmination comes, we understand "just how it was produced," and, as illogically as children before a too elaborate conjurer, conclude that there is not so much in this particular poetic feat as in others which, like Herrick's maids, continually do deceive. To me this is affirmable of "Fifine at the Fair." The poet seems to know so very well what he is doing. If he did not take the reader so much into his confidence, if he would rely more upon the liberal grace of his earlier verse and less upon the trained subtlety of his athletic intellect, the charm would be the greater. The poem would have a surer duration as one of the author's greater achievements, if there were more frequent and more prolonged insistence on the note struck in the lines (Sec. lxxiii.) about the hill-stream, infant of mist and dew, falling over the ledge of the fissured cliff to find its fate in smoke below, as it disappears into the deep, "embittered evermore, to make the sea one drop more big thereby:" or in the cloudy splendour of the description of nightfall (Sec. cvi.): or in the windy spring freshness of

"Hence, when the earth began afresh its life in May, And fruit-trees bloomed, and waves would wanton, and the bay Ruffle its wealth of weed, and stranger-birds arrive, And beasts take each a mate." ...

But its chief fault seems to me to be its lack of that transmutive glow of rhythmic emotion without which no poem can endure. This rhythmic energy is, inherently, a distinct thing from intellectual emotion. Metric music may be alien to the adequate expression of the latter, whereas rhythmic emotion can have no other appropriate issue. Of course, in a sense, all creative art is rhythmic in kind: but here I am speaking only of that creative energy which evolves the germinal idea through the medium of language. The energy of the intellect under creative stimulus may produce lordly issues in prose: but poetry of a high intellectual order can be the outcome only of an intellect fused to white heat, of intellectual emotion on fire—as, in the fine saying of George Meredith, passion is noble strength on fire. Innumerable examples could be taken from any part of the poem, but as it would not be just to select the most obviously defective passages, here are two which are certainly fairly representative of the general level—

"And I became aware, scarcely the word escaped my lips, that swift ensued in silence and by stealth, and yet with certitude, a formidable change of the amphitheatre which held the Carnival; although the human stir continued just the same amid that shift of scene." (No. CV.)

"And where i' the world is all this wonder, you detail so trippingly, espied? My mirror would reflect a tall, thin, pale, deep-eyed personage, pretty once, it may be, doubtless still loving—certain grace yet lingers if you will—but all this wonder, where?" (No. XL.)

Here, and in a hundred other such passages, we have the rhythm, if not of the best prose, at least not that of poetry. Will "Fifine" and poems of its kind stand re-reading, re-perusal over and over? That is one of the most definite tests. In the pressure of life can we afford much time to anything but the very best—nay, to the vast mass even of that which closely impinges thereupon?

For myself, in the instance of "Fifine," I admit that if re-perusal be controlled by pleasure I am content (always excepting a few scattered noble passages) with the Prologue and Epilogue. A little volume of those Summaries of Browning's—how stimulating a companion it would be in those hours when the mind would fain breathe a more liberal air!

As for "Jocoseria,"[24] it seems to me the poorest of Browning's works, and I cannot help thinking that ultimately the only gold grain discoverable therein will be "Ixion," the beautiful penultimate poem beginning—

"Never the time and the place And the loved one altogether;"

and the thrush-like overture, closing—

"What of the leafage, what of the flower? Roses embowering with nought they embower! Come then! complete incompletion, O comer, Pant through the blueness, perfect the summer! Breathe but one breath Rose-beauty above, And all that was death Grows life, grows love, Grows love!"

[Footnote 24: In a letter to a friend, along with an early copy of this book, Browning stated that "the title is taken from the work of Melander (Schwartzmann), reviewed, by a curious coincidence, in the Blackwood of this month. I referred to it in a note to 'Paracelsus.' The two Hebrew quotations (put in to give a grave look to what is mere fun and invention) being translated amount to (1) 'A Collection of Many Lies': and (2), an old saying, 'From Moses to Moses arose none like Moses'......"]

In 1881 the "Browning Society" was established. It is easy to ridicule any institution of the kind—much easier than to be considerate of other people's earnest convictions and aims, or to be helpful to their object. There is always a ridiculous side to excessive enthusiasm, particularly obvious to persons incapable of enthusiasm of any kind. With some mistakes, and not a few more or less grotesque absurdities, the members of the various English and American Browning Societies are yet to be congratulated on the good work they have, collectively, accomplished. Their publications are most interesting and suggestive: ultimately they will be invaluable. The members have also done a good work in causing some of Browning's plays to be produced again on the stage, and in Miss Alma Murray and others have found sympathetic and able exponents of some of the poet's most attractive dramatis personae. There can be no question as to the powerful impetus given by the Society to Browning's steadily-increasing popularity. Nothing shows his judicious good sense more than the letter he wrote, privately, to Mr. Edmund Yates, at the time of the Society's foundation.

"The Browning Society, I need not say, as well as Browning himself, are fair game for criticism. I had no more to do with the founding it than the babe unborn; and, as Wilkes was no Wilkeite, I am quite other than a Browningite. But I cannot wish harm to a society of, with a few exceptions, names unknown to me, who are busied about my books so disinterestedly. The exaggerations probably come of the fifty-years'-long charge of unintelligibility against my books; such reactions are possible, though I never looked for the beginning of one so soon. That there is a grotesque side to the thing is certain; but I have been surprised and touched by what cannot but have been well intentioned, I think. Anyhow, as I never felt inconvenienced by hard words, you will not expect me to wax bumptious because of undue compliment: so enough of 'Browning,'—except that he is yours very truly, 'while this machine is to him.'"

The latter years of the poet were full of varied interest for himself, but present little of particular significance for specification in a monograph so concise as this must perforce be. Every year he went abroad, to France or to Italy, and once or twice on a yachting trip in the Mediterranean.[25] At home—for many years, at 19 Warwick Crescent, in what some one has called the dreary Mesopotamia of Paddington, and for the last three or four years of his life at 29 De Vere Gardens, Kensington Gore—his avocations were so manifold that it is difficult to understand where he had leisure for his vocation. Everybody wished him to come to dine; and he did his utmost to gratify Everybody. He saw everything; read all the notable books; kept himself acquainted with the leading contents of the journals and magazines; conducted a large correspondence; read new French, German, and Italian books of mark; read and translated Euripides and AEschylus; knew all the gossip of the literary clubs, salons, and the studios; was a frequenter of afternoon-tea parties; and then, over and above it, he was Browning: the most profoundly subtle mind that has exercised itself in poetry since Shakspere. His personal grace and charm of manner never failed. Whether he was dedicating "Balaustion's Adventure" in terms of gracious courtesy, or handing a flower from some jar of roses, or lilies, or his favourite daffodils, with a bright smile or merry glance, to the lady of his regard, or when sending a copy of a new book of poetry with an accompanying letter expressed with rare felicity, or when generously prophesying for a young poet the only true success if he will but listen and act upon "the inner voice,"—he was in all these, and in all things, the ideal gentleman. There is so charming and characteristic a touch in the following note to a girl-friend, that I must find room for it:—

29 De Vere Gardens, W., 6th July 1889.

MY BELOVED ALMA,—I had the honour yesterday of dining with the Shah, whereupon the following dialogue:—

"Vous etes poete?"

"On s'est permis de me le dire quelquefois."

"Et vous avez fait des livres?"

"Trop de livres."

"Voulez-vous m'en donner un, afin que je puisse me ressouvenir de vous?"

"Avec plaisir."

I have been accordingly this morning to town, where the thing is procurable, and as I chose a volume of which I judged the binding might take the imperial eye, I said to myself, "Here do I present my poetry to a personage for whom I do not care three straws; why should I not venture to do as much for a young lady I love dearly, who, for the author's sake, will not impossibly care rather for the inside than the outside of the volume?" So I was bold enough to take one and offer it for your kind acceptance, begging you to remember in days to come that the author, whether a good poet or no, was always, my Alma, your affectionate friend,


[Footnote 25: It was on his first experience of this kind, more than a quarter of a century earlier, that he wrote the nobly patriotic lines of "Home Thoughts from the Sea," and that flawless strain of bird-music, "Home Thoughts from Abroad:" then, also, that he composed "How they brought the Good News." Concerning the last, he wrote, in 1881 (vide The Academy, April 2nd), "There is no sort of historical foundation about [this poem]. I wrote it under the bulwark of a vessel off the African coast, after I had been at it long enough to appreciate even the fancy of a gallop on the back of a certain good horse, 'York,' then in my stable at home. It was written in pencil on the fly-leaf of Bartoli's Simboli, I remember."]

His look was a continual and serene gleam. Lamartine, who remarks this of Bossuet in his youth, adds a phrase which, as observant acquaintances of the poet will agree, might be written of Browning—"His lips quivered often without utterance, as if with the wind of an internal speech."

Except for the touching and beautiful letter which he wrote from Asolo about two months before his death, to Mr. Wilfrid Meynell, about a young writer to whom the latter wished to draw the poet's kindly attention—a letter which has a peculiar pathos in the words, "I shall soon depart for Venice, on my way homeward"—except for this letter there is none so well worth repetition here as his last word to the Poet-Laureate. The friendship between these two great poets has in itself the fragrance of genius. The letter was written just before Browning left London.

29 De Vere Gardens, W., August 5th, 1889.

MY DEAR TENNYSON,—To-morrow is your birthday—indeed, a memorable one. Let me say I associate myself with the universal pride of our country in your glory, and in its hope that for many and many a year we may have your very self among us—secure that your poetry will be a wonder and delight to all those appointed to come after. And for my own part, let me further say, I have loved you dearly. May God bless you and yours.

At no moment from first to last of my acquaintance with your works, or friendship with yourself, have I had any other feeling, expressed or kept silent, than this which an opportunity allows me to utter—that I am and ever shall be, my dear Tennyson, admiringly and affectionately yours,


Shortly after this he was at Asolo once more, the little hill-town in the Veneto, which he had visited in his youth, and where he heard again the echo of Pippa's song—

"God's in His heaven, All's right with the world!"

Mr. W.W. Story writes to me that he spent three days with the poet at this time, and that the latter seemed, except for a slight asthma, to be as vigorous in mind and body as ever. Thence, later in the autumn, he went to Venice, to join his son and daughter-in-law at the home where he was "to have a corner for his old age," the beautiful Palazzo Rezzonico, on the Grand Canal. He was never happier, more sanguine, more joyous, than here. He worked for three or four hours each morning, walked daily for about two hours, crossed occasionally to the Lido with his sister, and in the evenings visited friends or went to the opera. But for some time past, his heart—always phenomenally slow in its action, and of late ominously intermittent—had been noticeably weaker. As he suffered no pain and little inconvenience, he paid no particular attention to the matter. Browning had as little fear of death as doubt in God. In a controlling Providence he did indeed profoundly believe. He felt, with Joubert, that "it is not difficult to believe in God, if one does not worry oneself to define Him."[26]

[Footnote 26: "Browning's 'orthodoxy' brought him into many a combat with his rationalistic friends, some of whom could hardly believe that he took his doctrine seriously. Such was the fact, however; indeed, I have heard that he once stopped near an open-air assembly which an atheist was haranguing, and, in the freedom of his incognito, gave strenuous battle to the opinions uttered. To one who had spoken of an expected 'Judgment Day' as a superstition, I heard him say: 'I don't see that. Why should there not be a settling day in the universe, as when a master settles with his workmen at the end of the week?' There was something in his tone and manner which suggested his dramatic conception of religious ideas and ideals."—MONCURE D. CONWAY.]

"How should externals satisfy my soul?" was his cry in "Sordello," and it was the fundamental strain of all his poetry, as the fundamental motive is expressible in

"—a loving worm within its sod Were diviner than a loveless god Amid his worlds"—

love being with him the golden key wherewith to unlock the world of the universe, of the soul, of all nature. He is as convinced of the two absolute facts of God and Soul as Cardinal Newman in writing of "Two and two only, supreme and luminously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator." Most fervently he believes that

"Haply for us the ideal dawn shall break ... And set our pulse in tune with moods divine"—

though, co-equally, in the necessity of "making man sole sponsor of himself." Ever and again, of course, he was betrayed by the bewildering and defiant puzzle of life: seeing in the face of the child the seed of sorrow, "in the green tree an ambushed flame, in Phosphor a vaunt-guard of Night." Yet never of him could be written that thrilling saying which Sainte-Beuve uttered of Pascal, "That lost traveller who yearns for home, who, strayed without a guide in a dark forest, takes many times the wrong road, goes, returns upon his steps, is discouraged, sits down at a crossing of the roads, utters cries to which no one responds, resumes his march with frenzy and pain, throws himself upon the ground and wants to die, and reaches home at last only after all sorts of anxieties and after sweating blood." No darkness, no tempest, no gloom, long confused his vision of 'the ideal dawn.' As the carrier-dove is often baffled, yet ere long surely finds her way through smoke and fog and din to her far country home, so he too, however distraught, soon or late soared to untroubled ether. He had that profound inquietude, which the great French critic says 'attests a moral nature of a high rank, and a mental nature stamped with the seal of the archangel.' But, unlike Pascal—who in Sainte-Beuve's words exposes in the human mind itself two abysses, "on one side an elevation toward God, toward the morally beautiful, a return movement toward an illustrious origin, and on the other side an abasement in the direction of evil"—Browning sees, believes in, holds to nothing short of the return movement, for one and all, toward an illustrious origin.

The crowning happiness of a happy life was his death in the city he loved so well, in the arms of his dear ones, in the light of a world-wide fame. The silence to which the most eloquent of us must all one day lapse came upon him like the sudden seductive twilight of the Tropics, and just when he had bequeathed to us one of his finest utterances.

It seems but a day or two ago that the present writer heard from the lips of the dead poet a mockery of death's vanity—a brave assertion of the glory of life. "Death, death! It is this harping on death I despise so much," he remarked with emphasis of gesture as well as of speech—the inclined head and body, the right hand lightly placed upon the listener's knee, the abrupt change in the inflection of the voice, all so characteristic of him—-"this idle and often cowardly as well as ignorant harping! Why should we not change like everything else? In fiction, in poetry, in so much of both, French as well as English, and, I am told, in American art and literature, the shadow of death—call it what you will, despair, negation, indifference—is upon us. But what fools who talk thus! Why, amico mio, you know as well as I that death is life, just as our daily, our momentarily dying body is none the less alive and ever recruiting new forces of existence. Without death, which is our crapelike churchyardy word for change, for growth, there could be no prolongation of that which we call life. Pshaw! it is foolish to argue upon such a thing even. For myself, I deny death as an end of everything. Never say of me that I am dead!"

On the evening of Thursday, the 12th of December (1889), he was in bed, with exceeding weakness. In the centre of the lofty ceiling of the room in which he lay, and where it had been his wont to work, there is a painting by his son. It depicts an eagle struggling with a serpent, and is illustrative of a superb passage in Shelley's "Revolt of Islam." What memories, what deep thoughts, it must have suggested; how significant, to us, the circumstance! But weak as the poet was, he yet did not see the shadow which had begun to chill the hearts of the watchers. Shortly before the great bell of San Marco struck ten, he turned and asked if any news had come concerning "Asolando," published that day. His son read him a telegram from the publishers, telling how great the demand was and how favourable were the advance-articles in the leading papers. The dying poet smiled and muttered, "How gratifying!" When the last toll of St. Mark's had left a deeper stillness than before, those by the bedside saw a yet profounder silence on the face of him whom they loved.

* * * * *

It is needless to dwell upon the grief everywhere felt and expressed for the irreparable loss. The magnificent closing lines of Shelley's "Alastor" must have occurred to many a mourner; for gone, indeed, was "a surpassing Spirit." The superb pomp of the Venetian funeral, the solemn grandeur of the interment in Westminster Abbey, do not seem worth recording: so insignificant are all these accidents of death made by the supreme fact itself. Yet it is fitting to know that Venice has never in modern times afforded a more impressive sight, than those craped processional gondolas following the high flower-strewn funeral-barge through the thronged water-ways and out across the lagoon to the desolate Isle of the Dead: that London has rarely seen aught more solemn than the fog-dusked Cathedral spaces, echoing at first with the slow tramp of the pall-bearers, and then with the sweet aerial music swaying upward the loved familiar words of the 'Lyric Voice' hushed so long before. Yet the poet was as much honoured by those humble friends, Lambeth artizans and a few poor working-women, who threw sprays of laurel before the hearse—by that desolate, starving, woe-weary gentleman, shivering in his threadbare clothes, who seemed transfixed with a heart-wrung though silent emotion, ere he hurriedly drew from his sleeve a large white chrysanthemum, and throwing it beneath the coffin as it was lifted inward, disappeared in the crowd, which closed again like the sea upon this lost wandering wave.

Who would not honour this mighty dead? All who could be present were there, somewhere in the ancient Abbey. One of the greatest, loved and admired by the dead poet, had already put the mourning of many into the lofty dignity of his verse:—

"Now dumb is he who waked the world to speak, And voiceless hangs the world beside his bier, Our words are sobs, our cry of praise a tear: We are the smitten mortal, we the weak. We see a spirit on Earth's loftiest peak Shine, and wing hence the way he makes more clear: See a great Tree of Life that never sere Dropped leaf for aught that age or storms might wreak: Such ending is not Death: such living shows What wide illumination brightness sheds From one big heart—to conquer man's old foes: The coward, and the tyrant, and the force Of all those weedy monsters raising heads When Song is murk from springs of turbid source."[27]

[Footnote 27: George Meredith.]

One word more of "light and fleeting shadow." In the greatness of his nature he must be ranked with Milton, Defoe, and Scott. His very shortcomings, such as they were, were never baneful growths, but mere weeds, with a certain pleasant though pungent savour moreover, growing upon a rich, an exuberant soil. Pluck one of the least lovely—rather call it the unworthy arrow shot at the body of a dead comrade, so innocent of ill intent: yet it too has a beauty of its own, for the shaft was aflame from the fulness of a heart whose love had withstood the chill passage of the years.

* * * * *

On the night of Browning's death a new star suddenly appeared in Orion. The coincidence is suggestive if we like to indulge in the fancy that in that constellation—

"No more subjected to the change or chance Of the unsteady planets——"

gleam those other "abodes where the Immortals are." Certainly, a wandering fire has passed away from us. Whither has it gone? To that new star in Orion: or whirled to remote silences in the trail of lost meteors? Whence, and for how long, will its rays reach our storm and gloom-beleaguered earth?

Such questions cannot meanwhile be solved. Our eyes are still confused with the light, with that ardent flame, as we knew it here. But this we know, it was indeed "a central fire descending upon many altars." These, though touched with but a spark of the immortal principle, bear enduring testimony. And what testimony! How heartfelt: happily also how widespread, how electrically stimulative!

But the time must come when the poet's personality will have the remoteness of tradition: when our perplexed judgments will be as a tale of sound and fury, signifying nothing. It is impossible for any student of literature, for any interested reader, not to indulge in some forecast as to what rank in the poetic hierarchy Robert Browning will ultimately occupy. The commonplace as to the impossibility of prognosticating the ultimate slow decadence, or slower rise, or, it may be, sustained suspension, of a poet's fame, is often insincere, and but an excuse of indolence. To dogmatise were the height of presumption as well as of folly: but to forego speculation, based upon complete present knowledge, for an idle contentment with narrow horizons, were perhaps foolisher still. But assuredly each must perforce be content with his own prevision. None can answer yet for the generality, whose decisive franchise will elect a fit arbiter in due time.

So, for myself, let me summarise what I have already written in several sections of this book, and particularly in the closing pages of Chapter VI. There, it will be remembered—after having found that Browning's highest achievement is in his second period—emphasis was laid on the primary importance of his life-work in its having compelled us to the assumption of a fresh critical standpoint involving the construction of a new definition. In the light of this new definition I think Browning will ultimately be judged. As the sculptor in "Pippa Passes" was the predestinated novel thinker in marble, so Browning himself appears as the predestinated novel thinker in verse; the novel thinker, however, in degree, not in kind. But I do not for a moment believe that his greatness is in his status as a thinker: even less, that the poet and the thinker are indissociable. Many years ago Sainte-Beuve destroyed this shallow artifice of pseudo-criticism: "Venir nous dire que tout poete de talent est, par essence, un grand penseur, et que tout vrai penseur est necessairement artiste et poete, c'est une pretention insoutenable et que dement a chaque instant la realite."

When Browning's enormous influence upon the spiritual and mental life of our day—an influence ever shaping itself to wise and beautiful issues—shall have lost much of its immediate import, there will still surely be discerned in his work a formative energy whose resultant is pure poetic gain. It is as the poet he will live: not merely as the "novel thinker in verse." Logically, his attitude as 'thinker' is unimpressive. It is the attitude, as I think some one has pointed out, of acquiescence with codified morality. In one of his Causeries, the keen French critic quoted above has a remark upon the great Bossuet, which may with singular aptness be repeated of Browning:—"His is the Hebrew genius extended, fecundated by Christianity, and open to all the acquisitions of the understanding, but retaining some degree of sovereign interdiction, and closing its vast horizon precisely where its light ceases." Browning cannot, or will not, face the problem of the future except from the basis of assured continuity of individual existence. He is so much in love with life, for life's sake, that he cannot even credit the possibility of incontinuity; his assurance of eternity in another world is at least in part due to his despair at not being eternal in this. He is so sure, that the intellectually scrupulous detect the odours of hypotheses amid the sweet savour of indestructible assurance. Schopenhauer says, in one of those recently-found Annotations of his which are so characteristic and so acute, "that which is called 'mathematical certainty' is the cane of a blind man without a dog, or equilibrium in darkness." Browning would sometimes have us accept the evidence of his 'cane' as all-sufficient. He does not entrench himself among conventions: for he already finds himself within the fortified lines of convention, and remains there. Thus is true what Mr. Mortimer says in a recent admirable critique—"His position in regard to the thought of the age is paradoxical, if not inconsistent. He is in advance of it in every respect but one, the most important of all, the matter of fundamental principles; in these he is behind it. His processes of thought are often scientific in their precision of analysis; the sudden conclusion which he imposes upon them is transcendental and inept." Browning's conclusions, which harmonise so well with our haphazard previsionings, are sometimes so disastrously facile that they exercise an insurrectionary influence. They occasionally suggest that wisdom of Gotham which is ever ready to postulate the certainty of a fulfilment because of the existence of a desire. It is this that vitiates so much of his poetic reasoning. Truth may ring regnant in the lines of Abt Vogler—

"And what is our failure here but a triumph's evidence For the fulness of the days?"—

but, unfortunately, the conclusion is, in itself, illogical.

We are all familiar with, and in this book I have dwelt more than once upon, Browning's habitual attitude towards Death. It is not a novel one. The frontage is not so much that of the daring pioneer, as the sedate assurance of 'the oldest inhabitant.' It is of good hap, of welcome significance: none the less there is an aspect of our mortality of which the poet's evasion is uncompromising and absolute. I cannot do better than quote Mr. Mortimer's noteworthy words hereupon, in connection, moreover, with Browning's artistic relation to Sex, that other great Protagonist in the relentless duel of Humanity with Circumstance. "The final inductive hazard he declines for himself; his readers may take it if they will. It is part of the insistent and perverse ingenuity which we display in masking with illusion the more disturbing elements of life. Veil after veil is torn down, but seldom before another has been slipped behind it, until we acquiesce without a murmur in the concealment that we ourselves have made. Two facts thus carefully shrouded from full vision by elaborate illusion conspicuously round in our lives—the life-giving and life-destroying elements, Sex and Death. We are compelled to occasional physiologic and economic discussion of the one, but we shrink from recognising the full extent to which it bases the whole social fabric carefully concealing its insurrections, and ignoring or misreading their lessons. The other, in certain aspects, we are compelled to face, but to do it we tipple on illusions, from our cradle upwards, in dread of the coming grave, purchasing a drug for our poltroonery at the expense of our sanity. We uphold our wayward steps with the promises and the commandments for crutches, but on either side of us trudge the shadow Death and the bacchanal Sex, and we mumble prayers against the one, while we scourge ourselves for leering at the other. On one only of these can Browning be said to have spoken with novel force—the relations of sex, which he has treated with a subtlety and freedom, and often with a beauty, unapproached since Goethe. On the problem of Death, except in masquerade of robes and wings, his eupeptic temperament never allowed him to dwell. He sentimentalised where Shakspere thought." Browning's whole attitude to the Hereafter is different from that of Tennyson only in that the latter 'faintly,' while he strenuously, "trusts the larger hope." To him all credit, that, standing upon the frontiers of the Past, he can implicitly trust the Future.

"High-hearted surely he; But bolder they who first off-cast Their moorings from the habitable Past."

The teacher may be forgotten, the prophet may be hearkened to no more, but a great poet's utterance is never temporal, having that in it which conserves it against the antagonism of time, and the ebb and flow of literary ideals. What range, what extent of genius! As Mr. Frederick Wedmore has well said, 'Browning is not a book—he is a literature.'

But that he will "stand out gigantic" in mass of imperishable work, in that far-off day, I for one cannot credit. His poetic shortcomings seem too essential to permit of this. That fatal excess of cold over emotive thought, of thought that, however profound, incisive, or scrupulously clear, is not yet impassioned, is a fundamental defect of his. It is the very impetuosity of this mental energy to which is due the miscalled obscurity of much of Browning's work—miscalled, because, however remote in his allusions, however pedantic even, he is never obscure in his thought. His is that "palace infinite which darkens with excess of light." But mere excess in itself is nothing more than symptomatic. Browning has suffered more from intellectual exploitation than any writer. It is a ruinous process—for the poet. "He so well repays intelligent study." That is it, unfortunately. There are many, like the old Scotch lady who attempted to read Carlyle's French Revolution, who think they have become "daft" when they encounter a passage such as, for example,

"Rivals, who ... Tuned, from Bocafoli's stark-naked psalms, To Plara's sonnets spoilt by toying with, 'As knops that stud some almug to the pith 'Pricked for gum, wry thence, and crinkled worse 'Than pursed eyelids of a river-horse 'Sunning himself o' the slime when whirrs the breeze— Gad-fly, that is."

The old lady persevered with Carlyle, and, after a few days, found "she was nae sae daft, but that she had tackled a varra dee-fee-cult author." What would even that indomitable student have said to the above quotation, and to the poem whence it comes? To many it is not the poetry, but the difficulties, that are the attraction. They rejoice, after long and frequent dippings, to find their plummet, almost lost in remote depths, touch bottom. Enough 'meaning' has been educed from 'Childe Roland,' to cite but one instance, to start a School of Philosophy with: though it so happens that the poem is an imaginative fantasy, written in one day. Worse still, it was not inspired by the mystery of existence, but by 'a red horse with a glaring eye standing behind a dun one on a piece of tapestry that used to hang in the poet's drawing-room.'[28] Of all his faults, however, the worst is that jugglery, that inferior legerdemain, with the elements of the beautiful in verse: most obvious in "Sordello," in portions of "The Ring and the Book," and in so many of the later poems. These inexcusable violations are like the larvae within certain vegetable growths: soon or late they will destroy their environment before they perish themselves. Though possessive above all others of that science of the percipient in the allied arts of painting and music, wherein he found the unconventional Shelley so missuaded by convention, he seemed ever more alert to the substance than to the manner of poetry. In a letter of Mrs. Browning's she alludes to a friend's "melodious feeling" for poetry. Possibly the phrase was accidental, but it is significant. To inhale the vital air of poetry we must love it, not merely find it "interesting," "suggestive," "soothing," "stimulative": in a word, we must have a "melodious feeling" for poetry before we can deeply enjoy it. Browning, who has so often educed from his lyre melodies and harmonies of transcendent, though novel, beauty, was too frequently, during composition, without this melodious feeling of which his wife speaks. The distinction between literary types such as Browning or Balzac on the one hand, and Keats or Gustave Flaubert on the other, is that with the former there exists a reverence for the vocation and a relative indifference to the means, in themselves—and, with the latter, a scrupulous respect for the mere means as well as for that to which they conduce. The poet who does not love words for themselves, as an artist loves any chance colour upon his palette, or as the musician any vagrant tone evoked by a sudden touch in idleness or reverie, has not entered into the full inheritance of the sons of Apollo. The writer cannot aim at beauty, that which makes literature and art, without this heed—without, rather, this creative anxiety: for it is certainly not enough, as some one has said, that language should be used merely for the transportation of intelligence, as a wheelbarrow carries brick. Of course, Browning is not persistently neglectful of this fundamental necessity for the literary artist. He is often as masterly in this as in other respects. But he is not always, not often enough, alive to the paramount need. He writes with "the verse being as the mood it paints:" but, unfortunately, the mood is often poetically unformative. He had no passion for the quest for seductive forms. Too much of his poetry has been born prematurely. Too much of it, indeed, has not died and been born again—for all immortal verse is a poetic resurrection. Perfect poetry is the deathless part of mortal beauty. The great artists never perpetuate gross actualities, though they are the supreme realists. It is Schiller, I think, who says in effect, that to live again in the serene beauty of art, it is needful that things should first die in reality. Thus Browning's dramatic method, even, is sometimes disastrous in its untruth, as in Caliban's analytical reasoning—an initial absurdity, as Mr. Berdoe has pointed out, adding epigrammatically, 'Caliban is a savage, with the introspective powers of a Hamlet, and the theology of an evangelical Churchman.' Not only Caliban, but several other of Browning's personages (Aprile, Eglamour, etc.) are what Goethe calls schwankende Gestalten, mere "wavering images."

[Footnote 28: One account says 'Childe Roland' was written in three days; another, that it was composed in one. Browning's rapidity in composition was extraordinary. "The Return of the Druses" was written in five days, an act a day; so, also, was the "Blot on the 'Scutcheon."]

Montaigne, in one of his essays, says that to stop gracefully is sure proof of high race in a horse: certainly to stop in time is imperative upon the poet. Of Browning may be said what Poe wrote of another, that his genius was too impetuous for the minuter technicalities of that elaborate art so needful in the building up of monuments for immortality. But has not a greater than Poe declared that "what distinguishes the artist from the amateur is architectonike in the highest sense; that power of execution which creates, forms, and constitutes: not the profoundness of single thoughts, not the richness of imagery, not the abundance of illustration." Assuredly, no "new definition" can be an effective one which conflicts with Goethe's incontrovertible dictum.

But this much having been admitted, I am only too willing to protest against the uncritical outcry against Browning's musical incapacity.

A deficiency is not incapacity, otherwise Coleridge, at his highest the most perfect of our poets, would be lowly estimated.

"Bid shine what would, dismiss into the shade What should not be—and there triumphs the paramount Surprise o' the master." ...

Browning's music is oftener harmonic than melodic: and musicians know how the general ear, charmed with immediately appellant melodies, resents, wearies of, or is deaf to the harmonies of a more remote, a more complex, and above all a more novel creative method. He is, among poets, what Wagner is among musicians; as Shakspere may be likened to Beethoven, or Shelley to Chopin. The common assertion as to his incapacity for metric music is on the level of those affirmations as to his not being widely accepted of the people, when the people have the chance; or as to the indifference of the public to poetry generally—and this in an age when poetry has never been so widely understood, loved, and valued, and wherein it is yearly growing more acceptable and more potent!

A great writer is to be adjudged by his triumphs, not by his failures: as, to take up Montaigne's simile again, a famous race-horse is remembered for its successes and not for the races which it lost. The tendency with certain critics is to reverse the process. Instead of saying with the archbishop in Horne's "Gregory VII.," "He owes it all to his Memnonian voice! He has no genius:" or of declaring, as Prospero says of Caliban in "The Tempest," "He is as disproportioned in his manners as in his shape:" how much better to affirm of him what Ben Jonson wrote of Shakspere, "Hee redeemed his vices with his vertues: there was ever more in him to bee praysed than to bee pardoned." In the balance of triumphs and failures, however, is to be sought the relative measure of genius—whose equipoise should be the first matter of ascertainment in comparative criticism.

For those who would discriminate between what Mr. Traill succinctly terms his generic greatness as thinker and man of letters, and his specific power as poet, it is necessary to disabuse the mind of Browning's "message." The question is not one of weighty message, but of artistic presentation. To praise a poem because of its optimism is like commending a peach because it loves the sunshine, rather than because of its distinguishing bloom and savour. The primary concern of the artist must be with his vehicle of expression. In the instance of a poet, this vehicle is language emotioned to the white-heat of rhythmic music by impassioned thought or sensation. Schopenhauer declares it is all a question of style now with poetry; that everything has been sung, that everything has been duly cursed, that there is nothing left for poetry but to be the glowing forge of words. He forgets that in quintessential art there is nothing of the past, nothing old: even the future has part therein only in that the present is always encroaching upon, becoming, the future. The famous pessimistic philosopher has, in common with other critics, made, in effect, the same remark—that Style exhales the odour of the soul: yet he himself has indicated that the strength of Shakspere lay in the fact that 'he had no taste,' that 'he was not a man of letters.' Whenever genius has displayed epic force it has established a new order. In the general disintegration and reconstruction of literary ideals thus involved, it is easier to be confused by the novel flashing of strange lights than to discern the central vivifying altar-flame. It may prove that what seem to us the regrettable accidents of Browning's genius are no malfortunate flaws, but as germane thereto as his Herculean ruggednesses are to Shakspere, as the laboured inversions of his blank verse are to Milton, as his austere concision is to Dante. Meanwhile, to the more exigent among us at any rate, the flaws seem flaws, and in nowise essential.

But when we find weighty message and noble utterance in union, as we do in the magnificent remainder after even the severest ablation of the poor and mediocre portion of Browning's life-work, how beneficent seem the generous gods! Of this remainder most aptly may be quoted these lines from "The Ring and the Book,"

"Gold as it was, is, shall be evermore; Prime nature with an added artistry."

How gladly, in this dubious hour—when, as an eminent writer has phrased it, a colossal Hand, which some call the hand of Destiny and others that of Humanity, is putting out the lights of Heaven one by one, like candles after a feast—how gladly we listen to this poet with his serene faith in God, and immortal life, and the soul's unending development! "Hope hard in the subtle thing that's Spirit," he cries in the Prologue to "Pacchiarotto": and this, in manifold phrasing, is his leit-motif, his fundamental idea, in unbroken line from the "Pauline" of his twenty-first to the "Asolando" of his seventy-sixth year. This superb phalanx of faith—what shall prevail against it?

How winsome it is, moreover: this, and the humanity of his song. Profoundly he realised that there is no more significant study than the human heart. "The development of a soul: little else is worth study," he wrote in his preface to "Sordello": so in his old age, in his last "Reverie"—

"As the record from youth to age Of my own, the single soul— So the world's wide book: one page Deciphered explains the whole Of our common heritage."

He had faith also that "the record from youth to age" of his own soul would outlast any present indifference or neglect—that whatever tide might bear him away from our regard for a time would ere long flow again. The reaction must come: it is, indeed, already at hand. But one almost fancies one can hear the gathering of the remote waters once more. We may, with Strafford,

"feel sure That Time, who in the twilight comes to mend All the fantastic day's caprice, consign To the low ground once more the ignoble Term, And raise the Genius on his orb again,— That Time will do me right." ...

Indeed, Browning has the grand manner, for all it is more that of the Scandinavian Jarl than of the Italian count or Spanish grandee.

And ever, below all the stress and failure, below all the triumph of his toil, is the beauty of his dream. It was "a surpassing Spirit" that went from out our midst.

"One who never turned his back but marched breast forward, Never doubted clouds would break, Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph, Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, Sleep to wake."

"Speed, fight on, fare ever There as here!" are the last words of this brave soul. In truth, "the air seems bright with his past presence yet."

"Sun-treader—life and light be thine for ever; Thou art gone from us—years go by—and spring Gladdens, and the young earth is beautiful, Yet thy songs come not—other bards arise, But none like thee—they stand—thy majesties, Like mighty works which tell some Spirit there Hath sat regardless of neglect and scorn, Till, its long task completed, it hath risen And left us, never to return."

* * * * *



"Abt Vogler," 130, 172, 202 "A Face," 130 "A Forgiveness," 130 "After," 130 "Agamemnon of AEschylus," 182 "A Grammarian's Funeral," 129, 168 "A Likeness," 130 Alma ——, Letter to, 191 "Amphibian," 130 Ancona, 150 "Andrea del Sarto," 130, 168 "Andromeda," 25 "Another way of Love," 130 "Any Wife to any Husband," 129, 168 "A Pearl," 130 "Apparent Failure," 130, 172 "Appearances," 130 Appearance, Browning's personal, 74, 161 Aprile, 107, 204, 207 "Aristophanes' Apology," 182 "Ask not one least word of praise," 130 "Asolando," 22, 39, 128, 131, 182, 196, 207, 210 Asolo, 58, 192 "A Soul's Tragedy," 89, 91, 179 "Athenaeum, The," 73 "A Toccata of Galuppi's," 130, 168 "Aurora Leigh," 118, 152, 166, 169, 170


Bagni di Lucca, 157, 165 Bailey's "Festus," 114 "Balaustion's Adventure," 182, 190 Balzac, 36, 114, 138, 185, 203, 206 Barrett, Arabella, 54, 174 Barrett, Edward, 136 Barrett, Mr., 144, 161, 170 "Beatrice Signorini," 131 Beautiful in Verse, the, 206-7 Beethoven, 209 "Before," 130 "Bells and Pomegranates," 76, 81, 138 "Ben Karshook's Wisdom," 167 Berdoe, E., 68, 204, 207 "Bifurcations," 130 "Bishop Blougram," 93, 179 Blake, William, 94 "Blot on the 'Scutcheon, A," 79, 88, 89, 90, 91, 206 Bossuet and Browning, 191 Browning, Clara, 21 Browning, Elizabeth Barrett: Browning's early influence on, 92; born March 4, 1809, 136; her girlhood and early work, 136; death of brother, 136; residence in London, 137; "The Cry of the Children," 137; friendships with Horne and Kenyon, 137; her appreciation of Browning's poems, 138; correspondence with him, 138; engagement, 139; acquaintance with Mrs. Jameson, 143; marriage, 145; Mr. Barrett's resentment, 144; journey to Paris, 145; thence to Pisa, 146; Browning's love for his wife, 146; "Sonnets from the Portuguese," 147; in spring to Florence, 150; to Ancona, via Ravenna, in June, 150; winter at Casa Guidi, 152; "Aurora Leigh," 152; description of poetess, 153, 154; birth of son in 1849, 157; "Casa Guidi Windows," 159; 1850, spring in Rome; proposal to confer poet-laureateship on Mrs. Browning, 159, 161; 1851, visits England, 161; winter in Paris, 162; she is enthusiastic about Napoleon III. and interested in Spiritualism; summer in London, 162; autumn at Casa Guidi, 162; winter 1853-4 in Rome, 1856 "Aurora Leigh," death of Kenyon, legacies, 170; 1857, death of Mr. Barrett, 170; 1858, delicacy of Mrs. Browning, 171; July 1858, Brownings travel to Normandy; "Two Poems by Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning," 1854, 173; 1860, "Poems before Congress," and death of Arabella Barrett, 160; "North and South," 174; return to Casa Guidi, and death on 28th June 1861, 175, 206 Browning, Reuben, 18, 19, 20 Browning, Robert: born in London in 1812, 11, 13, 19; his literary and artistic antecedents and contemporaries, 12-14; his parentage and ancestry, 15, 17-19; concerning traces of Semitic origin, 15-19; his sisters, 20; his father, 18; his mother, 20, 23; his uncle, Reuben Browning, 20; the Camberwell home, 23; his childhood, 22; early poems, 25; translation of the odes of Horace, 26; goes to school at Peckham, 27; his holiday afternoons, 27; "Death of Harold," 29; criticisms of Miss Flower and Mr. Fox, 30; he reads Shelley's and Keats's poems, 30, 31; he has a tutor, 33; attends Gower Street University College, 34; he decides to be a poet, 35; writes "Pauline," 1832, 36; it is published in 1833, 39; "Pauline," 39-49; criticisms thereon, 49; Rossetti and "Pauline," studies at British Museum, 52, 53; travels in 1833 to Russia, 57; to Italy, 58; return to Camberwell, 1834, 58, and begins "Paracelsus," sonnet signed "Z," 1834, 60; love for Venice, 62; "Paracelsus," 59, 62; criticisms thereon, 71, 73; he meets Macready, 73; "Narses," 76; he meets Talfourd, Wordsworth, Landor, 77; "Strafford," 79; his dramas, 85; his love of the country, 95; "Pippa Passes," 96, 98; "Sordello," 105; origin of "The Ring and the Book," 1865; "The Ring and the Book," 113-119; "The Inn Album," 127; "Men and Women," 128; proposed "Transcripts from Life," 129; "Flower o' the Vine," 131; correspondence between him and Miss Barrett, 136; meeting in 1846, 138; engagement, 140; marriage, 12th September 1846, 145; sojourn in Pisa, 146; they go to Florence, 148; to Ancona, via Ravenna, 150; "The Guardian Angel," 150; Casa Guidi, 152; birth of son, March 9th, 1849, 157; they go to Vallombrosa and Bagni di Lucca for the autumn, and winter at Casa Guidi, 156; spring of 1850 in Rome, 159; "Two in the Campagna," 156; 1851, they visit England; description of Browning, 161; winter 1851-2 in Paris with Robert Browning, senior, 162; Browning writes Prefatory Essay to Moxon's edition of Shelley's Letters, 163; midsummer, Baths of Lucca, 165; in Florence, 166; "In a Balcony," 166; winter in Rome, 1853-4, 166; the work written there, 167; "Ben Karshook's Wisdom," 167; "Men and Women" published, 168; Kenyon's death, and legacies to the Brownings, 170; poems written between 1855-64, 169; July 1858, Brownings go to Normandy, 173; "Legend of Pornic," "Gold Hair," 173; autumn of 1859 in Sienna; winter 1860-61 in Rome, 173; death of Mrs. Browning, June 1861, 175; "Prospice," 176; 1866, Browning loses his father; Miss Sarianna resides with Browning, 177; his ways of life, 177; first collected edition of his works, 1868, 178; first part of "The Ring and the Book" published, 178; "Herve Riel," 179; Tauchnitz edition, 1872, 179; "Bishop Blougram," 179; "Selections," 180; "La Saisiaz," 1877, 180; "The Two Poets of Croisic," 181; later works, 182; "Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau," "Red Cotton Nightcap Country," 182, 183; "Fifine at the Fair," 183, 184, 185-7; "Jocoseria," 187; 1881, Browning Society established, 188; his latter years, 189; revisits Asolo, 191; Palazzo Rezzonico, 192; religious belief, 193; death, December 12th, 1889, 195, 196; funeral, 197; to be estimated by a new definition, 200; as poet, rather than as thinker, 200; his love of life, 201; his, like Bossuet's, a Hebrew genius fecundated by Christianity, 201; his artistic relations to Death and Sex, 201-3; where, in standpoint, he differs from Tennyson, 203; as to quality of his mass of work, 204; intellectually exploited, 204; his difficulties, and their attraction to many, 205; his attitude to the future, influence, and significance, 205-211; summary of his life-work, 200-212. Browning, Robert Wiedemann Barrett, 18, 37, 157, 163, 174 Browning, Robert (senior), 18, 20, 32, 33, 37, 38, 159, 173 Browning, Sarianna (Mrs.), 21, 25, 29, 32 Browning, Sarianna (Miss), 20, 177, 188 Browning Society, the, 160, 188 Browning, William Shergold, 18 Byron, 149 "By the Fireside," 130


"Caliban upon Setebos," 172, 207, 209 Camberwell, 20, 27, 33, 38, 54, 58, 61 Carlyle, Thomas, 80, 105, 110, 115, 202, 204 Casa Guidi, 120, 152, 154, 163, 166, 174 "Cavalier-Tunes," 129 "Childe Roland," 203, 205 Chopin, 209 "Christmas Eve and Easter-Day," 159, 179 "Cleon," 130 Coleridge, 208 "Colombe's Birthday," 89-91 "Confessional, The," 129 "Confessions," 130 Contemporaries, literary and artistic, of Browning, 12-14 Conway, Moncure, 15, 193 Cristina, 129 "Cristina and Manaldeschi," 130 Cunningham, Allan, 50, 51


Dante, 93, 106, 107, 150 Death, Browning on, 195, 202, 211 "Death of Harold," 29 "Death in the Desert, A," 129, 172 Defoe, 198 "De Gustibus," 57, 59, 130 Dickens, Charles, 54, 90 "Dis Aliter Visum," 130, 172 Domett, A. (Waring), 151 Dramas, Browning's, 82-92 "Dramatic Idyls," 57, 182 "Dramatic Romances," 128, 179 "Dramatis Personae," 127, 171, 179 Dulwich Wood, 62, 95, 98, 104-5


"Earth's Immortalities," 129 "Echetlos," 130 Epics, series of monodramatic, 36 Equator of Browning's genius, the, 178 "Evelyn Hope," 129, 168


Faucit, Miss Helen, 80 "Ferishtah's Fancies," 182 "Fifine at the Fair," 110, 130, 182, 184-7 Flaubert, Gustave, 206 "Flight of the Duchess," 27, 129 "Flower's Name, The," 129, 167 Flower o' the Vine, 131 Flower, Miss Sarah (afterwards Adams), 30, 52 Form, Artistic, 206-9 Forster, John, 50, 73, 76 Fox, Mrs. Bridell, 59 Fox, Rev. William Johnson, 30, 50, 51, 52, 54, 73 "Fra Lippo Lippi," 129, 166, 168 Furnivall, Dr., 16, 163 Future, Browning and the, 201-10


Goethe, 114, 203, 207, 208 "Gold Hair," 172, 173 Gordon, General, 69 Gosse, E.W., 81 "Grammarian's Funeral, A," 129, 168 "Guardian Angel, The," 130, 150


"Halburt and Hob," 130 Hawthorne, N., 154-5, 171 "Heap Cassia," etc., 71 Heine, 57, 165 "Heretic's Tragedy, The," 129 "Herve Riel," 130, 179 Hillard, G.S., 154-6 "Holy Cross Day," 167 "Home Thoughts from Abroad," 57, 129, 157, 189 "Home Thoughts from the Sea," 57, 129, 189 Hood, Thomas, 167 Horne, R.H., 137, 138, 150, 152, 206, 209 Houghton, Lord, 167 "How they brought the Good News," etc., 29, 179, 189 Hugo, Victor, 112, 114


"Imperante Augusto," 131 "In a Balcony," 88, 166, 167, 168, 179 "In a Gondola," 129 "Inapprehensiveness," 131 "In a Year," 130 "Inn Album, The," 70, 101, 113, 127, 182 "Instans Tyrannus," 26 "Italian in England, The," 58 Italian Art, Music, etc.—Influence of, on Browning, 58 Italy, first visit to, 56-7 "Ivan Ivanovitch," 57, 130 "Ixion," 188


Jameson, Mrs., 143 "James Lee's Wife," 59, 130, 172 Jerrold, Douglas, 109 "Jocoseria," 130, 182, 187 "Johannes Agricola," 59 Joubert, 193


Karshish, Epistle to, 129, 166 Keats, 32, 71, 94, 134, 198, 206 Kenyon, John, 137, 163, 170 "King Victor and King Charles," 89, 91


"Lady and the Painter, The," 131 Lamartine on Bossuet, 191 Landor, W.S., 77-9, 92 "La Saisiaz," 130, 180 "Last Ride Together, The," 130 Le Croisie, 178 Lehmann's, Rudolf, portrait of Browning, 16, 17 Leit-Motif, Browning's, 210 Letter to a Girl Friend, 191 "Life in a Love," 130 "Light Woman, A," 130 "Lost Leader, The," 78, 129 "Love among the Ruins," 129, 166, 168 "Love in a Life," 130 "Lover's Quarrel, A," 129 Lowell, J.R., 142 "Luria," 88, 89-92, 179


Macpherson, Mrs., 143-6 Macready, 74-81 "Magical Nature," 130 Manner, Browning's, 211 Marlowe, 114 "Mary Wollstonecraft and Fuseli," 130 "Master Hugues of Saxe-Gotha," 130, 168 "May and Death," 130 Mazzini, 58 "Meeting at Night," 129, 158 "Memorabilia," 130, 166 "Men and Women," 127-136, 166, 168, 169, 171, 178, 179, 182 Meredith, George, 123, 124, 186, 198 Meynell, Wilfrid, 191 Montaigne, 207 Mortimer, 201-2 Motive, Browning's fundamental poetic, 210 Mill, John Stuart, 51 Milsand, J., 111 Milton, 49, 92, 133, 198 "Misconceptions," 130 Mitford, Mary, 78 "Muleykeh," 130 Murray, Alma, 188 Music of Browning's verse, 205-10 "My Last Duchess," 129 "My Star," 130


"Narses," 76 "Natural Magic," 120 Nature, Browning's observation of, 96 Nettleship, J., 75, 107 "Never the Time and the Place," 130, 188 Newman, Cardinal, 194 New Spirit of the Age, 138 Normandy, the Brownings in, 173 "Now," 131 "Numpholeptos," 130


Obscurity, Browning's, 106, 180 "Old Pictures in Florence," 130 "O Lyric Love," 121, 130, 177 "One Way of Love," 130 "One Word More," 169, 177 Optimism, Browning's, 24 (and vide Summary) Orion, new star in, 198 Orr, Mrs. Sutherland, 18, 98, 111, 184 Orthodoxy, Browning's, 193 "Over the seas our galleys went," 29


"Pacchiarotto," 128-30, 165, 182, 207, 210 Palazzo Rezzonico, 192 "Pan and Luna," 130 "Paracelsus," 50, 58, 60-72, 85, 106, 107 Paris, the Brownings in, 162 "Parleyings," 182 "Parting at Morning," 158 Pater, Walter, 88 "Pauline," 25, 32, 36, 38-48, 51-54, 85, 128, 208, 210 "Pheidippides," 130 "Pictor Ignotus," 129 "Pied Piper of Hamelin," 75, 129, 179 "Pippa Passes," 24, 32, 45, 58, 59, 70, 92, 95-104, 113 Pisa, 146 "Pisgah Sights," 130 Plato, 95 Poe, E.A., 207 Poems, Early, 25, 26, 27, 28, 71 "Poetical Works," 178 "Poetics," 131 Pompilia, 58, 122-125 "Pope, The," 126 "Popularity," 72 "Porphyria," 59, 66 Portraits of Browning, 16, 17, 53 "Pretty Woman, A," 130 Primary importance, Browning's, 134 "Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau," 165, 182, 183 Profundity, Browning's, 94 "Prospice," 130, 172, 176


Rabbi Ben Ezra, 129, 172 Rawdon Brown, Sonnet to, 107 "Red Cotton Nightcap Country," 110, 182-3 Religious Opinions, 193, etc. "Rephan," 131 "Return of the Druses, The," 37, 89-91, 206 "Reverie," 131, 207, 210 Richmond, 38 "Ring and the Book, The," 39, 101, 113-128, 177, 182, 203, 205, 210 Romance, Browning and, 105 Rome, the Brownings in, 159, 166 Roscoe, W.C., 70 "Rosny," 131 Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 52-3, 55, 104 "Round of Day, The," 131 Ruskin, J., 23, 129 Russia, Visit to, 58


Sainte-Beuve, 194, 200 "Saul," 129, 167, 168 Schiller, 207 School, Peckham, 27, 33 Schopenhauer, 209, 210 Shortcomings, Browning's artistic, 205 Science, Browning and, 68 Scott, David, 14 Scott, Sir W., 198 "Serenade at the Villa," 130 Sex, Browning's artistic relation to, 202 Shakspere, 36, 85-8, 93, 114, 206, 208, 209, 210 Shelley, 30, 43, 136, 146, 149, 164-5, 172, 196, 203, 205, 209 Shelley Letters, the, 163 "Sibrandus Schafnaburgensis," 143, 167 Skelton, John, 90 "Sludge the Medium," 94, 165 Songs—"Nay but you," 129; "Round us the wild creatures," 130; "Once I saw," 130; "Man I am," 130; "You groped your way," 130; "Wish me no wish unspoken," 130 Sonnets, Browning's, 58 "Sonnets from the Portuguese," 147, 148 "Sordello," 37, 58, 63, 79, 85, 89, 91, 92, 105-12, 203, 205, 210 Soul, Browning and the, 210-11 "Soul's Tragedy, A," 89, 91, 179 "Speculative," 131 Spiritual influence, Browning's, 200 "St. Martin's Summer," 130 Story, W.W., 154, 171, 192 "Strafford," 62, 75, 79-86, 89, 211 Summary of Criticism, 198-212 Swinburne, A.C., 106


Talfourd, 54, 78 Tauchnitz edition, 179 Taylor, Bayard, 161 Tennyson, Lord, 54, 55, 134, 161, 180, 192 "The Statue and the Bust," 173 "The Tomb at St. Praxed's," 129, 143 "There's a woman like a Dew-drop," 192 Thinker, Browning as, 200 "Through the Metidja to Abd-el-Kadr," 129 "Tokay," 167 "Too Late," 130 "Touch him ne'er so lightly," 130 Tour-de-force, Poetry and, 115 Transcripts from Life, 129-131 Traill, H.D., 209 "Two in the Campagna," 130, 159, 160 "Two Poets of Croisic," 130, 181


University College, 33


Venice, 59, 192, 197 "Verse-making," 130


Wagner, 209 Wedmore, F., 204 Westminster Abbey, 196 "What of the Leafage," etc., 188 "Why from the World," 130 Wiedemann, Mr., 18 "Woman's Last Word, A," 129 Women, Browning's, 66 "Women and Roses," 130 Wonder Spirit, Browning and the, 95 Wordsworth, 78, 94, 145, 161 Work, Browning's mass of, 201


Yates, E., Letter from Browning to, 189 York, the horse, 20, 190 "Youth and Art," 130, 172


"Z" signed Sonnet, 58




(British Museum).


* * * * *


Poems. 2 vols. A new edition. London, 1849, 16mo. Vol. i., Paracelsus; Pippa Passes, a Drama; King Victor and King Charles, a Tragedy; Colombe's Birthday, a Play. Vol. ii., A Blot in the 'Scutcheon, a Tragedy; The Return of the Druses, a Tragedy; Luria, a Tragedy; A Soul's Tragedy; Dramatic Romances and Lyrics.

The Poetical Works of Robert Browning. Third edition. 3 vols. London, 1863, 8vo. Vol. i., Lyrics; Romances; Men and Women. Vol. ii., Tragedies and other Plays. Vol. iii., Paracelsus; Christmas Eve and Easter-Day; Sordello.

The Poetical Works of Robert Browning. 6 vols. London, 1868, 8vo. Vol. i., Pauline; Paracelsus; Strafford. Vol. ii., Sordello; Pippa Passes. Vol. iii., King Victor and King Charles; Dramatic Lyrics; The Return of the Druses. Vol. iv., A Blot in the 'Scutcheon; Colombe's Birthday; Dramatic Romances. Vol. v., A Soul's Tragedy; Luria; Christmas Eve and Easter-Day; Men and Women. Vol. vi., In a Balcony; Dramatis Personae.

Complete works of Robert Browning. A reprint from the latest English edition. Chicago, 1872-74, 8vo. Nos. 1-19 of the "Official Guide of the Chicago and Alton R.R. and Monthly Reprint and Advertiser."

The Poetical Works of Robert Browning. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1872, 8vo. Vols. 1197, 1198 of the "Tauchnitz Collection of British Authors."

The Poetical Works of Robert Browning. 16 vols. London, 1888-9, 8vo. Vol. i. contains Pauline and Sordello. Vol. ii., Paracelsus and Strafford. Vol. iii., Pippa Passes; King Victor and King Charles; The Return of the Druses; A Soul's Tragedy. Vol. iv., A Blot in the 'Scutcheon; Colombe's Birthday; Men and Women. Vol. v., Dramatic Romances; Christmas Eve and Easter-Day. Vol. vi., Dramatic Lyrics; Luria. Vol. vii., In a Balcony; Dramatis Personae. Vols. viii.-x., The Ring and the Book, 3 vols. Vol. xi., Balaustion's Adventure; Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau; Fifine at the Fair. Vol. xii., Red Cotton Night-Cap Country; The Inn Album. Vol. xiii., Aristophanes' Apology; The Agamemnon of AEschylus. Vol. xiv., Pacchiarotto and how he worked in Distemper, with other Poems. Vol. xv., Dramatic Idyls; Jocoseria. Vol. xvi., Ferishtah's Fancies; Parleyings with Certain People.


The Agamemnon of AEschylus, transcribed by Robert Browning. London, 1877, 8vo.

Aristophanes' Apology, including a transcript from Euripides, being the Last Adventure of Balaustion. London, 1875, 8vo.

Asolando: Fancies and Facts. London, 1890 [1889], 8vo. Now in seventh edition.

Balaustion's Adventure; including a transcript from Euripides [i.e., a translation of the "Alcestis"]. London, 1871, 8vo. Now in third edition.

Bells and Pomegranates. 8 Nos. London, 1841-1846, 8vo. No. i., Pippa Passes, 1841. No. ii., King Victor and King Charles, 1842. No. iii., Dramatic Lyrics, 1842. No. iv., The Return of the Druses, 1843. No. v., A Blot in the 'Scutcheon, 1843. No. vi., Colombe's Birthday, 1844. No. vii., Dramatic Romances and Lyrics, 1845. No. viii., Luria; and A Soul's Tragedy, 1846.

Christmas Eve and Easter-Day. A poem. London, 1850, 16mo.

Cleon. Moxon: London, 1855, 8vo. Reprinted in Men and Women.

Dramatic Idyls, 2 series. London, 1879-80, 8vo. The First Series now in 2nd edition.

Dramatis Personae. London, 1864, 8vo. Three poems in this book were reprinted from advance copies in the Atlantic Monthly in vol. 13, 1864, viz., Gold Hair, pp. 596-599; Prospice, p. 694; Under the Cliff, pp. 737, 738. Second edition. London, 1864, 8vo.

Ferishtah's Fancies. London, 1884, 8vo. Now in third edition.

Fifine at the Fair. London, 1872, 8vo.

Gold Hair: a Legend of Pornic. [London], 1864, 8vo. Reprinted in Dramatis Personae. Gold Hair appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, May 1864, and Dramatis Personae was published on May 28, 1864.

The Inn Album. London, 1875, 8vo.

Jocoseria. London, 1883, 8vo. Now in third edition.

La Saisiaz. The Two Poets of Croisie. London, 1878, 8vo.

Men and Women. 2 vols. London, 1855, 8vo.

Pacchiarotto and how he worked in distemper: with other poems. London, 1876, 8vo.

Paracelsus. London, 1835, 8vo.

Parleyings with Certain People of Importance in their Day. Introduced by a Dialogue between Apollo and the Fates, etc. London, 1887, 8vo.

Pauline, a Fragment of a Confession. London, 1833, 8vo. There are only five known copies extant, two of which are in the British Museum. A reprint of the original edition of 1833. Edited by T.J. Wise. London, 1886, 12mo. Four copies were printed on vellum.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin, with 35 illustrations by Kate Greenaway. London [1889], 4to. Appeared originally in Dramatic Lyrics (Bells and Pomegranates, No. III.), 1842.

Prince Hohenstiel—Schwangau: Saviour of Society. London, 1871, 8vo.

Red Cotton Night-Cap Country; or Turf and Towers. London, 1873, 8vo.

The Ring and the Book. 4 vols. London, 1868-69, 8vo. Now in second edition.

Sordello. London, 1840, 8vo.

The Statue and the Bust. Moxon: London, 1855, 8vo. Reprinted in Men and Women.

Strafford: an historical tragedy. London, 1837, 8vo. [Acting edition for the use of the North London Collegiate School for Girls.] [London, 1882.] 8vo. Another edition. With notes and preface by E.H. Hickey, and an introduction by S.R. Gardiner. London, 1884, 8vo.

Two Poems. By Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. London, 1854, 8vo. These two poems, "A Plea for the Ragged Schools of London," by Elizabeth B. Browning, and "The Twins," by Robert Browning, were printed by Miss Arabella Barrett, for a bazaar in aid of a "Refuge for Young Destitute Girls." "The Twins" was reprinted in "Men and Women," in 1850.


Sonnet.—"Eyes, calm beside thee, (Lady couldst thou know!") Dated August 17, 1834; signed "Z." (Monthly Repository, vol. 8 N.S., 1834, p. 712.)

The King.—"A King lived long ago." Signed "Z." (Monthly Repository, vol. 9 N.S., 1835, pp. 707, 708.) Reprinted with six fresh lines and revised throughout, in Pippa Passes (1841).

Porphyria.—"The rain set early in to-night." Signed "Z." (Monthly Repository, vol. 10 N.S., 1836, pp. 43, 44.)

Johannes Agricola.—"There's Heaven above; and night by night." Signed "Z." (Monthly Repository, vol. 10 N.S., 1836, pp. 45, 46.) Porphyria and Johannes Agricola were reprinted in "Bells and Pomegranates," No. iii., with the title Madhouse Cells.

Lines.—"Still ailing, wind? Wilt be appeased or no?" Signed "Z." (Monthly Repository, vol. 10 N.S., 1836, pp. 270, 271.) Reprinted revised, in Dramatis Personae, 1884, as the first six stanzas of VI. of "James Lee."

The Laboratory (Ancient Regime). (Hood's Magazine, vol. 1, 1844, pp. 513, 514.) Reprinted in Dramatic Romances and Lyrics (1845), as the first of two poems called "France and England."

Claret and Tokay. (Hoofs Magazine, vol. 1, 1844, p. 525.) Reprinted in Dramatic Romances and Lyrics (1846).

Garden Fancies. I. The Flower's Name; II. Sibrandus Schafnaburgensis. (Hood's Magazine, vol. 2, 1844, pp. 45-48.) Reprinted in Dramatis Romances and Lyrics (1845).

The Boy and the Angel. (Hood's Magazine, vol. 2, 1844, pp. 140-142.) Reprinted revised, and with five fresh couplets, in Dramatic Romances and Lyrics (1845).

The Tomb at St. Praxed's (Rome 15—). (Hood's Magazine, vol. 3, 1845, pp. 237-239.) Reprinted in Dramatic Romances and Lyrics (1845).

The Flight of the Duchess. (Hood's Magazine, vol. 3, 1845, pp. 313-318.) Reprinted in Dramatic Romances and Lyrics (1845).

Letters of Percy Bysshe Shelley. [A fabrication.] With an introductory essay, by Robert Browning. London, 1852, 8vo. —— On the poet, objective and subjective; on the latter's aim; on Shelley as man and poet. [Being a reprint of the Introductory Essay to "Letters of Percy Bysshe Shelley."] London, 1881, 8vo. Published for the Browning Society. —— A reprint of the Introductory Essay prefixed to the volume of Letters of Shelley. Edited by W. Tyas Harden. London, 1838, 8vo.

Ben Karshook's Wisdom. (The Keepsake, 1856, p. 16.)

May and Death. (The Keepsake, 1857, p. 164.) Reprinted in Dramatis Personae (1845).

Orpheus and Eurydice. F. Leighton. 8 lines. (Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogue 1864, p. 13.) Reprinted in Poetical Works, 1868, where it is included in Dramatis Personae.

Gold Hair. See note to Dramatis Personae.

Prospice. See note to Dramatis Personae.

Under the Cliff. See note to Dramatis Personae.

A selection from the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. [First series edited by Robert Browning.] 2 series. London, 1866-80, 8vo.

Herve Riel. (Cornhill Magazine, vol 23, 1871, pp. 257-260.) Reprinted in Pacchiarotto and other Poems, 1876.

"Oh Love, Love:" the Lyric of Euripides in his Hippolytus. (Euripides. By J.P. Mahaffy, p. 16.) London, 1879, 12mo.

"The Blind Man to the Maiden said." (The Hour will Come, by Wilhelmine von Hillern. From the German by Clara Bell, vol. ii., p. 174.) London [1879], 8vo. Printed anonymously; quoted with statement of authorship in the Whitehall Review, March 1, 1883. Reprinted in Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iv., p. 410.

Ten new lines to "Touch him ne'er so lightly." (Dramatic Idyls, 2nd ser., 1880, p. 149.) Lines written in an autograph album, Oct. 14, 1880. (Century Magazine, vol. 25, 1882, pp. 159, 160.) Printed without Mr. Browning's consent. Reprinted in the Browning Society's Papers, Pt. in., p. 43.

Sonnet on Goldoni (dated "Venice, Nov. 27, 1883"). Written for the Album of the Committee of the Goldoni Monument at Venice, and inserted on the first page. (Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 8, 1883.) Reprinted in the Browning Society's Papers, Pt. v., p. 98.

Sonnet on Rawdon Brown (dated Nov. 28, 1883). (Century Magazine, vol. 27, 1884, p. 640.) Reprinted in the Browning Society's Papers, Pt. v., p. 132.

Paraphrase from Horace. Four lines, written impromptu for Mr. Felix Moscheles. (Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 13, 1883, p. 6.) Reprinted in the Browning Society's Papers, Pt. v., p. 99.

Helen's Tower: Sonnet, dated "April 26, 1870." Written for the Earl of Dufferin, who built a tower in memory of his mother, Helen, Countess of Gifford, on his estate at Clandeboye. (Pall Mall Gazette, Dec. 28, 1883, p. 2.) Reprinted in Sonnets of this Century, edited by William Sharp, 1886, and in the Browning Society's Papers, Pt. v., p. 97.

The Founder of the Feast: Sonnet. (Dated "April 5, 1884.") Inscribed by Mr. Browning in the Album presented to Mr. Arthur Chappell, director of the St. James's Hall Concerts, etc. (The World, April 16, 1884.) Reprinted in the Browning Society's Papers, Pt. vii., p. 18.

"The Names." Sonnet on Shakespeare. Contributed to the "Shaksperian Show-Book" of the Shaksperian Show, held at the Albert Hall, on May 29-31, 1884. Reprinted in the Pall Mall Gazette, May 29, and in the Browning Society's Papers, Pt. v., p. 105.

The Divine Order and other Sermons and Addresses, by the late Thomas Jones. Edited by Brynmor Jones. With a short introduction by Robert Browning. London, 1884, 8vo.

Why I am a Liberal: Sonnet. (Why I am a Liberal, edited by Andrew Reid. London, 1885, p. 11.) Reprinted in Sonnets of this Century, edited by William Sharp, 1886, and in the Browning Society's Papers, Pt. viii., p. 92.

Prefatory Note to the Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1889, dated "Dec. 10, 1887."

To Edward Fitzgerald. "I chanced upon a new book yesterday." 12 lines, dated "July 8, 1889" (Athenaeum, July 13, 1889, p. 64).


Letter to Laman Blanchard [? April, 1841], dated "Craven Cottage, Saturday." (Poetical Works of Laman Blanchard, pp. 6-8.) London, 1876, 8vo.

Letters to Henry Fothergill Chorley on his novels Pomfret (1845) and Roccabella (1860). (Autobiography, Memoir, and Letters of Henry Fothergill Chorley, vol. ii., pp. 25, 26, 169-174.)

Letter to R.H. Horne, dated Pisa, Dec. 4 [1846]. Another dated London, Sept. 24 [1851], signed Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. (Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning to R.H. Horne, 1877, vol. ii., pp. 182-3, 194-5.) Londen, 1877, 8vo.

Letter to William Etty, R.A., dated "Bagni di Lucea, Sept. 21, 1849." (Life of William Etty, R.A. By Alexander Gilchrist, vol. ii., pp. 280-81.) London, 1855, 8vo.

Letter to Leigh Hunt (dated "Bagni di Lucca, 6th Oct., 1857"). (Correspondence of Leigh Hunt, edited by his eldest son, vol. ii., pp. 264-267.) London, 1862, 8vo.

Letter to the Editor of The Daily News, dated "19 Warwick Crescent, W., Feb. 9," stating that his contribution to the French Relief Fund was his publishers' payment for a lyrical poem (Herve Riel). (Daily News, Feb. 10, 1871.)

Letter to the Editor of The Daily News, dated "Nov. 20." On line 131, "Gave us the doctrine of the enclitic De" of the poem, A Grammarian's Funeral. (Daily News, Nov. 21, 1874.)

Letter to the Rev. Alexander B. Grosart, on the Poem of The Lost Leader and Wordsworth, dated "19 Warwick Crescent, Feb. 24, 1875." (The Prose Works of William Wordsworth. Edited by the Rev. A.B. Grosart, vol. i., p. xxxvii.) London, 1876, 8vo.

The Lord Rectorship of St. Andrew's. Letter to the Editor of The Times, dated "19 Warwick Crescent, Nov. 19." (Times, Nov. 20, 1877.)

Letter to F.J. Furnivall. (Academy, Dec. 20, 1878.)

Letter to Mr. J.O. Halliwell-Phillipps, and printed by the latter in 1881.

Letter to Mr. Charles Kent, dated "29 De Vere Gardens, W., 28 August, 1889." Accompanied by a presentation copy of the 3rd vol. of the new collective edition of "Poems." (Athenaeum.. Dec. 21, 1889, p. 860).

In Berdoe's "Browning's Message to his Time," etc., London, 1890, there are a number of letters from Browning.

In the new edition of Kingsland's "Robert Browning," London, 1890, there are several letters from Browning.


Selections from the Poetical Works of Robert Browning. [Edited by J. Forster and B.W. Procter.] London, 1863 [1862], 16mo.

Moxon's Miniature Poets. A Selection from the Works of Robert Browning. London, 1865, 8vo.

Selections from the Poetical Works of Robert Browning. 2 series. London, 1872-80, 8vo.

Favourite Poems. Illustrated. Boston, 1877, 16mo.

A Selection from the Works of Robert Browning. With a memoir of the author, and explanatory notes. Edited by F.H. Ahn. Berlin, 1882, 8vo. Vol. viii. of Ahn's "Collection of British and American Standard Authors."

Stories from Robert Browning. By F.M. Holland. With an introduction by Mrs. Sutherland Orr. London, 1882, 8vo.

Lyrical and Dramatic Poems selected from the works of Robert Browning. With an extract from Stedman's "Victorian Poets." Edited by E.T. Mason. New York, 1883, 8vo.

Selections from the Poetry of Robert Browning. With an introduction by R.G. White. New York [1883], 8vo.

Pomegranates from an English Garden: a selection from the poems of Robert Browning. With introduction and notes by J.M. Gibson. New York, 1885, 8vo.

Select Poems of Robert Browning. Edited, with notes, by William J. Rolfe and Heloise E. Hersey. New York, 1886, 8vo.

Lyrics, Idyls, and Romances from the poetic and dramatic works of Robert Browning. Boston, 1887, 8vo.

Good and true Thoughts from Robert Browning. Selected by Amy Cross. New York, 1888, 4to. Printed in blue ink, and on one side of the leaf.

The Browning Reciter: Poems for Recitation, by Robert Browning and other writers. Edited by A.H. Miles. London, 1889, 8vo. Part of the "Platform Series."



Alexander, William John. An Introduction to the poetry of Robert Browning. Boston, 1889, 8vo.

Austin, Alfred. The Poetry of the Period. London, 1870, 8vo. Robert Browning, pp. 38-76. Appeared originally in Temple Bar, vol. 28, 1869, pp. 316-333.

Bagehot, Walter. Literary Studies. 2 vols. London, 1879, 8vo. Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Browning; or, Pure, Ornate, and Grotesque Art in English Poetry, vol. ii., pp. 338-390. Appeared originally in the National Review, vol. 19, 1864, pp. 27-67.

Barnett, Professor. Browning's Jews and Shakespeare's Jew. Read at the 54th meeting of the Browning Society, Nov. 25th, 1887. London, 1888, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. x., pp. 207-220.

Beale, Dorothea. The Religious Teaching of Browning. (Read at the 10th meeting of the Browning Society, Oct. 27th, 1882.) London, 1882, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iii., pp. 323-338.

Berdoe, Edward. Browning as a Scientific Poet. (Read at the meeting of the Browning Society, April 24th, 1885.) London, 1885, 8vo. The Browning Society's Paper, Pt. vii., pp. 33-54. Browning's Estimate of Life. (Read at the meeting of the Society, Oct. 28, 1887.) London, 1888, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. x., pp. 200-206. Browning's Message to his Time: His Religion, Philosophy, and Science. [With facsimile letters of Browning and portrait.] London, 1890, 8vo.

Birrell, Augustine. Obiter Dicta. London, 1884, 8vo. On the alleged obscurity of Mr. Browning's poetry, pp. 55-95.

Browning, Robert. Robert Browning's Poetry. Outline Studies published for the Chicago Browning Society. Chicago, 1886, 8vo.

Browning Society. The Browning Society's Papers. In progress. London, 1881, etc., 8vo.

Buchanan, Robert. Master-Spirits. London, 1873, 8vo. Browning's Masterpiece, pp. 89-109. A revised reprint of the Athenaeum reviews of the "Ring and the Book" in December and March 1870.

Bulkeley, Rev. J.H. James Lee's Wife. (Read at the 16th meeting of the Browning Society, May 25, 1883.) London, 1883, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iv., pp. 455-468. The Reasonable Rhythm of some of Browning's poems. Read at the 42nd meeting of the Browning Society, May 28, 1886. London, 1886, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. viii., pp. 119-131.

Burt, Mary K. Browning's Women, etc. Chicago, 1887, 8vo.

Bury, John B. Browning's Philosophy. (Read at the 6th meeting of the Browning Society, April 28, 1882.) London, 1882, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iii, pp. 259-277. On "Aristophanes' Apology." Read at the 38th meeting of the Browning Society, Jan. 29, 1886. London, 1886, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. viii., pp. 79-86.

C.C.S., i.e., C.S. Calverley. Fly Leaves. Cambridge, 1872, 8vo. "The Cock and the Bull," a Parody on The Ring and the Book, pp. 113-120.

Cooke, Bancroft. An Introduction to Robert Browning. A criticism of the purpose and method of his earlier works. London [1883], 8vo.

Cooke, George Willis. Poets and Problems. London [1886], 8vo. Browning, pp. 269-388.

Cooper, Thompson. Men of Mark, etc. London, 1881, 4to. Robert Browning, with photograph. Fifth Series, No. 17.

Corson, Hiram. The Idea of Personality, as embodied in Robert Browning's Poetry. (Read at the 8th meeting of the Browning Society, June 23, 1882.) London, 1882, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iii. pp. 293-321. An Introduction to the Study of Robert Browning's Poetry. Boston, 1886, 8vo.

Courtney, W.L. Studies New and Old. London, 1888, 8vo. Robert Browning, Writer of Plays, pp. 100-123.

Devey, J. A Comparative Estimate of Modern English Poets. London, 1873, 8vo. Browning, pp. 376-421.

Dowden, Edward. Mr. Tennyson and Mr. Browning. (The Afternoon Lectures on Literature and Art delivered in ... Dublin, 1867 and 1868, pp. 141-179.) Dublin, 1869, 8vo. Reprinted in B. Dowden's "Studies in Literature," 1878, pp. 191-239. Studies in Literature, 1789-1877. London, 1878, 8vo. Mr. Browning's place in recent literature, pp. 80-84; Mr. Tennyson and Mr. Browning, pp. 191-239. Transcripts and Studies. London, 1888, 8vo. Mr. Browning's "Sordello," pp. 474-525.

Eyles, F.A.H. Popular Poets of the Period, etc. London, 1888, etc., 8vo. Robert Browning, by Alexander H. Japp, No. 7, pp. 193-199.

Fleming, Albert. Andrea del Sarto. Read at the 39th meeting of the Browning Society, Feb. 26, 1886. London, 1886, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. viii., pp. 95-102.

Forman, H. Buxton. Our Living Poets. London, 1871, 8vo. Robert Browning, pp. 103-152.

Fotheringham, James. Studies in the Poetry of Robert Browning. London, 1887, 8vo. Second edition, revised and enlarged. London, 1888, 8vo.

Friswell, J. Hain. Modern Men of Letters honestly criticised. London, 1870, 8vo. Robert Browning, pp. 119-131.

Fuller, S. Margaret. Papers on Literature and Art. 2 parts. London, 1846, 8vo. Browning's Poems, Pt. ii., pp. 31-45

Furnivall, Frederick J. A Bibliography of Robert Browning, from 1833-81. London, 1881-82, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, 1881-4, Pts. i. and ii. How the Browning Society came into being. With some words on the characteristics and contrasts of Browning's early and late work. London, 1884, 8vo. A grammatical analysis of "O Lyric Love." Read at the 48th meeting of the Browning Society, Feb. 25, 1886. London, 1888, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. ix., pp. 105-108.

Galton, Arthur. Urbana Scripta. Studies of five living poets, etc. London, 1885, 8vo. Mr. Browning, pp. 59-76.

Gannon, Nicholas J. An Essay on the characteristic errors of our most distinguished living poets. Dublin, 1853, 8vo. Robert Browning, pp. 25-32.

Glazebrook, Mrs. M.G. "A Death in the Desert." Read at the 48th meeting of the Browning Society, Feb. 25, 1857. London, 1888, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, vol. ix., pp. 153-164.

Halliwell-Phillipps, James O. Copy of Correspondence [between J.O. Halliwell-Phillipps and Robert Browning, concerning expressions respecting Halliwell-Phillipps, used by F.J. Furnivall in the preface to a fac-simile of the second edition of Hamlet, published in 1880]. [Brighton ? 1881] fol.

Hamilton, Walter. Parodies of the Works of English and American Authors. London, 1889, 8vo. Robert Browning, vol. vi., pp. 46-65.

Haweis, Rev. H R. Poets in the Pulpit. London, 1880, 8vo. Robert Browning. New Year's Eve, pp. 117-143.

Herford, C.H. Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau. London, 1886, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. viii., pp. 133-145.

Hodgkins, Louise Manning. Nineteenth Century Authors. Robert Browning. Boston [1889], 8vo.

Holland, F. May. Sordello. A Story from Robert Browning. New York, 1881, 8vo. Very scarce.

Horne, R.H. A New Spirit of the Age. 2 vols. London, 1844, 8vo. Robert Browning (with a portrait engraved by J.C. Armytage) and J.W. Marston, vol. ii., pp. 153-186.

Hutton, Richard Holt. Essays, Theological and Literary. 2 vols. London, 1871, 8vo. Mr. Browning, vol. ii., pp. 190-247.

Johnson, Rev. Prof. Edwin. On "Bishop Blougram's Apology." (Read at the 7th meeting of the Browning Society, May 26, 1882.) London, 1882, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iii., pp. 279-292. Conscience and Art in Browning. London, 1882, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iii., pp. 345-379. On "Mr. Sludge the Medium." Read at the 31st meeting of the Browning Society, March 27, 1885. London, 1885, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. vii., pp. 13-32.

Kingsland, William G. Robert Browning: chief poet of the age. An essay addressed primarily to beginners in the study of Browning's poems. London, 1887, 8vo. New edition, with biographical and other additions. London, 1890, 8vo.

Landor, Walter Savage. The Works of Walter Savage Landor. 2 vols. London, 1846, 8vo. Poem "To Robert Browning," vol. ii., p. 673.

M'Cormick, William S. Three Lectures on English Literature. Paisley, 1889, 8vo. The poetry of Robert Browning, pp. 125-184.

Macdonald, George Orts. London, 1882, 8vo. Browning's "Christmas Eve," pp. 195-217. The Imagination and other Essays. Boston [1883], 8vo. Browning's "Christmas Eve," pp. 195-217.

McNicoll, Thomas. Essays on English Literature. London, 1861, 8vo. New Poems of Browning and Landor (1858), pp. 208-314.

McCrie, George. The Religion of our Literature. Essays upon Thomas Carlyle, Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, etc. London, 1875, 8vo. Robert Browning, pp. 69-109.

Macready, William Charles. Macready's Reminiscences and Selections from his diaries and letters. 2 vols. London, 1875, 8vo. Numerous references to Browning.

Mayor, Joseph B. Chapters on English Metre. London, 1886, 8vo. Tennyson and Browning, Chap. xii., pp. 184-196.

Morison, J. Cotter. "Caliban upon Setebos," with some notes on Browning's Subtlety and Humour. (Read at the 24th Meeting of the Browning Society, April 25, 1884.) London, 1884, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. v., pp. 489-498.

Morrison, Jeanie. Sordello. An outline analysis of Mr. Browning's Poem. London, 1889, 8vo.

Nettleship, John T. Essays on Robert Browning's Poetry. London, 1868, 8vo. New edition. New York, 1890, 8vo. On Browning's "Fifine at the Fair." To be read at the 4th Meeting of the Browning Society, Feb. 24, 1882. London, 1882, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. ii., p. 199-230. Classification of Browning's Works. London, 1882, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. ii., pp. 231-234. Browning's Intuition, specially in regard of music and the Plastic Arts. (Read at the 13th Meeting of the Browning Society, Feb. 23, 1883.) London, 1883, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iv., pp. 331-396. On the development of Browning's Genius in his capacity as poet or maker. Read at the 35th Meeting of the Browning Society, Oct. 30, 1885. London, 1886, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. viii, pp. 55-77.

Noel, Hon. Roden. Essays on Poetry and Poets. London, 1886, 8vo. Robert Browning, pp. 256-282; Robert Browning's Poetry, pp. 283-303.

Notes and Queries. Notes and Queries. 7 Series. London, 1849-1889, 4to. Numerous references to Browning.

O'Byrne, George. Robert Browning. In Memoriam. An Epicedium. Nottingham [1890], 8vo.

O'Conor, William Anderson. Essays in Literature and Ethics. Manchester, 1889, 8vo. Browning's "Childe Roland," pp. 1-24.

Ormerod, Helen J. Some Notes on Browning's Poems referring to Music. Read at the 51st Meeting of the Browning Society, May 27, 1887. London, 1888, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. ix., pp. 180-195. Abt Vogler, the Man. Read at the 55th Meeting of the Browning Society, Jan. 27th, 1888. London, 1888, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. x., pp 221-236.

Orr, Mrs. Sutherland. A Handbook to the Works of Robert Browning. London, 1885, 8vo. Second edition, revised. London, 1886, 8vo. Classification of Browning's Poems. London, 1882, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. ii., pp. 235-238.

Outram, Leonard S. Love's Value. Colombe's Birthday. Act IV. (The Avowal of Valence.) Read at the 38th Meeting of the Browning Society, Jan. 29, 1886. London, 1886, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. viii., pp. 87-94.

Pearson, Howard S. On Browning as a Landscape Painter. Read at the 41st Meeting of the Browning Society, April 30, 1886. London, 1886, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. viii., pp. 103-118.

Pollock, Frederick. Leading cases done into English. By an Apprentice of Lincoln's Inn [Frederick Pollock]. Second edition. London, 1876, 8vo. IV. "Scott v. Shepherd (1 Sm. L.C. 477), Any Pleader to any Student," pp. 15-19. A Parody on Browning.

Portrait. The Portrait. Vol. I. London, 1877, 4to. Robert Browning, by G. Barnett Smith, 4 pages. The portrait is from a photograph by Elliott & Fry.

Portrait Gallery. National Portrait Gallery. London [1877], 4to. Robert Browning (with portrait), 4th Series, pp. 73-80.

Powell, Thomas. The Living Authors of England. New York, 1849, 8 vo. Robert Browning, pp. 71-85. Pictures of the Living Authors of Britain. London, 1851, 8vo. Robert Browning, pp. 61-75.

Radford, Ernest. Illustrations to Browning's Poems; with a notice of the artists and the pictures, by E, Radford. 2 pts. London, 1882-3, fol. Published for the Browning Society.

Raleigh, W.A. On some prominent points in Browning's Teaching. (Read at the 22nd Meeting of the Browning Society, Feb. 22, 1884.) London, 1884, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. v., pp. 477-488.

Reeve, Lovell. Portraits of Men of Eminence in Literature, Science, and Art, with biographical memoirs, etc. 6 vols. London, 1863-67, 8vo. Robert Browning, vol. i., pp. 109-112.

Revell, William F. Browning's Poems on God and Immortality as bearing on life here. (Read at the 14th Meeting of the Browning Society, March 30, 1883.) London, 1883, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iv., pp. 435-454. Browning's Views of Life. Address on Oct. 28, 1887. London, 1888, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. x., pp. 197-199.

Sharp, William. Browning and the Arts. London, 1882, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iii., pp. 34-40.

Sharpe, Rev. John. On "Pietro of Abano" and the leading ideas of "Dramatic Idyls." Second series, 1880. (Read at the 2nd Meeting of the Browning Society, Nov. 25, 1881.) London, 1882, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. ii., pp. 191-197. Jocoseria. (Read at the 20th Meeting of the Browning Society, Nov. 23, 1883.) London, 1884, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. v., pp. 93-97.

Shirley, pseud. [i.e., John Skelton]. A Campaigner at Home. London, 1865, 8vo. Robert Browning, pp. 247-283. Appeared originally in Fraser's Magazine, vol. 67, 1863, pp. 240-256.

Stedman, Edmund Clarence. Victorian Poets. Boston, 1875, 8vo. Robert Browning, pp. 293-341. Another edition. Boston, 1887, 8vo.

Stoddart, Anna M. "Saul." Read at the 59th Meeting of the Browning Society, May 25, 1888. London, 1888, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. x., pp. 264-274.

Swinburne, Algernon C. The Works of George Chapman: Poems and Minor Translations. London, 1875, 8vo. On Browning, pp. xiv.-xix. of the "Essay on George Chapman's poetical and dramatic works." Specimens of Modern Poets. The Heptalogia, or the Seven against Sense, etc. London, 1880, 8vo. John Jones, pp. 9-39. A parody on James Lee.

Symons, Arthur. Is Browning Dramatic? (Read at the 29th Meeting of the Browning Society, Jan. 30, 1885.) London, 1885, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. vii., pp. 1-12. An Introduction to the Study of Browning. London, 1886, 8vo. Some Notes on Mr. Browning's last volume. (On Parleyings with Certain People.) Read at the 50th Meeting of the Browning Society, April 29, 1887. London, 1888, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. ix., pp. 169-179.

Thomson, James. Notes on the Genius of Robert Browning. (Read at the 3rd Meeting of the Browning Society, Jan. 27, 1882.) London, 1882, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. ii., pp. 239-250.

Todhunter, Dr. John. "The Ring and the Book." (Read at the 19th Meeting of the Browning Society, Oct. 26, 1883.) London, 1884, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. v., pp. 85-92. "Strafford" at the Strand Theatre, Dec. 21, 1886. Read at the 47th Meeting of the Browning Society, Jan. 28, 1887. London, 1888, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. ix., pp. 147-152.

Turnbull, Mrs. Abt Vogler. (Read at the 17th Meeting of the Browning Society, June 22, 1883.) London, 1883, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iv., pp. 469-476. In a Balcony. (Read at the Annual Meeting of the Browning Society, July 4, 1884.) London, 1884, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. v., pp. 499-502.

Wall, Annie. Sordello's Story retold in prose. Boston, 1886, 8vo.

West, E.D. One aspect of Browning's Villains. (Read at the 15th Meeting of the Browning Society, April 27, 1883.) London, 1883, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iv., pp. 411-434.

Westcott, B.F. On some points in Browning's View of Life. A paper read before the Cambridge Browning Society, November, 1882. Cambridge, 1883, 8vo. Printed also in the Browning Society's Papers, Pt. iv., pp. 397-410.

Whitehead, Miss C.M. Browning as a Teacher of the Nineteenth Century. Read at the 58th Meeting of the Browning Society, April 27, 1888. London, 1888, 8vo. The Browning Society's Papers, Pt. x., pp. 237-263.


Browning, Robert. Sharpe's London Magazine, vol. 8, 1849, pp. 60-62, 122-127. Revue des Deux Mondes, by J. Milsand, 15 Aug. 1851, pp. 661-689. London Quarterly Review, vol. 6, 1856, pp. 493-501, vol. 22, p. 30, etc. Revue Contemporaine, by J. Milsand, vol. 27, 1856, pp. 511-546. Fraser's Magazine, by J. Skelton, vol. 67, 1863, pp. 240-256; reprinted in "A Campaigner at Home," 1865. Victoria Magazine, by M.D. Conway, vol. 2, 1854, pp. 298-316. Contemporary Review, vol. 4, 1867, pp. 1-15, 133-148; same article, Eclectic Magazine, vol. 5 N.S., pp. 314-323, 501-513. Revue des Deux Mondes, by Louis Etienne, tom. 85, 1870, pp. 704-735. Appleton's Journal (with portrait), by R.H. Stoddard, vol. 6, 1871, pp. 533-536. Once a Week, vol. 9 N.S., 1872, pp. 164-167. Scribner's Monthly, by E.C. Stedman, vol. 9, 1874, pp. 167-183. Galaxy, by J. H. Browne, vol. 19, 1875, pp. 764-774. St. James's Magazine, by T. Bayne, vol. 32, 1877, pp. 153-164. Dublin University Magazine (with portrait), vol. 3 N.S., 1878, pp. 322-335, 416-443. Gentleman's Magazine, by A.N. McNicoll, vol. 244, 1879, pp. 54-67. Congregationalist, vol. 8, 1879, pp. 915-922. International Review, by G. Barnett Smith, vol. 6, 1879, pp. 176-194. Literary World (Boston), by F. J. Furnivall, H.E. Scudder, etc., vol. 13, 1882, pp. 76-81. Critic, by J.H. Morse, vol. 3,1883, pp. 263, 264. Contemporary Review, by Hon. Roden Noel, vol. 44, 1883, pp. 701-718; same article, Littell's Living Age, vol. 159, pp. 771-781. British Quarterly Review, vol. 80, 1884, pp. 1-28. Family Friend, by J. Fuller Higgs, vol. 18, 1887, pp. 10-13. Graphic, with portrait, Jan, 15, 1887. Athenaeum, Dec. 21, 1889, pp. 858-860. Atalanta, by Edmund Gosse, Feb. 1889, pp. 361-364. Atlantic Monthly, Feb. 1890, pp. 243-248. Contemporary Review, by the Rev. Stopford A. Brooke, Jan. 1890, pp. 141-152. Universal Review, by Gabriel Sarrazin, Feb. 1890, pp. 230-246. Art and Literature, with portrait, Feb. 1890, pp. 17-19. Congregational Review, by Ruth J. Pitt, Jan. 1890, pp. 57-66. Expository Times, by the Rev. Professor Salmond, Feb. 1890, pp. 110, 111. The Speaker, by Augustine Birrell, Jan. 4, 1890, pp. 16, 17. National Review, by H. D. Traill, Jan. 1890, pp. 592-597. Scots Magazine, Jan. 1890, pp. 131-136. Argosy, by E.F. Bridell-Fox, Feb. 1890, pp. 108-114 New Church Magazine, by C. E. Rowe, Feb. 1890, pp. 49-58.

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