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best of all), 'Observer,’ ‘Fortnightly Review' (by S. Colvin), 'Saturday Review,' ‘Standard,' 'North Atlantic Monthly,' The Times,” • Daily News' (a few lines in the summary the year's books), “Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper.'—Mrs.

Sutherland-Orr's Collections. 1873. Red-Cotton Night-Cap Country: on or after May 5, reviewd in the Globe,'

‘Standard,' “ Daily News,', 'Hour,'. 'Echo,' 'Spectator,' 'Examiner,' 'Con. servative, Scotsman,' 'John Bull,!, Graphic, Illustrated London News,'

* Liverpool Mercury,“New York Daily Tribune' (May 5).—Orr. 1873. “Penn Monthly' (Philadelphia), Sept. 1873. Article on Red Cotton Night

Cap Country. [pp. 657-661, by R. E. T.] This is a high class-American

Monthly Magazine emanating from the Pennsylvania University. l-F. H. E. 1875. Aristophanes' Apology : about or after April 12, reviewd in Daily News'

(leader), Liverpool Mercury,''Globe,' Pictorial World' (and the next week a general appreciative article on R. B. by Mortimer Collins), 'Hour' (April 19), * Scotsman, World,' “John Bull,‘Examiner' (by Edm. W. Gosse ; a pretty article), “Standard,' Observer,' Nonconformist;' Concordia’ (by Joseph Knight), “Manchester Guardian' (June 21), “Echo,' 'Spectator,' 'Illustrated

London News,' 'Pall Mall Gazette.'-Orr. 1875. Aristophanes' Apology ... resumes the thread of the poem published a few

years ago under the title of Balaustion's Adventure. In that poem . . Balaustion, å Rhodian girl, saves her own life and that of the crew of the vessel in which she had taken passage to Athens,—but which had been driven by stress of weather and the pursuit of pirates into the hostile port of Syracuse, -by reciting to the Syracusans, Euripides's play of Alcestis. In Aristophanes' Apology, Balaustion and her husband, Euthycles, are quitting Athens for Rhodes, after the occupation of the former city by Lysander, at the close of the Peloponnesian War. Balaustion narrates to her husband the story of the death of Euripides, and tells how, on the day of his death, Aristophanes burst into her dwelling at the close of a comic revel, and held long converse with her on his treatment of the dead poet. She tells how she listened patiently to his Apology, which she repeats, together with her own reply, and then, as a final defence of her beloved master, she recites his play of Hercules, the manuscript of which, with other relics of his muse, he had given her. Aristophanes, partly convinced by the splendour of the poem, continues his Apology in a less triumphant tone, and leaves Balaustion half reconciled to him by his acknowledgment of the loss which Athens had sustained by the death of Euripides.”—The

Times,’Oct. 4, 1875. 1875. The Inn Album : about or after Nov. 27, reviewd in the 'Globe, Saturday

Review, `Leeds Mercury,' Daily News, John Bull,' 'Liverpool Mercury;'

'Spectator,' • Examiner,' 'Standard,''Graphic.'—Orr. 1876. Prof. Geddes's Address to his 2nd Greek Class at Aberdeen University, on the

opening of the Winter Session, 1876-7: subject “Some Modern Reproductions of Classic Poetry," 'ending with that of one who is perhaps the most notable

figure on the poetic horizon of the present day-Robert Browning'... 'the 1 Mr. Browning's strength lies very greatly in his vast learning, and his imaginative grasp of the characteristics of different times and places and people. Hardly a period of the race's from the pre-historic Caliban down to Napoleon III., but has been the subject of his pen ; hardly a situation of human life that he has not touched. But Italy and the Renaissance seem to furnish the historical and geographical centres of his imaginative activity. Never in English speech have the two been so finely reproduced and made intelligible. In his last poem, Mr. B. finds his subject in France under the second empire. One chief interest of the poem is its masterly analysis of the paroxysm of religious enthusiasm that at present possesses France, and which is chiefly striking to observers for the absence of any ethical elements in its operations and its effects . : . the poem is unrelieved by any real nobleness in the actors. And yet Miranda is one of the best drawn of a group of characters that only Browning in modern times has attempted, the selfdeceiving, semi-hypocrites; and few passages from his pen surpass the soliloquy that precedes his (Miranda's] strange and suicidal leap.


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strongest and subtlest, if not the sweetest, poet of our age': A short review of B.'s general characteristics, a longer one of his Balaustion, and a notice of Aristophanes' Apology. * Enough has been indicated to show that the Greek muse is still a potential factor even in English literature, and that the strongest of our living poets is a votary at her shrine-loud cheers).' An Aberdeen

paper, probably early in Nov. 1876.-Orr. 1877. The Agamemnon of Æschylus : on or after Oct. 22, reviewd in ‘Daily News,

Liverpool Mercury,' World,' 'Standard,' 'May Fair' (noted in · Academy,' May 10, in review of Morshead's englisht Agamemnon), “Examiner' (R. B. and Morshead : 2 articles), 'Spectator,' 'Guardian' (p. 1623-4), “John Bull,"

‘Nineteenth Century,' 'Notes and Queries,' 'Glasgow News.'—Orr. 1879. Dramatic Idyls (First Series] : reviewd in 'The Spectator,' May 31 ; an 8vo

Review, “Mr. Browning's New Poems," by The Editor, p. 269-274 ; ' Fifeshire Journal,' May 29, by Thomas Bayne ; John Bull," May 17 ; “Daily Free Press,' April 28 ; Glasgow Herald,' April 28 ; ‘Journal of Education,' p. 128-130;

Saturday Review,' June 21 ; ' Edinburgh Courant,’ July 26 ; an 8vo Review (? the Pen), July, p. 117-124, in an article on "Three Small Books by Great Writers”; a Russian Review, “The Daily New Times,' col. 108-115, 10 Mar. 1879, 11 Toin.; Helen Zimmern, in a German paper ; ‘The Christian World,'

Ned Bratts and John Bunyan.”—Orr. 1859. The Wanderer,' by Owen Meredith (the prezent Lord Lytton). In the

Dedication to J[ohn) F[orster) occur the following lines on Browning.

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And, citing all he said or sung,

With praise reserved for bards like him,
Spake of that friend who dwells among
The Apennine, and there hath strung
A harp of Anakim ;

“ Than whom a mightier master never

Touch'd the deep chords of hidden things;
Nor error did from truth dissever
With keener glance ; nor made endeavour
To rise on bolder wings

“In those high regions of the soul

Where Thought itself grows dim with awe.” Note, p. 350. «King Solomon. My knowledge of the Rabbinical legend which suggested this poem is one among the many debts I owe to my friend R. B. I hope these lines may remind him of hours which his society rendered precious and delightful to me, and which are among the most pleasant memories

of my life.” 1880. “Poets in the Pulpit.' By the Rev. H. R. Haweis, M.A. (Vice-Pres. of the

Browning Soc.), London. Sampson, Low & Co. 1880. With Woodbury-type photographs of the Poets treated. Robert Browning, p. 116-143. Foretalk; Browning's Characteristics : including a happy contrast of B.'s Prospice and Pope's Dying Christian to his Soul. Then, an account of B.'s Christmas-Eve. Sketchy, but of worth. p. 121 : 'He is chiefly dear to the age as a feeler and thinker ;

he is also dear because knowing all, and having been racked with its doubts, and stretched upon the mental torture-wheels of its despair ; having sounded cynicism and pessimism to their depths . . , he sometimes firmly, and sometimes faintly [?], trusts the larger hope, but always in the last analysis and residuum of thought, -trusts. Coming from such a mind, such a buoyant Inessage this vexed and storm-tossed age will not willingly let die. It clings to Browning ... Br. is our friend ; we take him by the hand; we feel we can trust him; he is equally incapable of lying or cajolery. We say to him ... you have the insight and sensibility of the poet, the soul of an artist ; you pre


all save



tend to look on, and analyze, and describe, sometimes coldly, even cynically;
but you care not if we see the honest, generous face through the thin niask; for
in reality you agonize over all you do: you know all, and see all ; nothing eludes
the vigilance of your incisive intellect : and what lies beyond its reach is brought
fluttering to your feet by flashes of surprizing (p. 123) intuition. And the
faculty for which we prize you most is just this, that you have an inexhaustible
interest in human nature ; that you love “men and women"; that you believe
in the soul and in God. . . (p. 126.) There was never a poet at once so graphic
—so capable of painting with a few spots of colour,—and yet so independent of
what is graphic and external. Caliban is full of an eastern glow of colour, a
minute detail and observation of external nature, worthy of a naturalist; but
the whole is nothing but a mental drama played out on the lowest level of
human intelligence, as Luria is a drama played out on the highest. All
Browning's poems are nothing but “ dramas of the inner life”
the unseen motives which pass “ hither and thither dividing the swift mind,”
is framework .. or so much paint, which might be rubbed off, and still leave
the contour of his work perfect. throughout, one great moral quality
emerges . the passionate love of truth rather than repose ... Through all
its contradictory writings he will know and have the very heart in man and

He is a great unveiler; he tears off the mask, tramples the sham underfoot, shows people to themselves and to the world, weighs them in the balance, tries them in the (p. 128) crucible, sets the pure gold in his heart of hearts (forgive the mixt_metaphor), and flings the dross passionately to the four winds of heaven. For him no rounded whole, no sham consistency, at the expense of truth. Let us all stand firm, and be judged with all our imperfections on our heads—"nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice.” In Browning the unattainable is never attained, the ideal is never reached : there is never a perfect saint or villain throughout the whole of his works. Yet is he no pessimist, no real cynic; for the sense of Divine perfection is also never lost; it is the deep undertone of life, amid its wildest discords. He is passionately wedded to this world ; everything about it is full of teeming interest for him; and yet the motto he has selected for death rules life—it is

the eternal “ Prospice” or “ Beyond.” 1880. English Literature,' by Stopford Brooke, M. A., 1880. A fine paragraph on

R. B. occurs on pages 183-4 under head of Modern English Poetry.'-F. H. E. 1880. ‘British Quarterly Review,'July 1, p. 235-6. A short notice of Br.'s Selections,

second series, and of his Selections from E. B. B. 1880. Dramatic Idyls. Second Series. Reviewd in The Standard,' July 8 ; 'Daily

News'; 'Glasgow Evening Citizen,' July 24 ; ‘Pall Mall Gazette,' July 26.–

Orr. 1880. “British Quarterly Review,' Oct. 1. Short notice of Dramatic Idyls. Second

Series.' p. 506-7. 1880. ‘British Quarterly Review,' Oct. 1. Art. I. Tennyson's Poems,' p. 273-291.

A keen but somewhat unsympathetic critical review of Tennyson, contrasting him in several points with “his great rival, Mr. Browning.' On p. 275, “The great poets who present the most difficulty are loved by their students with a passion often in proportion to the difficulty with which they are approached; and those students can never for a moment believe that the more popular poet is worthy to stand beside their own chosen one. Æschylus and Euripides, Dante and Tasso, Wordsworth and Scott, Browning and Tennyson, are instances of the contrast we mean : the first of each pair is incomparably the higher poet; but the multitude who read for relaxation and not for study, for facile delight and not for wise counsel, for titillation of fancy and not for the calm satisfaction of intellect, will never believe it, nor are they able to understand or apprehend it.” p. 275-7 discuss the ease of Tennyson, and contrast the difficulty of Br. Take Mr. Browning in “Fear death ?-to feel the fog, in my throat,” &c. [Prospice). p. 277, To put this highly elliptical passage into prose would need no mere transposition of words, but a paraphrase ; it requires and repays study; but the students are to the readers of poetry as, perhaps, one in a hundred.” p. 279, “We may instance the use of older material by Mr. Browning in his

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Dramatic Idyls. It was at once pointed out by many critics, that 'Halbert and Hob' is the expansion of a few lines in Aristotle's Ethics; and the first incident of Iran Ivanovitch is a story told wherever Russian life and Russian wolves are named. The true artist has seized the principle only of Aristotle's story, and given it a special English and puritan interest; while in the sequel to the poor (Russian) mother's tale, he rises to the rank of the creator, the original poetic genius.” p. 284, “Mr. Tennyson's . . . fastidious taste has preserved him from all temptation to tours de force, to surprises exciting now and then our admiration, now and then our anger. There is nothing half so clever as Browning's Le Byron de nos jours, with its quaint double rhymes, its metre and rhythm, apart from anything which had ever been done before. There are no deliberate roughnesses before or after passages of sweet sound, as though to point the contrast ; no astonishing rhymes as in Browning and his sweet and strong poet-wife.” p. 286, “Mr. Browning ... is suffused and penetrated with his subject, is for the time a lawyer, or follows every tortuous winding of the character he analyzes, as a surgeon lays bare nerves with his scalpel.” p. 288, “Mr. Tennyson is in no sense dramatic. His great rival, Mr. Browning, has a marvellous power of placing himself in the position of bis heroes. Bishop Blougram, Sludge, Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau live before us scarce less vividly as real persons than do Hamlet or Macbeth. It is true they all express themselves in the words of Browning, and that those words have a marked idiosyncrasy, but the characters are defined ; there is no confusion of persons, nor do we think for a moment that in any of his creations the poet is reproducing himself. In other words, he is truly dramatic .... Who can find

Mr. Browning in his Dramatic Idyls, in his Men and Women?” 1881. A. P. Paton. Hamnet Shakspere. Part VII. Julius Cæsar. p. xiv. “It

will be well for Robert Browning, the other Shakspere of a hundred years after this, if the editing of his Collected Works falls into the hands of men as painstaking as Heminge and Condell were ... He has, indeed, already begun to suffer, and ... he must wince not a little, to observe the changes his scrupulously-finished work occasionally undergoes. In the brief extracts in two of the reviews of La Saisiaz there were ... stimulated thunderclaps' for ‘simulated thunderclaps'; 'here fame stopped' for 'there fame stopped'; 'with my lyre

lowest, highest,' instead of at lowest, highest,' and so on. 1881. Sordello: A Story from Robert Browning, by Frederic May Holland, author

of the ‘Reign of the Stoics. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1881. p. 1-26. Tells the story of the poem, with a few extracts from it; gives 5 or 6 pages of critical notes, and states the historical basis of the work, with an englisht specimen of the real Sordello's poetry. Mr. Holland has also in MS. like stories from The Ring and the Book, Iuria, A Blot in the 'Scutcheon, The Return of the Druses, Colombe's Birthday, Pippa Passes, Red-Cotton Night-Cap Country, and Balaustion's Adventures, including the Apology of Aristophanes. George Bell & Sons, York St., Covent Garden, will publish these 'Stories from Brown

ing' soon. 1881, Oct. 28. First Meeting of the Browning Society : full 300 folk at it. Reports

of it in the Daily News' and 'Echo' of Oct. 29, “ Literary World of Nov. 4 (by Dr. P. Bayne), and ' Academy' of Nov. 5 (by Miss Hickey). Comment on it in the 'Passing Notes' of 'The Echo,' Oct. 29, and my answer to this in

'Echo,' Oct. 31. 1881. Lord Lytton (II) in Contemporary Review,' Nov. p. 763-5. R. B. is the

X who contends that The Love Sonnets of Proteus reviewd by Lord L. are not

Sonnets' in form, and have therefore no right to that name. Of R. B., Lord L. says : “X. is one of those rare poets whose inimitable genius belongs to no school; and he is now in the full enjoyment of a long-merited renown.

Like many other genuine writers, he is not much indebted to the critics for his fame. It was not they who introduced him to the public. The public has introduced

him to them. 1881. Nov. 11. Preliminary Meeting of the Cambridge Browning Society, in King's

Combination Room, the Rev. Prof. Westcott in the Chair. Addresses by him and Dr. Chas. Waldstein. A Committee of ten appointed to draw up the Rules of, and organize the Society. See Academy, Nov, 5 and 26.

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1881. Nov. 9, First Circular. Nov. 22, List of Members (10,' besides 8 Hon. Mem.

bers) and Rules of the Oxford Browning Society, at its First Meeting held in Balliol Common Room, A. C. Bradley of Balliol in the Chair. Paper read by the Rev. the Hon. Arthur Lyttelton, on the leading ideas of Browning's Poetry. Second Meeting, Dec. 6: Mr. Lyttelton in the Chair. Paper on Browning's Critics, by Mr. Paton Ker. Mr. S. L. Lee of Balliol is the Hon. Sec. See

Academy, Dec. 3. 1881. “Gentleman's Magazine,' Dec. (No. 1812, vol. 251), p. 682-695. Review of

The Ring and the Book, by James Thomson of our Society's Committee, another of The City of Dreadful Night,' &c.; highly praising B.'s wonderful creation, likening it to a Gothic cathedral (see p. 141 abuv), with its gurgoyles of the

Lawyers' arguments, justifying its many tellings of the story, &c. 1881, Dec. 1. Scribner's 'Century Magazine,' p. 189-200: two portraits, and an Article

by Mr. E. W. Gosse on "The Early Writings of Mr. Robert Browning: ” an important article, as all the information came from the poet himself. It states that Br. began to write poetry as a very little boy; at 12 had enough Byronic poems to form a volume, but could naturally get no one to publish them : Miss Sarah Flower showd them to W.J. Fox, and after Fox's death in 1864, his daughter gave back to Br. his youthful productions. About 1825, Br. got all Shelley's works, and Keats's, and they changed him. “He plann'd a series of monodramatic epics, narratives of the life of typical souls—a gigantic scheme,” of which Pauline only remains. His aunt gave him the money to print Pauline. Dante Rosetti so admired this poem that he copied it all out, and afterwards wrote to Br. at Florence about it. Br.'s father paid for the printing of Paracelsus. At Fox's house on Nov. 27, 1835, Br. made Macready's acquaintance; and at Macready's house, on Dec. 31, 1835 and Jan. 1, 1836, Jn. Forster's. Macready suggested that Br. should write him a play, “and the subject of Narses, the eunuch who conquer'd Italy for Justinian," was discusst between them. At Talfourd's Ion dinner, May 26, 1836 (p. 109 abuv), Wordsworth, leaning across the table, said, with august affability, “I am proud to drink your health, Mr. Browning On leaving Talfourd's, Macready said, “Write a play, Browning, and keep me from going to America! .,” Mr. Br. simply replied : “Shall it be historical and English? What do you say to a drama on Strafford ?” This was publisht by Longmans, at their own cost. Before 1840, Br, wrote K. Victor and K. Charles, and Mansur the Hierophant, rebaptized on publication by the name of The Return of the Druses. Sordello was begun in 1838 [?], finisht and printed in 1840. Moxon the publisher suggested that Br. should print liis poems in M.'s cheap series of old dramatists, &c., and so 8 nos. of Bells and Pomegranates came out in it. Dramatic Lyrics I. being too short, the printer's devil came for more copy, and Br. “ gave him a jeu d'esprit which he had written for Willie Macready (see p. 45, abuv, note], and which he had had no idea of publishing. This was The Pied Piper of Hamelin, which has probably introduced its author's name into hundreds of thousands of homes where otherwise it never would have penetrated.” The full story is then told of Macready's maneuvres, first to get out of having the Blot play'd, as he had promist, and then to take the hero's part out of Phelps's hands. Macready was nearly bankrupt, and hardly himself. (B. wouldn't let me give these details

before.) Mr. Gosse's article should be bought by all our Members. 1881. 'Fanfulla della Domenica,' 4 dicembre. Roma. 'Agli ammiratori del poeta di

Men and Women. Notizie preziose che raccolgo dall' Academy.' A note of the foundation of the Browning Society, of the Century article, and of Mr. Radford's identification of the Andrea del Sarto picture and poem, with my letter about it (p. 148, below). The result is prettily put : “Così il mondo dell'arte ebbe

due fortune ; di avere una copia di meno, è un capolavoro di più.' 1 The Society was limited in order that it might meet in the comfortable CommonRoom of the College of the Chairman and Host of each Meeting. But the 40 (the number of the French Academy as well as the Forty Thieves) represent all classes of the University-15 Graduates, 15 Undergraduates, and 10 ladies.

2 Thus had the world of Art two good haps; to have one copy the less, and one master-piece the more.


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