Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Letter to F. S.
Author: William Holman Hunt
Date of Composition: 1848 December 20
Type of Manuscript: holograph fair copy

The full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.

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Letter to F. S.

Wednesday Night

20 December /48.
  • This morning—(No; for 'tis now past twelve,
  • And, when that is past, I think we shelve
  • Into another day)—I hoped to
  • Have heard that Browning had been read thro'
  • By Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti:
  • But, while on the stairs, loud fretted he
  • With his strangled hope; for he had been
  • Twice to Moxon's;—once with a loud din
  • He had woken them last night of “I
  • 10Want Browning,”—like small boys want taffy:
  • But, as these little heathens appeal
  • In vain, so do Early Christians feel
  • That Unless they have very strong faith,—
  • “Which, thro' repeated trials,” he saith,
  • “Was considerably weakened.”
  • “We have not got the book, but will send
  • It,” they said, “in a very few days.”
  • Dear Fred, I must cut this short: the rays
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  • From my rushlight have quite a ghostly
  • 20Look assumed,—as it doth mostly
  • In my studio, but, ere I stop,
  • Let me acquaint you that we must drop
  • Our meeting, having not our great host,
  • With whose poetry we should have dosed
  • Our guests;—do not read dozed; for, altho'
  • We do not expect them to do so,
  • Some might without our countenance,
  • As Manley does over a Scotch romance,—
  • At least has over the two he's read.
  • 30I forgot to say I went to bed
  • After “ Our Guests” I had written.
  • I had come home quite frost-bitten
  • After being presented to
  • Dukes, which was a fate I must rue
  • For ever, he is whiskery and tall
  • As the hairiest brush-wielder in Gaul:
  • He studied—(let this comfort us)—
  • Some time as cad to an omnibus;
  • By which he saved money, and, by that, rose
  • 40To the eminent painter he knows
  • Himself to be; but, thro' much struggling
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  • With different trades and much juggling
  • In different trades, he acquired that
  • Knowledge of nature that captures the flat
  • Of a prize-holder in no time.
  • I must finish this letter in rhyme
  • By sending it, for I have no other;
  • For which I deeply grieve, dear brother.
William Holman Hunt
Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: hunt001.sangms.rad.xml
Copyright: Published with the permission of Iziko Museums of Cape Town