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Letters of Edward FitzGerald in Two Volumes Vol. II   By: (1809-1883)

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First Edition 1894. Reprinted 1901

{The "Little Grange," Woodbridge: p0.jpg}


To E. B. Cowell .

88 GT. PORTLAND ST., LONDON, Jan. 13/59.


I have been here some five weeks: but before my Letter reaches you shall probably have slid back into the Country somewhere. This is my old Lodging, but new numbered. I have been almost alone here: having seen even Spedding and Donne but two or three times. They are well and go on as before. Spedding has got out the seventh volume of Bacon, I believe: with Capital Prefaces to Henry VII., etc. But I have not yet seen it. After vol. viii. (I think) there is to be a Pause: till Spedding has set the Letters to his Mind. Then we shall see what he can make of his Blackamoor. . . .

I am almost ashamed to write to you, so much have I forsaken Persian, and even all good Books of late. There is no one now to 'prick the Sides of my Intent'; Vaulting Ambition having long failed to do so! I took my Omar from Fraser [? Parker], as I saw he didn't care for it; and also I want to enlarge it to near as much again, of such Matter as he would not dare to put in Fraser. If I print it, I shall do the impudence of quoting your Account of Omar, and your Apology for his Freethinking: it is not wholly my Apology, but you introduced him to me, and your excuse extends to that which you have not ventured to quote, and I do. I like your Apology extremely also, allowing its Point of View. I doubt you will repent of ever having showed me the Book. I should like well to have the Lithograph Copy of Omar which you tell of in your Note. My Translation has its merit: but it misses a main one in Omar, which I will leave you to find out. The Latin Versions, if they were corrected into decent Latin, would be very much better. . . . I have forgotten to write out for you a little Quatrain which Binning found written in Persepolis; the Persian Tourists having the same propensity as English to write their Names and Sentiments on their national Monuments. {2}

In the early part of 1859 his friend William Browne was terribly injured by his horse falling upon him and lingered in great agony for several weeks.

To W. B. Donne .

GOLDINGTON, BEDFORD. March 26 [1859].


Your folks told you on what Errand I left your house so abruptly. I was not allowed to see W. B. the day I came: nor yesterday till 3 p.m.; when, poor fellow, he tried to write a line to me, like a child's! and I went, and saw, no longer the gay Lad, nor the healthy Man, I had known: but a wreck of all that: a Face like Charles I. (after decapitation almost) above the Clothes: and the poor shattered Body underneath lying as it had lain eight weeks; such a case as the Doctor says he had never known. Instead of the light utterance of other days too, came the slow painful syllables in a far lower Key: and when the old familiar words, 'Old Fellow Fitz' etc., came forth, so spoken, I broke down too in spite of foregone Resolution.

They thought he'd die last Night: but this Morning he is a little better: but no hope. He has spoken of me in the Night, and (if he wishes) I shall go again, provided his Wife and Doctor approve. But it agitates him: and Tears he could not wipe away came to his Eyes. The poor Wife bears up wonderfully.

To E. B. Cowell .



Above is the Address you had better direct to in future. I have had a great Loss. W. Browne was fallen upon and half crushed by his horse near three months ago: and though the Doctors kept giving hopes while he lay patiently for two months in a condition no one else could have borne for a Fortnight, at last they could do no more, nor Nature neither: and he sunk. I went to see him before he died the comely spirited Boy I had known first seven and twenty years ago lying all shattered and Death in his Face and Voice... Continue reading book >>

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