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To F. G. Tuckerman

DEAR MR. TUCKERMAN,

1855

I have just returned home (ie. to Farringford) from a visit to London, during which I called on Moxon, and found your kind present of books waiting for me. I fear that you must have thought me neglectful in not immediately acknowledging them and so I should have done had I not been waiting to send along with my thanks a small volume of my own, containing some of the things I repeated to you in my little smoking-attic here. These poems, when printed, I found needed considerable elision and so the book has hung on hand.

When I arrived here I found that my small smoking-room did not smell of smoke at all, nay was even fragrant. I could not at first make it out. At last I perceived it was owing to the Russian leather on your Webster which you made mine. Even so (as some one says),

"The actions of the just

Smell sweet and blossom in the dust "—

and there was dust enough on the table almost to justify the application.

*

You will find in my little volume "The Charge of the Light Brigade." * It is

1855 LETTER TO DEAN BRADLEY

not a poem on which I pique myself, but I cannot help fancying that, such as it is, I have improved it.

Farewell and forgive my silence hitherto. I shall always remember with pleasure your coming to see me in the frost and our pleasant talk together. Did you see in your paper that the Oxford University would make me a Doctor the other day, and how the young men shouted? I am, dear Mr. Tuckerman,

Ever yours, A. TENNYSON.

To the Rev. G. G. Bradley1

DEAR MR. BRADLEY,

FARRINGFORD,

August 25th, 1855.

Many thanks for the Arnold: nobody

can deny that he is a poet.

"The Merman

was an old favourite of mine, and I like him as well as ever. "The Scholar Gipsy" is quite new to me, and I have already an affection for him, which I think will increase. There are several others which seem very good, so that altogether I may say that you have conferred a great boon upon me. I have received a Scotch paper, in which it is stated that poor "Maud " is to be slashed all to pieces by that mighty man,

1 Dean of Westminster.

that pompholygous, broad-blown Apollodorus, the gifted X. Her best friends do not expect

her to survive it!

I am yours very truly,

A. TENNYSON.

MY DEAR SIR,

From J. Ruskin

DENMARK HILL, 12th November, 1855.

I hear of so many stupid and feelingless misunderstandings of "Maud" that I think it may perhaps give you some little pleasure to know my sincere admiration of it throughout.

I do not like its versification so well as much of your other work, not because I do not think it good of its kind, but because I do not think that wild kind quite so good, and I am sorry to have another cloud put into the sky of one's thoughts by the sad story, but as to the general bearing and delicate finish of the thing in its way, I think no admiration can be extravagant.

It is a compliment to myself, not to you, if I say that I think with you in all things about the war.

I am very sorry you put the "Some one had blundered" out of the "Light Brigade."

"1

It was precisely the most tragical line in the poem. It is as true to its history as essential to its tragedy. Believe me sincerely yours, J. RUSKIN.

1 Some friends of excellent critical judgment prevailed upon him to omit this phrase which was however soon re-inserted: for it was originally the keynote of the poem.

1855 PURCHASE OF FARRINGFORD

From Herbert Spencer (about "The Two Voices")

SIR,

7 MARLBOROUGH GARDENS,

ST. JOHN'S WOOD, LONDON, 1855.

I happened recently to be re-reading your Poem "The Two Voices," and coming to the verse

Or if thro' lower lives I came-
Tho' all experience past became
Consolidate in mind and frame-

it occurred to me that you might like to glance through a book which applies to the elucidation of mental science, the hypothesis to which you refer. I therefore beg your acceptance of Psychology which I send by this

post.

With much sympathy yours,
HERBERT SPENCER.

With the proceeds of the sale of "Maud" Farringford was bought, and my mother's journal

says:

April 24th, 1856. This morning a letter came from Mr. G. S. Venables saying that Mr. Chapman pronounced the title of Farringford good. We have agreed to buy, so I suppose this ivied home among the pine-trees is ours. Went to our withy holt: such beautiful blue hyacinths, orchises, primroses, daisies, marshmarigolds and cuckoo-flowers. Wild cherry trees too with single snowy blossom, and the hawthorns white with their "pearls of May."

T. II

241

R

The park has for many days been rich with cowslips and furze in bloom. The elms are a golden wreath at the foot of the down; to the north of the house the mespilus and horsechestnut are in flower and the apple-trees are covered with rosy buds. buds. A. dug the bed ready for the rhododendrons. A thrush was singing among the nightingales and other birds, as he said "mad with joy." At sunset, the golden green of the trees, the burning splendour of Blackgang Chine and St. Catharine's, and the red bank of the primeval river, contrasted with the turkis-blue of the sea (that is our view from the drawing-room), make altogether a miracle of beauty. We are glad that Farringford is

ours.

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