October 1856-July 1857

The Collected Letters, Volume 32


THOMAS CARLYLE'S COMMENTS ON ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING'S AURORA LEIGH; 2004; DOI: 10.1215/ed-32-comments-on-aurora-leigh; CL 32: lastpage-32-223-lastpage-32-242


TC’s comments on Aurora Leigh, Dec. 1856–12 Jan. 1857. MS: Univ. of London Lib. [Sterling Lib., Senate House] [S. L.] I [Browning, E. B.—1857]. Hitherto unpbd. The comments and markings have been numbered, 1–63. Before each item, the page number and the relevant passage from the Senate House copy of the 1857 edn. are provided; as this edn. has no line numbers, they are supplied from Margaret Reynolds's edn. of the poem. TC’s marking of the text on the Senate House copy is indicated, and his comments are given in bold.

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Sample page of Thomas Carlyle's comments on Aurora Leigh

Courtesy of University of London Library


The friendship of TC and Elizabeth Barrett began in letters. Writing to TC in 1844, Barrett wrote of “his genius” and “his teaching,” as well as her own “high respect” and “honest admiration” (Aug. 14; Kelley 9:99). On the same day, she told Mary Russell Mitford that she had taken “a great gasp of courage” and sent TC a copy of her Poems (Kelley 9:101). In his reply to Barrett, TC praised the volume but advised her, as he advised all poets, to write prose instead of verse (see TC to JBA, 10 Sept. 1844). Undaunted, Barrett wrote a significant portion of an essay on TC for R. H. Horne's A New Spirit of the Age (1844; see Kelley 8:353–59), and referred to him as “a gifted painter and poet” who “proceeds, like a poet, rather by analogy and subtle association than by uses of logic” (Kelley 8:356). The next year, recalling TC's response to her poetry, she asked Robert Browning whether he shared her sense of TC as a poet:

For him to have thought ill of me, would not have been strange. I often think ill of myself, as God knows. But for Carlyle to think of putting away, even for a season, the poetry of the world, was wonderful, and has left me ruffled in my thoughts ever since. I do not know him personally at all. But as his disciple I ventured (by an exceptional motive) to send him my poems, and I heard from him as a consequence. ‘Dear & noble’ he is indeed“and a poet unaware himself; all but the sense of music. You feel it so“do you not? (17 Feb. 1845; Kelley 10:81)

She remained “ruffled” by TC's attacks, and in a letter to Browning in 1846, challenged his assumptions about poetry and the superiority of men such as Cromwell: “[H]is praise for dumb heroic action as opposed to speech & singing, what is that“when all earnest thought, passion, belief, & their utterances, are as much actions surely as the cutting off of fifty heads by one right hand. As if Shakespeare's actions were not greater than Cromwell's!” (31 Jan.; Kelley 12:39). But Barrett continued to believe that TC was “the great teacher of the age,” as well as “a poet” (Kelley 10:101), and when she finally met him with Robert (now her husband) in 1846, they liked each other. The Brownings remained good friends with TC, traveling with him and the Ashburtons to Paris in 1851 and corresponding regularly (see TC to JWC, 28 Sept. 1851). As Barrett Browning remarked to Mitford, “[Y]ou come to understand perfectly, when you know him, that his bitterness is only melancholy, & his scorn, sensibility” (22 Oct. 1851; Mitford 3:331). While she continued to respect and admire TC, by the time that Aurora Leigh was published in November 1856, Barrett Browning no longer needed his approval. Her popularity as the leading “poetess” of the age was confirmed by the sales of the book“the first edition sold out in a week, and the second in a month.

But TC had strongly influenced Barrett Browning's conception of herself in the poem as a heroic woman of letters, and it is perhaps fortunate that she never read the marginal comments he made on the volume (1857) now in the Senate House Library. This annotated first edition (8vo., 18.8 x 12.0 cm., original red cloth, repaired) may have been the copy that Ruskin lent to TC (see Wilson 5:297), who then apparently lent it to someone else, for he wrote on the flyleaf: “To be returned (by and by), not being properly mine / T.C. 3 feby” (TC's final comment on the poem is dated 12 Jan. 1857). This may also be the copy (duly returned) that TC passed on to his sister Jean Carlyle Aitken: “Aurora Leigh will evidently never be asked for again: keep it therefore with my blessing” (TC to JCA, 12 March 1857). From Jean, it presumably passed to her daughter, Mary Carlyle Aitken, for when the volume was later “recased,” the binder noted on the title page, “Case / Miss Aitken.” It was bought by Sir Louis Sterling, who gave it to University of London Library as part of his bequest in 1956.

To a certain extent, TC's comments reflect the estimation of the poem that he gives to his brother in TC to JAC, 25 Jan. 1857: “[T]his Lady ‘hath a good utterance of speech;’ but as to the thing said with it, one asks Is it a thing at all“A sad pack of people these rhymesters of our time!” In the marginalia to “Distilled to a mere drop, falling like a tear / Upon the world's cold cheek to make it burn / For ever” (Reynolds 1:1008–10), TC responds, “ach Gott!” (1857:37). Barrett Browning's “Innocent, / My sister! let the night be ne'er so dark, / The moon is surely somewhere in the sky” (Reynolds 6:787–89) prompts TC to exclaim, “The facts? Come to the Facts!” (1857:257). Also in the margin, TC repeats his call for poets to write in prose: “How much better had all of this been if written straight forward in clear prose utterance!” (1857:41).

There are positive annotations, such as “voila!” (1857:39) and “‘devilish fine!’” (1857:85), as well as ambivalent, such as at the end of book 2: “fine spun, very“cobweb?” (1857:88). TC's humor is also apparent in many of the comments. For example, when Barrett Browning writes, “We had a strange and melancholy walk: / The night came drizzling downward in dark rain” (Reynolds 4:393–94), TC asks, “Why not call a cab?” (1857:149). His ultimate comment on the poem, however, indicates rather more “scorn” than “sensibility”: “A very beautiful tempest in a teapot. What a gift of utterance this high child has,“and how very weak and childlike all it has to say. / 12 jany, 1857” (1857:403).

The editors have had access to a transcription and photocopies of the Senate House volume that were completed by Rodger L. Tarr in the early 1970s. In addition, Hilary Smith, a former editor of the CL, obtained another copy of a transcription from the late J. C. Walworth, who was special collections librarian at University of London Library in 1994. All available transcriptions and photocopies have been rechecked against the original volume in Senate House. The editors wish to thank Tarr, Smith, and Alun Ford, administrator, Historic Collections, University of London Senate House Library, for their help.

Brent Kinser and David Sorensen


Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. Aurora Leigh. London: Chapman & Hall, 1857. Wise: Ashley Lib., I.101, Senate House, Univ. of London Lib. — Aurora Leigh. Ed. Margaret Reynolds. Athens: Ohio Univ. Press, 1992. —. The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Mary Russell Mitford, 1836–1854. 3 vols. Waco, Tex.: Armstrong Browning Lib., 1983. Browning, Robert, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The Brownings' Correspondence. Ed. Philip Kelley, Ronald Hudson, and Scott Lewis. 15 vols. to present. Winfield, Kans.: Wedgestone, 1984–.



1. On the flyleaf, written vertically, middle of the page:

To be returned (by and by), not being properly mine

T. C. (3 feby)

Book 1

2. 5; 1:112–16

Because unmothered babes, he thought, had need
Of mother nature more than others use,
And Pan's white goats, with udders warm and full
Of mystic contemplations, come to feed
Poor milkless lips of orphans like his own—

1:115, “Of mystic contemplations,” overscored. In the right margin at 115: of that!

3. 9; 1:235–38

Then the bitter sea
Inexorably pushed between us both,
And sweeping up the ship with my despair
Threw us out as a pasture to the stars.

1:238, “as a pasture” is overscored. In the right margin at 1:237–38: !

4. 13–14; 1:360–62

From that day, she did
Her duty to me, (I appreciate it
In her own word as spoken to herself)

1:361 marked vertically at left with a double line

5. 14; 1:369–71

Alas, a mother never is afraid
Of speaking angerly to any child,
Since love, she knows, is justified of love.

Lines are marked vertically at left. Outside this mark, in the left margin, at 1:371: Twaddle?

6. 15; 1:399–402

I learnt my complement of classic French
(Kept pure of Balzac and neologism,)
And German also, since she liked a range
Of liberal education,—tongues, not books.

Diagonal line (\) beginning just above “French,” extending into the right margin, and ending at 1:401. Outside this mark, in the right margin: goodish

7. 15; 1:415–18

I learnt much music,—such as would have been
As quite impossible in Johnson's day
As still it might be wished—fine sleights of hand
And unimagined fingering, shuffling off

Lines marked vertically at right.

8. 16; 1:419–21

The hearer's soul through hurricanes of notes
To a noisy Tophet; and I drew . . costumes
From French engravings

1:419–20 marked vertically at left, continuing the line marking of 1:415–18.

9. 16; 1:422–26

I washed in
From nature, landscapes, (rather say, washed out.)
I danced the polka and Cellarius,
Spun glass, stuffed birds, and modelled flowers in wax,
Because she liked accomplishments in girls.

In the left margin: 1:424 is marked with a slanting (\), elongated, backward s-shaped line, the first quarter of which is doubled.

10. 16; 1:444–46

And English women, she thanked God and sighed,
(Some people always sigh in thanking God)
Were models to the universe.

1:445 is marked with what appear to be two arrows, > >.

11. 19; 1:517–21

Whereof the nightmare sate upon his youth
Repressing all its seasonable delights,
And agonising with a ghastly sense
Of universal hideous want and wrong
To incriminate possession.

1:517–20 are marked with a vertical line on the right margin, outside of which appears an elongated ?

12. 20; 1:551–56

Always Romney Leigh
Was looking for the worms, I for the gods.
A godlike nature his; the gods look down,
Incurious of themselves; and certainly
’Tis well I should remember, how, those days,
I was a worm too, and he looked on me.

1:552–56 marked vertically at left margin. Outside of this mark, at 1:554: snappish.

13. 22; 1:605–14

The vigorous sun would catch it up at eve
And use it for an anvil till he had filled
The shelves of heaven with burning thunderbolts,
And proved he need not rest so early:“then,
When all his setting trouble was resolved
To a trance of passive glory, you might see
In apparition on the golden sky
(Alas, my Giotto's background!) the sheep run
Along the fine clear outline, small as mice
That run along a witch's scarlet thread.

Lines marked vertically at left margin. Outside of this mark, at 1:613: so?

14. 26; 1:706–9

We gloriously forget ourselves, and plunge
Soul-forward, headlong, into a book's profound,
Impassioned for its beauty and salt of truth—
’Tis then we get the right good from a book.

Lines marked vertically at left margin. Outside of this mark, at 1:709: oh, yes

15. 32; 1:881–86

My own best poets, am I one with you,
That thus I love you,—or but one through love?
Does all this smell of thyme about my feet
Conclude my visit to your holy hill
In personal presence, or but testify
The rustling of your vesture through my dreams

Lines marked vertically at left margin. Outside of this mark, at 1:884: can't say

16. 34; 1:939–42

I dare not: ’tis too easy to go mad,
And ape a Bourbon in a crown of straws;
The thing's too common.

Lines marked vertically at left margin. Outside of this mark, at 1:942: don't!

17. 36–37; 1:1007–11

And died, not young,“(the life of a long life,
Distilled to a mere drop, falling like a tear
Upon the world's cold cheek to make it burn
For ever;) by that strong excepted soul,
I count it strange, and hard to understand,

1:1008–11 marked at right margin. Outside of this mark, between 1:1009–10: ach Gott!

18. 39; 1:1063–66

I clenched my brows across
My blue eyes greatening in the looking-glass,
And said, ‘We'll live, Aurora! we'll be strong.
The dogs are on us—but we will not die.’

1:1065–66 marked vertically at right. Outside of this mark, between 1:1065–66: voilà!

19. 41; at the end of Book 1 (which ends at 1:1145)

How much better had all this been if written straight forward in clear prose utterance!

Book 2

20. 60; 2:482–83

It takes the ideal, to blow a hair's-breadth off
The dust of the actual.

In the left margin between 2:483–84: “grach”

21. 85; 2:1162–69

As I spoke, I tore
The paper up and down, and down and up
And crosswise, till it fluttered from my hands,
As forest-leaves, stripped suddenly and rapt
By a whirlwind on Valdarno, drop again,
Drop slow, and strew the melancholy ground
Before the amazèd hills … why, so, indeed,
I'm writing like a poet,

In the left margin between 2:1165–66: “devilish fine!—”

22. 88; at the end of Book 2, after line 1248

fine-spun very,—cobweb?

Book 3

23. 111; 3:607–13

For the heart,
Made firewood for his sake, and flaming up
To his very face . . he warmed his feet at it;
But deigned to let my carriage stop him short
In park or street,—he leaning on the door,
With news of the committee which sate last
On pickpockets at suck.

3:610–13 marked vertically at the right. Outside this mark at 3:612: curi'sh!

24. 116; 3:750–58

What, if even God
Were chiefly God by living out Himself
To an individualism of the Infinite,
Eterne, intense, profuse,—still throwing up
The golden spray of multitudinous worlds
In measure to the proclive weight and rush
Of His inner nature,—the spontaneous love
Still proof and outflow of spontaneous life?
Then live, Aurora!

3:750, “if” underscored. 3:751–57 marked vertically at left. Outside the mark at 3:755–56: “If!”

25. 120; 3:861–65

The harvest at wet seasons,—or, at need,
Assisting the Welsh drovers, when a drove
Of startled horses plunged into the mist
Below the mountain-road, and sowed the wind
With wandering neighings.

3:863–65 marked vertically at left.

26. 126; 3:1034–39

And yet she knitted hose
Not ill, and was not dull at needlework;
And all the country people gave her pence
For darning stockings past their natural age,
And patching petticoats from old to new,
And other light work done for thrifty wives.

3:1037 ticked at left.

27. 133; at the end of Book 3, after 3:1243

watery but pretty. “A high child”!—

Book 4

28. 136; 4:37–43

She could not leave a solitary soul
To founder in the dark, while she sate still
And lavished stitches on a lady's hem
As if no other work were paramount.
‘Why, God,’ thought Marian, ‘has a missing hand
This moment; Lucy wants a drink, perhaps.
Let others miss me! never miss me, God!’

4:41, ‘Why, God,’” is overscored. 4:43, “me, God!” is overscored. In left margin at 4:43 and with a second line extending into the space between stanzas: Wie hübsch / ist doch an einem grossen Herrn! [What a pretty thing for such a grown man to say!]

29. 139; 4:125–31

Let us lean
And strain together rather, each to each,
Compress the red lips of this gaping wound,
As far as two souls can,—ay, lean and league,
I, from my superabundance,—from your want,
You,—joining in a protest ’gainst the wrong
On both sides!

Final two lines marked at right with a diagonal slash (/). Outside of mark in right margin: “devh fine!”

30. 149; 4:393–98

We had a strange and melancholy walk:
The night came drizzling downward in dark rain;
And, as we walked, the colour of the time,
The act, the presence, my hand upon his arm,
His voice in my ear, and mine to my own sense,
Appeared unnatural.

4:394–95 marked vertically at right. Outside of mark in right margin: why not call a cab?

31. 156; 4:575–86

We call those, faces? men's and women's . . ay,
And children's;—babies, hanging like a rag
Forgotten on their mother's neck,—poor mouths,
Wiped clean of mother's milk by mother's blow,
Before they are taught her cursing. Faces! . . phew,
We'll call them vices festering to despairs,
Or sorrows petrifying to vices: not
A finger-touch of God left whole on them;
All ruined, lost—the countenance worn out
As the garments, the will dissolute as the acts,
The passions loose and draggling in the dirt
To trip the foot up at the first free step!—

4:577–85 marked vertically at left.

32. 164; 4:813–15

He ended. There was silence in the church;
We heard a baby sucking in its sleep
At the farthest end of the aisle.

4:814–15 marked vertically at left. Outside of mark in left margin: you did?

33. 165–66; 4:851–54

As huntsmen throw the ration to the pack,
Who, falling on it headlong, dog on dog
In heaps of fury, rend it, swallow it up
With yelling hound-jaws

4:853, “In heaps of fury,” is overscored. 4:853 also marked with reverse tick at right.

34. 170; 4:965–69

For what remains,
An over-generous friend will care for me,
And keep me happy . . happier, . .
‘There's a blot!
This ink runs thick . . we light girls lightly weep …

Between 4:967–68, to the left of “‘There's a blot!”: How extremely probable the story is getting!

35. 174; 4:1087–97

He drew a chair beside me, and sate down;
And I, instinctively, as women use
Before a sweet friend's grief,—when, in his ear,
They hum the tune of comfort though themselves
Most ignorant of the special words of such,
And quiet so and fortify his brain
And give it time and strength for feeling out
To reach the availing sense beyond that sound,—
Went murmuring to him what, if written here,
Would seem not much, yet fetched him better help
Than peradventure if it had been more.

4:1096–97 marked vertically at left.

36. 178; 4:1193–98

I pressed in there; ‘The best men, doing their best,
Know peradventure least of what they do:
Men usefullest i’ the world, are simply used;
The nail that holds the wood, must pierce it first,
And He alone who wields the hammer, sees
The work advanced by the earliest blow. Take heart.’

Lines marked vertically at left. Outside of mark in left margin at 4:1197: clever child

Book 5

37. 187; 5:174–81

They'd have, in fact, to travel ten miles off
Or ere the giant image broke on them,
Full human profile, nose and chin distinct,
Mouth, muttering rythms of silence up the sky,
And fed at evening with the blood of suns;
Grand torso,—hand, that flung perpetually
The largesse of a silver river down
To all the country pastures.

5:178, “the blood of suns,” is overscored. Line is also marked vertically at right. Outside of mark in right margin: figurative very!

38. 193; 5:335–43

The growing drama has outgrown such toys
Of simulated stature, face, and speech,
It also, peradventure, may outgrow
The simulation of the painted scene,
Boards, actors, prompters, gaslight, and costume;
And take for a worthier stage the soul itself,
Its shifting fancies and celestial lights,
With all its grand orchestral silences
To keep the pauses of the rhythmic sounds.

5:339–43 marked vertically at right. Outside of mark in right margin: yes, if it must

39. 198; 5:477–86

Fame, indeed, ’twas said,
Means simply love. It was a man said that.
And then, there's love and love: the love of all
(To risk, in turn, a woman's paradox,)
Is but a small thing to the love of one.
You bid a hungry child be satisfied
With a heritage of many corn-fields: nay,
He says he's hungry,—he would rather have
That little barley-cake you keep from him
While reckoning up his harvests.

5:482–86 marked vertically at left

40. 198; 5:497–501

And since
We needs must hunger,—better, for man's love,
Than God's truth! better, for companions sweet,
Than great convictions! let us bear our weights,
Preferring dreary hearths to desert souls.

5:499–501 marked vertically at left. Inside of this mark, 5:501 is marked individually with a similar vertical stroke.

41. 202; 5:599–601

She listens on, exactly as if he talked
Some Scandinavian myth of Lemures,
Too pretty to dispute, and too absurd.

5:600, “Scandinavian” is overscored. In the left margin, also at 5:600: !

42. 216; 5:979–83

He sets his virtues on so raised a shelf,
To keep them at the grand millennial height,
He has to mount a stool to get at them;
And, meantime, lives on quite the common way,
With everybody's morals.

5:980–83 marked vertically at left.

Book 6

43. 238; 6:271–74

‘Madame, your pardon,’“there, he swerved from me
A metre, as confounded as he had heard
That Dumas would be chosen to fill up
The next chair vacant, by his ‘men in us.’

6:272, “metre,” is overscored. In the left margin: Frh yard

44. 254; 6:687–92

I dare forget [‘]Oh, my flower, my pet,
I dare forget I have you in my arms,
And fly off to be angry with the world,
And fright you, hurt you with my tempers, till
You double up your lip? Ah, that indeed
Is bad: a naughty mother!’

6:88–92 marked vertically at left. Outside of mark in left margin, in two lines: Que faire? / Que dire? [what to do? / what to say?]

45. 257; 6:784–89

And by the child, my Marian, by the child,
I'll swear his mother shall be innocent
Before my conscience, as in the open Book
Of Him who reads for judgement. Innocent,
My sister! let the night be ne'er so dark,
The moon is surely somewhere in the sky;

6:787–89 marked vertically at right. Outside of mark in right margin at 6:786–87, in two lines: The facts? / Come to the facts!

Book 7

46. 286; 7:315–26

To a wicked house in France,—from which she fled
With curses in her eyes and ears and throat,
Her whole soul choked with curses,—mad, in short,
And madly scouring up and down for weeks
The foreign hedgeless country, lone and lost,—
So innocent, male-fiends might slink within
Remote hell-corners, seeing her so defiled!
‘But you,—you are a woman and more bold.
To do you justice, you'd not shrink to face . .
We'll say, the unfledged life in the other room,
Which, treading down God's corn, you trod in sight
Of all the dogs, in reach of all the guns,“[’]

7:316–24 marked vertically at left. Outside of mark in left margin, in two lines: What a tis- / sue of crotchets!

47. 288; 7:369–74

[‘]Romney will
(I know him) push you forth as none of his,
All other men declaring it well done;
While women, even the worst, your like, will draw
Their skirts back, not to brush you in the street;
And so I warn you. I'm … Aurora Leigh.’

7:371–74 marked vertically at left. Outside of mark in left margin at 7:373: prepaid?

48. 289; 7:390–94

Stoop lower, Aurora! get the angels' leave
To creep in somewhere, humbly, on your knees,
Within this round of sequestration white
In which they have wrapt earth's foundlings, heaven's elect!

7:394, “heaven's elect!” is overscored. In the right margin: ach!

49. 304; 7:820–26

The whole strong clamour of a vehement soul
Doth utter itself distinct. Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware
More and more from the first similitude.

Small dashes in left margin at 7:821 and 7:826.

50. 312; 7:1046–55

[‘]The grass cut short, the weather changed, too late,
And stare at, as at something wonderful
For sorrow,—thinking how two hands, before
Had held up what is left to only one,
And how we smiled when such a vehement nail
Impressed the tiny dint here which presents
This verse in fire for ever!’ Tenderly
And mournfully I lived. I knew the birds
And insects,—which look fathered by the flowers
And emulous of their hues:

7:1050–54 marked vertically at left margin. Outside of this mark, at 7:1051–53: getting rath- / -er vapid?

51. 321; 7:1306–11

I did not write, nor read, nor even think,

But sate absorbed amid the quickening glooms,

Most like some passive broken lump of salt

Dropt in by chance to a bowl of œnomel,

To spoil the drink a little, and lose itself,

Dissolving slowly, slowly, until lost.

7:1309, “œn” is overscored. In right margin, also at 7:1309: hydro-(say?)

52. 321; at the end of Book 7, after 7:1311

Teapot running furiously clear now!

Book 8

53. 323; 8:1–9

ONE eve it happened, when I sate alone,
Alone, upon the terrace of my tower,
A book upon my knees, to counterfeit
The reading that I never read at all,
While Marian, in the garden down below,
Knelt by the fountain (I could just hear thrill
The drowsy silence of the exhausted day)
And peeled a new fig from that purple heap
In the grass beside her,—

8:6, “Knelt by” is overscored. 8:5–7 marked vertically at right. Outside of mark in right margin, also at 8:6: doing what?, which is underscored with a diagonal (/) line. Under this mark in the right margin, at 8:8: there!

54. 339; 8:427–36

‘You will not compass your poor ends
‘Of barley-feeding and material ease,
‘Without the poet's individualism
‘To work your universal. It takes a soul,
‘To move a body,—it takes a high-souled man,
‘To move the masses . . even to a cleaner stye:
‘It takes the ideal, to blow an inch inside
‘The dust of the actual: and your Fouriers failed,
‘Because not poets enough to understand
‘That life develops from within.’

8:428–35 bracketed together; at the point of the bracket in the right margin TC has written: whew-w-w!

55. 344; 8:558–64

But innermost
Of the inmost, most interior of the interne,
God claims his own, Divine humanity
Renewing nature,—or the piercingest verse,
Prest in by the subtlest poet, still must keep
As much upon the outside of a man,
As the very bowl. In which he dips his beard.

8:560–61, “Divine humanity / Renewing nature” is overscored. In the left margin, in two lines at 8:563: que me veux- / =tu? [what do you want of me?]

56. 347; 8:641–44

They add up nature to a naught of God
And cross the quotient. There are many, even,
Whose names are written in the Christian church
To no dishonour,—

8:642, “cross the quotient” is overscored. 8:641–43 marked vertically at right. Outside of mark in right margin: do what?

57. 347; 8:657–65

‘Beginning so, and filling up with clay
The wards of this great key, the natural world,
And fumbling vainly therefore at the lock
Of the spiritual,—we feel ourselves shut in
With all the wild-beast roar of struggling life,
The terrors and compunctions of our souls,
As saints with lions,—we who are not saints,
And have no heavenly lordship in our stare
To awe them backward![’]

8:658–62 marked vertically at right. Outside of mark on three lines in the right margin starting at 8:659: The news from Eng- / -land, tho'? The news / Then yr sermon!—

58. 351; 8:767–69

Ay, hard to God, but not to Romney Leigh!
For Romney has a pattern on his nail,
(Whatever may be lacking on the Mount)

8:769, “the Mount” is overscored. In right margin: which?

Book 9

59. 372; 9:80–89

I told him, as I tell you now, Miss Leigh,
And proved I took some trouble for his sake
(Because I knew he did not love the girl)
To spoil my hands with working in the stream
Of that poor bubbling nature,—till she went,
Consigned to one I trusted, my own maid,
Who once had lived full five months in my house,
(Dressed hair superbly) with a lavish purse
To carry to Australia where she had left
A husband, said she.

9:83–88 marked vertically at left; 9:85, “my own maid,” is overscored; 9:86, “full five months,” is overscored. Outside of mark in left margin on two lines at 9:84–86: Oh dear! / Oh dear!

60. 375; 9:167–72

[‘]I cannot choose but think
That, with him, I were virtuouser than you
Without him: so I hate you from this gulf
And hollow of my soul, which opens out
To what, except for you, had been my heaven,
And is instead, a place to curse by! LOVE.’

9:170–72 marked vertically at right with a slanted (/), elongated, s-shaped mark. Outside of this mark, on three lines in the right margin beginning at 9:172: a very natural letter this, / —many such come by the / Twopenny

61. 375; 9:178–81

‘I'm married. Is not Marian Erle my wife?
As God sees things, I have a wife and child;
And I, as I'm a man who honours God,
Am here to claim them as my child and wife.’

9:180–81 marked with a diagonal (/) mark at right. Outside of mark, on two lines in the right margin beginning at 9:181: To Bedlam with / him!—

62. 392; 9:651–67

A handful of earth
To make God's image! the despised poor earth,
The healthy odorous earth,—I missed, with it,
The divine Breath that blows the nostrils out
To ineffable inflatus: ay, the breath
Which love is. Art is much, but love is more.
O Art, my Art, thou'rt much, but Love is more!
Art symbolises heaven, but Love is God
And makes heaven. I, Aurora, fell from mine:
I would not be a woman like the rest,
A simple woman who believes in love,
And owns the right of love because she loves,
And, hearing she's beloved, is satisfied
With what contents God: I must analyse,
Confront, and question; just as if a fly
Refused to warm itself in any sun
Till such was in leone:

9:653–56 marked vertically at left. Outside of this mark, in left margin, at 9:655: Du Him̅el! [Heavens!]; 9:657–61 marked vertically at left; 9:662–63 marked vertically at left; 9:665 marked vertically at left.

63. 403; at the end of Book 9, after 9:964

A very beautiful tempest in a teapot. What a / gift of utterance this high child has,—and how very / weak and childlike all it has to say.

Comment sits above “the END.” Text to the right of this is underscored with a diagonal (/) line. Under this line: 12 jany, 1857“