Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 19

I am going to cheat a bit today and give look at letters from two different days. Don't mention it to anyone and perhaps no one will notice.

Browning writes a short note  to Miss Barrett on June 19, 1845:

"When I next see you, do not let me go on and on to my confusion about matters I am more or less ignorant of, but always ignorant. I tell you plainly I only trench on them, and intrench in them, from gaucherie, pure and respectable ... I should certainly grow instructive on the prospects of hay-crops and pasture-land, if deprived of this resource. And now here is a week to wait before I shall have any occasion to relapse into Greek literature when I am thinking all the while, 'now I will just ask simply, what flattery there was,' &c. &c., which, as I had not courage to say then, I keep to myself for shame now. This I will say, then—wait and know me better, as you will one long day at the end."

Miss Barrett cannot resist to respond the following day:

"If on Greek literature or anything else it is your pleasure to cultivate a reputation for ignorance, I will respect your desire—and indeed the point of the deficiency in question being far above my sight I am not qualified either to deny or assert the existence of it; so you are free to have it all your own way."

A gentle poke and a denial of all knowledge of his ignorance. Classy. 

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