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Letters of Edward FitzGerald to Fanny Kemble (1871-1883)

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LETTERS OF EDWARD FITZGERALD TO FANNY KEMBLE (1871-1883)***

Transcribed from the 1902 Macmillan and Co. edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

LETTERS OF EDWARD FITZGERALD TO FANNY KEMBLE 1871-1883

EDITED BY WILLIAM ALDIS WRIGHT

London MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1902

_All rights reserved_

_First Edition_ 1895 _Second Edition_ 1902

{Edward FitzGerald. From a photograph by Mess. Cade & Wight, Ipswich: pi.jpg}

Of the letters which are contained in the present volume, the first eighty-five were in the possession of the late Mr. George Bentley, who took great interest in their publication in _The Temple Bar Magazine_, and was in correspondence with the Editor until within a short time of his death. The remainder were placed in the Editor's hands by Mrs. Kemble in 1883, and of these some were printed in whole or in part in FitzGerald's Letters and Literary Remains, which first appeared in 1889.

TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, 20_th_ _June_ 1895.

{Frances Anne Kemble. Engraved by J. G. Stodart from the original painting by Sully in the possession of the Hon. Mrs. Leigh: pii.jpg}

LETTERS OF EDWARD FITZGERALD TO FANNY KEMBLE 1871-1883

'Letters . . . such as are written from wise men, are, of all the words of man, in my judgment the best.'--BACON.

The following letters, addressed by Edward FitzGerald to his life-long friend Fanny Kemble, form an almost continuous series, from the middle of 1871 to within three weeks of his death in 1883. They are printed as nearly as possible as he wrote them, preserving his peculiarities of punctuation and his use of capital letters, although in this he is not always consistent. In writing to me in 1873 he said, 'I love the old Capitals for Nouns.' It has been a task of some difficulty to arrange the letters in their proper order, in consequence of many of them being either not dated at all or only imperfectly dated; but I hope I have succeeded in giving them, approximately at least, in their true sequence. The notes which are added are mainly for the purpose of explaining allusions, and among them will be found extracts from other letters in my possession which have not been published. The references to the printed 'Letters' are to the separate edition in the Eversley Series, 2 vols. (Macmillans, 1894).

In a letter to Mr. Arthur Malkin, October 15, 1854 ('Further Records,' ii. 193), Mrs. Kemble enunciates her laws of correspondence, to which frequent reference is made in the present series as the laws of the Medes and Persians: 'You bid me not answer your letter, but I have certain _organic laws_ of correspondence from which nothing short of a miracle causes me to depart; as, for instance, I never write till I am written to, I always write when I am written to, and I make a point of always returning the same amount of paper I receive, as you may convince yourself by observing that I send you two sheets of note-paper and Mary Anne only half one, though I have nothing more to say to you, and I have to her.'

WILLIAM ALDIS WRIGHT.

_January_ 1895.

I.

WOODBRIDGE, _July_ 4, [1871.]

DEAR MRS. KEMBLE,

I asked Donne to tell you, if he found opportunity, that some two months ago I wrote you a letter, but found it so empty and dull that I would not send it to extort the Reply which you feel bound to give. I should have written to tell you so myself; but I heard from Donne of the Wedding soon about to be, and I would not intrude then. Now that is over {3a}--I hope to the satisfaction of you all--and I will say my little say, and you will have to Reply, according to your own Law of Mede and Persian.

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