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Tlolland's Stories from Browning, with an Introduction by Mrs. ::: :which is just fiņisht.
:: fe has receivď the promise — from its Member, the Rev. F. E. Millson—to compile a Lexicon of Browning Allusions ; and from another Member, Mr. T. J. Wise, the undertaking to make either a Browning Concordance or Lexicon, of which, from the less cost in printing, it has chosen the Lexicon.
It has,—without the possibility of dispute,-extended the study and influence of the poet.
That study and that influence cannot, as every one knows, be so widely extended as they ought to be until at least one important and characteristic set of the Poet's works,-like Men and Women, or Dramatis Personæ,-or a distinctive Gathering from them, is issued in a shilling edition. But, as that issue has been hitherto refused, the limit fixt to Browning's influence by his publisher has been accepted as the boundary of the Society's operations. Within it, as much as possible has been done with the Society's limited means.
The Committee were gratified that at the late conferment of the degree of D.C.L. on Robert Browsing av Professor, Prof. Bryce, M.P., the mouthpiece
ce of the University, made “allusion to the Societies established to say
dy and interpret his [Browning's] poetry, an honour never before X
paid to a poet in his life-time” (Oxf. Univ. Herald, June 17, 1882).
A And individually the large majority of the Committee and the
Society's Members gladly availd themselves of the opportunity o
1382) in the pretty Gift to the Poet on his 70th Birthday (May which he receivd with such cordial and graceful welcome. has
§ 2. The experience of the Society's first year's work the shown the probable limits of its operations. Assuming, as
18, is one Committee do, that all the Members of the Society have d he their best to interest their friends in its objects, and that tas publicity given to it by the Academy and other journals his brought into the Society nearly all of those few among the poet admirers who feel bound and glad to testify openly their grati tude to him by working to spread his influence, the Committee cannot look forward to any large increase in the Society's pumbers and income. They have been, on the one hand, urged to propose the doubling of the Yearly Subscription, and on the other hand, the halving of it; but the knowledge that many Members already make a certain sacrifice to pay the annual guinea-some joining with a friend to do so-has prevented their proposal of the first alternative, and the experience of the English Dialect Society which started with a half-guinea subscription and then was obliged to raise it—as it was told by older heads on its start that it would have to do--has decided the
2. The expere limits of its opera of the Society
Committee to recommend that the Subscription to the Society shall continue to be a Guinea a Year.
$ 3. This being so, the income available for future years will probably lie between £160 and £200. Of this sum, at least £100 must be given to printing Papers and Abstracts, while the cost of Meetings, Postage and Petty Cash will be at least £20. The margin of from £40 to £80 is then all that the Society can calculate upon towards the printing of extra books like its Primers, its Lexicons of Browning's Allusions, and of Browning's Words and Phrases, and its reproduction of the Book of The Ring and the Book. Thus the need is shown for obtaining the help of Publishers and Donors in bringing out these Extra Works. Already the Committee have arranged with Messrs. George Bell and Sons to take the Browning Primer off the Society's hands; and already Prof. Corsonwho naturally desires to see Browning's Originals before him, as every Shakspere student insists on seeing Shakspere'shas offerd to head with £5 the subscription for reprinting the Collection of Latin and Italian Documents (to be edited with English side-notes), which led Browning to imagine and then to write his greatest Work. To this Reprint the Lord Chief Justice of England has half promist to write a preliminary Judgment on the evidence and pleadings, from the point of view of an English Lawyer; and the Committee trust that they may soon receive sufficient additions to Prof. Corson's subscription, to enable them to send the Book to Press. Mrs. Reinagle has promist £3. The cost will probably be £100.
§ 4. Looking still to the Society's small Income, the Committee propose that for the second year of its existence, 1882-3, the Society's Publications shall be only such of the following works as the Funds will pay for :3. The Browning Society's Papers, 1881-4. Part III, p. 259-3?? 1*-??*.
[Nearly ready. 13. Mr. Bury on Browning's Philosophy. 14. Prof. JOHNSON on Bishop Blougram. 15. Prof. CORSON on “ Personality, and Art as its vice-agent, as treated
by Browning.” 16. A short Account of ABT VOGLER, by Miss Eleanor Marx. 17. The Monthly Abstract of such Papers as have not been printed in
full, and of the Discussions on all that have been discust. Part I. 4. Illustrations to Browning's Poems. Part I: Photographs of
Andrea del Sarto's Picture of himself and his Wife, in the Pitti Palace, Florence, which suggested Browning's poem Andrea del Sarto; of Fra Lippo Lippi's Coronation of the Virgin, in the Accademia delle belle Arti, Florence (the painting described at the end of Browning's Fra Lippo); and of Guercino's ‘Angel and Child,' at Fano (for The Guardian Angel); with an Introduction by ERNEST RADFORD. [In the Press. The Photographs are really.
5. Photographs of the House, 19 Warwick Crescent, W.-about to be
pulled down-where Robert Browning lives; of the Study and Room in which he wrote The Ring and the Book and many of his other Poems; of the Poet at his desk; and of his DrawingRoom.
[The Photographs have been taken. 6. The Browning Primer. This, the Society at first intended to pub
lish, but it will now be publisht by George Bell and Sons, and be their book, and will be written by Mrs. SUTHERLAND ORR.
One copy of it will be issued to each of the Society's Members. 7. The Browning Society's Papers, 1881-4. Part IV, including the
chief Papers read during the Session 1882-3, and The Monthly
Abstract, Part II. Of all these Works, except the Primer, two copies will be issued to every Member, inasmuch as, when a Paper is once set, the cost of an extra copy is only a few pence, and the sending of this copy enables Members to lend it or give it away, and thus double, or quadruple, the number of Browning Students. Extra copies of the Primer, Members can buy of the Publishers. The Photographs of Browning's house were taken this summer in consequence of the passing of the Bill which enables the property to be taken for a Railway. The house where the Poet was born has long been pulld down; that at Hatcham, near New Cross, in which he afterwards livd, still stands, but has been much alterd.
§ 5. Suggestions have been made to the Committee that the Society should give some of its Meetings, not to Papers on, but to Readings of, Browning's Poems, and then talking them over; that is, that the Society should sometimes turn itself into a large Reading-party or Club. Now the distinction between a Literary or Scientific Society and a Reading-party or Club is well known : the latter is preparatory and supplementary to the former; and as the New Shakspere and other Societies are supplemented by private Reading-parties or Clubs, so should the Browning Society be. The Society has only eight Meetings for Papers in the year, and so long as Papers can be obtaind, the Committee cannot recommend the displacement of any of them by a Reading. Still, after having devoted their first Session to Business, the Committee were glad to assign an extra Meeting to Amusement, and accordingly the evening of Friday, June 30, was given to Readings and Recitations of some of Browning's Works, and the singing of some of his Songs that have been set to Music. The success of the experiment has made the Committee recommend its yearly repetition. And possibly the fifth Friday of some other month may be devoted to a like purpose.
§ 6. Assuming then that the Society will adopt the Committee's view, a List of the Papers to be read during the Session 1882-3 has been prepared, and is in the new Prospectus which will be in Members' hands at the Annual Meeting with this Report. But while the Meetings of the First Session were thrown open to the Public, the Committee propose that those of the Second Session shall be confined to Members only, and the one friendnot two as heretofore--that each Member may introduce. The numbers attending the Meetings have varied from 300 to 100, and the largeness of the Lecture-Theatre, the distance of the andience from the Reader and one another, and the reluctance of women to speak in such an area and before such a public, have prevented the full discussion of the Papers that would have doubtless taken place in a smaller room. The Meetings will therefore be held henceforth in the smaller College Councilroom, where the Philological and New Shakspere Societies always meet; and that this will lead to more free discussion, the Committee cannot doubt.
§ 7. The Founders' Prospectus of the Society said,
Founders and Promoters. At that day's Meeting, after the experience
The Committee accordingly propose that the following Laws -which are only slightly varied from those of other Societies of longer standing—be adopted as the Society's Rules : I.-The Browning Society has for its object the study, discussion, and
illustration of the Works of Robert Browning, the publication of Papers and Books on them, and generally the extension of the
study and influence of the Poet. II.—The Subscription-which constitutes Membership, on approval by
the Committee--shall be One Guinea a year, payable in advance
on the 1st of July of every year, III.-An Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held in London
at such time and place as the Committee shall from time to time
appoint. IV.--The Society shall elect a President, and not more than 16 Vice
Presidents as and when it thinks fit. The affairs of the Society shall be conducted by a Committee of twenty Members, with a Treasurer, and an Honorary Secretary. The Committee shall have power to fill up occasional vacancies in their number during
the year. V.-At every Annual Meeting all the Officers of the Society shall retire
from office, but all shall be eligible for re-election except four Members of the Committee. Mr. Furnivall and Miss E. H. Hickey, the Founders of the Society, shall be Life-Members of
the Committee. VI.-The accounts of the receipts and expenditure of the Society shall be
audited annually by two Auditors appointed by the Committee. VII.-Every Member (whose subscription shall not be in arrear) shall bo
entitled to two copies of each of the ordinary works publisht by the Society for the current yoar.
VIII.-No alteration shall be made in these Rules except at an Annual
Meeting, or at a Special General Meeting called upon the requisition of at least five members, and held at their cost. One month's previous notice of the change to be proposed shall be given in writing to the Honorary Secretary, and the alteration proposed must be approved by at least three-fourths of the
Members present at such Meeting. With regard to the Society's Officers, the Committee have not yet been able to find a President whom they can recommend to the Society. The choice lies between a man of rank or high literary reputation, who shall be elected for his life, and a Working President who shall be changed every two or three years. The Committee think that the Post should be left vacant for another year, and that then, if no Life President can be found, a working one should be appointed.
For the other Officers the Committee recommend the following Members, of whom the most have managed the Society hitherto, and brought it to such state of efficiency as it has attaind. To their deep regret one honourd name is missing from the list, that of their dead Colleague, the Poet James Thomson, whose genuine admiration for Browning, with the indisputable reasons for it, has already been recorded in the Society's Papers, and who, the Committee trusted, would have lived to work with and teach them for years. James Thomson's loss is one to English Literature as well as his fellow-members of the Browning Society.
Vice-Presidents : WALTER BACHE, Esq.
| SIR FREDERIC LEIGHTON, P.R.A. The Rev. J. LLEWELYN DAVIES, The Rev. The Hon. A. LYTTELTON, M.A.
.M.A. ALFRED DOMETT, Esq.
MONSIEUR J. MILSAND. The Rev. H. R. HAWEIS, M.A. The Viscountess MOUNT-TEMPLE. HENRY IRVING, Esq.
MISS ANNA SWANWICK.
Committee : SIDNEY BALL, M.A., Oxford. Rev. Prof. E. Johnson, M.A., Miss F. E. BENNETT.
London. Rev. H. J. BULKELEY, M.A.
Rev. J. S. JONES, M.A. John BURY, Esq., Trinity College, Rev. J. KIRKMAN, M.A., CamDublin.
bridge. Miss Buss, F.C.P.
J. T. NETTLESHIP, Esq.
HUME C. PINSENT, M.A., Cambr.
MRS. REINAGLE. F. J. FURNIVALL, M.A., Cambridge, The Rev. J. SHARPE, M.A., Cam(Chairman).
bridge. Hon. Sec.: Miss E. H. HICKEY, Clifton House, Pond St., Hampstead, N.W. Treasurer : ROBERT SWAN, M.A., 2, Belsize Terrace, S. Hampstead, N.W.