LORD TENNYSON AND MR BROWNING
AUGUST had brought his eightieth birthday, with an affectionate letter from the Queen, and so many telegrams and poems of congratulation that he had to thank 'all my friends known and unknown' in The Times. 'I don't know what I have done to make people feel like that towards me,' he told Audrey, 'except that I have always kept my faith in Immortality. Robert Browning's letter also gives me sincere pleasure.'
My dear Tennyson, Tomorrow is your birthday -- indeed a memorable one. Let me say I associate myself with the universal pride of our country in your glory, and in its hope that for many and many a year we may have your very self among us -- secure that your poetry will be a wonder and delight to all those appointed to come after; and for my own part let me further say, I have loved you dearly. May God bless you and yours! ... At no moment from first to last of my acquaintance with your works, of friendship with yourself, have I had any other feeling expressed or kept silent than this, which an opportunity allows me to utter -- that I am and ever shall be, my dear Tennyson, admiringly and affectionately yours, ROBERT BROWNING
My dear Browning, I thank you with my whole heart and being for your noble and affectionate letter, and with my whole heart and being I return your friendship. To be loved and appreciated by so great and powerful a nature as yours will be a solace to me, and lighten my dark hours during the short time of life that is left to me. Ever yours, TENNYSON
He showed Browning's letter to Watts-Dunton, and, stroking