Spiritualism: ‘Mrs Browning kept trying to stem his flow of eager, funny talk’

  • Sophia Hawthorne


Mrs Browning is a spiritualist. Mr Browning opposes and protests with all his might, but he says he is ready to be convinced. Mrs Browning is wonderfully interesting. She is the most delicate sheath for a soul I ever saw. One evening at Casa Guidi there was a conversation about spirits, and a marvellous story was told of two hands that crowned Mrs Browning with a wreath through the mediumship of Mr Hume.1 Mr Browning declared that he believed the two hands were made by Mr Hume and fastened to Mr Hume’s toes, and that he made them move by moving his feet. Mrs Browning kept trying to stem his flow of eager, funny talk with her slender voice, but, like an arrowy river, he rushed and foamed and leaped over her slight tones, and she could not succeed in explaining how she knew they were spirit hands. … You would be infinitely charmed with Mrs Browning, and with Mr Browning as well. The latter is very mobile, and flings himself about just as he flings his thoughts on paper, and his wife is still and contemplative. Love, evidently, has saved her life.

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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  • Sophia Hawthorne

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