Browning has been described as looking something like a hale naval officer; but in later life, when his hair turned snowy white, he seemed to me more like some sage of bygone ages. There was a statue in the Capitol of Rome to which Mrs Sartoris1 always likened him. I cannot imagine that any draped and filleted sage could ever have been so delightful a companion, so racy, so unselfishly interested in the events of the hour as he.
- 1.Adelaide Sartoris (1814–79), former opera-singer, sister of the actress Fanny Kemble, had known the Brownings mainly in Rome. Her later friendship with Browning in London ended in the early 1870s (see Browning to his American Friends: Letters Between the Brownings, the Storys and James Russell Lowell 1841–1890, ed. Gertrude Reece Hudson (London, 1965), pp. 167–9).Google Scholar