Correspondence

1967.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 10, 293–294.

[London]

Monday Afternoon. [Postmark: 7 July 1845]

While I write this,—3 o’clock,—you may be going out, I will hope—for the day is very fine, perhaps all the better for the wind: yet I got up this morning sure of bad weather. I shall not try to tell you how anxious I am for the result, and to know it. You will of course feel fatigued at first—but persevering, as you mean to do, do you not?—persevering, the event must be happy.

I thought, and still think, to write to you about George Sand, and the vexed question, a very Bermoothes,[1] of the “Mental claims of the Sexes relatively considered” (so was called the .. I do believe .. worst poem I ever read in my life—)[2] and Mrs Hemans, and all and some of the points referred to in your letter—but “by my fay, I cannot reason,”[3] to-day; and, by a consequence, I feel the more—so I say how I want news of you .. which, when they arrive, I shall read “meritoriously” .. do you think? My friend, what ought I to tell you on that head (or the reverse rather)—of your discourse? I should like to match you at a fancy-flight,—if I could, give you nearly as pleasant an assurance that “there’s no merit in the case”—but the hot weather and lack of wit get the better of my good will—besides, I remember once to have admired a certain enticing simplicity in the avowal of the Treasurer of a Charitable Institution at a Dinner got up in its behalf—the Funds being at lowest, Debt at highest .. in fact, this Dinner was the last chance of the Charity, and this Treasurer’s speech the main feature in the chance—and our friend, inspired by the emergency, went so far as to say, with a bland smile—“Do not let it be supposed that we—despise annual contributors,—we rather—solicit their assistance.” All which means, do not think that I take any “merit” for making myself supremely happy, I rather &c &c[.]

Always rather mean to deserve it a little better—but never shall: so it should be, for you and me—and as it was in the beginning so it is still[4] .. you are the <…>[5] But you know and why should I teaze myself with words?

Let me send this off now—and to-morrow some more because I trust to hear you have made the first effort and with success.

Ever yours, my dear friend–

RB.

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50 Wimpole Street.

Postmark: 8NT8 JY7 1845 B.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 29.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 115–116.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Cf. The Tempest, I, 2, 229.

2. Unidentified.

3. Hamlet, II, 2, 267.

4. Cf. the Gloria Patri in The Book of Common Prayer.

5. RB has crossed out a word.

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