Correspondence

1994.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 11, 20.

[London]

Friday Afternoon. [Postmark: 8 August 1845]

Then there is one more thing “off my mind”: I thought it might be with you as with me—not remembering how different are the causes that operate against us; different in kind as in degree:—(so much reading hurts me, for instance—whether the reading be light or heavy, fiction or fact, and so much writing, whether my own, such as you have seen, or the merest compliment-returning to the weary tribe that exact it of one). But your health—that before all! .. as assuring all eventually .. and on the other accounts you must know! Never, pray, pray, never lose one sunny day or propitious hour to “go out or walk about”– But do not surprise me, one of these mornings, by “walking” up to me when I am introduced .. or I shall infallibly,—in spite of all the after repentance and begging pardon,—I shall <…>[1] .. so here you learn the first “painful truth” I have it in my power to tell you!

I sent you the last of our poor roses this morning,—considering that I fairly owed that kindness to them.

Yes, I went to Chelsea and found dear Carlyle alone[2]—his wife is in the country where he will join her as soon as his book’s last sheet returns corrected and fit for press—which will be at the month’s end about–[3] He was all kindness and talked like his own self while he made me tea—and, afterward, brought chairs into the little—yard, rather than garden—and smoked his pipe with apparent relish; at night he would walk as far as Vauxhall Bridge on my way home.

If I used the word “sacrifice,” you do well to object– I can imagine nothing ever to be done by me worthy such a name–

God bless you, dearest friend—shall I hear from you before Tuesday?

Ever your own RB

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50 Wimpole St

Postmark: 8NT8 AU8 1845.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 38.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 146–147.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. As in letter 1991 (see note 8), RB is teasing EBB by obliterating several words.

2. See SD1231.

3. Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches was published in December 1845.

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