1997.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 11, 26.


Tuesday Evening. [12 August 1845][1]

What can I say, or hope to say to you when I see what you do for me? —This—for myself, (nothing for you!)—this, that I think the great, great good I get by your kindness strikes me less than that kindness. —All is right, too.[2]

Come, I will have my fault-finding at last! So you can decypher my utterest hieroglyphic? Now droop the eyes while I triumph, the plains Cower, Cower beneath the mountains their masters—and the priests stomp[3] over the clay ridges, (a palpable plagiarism from two lines of a legend that delighted my infancy, and now instruct my maturer years in pretty nearly all they boast of the semi-mythologic era referred to– “In London town, when reigned King Lud, His lords went stomping thro’ the mud”—would all historic records were half as picturesque![)]

But you know (yes, you)—know you are too indulgent by far—and treat these roughnesses as if they were advanced so many a stage! Meantime the pure gain is mine, and better, the kind generous spirit is mine, (mine to profit by)—and best—best—best, the dearest friend is mine,

So be happy RB!

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50 Wimpole St

Postmark: PD 10FN AU13 1845 B.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 40.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 153–154.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Date provided by postmark.

2. i.e., EBB’s written comments, probably given to RB during his visit on this date, on six more poems to be included in Dramatic Romances and Lyrics. See Appendix IV, pp. 384–388.

3. From line 272 in “England in Italy”; “Cower” occurs at line 191. EBB had misread the words as “stamp” and “Lower.”


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