Local

2056.  EBB to RB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 11, 112–113.

[London]

Wednesday [sic, for Tuesday] evening. [7 October 1845] [1]

Mr Kenyon never came. My sisters met him in the street, & he had been ‘detained all day in the city & would certainly be here tomorrow’ .. wednesday! And so you see what has happened to wednesday—! Moreover he may come besides on thursday, .. I can answer for nothing. Only if I do not write & if you find thursday admissible, will you come then? [2] In the case of an obstacle, you shall hear. And it is not (in the meantime) my fault—now is it? I have been quite enough vexed about it, indeed.

Did the monday work work harm to the head, I wonder? [3] I do fear so that you wont get through those papers with impunity—especially if the plays are to come after .. though ever so “gently”– And if you are to suffer, it would be right to tongue-tie that silver Bell, & leave the congregations to their selling of cabbages. [4] Which is unphilanthropic of me perhaps, .. ω φιλτατε; [5]

Be sure that I shall be ‘bold’ when the time for going comes—& both bold & capable of the effort. I am desired to keep to the respirator & the cabin for a day or two, while the cold can reach us, .. & midway in the bay of Biscay some change of climate may be felt, they say. There is no sort of danger for me,—except that I shall stay in England– And why is it that I feel tonight more than ever almost, as if I should stay in England? Who can tell? I can tell one thing. If I stay, it will not be from a failure in my resolution—that will not be—shall not be. Yes—& Mr Kenyon & I agreed the other day that there was something of the tigress-nature very distinctly cognizable under what he is pleased to call my “Ba-lambishness.”

Then, on thursday! .. unless something happens to thursday .. and I shall write in that case. And I trust to you (as always) to attend to your own convenience—just as you may trust to me to remember my own ‘boon’. Ah—you are curious, I think! Which is scarcely wise of you—because it may, you know, be the roc’s egg [6] after all– But no, it is’nt—I will say just so much. And besides I did say that it was a ‘restitution’, .. which limits the guesses if it does not put an end to them. Unguessable, I choose it to be.

And now I feel as if I should not stay in England. Which is the difference between one five minutes & another. May God bless you——

Ever your EBB.

Address: Robert Browning Esqre / New Cross / Hatcham / Surrey.

Postmark: 10FN10 OC8 1845.

Dockets, in RB’s hand: 64.; + Thursday Octr 9. / 3–4½. [23].

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 224–225.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Date provided by postmark and EBB’s reference to Kenyon’s postponed visit.

2. As indicated by RB’s docket, he did.

3. See letter 2054.

4. EBB alludes to RB’s comment in letter 1837.

5. “O dearest,” or “O beloved.”

6. i.e., something difficult to obtain.

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