2115.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 11, 202–203.


[Postmark: 28 November 1845]

Take it, dearest, [1] —what I am forced to think you mean—and take no more with it—for I gave all to give long ago. I am all yours—and now, mine,—give me mine to be happy with!

You will have received my note of yesterday. —I am glad you are satisfied with Miss Bayley, whom I, too, thank .. that is, sympathize with, .. (not wonder at, though)—for her intention .. Well, may it all be for best—here or at Pisa, you are my blessing and life.

.. How all considerate you are, you that are the kind, kind one! The post arrangement I will remember—to-day, for instance, will this reach you at 8? I shall be with you then, in thought. “Forget you!”—what does that mean, dearest?

And I might have stayed longer and you let me go—what does that mean, also tell me? Why, I make up my mind to go, always, like a man, and praise myself as I get thro’ it—as when one plunges into the cold water—only .. ah, that too is no more a merit than any other thing I do .. there is the reward, the last and best! Or is it the “lure”?

I would not be ashamed of my soul if it might be shown you,—it is wholly grateful, conscious of you.

But another time, do not let me wrong myself so! Say, “one minute more”–

On Monday?– I am much better—and, having got free from an engagement for Saturday, shall stay quietly here and think the post never intending to come—for you will not let me wait longer?

Shall I dare write down a grievance of my heart’s and not offend you? Yes, trusting in the right of my love. You tell me, sweet, here in the letter, “I do not look so well”—and sometimes, I “look better” .. how do you know? When I first saw you—I saw your eyes—since then, you, it should appear, see mine—but I only know yours are there, and have to use that memory as if one carried dried flowers about when fairly inside the garden-enclosure: and while I resolve, and hesitate, and resolve again to complain of this,—(kissing your foot .. not boldly complaining, nor rudely)—while I have this on my mind, on my heart, ever since that May morning .. can it be[?]

—No, nothing can be wrong now—you will never call me “kind” again, in that sense you promise! Nor think “bitterly” of my kindness, that word!

Shall I see you on Monday?

God bless my dearest. I see her now—and here and now the eyes open, wide enough, and I will kiss them—how gratefully!

Your own RB

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50 Wimpole St.

Postmark: 8NT8 NO28 1845 B.

Dockets, in EBB’s hand: 79. / hair.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 295–296.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. i.e., a lock of hair (see Reconstruction, H483), which RB enclosed in a wrapper with the inscription: “Nov. 28. 1845.” For EBB’s response, see letter 2119.


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