2126.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 11, 218–219.


[Postmark: 3 December 1845]

Sir [sic, for See], dearest, what the post brings me this minute! Now, is it not a good omen, a pleasant inconscious prophecy of what is to be? Be it well done, or badly—there are you, leading me up and onward, in his review as everywhere, at every future time! [1] And our names will go together—be read together. In itself this is nothing to you, dear poet—but the unexpectedness, unintended significance of it has pleased me very much—does it not please you?– I thought I was to figure in that cold “Quarterly” all by myself, (for he writes for it)—but here you are close by me,—it cannot but be for good. He has no knowledge whatever that I am even a friend of yours. Say you are pleased!

There was no writing yesterday for me—nor will there be much today: in some moods, you know, I turn and take a thousand new views of what you say .. and find fault with you to your surprise—at others, I rest on you, and feel all well, all best .. now, for one instance, even that phrase of the [“]possibility” and what is to follow,—even that I cannot except against. I am happy, contented,—too well, too prodigally blessed to be even able to murmur just sufficiently loud to get, in addition to it all, a sweetest stopping of the mouth! I will say quietly and becomingly “yes—I do promise you”—yet it is some solace to—no [2] —I will not even couple the promise with an adjuration that you, at the same time, see that they care for me properly at Hanwell Asylum [3]  .. the best by all accounts:—yet I feel so sure of you, so safe and confident in you! If any of it had been my work, my own—distrust and foreboding had pursued me from the beginning,—but all is yours—you crust me round with gold and jewelry like the wood of a sceptre,—and why should you transfer your own work? Wood enough to choose from in the first instance, but the choice once made! … So I rest on you, for life, for death, beloved—beside you do stand, in my solemn belief, the direct miraculous gift of God to me—that is my solemn belief; may I be thankful!

I am anxious to hear from you .. when am I not?—but not before the American letter is written and sent. [4] Is that done? And who was the visitor on Monday—and if &c what did he remark?– And what is right or wrong with Saturday—is it to be mine?

Bless you, dearest—now and forever.

Words cannot say how much I am your own.

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50 Wimpole St

Postmark: 8NT8 DE3 1845 B.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 81.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 301–302.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Evidently RB enclosed a letter from Eliot Warburton which indicated that his article in The English Review would include reviews of EBB’s and RB’s works (for the text of these reviews, see pp. 351–355 and pp. 364–365).

2. Underscored four times.

3. This “enlightened” lunatic asylum had opened in 1831, and is now St. Bernard’s Hospital.

4. i.e., her letter (no. 2128) to Cornelius Mathews.


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