Correspondence

2201.  EBB to RB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 47–48.

[London]

Saturday. [Postmark: 7 February 1846]

I felt it must be so .. that something must be the matter, .. & I had been so really unhappy for half an hour, that your letter which comes now at four, seems a little better, with all its bad news, than my fancies took upon themselves to be, without instruction– Now was it right to go out yesterday when you were unwell, & to a great dinner?——but I shall not reproach you dearest, dearest– I have no heart for it at this moment. As to monday, of course it is as you like .. if you are well enough, on monday .. if it should be thought wise for you to come to London through the noise .. if .. you understand all the ifs .. & among them the greatest if of all, .. for if you do love me .. care for me even, you will not do yourself harm or run any risk of harm by going out anywhere too soon– On monday, in case you are considered well enough .. and otherwise, tuesday, wednesday—I leave it to you—. Still I will ask one thing, whether you come on monday or not– Let me have a single line by the nearest post to say how you are. Perhaps for tonight it is not possible—oh no, it is nearly five now!—but a word written on sunday would be with me early on monday morning, & I know you will let me have it, to save some of the anxious thoughts .. to break them in their course with some sort of certainty! May God bless you dearest of all!– I thought of you on thursday, but did not speak of you, not even when Miss Mitford called Hood the greatest poet of the age .. she had been depreciating Carlyle, so I let you lie & wait on the same level, .. that shelf of the rock which is above tide mark!– I was glad even, that she did not speak of you,—&, under cover of her speech of others, I had my thoughts of you deeply & safely– When she had gone at half past six, moreover, I grew over-hopeful, & made up my fancy to have a letter at eight!– The branch she had pulled down, sprang upward skyward[1] .. to that high possibility of a letter!– Which did not come that day .. no!—& I revenged myself by writing a letter to you, which was burnt afterwards because I would not torment you for letters– Last night, came a real one—dearest! So we could not keep our sabbath today! It is a fast day instead, .. on my part. How should I feel, (I have been thinking to myself), if I did not see you on saturday, & could not hope to see you on monday, nor on tuesday, nor on wednesday, nor thursday, nor friday, nor saturday again—if all the sabbaths were gone out of the world for me!– May God bless you!—it has grown to be enough prayer!– As you are enough, (& all, besides) for

Your own Ba–

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

Postmark: PD 8NT FE7 1846 B.

Dockets, in RB’s hand: 112.; + Monday. Feb. 9. / 3–5¼. p.m. (45.)

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 441–442.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Cf. Aurora Leigh, V, 1172–75.

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