2213.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 79–80.


Monday. [Postmark: 16 February 1846]

My long letter is with you, dearest, to show how serious my illness was “while you wrote”: unless you find that letter too foolish, as I do on twice thinking—or at all events a most superfluous bestowment of “handwork” [1] while the heart was elsewhere, and with you—never more so! Dear, dear Ba, your adorable goodness sinks into me till it nearly pains,—so exquisite and strange is the pleasure: so you care for me, and think of me, and write to me! I shall never die for you,—and if it could be so,—what would death prove? But I can live on, your own as now,—utterly your own–

Dear Ba, do you suppose we differ on so plain a point as that of the superior wisdom, and generosity, too, of announcing such a change &c at the eleventh hour? There can be no doubt of it: and now, what of it to me?

But I am not going to write to-day—only this—that I am better, having not been quite so well last night—so I shut up books .. (that is, of my own)—and mean to think about nothing but you, and you, and still you, for a whole week—so all will come right, I hope!. May I take Wednesday? And do you say that,—hint at the possibility of that, because you have been reached by my own remorse at feeling that if I had kept my appointment last saturday (but one)—Thursday would have been my day this past week, and this very Monday had been gained– Shall I not lose a day for ever unless I get Wednesday and Saturday?—yet … care, dearest,—let nothing horrible happen–

If I do not hear to the contrary tomorrow,—or on Wednesday early

But write and bless me, dearest, most dear Ba.

God bless you ever–


Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole St

Postmark: 8NT8 FE16 1846 E.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 117.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 467–468.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. RB is referring, as he did in letter 2211, to Harriet Martineau’s comment in letter 2203 that she liked a “sort of strenuous handwork … better than authorship.”


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