2235.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 121–122.


Sunday Eg [1 March 1846][1]

One or two words, if no more, I must write to dearest Ba, the night would go down in double blackness if I had neither written nor been written to! So here is another piece of “kindness” on my part, such as I have received praise for of late! My own sweetest, there is just this good in such praise—that by it one comes to something pleasantly definite amid the hazy uncertainties of mere wishes and possibilities—while my whole heart does, does so yearn, love, to do something to prove its devotion for you,—and, now and then, amuses itself with foolish imaginings of real substantial services to which it should be found equal if fortune so granted,—suddenly you interpose with thanks, in such terms as would all too much reward the highest of even those services which are never to be,—and for what?—for a note, a going to Town, a _____! Well, these are definite beginnings, certainly, if you will recognize them– I mean, that since you do accept, far from “despising—this day of small things”,[2]—then, I may take heart, and be sure that even tho’ none of the great achievements should fall to my happy chance, still the barrenest, flattest life will,—must of needs produce in its season better fruits than these poor ones. I keep it, value it, now, that it may produce such.

Also I determine never again to “analyse”, nor let you analyse if the sweet mouth can be anyway stopped—the love shall be one and indivisible—and the Loves we used to know from


One another, huddled lie .....

Close beside Her tenderly[3]—(which is surely the next line!)

Now am I not anxious to know what your Father said? And if anybody else said or wondered .. how should I know? Of all fighting,—the warfare with shadows,—what a work is there! But tell me,—and, with you for me–

Bless my dearest ever—as the face above mine blesses me–

Your own RB

Sir Moses set off this morning, I hear—somebody yesterday called the telescope an “optical delusion”, anticipating many more of the kind! So much for this “wandering Jew!”

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole St

Postmark: 10FN10 MR2 1846 A.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 126.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 506–507.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Date provided by postmark.

2. Cf. Zechariah 4:10.

3. EBB, “The Dead Pan,” lines 114 and 116.


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