2237.  EBB to RB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 122–124.


Monday evening. [2 March 1846] [1]

Upon the whole, I think, I am glad when you are kept in town & prevented from writing what you call ‘much’ to me. Because in the first place, the little, from you, is always much to me—& then, besides, the letter comes .. & with it the promise of another. Two letters have I had from you today, ever dearest!– How I thank you!—yes, indeed! It was like yourself to write yesterday .. to remember what a great gap there would have been otherwise, as it looked on this side—here. The worst of saturday is (when you come on it) that sunday follows—saturday night bringing no letter. Well—it was very good of you, .. best of you ..!

For the “analyzing” I give it up willingly—only that I must say what altogether I forgot to say in my last letter … that it was not I, if you please, who spoke of the chrystals breaking away!. And you, to quote me with that certainty! “The chrystals are broken off, you say”– I say!! When it was in your letter, & not at all in mine!!

The truth is that I was stupid, rather, about the Dulwich collection—it was my fault. I caught up the idea of the gallery out of a heap of other thoughts, & really might have known better if I had given myself a chance, by considering.

Mr Kenyon came today, & has taken out a license, it seems to me, for praising you, for he praised & praised. Somebody had told him (who had spent several days with you in a house with a large library) that he came away “quite astounded by the versatility of your learning”—& that, to complete the circle, you discoursed as scientifically on the training of greyhounds & breeding of ducks as if you had never done anything else all your life. Then dear Mr Kenyon talked of the poems, & hoped, very earnestly I am sure, that you would finish ‘Saul’ … which you ought to do, must do, .. only not now. By the way, Mrs Coleridge had written to him to enquire whether you had authority for the ‘blue lilies’ .. rather than white. [2] Then he asked about ‘Luria’ & ‘whether it was obscure’; & I said, not, unless the people, who considered it, began by blindfolding themselves.

And where do you think Mr Kenyon talks of going next February .. a long while off to be sure? To Italy of course. Everybody I ever heard of seems to be going to Italy next winter. He visits his brother at Vienna, & “may cross the Alps & get to Pisa”:—it is the shadow of a scheme—nothing certain, so far.

I did not go down stairs today because the wind blew & the thermometer fell. Tomorrow, perhaps I may. And you, dearest dearest, might have put into the letters how you were when you wrote them. You might—but you did not feel well & would not say so. Confess that that was the reason– Reason or no reason, mention yourself tomorrow, & for the rest, do not write a long letter so as to increase the evil– There was nothing which I can remember as requiring an answer in what I wrote to you—& though I will have my letter of course, it shall be as brief as possible, if briefness is good for you:—now, always remember that. Why if I, who talk against Luria, should work the mischief myself, .. what should I deserve? I should be my own jury directly & not recommend to mercy … not to mine.– Do take care—care for me just so much–

And, except that taking care of your health, what would you do for me that you have not done? You have given me the best of the possible gifts of one human soul to another .. you have made my life new .. & am I to count these things as small & insufficient? Ah, you know, you know that I cannot, ought not, will not.

May God bless you. He blesses me in letting me be grateful to you

As your Ba–

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

Postmark: FF 3MR3 1846.

Docket, in RB’s hand: 124.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 507–509.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Date provided by postmark.

2. Cf. “Saul,” lines 21–22. For RB’s response, see letter 2256.


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