2240.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 130–131.


Wednesday Mg [Postmark: 4 March 1846]

Ah, sweetest, don’t mind people and their lies any more than I shall—if the toad does “take it into his toad’s head to spit at you”—you will not “drop dead,” [1] I warrant—all the same, if one may make a circuit thro’ a flower-bed and see the less of his toad-habits and general ugliness, so much the better—no words can express my entire indifference (far below contempt) for what can be said or done– But one thing, only one, I choose to hinder being said, if I can: the others I would not if I could– Why prevent the toad’s puffing himself out thrice his black bigness if it amuses him among those wet stones? We shall be in the sun.

I dare say I am unjust,—hasty certainly, in the other matter—but all faults are such inasmuch as they are “mistakes of the intellect”—toads may spit or leave it alone,—but if I ever see it right, exercising my intellect, to treat any human beings like my “chattels,”—I shall pay for that mistake one day or another, I am convinced—and I very much fear that you would soon discover what one fault of mine is, if you were to hear anyone assert such a right in my presence–

Well, I shall see you to-morrow .. had I better come a little later, I wonder?—half past three, for instance,—staying, as last time, till .. ah, it is ill policy to count my treasure aloud! Or shall I come at the usual time to-morrow? If I do not hear,—at the usual time!—because, I think you would—am sure you would have considered and suggested it, were it necessary.

Bless you, dearest—ever your own


I said nothing about that Mr Russell and his proposition [2] —by all means, yes—let him do more good with that noble, pathetic “lay”—and do not mind the “burthen”, if he is peremptory—so that he duly specify—“by the singer”—with that precaution nothing but good can come of his using it–

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole St

Postmark: 8NT8 MR4 1846 B.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 129.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 515–516.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. RB is referring to “a great ancient toad” mentioned in letter 2156.

2. A response to EBB’s query in letter 2234.


National Endowment for the Humanities - Logo

Editorial work on The Brownings’ Correspondence is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This website was last updated on 1-17-2020.

Copyright © 2020 Wedgestone Press. All rights reserved.