2252.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 148–149.


[Postmark: 12 March 1846]

How I get to understand this much of Law—that prior possession is nine points of it!– Just because your infinite adroitness got first hold of the point of view whence our connection looks like “a dream” .. I find myself shut out of my very own, unable to say what is oftenest in my thought,—whereas the dear, miraculous dream you were, and are, my Ba! Only, vanishthat you will never! My own, and for ever!


Yesterday I read the poor, inconceivably inadequate notice in the “Peoples Journal”– [1] How curiously wrong, too, in the personal guesses!– Sad work truly. For my old friend Mrs Adams [2] —no, I must be silent: the lyrics seem doggerel in its utter purity.– And so the people are to be instructed in the new age of gold! I heard two days ago precisely what I told you—that there was a quarrel, &c which this service was to smooth over, no doubt! Chorley told me, in a hasty word only, that all was over, Mr Webster would not have anything to do with his play: [3] the said W. is one of the poorest of poor creatures, and as Chorley was certainly forewarned, forearmed I will hope him to have been likewise. Still it is very disappointing—he was apparently nearer than most aspirants to the prize,—having the best will of the actresses on whose shoulder the burthen was to lie– I hope they have been quite honest with him—knowing as I do the easy process of transferring all sorts of burthens, in that theatrical world, from responsible to irresponsible members of it, actors to manager, manager to actors, as the case requires. And it is a “hope deferred” [4] with Chorley,—not for the second or third time– I am very glad that he cares no more than you tell me.

Still you go down stairs, and still return safely, and every step leads us nearer to my “hope”– How unremittingly you bless me—a visit promises a letter, a letter brings such news, crowns me with such words, and speaks of another visit—and so the golden links extend! Dearest words, dearest letters—as I add each to my heap, I say,—I do say—“I was poor, it now seems, a minute ago, when I had not this!” Bless you, dear, dear Ba– On Saturday I shall be with you, I trust– May God bless you!

Ever your own—

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole St

Postmark: 8NT8 MR12 1846.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 134.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 533–535.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. See letter 2223, note 4.

2. Here RB wrote and crossed out “—in the first place.” For a biographical sketch of Sarah Adams, see vol. 3, pp. 311–312.

3. RB is presumably alluding to Chorley’s Old Love and New Fortune, which was not produced until 1850. Benjamin Nottingham Webster (1797–1882), the lessee of the Haymarket Theatre, had refused to produce RB’s The Return of the Druses (see letter 771, note 15).

4. Cf. Proverbs 13:12.


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