2260.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 160–161.


[Postmark: 18 March 1846]

Indeed, dearest, you shall not have last word as you think,—all the “risk” shall not be mine, neither,—how can I, in the event, throw ambs-ace[1] (is not that the old word?) and not peril your stakes too, when once we have common stock and are “partners[”]? When I see the unicorn and grieve proportionately, do you mean to say you are not going to grieve too, for my sake? And if so .. why, you clearly run exactly the same risk,—must,—unless you mean to rejoice in my sorrow! So your chance is my chance,—my success your success, you say, and my failure, your failure, will you not say? You see, you see, Ba, my own!—own! What do you think frightened me in your letter for a second or two? You write “Let us talk on Thursday .. Monday I forgot”—which I read,—“no, not on Thursday—I had forgotten! It is to be Monday when we meet next”!—whereat


.. as a goose

In death contracts his talons close,[2]

as Hudibras sings—I clutched the letter convulsively .. till relief came.

So till tomorrow—my all-beloved!

Bless you– I am rather hazy in the head as Archer Gurney will find in due season—(he comes, I told you)—but all the morning I have been going for once and for ever thro’ the Tragedy, and it is done—(done for)– Perhaps I may bring it tomorrow—if my sister can copy all– I cut out a huge kind of sermon from the middle and reserve it for a better time—still it is very long; so long! So, if I ask, may I have “Luria”[3] back to morrow? So shall printing begin, and headache end—and “no more for the present from your loving”


Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole St

Postmark: 8NT8 MR18 1846 B.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 138.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 545–546.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. i.e., a losing throw (cf. All’s Well that Ends Well, II, 3, 79).

2. Cf. Butler, Hudibras (1662), I, iii, 525–526.

3. See letters 2223 and 2234 in which EBB had expressed her intention to keep Luria in order to prevent RB from overworking.


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