2296.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 219–220.


Tuesday. [Postmark: 7 April 1846]

They have just sent me one proof, only—so I have been correcting every thing as fast as possible, that, returning it at once, a revise might arrive, fit to send (for this that comes is just as bad as if I had let it alone in the first instance[)]. All your corrections are golden– In Luria, I alter “little circle” to “circling faces” [1] —which is more like what I meant– As for that point we spoke of yesterday—it seems “past praying for” [2] —if I make the speech an “aside,” I commit Ogniben to that opinion:—did you notice, at the beginning of the second part, that on this Ogniben’s very entry, (as described by a bystander) he is made to say, for first speech, “I have known so many leaders of revolts”—“laughing gently to himself”– [3] This,—which was wrongly printed in Italics, as if a comment of the Bystander’s own, was a characteristic circumstance, as I meant it– All these opinions should be delivered with a “gentle laughter to himself”—but,—as is said elsewhere,—we profess & we perform! Enough of it– Meliora sperUmus! [4]

What am I to say next, my Ba? When I write my best and send “grateful” to you—you send my proof back, “grateful(h)”– [5] Then I must do and say what you hate .. for I am one entire gratitude to you, God knows! May He reward you.

It is late; bless you once again, my dearest! You have nothing so much yours as


My mother says that I paid only fifteen or sixteen pounds for the Venice voyage—and much less for the Naples one—ten, and no more, she thinks—and I think—but that represents twenty—as the other, twenty five or thirty pounds, to a person unconnected with the freighting party– (In the first ship, Rothschild sent a locomotive entire, <with all its appurtenances,> [6] for one article, to Trieste)– Can I make enquiries for you? Nay, I will, and at once.

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole St

Postmark: 8NT8 AP7 1846 B.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 153.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 597–598.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Luria, V, 320–323.

2. I Henry IV, II, 4, 191.

3. Cf. A Soul’s Tragedy, II, 93–95.

4. “We hope for better things.” RB underscored the “u” three times, intentionally misspelling “speramus” as a comment on misprints.

5. RB has used proofreader’s marks to playfully alter “grateful” to “hateful.”

6. The bracketed passage is interpolated above the line.


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