Correspondence

2325.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 269–270.

[London]

Wednesday. [Postmark: 22 April 1846]

I never thought I should convince you, dearest—and I was foolish to write so, since it makes you reply so: at all events, I do not habitually offend in this kind—fortynine days out of fifty I hear my own praises from your lips; and yet keep silence—on the fiftieth I protest gently—is that too much? Then I will be quiet altogether, my Ba, and get a comfort out of the consciousness of obedience there at least. But I should like some talking-bird to tell you the struggle there is and what I could say– Shall I idealize you into mere mist, Ba, and see the fine, fine, last of you? Well, I cannot even play with the fancy of that. So, one day, when so much is to be cleared up between us, look for a word or two on this matter also! Some savage speech about the “hand I was to have dropped”—the whole ending with the Promethean—Οὑτως ὑββριζειν τους ὑβριζοντας χρεων![1] Meantime my revenge on the hand must be to kiss it. I kiss it.

Yesterday’s letters both arrived this morning by the 11½ post—was that right? I add my mite of savageness to the general treasury of wrath: every body is complaining: still, so long as I do get my letters, .. such letters!

The cold wind continues—you will have kept the room today no doubt—what colourless weather,—not the moist fresh bright true April of old years! I shall go out presently—but with such an effort, such unwillingness! I am better however—and my mother still continues well .. goes out every morning—so there is hope for everybody. I ought to tell you that I went to my doctor last evening .. (remembering to whom I promised I would do so, if need were, or good seemed likely to follow—) and he speaks encouragingly and I have engaged to be obedient,—perhaps, because he ordains no very intolerable laws. He says I am better than when he saw me last—and, as he wanted then to begin and prescribe, .. there is clearly a gain of about two months comfort!

Here strikes fatal four-’oclock! To-morrow for more writing: and now, for the never-ending love, and thought of my dearest dearest. May God bless you, Ba.

Your own RB

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50 Wimpole St

Postmark: 8NT8 AP23 1846 B.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 164.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 644–645.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. “Thus upon scorners I retort their scorn”; line 1151 in EBB’s translation of Prometheus Bound, as published in Poems (1850).

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