2440.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 87–88.


Saturday. [Postmark: 27 June 1846]

Your dear gentle laugh, as I seem to hear it, makes all well again for the moment undoubtedly:—I cannot help trusting you implicitly .. so whenever I seem able to reason a little, and set you reasoning for me, ought I not to try,—and then give up, and sink my head over you .. dearest! In fact, I was a little frightened by what I heard and saw .. for you, if you please, began by saying “it was too cold to go out”—and you were paler, I thought. The news of Highgate and the green-leaves are reassuring indeed—but my brown leaves might be sent to you by myriads for all that, for all the light laugh,—all roses fast going, lilies going .. autumnal hollyhocks in full blow .. and now to count three months over before summer is to end! These rains may do something, or hinder somewhat—and certainly our fire was left alone early in yesterday morning– Well, I have not been presumptuous except … ah, the exception!

How could I presume, for one thing, to hope for last evening’s letter .. a pure piece of kindness in you, Ba! And all your kindness is pure, entire, pearl-like for roundness and completeness .. there is no one rough side as when a chrystal is broken off and given: do you think it no good augury of our after life in what must be called, I suppose, another relation,—that this has been so perfect .. to me .. this last year, let me only say? In this relation there are as many “écueils” [1] as in the other,—as many, though of a different nature,—lovers quarrel on as various grounds as the wedded—and tho’ with the hue and softness of love the most energetic words and deeds may change their character; yet one might write savage sentences in Chinese celestial-blue ink, which after a powdering with gold-dust should look prettier than the truest blessing in ordinary black.– But you have been perfect to me hitherto—perfect! And of course only to you is the praise .. for I have to be entirely confided in by you, seeing that you cannot keep an eye on me after I leave your room .. whereas, .. not I, but a gross, stupid fool who conceived of no liberty but that of the body, nor that the soul may be far more unfaithful, .. such an one might exult in the notion of the closed door and the excluded world of rivals.

Bless you, darling– Monday is not so very far off now! And I am to hear again. I am much better,—my mother much better too: I saw my French friend and talked and heard him talk– Yesterday, the whole day, (after the fire went out) was given to a cousin of mine, a girl, just married, and here from Paris with her husband—these two had to be amused somehow. [2] Ever your very own–


Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street.

Postmark: 8NT8 JU27 1846 H.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 216.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 819–820.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. “Dangers.”

2. Louisa Jane Browning, second daughter of RB’s uncle William Shergold Browning, who married R. Jebb Dyke in 1846 (Maynard, p. 375).


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