Correspondence

2481.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 152–153.

[London]

Monday. [Postmark: 13 July 1846]

My own Ba, your letter kisses me in its entire kindness—and I kiss it and you. Mrs Jameson may come or keep away .. (since you let me speak and decide, which is like you ..) she may appoint and reappoint, but Tuesday was given me and I will have it if her visit is the only obstacle—for what was all the confessing worth if not to account for such a phænomenon as my presence in your room when by any chance she might discover it? Beside, as you say, she is the most uncertain of engagement-holders .. no, indeed,—no tuesday ought to be given up for her! Therefore, unless fresh orders arrive,—at three on Tuesday .. which is happily, happily tomorrow!

You are my own sweetest to reach a letter to me with your own hand, as you tell me,—and the drive, and the walk to the Post-office, .. thank you, Ba! Perhaps .. dare I say .. you will answer that letter I sent yesterday .. because now I remember there is no prayer at the end to prevent you .. that is, from answering the main part of it—the reverting &c.

I wrote to Mr Horne, but shall not hear from him—on Saturday I wrote—and Mr Bennett’s two letters are considerately written,—directed, I mean,—in a hand and with a blue ink that I recognize,—consequently the contents give me no trouble. I wrote two or three lines to the “year of the world” poet,[1]—did you take the pains? Once on a time some unknown author sent me a Tragedy, “not published”, called Alessandro de’ Medici,[2] with some striking scenes .. I wonder who could be the writer .. did it ever fall in your way?

.. As if I care!—can I care about anything that is not Ba? All else seems as idle as .. as,—now you shall have a real instance in point—as my dream last night; this morning at breakfast my mother asked me, the first thing, what could so amuse me as to make me call loudly “Bravo” again and again, with abundance of laughter? (My room is next to hers and the door is left a-jar)—whereupon I tried to recall my dream—and all that I can seize is a passage thro’ a gallery of Haydon’s pictures, one of which was a portrait of his wife; nor did a suspicion once cross my mind that the artist was not well and working somewhere in the vicinity all the time– How strange! I never dream if quite well—and I suppose the present state of my head just amounts to not being quite well. (It is better at any rate, and tomorrow—ought to be worse, that Ba may prove her potency as of old)

Now I will kiss you and wait as well as I can till the full blessing. Dearest—dearest I am your own

RB

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street.

Postmark: 8NT8 JY13 1846 O.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 230 [altered from “229”].

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 871–872.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. i.e., William Bell Scott (see letter 2444, note 9).

2. RB is evidently referring to The Duke of Florence. A Tragedy, in Five Acts. By One of the Medici (1843). The British Library catalogue attributes the authorship to James Arthur Wilson, perhaps the same James Arthur Wilson (1795–1882) noticed in the DNB. “The subject of this Tragedy is the Assassination of Alessandro de’ Medici, as related by Benedetto Varchi, in January 1537.—Storie Fiorentine, Libro XV” (p. iv).

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