Correspondence

2491.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 169–170.

[London]

Friday. [Postmark: 17 July 1846]

Did you ever see a more ungenial, colourless day than this—that brings me no letter! I do not despair yet, however—there will be a post presently. When I am without the sight of you, and the voice of you, which a letter seems, .. I feel very accurately the justice of that figure by which I am represented as “able to leave you alone—leaving you and following my pleasure elsewhere”—so you have written and spoken! Well, to-day I may follow my pleasures.

I will follow you, Ba,—the thoughts of you—and long for to-morrow–

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No letter for me,—the time is past. If you are well, my own Ba, I will not mind .. more than I can. You had not been out for two days—the wind is high, too. May God keep you at all times, ever dearest!

The sun shines again—now I will hope to hear at six o’clock–

I can tell you nothing better, I think, than this I heard from Moxon the other day .. it really ought to be remembered: Moxon was speaking of critics, the badness of their pay, how many pounds a column the “Times” allowed, and shillings the Athenæum,—and of the inevitable effects on the performances of the poor fellows. “How should they be at the trouble of reading any difficult book so as to review it,—Landor, for instance?”—“and indeed a friend of my own has promised to write a notice in the “Times”[1]—but he complains bitterly,—he shall have to read the book,—he can do no less,—and all for five or ten pounds”! All which Moxon quite seemed to understand—“it will really take him some three or four mornings to read enough of Landor to be able to do anything effectually”– I asked if there had been any notices of the Book already—“just so many”, he said “as Forster had the power of getting done”– Mr White, a clergyman, has written a play for Macready,[2] which everybody describes as the poorest stuff imaginable; it is immediately reviewed in Blackwood & the Edinburg—“Because,” continues M, “he is a Blackwood reviewer, and may do the like good turn to any of the confraternity.”

So—here I will end,—wanting to come to the kissing dearest Ba, and bidding her remember tomorrow how my heart sinks to-day in the silence– Ever, dearest dearest, your very own

RB

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street, / Cavendish Square.

Postmark: 8NT8 JY17 1846 O.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 233 [altered from “232”].

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 883–884.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. We are unable to identify Moxon’s friend, nor have we been able to trace a review of The Works of Walter Savage Landor in The Times.

2. In diary entries for 20 May and 19 June 1846, Macready records performing The King of the Commons by James White (1801–62) (Macready, II, 338 and 341). This play and White’s The Earl of Gowrie (1845) were reviewed in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine for July 1846 (pp. 62–82), and in The Edinburgh Review of July 1846 (pp. 223–236).

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