2496.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 176–177.


Monday Evening. [Postmark: 20 July 1846]

Certainly you do know me, my own Ba, beyond all other knowledge possible to relatives,—that I know—in fact, I found myself speaking unwarily on a subject where speech is obliged to stop abruptly—the fault was mine for bringing up terms, remarks &c quite inapplicable out of this house,—where all, as you understand, have seen me so long that they do not see differences in me,—increases or diminutions; I am twice as blind, most likely, to them, after the same fashion. Still, one is slow to concede an excuse to such blindness—hence the “hasty words” I told you they charge me with uttering.

I apprehend no danger from that,—to your feeling for me: it is your own speech, my Ba, which I will take from you, and use—my own “general shortcomings” you will inevitably see and be sorry for—but there will be the more need of your love, which I shall go on asking for daily and nightly as if I never could have enough .. which is the exact fact; and also, I shall grow fitter thro’ the love to be what you would have me, so the end may be better than the beginning, let us hope.

Will you not do what you can with me who am your very own?—as you are my own too, but for a different end– I am yours to operate on, as you are my only lady to dispose of what belongs to you– Dear, dearest Ba, it is so,—will ever be so!

Yes, that notice by Chorley is very kind and gratifying– I wanted—(quite apart from the poor good to me or my books—but for Chorley’s own sake, I rather wanted)—some decided streak of red, or spot, or spark,—some life in the increasing grey of the ashes—this is true, live lovingness of him—I will tell him so.

For Domett’s letter,—he means, by all that nonsense, that my health is more in his estimation than any works producible at its expense. All the calculation about so many lines a day, so many a month &c he knows to be absurd .. you can’t write so many lines to-day, and add next day’s complement, and so “grow to an end” [1] —any more than you can paint a picture by thumb-breadths. The other paragraph about intelligibility laughs at itself all the time .. is not to be taken for serious.

Indeed I did desire with a great desiring that you should go out; and now I thank you for all the good account of the walk, and victory over the wind: and how kind that sister is! I shall never forget it.

My own head, since you will be teazed with intelligence about it, was not very well yesterday, but is better decidedly this morning– I, too, will go and put this letter in the post and think of to-morrow .. for do not I keep to-morrow? I shall be with you unless another order comes .. may it be averted! And may you be happy always with me, as I shall be thro’ you .. nay, but half as happy, dearest Ba, my very own!

Your RB

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street.

Postmark: 8NT8 JY20 1846.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 235.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 890–891.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Cf. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I, 2, 10.


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