2545.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 265–266.


Tuesday Mg. [Postmark: 18 August 1846]

Let it be on Thursday then, dearest, for the reasons you mention. I will say nothing of my own desires to meet you sooner .. they are corrected by the other desires to spend my whole life with you. After all, these are the critical weeks now approaching or indeed present—there shall be no fault I can avoid– So, till Thursday–

Chorley said very little .. he is all discreteness and forbearance, here as on other points– He goes to Birmingham at the end of this week, and returning after some three or four days, leaves London for Paris—probably next Saturday week– From Paris he thinks of going to Holland .. a good step,—and of staying at Scheven..ing [1]  .. what is the Bath’s name?—not a good step, I told him, because of the mortal ugliness of the place—which I well remember .. it may have improved in ten years, to be sure– There, “walking on the sands,” (sands in a heapy slope, not a traversable flat) he means to “grow to an end” with his Tragedy [2]  .. there is a noble ardour in his working which one cannot help admiring—he has a few weeks’ holiday, is jaded to death with writing, and yet will write away his brief time of respite and restoratives—for what?– He wondered whether there was any chance of our meeting in Paris—“our” meaning him and myself.

As for your communication to Mr Boyd—how could you do otherwise, my own Ba? I am altogether regardless of whatever danger there may be, in the great delight at his sympathy and approval of your intention: he probably never heard my name before .. but his own will ever be associated divinely in my memory with those verses which always have affected me profoundly [3]  .. perhaps on the whole, more profoundly than any others you ever wrote: that is hard to prove to myself,—but I really think so—the personal allusions in it, went straight to my heart at the beginning– I remember, too, how he loved and loves you .. you told me, Ba. So I am most grateful to him,—as I ever shall feel to those who, knowing you, judge me worthy of being capable of knowing you and taking your impress, and becoming yours sufficiently for your happiness.

Are you so well, dearest, in your walks,—after your rides?– Does that rejoice me or no, when I would rather hear you had been happy, than simply see you without such an assurance? I am very well, since you ask—but my mother is not—her head being again affected. Yet the late improvement gives ground for hope .. nor is this a very violent attack in itself.

I suppose it was in Mrs Jameson’s mind, as you apprehend. You must always be fond of her—(and such will be always my way of rewarding people I am fond of!)

God bless you, dearest– I love you all I can, Ba. I see another ship is advertised to sail—(a steamer) for Naples, and other southern Ports—“but no higher”– When you are well and disposed to go to Greece, take me, my love– I should feel too happy for this world, I think, among the islands with you.

My very own, I am yours–

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street.

Postmark: 8NT8 AU18 1846 B.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 255.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 974–976.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Scheveningen, a popular and fashionable seaside resort near The Hague.

2. Presumably Duchess Eleanour: A Tragedy, in five acts. According to Chorley’s biographer, it was “not completed for performance until 1854,” but “had been planned and in great part executed in 1846” (Henry Fothergill Chorley: Autobiography, Memoir, and Letters, ed. Henry G. Hewlett, 1873, II, 129).

3. EBB’s “Wine of Cyprus” was addressed to Boyd.


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