2583.  EBB to RB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 340–341.


Saturday morning [Postmark: 5 September 1846]

Dearest, I write just a few lines that you may know me for thinking of you tomorrow– Flush has not come & I am going on a voyage of discovery myself,—Henry being far too lukewarm. He says I may be robbed & murdered before the time for coming back, in which case remember that it is not my fault that I do not go with you to Pisa.

Just now came a kind little note from dear Mr Kenyon, who will not come, he says, Flush being away, & has set out on his travels, meaning not to come back for a week– So I might have seen you after all, today!– My comfort is, that it is good for you, beloved, to be quiet, & that coming through the sun might have made your head suffer– How my thoughts are with you—how all day they never fall off from you! I shall have my letter tonight through your dear goodness, which is a lamp hung up for me to look towards. Aladdin’s, did you say? Yes, Aladdin’s. [1]

As to being afraid of you ever——once, do you know, I was quite afraid .. in a peculiar sense—as when it thunders, I am afraid .. or a little different from that even, or, oh yes, very different from that. Now it is changed .. the feeling is—and I am not afraid even so—except sometimes of losing your affection by some fault of my own– I am not afraid that it should be a fault of yours, remember. I trust you for goodness to the uttermost—& I know perfectly that if you did not love me (supposing it) you are one who would be ashamed for a woman to fear you, as some women fear some men– For me, I could not, you know—I know you too well & love you too perfectly, & everybody can tell what perfect love casts out. [2]

So you need not have done with me for that reason! Understand it.

And if I shall not be slain by the “society”, you shall be written to again tonight– Ah—say in the letter I [3] am to have, that you are better!—— And you are to come on monday—dear, dearest! Mind that!

Your Ba–

Come back safe, but without Flush——I am to have him tonight though.

Address: Robert Browning Esqre / New Cross / Hatcham / Surrey.

Postmark: 8NT8 SP5 1846 A.

Docket, in RB’s hand: 268.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 1048–49.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Whenever Aladdin rubbed his magic lamp, a genie materialized to do his bidding (“Alla ad Deen, or the Wonderful Lamp” in The Arabian Nights, trans. Jonathan Scott, 1811, 5, 19). In letter 1940 EBB called RB the “‘genius of the lamp’.”

2. Cf. I John 4:18.

3. Underscored twice.


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