Correspondence

2586.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 344–345.

[London]

Sunday Afternoon. [6 September 1846][1]

No, dearest, I am not to see you tomorrow for all the happiness of the permission! It seems absurd, but perhaps the greater absurdity would be a refusal to submit, under circumstances– You shall hear. I got up with the old vertiginousness, or a little worse—and so, as I had in that case determined, went to consult my doctor. He thinks he finds the root of the evil and can remove it, “if I have patience enough”– So I promised .. expecting something worthy that preamble—whereas I am bidden go to bed and keep there for a day or two—from this Sunday till Wednesday morning—taking nothing but a sip of medicine I can’t distinguish from water, thrice a day—and milk at discretion—no other food! The mild queerness of it is amusing, is it not? “And for this fine piece of self denial,” says he “you shall be quite well by the week’s end”. “But may I go to town on Wednesday”?– “Yes”.

Now, Ba, my own Ba, you know how often I have to sorrowfully disclaim all the praises your dearest kindness would attach to me; this time, if you will praise me a little for obeying you, I will take the praise .. for the truth of truths is, that I said at once to myself—“have I a right to avoid anything which promises to relieve Her from this eternal account of aches and pains”? So here am I writing, leaning on my elbow, in bed,—as I never wrote before I think—and perhaps my head is a little better, or I fancy so– Mind, I may read, or write,—only in bed I must lie, because there is some temperature to be kept up in the skin, or some other cause as good—“for reasons, for reasons”–

—“The milk” answers Ba, “is exactly to correct the superabundant gall of bitterness which overflowed lately about Flush”– So it is, my own Ba—and for Flush, the victim of a principle, he is just saved from a sickness by cakes I meditated as a joy-offering on his safe return. Will you, among the other kisses, give him one for me? And save yet another for your own

RB

How I shall need your letters, dearest!

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street.

Postmark: 10FN10 SP7 1846 A.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 1051–52.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Date provided by postmark.

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