Correspondence

2587.  EBB to RB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 345–346.

[London]

Monday morning. [Postmark: 7 September 1846]

Ever, ever dearest, how was it that without presentiment of evil I got up this morning in the good spirits of ‘our days’, hoping to see you, believing to see you, & feeling that it would be greater happiness than usual?– The sight of your letter, even, did not provoke the cloud—that was only the lesser joy, I thought, preceding the greater! And smiling to myself I was, both last night & this morning, at your phrase about the “business” to be talked by the “grave man & woman”,—understanding your precaution against all unlawful jesting!—jesters forbidden in the protocol!– And then, at last, to be made so suddenly grave & sad even——! How am I to be comforted, my own dearest?– No way, except by your being really better, really well—in order to which I shall not let you come as soon as wednesday: it will not be wise for you to leave your bed for a journey into London!– Rather you should be very quiet, & keep in the garden at farthest. Take care of yourself, dearest dearest, & if you think of me & love me, show it in that best way. And I praise you, praise you,—nay, I thank you & am grateful to you for every such proof of love, more than for other kinds of proof,—I will love you for it, my beloved! Now judge—shall I be able to help thinking of you every moment of the day? Could I help it, if I tried? In return, therefore, you will attend to the orders, submit to the discipline——ah but, will not the leaving off all food but milk, weaken you out of measure? I am uneasy about that milk-diet for you, who always seem to me to want support, & something to stimulate– You will promise to tell me everything—will you, dearest?—whether better or worse, stronger or weaker, you will tell me? And if you should be too unwell to write, as may God forbid, your sister will write—she will have that great goodness?– Let it be so, I beseech you–

But you will be better——oh, I mean to hope stedfastly toward your being better, & toward the possibility of our meeting before the week ends. And as for this day lost, it is not of importance except in our present thoughts—soon you will have more than enough of me, you know– For I am in earnest & not a jester au fond,[1] & am ready to do just as you bid me & think best– Which I tell you now, that you may not be vexed at a shadow, after my own fashion—. May God bless you—“and me in you”. Have I not leave to say that, too, since I feel it more than you could, .. (more intensely .. I do not say more sincerely ..) when you used it first?– My happiness & life are in you,—I am your very own

Ba–

Your mother—how is she?– Mind, you get an amusing book .. something to amuse only, & not use you– Do you know the ‘Mathilde’ of Sue?[2] I shall write again tonight.

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

Postmark: 5NT5 SP7 1846.

Docket, in RB’s hand: 270.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 1052–53.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. “In fact.”

2. Published in 1841, this is one of Sue’s more popular works.

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