Correspondence

2589.  EBB to RB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 347–348.

[London]

Monday night– [7 September 1846][1]

How unwell you are, dearest beloved!– Ah no! It is not “the position that tires you”, it is the illness that incapacitates you. And you to think of getting up & coming here .. you!– Now, for my sake, for both our sakes, you must & shall be patient & quiet, & remember how my thoughts are with you conjuring you continually to quiet– As to the reading, .. you see it makes you dizzy,—and to provoke that sensation cannot plainly be right: and you will be right always, will you not, for my sake, dearest of all? And for the coming here on wednesday, .. no, no, I say again,——you ought not to do it, & you shall not: we will see how you are, later in the week,—but for wednesday, certainly no– That violent transition from the bed to the omnibus, would be manifestly wrong. Also I can be quite satisfied without seeing you, if I may but hear of your being well again. I wonder today how yesterday I was impatient about not having seen you so long. Oh, be well, be well, dearest! There is no need of your being ill to prove to me how I love you entirely, how I love you only!–

For Flush, I did your commission, kissing the top of his head: then I took the kiss back again because it seemed too good for him just now– And you shall not say that you “are glad he is with me if you are not”: it is more to Flush’s disadvantage, that phrase is, than all your theories which pretended to leave him with the dogstealers. How can I be glad of any one’s being with me, if you are not? And how should you be glad for anything, if I am not? Flush & I know our logic better than to accept that congratulation of yours, with the spike pricking us out of it.

So hot, indeed, today!– If you thought of me, I thought of you through it all. This close air cannot be good for you while you are shut up—. But I have not been shut up. I went out in the carriage & bought a pair of boots for Italy, besides the shoes—because, you see, we shall have such long walks in the forest after the camels, & it wont do to go in one’s slippers. Does not that sound like “a grave woman”? You need not make laws against the jesters, after all!– You need only be well.!– And, gravely, quite gravely, is it not likely that going to Italy, that travelling, & putting an end to all the annoyances which lately have grown up out of our affairs, will do you good, substantial good, in this chief matter of your health? It seems so to me sometimes– You are always well, you say, in Italy, & when you get there once again—— But in the meanwhile, try to be a little better, my own dearest!– I cannot write to you except about you tonight– The subject is too near me– I am under the shadow of the wall, & cannot see over it. Tomorrow, I shall hear more, & trust to you to tell me the whole, unmutilated truth– May God bless you, as I would, I in my weakness!– For the best blessing on your part, Love your own Ba–

And do not tire yourself with writing. The least line—three words .. I beseech you not to let me do you harm.

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

Postmark: 10FN10 SP8 1846 E.

Docket, in RB’s hand: 271.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 1054–56.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Date provided by postmark.

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