Correspondence

2598.  EBB to RB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 357–358.

[London]

Saturday. Sept. 12. [1846][1]

p.m. 4½

Ever dearest, I write a word that you may read it & know how all is safe so far, & that I am not slain downright with the day—oh, such a day!– I went to Mr Boyd’s directly, so as to send Wilson home the faster—and was able to lie quietly on the sofa in his sittingroom down stairs, before he was ready to see me, being happily engaged with a medical councillor. Then I was made to talk & take Cyprus wine,—&, my sisters delaying to come, I had some bread & butter for dinner, to keep me from looking too pale in their eyes– At last they came, & with such grave faces! Missing me & Wilson, they had taken fright,—& Arabel had forgotten at first what I told her last night about the fly. I kept saying, “What nonsense, .. what fancies you do have to be sure”, .. trembling in my heart with every look they cast at me– And so, to complete the bravery, I went on with them in the carriage to Hampstead .. as far as the heath,—& talked & looked––now you shall praise me for courage .. or rather you shall love me for the love which was the root of it all– How necessity makes heroes—or heroines at least!– For I did not sleep all last night, & when I first went out with Wilson to get to the flystand in Marylebone Street I staggered so, that we both were afraid for the fear’s sake,—but we called at a chemist’s for sal volatile & were thus enabled to go on– I spoke to her last night, & she was very kind, very affectionate, & never shrank for a moment– I told her that always I should be grateful to her.

You—how are you? how is your head, ever dearest?

It seems all like a dream! When we drove past that church again, I and my sisters, there was a cloud before my eyes—. Ask your mother to forgive me, Robert– If I had not been there, she would have been there, perhaps.

And for the rest, if either of us two is to suffer injury & sorrow for what happened there today,—I pray that it may all fall upon me! Nor should I suffer the most pain that way, as I know, & God knows.

Your own Ba–

Was I very uncourteous to your cousin?[2] So kind, too, it was in him!——

Can there be the least danger of the newspapers? Are those books ever examined by penny a liners, do you suppose?

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

Postmarks: PAID 12SP12 1846; PD 8NT SP12 1846 B.

Docket, in RB’s hand: 275.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 1063–64.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Year provided by postmark.

2. James Silverthorne (1809–52).

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