Correspondence

2615.  EBB to RB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 380.

[London]

Friday night– [18 September 1846][1]

At from half past three, to four, then—Four will not, I suppose, be too late– I will not write more– I cannot—. By tomorrow at this time, I shall have you only, to love me—my beloved!–

You only!—— As if one said God only– And we shall have Him beside, I pray of Him–

I shall send to your address at New Cross[2] your Hanmer’s poems—& the two dear books you gave me,[3] which I do not like to leave here & am afraid of hurting by taking them with me. Will you ask our Sister to put the parcel into a drawer, so as to keep it for us?

Your letters to me I take with me, let the ‘ounces’ cry out aloud, ever so. I tried to leave them, & I could not– That is, they would not be left: it was not my fault– I will not be scolded.

Is this my last letter to you, ever dearest? —Oh—if I loved you less .. a little, little less––

Why I should tell you that our marriage was invalid, or ought to be—& that you should by no means come for me tomorrow. It is dreadful .. dreadful .. to have to give pain here by a voluntary act—for the first time in my life–

Remind your mother & father of me affectionately & gratefully—& your sister too! Would she think it too bold of me to say our Sister, if she had heard it on the last page?

Do you pray for me tonight, Robert? Pray for me, & love me, that I may have courage, feeling both–

Your own Ba–

The boxes are safely sent. Wilson has been perfect to me– And I .. calling her “timid,” & afraid of her timidity! I begin to think that none are so bold as the timid, when they are fairly roused.

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

Postmark: 10FN10 SP19 1846 A.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 1086–87.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Date provided by postmark.

2. EBB has written and crossed out “a few letters which I never returned to you &.”

3. The two books given to EBB and inscribed by RB were Scholia in Æschyli Tragoedias (1820) and The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet Prince of Denmark (1825). They sold as lots 316 and 1074, respectively, in Browning Collections (see Reconstruction, A22 and A2078). Hanmer’s poems, lent to EBB, were copies of Fra Cipolla and Other Poems (1839) and Sonnets (1840). Both these titles sold as part of Browning Collections (see Reconstruction, A1131 and 1132, respectively).

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