405.  EBB to Ann Lowry Boyd

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 2, 289–290.

Hope End.

Saturday Morng. [ca. April 1831][1]

My dear Mrs Boyd;

You were quite wrong in supposing that Papa was likely to complain about “the number of letters from Malvern”; & as to my doing so, why did you suggest that? To fill up a sentence, or to conjure up some kind of limping excuse for idle people? Among idle people, perhaps you have written me down. But the reason of my silence was far more reasonable than your’s. I have been engaged in alternately wishing in earnest, & wishing in vain, for the power of saying when I could go to Malvern—& in being unwell besides. For the last week I have not been at all well, & indeed was obliged yesterday to go to bed after breakfast instead of after tea, where I contrived to abstract myself out of a good deal of pain into Lord Byron’s Life by Moore.[2] Today this abstraction is not necessary; I am much better; & indeed little remains of the indisposition, but the vulgar fractions of a cough & cold. I dare say—(& Occyta agrees with me—) cold was at the bottom of it all,—for I was so very wise as to lie down upon the grass last Monday, when the sun was shining deceitfully,—tho’ the snow was staring at me from the hedges, with an expression anything but dog-days .. ical!

Henrietta’s face-ache, is quite well! & I dont mean to give anymore bulletins today. I hope your “tolerably well” is turned into “quite well” too by this time!

In reply to your query, I will mention that the existance actually extended until Thursday without the visit here[,] a phenomenon in physics and metaphysics; I was desired by a note a short time previously, “to embrace all my circle with the utmost tenderness,” as proxy. Considering the extent of the said circle, this was a very comprehensive request; & a very unreasonable one to offer to anyone less than the hundred-armed Indian God Baly!——

I am glad that your alternative of a house is so near the right side of the turnpike—in which case, a miss is certainly not as bad as a mile. May Place is to be vacated in May, tho’ its present inhabitants do not leave Malvern. I mention this to you; but pray dont re-mention it to anybody. The rent is £150. Mr Boyd will not be angry with me for not going to see him, sooner than I can. At least I am sure he ought not. Tho’ you are all kind enough to wish me to go, I always think & know (which is consolatory to everything but my vanity—) that no one can wish it half as much as I myself do.

Believe me, dear Mrs Boyd,

Affectionately yours,

E B Barrett.

Address, on integral page: Mrs Boyd.

Publication: LEBB, I, 8–9.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Dated by EBB’s mentioning a house becoming available. The Boyds’ lease of Woodland Lodge was to expire in May.

2. Letters and Journals of Lord Byron: with Notices of His Life (1830), by Thomas Moore (1779–1852), lent to EBB by Mrs. Ricardo.


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