870.  EBB to Mary Russell Mitford

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 5, 165–166.

50 Wimpole Street.

Novr 9. 1841

Dearest friend,

Nelly Bordman came here yesterday too late to be a post[s]cript to the letter I had just sent & yet eager & anxious to be written about. She was delighted up to the full height I expected, with the seeds.[1] I am to tell you how much she feels your kindness—& having felt & loved other qualities, common to you, it must be pleasant to her (—judging from my own experience, it must be—& looking at her animated grateful face, it is—) to recognize kindness to oneself as crowning all–

And now, my kind beloved friend, will you send by the railway to me, the two pilgrim-pots—the very two? I see plainly that she wd rather not wait—& that there is even a prestige in regard to those very two pots, on account of their adventures & their fellow-travellership with you. Nobody likes waiting—& I hate it myself—so I quite take her part in prefering the immediate transference of the very same pots—that is .. if you have not repented!——

Mr Kenyon has not come yet. No—I am not angry, for all the knitting of my brows yesterday. I write all my humeur[2] to you, as it comes & goes. It is gone now. Poor dear Mr Kenyon was not well—had a cold—& who knows but it may have returned to him—& that he may fly away in haste & fear without seeing me at all. To obviate whatever part of this disastrous chance might effect [sic] your American parcel, I will send it to him at once, I think. Yes—I will!

Did I tell you that he is meditating, & more & more seriously, the purchase of a house at Torquay? I am quite sorry!–

I turn away to brood upon all the kindest words you say upon all of us. I thank God day by day, for His unspeakable mercy in bringing me home again—whether to live or die, be it according to His will. You can understand what the deep gladness must be .. although you never experienced the bitter anguish of bestowing evil, unmitigated evil, where you wd only cause good.[3] The scars of that anguish I shall take down with me to the grave. Things past remain present—some things. And however I look around me & love them all, dear things,—for my best beloved—I may as well say it for it always was so—for my best beloved I look up to that Heaven whence only comes any measure of true comfort & adequate endurance. The crown fallen from our heads as a family, can be restored only there.

But it is wrong to write so to you. Do not notice it. It is wrong. May God bless you ever & ever.

Your attached


Publication: EBB-MRM, I, 303–304.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. For the garden Miss Bordman was helping to construct at Hammersmith (see letter 862).

2. “Ill-humour.”

3. As Bro had been allowed to remain in Torquay only because of EBB’s pleading, she always felt herself to be in some way responsible for his death there.


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