February 7, 1846 finds Browning unwell! Too much partying has brought on a lack of sleep and perhaps a hangover. Perhaps. Or a bit of cunning.
"Dearest, to my sorrow I must, I fear, give up the delight of seeing you this
morning. I went out unwell yesterday, and a long noisy dinner with
speech-making, with a long tiresome walk at the end of it—these have given me
such a bewildering headache that I really see some reason in what they say here
about keeping the house. Will you forgive me—and let me forget it all on Monday?
On Monday—unless I am told otherwise by the early post—And God bless you
Will she tease and torment the boy?
No, not today. Me thinks she had a bit of a scare, which is exactly what he was hoping to do, the evil courting genius. He wasn't there at the appointed 3pm and she didn't get his letter until 4pm. Oh! The anxious moments. I can imagine her thinking, "What have I said that has vexed him? Perhaps too much teasing....."
"I felt it must be so ... that something must be the matter, ... and I had been
so really unhappy for half an hour, that your letter which comes now at four,
seems a little better, with all its bad news, than my fancies took upon
themselves to be, without instruction."
"So we could not keep our sabbath to-day! It is a fast day instead, ... on my
part. How should I feel (I have been thinking to myself), if I did not see you
on Saturday, and could not hope to see you on Monday, nor on Tuesday, nor on
Wednesday, nor Thursday nor Friday, nor Saturday again—if all the sabbaths were
gone out of the world for me!"
But in the mean time Browning has been playing opossum and writes her another letter:
"The clock strikes—three; and I am here, not with you—and my
'fractious' headache at the very worst got suddenly better just now, and is
leaving me every minute—as if to make me aware, with an undivided attention,
that at this present you are waiting for me, and soon will be wondering—and it
would be so easy now to dress myself and walk or run or ride—do anything that
led to you ... but by no haste in the world could I reach you, I am forced to
see, before a quarter to five—by which time I think my letter must arrive. Dear,
dearest Ba, did you but know how vexed I am—with myself, with—this is absurd, of
course. The cause of it all was my going out last night—yet that, neither, was
to be helped, the party having been twice put off before—once solely on my
account. And the sun shines, and you would shine—
Monday is to make all the amends in its power, is it not? Still, still I have
lost my day."
And they say women are manipulative....