Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 21

March 21, 1846 finds Browning in a hurry to get "Luria" and "A Soul's Tragedy" to the printer, Moxon. Miss Barrett has offered some corrections and Browning is working with his sister Sarianna to get the edits together. He writes just a short note to let her know that he needs direction as to when he is next expected in Wimpole Street:

"Dear, dear Ba! I cannot thank you, know not how to thank you for the notes! I adopt every one, of course, not as Ba's notes but as Miss Barrett's, not as Miss Barrett's but as anybody's, everybody's—such incontestable improvements they suggest. When shall I tell you more ... on Monday or Tuesday? That I must know—because you appointed Monday, 'if nothing happened—' and Mr. K. happened—can you let me hear by our early post to-morrow—as on Monday I am to be with Moxon early, you know—and no letters arrive before 11-1/2 or 12. I was not very well yesterday, but to-day am much better—and you,—I say how I am precisely to have a double right to know all about you, dearest, in this snow and cold! How do you bear it?"

But as always, she second guesses herself:

"Beware of the notes! They are not Ba's—except for the insolence, nor EBB's—because of the carelessness. If I had known, moreover, that you were going to Moxon's on Monday, they should have gone to the fire rather than provoked you into superfluous work for the short interval. Just so much are they despised of both EBB and Ba.
I am glad I did not hear from you yesterday because you were not well, and you must never write when you are not well. But if you had been quite well, should I have heard?—I doubt it. You meant me to hear from you only once, from Thursday to Monday. Is it not the truth now that you hate writing to me?
...While I write this you are in town, but you will not read it till Sunday unless I am more fortunate than usual. On Monday then! And no word before? No—I shall be sure not to hear to-night. Now do try not to suffer through 'Luria.' Let Mr. Moxon wait a week rather. There is time enough."

As I often I point out her teasing, I have to wonder if she has gone a bit too far. What has Browning said, done or not done that gives her this opening to accuse him of hating to write to her? She sounds more petulant than teasing here. Hopefully her next letter will show her in a better mood.

1 comment:

  1. I don't see anything that would make her think he hates writing to her. He even told her why he wrote a short note. She needed a lot of reassurances.