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
...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.