Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 27

March 27, 1846 Miss Barrett continues Browning's suggestion that she is treating him like her dog with an allusion to a story from the Arabian Nights, casting herself as Zobeide, who is almost killed by her sisters, but rescued by a fairy who turns her sisters into dogs. (Miss Barrett gets the name wrong--Amine was one of the sisters who was turned into a dog.) She then must give each dog 100 lashes each night or be turned into a dog herself:

"For the rest, when you turn into a dog & lie down, are you not afraid that a sorcerer should go by & dash the water & speak the formula of the old tales--"If thou wert born a dog, remain a dog, but if not"...If not..what is to happen? Amine whipped her enchanted hounds ever so often in the day...ah, what nonsense happens!"

But she moves on to other news. Mrs.Jameson came by to visit:

" were right to teach me to like her--and now, do you know, I look in vain for the 'steely eyes' I fancied I saw once, & see nothing but two good & true ones."

How great a role Mrs. Jameson pays in the life of Miss Barrett is yet to be seen. A well cultivated friendship will fill out your life....

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