Miss Barrett sent Browning a letter describing her meeting with a Miss Bailey:
"At two, Miss Bailey came & sate for two hours, & thought me looking so well....She doffed her bonnet & talked & talked, & was agreeable & affectionate, & means to come constantly to see me...(only not on thursday, I desired:) and do you know, you need not think any more of my going with you to Italy, for she has made up her mind to take me herself...there is no escape that I can see..it's fixed..certain!--with a thousand generous benignities she stifled my 'no's'..& all I had breath to say at last, was, that 'there was time enough for plans of that kind' Seriously, I was quite embarrassed to know how to adjourn the debate. And she is capable of 'arranging everything'--of persisting, of insisting..who knows what? And so,..when I am 'withdrawn'..carried away,..then, shall all my 'feelings,' which are in you, be given to someone else? it that the way...
Now I shall not make jests upon that..I shall not: first I shall not because it is ungrateful--& next & principally, because my heart stands still to think of it..!"
Oh, the girl does love to 'teaze' her boy...
Browning took a feigning fright at this:
"...Meanwhile I will tell you what a dear, merciful Ba you are, in only threatening me with daggers--, when you play at threatening, instead of declaring that you will frown at me...Oh, but here 'Fear recoils, he knows well why, even at the sound himself has made'--
The best of it is, that this was the second fright, and by no means the most formidable. When I read that paragraph beginning 'you need not think any more of going with me to Italy' shall I only say I was alarmed? Without a particle of affectation, I tell Ba, I am, cannot help being, alarmed even now--we have been discussing possibilities--and it is rather more possible & probable that Miss Bailey may 'carry off' my Ba, and her Flush, and, say, and odd volume of the Cyclic Poets, all in her pocket..she being, if I remember, of the race of Anakim--than that I shall ever find in the wide world a flesh & blood woman able to bear the weight of the 'feelings,' I rest now upon the B and the A which spells Ba's name, only her name!"
Miss Bailey must have been a mighty woman who could carry Miss Barrett and her dog in her pocket. Rather a fanciful idea, rather like Alice in Wonderland after she hit the 'Drink Me' bottle.