Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 1845

Two brief letters between our poets today as they try to arrange their meeting. Browning first:

"Well, dearest, at all events I get up with the assurance I shall see you, and go on till the fatal 11-1/4 p.m. believing in the same, and then, if after all there does come such a note as this with its instructions, why, first, it is such a note and such a gain, and next it makes a great day out of to-morrow that was to have been so little of a day, that is all. Only, only, I am suspicious, now, of a real loss to me in the end; for, putting off yesterday, I dared put off (on your part) Friday to Saturday ... while now ... what shall be said to that?

Dear Mr. Kenyon to be the smiling inconscious obstacle to any pleasure of mine, if it were merely pleasure!

But I want to catch our next post—to-morrow, then, excepting what is to be excepted! Bless you, my dearest—Your own R.B."

Not much other than silliness there. Don't blame him, he's just happy. Will Miss Barrett make any more sense?

"Mr. Kenyon never came. My sisters met him in the street, and he had been 'detained all day in the city and would certainly be here to-morrow,' Wednesday! And so you see what has happened to Wednesday! Moreover he may come besides on Thursday, ... I can answer for nothing. Only if I do not write and if you find Thursday admissible, will you come then? In the case of an obstacle, you shall hear. And it is not (in the meantime) my fault—now is it? I have been quite enough vexed about it, indeed.

Did the Monday work work harm to the head, I wonder? I do fear so that you won't get through those papers with impunity—especially if the plays are to come after ... though ever so 'gently.' And if you are to suffer, it would be right to tongue-tie that silver Bell, and leave the congregations to their selling of cabbages. Which is unphilanthropic of me perhaps, ... ω φιλτατε [oh beloved]."

He is working on the proof for 'Bells and Pomegranates'.

"Be sure that I shall be 'bold' when the time for going comes—and both bold and capable of the effort. I am desired to keep to the respirator and the cabin for a day or two, while the cold can reach us; and midway in the bay of Biscay some change of climate may be felt, they say. There is no sort of danger for me; except that I shall stay in England. And why is it that I feel to-night more than ever almost, as if I should stay in England? Who can tell? I can tell one thing. If I stay, it will not be from a failure in my resolution—that will not be—shall not be. Yes—and Mr. Kenyon and I agreed the other day that there was something of the tigress-nature very distinctly cognisable under what he is pleased to call my 'Ba-lambishness.' "

Click on 'respirator' for a look at a 19th century respirator. It essentially warms the air before it enters the lungs. This 'tigress-nature' she alludes to seems to come in fits and starts.

"Then, on Thursday!... unless something happens to Thursday ... and I shall write in that case. And I trust to you (as always) to attend to your own convenience—just as you may trust to me to remember my own 'boon.' Ah—you are curious, I think! Which is scarcely wise of you—because it may, you know, be the roc's egg after all. But no, it isn't—I will say just so much. And besides I did say that it was a 'restitution,' which limits the guesses if it does not put an end to them. Unguessable, I choose it to be."

She is still working up the courage to ask for the 'missing letter'.

And now I feel as if I should not stay in England. Which is the difference between one five minutes and another. May God bless you. Ever yours, E.B.B."

Will she, won't she, will she, won't she....nah, she won't. Not this year.

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