Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8, 1845

Miss Barrett has been send a presentation copy of Chorley's latest book, Pomfret; or, Public opinion and private judgment, and writes to thank him. As usual she writes a very charming letter:

"50, Wimpole Street,

November 8th.

Dear Mr. Chorley,–

I cannot wait till I have read these three volumes, to thank you for the kindness and distinction of the gift. The pleasure and sympathy which are sure to come with the reading, I think, will be another motive of grateful acknowledgement—but in the meantime I will let the earlier motive act. So I thank you much now.

There was a letter too from Italy which was a pure kindness on your part, and which reached me just as I was midway in a dream of being there myself this winter .. breaking off as dreams of mine are apt to do whenever they try to exceed that certain limit of poetical vagueness of .. 'whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell.' So instead of the south I take to my winter-prison again, .. I, who have been at comparative liberty this summer and moving about nearly like other people: but though the bolts are shot again now, I remain very well just so far into the winter, and should be quite well always, I believe, if I were but charmed from the wind and the frost by some good strong useful curse after the fashion of Kehama’s. Then I agree with you that the weather is delightful, and that my phrase 'just so far into the winter' which I meant for the eighth of November (is’nt it the eighth?) is little suitable to this luxurious warm soft atmosphere which might belong to the eighth of April.

So, instead of writing any more, I shall go to Pomfret and enjoy it all the more of course (in an exquisite human selfishness) because the rest of the world cannot at the same moment. And after all, how much better this sort of early fruit is than any other—how much better for instance, than peaches a guinea each! So I go to Pomfret as I said; thanking you, dear Mr. Chorley, again and again for all your goodness to me. Miss Mitford spent some hours with me a few days ago and was looking well and talking like herself.

Very truly yours,

Elizabeth Barrett Barrett."

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