I shall tell them to send you the ‘Athenaeum’ of last week, where I have a ’House of Clouds,’ which papa likes so much that he would wish to live in it if it were not for the damp. There is not a clock in one room—that’s another objection. How are your clocks? Do they go? and do you like their voices as well as you used to do?
I think Annie is not with you; but in case of her still being so, do give her (and yourself too) Arabel’s love and mine. I wish I heard of you oftener. Is there nobody to write? May God bless you!
Your ever affectionate friend,
To H.S. Boyd August 31, 1831 [sic].
Thank you, my ever dear friend, with almost my last breath at Torquay, for your kindness about the Gregory, besides the kind note itself. It is, however, too late. We go, or mean at present to go, to-morrow; and the carriage which is to waft us through the air upon a thousand springs has actually arrived. You are not to think severely upon Dr. Scully’s candour with me as to the danger of the journey. He does think it ‘likely to do me harm;’ therefore, you know, he was justified by his medical responsibility in laying before me all possible consequences. I have considered them all, and dare them gladly and gratefully. Papa’s domestic comfort is broken up by the separation in his family, and the associations of this place lie upon me, struggle as I may, like the oppression of a perpetual night-mare. It is an instinct of self-preservation which impels me to escape—or to try to escape. And In God’s mercy—though God forbid that I should deny either His mercy or His justice, if He should deny me—we may be together in Wimpole Street in a few days. Nelly Bordman has kindly written to me Mr. Jago’s favourable opinion of the patent carriages, and his conviction of my accomplishing the journey without inconvenience.
May God bless you, my dear dear friend! Give my love to dearest Annie! Perhaps, if I am ever really in Wimpole Street, safe enough for Greek, you will trust the poems to me which you mention. I care as much for poetry as ever, and could not more.
Your affectionate and grateful
ELIZABETH B. BARRETT.
[Footnote 57: Poetical Works, iii. 186.]
In September 1841 the journey from Torquay was actually achieved, and Miss Barrett returned to her father’s house in London, from which she was never to be absent for more than a few hours at a time until the day, five years later, when she finally left it to join her husband, Robert Browning. Her life was that of an invalid, confined to her room for the greater part of each year, and unable to see any but a few intimate friends. Still, she regained some sort of strength, especially during the warmth of the summer months, and was able to throw herself with real interest