Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Daniel Karlin (ed.), Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett: The Courtship Correspondence, 1845–1846

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EB, Monday, 24 November 1845

. . . I never gave away what you ask me to give you, to a human being, except my nearest relatives & once or twice or thrice to female friends,° ‥ never, though reproached for it!—and it is just three weeks since I said last to an asker that I was 'too great a prude for such a thing'! ‥ it was best to anticipate the accusation!—And, prude or not, I could not—I never could—something would not let me. And now ‥ what am I to do ‥ 'for my own sake and not yours'—? Should you have it, or not? Why I suppose ‥ yes. I suppose that 'for my own sense of justice & in order to show that I was wrong' (which is wrong—you wrote a wrong word there ‥ 'right,' pg 160you meant!) 'to show that I was right & am no longer so', ‥ I suppose you must have it, 'oh, you,' ‥ who have your way in everything!

. . .

[Meeting 31: Tuesday, 25 November 3.15–4.30 p.m. The following letter was begun the day before this meeting took place and resumed after it.]

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Editor’s Note
159 female friends. Sonnets from the Portuguese, xviii, ll. 1–2: 'I never gave a lock of hair away / To a man, dearest, except this to thee'.
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