Excerpted from a letter of Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Florence to her sister Henrietta in England (between 1846 and 1859)
We have fires now, though the weather is lovely for November
And I take long walks every day.
We have fires now, and as soon as the lamp comes
Robert sits in his chair,* and I curl myself up on the sofa.
Or perhaps on a cushion on the hearth,
And we say to one another
“Oh how delightful this is!
I do hope no one will come tonight.”
So we read and talk and Robert can’t keep from
Letting out the end of David Copperfield.
And I scold him and won’t hear a word more.
Then the door opens, and enter
Baby holding by Wilson’s finger.
“I can’t think what he wants,”
Says Wilson, “but he would come.”
Upon which he walks straight up to me and puts up one foot.
Pointing to it with his hand, pulling at my gown —
Perhaps you don’t know what this means, but I do.
He wants to go to bed…
So I get up and go away with him and Wilson
And Robert calls after us: “Come back soon, Ba.”
And I go back soon…