2250.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 145–146.


[Postmark: 11 March 1846]

Dear, dear Ba, but indeed I did return home earlier by two or three good hours than the night before—and to find no letter; none of yours! That was reserved for this morning early—and then a rest came, a silence, over the thoughts of you,—and now again, comes this last note! Oh, my love, why .. what is it you think to do, or become “afterward,” that you may fail in and so disappoint me? It is not very unfit that you should thus punish yourself and that sinning by your own ambition of growing something beyond my Ba even, you should “fear” as you say! For, sweet, why wish, why think to alter ever by a line, change by a shade, turn better, if that were possible, and so only rise the higher above me, get further from instead of nearer to my heart? What I expect, what I build my future on, am quite, quite prepared to “risk” every thing for,—is that one belief that you will not alter, will just remain as you are—meaning by “you”, the love in you, the qualities I have known .. (for you will stop me, if I do not stop myself)—what I have evidence of in every letter, in every word, every look—keeping these, if it be God’s will that the body passes—what is that?– Write no new letters, speak no new words, look no new looks,—only tell me, years hence, that the present is alive, that what was once, still is—and I am, must needs be, blessed as ever! You speak of my feeling as if it were a pure speculation—as if because I see somewhat in you I make a calculation that there must be more to see somewhere or other—where bdellium is found, the onyx-stone may be looked for in the mystic land of the four rivers! [1] And perhaps .. ah, poor human nature!—perhaps I do think at times on what may be to find! But what is that to you? I offer for the bdellium—the other may be found or not found .. what I see glitter on the ground, that will suffice to make me rich as,—rich as—

So bless you, my own Ba! I would not wait for paper—and you must forgive half-sheets, instead of a whole celestial quire to sing love and praise. Are you so well? So adventurous? Thank you from my heart of hearts– And I am quite well to-day (and have received a note from Procter just this minute putting off his dinner on account of the death of his wife’s sister’s husband abroad—) [2] (Observe, this sheet I take as I find—[)] I mean, that the tear tells of no improper speech repented of– [3] What English, what sense, what A Soul’s Tragedy! but then, what real, realest love, and more than love for my ever dearest Ba possesses her own—

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole St

Postmark: 8NT8 MR11 1846 B.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 133.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 530–531.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Genesis 2:10–14.

2. See note 2 in the preceding letter.

3. RB has written on fragments of his regular stationery.


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