2254.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 152–153.


Sunday [15 March 1846] [1]

How will the love my heart is full of for you, let me be silent? Insufficient speech is better than no speech, in one regard—the speaker has tried words, and if they fail, hereafter he needs not reflect that he did not even try—so with me now, that loving you, Ba, with all my heart and soul,—all my senses being lost in one wide wondering gratitude and veneration, I press close to you to say so, in this imperfect way, my dear dearest beloved! Why do you not help me, rather than take my words, my proper words from me and call them yours, when yours they are not? You said lately love of you “made you humble”—just as if to hinder me from saying that earnest truth!—entirely true it is, as I feel ever more convincingly. You do not choose to understand it should be so—nor do I much care—for the one thing you must believe, must resolve to believe in its length and breadth, is that I do love you and live only in the love of you.

I will rest on the confidence that you do so believe! You know by this that it is no shadowy image of you and not you, which having attached myself to in the first instance, I afterward compelled my fancy to see reproduced, so to speak, with tolerable exactness to the original idea, in you, the dearest real you I am blessed with– You know what the eyes are to me, and the lips and the hair—and I, for my part, know now, while fresh from seeing you, certainly know, whatever I may have said a short time since, that you will go on to the end, that that arm round me will not let me go,—over such a blind abyss—I refuse to think, to fancy, towards what it would be to lose you now! So I give my life, my soul into your hand—the giving is a mere form too, it is yours, ever yours from the first—but ever as I see you, sit with you, and come away to think over it all, I find more that seems mine to give,—you give me more life and it goes back to you.

I shall hear from you to-morrow—then, I will go out early and get done with some calls, in the joy and consciousness of what waits me,—and when I return I will write a few words. Are these letters, these merest attempts at getting to talk with you thro’ the distance .. yet always with the consolation of feeling that you will know all, interpret all & forgive it and put it right,—can such things be cared for, expected, as you say? Then, Ba, my life must be better .. with the closeness to help .. and the “finding out the way” for which love was always noted– If you begin making in fancy a lover to your mind, I am lost at once—but the one quality of affection for you, which would sooner or later have to be placed on his list of component graces,—that I will dare start supply—the entire love you could dream of is here—you think you see some of the other adornments, and only too many,—and you will see plainer one day—but with that I do not concern myself—you shall admire the true heroes—but me you shall love for the love’s sake. Let me kiss you, my dearest, dearest– God bless you ever–

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole St

Postmark: 10FN10 MR16 1846 A.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 135.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 538–539.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Date provided by postmark.


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