Correspondence

2351.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 311–313.

[London]

Friday. [Postmark: 8 May 1846]

Look down on you”,—my Ba? I would die for you, with triumphant happiness, God knows,—at a signal from your hand! But that,—look down,—never, tho’ you bade me again & again, and in such words! I look up,—always up,—My Ba, when I indulge in my deepest luxury, I make you stand .. do you not know that? I sit, and my Ba chooses to let me sit, and stands by,—understanding all the same how the relation really is between us,—how I would, and do, kiss her feet,—my Queen’s feet!

Do you feel for me so, my love? I seldom dare to try and speak to you of your love for me .. my love I am allowed to profess .. I could not steadily (I have tried, whether you noticed it or no, and could not) .. say aloud “and you love me”!– Because it is altogether a blessing of your gift,—irrespective of my love to you,—however it may go to increase it– Here are the words however– Human conviction is weak enough, no doubt,—but, when I forget these words, and this answer of my heart to them,––I cannot say it–

May God bless you, dearest dearest,—my Ba! I was at Mrs Jameson’s this morning– She spoke of you so as to make my heart tremble with very delight. I never liked her so much .. I may say, never liked her before—by comparison. She read me your three translations,[1]—clearly feeling their rare beauty—and now,—let me clap hands, My Ba, and ask you who knows best? She means to print both versions—the Blank verse and the latter rhymed one—of course, of course! But she said so many things .. I must tell you to morrow,—if you remind me. She felt such gratifications, too, at your thinking her etching of St Cecilia worthy to hang by your chair, in your sight.[2] Do you know, Ba, at the end,—à propos of her breakfast, I fairly took her by both hands, and shook them with a cordiality which I just reflect, tardily, may subject the Literary Character to a possible misconstruction[.] “He must have wanted a breakfast”—she will say!

I am going to the Museum on Monday with her, to see Italian prints– I like her very much. —And after breakfast, Mr Kenyon came in, and Mr Bezzi—and Mr K. means to make me go and see him next Monday also, I believe.

But, my seeing, and hearing, and enjoying—Saturday is my day for all that!– Tomorrow—by this time!—too great happiness it is, I know.

And I, too, look long over the grave, to follow you, my own heart’s love– Let Mrs Jameson repeal those acts,—limit the seven years,—to seven days or less, .. what matters?[3] If the seven days have to be endured because of a law, .. then I see the weariness, of course: but in our case .. if a benevolent Legislature should inform me, now, that if I choose, I may decline visiting you to-morrow–

.. Ah, nefandum,[4]—kiss me, my own Ba, and let the world legislate and decree and relieve and be otherwise notable—so they let me be your

own for ever RB

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole St

Postmark: 8NT8 MY8 1846 O.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 178.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 688–690.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. See letter 2304, note 2.

2. See letter 2275.

3. See letter 2349, note 3.

4. “It is not mentionable,” or “abominable.”

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