2368. EBB to RB
As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 12, 337–338.
Tuesday morning. [Postmark: 19 May 1846]
My own ever dearest, when I try to thank you for such a letter as yesterday’s, .. for any proof, in fact, of your affection, .. I cannot speak: but you know, of this & all things, that I understand, feel—you must know it very well. There is only one thing I can do as I ought, & it is to love you: & the more I live, not ‘the less’ but the more I am able to love you—believe it of me. And for the less, .. we never will return to that foolish subject, .. but for the “less” you spoke of when you said “you do not love me less”? … why I thought at the moment & feel now, that it would be too late, as I am, ever, upon any possible ground, to love you less– If you loved me less .. even!—or (to leave that) if you were to come to me & say that you had murdered a man—why I may imagine such things, you know, .. but I can not imagine the possibility of my loving you less, as a consequence of your failing so!– I am yours in the deepest of my affections:—not unreasonably, certainly, as I see you & know you—but if it were to turn unreasonable .. I mean, if you took away the appearance of reasonableness .. still I should be yours in the deepest of my affections .. it is too late for a difference there.
Mrs Jameson has just now sent me a proof with the daughters of Pandarus, which she is to call for presently, & therefore I must come to an end with this note. How I shall think of you tomorrow! And if it should be fine, I may perhaps drive in the park near the gardens .. take my sisters to the gate of the gardens, & feel that you are inside! That will be something, if it is feasible. And if it is fine or not, & if I go or not, I shall remember our first day, the only day of my life which God blessed visibly to me, the only day undimmed with a cloud .. my great compensation-day, which it was worth while being born for!——
Your very own
Oh—you will not see me tomorrow, remember!– I tell you only out of cunning .. to win a thought!——
Address: Robert Browning Esqre / New Cross / Hatcham / Surrey.
Postmark: 5EV5 MY19 1846.
Docket, in RB’s hand: 176.
Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 711–712.
Manuscript: Wellesley College.
1. See letter 2304, note 2.
2. EBB is referring to the anniversary of their first meeting on 20 May 1845.