2389.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 7–8.


Saturday. [Postmark: 30 May 1846]

Oh, yes, do “show me how to get rid of you”, my best Ba,—for so I shall have the virtuous delight of deciding to keep you, instead of being wholly kept by you; it is all out of my head, now, how I used to live when I was my own; and if you can, by one more witchery, give me back that feeling for once .. Ba, I have no heart to write more nonsense, when I can take your dearest self into my arms; yet I shall never quite lie quiet and happy, I do think .. I shall be always wishing you would be angry, and cruel, and unjust, for a moment,—for my love overflows the bounds, needs to prove itself—all which is foolish, I know. Today, for some unknown reason, is a day of hope with me .. all bright things seem possible; I was feeling them so, when your note came—as I sate in the garden—and when I saw the flower (Paracelsus’ own .. they usually ornament his pictures with it,—I said something on the subject in the poem, too, and gave a note about “flammula, citrinula—herba Paracelso multum familiaris”[1])—when I saw that, and read on and on,—every now and then laying the letter down to feel the entire joy,—and when the end came, .. Ba, dearest Ba, it was with me then as now, as always after steady thinking of what you are to me .. I cannot tell you—but for the past, utterly irrespective of the future,—for what you have been, this love cannot cease tho’ you were transformed into all you are not nor could ever be: I mean, that after the blow struck, the natural vibration must follow and continue its proper period—and that my love for what I have received from you already must last to my life’s end—cannot end sooner! “Shall I continue to love you!”

You said in Thursday’s letter—“we have not been frightened much yet”—our meetings have been uninterrupted hitherto, and these letters:—yes, that I am most thankful for—whatever should happen, our real relation one to the other is wholly known—that fact has been established beyond possibility of doubt at least. I don’t make myself understood here, I know, .. but, think,—if at the very beginning any accident had separated us ..

But I will believe in the end now and henceforth– I will believe you are my very own Ba,—my best dream’s realization, my life’s fulfilment and consummation—and having discovered you, I shall live and die with you. So may God dispose!

I will write the rest,—(nothing is here)—a longer letter to-morrow—but now my mind is too full of you .. the poor hand gets despised for lagging after! All my thoughts are with you, dearest. May God bless you, and make me less unworthy of

being your own, own RB

One more day—one, and Monday!

(See what kindness of Mr Kenyon! I do not accept, having no need to trouble him as he desires—but see how kind.)

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street.

Postmark: 8NT8 MY30 1846 A.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 195.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 742–743.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. “A yellow little flame—a blade of grass very familiar to Paracelsus.” See the note to Paracelsus, III, 128.


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