2401.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 25–26.


Friday. [Postmark: 5 June 1846]

Nor did I mean so bad, dearest dearest, as that you were suspecting me of that .. Oh no, since “Scorn of me (that “me”) would recoil on you” .. you would have no right to bear with such a person for a moment: but I put the broadest case possible to declare upon broadly—as I would do so if I felt so .. felt no love longer .. so, in due degree, I would tell you frankly a fear or a doubt if I felt either .. I thought you suspected me, perhaps, of being deficient in this last point of courage: but it was not altogether so,—or if it was, you shall doubt no more, but believe the more strongly for the future .. let us kiss on that convention, dearest!– You see, I knew it could not but be that .. for if anything had struck you as really to be gained by delay, you must feel whether I should listen to that or no—last year, for instance, when you said “let us wait”–

Ah, Ba, my own, many things are, that ought not to be .. and I hide nothing .. cannot hide from you some feelings .. as that,—after all, after all,—talk, and indeed think, as one may, it is, let us say, a pleasant thing, at least, to be able to prove ones words,—even one’s lighter words; the proof may justify some words, I mean, and the rest, that admit of no proof, get believed on the score of them,—the first words & proofs: I should like to prove a very, very little .. if I could but do so in turning fifty-thousand a year, or less, to some account and building Flush a house “fair to see”, [1] —after which I could go on talking about the longings never to be satisfied here …

Now this is foolish,—so the causeless blame, if you please, shall be transferred here .. as naughty children, punished by mistake, are promised a remission of next offence–

Oh to-morrow kisses all right .. all so right again, dearest! I have so much to say: make me remember, love, to tell you something I have just learned about Mr Kenyon which makes one .. no, all is proper,—he should have the money, and I the admiration and love of his divine use of it: something to love him for, and be happy that God will reward it– Remember—for even that I should forget by you!

And all has been charming at Mr Kenyon’s—Landor’s dinner, and our flower-show feast,—I will tell you tomorrow. And last night I went to Mrs Procter’s in downright spirits “pour cause [2] (with my first letter .. not my second, which only arrived this morning)—and I danced, to put it on record there that I was altogether happy, and saw Mrs Jameson, and the Countess Hahn-Hahn, and Milnes and the Howits and others [3] in a multitude,—and I got to this house door at 4-oclock, with the birds singing loud and the day bright & broad—and my head is quite well,—as my mother’s is better, I hope—quite well, I am at this minute—for the rest, the news of your two exits and entrances on one day .. oh, thank you, thank the golden heart of my own, own Ba! whom I shall see tomorrow .. but can .. how I can kiss her now—being her own


Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street.

Postmark: 8NT8 JU5 1846 B.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 200.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 760–761.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. Cf. “A Vision of Poets” (1844), line 934.

2. “With good reason.”

3. Macready was one of the “others,” and he noted in his diary that Browning “did not speak to me—the puppy!” (Macready, II, 340). Ida Marie Louise Gustave, Gräfin von Hahn-Hahn (1805–80) was a German writer of sentimental novels about the aristocracy, including Ulrich and Gräfin Faustine, both published in 1841. The Countess Faustina, an English translation by H.N.S., was published in 1844.


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