2458. RB to EBB
As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 112–113.
Friday. [Postmark: 3 July 1846]
No, dear, dear Ba, I shall not see you to-day in spite of all the hoping and fancying .. for I could not, as I calculate, reach Mrs Jameson’s before 1. oclock or a little later .. and there would be the worst of vexations, to know you had been and gone again! I persuade myself you may not pay the visit to-day, .. (“it is improbable” you say) .. and that it may be paid next week, the week in which there is only one day for us .. how do you say, dearest? all complaining is vain—let tomorrow make haste and arrive!
Ba, there is nothing in your letter that shocks me,—nothing: if you choose to imagine that “possibility”, you are consistent in imagining the proper step to take .. it is all imagining: but I feel altogether as you feel about the horribleness of married friends, mutual esteemers &c– When your name sounds in my ear like any other name, your voice like other voices,—when we wisely cease to interfere with each other’s pursuits,—respect differences of taste &c &c all will be over then!
I cannot myself conceive of one respect in which I shall ever fall from this feeling for you .. there never has been one word, one gesture unprompted by the living, immediate love beneath—but there have been many, many, so many that the same love has suppressed, refused to be represented by! I say this, because I can suppose a man taking up a service of looks and words, which service is only to last for a time and so may be endured,—after which the “real affection”, “honest attachment” &c & means to go to its ends by a shorter road, saving useless ceremony and phrases .. do you know what I mean? I hardly do .. except that it is, whatever it is, opposed, as heaven to earth, to what I feel is, I count confidently on being more and more able to find the true words and ways (which may not be spoken words perhaps), the true rites by which you should be worshipped, you dear, dear Ba, my entire blessing now and ever—and ever; if God shall save me also.
Let me kiss you now, and long for tomorrow– I shall bring you the poorest flowers .. all is brown, dry, autumnal. The Sun shines and reproves me .. after all, there would have been some rocks in the pleasant water of to-days meeting .. “Oh, hardness to dissemble”!
Here is no dissembling .. I kiss you, my very own!
Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street.
Postmark: 8NT8 JY3 1846 0.
Docket, in EBB’s hand: 221 [altered from “220”].
Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 838–839.
Manuscript: Wellesley College.
1. Othello, III, 4, 34.