2459. EBB to RB
As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 113–114.
Friday night [3 July 1846]
Oh! “tomorrow, make haste & arrive”. And what good will tomorrow do when it comes?
Dearest, with your letter tonight, I have a note from Mrs Jameson, who proposes that I should go to her just on this tomorrow, between twelve & one: she will wait for me till one & then go out. Moreover she leaves town on tuesday. Now I think I ought to try to be with her this time, therefore, on the hour she mentions, & I will try .. I mean to try. But as for seeing you even so, & for a moment, .. I understand that it scarcely is possible—no, not possible—you cannot have time, I think. Thinking which, understanding which, I shall yet, in spite of reason, listen for the footstep & the voice: certainly I shall not help doing that.
Our tomorrow!– How they have spoilt it for us! In revenge, I shall love you tomorrow twice as much, looking at my dead flowers. Twice as much!! “Ba, never talk extravagances.” Twice as much is a giant fifty feet high. It is foolish to be fabulous.
Being better this evening, (almost as if I were sure to see you in the morning), I went out to drive with Arabel & Flush, about six oclock,—& we were not at home until eight, after having seen a mirage (as it appeared) of green fields & trees. Beyond Harrow cemetery we went, through silent lanes & hedgerows—so silent, so full of repose! Quite far away over the tops of the trees, was “London”, Arabel said .. but I could see only a cloud:—it seemed no more, nor otherwise. Once she got out & went into a field to give Flush a run—and I, left to myself & you, read your last letter in the carriage, under the branches which were dropping separate shadows of every leaf they had. The setting sun forced them to it. Oh—but I send you no leaves, because I could not reach any, & did not get out to walk today where I might have gathered them. Arabel tried hard to persuade me to go into the cemetery—but let me deserve all she said to me about weakness & foolishness, .. really that sort of thing does sadden me—my spirits fall flat with it: it is the dark side of death. So I begged her to go by herself & to leave me .. I would wait for her—& she should have as long a pleasure in that pleasure-ground of the Dead, as she liked—. ‘Very pretty’, it is said to be—the dissenters & the churchpeople planted in separate beds,—& the Roman Catholics conspicuous for their roses!—— Oh that ghastly mixture of horror & frivolity! The niaiserie of their divisions & subdivisions taken down so carefully into the dust!– But Arabel did not go at last, & we were at home quite late enough.
May God bless you, dear, dear! Give me all my thoughts (those that belong to me) tomorrow. Poor disinherited tomorrow–
I will write tomorrow, at any rate—& hear—let me hear.
And you are the best, best! When I speak lead, you answer gold. Because I “do not shock” you, you melt my heart away with joy.
Yet I can love you enough—even I!
Address: Robert Browning Esqre / New Cross / Hatcham / Surrey.
Postmark: 10FN10 JY4 1846 A.
Docket, in RB’s hand: 214.
Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 840–841.
Manuscript: Wellesley College.
1. Date provided by postmark.