2515.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 207–208.


Thursday. [Postmark: 30 July 1846]

Now you are my very own best, sweetest, dearest Ba. Do you think after such a letter as mine any amount of confidence in my own intentions, or of the reasonableness of being earnest on such a subject, can avail to save me from mortal misgivings? I should not have said those words, certainly I should not—but you forgive them and me, do you not?

It was thro’ seeing the peril about Mr Kenyon just as you see it: but do not suppose I could break my promise; to every point urged after that sad irresistible fashion, my answer would be,—would in the end amount to,—“provided she consents”—and then he would return to you, put away altogether the arguments just used to me, take up in their stead the corresponding ones founded on my interests as he would profess to understand them, and the result would be that a similar answer would be obtained from you,—which he would call your “consent”– This is not what I fear now,—oh, no!—but the fancy I was frightened by, yesterday, while I wrote. Now, I seem to have my powers about me, and could get to the truth and hold by it thro’ every difficulty,—and if I, how much more you!

—Then, this is expecting the worst of Mr Kenyon,—and the best is at least as likely. In any case, one may be sure of cautions, and warnings, and a wise, good, shaking of the head—he is none of the ardent anticipators of exuberant happiness from any scheme begun and ended here below. But, after that,—why, ours is the only thoroughly rational match that ever came under my notice, and he is too clever not to see some justification in it– At all events, he will say “we shall see!”—whether he sigh or smile in the saying—and if he waits, he will see.

And we will “decide” on nothing, being sure of the one decision—I mean, that if the summer be long, and likely to lead in as fine an Autumn, and if no new obstacles arise,—September shall go as it comes, and October too, if your convenience is attained thereby in the least degree– Afterward, you will be all my own, all your days and hours and minutes––. I forgot, by the way, to reply to your question concerning Mrs J.—if there is good to you, decided or even not impossible good—of course, let her be with us if she will,—otherwise, oh let us be alone, Ba! I find, by the first map, that from Nevers the Loire proceeds S.E till the Arroux joins it, and that just below it communicates with the Canal du Centre, which runs N.E from Paray to Chagny and thence to Châlons-sur Saône. It is a round about way, but not more so than the post-road by Autun—the Canal must be there for something, & in that case, you travel from Orleans to Leghorn by water and with the least fatigue possible. I observe that steamboats leave St Katherine’s wharf every Thursday and Sunday morning at 8 o’clock for Havre, Rouen & Paris—would that way be advisable? I will ascertain the facts about Nevers & Châlons by the time we meet.

Dearest Ba, my very own, I love you with a love—not to die before any sorrow! .. perhaps that is the one remaining circumstance of power to heighten it! May God bless you for me–

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street.

Postmark: 8NT8 JY30 1846 O.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 242.

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 916–917.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.


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