2532.  RB to EBB

As published in The Brownings’ Correspondence, 13, 242–243.


Monday Mg. [Postmark: 10 August 1846]

You dearest Ba, do you write thus to put all thoughts of fear out of my head, and make me confident nothing can go ill with us if you feel so for me? I seem to have a presentiment that this afternoon, before this letter reaches you, Mr Kenyon will have spoken—and if the whole world spoke its loudest, your words would be all I should hear. Or are they trials, every such word, of my vanity and weakness—do you think, “if anything can call them up, this will”?– No, I very well know your entire truth in this and the other assurances I make my life bright with, .. thro’ any darkness that can come. What you choose to assert of yourself, I feel of myself every hour,—But there must be this disproportionateness in a beloved object—before I knew you, women seemed not so much better than myself; therefore, no love for them! There is no love but from beneath, far beneath,—that is the law of its nature—and now, no more of words? & will there indeed be need of no more,—as I dare hope and believe,—will the deeds suffice?—not in their own value, no!—but in their plain, certain intention,—as a clear advance beyond mere words? We shall soon know—if you live, you will be mine, I must think—you have put these dear arms too surely round my neck to be disengaged now. I cannot presume to suggest thoughts to you, resolutions for the future—you must impart to me always,—but I do lift up my heart in an aspiration to lead the life that seems accorded, by your side, under your eyes,—


I cannot write on this, dear Ba,—to say, I will live and work as I ought, seems too presumptuous– Understand all, and help me with your dearest hand, my own love!–

As I say, I fancy Mr Kenyon will speak. I only hope, the caution will act both ways, and that he will see as much inexpediency in altogether opposing as in encouraging such a step—that you should pass another winter and the risk of it—and perhaps many .. that seems the worst fate– Can he apprehend any worse evil than that?

I observe in the Times to-day that the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Company have advertised a ship from Southampton to Genoa, Leghorn, Civita Vecchia & Naples on the 30 Septr, and that “thenceforth the company will despatch a first class steamer to those ports on the 15th of every month.” One more facility, should circumstances require it– Are you sure that the France journey with the delays and fatigue is preferable to this—where if the expenses are greater, yet the uncertain expenses are impossible? You are to think, beloved.

Now, will you write tonight? I may come to-morrow? Say one word—you have heard why I wanted to come, even if Mr Kenyon’s question had not been put—otherwise, Friday will be impossible– I can say, “I called on Saturday, and think of doing so next Friday”– I must see you to-morrow indeed, love!

Let me leave off here– I love you wholly, and bless you

Ever as now– Your own RB

Address: Miss Barrett, / 50. Wimpole Street.

Postmark: 8NT8 AU10 1846.

Docket, in EBB’s hand: 250 [altered from “249”].

Publication: RB-EBB, pp. 949–951.

Manuscript: Wellesley College.

1. RB has crossed out about three-fourths of a line.


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