Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29

March 29, 1846 was the day after one of Browning's visits to Wimpole street to sit by the sofa of our 'invalid' poet. Apparently she continued her harassment of Browning that he 'hated' to write to her. This has moved Browning into overdrive:

"My own, dearest and best,--it is not so,--not wrong, my heart's self tells me,--and tells you! But for the rest these shall never pass a day till my death wherein I will not write to you, so long as you let me, excepting those days I may spend with you, partly or..altogether--Love, shall I have very, very long to be hating to write, yet writing?"

And Browning has received the long promised portrait:

"My Mother was greatly impressed by it--and my sister, coming (from my room) into the room where I was with a visitor, before whom she could not speak English, said 'Emolto bella' [She is very beautiful]!"

I wonder what our poetess with low self esteem will think of this comment?

And he wants to dedicate his latest book of poems to the beautiful Miss Barrett but knows that he cannot due to the nature of their secret affair:

"I have felt,--not for the first time now,--but from the beginning vexed, foolishly vexed perhaps, that I could not without attracting undesirable notice, "dedicate," in the true sense of the word, this or the last number to you: but if any really worthy performance should follow, mouth will be unsealed. All is forewritten!"

Miss Barrett also writes following their meeting and praises his 'Luria' but then notices that is has been almost a year since their first meeting:

"If I had done my duty like the enchanted fish leaping on the gridiron, & seen you never again after the first visit, you would have forgotten all about me by this day. Or at least, "that prude" I should be!--Somewhere under your feet, I should be put down by this day!--Yes! and my enchanted dog would be coursing "some small dear"..some unicorn of a "golden horn"...(not the Kilmansegg gold!) out of hearing if I should have a mind to whistle ever so..but out of harm's way perhaps besides....
Yet I think again how He of the heavens and earth brought us together so wonderfully, holding two souls in His hand--If my fault was in it, my will at least was not. Believe it of me, dear dearest, that I who am as clear-sighted as other women,..& not more humble..(as to the approaches of common men)..was quite resolutely blind when you came--I could not understand the possibility of that. It was too much..too surpassing. And so it will seem to the end. The astonishment, I mean, will not cease to be. It is my own especial fairy-tale..from the spells of which, may you be unharmed...!"

It may be like a dream, but a dream that she continues to try and wake Browning out of...and can't seem to succeed. I suspect that he is enjoying the dream as well.

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