Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 30

May 30, 1846 the play continues with Miss Barrett teazing Browning about his humility:

I have your letter .. you who cannot write!– The contrariety is a part of the ‘miracle’. After all it seems to me that you can write for yourself pretty well—rather too well I used to think from the beginning. But if you persist in the proposition about my doing it for you, leaving room for your signature … shall it be this way?–
Show me how to get rid of you.
Now is’nt it I who am .. not ‘balancing my jewel’ .. over the gulph .. but actually tossing it up in the air out of sheer levity of joyousness?– Only it is not perhaps such dangerous play as it looks: there may be a little string perhaps, tying it to my finger. Which, if it is not imprudence in act, is impudence in fact, you see!–
Dearest, I committed a felony for your sake today—so never doubt that I love you. We went to the Botanical Gardens, where it is unlawful to gather flowers, & I was determined to gather this for you, & the gardeners were here & there .. they seemed everywhere .. but I stooped down & gathered it– Is it felony, or burglary on green leaves—or what is the name of the crime?—would the people give me up to the police I wonder? Transie de peur [paralysed with fear], I was, .. listening to Arabel’s declaration that all gathering of flowers in those gardens is highly improper,—and I made her finish her discourse, standing between me & the gardeners .. to prove that I was the better for it....."

She stole a pansy for her boy. She seems to be a natural thief using the body of an innocent to block her crime. Compare with the letter to Mr. Boyd from 1840 when she fainted when moved from bed to sofa. What a difference Browning has made to her, she is now committing horticultural felonies!

"Can you love me so? do you?—will you always?– And is any of that love ‘lost’, do you think, .. as the saying is? Indeed it is not. I put golden basins all round (the reverse shape of lachrymatories) to catch every drop as it falls, .. so that when we two shall meet together in the new world, I may look in your face (as I cannot at this moment) & say ‘None of the love was lost, though all of it was undeserved’."

No, she still can't quite believe it. What does Browning have to say?

"Oh, yes, do 'show me how to get rid of you', my best Ba,—for so I shall have the virtuous delight of deciding to keep you, instead of being wholly kept by you; it is all out of my head, now, how I used to live when I was my own; and if you can, by one more witchery, give me back that feeling for once .. Ba, I have no heart to write more nonsense, when I can take your dearest self into my arms; yet I shall never quite lie quiet and happy, I do think .. I shall be always wishing you would be angry, and cruel, and unjust, for a moment,—for my love overflows the bounds, needs to prove itself—all which is foolish, I know....I mean, that after the blow struck, the natural vibration must follow and continue its proper period—and that my love for what I have received from you already must last to my life’s end—cannot end sooner! 'Shall I continue to love you!' "

All this love stuff is very nice, but it does get rather cloying. I, like Browning, am looking forward to some drama or at least some good natured teazing.

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