Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4

It is June 4, 1846 and Browning is still trying to make it plain to Miss Barrett that any postponement of their plans would not be his preference:

“Vex me,” or “teaze me,” my own Ba, you cannot: I look on it indeed, after a moment, as only the natural effect of your strange disbelief in yourself, and ignorance of our true relation one to the other by every right and reason....Let me say humbly, I should prefer to go with you to Italy or any place where we can live alone for some little time, till you can know me, be as sure of me as of yourself– Nor am I so selfish, I hope, as that (because my uttermost pride & privilege and glory above all glories would be to live in your sick-room and serve you,)—as that, on that account, I would not rather see you in a condition to need none of my service .. the next thing to serving you, is to be .. what shall I say? .. served by you .. loved by you, made happy by you .. it is the being an angel, tho’ there might be archangels–
And if now you do not understand,—well, I kneel to you, my only Ba, and pray you to give yourself to me in deed as in word, the body as the heart and mind,—and now!—at any time .. you know what I cannot say, I cannot, I think,—if I know myself—love you more than I do .. but I shall always love you thus—and thus, in any case, happen what God may ordain–"

Well, it's pretty clear to me. I mean, the guy is on his knees here. So what further torture does Miss Barrett have for Browning today?

"You are too perfect, too overcomingly good & tender—dearest you are, & I have no words with which to answer you. There is little wonder indeed that I, being used so long to the dark, should stumble & mistake, & see men like trees walking....To say that I am not worthy, all at once grows too little to say. No one could be worthy of such words from you. You are best, best! How much more do you want me to owe to you, when I begin by owing to you all things, .. the only happiness of my life?
As to Italy, I thought of it first, so I am in no danger of thinking that you engage me as female courier & companion .. the feminine of what Mr Bezzi wants to be, Miss Bayley told me today. So if it is the same thing to you, we will put off Nova Zembla a little—— But how is it possible to jest, with this letter close by?– Dearest of all, believe that I am grateful to you as I ought to be .. penetrated .. touched to the bottom of my heart with the sense of what you have been to me & are,—dearest beloved!....
May God bless you dear dearest!– Shall I ever be better, I wonder, than the torment of your life?– It is I who want to be ‘justified’, & not you my beloved,—except as to your good sense for having made such a choice."

He has her hooked but she is keeping a tight line so he must be careful not to pull too hard and snap it. He must keep it taut, slowly tire her out, wait for the right opportunity and pull her in. This is going to take some time and patience, but he is going get her on his gaff.

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