Friday, July 20, 2012

July 20

Browning writes a short letter July 20, 1846 as usual continuing their ongoing conversation:

"Certainly you do know me, my own Ba, beyond all other knowledge possible to relatives,—that I know—in fact, I found myself speaking unwarily on a subject where speech is obliged to stop abruptly—the fault was mine for bringing up terms, remarks &c quite inapplicable out of this house,—where all, as you understand, have seen me so long that they do not see differences in me,—increases or diminutions; I am twice as blind, most likely, to them, after the same fashion. Still, one is slow to concede an excuse to such blindness—hence the “hasty words” I told you they charge me with uttering.

I apprehend no danger from that,—to your feeling for me: it is your own speech, my Ba, which I will take from you, and use—my own “general shortcomings” you will inevitably see and be sorry for—but there will be the more need of your love, which I shall go on asking for daily and nightly as if I never could have enough .. which is the exact fact; and also, I shall grow fitter thro’ the love to be what you would have me, so the end may be better than the beginning, let us hope.

Will you not do what you can with me who am your very own?—as you are my own too, but for a different end– I am yours to operate on, as you are my only lady to dispose of what belongs to you– Dear, dearest Ba, it is so,—will ever be so!"

He makes a valid point that just as your family cannot see the real you, you probably cannot see them either. Our poets will meet tomorrow, so no letters from 1846, but I will rummage around and see what else might be of interest.

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