"No, dear, dear Ba, I shall not see you to-day in spite of all the hoping and fancying .. for I could not, as I calculate, reach Mrs Jameson’s before 1. oclock or a little later .. and there would be the worst of vexations, to know you had been and gone again! I persuade myself you may not pay the visit to-day, .. (“it is improbable” you say) .. and that it may be paid next week, the week in which there is only one day for us .. how do you say, dearest? all complaining is vain--let tomorrow make haste and arrive!"
Browning also has to comment on Miss Barrett's report that she will mount her mule and go to Greece if she determines that Browning no longer loves her:
"Ba, there is nothing in your letter that shocks me,—nothing: if you choose to imagine that 'possibility', you are consistent in imagining the proper step to take .. it is all imagining: but I feel altogether as you feel about the horribleness of married friends, mutual esteemers &c– When your name sounds in my ear like any other name, your voice like other voices,—when we wisely cease to interfere with each other’s pursuits,—respect differences of taste &c &c all will be over then!
I cannot myself conceive of one respect in which I shall ever fall from this feeling for you .. there never has been one word, one gesture unprompted by the living, immediate love beneath—but there have been many, many, so many that the same love has suppressed, refused to be represented by! I say this, because I can suppose a man taking up a service of looks and words, which service is only to last for a time and so may be endured,—after which the “real affection”, “honest attachment” &c & means to go to its ends by a shorter road, saving useless ceremony and phrases .. do you know what I mean? I hardly do .. except that it is, whatever it is, opposed, as heaven to earth, to what I feel is, I count confidently on being more and more able to find the true words and ways (which may not be spoken words perhaps), the true rites by which you should be worshipped, you dear, dear Ba, my entire blessing now and ever—and ever; if God shall save me also."
What? Typical Browning. I try to figure out where he is going with these mental jaunts of his and in this case, the hour is late and I just haven't got a clue. But I do like that he is trying to find the proper rites to worship her by. I mean, who wouldn't?
Miss Barrett gets his letter and realizes that her Friday is lost:
"Oh! “tomorrow, make haste & arrive”. And what good will tomorrow do when it comes?
Dearest, with your letter tonight, I have a note from Mrs Jameson, who proposes that I should go to her just on this tomorrow, between twelve & one: she will wait for me till one & then go out. Moreover she leaves town on tuesday. Now I think I ought to try to be with her this time, therefore, on the hour she mentions, & I will try .. I mean to try. But as for seeing you even so, & for a moment, .. I understand that it scarcely is possible—no, not possible—you cannot have time, I think. Thinking which, understanding which, I shall yet, in spite of reason, listen for the footstep & the voice: certainly I shall not help doing that.
Our tomorrow!– How they have spoilt it for us! In revenge, I shall love you tomorrow twice as much, looking at my dead flowers. Twice as much!! “Ba, never talk extravagances.” Twice as much is a giant fifty feet high. It is foolish to be fabulous....May God bless you, dear, dear! Give me all my thoughts (those that belong to me) tomorrow. Poor disinherited tomorrow–....
And you are the best, best! When I speak lead, you answer gold. Because I “do not shock” you, you melt my heart away with joy."
But then Saturday is lost as well as a late letter from Miss Barrett reports:
"I am forced to say something now which you will not like & which I, for my part, hate to say—but you shall judge how impossible it is for me to see you tomorrow.
The visitors did not come last night; & as this morning we expected them hourly, the post brought a letter instead, to the effect that they were to arrive just on saturday .. leaving us to calculate the time of arrival between one p.m. to five or six. If at one, .. Papa will be in the house & likely to stay in it all day after .. which would be a complication of disadvantages for us: and if at three .. why even so, my aunt would ‘admire' a little the reason of my not seeing her at once, & there would be questions & answers à faire fremir.So dearest dearest, I must try to live, these two days more, without seeing you—& indeed it will be hard work—the very light of the sun tomorrow, let it be ever so bright a sun, will only reproach the day with what it ought to have been .. our day, instead of everybody’s day or nobody’s day, a poor, blank, dreary day. What, when the clock is at three, .. oh what will keep me, I wonder, from being sullen to my aunt & sulkey to my cousin? They will think me (if my ministering angel should not throw me some hallowing thought of you, best beloved!) considerably fallen off in the morale, however the improvement may be, of the bodily health– I shall be as cross, as cross .. well, if I am less than cross, you must be right after all, & I, “une femme miraculeuse [a miraculous woman]”without illusion!– It is too bad, too bad. The whole week—from monday to monday! And I do not positively fix even monday, though I hope for monday:—but monday may be taken from us just as saturday is—& the Hedleys are to come on tuesday .. only not to this house. I wish they were all at Seringabatam [India].
Do not mind it however. Yes, mind it a little, .. Robert, but not overmuch—because the day shall not be lost utterly .. I shall take care. I will be on the watch for half days when people go out to shop .. that solemn business of life, .. & we will have our lost day back again .. you will see. But I could not get to Mrs Jameson’s this morning, not being quite well enough. It is nothing as illness,—I tell you the truth, dear—& even now I feel better than I did in the early morning. It was only just enough to prevent my going. And if I had gone I should not have seen you—you would not go in time—you would not perhaps even have my letter in time. The stars are against us for the moment, it seems.
Write to me, think of me, love me. You shall hear on saturday & on sunday, & we will settle about monday. After all, it would have been difficult to have met you at Mrs Jameson’s, observing the ‘fitness of things’:--and as I am subject to the madness of saying ‘Robert’ without knowing it …!
May God bless you– Say how you are! Dont let me slide out of your mind through this rift in the rock. I catch at the jutting stones."
She is still teazing about whether she ever actually said his name. How much their relationship has changed. She is so eager to see him now; she seems as 'on fire' as he was in the fall on 1845. She fought it for so long, but she is 'all in' now. I don't see either of them backing out now. I was thinking about what would have happened, despite everyone's fears for her health, if something had happened to Browning, even at this point, before they are married. How deeply into the pit of despair she would have dropped. I wonder if that ever occurred to her in her constant analysis of the possibilities.