"No one is like you" Ever tenderest, kindest, and most beloved, I thank you from the quick of my heart, where the thought of you lives constantly ! In this world full of sadness, of which I have had my part, full of sadness and bitterness and wrong, full of most ghastly contrasts of life and death, strength and weakness side by side, it is too much to have you to hold by as the river rushes on, too much good, too much grace for such as I, as I feel always, and cannot cease to feel! . . . I pour out my thoughts to you, dearest dearest, as if it were right to think of doing myself that good and relief, than of you who have to read all. But you spoil me into an excess of liberty by your tenderness. Best in the world ! Oh, you help me to live ! I am better and lighter since I have drawn near to you even on this paper; already 1 am better and lighter, and now I am going to dream of you, to meet you on some mystical landing-place, in order to be quite well to-morrow. Oh, we are so selfish on this earth that nothing grieves us very long, let it be ever so grievous, unless we are touched in ourselves in the apple of our eye, in the quick of our heart, in what you are, and where you are, my own dearest beloved! So you need not be afraid for me. We all look to our own as I hold you; the thunderbolts may strike the tops of the cedars, and, except in the first start, none of us be moved. True it is of me, not of you perhaps; certainly you are better than I in all things. Best in the world, you are; no one is like you. Can you read what I have written? Do not love me less! Do you think that I cannot feel you love me through all this distance? If you loved me less I should know without a word or a sign. Because I live by your loving me.
"Ever, ever dearest!" How I thank you for your letter, aver beloved ! You were made perfectly to be loved, and surely I have loved you, in the idea Of you, my whole life long. Did I tell you that before, so often as I have thought it ? It is that which makes me take it all as visionary good, for when one's ideal comes down to one and walks besides one suddenly, what is it possible to do but to cry out, " a dream"? You are the best, best, and if you loved me only and altogether for pity (and I think that, more than you think, the sentiment operated on your gentle, chivalrous nature), and if you professed it to me and proved it, and I knew it absolutely, what then? As long as it was love, should I accept it less gladly, do you imagine, because of the root? Should I think it less a gift ? Should I be less grateful, or more ? Ah, I have my theory of causation about it all; but we need not dispute, and will not, on any such metaphysics. Your loving me is enough to satisfy me, and if you did it because I sat rather on a green chair than a yellow one, it would be enough still for me, only it would not for you, because your motives are as worthy as your acts, dearest! ... As for happiness, the words which you use so tenderly are in my heart already, making me happy. I am happy by you. Also, I may say solemnly that the greatest proof of love I could give you is to be happy because of you, and even you cannot judge and see how great a proof that is. You have lifted my very soul up into the light of your soul, and I am not ever likely to mistake it for the common daylight. May God bless you, ever, ever dearest!
At from half-past three to four, then - four will not, I suppose, be too late? I will not write more; I cannot. By to-morrow at this time I shall have you only to love me, my beloved !
You only ! As if one said God only, and we shall have Him beside, I pray of Him.
1 shall send to your address at New Cross your Hanmer's poems, and the two dear books you gave me, which I do not like to leave here and am afraid of hurting by taking them with me. Will you ask our sister to put the parcel into a drawer so as to keep it for your letters to me I take with me, let the "ounces" cry out ever so. I tried to leave them, and I could not. That is, they would not be left; it was not my fault, I will not be scolded.
Is this my last letter to you, ever dearest? Oh, if I loved you less, a little, little less!
Why, I should tell you that our marriage was invalid, or ought to be, and that you should by no means come for me to-morrow. It is dreadful, dreadful to have to give pain here by a voluntary act, for the first time in my life.
Do you pray for me to-night, Robert ? Pray for me, and love me, that I may have courage, feeling both.
So closes the first scene of the Browning romance culminating in a marriage truly "made in heaven," if ever one was! It is good for our belief in happiness that there remains this record of once, at least, a dream coming true.
The true story of the Brownings will remain for all time one of the most beautiful of all those that have been made known to the world.
Love Scenes In Pictures-no. 2
"The First Love-letter." By Marcus Stone, R.a. Copyright by Landeker & Brown
This section comprises articles showing how women may help in all branches of religious work. All the principal charities will be described, as well as home and foreign missions The chief headings are:
Missionaries Zenana Missions Home Missions, etc. Great Leaders of Religious Thought
How to Work for Great
Charities Great Charity Organisations Local Charities, etc. The Women of the Bible
How to Manage a Church
Bazaar What to Make jor Bazaars Garden Bazaars, etc. How to Manage a Sunday-school