Excerpt from Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, 1845-1846, Vol. 1 of 2
After all, I need not give up the thought of doing that, too, in time; because even now, talking with whoever is worthy, I can give a reason for my faith in one and another excellence, the fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos and true new brave thought; but in this addressing myself to you your own self, and for the first time, my feeling rises altogether. I do, as I say, love these books with all my heart - and I love you too. Do you know I was once not very far from seeing - really seeing you? Mr. Kenyon said to me one morning 'Would you like to see Miss Barrett?' then he went to announce me, - then he returned .. you were too unwell, and now it is years ago, and I feel as at some untoward passage in my travels, as if I had been close, so close, to some world's-wonder in chapel or crypt, only a screen to push and I might have entered, but there was some slight, so it now seems, slight and just sufficient bar to admission, and the half-opened door shut, and I went home my thousands of miles, and the sight was never to be?
I thank you, dear Mr. Browning, from the bottom of my heart. You meant to give me pleasure by your letter - and even if the object had not been answered, I ought still to thank you. But it is thoroughly answered. Such a letter from such a hand!