|Description||Written Wednesday. Eleanor writes whilst awaiting Miss Appleton, but is sick again and is being helped by Mrs Jones, Mrs Spencer, Miss Jane Griffin, Mr and Mrs E Brande and Dr. Thomson. The following day she expects her sister and Mr Kay, and on Friday Jane Griffin, who has volunteered to spend the evening with her, with Mrs Babbage also assisting, so there is no danger of her becoming melancholy. Apologises for not writing to Betsey. Letter for Captain Franklin has arrived from Mr Moore 'some India Rubber Waterproof stuffs', who is awaiting any orders. If a tent is required, Mr Moore needs notice, as it will take time to prepare. A dinner invitation to the Millingtons on the 18th has been declined. - Thursday morning: letter had been interrupted by the arrival of Captain Franklin's brother who sat and translated Persian, making himself very agreeable. She speaks of the 'Toulouse plan' and of Mrs Brown settling in France for 4-5 year, and the benefit then of taking the children to France to broaden their outlook. Reference to religion: the newspaper echoes what she has been saying about morbid sympathy for Thurtell [hanged for murder in Jan 1824] and Fauntleroy [hanged for forgery in Nov 1824] and the reprehensible displays of indecorum and blasphemy; she deplores the lack of contrition. Dr. Thomson has told Eleanor she is much better, although she has difficulty raising her spirits.|
|Transcript or Index||Wednesday, Decr 8th 1824|
My Dearest Love.
The kindness of our friends seems disposed to allow me so little time to myself, that I must sieze upon half an hour this Evening before Miss Appleton comes, to talk to you, lest I should be prevented tomorrow. This morning I have had Mrs Jones, Mrs Spencer, Miss Jane Griffin, Mr & Mrs E. Brande, and Dr Thomson. Tomorrow I expect my sister and Mr Kay, and on Friday, Jane Griffin has volunteered to spend the Evening with me; so that with the assistance of Mrs Babbage, there is little danger of my being left to mope myself melancholy. Moreover, I think I am rather better, though sick as a dog, and therefore I beg you will not make yourself uneasy about me. I hope you have found all your family well, and explained my not writing to Betsey, for I would not on any account that she thought me unkind. Nothing has arrived for you but a letter from a Mr Moore, about some India Rubber Waterproof stuffs, which he now has ready for your orders, if you have any to give and if you wish to have a tent, would be glad of your commands as soon as possible, as the stuff will take some time preparing. There has also been an invitation from the Millingtons, to dine on the 18th which I have declined of course.
My letter was interrupted last Night, not by Miss Appleton, who sent an excuse, but by your brother, who sate with me very cozily all the Evening translating Persian to me, and making himself very agreable. We had also a good deal of talk about the Toulouse plan, which is not altogether so wild as I thought, now that he has given me a fuller account of the society there, and the manner in which they might live. Nevertheless I think so long a journey a hazardous experiment, without a correspondent advantage; though should Lady Brown continue there some four or five years hence, I should then think that a year or two years residence either in <that town, or> some other part of France would be of essential advantage to the children, whose minds we may hope will by that time be sufficiently advanced to make observations and derive benefit from the comparison of manners, and the knowledge always to be acquired by travelling – besides the markers they might have. I only feel that at their present age it is unnecessary, since the education they will want for some time to come must principally depend upon their mother, and where she is happiest is best for them. Your Brother says that Mr Booth is very much afraid that her religious feelings will degenerate into some dissenting course, and that she absolutely must not be permitted to settle in a village. I am sorry to hear this though I always thought she had a little biass that way, <which her husband counteracted,> and the present state of her feelings must be exactly suited to foster and increase it, if she be not carefully watched, I should fear that it may be of permanent injury to her mind and spirits. Every effort must be used to draw her into society, & the more averse she is to it, the more necessary is it for her. Of course all I say here is private between you & I.
I have been much pleased to see that the Newspaper, has since you went, almost echoed what I have been saying so often about the morbid sympathy which there has been an attempt to excite in favour first of Thurtell and then of Fauntleroy, and strongly reprehended what it calls the indecorum and blasphemy of the display which has been made of private interviews and devotional feelings. It observes, what I had felt, that both were evidently got up for effect, by the writers at least. The letter to his wife in particular, gave me no image of a repentant criminal, but was rather like what might be expected from a man of no education, whose mind was weakened by terror, and exalted by the wild rants of some canting enthusiast. It did not contain one clear idea or natural feeling, or one expression that to me besp[oke] either sincer[e pen]itence or rational hope. This coupled wi[th] the attack whi[ch w]as made on Mr Cotton’s sermon, and the acco[unt] of the shock which he is said to have received on that gentleman’s speaking of forgery as a great crime, and one which society looked upon with abhorrence, leads me to fear that he has fallen into the hands of one of those pseudo religionists, whose influence on the minds of many of our criminals I once heard most earnestly lamented by a very eminent member of our Church. He said it was dreadful that while devout men, whose lives had been spent in the sedulous discharge of every duty, could close their eyes only in the trembling hope of acceptance above, those who had been a disgrace to human nature, could go to their place of execution, not expressing contrition or imploring mercy, but assuring the spectators that they felt certain of salvation.
Much mischief he said had arisen to society by the display of such scenes, which sectarian triumph held forth as little less than miraculous conversions, <but> which he held as little better than <the delusions of a fevered imagination, or> the dying baptisms of the Romish Church, though far from wishing to doubt the efficacy of sincere repentance, however late. It was not my intention to have digressed on this subject but frequent interruptions have led to prolixity. Did you write about the flag? or can I? I have seen Dr Thomson again today and he tells me I am much better. I believe I am, and I try hard to get my spirits into their usual tone, but they will not always be obedient. He lays the fault on my stomach <and the gloomy month of November alias December.> I have had Captn King, his mother & sister, who all desire their regards to you. Give my love to all your family, great & small, and believe me,
ever your affectionate wife, Eleanor Anne Franklin.
Captain Franklin R.N.
DE 9 1824