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Archive Reference / Library Class No.D8760/F/FSJ/1/1/5
Former ReferenceD3311/8/1/4
TitleLetter from Eleanor Anne Porden to John Franklin, on their "painful" meeting the previous day
Date5 Dec 1822
DescriptionShe has reflected on the meeting they had yesterday; it was painful to both of them, both under the influence of strongly suppressed feelings, which gave their manners the same unnatural coldness; she looked in his face for a gleam which might make her return to their former style of pleasant conversation but found none; he seemed displeased when he left; she hopes they will get back to being more natural and cheerful. She thought she might distrust him now for some unknown reason; there was no-one else who could have spoken to her without instant and positive denial; she will not say more, as perhaps he may have misjudged her character or perhaps she has changed; she does have quite the same feelings as four years ago. She finishes by telling him where she might be, should he decide, or not, to write to her.
Postmarked 5 Dec 1822
Extent1 sheet
RepositoryDerbyshire Record Office
SenderEleanor Anne Porden
Sender Location[Hastings]
RecipientJohn Franklin
Recipient Location60, Frith Street, Soho [London]
Archive CreatorSir John Franklin (1786-1847)
Gell family of Hopton Hall, Wirksworth
Transcript or IndexDear Sir
You seemed to express a wish to hear from me while at Hastings- I felt it would be rather more decorous that you should write first, but I could not summon resolution to give you the address though I left a message for you with my sister on the subject.
A little more reflection on what passed yesterday has decided me however not to leave town without addressing a few words to you. Our meeting I could see was painful to you- it was exquisitely so to me. I believe we were both under the influence of strong feelings so jealously suppressed that I think it probable they might give to my manner the same unnatural coldness which they certainly did to yours. I looked several times in your countenance for a gleam which might encourage me to return to our former style of pleasant and familiar conversation, but in vain. I even fancied you parted from me with something like displeasure. I beseech you when I come back let us if possible get into a more natural and cheerful vein, or what is to become of our “better acquaintance”.
It has since struck me from some things you said that you seemed to fancy I had some distrust of you in some way or other. What should have given rise to this I know not. It is utterly without foundation. Did I not, as I think, properly estimate the worth of your character, did I not believe that your feelings are likely to be as lasting as they are sincere I should perhaps not feel so strong an hesitation lest I should utter one single syllable that I was not certain I should be prepared sacredly & solemnly to confirm. All I can say is that there is no one else in all my acquaintance, who, if I am any judge of my own feelings, could have spoken to me on the subject you have done, without meeting an instant and positive denial. But I am not prepared to say more- I sometimes fear you have a little mistaken my character- or that you may find it changed- I can feel I am not quite the same in feelings or dispositions that I was four years ago.
I had much more to say but am writing almost before daylight & without a moment to spare. My address will be at Mr R Kay’s, 10, Wellington Square, Hastings- and I leave it now in your choice to write to me at once if you like it – to get my address to send through my sister if you prefer it, and to mention or not to mention this letter. Farewell, and success to your work in the meantime.
Ever yours sincerely, Eleanor Anne Porden
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