Valentine’s Day is fast approaching so it seemed fitting to present a Valentine’s message written in 1896 as this month’s item from the University Archive Collection.
|Manuscript Chelt 1895-1896 UA34/1/27
A transcription of the letter is below. Read through the letter then read every other line.
Feb. 4th 1896
Dear Miss Smith
The great love I have hitherto expressed for you
is false, and I find my indifference towards you
increases daily. The more I see of you the more
you appear in mine eyes an object of contempt.
I feel myself every way disposed and determined
to hate you. Believe me, I never had an intention
to offer you my hand. Our last conversation has
left a tedious insipidity which has by no means
given me the most exalted idea of your character;
your temper would make me extremely unhappy
and if we are united, I shall experience nothing but
the hatred of my parents, added to everlasting dis-
pleasure in living with you. I have indeed a heart
to bestow, but I do not desire you to imagine it
at your service. I could not give it to anyone more
inconsistent and capricious than yourself, and less
capable to do honour to my choice and family.
Yes I hope that you will be persuaded that
I speak sincerely, and you will do me a favour
to avoid me. I shall excuse you taking the trouble
to answer this; your letters are always full of
impertinence, and you have not a shadow of
wit or good sense. Adew! and believe me
so adverse to you that it is impossible for me
ever to be yours.
N.B. The father on finding this read
it straight through but Miss Smith
only read each alternate line
This witty letter was written as part of the Manuscript Chelt for 1895-1896. The Manuscript Chelts were compiled by students at the Cheltenham Training College (later St Paul’s College) as part of a tradition dating from 1879. The volumes are beautifully compiled and contain stories, poems, music, artwork, eyewitness accounts, sports reports and later photographs all documenting the student experience at the time.