This letter is held by the American Library of Congress - from 'An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera'.

Dating from the 1850's - whether the original was genuine or contrived - it is a most delightful find. Do read the explanation at the bottom of the transcription to fully understand the message that was being conveyed.


The great love and tenderness I have hitherto expressed for you 
is false, and I now feel that my indifference towards you 
increases proportionably every day, and the more I see you 
the more I appear ridiculous, and an object of contempt, and
the more I feel disposed, inclined, and finally determined, to 
hate you. Believe me I never had the least inclination to 
offer you my hand and heart. Our last conversation has 
I assure you, left a wretched insipidity, which has be no means
possessed me with the most exalted opinion of your character. 
Yes, madam, and you will much oblige me by avoiding me. 
And if ever we are united, I shall experience nothing but the 
fearful hatred of my parents, added to an everlasting dis
pleasure of living with you. Yes, madam, I think sincerely. 
You need not put yourself to the smallest trouble or send or 
write me an answer ------ Adieu. And believe that I am 
so averse to you that it is really impossible I should ever be,
                                 Your affectionate lover till death.
                                                                               W. GOFF


There are two ways of reading it; the father compelled his daughter to show him all letters sent to her - the unsuspecting father reads straight forward, but the daughter having the clue, reads the first, third and fifth lines, and so on. Then the contrast will be discovered. 


  1. That is excellent! I wonder how often this kind of tactic was used.

  2. Hello CharmedLassie, I might try and use a similar ploy in some fiction.

  3. Love knows no locksmith.
    That line was written in the 1640's, and is as true now as it was then.

  4. Oh I love this now I've gone back and 'read between the lines.' It's so romantic!

  5. Brilliant, Essie. When I read it first, it depressed me. Then redemption. So clever!

  6. Wonderful and interesting! Thanks for sharing this.