A love letter

A love letter from Endymion Porter to his wife, 17 July 1623 (catalogue ref: SP 14/148 f.155).

This letter appears in the State Papers because it was sent back to England by Endymion Porter, an English diplomat, who was in Spain at the time of negotiations for the Spanish marriage. In the section transcribed below Porter describes his love for his wife and his sadness that she has not written to him whilst he has been away.


How happy was I dear Olive when I lived at home secure of your love, and never did suspect that anything could have made you forget me, but now I see your memory failed and my misfortune increased and I fear that absence hath made you neglect writing unto me, and changed that constant love which in my opinion was wholly mine, but it may be I lived deceived then, and God hath been pleased with this occasion to open mine eyes that I might see how little you esteem me, here have come two posts and I have received no letters from you, it may be mine have been so long that because I should not trouble you with so much letter you thought god to forbear writing, thinking I could not be so shameless as to do it without correspondence. Alas sweet Olive if my love were like yours I could forbear to show it, but it is impossible for if you did but know how miserably I pass this life, from the sight of your eyes you could not chose but pity me. I left my heart with your sweet breast at my departing from you, and am united there with you in despite of this tedious intermission of my joy, which makes me live here like a man without a soul, therefore you ought to love that love which is in me though you have none yourself let me entreat you to have a care to let me know how you and your children too though you write not to me, for that is sum comfort and makes me enjoy myself a little, I wonder my mother would forget me, but sure she know not of the posts coming, I send you by Dick Grimes a chain of gold…

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