Single Letter

GEO/ADD/3/82/17

Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


17

26th- July 1779


      According to my promise to my sweetest Friend I
resume my Pen this early in ye morning to inform her how much
I was alarmed at seeing her & a certain other excellent tho' governing
personage in close converse together in ye. Window yesterday evening.
I own I was very much afraid that it was upon that topic which
of all others I dread ye. most, for where one really loves, one is always
afraid of ye least instance which may be conducive to my happi=a
=nessseparation.
Pardon me if I still continue to harp upon
ye same ʃtring, it is so deeply sunk into my heart that
I should absolutely go distracted did I even think that
there was ye. smallest thing that tended to our separation.
Relieve me I conjure you in yr. answer, my dearest, dearest
dearest Friend, from all my pains. I flatter myself that



you do not find yourself ill treated, slighted, or disregarded,
if you ʃhould (which God forbid) bear a little more if ye. load
should not be too heavy for ye. sake of yr. unhappy friend who
wld.. inevitably not survive it. It is true that my dearest
Father loves a joke, and tho' perhaps his irony may not be
of so delicate a nature as my own, yet he never means any
harm to the person against whom he employs it, tho it
may appear as if he did; I am sure he never can mean any
to you, the bent of all his jokes is to make you laugh
to that exceʃs which he delights in. My dearest Mother
I am sure treats you almost with ye tenderneʃs of a Mother,
and when she gives you any advice about laughing, or about
any thing else, which perhaps tho' she may put it in rather
a ʃtrong light, (which I am sure I do not know that
she ever does) she always means it for yr. prosperity &
wellfare in ye World, I know she does. I know she
has a real esteem and affection for you. Next you are loved
by my Sisters' Governeʃs, indeed I may say Governeʃses,
for the least, whenever she speaks to me or to any body else of you, always



does itwith the greatest affection poʃsible, you are loved by all
my Sisters, there is not a Servant belonging to any one of
ye family houses that does not speak well of you, as to yr. humanity
kindneʃs, & civility to them. And last of all you are
beloved by me to such an exceʃs of paʃsion, that it is
beyond ye power of words to expreʃs. I would now, ay
most willingly, were this ye condition of my being eternally
united to you, retire to some unknown place, give up
all my future prospects in this World, and all its pageantry,
and live in retirement, happineʃs, and love with you.
Judge then if such are my sentiments, whether I
could bear to endure, the least thing that even appeared
to carry with it ye smallest prospect of a separation, distraction &
death wld.. then be my only lot. I have seen ye greatest
and most celebrated Beauties of England, they never have made but a
momentary impreʃsion on me, but yr. dear image has
imprinted itself so deeply in my heart, that nothing but
Death, and Death alone can annihilate that as well as



as every thing else. But sufficient for that at present,
since I with such generosity resigned ------ up my preten=
=sions
to that promise, (allow me to call it generosity
for you know not how much it cost me) have you at
least my friend at least I say ye generosity, knowing
my sentiments concerning you, and ye situation of my
mind, not to be too hasty, whenever you (which Heaven
forbid you ever should) intend to make use of it consider
it well over first, remember oh remember, if you
have any tenderneʃs for yr. friend, remember my caution,
you never will think of making use of that liberty
which I gave you by expunging that fatal promise
unleʃs you wish to see me lie breathleʃs and lifeleʃs at
yr. feet. Think thnot, that I now speak from the
warmth of paʃsion, I do not, I am composed, &
I am determined, determined, (I repeat as in my last
Letter) yet determined, as ye unalterable decrees of



part of 17

fate. I ʃhall for ye future in all
my Letters treat you with a brotherly affection,
and call you by the endearing names
of friend & Sister, and no longer with
ye impetuous paʃsion of a Lover urging
his suit,[1] tho' my sentiments as to our
separation will ever remain ye. same.
I shall have young Gray[2] down with
me from Town tomorrow I believe,
about some other busineʃs, I will
have ye. Bracelet made up imme=
=diately
, do you only send me yra
Motto in yr. answer to this to day,
I will wait tho' with impatience
till Winter for ye. ring with toujours
aimée
. I think one of ye motto's



on ye back of ye Bracelet must
be “Remember, Remember, Remember”,
referring to my caution, and to my
C------------------ sentiments I have declared
to you concerning our separation,
which the Almighty avert, as I see
it will be conducive to many mis=
=fortunes
. I have now nothing
more to say, but to entreat of you
to recruit yr. natural, charming
and delightful spirits, and to let
me see you as gay as you usually
was. I know tho' you sometimes
look seriously at me, it is not a
look of anger, but a mixture



of tenderneʃs, affection & friendʃhip.
Adieu ever dearest, dearest, &
most amiable friend, et croyez
que je vous suis infiniment
plus attaché qu'a la vie même, et
      que je serai au grand jamais
                             Votre très affectionné
                                                         Ami.
P.S.
      Let me know as soon as you hear concerning
any part of ye family going to W-
tho' I can not accompany this Letter, at
least my heart does, so keep it fast.
      Nymph in thy Orisons
      Be all my sins remembered
.
Adieu, Adieu, Adieu

(hover over blue text or annotations for clarification;
red text is normalised and/or unformatted in other panel)


Notes


 1. A symbol resembling a star inside a box is inserted above the line.
 2. Quite possibly Thomas Gray, the jeweller, watchmaker, silversmith and goldsmith that the Prince later had frequent dealings with (Memoirs of Queen Charlotte).

Normalised Text





      According to my promise to my sweetest Friend I
resume my Pen this early in the morning to inform her how much
I was alarmed at seeing her & a certain other excellent though governing
personage in close converse together in the Window yesterday evening.
I own I was very much afraid that it was upon that topic which
of all others I dread the most, for where one really loves, one is always
afraid of the least instance which may be conducive to a
Pardon me if I still continue to harp upon
the same string, it is so deeply sunk into my heart that
I should absolutely go distracted did I even think that
there was the smallest thing that tended to our separation.
Relieve me I conjure you in your answer, my dearest, dearest
dearest Friend, from all my pains. I flatter myself that



you do not find yourself ill treated, slighted, or disregarded,
if you should (which God forbid) bear a little more if the load
should not be too heavy for the sake of your unhappy friend who
would inevitably not survive it. It is true that my dearest
Father loves a joke, and though perhaps his irony may not be
of so delicate a nature as my own, yet he never means any
harm to the person against whom he employs it, though it
may appear as if he did; I am sure he never can mean any
to you, the bent of all his jokes is to make you laugh
to that excess which he delights in. My dearest Mother
I am sure treats you almost with the tenderness of a Mother,
and when she gives you any advice about laughing, or about
any thing else, which perhaps though she may put it in rather
a strong light, (which I am sure I do not know that
she ever does) she always means it for your prosperity &
welfare in the World, I know she does. I know she
has a real esteem and affection for you. Next you are loved
by my Sisters' Governess, indeed I may say Governesses,
for the least, whenever she speaks to me or to any body else of you, always



does itwith the greatest affection possible, you are loved by all
my Sisters, there is not a Servant belonging to any one of
the family houses that does not speak well of you, as to your humanity
kindness, & civility to them. And last of all you are
beloved by me to such an excess of passion, that it is
beyond the power of words to express. I would now, ay
most willingly, were this the condition of my being eternally
united to you, retire to some unknown place, give up
all my future prospects in this World, and all its pageantry,
and live in retirement, happiness, and love with you.
Judge then if such are my sentiments, whether I
could bear to endure, the least thing that even appeared
to carry with it the smallest prospect of a separation, distraction &
death would then be my only lot. I have seen the greatest
and most celebrated Beauties of England, they never have made but a
momentary impression on me, but your dear image has
imprinted itself so deeply in my heart, that nothing but
Death, and Death alone can annihilate that as well



as every thing else. But sufficient for that at present,
since I with such generosity resigned up my pretensions
to that promise, (allow me to call it generosity
for you know not how much it cost me) have you at
least my friend at least I say the generosity, knowing
my sentiments concerning you, and the situation of my
mind, not to be too hasty, whenever you (which Heaven
forbid you ever should) intend to make use of it consider
it well over first, remember oh remember, if you
have any tenderness for your friend, remember my caution,
you never will think of making use of that liberty
which I gave you by expunging that fatal promise
unless you wish to see me lie breathless and lifeless at
your feet. Think not, that I now speak from the
warmth of passion, I do not, I am composed, &
I am determined, determined, (I repeat as in my last
Letter) yet determined, as the unalterable decrees of




fate. I shall for the future in all
my Letters treat you with a brotherly affection,
and call you by the endearing names
of friend & Sister, and no longer with
the impetuous passion of a Lover urging
his suit, though my sentiments as to our
separation will ever remain the same.
I shall have young Gray down with
me from Town tomorrow I believe,
about some other business, I will
have the Bracelet made up immediately
, do you only send me a
Motto in your answer to this to day,
I will wait though with impatience
till Winter for the ring with toujours
aimée
. I think one of the motto's



on the back of the Bracelet must
be “Remember, Remember, Remember”,
referring to my caution, and to my
------------ sentiments I have declared
to you concerning our separation,
which the Almighty avert, as I see
it will be conducive to many misfortunes
. I have now nothing
more to say, but to entreat of you
to recruit your natural, charming
and delightful spirits, and to let
me see you as gay as you usually
was. I know though you sometimes
look seriously at me, it is not a
look of anger, but a mixture



of tenderness, affection & friendship.
Adieu ever dearest, dearest, &
most amiable friend, et croyez
que je vous suis infiniment
plus attaché qu'à la vie même, et
      que je serai au grand jamais
                             Votre très affectionné
                                                         Ami.
P.S.
      Let me know as soon as you hear concerning
any part of the family going to Windsor
though I can not accompany this Letter, at
least my heart does, so keep it fast.
      Nymph in thy Orisons
      Be all my sins remembered
.
Adieu, Adieu, Adieu

(consult diplomatic text or XML for annotations, deletions, clarifications,
quotations,
spellings, uncorrected forms, split words, abbreviations, formatting)



 1. A symbol resembling a star inside a box is inserted above the line.
 2. Quite possibly Thomas Gray, the jeweller, watchmaker, silversmith and goldsmith that the Prince later had frequent dealings with (Memoirs of Queen Charlotte).

Metadata

Library References

Repository: Windsor Castle, The Royal Archives

Archive: GEO/ADD/3 Additional papers of George IV, as Prince, Regent, and King

Item title: Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: GEO/ADD/3/82/17

Correspondence Details

Author: George, Prince of Wales

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: c.26 July 1779
notBefore 25 July 1779 (precision: medium)
notAfter 26 July 1779 (precision: high)

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton, on the impossibility of a separation; his desire to live in retirement with her; the good opinion of her held by the King and Queen and the rest of the Household; and on designing her a bracelet.
    The Prince fears that Hamilton may find herself ill-treated, and states that 'it is true that my dearest Father loves a joke, and tho perhaps his irony may not be of so delicate a nature as my own, yet he never means any harm to the person against whom he employs it, tho it may appear as if he did; I am sure he never can mean any to you, the bent of all his jokes is to make you laugh to that excess which he delights in'. Regarding Queen Charlotte, he writes that 'I am sure treats you almost with the tenderness of a mother, and when she gives you any advice about laughing, or about anything else, which perhaps tho she may put it in rather a strong light...she always means it for your prosperity & welfare in the world'.
   

Length: 2 sheets, 1019 words

Transliteration Information

Editorial declaration: First edited in the project 'Image to Text' (David Denison & Nuria Yáñez-Bouza, 2013-2019), now incorporated in the project 'Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers' (Hannah Barker, Sophie Coulombeau, David Denison, Tino Oudesluijs, Cassandra Ulph, Christine Wallis & Nuria Yáñez-Bouza, 2019-2022).

All quotation marks are retained in the text and are represented by appropriate Unicode characters. Words split across two lines may have a hyphen on the first, the second or both fragments (reco-|ver, imperfect|-ly, satisfacti-|-on); or a double hyphen (pur=|port, dan|=ger, qua=|=litys); or none (respect|ing). Any point in abbreviations with superscripted letter(s) is placed last, regardless of relative left-right orientation in the original. Thus, Mrs. or Mrs may occur, but M.rs or Mr.s do not.

Acknowledgements: XML version: Transcription and Research Assistant funding in 2018/19 provided by the Student Experience Internship programme of the University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Emma Donington Kiey, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Emma Donington Kiey (submitted June 2019)

Cataloguer: , Archivist, The Royal Archives

Copyright: Transcriptions, notes and TEI/XML © the editors

Revision date: 20 May 2020

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