Single Letter

GEO/ADD/3/82/24

Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text

[1]

24

Thursday Morng. 19th August 1779

      It is with infinite delight my dearest, dearest,
dearest friend I reaʃsume my Pen since I can not at least at present
converse in person with my ever amiable, ever delightful ever angelick Sister.
Think not I entreat of you that because you hear me at times speak in a trifling way ------
and conduct my self in a manner unbecoming me, and pay too
much attention to minutiæ that that is always is ye. case, no, my
dearest friend can not have conceived I am sure such an opinion
of Me as to suppose me capable of always holding such a conduct, I
perceive you really feel for me when I shew myself in a
trifling light, I know it is greatly beneath my character,
and I am sensible of it at Night when I consider over
what has paʃsed during ye day, yet when I perceive it
affects you, it then cuts me much deeper than it ditd before
and I see myself in such a despicable light, that I know
not how to look up to you. Continue to give me yr.
friendly advice, instill into me yr. excellent principles,
and inspire me with yr. exalted idea,[2] by this means you
will counterfact that nonsense which is ye constant
Companion of ye. fire of youth, and prevent ye. misfortunes



and accidents which a young man such as I am, is likely to fall
into, who from ye honesty of his own intentions is apt too much
to trust to a deceitful, designing and artful World. You know
not with what avidity I attend, imbibe and adore every word
that drops from yr. lips. Every desirething I can find out which
you wish to be rectified about me shall be so, I will now
give you my honor in as serious a manner as it ought to be
given, that as to those two trifling articles of dreʃs which you
mentioned to me when we last met, ------you never more shall
see them. I wish you to please you, to do every thing that i[s]
agreable to you, it is ye. sole and principle object of my life.
Be not offended if I again desire you to continue yr. good advice
to me, shew me where you think I have of late been faulty, incautious,
or negligent in my behaviour, dwell upon each particular &
endeavour to model me into such perfection as you have yourself.
I hope I do not flatter myself when I tell you that I believe
the foundations you have to build upon are sound and good, and
I will follow, I will be conducted, I will be guided by you
throughout ye. whole tenor maze, or Labyrinth of this World,
where I suppose I must meet with constant misfortunes &
impediments.
      When last we parted I could not help shedding
a tear, ye pain I feel at such little separations must convince
you, what my situation wld.. have been had we now been separated



for ever; avaunt detested expreʃsion, and unleʃs you had had ye generosity
to bind yourself by a promise to me not to quit this family until I also
quitted it. After yr. departure from W- I went the next
morning into yr. Apartment to see if by chance any little
trifling thing had been left behind you, and which I could convey to
you, I searched but could find nothing but ye. remains
of yr. bouquet, which had been presented to you by yr.
Palemon,[3] and which you had wore ye. night you was taken
ill. I siezed it and kiʃsed it with a fervour beyond expreʃsion
and thaten as you had woren it in yr. bosom, in which is con=
=cealed
a heart worthy of a Saint, I placed it in mine, hoping
that it wld.. confer some particular virtue into me, and by
that means render me more worthy of yr. favor. But now to speak
seriously my angelick friend & Sister, you know not what I suffer
I am more captivated than ever, you tell me you are dreadfully
afraid for me if I should attach myself to every woman I like with
ye. same impetuosity I have to you, call not that impetuosity,
call it constancy, my attachment for you was not hastily formed for youI
will confeʃs the first thing that attracted me was yr. person, which
in my eyes is superior in many points to ye. greatest beauties
in England, but when I became acquainted with ye. pure
sentiments, ye exalted ideas, and divine sentimentsprinciples of yr.
heart, I felt as it were a secret pride at having attached myself
to a person, so superior to myʃelf in every quality, that ought to



distinguish Mankind, except in that cursed thing called rank.
The chearfulneʃs of yr. disposition, ye. delicacy of yr. Wit, &
the sharpneʃs of yr. irony, which even I have not escaped, but which
has always shewn the most perfect good nature to every body,
even to those against whom it has been levelled so that they can not help loving it, that all these qualaities as
well as ye. refinement of yr. manners and yr. perfect politeneʃs
have had such an effect upon my soul, that yr. dear image has
sunk so deeply into my heart, and that it never never never
can be effaced out of it. But if I recollect right I said I think that
this was a topic we agreed should never more be mentioned
between us. I again aʃsent to it tho' with reluctance. Remember
only my friend, that my attachment for you will only cease
with my life, avoid hurting too much a heart, which is already
but too much wounded, and continue ye balmy comforts of
yr. friendship, and tell me as you did in one of yr. former
Letters, that yr. friendship unlfor me, unleʃs I did something unworthy
of it, would never cease but with yr. life. Adieu Adieu
Adieu ma très très chtrès chere Sœur, que je puiʃse vous appeller
quelque temps ou autre par un nom qui marque notre affinité
dans un degré de plus préz que je ne le puis a cette heure.
Je suis et serai toute ma vie,
votre sincèrement attaché

Palemon
.
P.S.[4]
I have not sent you my character
let us write one of each other and
then compare them each with that the
other has written. Send me yrs., by ye.& mine, but mine have a brief opportunityimmediately ------ as well as yr. own, I will send you
ye. other------ ------ by ye. first conveyance. I beg you will make all ye. remarks you can upon my



                             Continue on P.S.
ADD/3/82/24a

conduct, give me all ye. advice you can, which I will follow with ye. greatest exactneʃs. I am now a going
to ask of you and additional favor, which is to send me those Books which I have not, and which
you have which you think will be agreable, entertaining, and useful to me, or recommend me to read partic[ular]



paʃsages out of Books, which I have. Let me know when you hear anything more concerning
W-. once more Adieu, Adieu, Adieu my friend & Sister, and --
                                                         Yr. Palemon.

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


Notes


 1. Extracts from this letter appear in Anson & Anson (1925: 78-80).
 2. The sense of idea here is 'conception of a standard or principle to be realized or aimed at; a conception of what is desirable or ought to be' (OED s.v., n. 2).
 3. This is the first appearance in the correspondence of the sobriquet Palemon. The Prince may take his hopeful pseudonym from the rural poem Autumn (1730) by James Thomson (1700-1748), in one episode of which the youth Palemon ('The pride of swains | Palemon was, the generous, and the rich') is struck by the sight of Lavinia at harvest-time, and after his declaration of love, 'In sweet disorder lost, she blush'd consent'.
 4. The first lines of the postscript appear to the left of the closing salutation and signature.

Normalised Text





      It is with infinite delight my dearest, dearest,
dearest friend I reassume my Pen since I can not at least at present
converse in person with my ever amiable, ever delightful ever angelic Sister.
Think not I entreat of you that because you hear me at times speak in a trifling way ------
and conduct my self in a manner unbecoming me, and pay too
much attention to minutiæ that that is always the case, no, my
dearest friend can not have conceived I am sure such an opinion
of Me as to suppose me capable of always holding such a conduct, I
perceive you really feel for me when I show myself in a
trifling light, I know it is greatly beneath my character,
and I am sensible of it at Night when I consider over
what has passed during the day, yet when I perceive it
affects you, it then cuts me much deeper than it did before
and I see myself in such a despicable light, that I know
not how to look up to you. Continue to give me your
friendly advice, instill into me your excellent principles,
and inspire me with your exalted idea, by this means you
will counteract that nonsense which is the constant
Companion of the fire of youth, and prevent the misfortunes



and accidents which a young man such as I am, is likely to fall
into, who from the honesty of his own intentions is apt too much
to trust to a deceitful, designing and artful World. You know
not with what avidity I attend, imbibe and adore every word
that drops from your lips. Every thing I can find out which
you wish to be rectified about me shall be so, I will now
give you my honour in as serious a manner as it ought to be
given, that as to those two trifling articles of dress which you
mentioned to me when we last met, you never more shall
see them. I wish to please you, to do every thing that is
agreeable to you, it is the sole and principal object of my life.
Be not offended if I again desire you to continue your good advice
to me, show me where you think I have of late been faulty, incautious,
or negligent in my behaviour, dwell upon each particular &
endeavour to model me into such perfection as you have yourself.
I hope I do not flatter myself when I tell you that I believe
the foundations you have to build upon are sound and good, and
I will follow, I will be conducted, I will be guided by you
throughout the whole maze, or Labyrinth of this World,
where I suppose I must meet with constant misfortunes &
impediments.
      When last we parted I could not help shedding
a tear, the pain I feel at such little separations must convince
you, what my situation would have been had we now been separated



for ever; avaunt detested expression, and unless you had had the generosity
to bind yourself by a promise to me not to quit this family until I also
quitted it. After your departure from Windsor I went the next
morning into your Apartment to see if by chance any little
trifling thing had been left behind, and which I could convey to
you, I searched but could find nothing but the remains
of your bouquet, which had been presented to you by your
Palemon, and which you had wore the night you was taken
ill. I seized it and kissed it with a fervour beyond expression
and then as you had worn it in your bosom, in which is concealed
a heart worthy of a Saint, I placed it in mine, hoping
that it would confer some particular virtue into me, and by
that means render me more worthy of your favour. But now to speak
seriously my angelic friend & Sister, you know not what I suffer
I am more captivated than ever, you tell me you are dreadfully
afraid for me if I should attach myself to every woman I like with
the same impetuosity I have to you, call not that impetuosity,
call it constancy, my attachment for you was not hastily formed I
will confess the first thing that attracted me was your person, which
in my eyes is superior in many points to the greatest beauties
in England, but when I became acquainted with the pure
sentiments, the exalted ideas, and divine principles of your
heart, I felt as it were a secret pride at having attached myself
to a person, so superior to myself in every quality, that ought to



distinguish Mankind, except in that cursed thing called rank.
The cheerfulness of your disposition, the delicacy of your Wit, &
the sharpness of your irony, which even I have not escaped, but which
has always shown the most perfect good nature to every body,
even to those against whom it has been levelled so that they can not help loving it, all these qualities as
well as the refinement of your manners and your perfect politeness
have had such an effect upon my soul, that your dear image has
sunk so deeply into my heart, that it never never never
can be effaced out of it. But if I recollect right I said I think that
this was a topic we agreed should never more be mentioned
between us. I again assent to it though with reluctance. Remember
only my friend, that my attachment for you will only cease
with my life, avoid hurting too much a heart, which is already
but too much wounded, and continue the balmy comforts of
your friendship, and tell me as you did in one of your former
Letters, that your friendship for me, unless I did something unworthy
of it, would never cease but with your life. Adieu Adieu
Adieu ma très très très chère Sœur, que je puisse vous appeler
quelque temps ou autre par un nom qui marque notre affinité
dans un degré de plus près que je ne le puis à cette heure.
Je suis et serai toute ma vie,
votre sincèrement attaché

Palemon
.
P.S.
I have not sent you my character
let us write one of each other and
then compare them each with that the
other has written. Send me yours, & mine, but mine immediately ------ as well as your own, I will send you
the ------ ------ by the first conveyance. I beg you will make all the remarks you can upon my



                            

conduct, give me all the advice you can, which I will follow with the greatest exactness. I am now a going
to ask of you an additional favour, which is to send me those Books which I have not, and which
you have which you think will be agreeable, entertaining, and useful to me, or recommend me to read particular



passages out of Books, which I have. Let me know when you hear anything more concerning
Windsor. once more Adieu, Adieu, Adieu my friend & Sister, and --
                                                         Your Palemon.

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



 1. Extracts from this letter appear in Anson & Anson (1925: 78-80).
 2. The sense of idea here is 'conception of a standard or principle to be realized or aimed at; a conception of what is desirable or ought to be' (OED s.v., n. 2).
 3. This is the first appearance in the correspondence of the sobriquet Palemon. The Prince may take his hopeful pseudonym from the rural poem Autumn (1730) by James Thomson (1700-1748), in one episode of which the youth Palemon ('The pride of swains | Palemon was, the generous, and the rich') is struck by the sight of Lavinia at harvest-time, and after his declaration of love, 'In sweet disorder lost, she blush'd consent'.
 4. The first lines of the postscript appear to the left of the closing salutation and signature.

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/3/82/24

Correspondence Details

Author: George, Prince of Wales

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: c.19 August 1779
notBefore 18 August 1779 (precision: medium)
notAfter 19 August 1779 (precision: high)

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton on her criticism of his conduct, and promising to follow her guidance.
   

Length: 2 sheets, 1186 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 July 2019)

Cataloguer: , Archivist, The Royal Archives

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

Revision date: 20 May 2020

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