Single Letter

GEO/ADD/3/82/34

Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


                                                         34
                             Septr. 8th. 1779



My ever dearest, dearest, dearest Sister Friend,

      I will take but little notice for
ye. present at least of yr. last Note,
you shall have a full & thorough answer
to it on T-[1] M- As to what
I have to inform you haveof I think
it will astonish you very much.
Parts of yr. Letter charmed me
very much & parts had very much
ye. contrary effect. Ye confidence
you expreʃs in it for me delights me very
much, as I promised solemnly to
lay every secret of my heart open
to you, & to let you inspect my Soul



heart & mind, open to yr. inspection
I shall ever abide by it, as I hope
I ever shall by any thing I promise
you. Now to begin you remember
I related to you a conversation to
you ye other day which paʃsed between
Mʃ- F- & myself, which I
aʃsured her I wld.. not mention
however as You are my dearest
Friend upon earth, & as I freely
promised not to conceal any thing
from you, I related to you what
paʃsed between us, but not ye. whole,
I will therefore tell you ye. rest



after ye. aforesaid conversation was
at an end she turned round to my B-
& asked him if she might trust me,
he said he saw no reason why she
shd.. not. she then asked him if
I shd.. not be offended, he said he
believed not, & that as I did not
appear to be offended with what she
had already told me, he did not
ʃuppose I shd.. be so with what
she was now a going to say, she
then desired me in ye like manner
as she did before not to mention
what she was to tell me, I made
her ye. like aʃsurances I did



before, which she construed into my
pledging my honor wh.. I never ------did[2]
accordingly she then began with telling
me she had drawn a d-d Characature
of my dearest, dearest, dearest
Friend with a Toad in her mouth.[3]
what cd.. be her meaning in so doing
I know not. However she told me
she wld.. go & fetch it & shew it me
together with some others, however
I let my Brother go & admire them
alone, for I wld.. not go not only
not to see ye. dearest friend in ye
World I have, not only abused



2nd Part of 34

& scoffed at, but also ridiculed.
I cld.. n---ot cld.. not cld.. not bear it,
was I therefore ------------------ to
countenance ------every thing against
you of whatsoever kind, for were
I ------------------, it wld.. be striking a
Pognard into my very Vitals.
I then heard nothing more of these
hateful Characatures till I returned
home when my B- told me that
she had shewn him two, ye one of
which was yrs. & ye. other of her
Cousin L- C- F. That they were
both whole Lengths, that yrs. was not



like in ye. smallest degree in ye.
face, but only in ye. air of ye figure,
as for ye. other nothing cld.. be liker
& that it was taken all to pieces
in another place. Here this affair
rested till to day when to my great
astonishment yr. Meʃsenger was
sent for by her, & after having engaged
him under a promise she sent what
wais inclosed, rather I suppose to
make her peace with me on yr. account
as she supposesfancies she has offended me
notwithstanding I had ye politeneʃs



to aʃsure her I was not in ye. least
so. My astonishment is not to be
conceived upon recmy receiving this
Note from her, I was then asked
what answer was to be given,
whether I did not rather chuse to
write one, I said no, & that I was
very much obliged to ye. Lady
& shld.. certainly abide by what I had
said, this I thought was a fully
sufficient answer, supposing
you had no very good opinion of
this Lady before, I think this is



sufficient to settle it, she th---
wants to frame an excuse for ye.
ʃtep she has taken, & therefore says
it was extorted from her. When I
trust this to you, I know it will
be buried in yr. bosom to all eternity.
I have not at present time enow
to draw ye. Portrait I promised
however you may depend upon it
I will do it ye. first opportunity
I can find, & with all ye sincerity
openeʃs & frankneʃs that is in
ye. power of human nature. The



3rd part of 34

reasons you gave for yr. gravity
are fully sufficient to satiʃfy any
------. I feel much for that unhappy
Man, for I can easily conceive
what he is sensible of by what
I ʃuffer myʃelf, for what can be
more terrible, than to be desperately
doatingly, & paʃsionately in love,
with an object that highly deserves
such an attachment, & then not
to be able to gratify that paʃsion
what situation upon Earth
can be more dreadful or more
irksome. Can you really have



that sincere friendʃhip for me which
you pretend, if you wish ------me to break
off that friendship, wh.. you well
know constitutes ye. whole happineʃs
of my life. You told me once before
you knew it was in vain to pro=
=pose
it meto me now, & I hope it
ever will be so. What a mean
opinion must you conceive of me
if I was so easily & hastily to
yield up that which I have
been so long laboring to attain.
Never mention this subject I conjure
of you, to me any more. You must



know how sincerely I am attached
to you, that I wld.. lay down my
life to be of service to you, to giveI can not
youcan not can not part with yr. friendʃhip
it is dearer to me than life itself
you say you have given it me, that
I am worthy of it, that I have
yr. esteem, that you have descovered
many good qualities, among number=
=leʃs
weakneʃses, such is ye situation
of human Nature, it is impoʃsible
for any man to be quite perfect. But
I ʃhd.. not have gone on in this
diʃsertation, it belongs to ye. Portrait



which I have promised soon to send
you, & which I will ye. first moment
I find time. I will also consider
over those parts of yr. Letters
which you say I have artfully
avoided mentioning, believe me
my friend, I use no art with you
I deal with you as frankly &
openly as is in my power & as
you yrself must be sensible
of. I will mention one thing
more & I have done. It is very
probable you & I may meet tomorrow
Evening, if we do, do not I



4th part of 34

entreat of you treat me with
that coldneʃs you ---did ye. other Evening
make no difference between my
Brother & me, treat us in ye
same open manner you used to
do. I own in private I have no
reason to complain of you, I
know you are really my Friend,
but such are ye. strict paterns
ye Warmth of my friendship
have inspired me with that I do not for
like even for a moment not to be treated with equal returns.
For ye last time let me aʃsure you, for you will greatly
hurt me by doubting any longer) ------that my love, affection
& friendship for you will never cease but with my life,
& ------
                             Yr.. truly ever attached Palemon
                                                         toujours de même
Youll think I am grown awkward scribbler.
                             --- ... Adieu, Adieu, toujours chère.



P.S This was written very late last
Night after all ye. House were toretired
to rest, however I cld.. get none
until ye entire confidence, frankneʃs,
and openeʃs with which I deal with
you & hope ever ʃhall. I own
ye. imputation of deceit stung
me a little too, I wld.. not conceive
that I wld..[4] any body moʃt especially
yourself, Oh no, I know ofat least
I hope that ye. good opinion you
say you have conceived of me
will aʃsist in clearing me of all
such imputations. Tell me in



Yr. next I entreat of you that you
will ever continue to esteem me as
yr. friend & to treat me as such during
yr. life, what makes me reiterate
this entreaty, is that I thought
notwithstanding yr. Letter began
by calling Friend, ye manner in
which you spoke of me shewed that
I had done something to forfeit
so sacred, dear, & affectionate an
appellation. Adieu, My friend,
                             my friend, my friend
                             May Guardian Angels
                             preserve you.
It is ye. wedding day[5] & therefore I think
we shall meet.


[6]

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


Notes


 1. As this letter was largely written late on Tuesday night, this abbreviation may stand for Thursday.
 2. There are possible signs of erasure in addition to the overwriting.
 3. 'Toad-eater' was a common term for a person whose position of dependence on a social superior obliges them to pay deference, and was sometimes applied to those seen as over-obsequious. Finch seems to be mocking Hamilton's dependent position at court.
 4. Is the verb deceive intended here?
 5. George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz were married on 8 September 1761 (Wikipedia).
 6. The last page of the letter is blank.

Normalised Text


                                                        
                            



My ever dearest, dearest, dearest Sister Friend,

      I will take but little notice for
the present of your last Note,
you shall have a full & thorough answer
to it on T- Morning As to what
I have to inform you of I think
it will astonish you very much.
Parts of your Letter charmed me
very much & parts had very much
the contrary effect. The confidence
you express in it for me delights me very
much, as I promised solemnly to
lay every secret of my heart open
to you, & to let you inspect my Soul



heart & mind, open to your inspection
I shall ever abide by it, as I hope
I ever shall by any thing I promise
you. Now to begin you remember
I related to you a conversation
the other day which passed between
Miss Finch & myself, which I
assured her I would not mention
however as You are my dearest
Friend upon earth, & as I freely
promised not to conceal any thing
from you, I related to you what
passed between us, but not the whole,
I will therefore tell you the rest



after the aforesaid conversation was
at an end she turned round to my Brother
& asked him if she might trust me,
he said he saw no reason why she
should not. she then asked him if
I should not be offended, he said he
believed not, & that as I did not
appear to be offended with what she
had already told me, he did not
suppose I should be so with what
she was now a going to say, she
then desired me in the like manner
as she did before not to mention
what she was to tell me, I made
her the like assurance I did



before, which she construed into my
pledging my honour which I never did
accordingly she then began with telling
me she had drawn a damned Caricature
of my dearest, dearest, dearest
Friend with a Toad in her mouth.
what could be her meaning in so doing
I know not. However she told me
she would go & fetch it & show it me
together with some others, however
I let my Brother go & admire them
alone, for I would not go not only
not to see the dearest friend in the
World I have, not only abused




& scoffed at, but also ridiculed.
I could not could not could not bear it,
was I therefore to
countenance every thing against
you of whatsoever kind,
, it would be striking a
Poniard into my very Vitals.
I then heard nothing more of these
hateful Caricatures till I returned
home when my Brother told me that
she had shown him two, the one of
which was yours & the other of her
Cousin Lady Charlotte Finch. That they were
both whole Lengths, that yours was not



like in the smallest degree in the
face, but only in the air of the figure,
as for the other nothing could be liker
& that it was taken all to pieces
in another place. Here this affair
rested till to day when to my great
astonishment your Messenger was
sent for by her, & after having engaged
him under a promise she sent what
is enclosed, rather I suppose to
make her peace with me on your account
as she fancies she has offended me
notwithstanding I had the politeness



to assure her I was not in the least
so. My astonishment is not to be
conceived upon my receiving this
Note from her, I was then asked
what answer was to be given,
whether I did not rather choose to
write one, I said no, & that I was
very much obliged to the Lady
& should certainly abide by what I had
said, this I thought was a fully
sufficient answer, supposing
you had no very good opinion of
this Lady before, I think this is



sufficient to settle it, she th---
wants to frame an excuse for the
step she has taken, & therefore says
it was extorted from her. When I
trust this to you, I know it will
be buried in your bosom to all eternity.
I have not at present time enow
to draw the Portrait I promised
however you may depend upon it
I will do it the first opportunity
I can find, & with all the sincerity
openess & frankness that is in
the power of human nature. The




reasons you gave for your gravity
are fully sufficient to satisfy any
------. I feel much for that unhappy
Man, for I can easily conceive
what he is sensible of by what
I suffer myself, for what can be
more terrible, than to be desperately
doatingly, & passionately in love,
with an object that highly deserves
such an attachment, & then not
to be able to gratify that passion
what situation upon Earth
can be more dreadful or more
irksome. Can you really have



that sincere friendship for me which
you pretend, if you wish me to break
off that friendship, which you well
know constitutes the whole happiness
of my life. You told me once before
you knew it was in vain to propose
it to me now, & I hope it
ever will be so. What a mean
opinion must you conceive of me
if I was so easily & hastily to
yield up that which I have
been so long labouring to attain.
Never mention this subject I conjure
of you, to me any more. You must



know how sincerely I am attached
to you, that I would lay down my
life to be of service to you, I can not
can not can not part with your friendship
it is dearer to me than life itself
you say you have given it me, that
I am worthy of it, that I have
your esteem, that you have discovered
many good qualities, among numberless
weaknesses, such is the situation
of human Nature, it is impossible
for any man to be quite perfect. But
I should not have gone on in this
dissertation, it belongs to the Portrait



which I have promised soon to send
you, & which I will the first moment
I find time. I will also consider
over those parts of your Letters
which you say I have artfully
avoided mentioning, believe me
my friend, I use no art with you
I deal with you as frankly &
openly as is in my power & as
you yourself must be sensible
of. I will mention one thing
more & I have done. It is very
probable you & I may meet tomorrow
Evening, if we do, do not I




entreat of you treat me with
that coldness you did the other Evening
make no difference between my
Brother & me, treat us in the
same open manner you used to
do. I own in private I have no
reason to complain of you, I
know you are really my Friend,
but such are the strict patterns
the Warmth of my friendship
have inspired me with that I do not
like even for a moment not to be treated with equal returns.
For the last time let me assure you, for you will greatly
hurt me by doubting any longer) that my love, affection
& friendship for you will never cease but with my life,

                             Your truly ever attached Palemon
                                                         toujours de même
Youll think I am grown awkward scribbler.
                             --- ... Adieu, Adieu, toujours chère.



P.S This was written very late last
Night after all the House were retired
to rest, however I could get none
until the entire confidence, frankness,
and openess with which I deal with
you & hope ever shall. I own
the imputation of deceit stung
me a little too, I would not conceive
that I would any body most especially
yourself, Oh no, I know at least
I hope that the good opinion you
say you have conceived of me
will assist in clearing me of all
such imputations. Tell me in



Your next I entreat of you that you
will ever continue to esteem me as
your friend & to treat me as such during
your life, what makes me reiterate
this entreaty, is that I thought
notwithstanding your Letter began
by calling Friend, the manner in
which you spoke of me showed that
I had done something to forfeit
so sacred, dear, & affectionate an
appellation. Adieu, My friend,
                             my friend, my friend
                             May Guardian Angels
                             preserve you.
It is the wedding day & therefore I think
we shall meet.


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



 1. As this letter was largely written late on Tuesday night, this abbreviation may stand for Thursday.
 2. There are possible signs of erasure in addition to the overwriting.
 3. 'Toad-eater' was a common term for a person whose position of dependence on a social superior obliges them to pay deference, and was sometimes applied to those seen as over-obsequious. Finch seems to be mocking Hamilton's dependent position at court.
 4. Is the verb deceive intended here?
 5. George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz were married on 8 September 1761 (Wikipedia).
 6. The last page of the letter is blank.

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/3/82/34

Correspondence Details

Author: George, Prince of Wales

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: c.8 September 1779
notBefore 7 September 1779 (precision: medium)
notAfter 8 September 1779 (precision: high)

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from George, Prince of Wales, to Mary Hamilton, on 'M F's' caricature of Hamilton with a toad in her mouth, and on Hamilton's esteem for the Prince.
    The Prince describes the rest of his conversation with 'M F' [Miss [Harriet] Finch] , relating to the caricatures, including one of L C F [Lady Charlotte Finch], M F's cousin. The Prince states that they will likely see each other because it is 'the wedding day' [Anniversary of George III and Queen Charlotte].
    Signed 'Palemon'.
   

Length: 4 sheets, 1444 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: 21 May 2020

Document Image (pdf)