Single Letter

GEO/ADD/3/83/4

Letter from Mary Hamilton to George, Prince of Wales

Diplomatic Text


4

23d. July 1779.[1]

      I have just been reading over the letters
of a friend -- who died in the prime of life --
I loved her with an enthusiastic fondneʃs -- how
improper for me then to write to you after the
remark you made of the melancholy that oppreʃses
my spirits -- I wd- not do it -- but that I have
appointed the time for sending an answer.
Let an act of oblivion be paʃs'd my friend over
the promise you extorted from me (not to quit the Royal Family), then perhaps
you will see the chearfulneʃs natural to my disposition
resume its place; my being left at liberty cannot
alter or interfere with our friendship -- & that
liberty is absolutely eʃsential to my peace of mind,
I may have no occasion to make use of it, but let
me have enjoy it in idea[2] as a resource; pecuniary
advantages I despise -- my principles are too independent
for that motive to have the least weight or detain me
in a situation in which I felt I was not treated
in a manner I was conscious I deserv'd, -- what a
burden then upon my mind ye. laying under the obligation



let what will happen, of keeping that fatal promise
-- Another reason of my not being in spirits is, that
I am tortur'd with some uneasy reflections wch. I
cannot stifle -- the imprudence, the inconsistency --
the great impropriety of my conduct in accepting &
acknowledging to return yr. friendship -- for that
I am sensible there is now no remedy, -- but remember
Sir my fame is dearer to me than life. for however
innocent the motives wch. influence, ------------ everythe world
onewd. naturally, & particularly two persons wd- put a cruel construction
upon a secret & clandestine intercoursecorrespondence were it ever
to transpire. once more let me remind you
I shoud utterly sink under such an event -- & even your
friendship cld- not support me.
      You require of me to tell you freely my sentiments;
I will hazard the sending those respecting my opinion of your public appearance[3]
for I am thouroughly convinc'd in the eʃsential
you will never err -- I wd. have my friend rise
superiour -- rank alone will not enable him to
do so -- do not then continue to indulge yourself
with viewing every object that presents itself in a



burlesque light -- & do not communicate your
sentiments -- if the ridiculous does strike you,
& wch. it will people of quick parts & lively imagin-
ations
to every insignificant person at hand or about
you -- the time is near at handapproaching when every look
word & gesture of yours will be of importance
the eyes of the multitude will be upon you -- &
among the multitude your own good sense will
suggest there may be people of discernment,
sense & superiour characters; -- ye. ingenuousneʃs of your mind and the excellence of
your heart will make you candidly acknowledge
as well as feel that to such you wld. be pain'd
to appear in a trifling light -- one vanity I
would have my friend guilty of -- if I may be
allow'd the expreʃsion -- the vanity of being
the first in character & manner & sentiment
&may I venture to proceed -- and not to adopt the follies of others -- Your
sentiments will preserve you from

Adieu my friend be aʃsured of my fidelity no circumstance
will ever leʃsen my friendship though there
may be causes that separates us for till the time



that we shall all be eternally re-united [4]
I cannot believe I do not go this week
------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------

                                                         I will
contrive to send wt. yo. request -- I do not promise ye. time -- I shall get it
done -- for I am not yet out of debt -- [5]

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


Notes


 1. The date, the insertion in the middle of p.1 and most of p.4 are written in a different ink.
 2. The phrase in idea is glossed 'in conception or imagination; in mind, in thought, often as opposed to reality' (OED s.v. idea P1).
 3. The word appearance is doubly underlined.
 4. Everything from this point onwards has been cancelled or added in a darker ink than the main body of the letter.
 5. Moved additional lines here from around the first cancelled line on the page.

Normalised Text



23d. July 1779.

      I have just been reading over the letters
of a friend -- who died in the prime of life --
I loved her with an enthusiastic fondness -- how
improper for me then to write to you after the
remark you made of the melancholy that oppresses
my spirits -- I would not do it -- but that I have
appointed the time for sending an answer.
Let an act of oblivion be pass'd my friend over
the promise you extorted from me (not to quit the Royal Family), then perhaps
you will see the cheerfulness natural to my disposition
resume its place; my being left at liberty cannot
alter or interfere with our friendship -- & that
liberty is absolutely essential to my peace of mind,
I may have no occasion to make use of it, but let
me enjoy it in idea as a resource; pecuniary
advantages I despise -- my principles are too independent
for that motive to have the least weight or detain me
in a situation in which I felt I was not treated
in a manner I was conscious I deserv'd, -- what a
burden then upon my mind the laying under the obligation



let what will happen, of keeping that fatal promise
-- Another reason of my not being in spirits is, that
I am tortur'd with some uneasy reflections which I
cannot stifle -- the imprudence, the inconsistency --
the great impropriety of my conduct in accepting &
acknowledging to return your friendship --
I am sensible there is now no remedy, -- but remember
Sir my fame is dearer to me than life. for however
innocent the motives which influence, the world
would naturally, & particularly two persons would put a cruel construction
upon a secret & clandestine correspondence were it ever
to transpire. once more let me remind you
I should utterly sink under such an event -- & even your
friendship could not support me.
      You require of me to tell you freely my sentiments;
I will hazard sending those respecting your public appearance
for I am thoroughly convinc'd in the essential
you will never err -- I would have my friend rise
superior -- rank alone will not enable him to
do so -- do not then continue to indulge yourself
with viewing every object that presents itself in a



burlesque light -- & do not communicate your
sentiments -- if the ridiculous does strike you,
& which it will people of quick parts & lively imaginations
to every insignificant person at hand or about
you -- the time is approaching when every look
word & gesture of yours will be of importance
the eyes of the multitude will be upon you -- &
among the multitude your own good sense will
suggest there may be people of discernment,
sense & superior characters; -- the ingenuousness of your mind and the excellence of
your heart will make you candidly acknowledge
as well as feel that to such you would be pain'd
to appear in a trifling light -- one vanity I
would have my friend guilty of -- if I may be
allow'd the expression -- the vanity of being
the first in character & manner
may I venture to proceed -- and not to adopt the follies of others --
Adieu my friend be assured of my fidelity no circumstance
will ever lessen my friendship though there
may be causes that separate us till the time



that we shall all be eternally re-united


                                                         I will
contrive to send what you request -- I do not promise the time -- I shall get it
done -- for I am not yet out of debt --

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



 1. The date, the insertion in the middle of p.1 and most of p.4 are written in a different ink.
 2. The phrase in idea is glossed 'in conception or imagination; in mind, in thought, often as opposed to reality' (OED s.v. idea P1).
 3. The word appearance is doubly underlined.
 4. Everything from this point onwards has been cancelled or added in a darker ink than the main body of the letter.
 5. Moved additional lines here from around the first cancelled line on the page.

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 Mary Hamilton to George, Prince of Wales

Shelfmark: GEO/ADD/3/83/4

Correspondence Details

Author: Mary Hamilton

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: George, Prince of Wales

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 23 July 1779

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Mary Hamilton to George, Prince of Wales, asking him to release her from her promise not to leave the Royal Family.
    Hamilton writes that this promise is the reason for her melancholy as 'liberty is absolutely essential to my peace of mind'. She refers to the risk to her reputation, and states that 'particularly two persons would put a cruel construction upon a secret & clandestine correspondence'. Hamilton advises the Prince on his conduct and warns him 'not to adopt the follies of others'.
    [Draft, with annotations].
   

Length: 1 sheet, 589 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: 22 May 2020

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