Single Letter

GEO/ADD/3/83/7

Letter from Mary Hamilton to George, Prince of Wales

Diplomatic Text

[1]

      7

21 August 1779


      Ah my friend you little imagine what a terrible
black list I am going to produce -- it may sound
harsh, but as I am detiremin'd to have my conscience perfectly free & never to deceive
you I must say you have lower'd yourself in my
esteem -- if you think it worth while to repair the
fault you have committed -- keep to yourself what
I am going to say for if you do not I will not take
upon me to answer for ye. consequence, after this
preface -- I desire you will recollect what you said
& wth. whom you convers'd (particularly ye. Eveg. of yor.
B.D.) -- I have warn'd you not to trifle wth. my feelings,
-- I have more sensibility than vanity, & believe me
the latter never will receive any gratifications at
the expence of ye former; I need not explain this
further, you have penetration enough to find out what
I mean -- the only favor I request is, & wch. I do very
earnestly -- that you will not reproach your confidant with
want of secrecy -- I acknowledge I shall have no ambition
to be rank'd among ye. number of yor. friends if they are



all of the same claʃs -- yet again my friendship must
remind you -- you will suffer more than you are at
present aware on, if every insignificant character
is to be deem'd worthy of your confidence.
among the other reprehensible things in your conduct,
& wch. I mark'd down in my memory -- is the indelicate
ungentlemanlike & wicked practice you have thought
proper to adopt of Swearing -- think what a pleasant
circumstance it was for me. the morng. of ye. Review
to hear a man (who stood near ye carriage I was in)
saying to another -- “what was ye. P in such a paʃsion about?”
-- “in a paʃsion repeated ye. other” -- why Yes replied he
“for just now when he came riding up aloneto ye. attendant he
“said damn the fellow -- ye. Devil take him --
“where is the Devil gone” &c. &c. &c.” after this
remarks were made upon such language having
been made use of by you. I declare to you I
cld. have wept with vexation & that vexation was
added to by your trifling conversation with Ld: Lothian
&c -- the expletives -- upon my word -- & upon my honor
a Man of real honor never wd ventures to make use of



unleʃs to a truth -- they never ought to be used
as “words of Course in common conversation” this
was your excuse to me. I wd. recommend you
to read a paper in the Connoiʃseur upon this
Subject -- I have not the book but I recollect
that I was pleas'd

I have such a detestation of any thing relative even
in ye. most trivial occurences ofto deceit -- that I
must tell you You say vanity it even extends to
ye piece of Myrtle that was taken & thrown away
immediately after. --
      Adieu you have paid me a number of fine Compli-
ments
. I [2] cannot say I can pay yo. any upon your judgment & taste
respecting Beauty -- yt. how ever is of little consequence -- as to ye. other perfections yo. fancy I
poʃseʃs I shld. be well pleas'd to find ym. out, or be able to attain ym- farewel I have
acted honestly by yo.. I have told yo. truths, ye. conversation of yr. fencing
Master may be more pleasing to yor. taste -- he will boast of yor. condescension
&c but I shall feel that I act as a[3] real friend ought.
                    
have acted more honestly by you -- I
have told you truths. the conversation of your
Fencing Master
may be more pleasing to your taste
he will boast of your condescension &c. but I
shall feel that I act as a real friend ought

farewel.

before I close my Letter permit me to add a few lines more & pardon
me if I have already trespaʃs'd too long upon yor. patience. If I cld.
poʃsibly foresee that ye. attachment yo. at present paint in such strong
terms wld. be more than transient -- or wd. hereafter influence any of yor.
actions -- I declare in ye. most solemn manner -- I wld. take a step (wch. though
I was certain wd. embitter all my future happineʃs in this world[)]



wch. wd. effectually put a bar between us -- I never will betray
yor. confidence to a human being & I never will be the cause of
Your acting improperly.      I have somewhere read -- “greater
“Virtues are neceʃsary to preserve ones friends than to
acquire them”
. & again “let us have a care above all things,
yt. our kindneʃs be rightfully founded, for where there is any
“other invitation to friendship than ye. friendship itself yt. friendship
will be bought & sold. he derogates from ye. dignity of it yt. makes
it only dependent upon apreciable circumstances”
.[4] I do not
know if my memory has been faithful in ye. above quotations
but ye. sense will serve to explain my sentiments.
One quotation more & I have doneconclude
Some positive persisting fops we know,
Who if once wrong, will needs be always so;
But you with pleasure own yr. errors past
And make each day a critique on ye. last.
[5]
Those best can bear reproof who merit praise

My friend adieu[6]

                                                         Typed
                                                                        ---

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


Notes


 1. An edited version of much of this letter appears in Anson & Anson (1925: 80-81).
 2. After I, Hamilton has struck out the remainder of this line and the next five. In between the cancelled lines she has added some new material before rewriting what was there before. The whole replacement passage is therefore presented en bloc, followed by the whole of the cancelled passage, as this is not a series of line-by-line changes.
 3. It makes no sense for a to be underlined.
 4. Hamilton is apparently recalling some edition of L'Estrange's translation of Seneca, only substituting dignity for Majesty (perhaps deliberately), and apreciable circumstances for Good Fortune.
 5. Hamilton writes a dashed line to indicate that she has omitted nearly two stanzas here.
 6. A rectangular strip appears to have been deliberately cut away at the right edge, allowing a word to show through from p.2 folded below.

Normalised Text



21 August 1779


      Ah my friend you little imagine what a terrible
black list I am going to produce -- it may sound
harsh, but as I am determin'd to have my conscience perfectly free & never deceive
you I must say you have lower'd yourself in my
esteem -- if you think it worth while to repair the
fault you have committed -- keep to yourself what
I am going to say for if you do not I will not take
upon me to answer for the consequence, after this
preface -- I desire you will recollect what you said
& with whom you convers'd (particularly the Evening of your
Birthday) -- I have warn'd you not to trifle with my feelings,
-- I have more sensibility than vanity, & believe me
the latter never will receive any gratifications at
the expense of the former; I need not explain this
further, you have penetration enough to find out what
I mean -- the only favour I request is, & which I do very
earnestly -- that you will not reproach your confidant with
want of secrecy -- I acknowledge I shall have no ambition
to be rank'd among the number of your friends if they are



all of the same class -- yet again my friendship must
remind you -- you will suffer more than you are at
present aware on, if every insignificant character
is to be deem'd worthy of your confidence.
among the other reprehensible things in your conduct,
& which I mark'd down in my memory -- is the indelicate
ungentlemanlike & wicked practice you have thought
proper to adopt of Swearing -- think what a pleasant
circumstance it was for me. the morning of the Review
to hear a man (who stood near the carriage I was in)
saying to another -- “what was the Prince in such a passion about?”
-- “in a passion repeated the other” -- why Yes replied he
“for just now when he came riding up to the attendant he
“said damn the fellow -- the Devil take him --
“where is the Devil gone” &c. &c. &c.” after this
remarks were made upon such language having
been made use of by you. I declare to you I
could have wept with vexation & that vexation was
added to by your trifling conversation with Lord Lothian
&c -- the expletives -- upon my word -- & upon my honour
a Man of real honour never ventures to make use of



unless to a truth -- they never ought to be used
as “words of Course in common conversation” this
was your excuse to me. I would recommend you
to read a paper in the Connoisseur upon this
Subject -- I have not the book
I have such a detestation of any thing relative even
in the most trivial occurrences to deceit -- that I
must tell you it even extends to
the piece of Myrtle that was taken & thrown away
immediately after. --
      Adieu you have paid me a number of fine Compliments
. I cannot say I can pay you any upon your judgment & taste
respecting Beauty -- that however is of little consequence -- as to the other perfections you fancy I
possess I should be well pleas'd to find them out, or be able to attain them farewell I have
acted honestly by you I have told you truths, the conversation of your fencing
Master may be more pleasing to your taste -- he will boast of your condescension
&c but I shall feel that I act as a real friend ought.
               


before I close my Letter permit me to add a few lines more & pardon
me if I have already trespass'd too long upon your patience. If I could
possibly foresee that the attachment you at present paint in such strong
terms would be more than transient -- or would hereafter influence any of your
actions -- I declare in the most solemn manner -- I would take a step (which though
I was certain would embitter all my future happiness in this world)



which would effectually put a bar between us -- I never will betray
your confidence to a human being & I never will be the cause of
Your acting improperly.      I have somewhere read -- “greater
“Virtues are necessary to preserve ones friends than to
acquire them”
. & again “let us have a care above all things,
that our kindness be rightfully founded, for where there is any
“other invitation to friendship than the friendship itself that friendship
will be bought & sold. he derogates from the dignity of it that makes
it only dependent upon appreciable circumstances”
. I do not
know if my memory has been faithful in the above quotations
but the sense will serve to explain my sentiments.
One quotation more & I conclude
Some positive persisting fops we know,
Who if once wrong, will needs be always so;
But you with pleasure own your errors past
And make each day a critique on the last.

Those best can bear reproof who merit praise

My friend adieu

                                                        
                                                                        

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



 1. An edited version of much of this letter appears in Anson & Anson (1925: 80-81).
 2. After I, Hamilton has struck out the remainder of this line and the next five. In between the cancelled lines she has added some new material before rewriting what was there before. The whole replacement passage is therefore presented en bloc, followed by the whole of the cancelled passage, as this is not a series of line-by-line changes.
 3. It makes no sense for a to be underlined.
 4. Hamilton is apparently recalling some edition of L'Estrange's translation of Seneca, only substituting dignity for Majesty (perhaps deliberately), and apreciable circumstances for Good Fortune.
 5. Hamilton writes a dashed line to indicate that she has omitted nearly two stanzas here.
 6. A rectangular strip appears to have been deliberately cut away at the right edge, allowing a word to show through from p.2 folded below.

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/3/83/7

Correspondence Details

Author: Mary Hamilton

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: George, Prince of Wales

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 21 August 1779

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Mary Hamilton to George, Prince of Wales, on criticising his recent behaviour; and replying to his previous compliments.
    Hamilton criticises the Prince's confidence in 'insignificant persons'; and his swearing. She offers to remove herself away from him in order to not influence his acting 'improperly'.
    [A small section has been cut out of the penultimate page].
    [Draft].
   

Length: 1 sheet, 828 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)

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

Revision date: 9 August 2020

Document Image (pdf)