Single Letter

HAM/1/15/1/11

Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


10

Jan: 29th 1786

      I hasten my dear Friend to thank you for your letter
which I have most impatiently and constantly expected
for some time past -- I am truly happy to hear you are
well, and certainly receive great pleasure from all the
kind and affectionate things you say to me, but yet I am
unreasonable enough not to be quite satisfied with your
letter, you say nothing about yourself or Mr Dickenson
I hardly understood whether he was with you or not
Do you, & does he, stay at Courteenhall[1] all the winter?
when you leave it, do you come to Town or do you go
into Cheshire? what do you do all Day? this is not
the question of a fine Town Lady, who supposes her
Friend cannot poʃsibly find occupation to vary a
dull country life, do not mistake me -- I wish to
follow you thro' the day, & know what you are about
& what engages you -- do you draw or paint? you
have now leisure to apply to this amusement
& to indulge your geniuses -- All you say to me my dear
on the subject of my dejection is so true, just and
unanswerable, that I can only reply to it by saying that
it is so -- & that I cannot well account for it -- I dined
yesterday at Mr Selwyn's[2] -- he was gone out when I
arrived, to fetch the D. of Queensberry, I took up a Book, it
happened to be Ganganellis letters, I opened it par
un hazard
at the letter -- read it -- it is an answer
to a Friend who as you have done asks the cause of his



dejection -- it had no ostensible one -- but he says what
is true & what I feel, that we depend on so many external
causes independant of us, at whose mercy we are that who
can say, I have every reason to be happy, and I will be
happy, or I am so -- ? Or rather I have (in this respect
certainly) a little, weak mind, subservient to the airy,
influences, & easily distracted & discomposed by every
trifling circumstance -- or to speak more kindly of myself
I have a great deal of sensibility, & if not my own, the
vexations of my Friends, and certainly the misfortune
& misery of my fellow creastures, alter my happineʃs
considerably -- The great features of my situation strike
you, & speak against me -- the little, faint touches which
appear only on a nearer view, paʃs unnoticed -- I have
not been well, I have now a bad cough, the weather
has been heavy & oppreʃsive, need you go further for an
account of bad spirits -- I do not complain or murmur --
God knows I don't, I am contented & resigned, nay
I enjoy life, the society of my Friends, and some of
the amusements of my age -- but I have moments
& I suppose few people can deny having experienced them,
when the mind has lost its elasticity, when the spirits
have fled, & every thing disgusts & tires --
I have been drinking aʃses Milk for this week past and
my cough is much better -- Pʃs Elisabeth is recovering
very fast they say -- but looks very pale and is as fat as
ever -- this is very odd & I think a bad sign -- I should not



be at all surprised if she was to fall into a consumption
after this -- I have really at different times been quite
miserable about her -- the frequent relapses have
kept me in continual agitation -- Their Maj: & the
two elder P. are at Windsor where they have been since
Friday -- Pʃs E. is in Town & goes out of airing every
day. The ancient musick begins on Wednesday -- the
week after, the Oratorios -- there is the old train again --
3 Days in the week entirely given up -- I by no means
like the change, from the table of my Friend's to the[re]
where th[a]nk God I have dined but 9 times since th[e]
14th of November; but I shall be obliged to go to it three
times a week -- the Opera's are begun -- they say they
are to be good, but as I never go but in a Box and with
a Ticket, it may be long before I have it in power to judge
myself, of their merit -- I have never seen Mrs Walsing
since the day I wrote to you -- she has not asked me
since, which I do not regret -- she has never called upon
me since she came to Town -- pray give my love to
Ly Wake -- are all her children with her? how does
Miʃs Wake grow up? I have given your love to Mr
Digby, who returns it -- he never had the gout before
he is rather better but looks deplorably -- I am going
to day to dine wth Ly Langham -- dont' you wish me
joy? adieu my dear -- ever affec: & sincerely yours
MGunning --




remember me very kindly to Mr Dickenson --

      How Mr Newman puts me out of patience because
he is allowed to come to Horton like a tame Cat without
any bodies minding him, he gives himself the airs
of being my Fathers Friend! he is intimate with everybo[dy]
Gamekeeper, Groom, farmers & servants & pries into
every body's affairs, to find matter for making himself
acceptable at the next goʃsiping house he goes to --

To
Mrs Dickenson
Courteen Hall
Northamton[3]

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


Notes


 1. Courteenhall, ancestral home of the Wake family.
 2. George Augustus Selwyn (1719–1791), wit and politician.
 3. This address appears written vertically in panel in centre of page 3 when unfolded. There are a couple of words scribbled around the address, possibly added later.

Normalised Text



January 29th 1786

      I hasten my dear Friend to thank you for your letter
which I have most impatiently and constantly expected
for some time past -- I am truly happy to hear you are
well, and certainly receive great pleasure from all the
kind and affectionate things you say to me, but yet I am
unreasonable enough not to be quite satisfied with your
letter, you say nothing about yourself or Mr Dickenson
I hardly understood whether he was with you or not
Do you, & does he, stay at Courteenhall all the winter?
when you leave it, do you come to Town or do you go
into Cheshire? what do you do all Day? this is not
the question of a fine Town Lady, who supposes her
Friend cannot possibly find occupation to vary a
dull country life, do not mistake me -- I wish to
follow you through the day, & know what you are about
& what engages you -- do you draw or paint? you
have now leisure to apply to this amusement
& to indulge your geniuses -- All you say to me my dear
on the subject of my dejection is so true, just and
unanswerable, that I can only reply to it by saying that
it is so -- & that I cannot well account for it -- I dined
yesterday at Mr Selwyn's -- he was gone out when I
arrived, to fetch the Duke of Queensberry, I took up a Book, it
happened to be Ganganellis letters, I opened it par
un hazard
at the letter -- read it -- it is an answer
to a Friend who as you have done asks the cause of his



dejection -- it had no ostensible one -- but he says what
is true & what I feel, that we depend on so many external
causes independent of us, at whose mercy we are that who
can say, I have every reason to be happy, and I will be
happy, or I am so -- ? Or rather I have (in this respect
certainly) a little, weak mind, subservient to the airy,
influences, & easily distracted & discomposed by every
trifling circumstance -- or to speak more kindly of myself
I have a great deal of sensibility, & if not my own, the
vexations of my Friends, and certainly the misfortune
& misery of my fellow creatures, alter my happiness
considerably -- The great features of my situation strike
you, & speak against me -- the little, faint touches which
appear only on a nearer view, pass unnoticed -- I have
not been well, I have now a bad cough, the weather
has been heavy & oppressive, need you go further for an
account of bad spirits -- I do not complain or murmur --
God knows I don't, I am contented & resigned, nay
I enjoy life, the society of my Friends, and some of
the amusements of my age -- but I have moments
& I suppose few people can deny having experienced them,
when the mind has lost its elasticity, when the spirits
have fled, & every thing disgusts & tires --
I have been drinking asses Milk for this week past and
my cough is much better -- Princess Elizabeth is recovering
very fast they say -- but looks very pale and is as fat as
ever -- this is very odd & I think a bad sign -- I should not



be at all surprised if she was to fall into a consumption
after this -- I have really at different times been quite
miserable about her -- the frequent relapses have
kept me in continual agitation -- Their Majesties & the
two elder Princes are at Windsor where they have been since
Friday -- Princess Elizabeth is in Town & goes out of airing every
day. The ancient music begins on Wednesday -- the
week after, the Oratorios -- there is the old train again --
3 Days in the week entirely given up -- I by no means
like the change, from the table of my Friend's to there
where thank God I have dined but 9 times since the
14th of November; but I shall be obliged to go to it three
times a week -- the Opera's are begun -- they say they
are to be good, but as I never go but in a Box and with
a Ticket, it may be long before I have it in power to judge
myself, of their merit -- I have never seen Mrs Walsingham
since the day I wrote to you -- she has not asked me
since, which I do not regret -- she has never called upon
me since she came to Town -- pray give my love to
Lady Wake -- are all her children with her? how does
Miss Wake grow up? I have given your love to Mr
Digby, who returns it -- he never had the gout before
he is rather better but looks deplorably -- I am going
to day to dine with Lady Langham -- don't you wish me
joy? adieu my dear -- ever affectionate & sincerely yours
Margaret Gunning --




remember me very kindly to Mr Dickenson --

      How Mr Newman puts me out of patience because
he is allowed to come to Horton like a tame Cat without
any bodies minding him, he gives himself the airs
of being my Fathers Friend! he is intimate with everybody
Gamekeeper, Groom, farmers & servants & pries into
every body's affairs, to find matter for making himself
acceptable at the next gossiping house he goes to --

To
Mrs Dickenson
Courteen Hall
Northampton

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



 1. Courteenhall, ancestral home of the Wake family.
 2. George Augustus Selwyn (1719–1791), wit and politician.
 3. This address appears written vertically in panel in centre of page 3 when unfolded. There are a couple of words scribbled around the address, possibly added later.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/15/1/11

Correspondence Details

Author: Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Place sent: London (certainty: medium)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Courteenhall, near Northampton

Date sent: 29 January 1786

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Charlotte Gunning to Mary Hamilton. She is happy to have received a letter from Hamilton but asks for more information about her. She wishes to know if she draws or paints now that she has more leisure to do so. She refers to the 'dejection' she wrote of in her last letter to Hamilton, and writes that she agrees with all Hamilton has said in her letter to her on the subject. She writes more on her feelings, on her health and on the health of Princess Elizabeth. She writes of society and the opera and of a Mr Newman, who irritates her, as he is allowed to visit Horton whenever he likes and 'gives himself the air of being my Father[']s Friend'.
    Original reference No. 10.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 909 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: Research Assistant funding in 2014/15 and 2015/16 provided by the Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Isabella Formisano, former MA student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Rhia Abukhalil, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted May 2016)

Cataloguer: Lisa Crawley, Archivist, The John Rylands Library

Cataloguer: John Hodgson, Head of Special Collections, The John Rylands Library

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

Revision date: 13 April 2020

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