Single Letter

HAM/1/15/1/13

Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


                                                         May 9th 1786      12
with what pleasure do I sit down to answer your charming, kind
and comforting letter now lying before me! few things could
have afforded me more satisfaction, than I experienced from the
receit of it -- The interest you expreʃs for me, my dear Friend
and the anxiety, about that dejection of spirits, which was
but too apparent when Mr Dickenson was here, are truly gratify[ing]
to me -- I can now relieve your mind from any uneasineʃs
on my account by aʃsuring you that there are no traces
left of the bad spirits I had during the Winter -- I am
light as air, chearful, nay gay, particularly, since I have
brought the Day that is to unite me to all I love most in the
world, within a fortnight -- Had you been here, with me,
my dear Friend, you would have followed me thro' the
progreʃs of my depreʃsion, you would have known, as well,
nay perhaps better than myself, what were the causes
of it, at least those that related to myself -- indeed I know
not well what they were -- various, trifling perhaps, but
finding a heart & mind very well disposed to receive &
nourish them, they united & grew to form a ensemble
that affected my peace, and disposition -- many disap[pointing]
circumstances happened to my Friends -- I had much
uneasineʃs on their account, I found myself two or
three times in a situation, in which in the absence of
my Father I did not know exactly how to conduct, myself
& out of which it was not easy to extricate, myself -- I
wasfelt certainly desolate & alone in the absence of my
Family particularly my Sister -- All these circumstan[ces]
united and contributed to that dejection which you com-plain



of -- and yet they were not such as separately could constitute
a source of misery -- they were not such as could have
satisfied you, enumerated in a letter, nor would it have
admitted of an explanation that would have justified me --
How often have I wished for you! -- How many comfortable,
hours might we have spent together! -- But fate has
deemed it otherwise -- we are to be separated, and those
long separations check & stop that mutual confidence
which in the absence of ones Friend, seeks another
Chanel -- The want of this Friend always at hand &
to whom I could always open myself, has been the primary
cause of my dejection -- for as to writing, it is impoʃsible
to commit to paper, to chance, & perhaps to other Eyes
a million of trifles, which one cannot even bear one self
to immortalize (to a certain degree by writing them) &
which are yet of consequence at the minute they occur
you are now going to leave Ly Wake and Northamtonshi[re]
for a long time I fear -- we shall soon be there -- in little
more than a month, I hope to be enjoying that free
air & directing the disposition of my Flower Garden --
chatting arm in arm with my dear Bell -- & telling her
all that has paʃsed since she has been gone -- are there
no hopes of you on your return from Warwick Castle &c
or as you come up to Town? which by the by I hope
enters into your consideration of future Plans --
London is just now in the height of gaiety -- Balls
without end -- I go to two this week -- ones at Lady Melbournes
to night and on Friday at Mrs Tollemashes -- The



Dʃs of Devonshire is to give three -- Ly Spencer two -- the
Prince -- Ly Faulconberg &c &c -- This is all very well
but il y a trop et trop -- I am almost tired of it & long for
June and Horton -- this has been the longest Winter I
ever remember, tho' (excepting the absence of my Family)
not a disagreeable one -- I have not been much in public
and have lived as much as I wished with Lady Carlisle
whom I admire, look up to & love more and more
everyday -- Indeed I think myself particularly fortuna[te]
in having met with her, & known to value her uncomm[on]
worth -- their are very few such in this monde -- such
feminine softneʃs of manner, a temper so pleacid
with so masculine an understanding, so much
fortitude & command of herself, united to such
& such good principles, forms a character one seldom m[eets]
with --      I am vastly well thank God which will
delight you to hear -- I expect my Father &c on the
21st or 22d -- what pleasure! what happineʃs! I am
reading German à force & have some delightful Books
Mm- de Reventlau has lent me -- she is the danish
Ministers Wife, was my play fellow in Denmark &
is a very amiable & accomplished Woman -- by the by
I had a long conversation the other[1] with General Granville
a Man of honor, good sense & truth, about Madm Busche
& he tells me that he believes all the reports concerning he[r]
& P. F. to be false, at least as to what related to her bad
conduct, for that certainly the Prince admired & followed
her -- but she behaved as well as poʃsible about it, & he
thinks her a truly good & amiable woman -- & whose
character has been very much injured --








adieu my dear Friend! I heard of your being well
from Ly Dartrey -- may you long long, ever, preserve
the Bleʃsing of Health, with every other you enjoy
and deserve --      God bleʃs you!


[2]pray remember me to Lady Wake and very kindly
to Mr Dickenson --

      Mr Digby is pretty well & desires his
best compts to you & Mr D --

send me your next directions
      May 9th 1786


Honble. Miʃs Gunning
9 May 1786[3]


To[4]
      Mrs Dickenson
at Courteen hall
      Northamton[5]

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


Notes


 1. The word day or week is needed here.
 2. Moved the following three postscripts here from the top of p.3, above the address when unfolded.
 3. These two lines are written vertically on the left of p.3.
 4. Postmark '9 MA' to right of address when unfolded.
 5. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

Normalised Text


                                                              
with what pleasure do I sit down to answer your charming, kind
and comforting letter now lying before me! few things could
have afforded me more satisfaction, than I experienced from the
receipt of it -- The interest you express for me, my dear Friend
and the anxiety, about that dejection of spirits, which was
but too apparent when Mr Dickenson was here, are truly gratifying
to me -- I can now relieve your mind from any uneasiness
on my account by assuring you that there are no traces
left of the bad spirits I had during the Winter -- I am
light as air, cheerful, nay gay, particularly, since I have
brought the Day that is to unite me to all I love most in the
world, within a fortnight -- Had you been here, with me,
my dear Friend, you would have followed me through the
progress of my depression, you would have known, as well,
nay perhaps better than myself, what were the causes
of it, at least those that related to myself -- indeed I know
not well what they were -- various, trifling perhaps, but
finding a heart & mind very well disposed to receive &
nourish them, they united & grew to form an ensemble
that affected my peace, and disposition -- many disappointing
circumstances happened to my Friends -- I had much
uneasiness on their account, I found myself two or
three times in a situation, in which in the absence of
my Father I did not know exactly how to conduct,
& out of which it was not easy to extricate, myself -- I
felt certainly desolate & alone in the absence of my
Family particularly my Sister -- All these circumstances
united and contributed to that dejection which you com-plain



of -- and yet they were not such as separately could constitute
a source of misery -- they were not such as could have
satisfied you, enumerated in a letter, nor would it have
admitted of an explanation that would have justified me --
How often have I wished for you! -- How many comfortable,
hours might we have spent together! -- But fate has
deemed it otherwise -- we are to be separated, and those
long separations check & stop that mutual confidence
which in the absence of ones Friend, seeks another
Channel -- The want of this Friend always at hand &
to whom I could always open myself, has been the primary
cause of my dejection -- for as to writing, it is impossible
to commit to paper, to chance, & perhaps to other Eyes
a million of trifles, which one cannot even bear one self
to immortalize (to a certain degree by writing them) &
which are yet of consequence at the minute they occur
you are now going to leave Lady Wake and Northamptonshire
for a long time I fear -- we shall soon be there -- in little
more than a month, I hope to be enjoying that free
air & directing the disposition of my Flower Garden --
chatting arm in arm with my dear Bell -- & telling her
all that has passed since she has been gone -- are there
no hopes of you on your return from Warwick Castle &c
or as you come up to Town? which by the by I hope
enters into your consideration of future Plans --
London is just now in the height of gaiety -- Balls
without end -- I go to two this week -- ones at Lady Melbournes
to night and on Friday at Mrs Tollemaches -- The



Duchess of Devonshire is to give three -- Lady Spencer two -- the
Prince -- Lady Faulconberg &c &c -- This is all very well
but il y a trop et trop -- I am almost tired of it & long for
June and Horton -- this has been the longest Winter I
ever remember, though (excepting the absence of my Family)
not a disagreeable one -- I have not been much in public
and have lived as much as I wished with Lady Carlisle
whom I admire, look up to & love more and more
every day -- Indeed I think myself particularly fortunate
in having met with her, & known to value her uncommon
worth -- there are very few such in this monde -- such
feminine softness of manner, a temper so placid
with so masculine an understanding, so much
fortitude & command of herself, united to such
& such good principles, forms a character one seldom meets
with --      I am vastly well thank God which will
delight you to hear -- I expect my Father &c on the
21st or 22d -- what pleasure! what happiness! I am
reading German à force & have some delightful Books
Madame de Reventlau has lent me -- she is the danish
Ministers Wife, was my play fellow in Denmark &
is a very amiable & accomplished Woman -- by the by
I had a long conversation the other with General Granville
a Man of honour, good sense & truth, about Madame Busche
& he tells me that he believes all the reports concerning her
& Prince Frederick to be false, at least as to what related to her bad
conduct, for that certainly the Prince admired & followed
her -- but she behaved as well as possible about it, & he
thinks her a truly good & amiable woman -- & whose
character has been very much injured --








adieu my dear Friend! I heard of your being well
from Lady Dartrey -- may you long long, ever, preserve
the Blessing of Health, with every other you enjoy
and deserve --      God bless you!


pray remember me to Lady Wake and very kindly
to Mr Dickenson --

      Mr Digby is pretty well & desires his
best compliments to you & Mr Dickenson --

send me your next directions
      May 9th 1786




To
      Mrs Dickenson
at Courteen hall
      Northampton

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



 1. The word day or week is needed here.
 2. Moved the following three postscripts here from the top of p.3, above the address when unfolded.
 3. These two lines are written vertically on the left of p.3.
 4. Postmark '9 MA' to right of address when unfolded.
 5. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

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/1/15/1/13

Correspondence Details

Author: Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Place sent: London (certainty: low)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Courteenhall, near Northampton

Date sent: 9 May 1786

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Charlotte Gunning to Mary Hamilton. She assures Hamilton that her 'bad spirits' have now disappeared. She now describes herself as cheerful and gay and notes that her family is to return home in a fortnight, which she is immensely happy about. She also writes of London society, noting that London is 'in the height of gaiety -- Balls without end'. Gunning is to attend two this week. She notes that the Duchess of Devonshire is to give three balls, Lady Spencer two, and the Prince among others. She writes that she is almost tired of them, as she longs to see her family. The letter continues on Gunning's regard for Lady Carlisle, books and gossip about Prince Frederick, Duke of York.
    Original reference No. 12.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 955 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

Research assistant: Carla Seabra-Dacosta, MA student, University of Vigo

Transliterator: Ramón Carballo-de-Santiago, 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: 3 August 2020

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