Single Letter

HAM/1/15/1/21

Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


14

St James's May 10th. 1787

Since I received your letter my dear Friend, till
this minute I have scarce been able to hold a Pen.
I have been almost distracted with a return of the
pain in my face, which however thank God, has
now left me entirely. How I feel for you my dear
Friend! I so well know, how you must be affected
by the melancholy accident you mention & by its
still more melancholy consequences -- what they
may have been by this time, I dread to ask -- you
say Mr D.[1] was then dangerously ill. What has been
the Event -- has God spared him to you -- is he
recovering? I am very anxious indeed to hear -- let
me have one word from you my dear, if poʃsible.
should you be at this minute in need of consolation
you will find it, in Religion; in your own good sens[e]
in your strong reason, in each other, in that affectio[n]
& regard, which will induce & enable you to exert yourselves
mutually for each other's sakes -- I will say nothing
on the subject, my attempts would [be in] vain, I will only
aʃsure you that I am deeply interested in your
situation. The account you give of your dear
little Louisa, & I like her names extremely, is
charming indeed -- what a happineʃs to be the



Mother of such a little Being, a little Angel, which
attaches[2] & interests more and more every day --
& which already must prove the greatest of comfort,
to you. I have little to tell you about myself, I am
just now very well after having been distracted wth the
pain in my face most of the winter -- I am grown very
thin, look pale & should not please you at all by my
appearance. I thank God, that I am going in
three weeks into the Country, where, little as I rake[3] &
sit up here, I shall be still more quiet & regular --
I know not whether it is not even more fatiguing
to the spirits & mind to hear a noise & bustle on all
sides of you when you do not enter into it yourself
than when you are foremost in the riot -- this is
very much my case, I go very little into publick, &
have God knows still leʃs interest in what is going
on, but I am etourdie with the arrangements
plans & diʃsappointments of others. On the 6th of
June I intend carrying my Sister down to Horton
where I stay till the next Drawingroom -- I return
here for that Day & in a few days afterwards
go for two Months -- it is impoʃsible to tell what
comfort & relief I feel from this idea, it makes enables
me to bear the short time I must remain here
longer, with patience -- I have already made a
list of Books & musick I shall take down &
amuse myself with forming a plan of reading &



occupation -- my Father left us last Tuesday
he is established at Horton where he is making
great alterations both in the House & Grounds.
I am going to new paper my room, with white
& next year shall afford new curtains & chairs.
we have a whole swarm of french People here who
are all going to Bath on Monday -- The Ducheʃs de
Poligniac (the quondam favourite) is a very pretty
Woman, very short but with the most pleasing
countenance & manners -- the Ducheʃs de Guiche
her Daughter who has been married but two years
& is but 15 -- is still shorter but pretty tho' with a
very high forehead, she is reckoned the prettie[st]
woman at Paris, but we have hundreds here [who]
excell her infinitly -- we had a great Ball at
the French Ambaʃsadors on Thursday (for I was
interrupted in my letter, & it is now Saturday) at
which I was -- it was a very gay & pretty Ball, too
numerous to make the dancing pleasant, I
came home very early -- what I expect great
pleasure from is the Play at Richmond House
to which the King & Queen go on Thursday next
I am invited by the Duke, so is all the family, but
we do not attend the Queen, & go undreʃsed -- it is
the way to keep him,[4] you have seen the Papers
full of it, it has been acted 5 times & every body
seems delighted with it -- adieu my dear dear
Friend, I must leave you for my Sister calls me



to walk -- God bleʃs you -- & may this find you all
happy & comfortable again -- I wish for everything
that may contribute to make you so -- remember
me to Mr D. adieu God bleʃs you --
ever yours CMG


To
Mrs Dickenson
Taxal
Chapel le Frith
Derbyshire[5]

C 2/2[6]

Honble Miʃs
Gunning June
1787
[7]

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


Notes


 1. John Dickenson Senior, Mary Hamilton's father-in-law; see letter HAM/1/15/1/22.
 2. An early and elliptical use of the sense 'To elicit sympathy, affection, or emotional or intellectual attraction' (predating OED s.v. attach v., 8.b).
 3. 'To be a rake; to behave in a dissolute, debauched manner' (OED s.v. rake v.4).
 4. A play by Arthur Murphy performed at the private theatre of the Duke of Richmond in April 1787 (British Museum).
 5. This address appears written vertically in panel in centre of page 3 when unfolded.
 6. This line is written to the right of the address when unfolded.
 7. These three lines are written upside down at the bottom of p.3. Gunning had dated the letter 10 May; there must be some other reason than an interruption from Thursday to Saturday for Hamilton to receive it only in June.

Normalised Text



St James's May 10th.

Since I received your letter my dear Friend, till
this minute I have scarce been able to hold a Pen.
I have been almost distracted with a return of the
pain in my face, which however thank God, has
now left me entirely. How I feel for you my dear
Friend! I so well know, how you must be affected
by the melancholy accident you mention & by its
still more melancholy consequences -- what they
may have been by this time, I dread to ask -- you
say Mr Dickenson was then dangerously ill. What has been
the Event -- has God spared him to you -- is he
recovering? I am very anxious indeed to hear -- let
me have one word from you my dear, if possible.
should you be at this minute in need of consolation
you will find it, in Religion; in your own good sense
in your strong reason, in each other, in that affection
& regard, which will induce & enable you to exert yourselves
mutually for each other's sakes -- I will say nothing
on the subject, my attempts would be in vain, I will only
assure you that I am deeply interested in your
situation. The account you give of your dear
little Louisa, & I like her names extremely, is
charming indeed -- what a happiness to be the



Mother of such a little Being, a little Angel, which
attaches & interests more and more every day --
& which already must prove the greatest of comfort,
to you. I have little to tell you about myself, I am
just now very well after having been distracted with the
pain in my face most of the winter -- I am grown very
thin, look pale & should not please you at all by my
appearance. I thank God, that I am going in
three weeks into the Country, where, little as I rake &
sit up here, I shall be still more quiet & regular --
I know not whether it is not even more fatiguing
to the spirits & mind to hear a noise & bustle on all
sides of you when you do not enter into it yourself
than when you are foremost in the riot -- this is
very much my case, I go very little into public, &
have God knows still less interest in what is going
on, but I am étourdie with the arrangements
plans & disappointments of others. On the 6th of
June I intend carrying my Sister down to Horton
where I stay till the next Drawingroom -- I return
here for that Day & in a few days afterwards
go for two Months -- it is impossible to tell what
comfort & relief I feel from this idea, it enables
me to bear the short time I must remain here
longer, with patience -- I have already made a
list of Books & music I shall take down &
amuse myself with forming a plan of reading &



occupation -- my Father left us last Tuesday
he is established at Horton where he is making
great alterations both in the House & Grounds.
I am going to new paper my room, with white
& next year shall afford new curtains & chairs.
we have a whole swarm of french People here who
are all going to Bath on Monday -- The Duchess de
Poligniac (the quondam favourite) is a very pretty
Woman, very short but with the most pleasing
countenance & manners -- the Duchess de Guiche
her Daughter who has been married but two years
& is but 15 -- is still shorter but pretty though with a
very high forehead, she is reckoned the prettiest
woman at Paris, but we have hundreds here who
excel her infinitely -- we had a great Ball at
the French Ambassadors on Thursday (for I was
interrupted in my letter, & it is now Saturday) at
which I was -- it was a very gay & pretty Ball, too
numerous to make the dancing pleasant, I
came home very early -- what I expect great
pleasure from is the Play at Richmond House
to which the King & Queen go on Thursday next
I am invited by the Duke, so is all the family, but
we do not attend the Queen, & go undressed -- it is
the way to keep him, you have seen the Papers
full of it, it has been acted 5 times & every body
seems delighted with it -- adieu my dear dear
Friend, I must leave you for my Sister calls me



to walk -- God bless you -- & may this find you all
happy & comfortable again -- I wish for everything
that may contribute to make you so -- remember
me to Mr Dickenson adieu God bless you --
ever yours Charlotte Margaret Gunning --


To
Mrs Dickenson
Taxal
Chapel le Frith
Derbyshire



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



 1. John Dickenson Senior, Mary Hamilton's father-in-law; see letter HAM/1/15/1/22.
 2. An early and elliptical use of the sense 'To elicit sympathy, affection, or emotional or intellectual attraction' (predating OED s.v. attach v., 8.b).
 3. 'To be a rake; to behave in a dissolute, debauched manner' (OED s.v. rake v.4).
 4. A play by Arthur Murphy performed at the private theatre of the Duke of Richmond in April 1787 (British Museum).
 5. This address appears written vertically in panel in centre of page 3 when unfolded.
 6. This line is written to the right of the address when unfolded.
 7. These three lines are written upside down at the bottom of p.3. Gunning had dated the letter 10 May; there must be some other reason than an interruption from Thursday to Saturday for Hamilton to receive it only in June.

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/1/15/1/21

Correspondence Details

Author: Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Taxal, Chapel-en-le-Frith

Date sent: 10 May 1787

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Charlotte Gunning to Mary Hamilton. The letter relates to Gunning's and John Dickenson Senior's health and a ball given by the French Ambassador. Gunning writes that she has been suffering from a pain in her face. She also notes that she understands John Dickenson has had an accident [a bad fall]. She is anxious for information and asks if he is dangerously ill. Gunning advises Hamilton that if she is in need of 'consolation you will find it, in Religion'.
    Gunning also updates Hamilton on how she has been spending her time. She does not go out much in public but is at times obliged to follow the arrangement plans of others. She notes that 'we have a whole swarm of french People here [at St James's] who are all going to Bath on Monday'. She notes that the Duchess de Poligniac is of the party and describes her as very pretty, very short and with a pleasing countenance and manners. The Duchess de Guiche, her daughter, has been married two years, is 15 years old and is even shorter. She is reckoned the prettiest woman in Paris, and Gunning does find her pretty despite 'a very high forehead', 'but we have hundreds here [who] excell her infinitly'. The letter continues on the subject of a ball given by the French Ambassador which was very gay and pretty, although it was too crowded to make the 'dancing pleasant'. Gunning also writes of a play she is to attend at Richmond House, which the King and Queen are to go to; she and all the family have been invited by the Duke [of Richmond]. She reports that the paper is full of news of the play and it has been 'acted 5 times & every body seems delighted with it'.
    Dated at St James's, [London].
   

Length: 1 sheet, 804 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: Amy Price, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted May 2016)

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

Revision date: 13 April 2020

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