Single Letter

HAM/1/15/1/34

Letter from Charlotte Margaret Gunning to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text

33

St Jamess 26th Jany 1789

My dear Friend!

      I have been very ill since I received your letter, not dangering
or painfully so, & not not of my Horton Rheumatism
so that you see it is of no consequence, particularly as
I am now quite well -- it was only a violent Cold & fever
with a pain in all my Limbs, which kept me three
days in bed -- this fine weather has quite recovered
me & I am again taking my Bark which was suspended
for a week, constantly every day -- thank you my
dear Friend for l your letter, & for having openly told me
that I had vexed you, I had feared having done so, by
something I said that day on the subject of correspondence
yet did not feel conscious of self reproach, or of having
merited yours, of seeing you averse to an explanation I
forbore to preʃs you, for one -- I am now 28 years old,
ten years older than when I first knew you, have been
in the world for near 12 years, & have had more experiences
of various kinds than most people of my age -- much
vexation, many diʃsappointments, of then in reasonable
plans & hopes of happineʃs, & many, of those which it was
not unnatural for a warm imagination & a cœur sensible
to form, in the days of enthusiasm! I am blaséed upon
most subjects, I have learnt to apreciate things at
their just value & price & the days of romance are over!
But tho' I am not so easily deceived by the appearance
of virtue, by the profeʃsions of Friendship I am far from



being a sceptic in either -- I could not if I were inclined,
without blindneʃs & the height of ingratitude when I
am bleʃsed with so many Friends, whose virtues excite my
admiration & respect whilst their kindneʃs & long attachme[nt]
to me constitute my happineʃs -- And I believe I myself
am not a worse Friend for being a reasonable one --
I am very glad to hear such a good account of little
Louisa's Health, I never could have a doubt of her succeʃses
I hope she will not feel her power, & be allowed to use
it before she, has principles & reason to teach her the
proper objects on which to exert it, & the discretion &
moderation that ought always to attend on power -- it
is dangerous in the hands of a clever child -- to herself
& the habit of governing, is a most fatal one, in a woman --
this I particularly addreʃs to Mr Dickenson who
I hope has not forgot all the useful admonitions
& instructions given him on this Subject at Horton
& thumbs[1] away with proper Spirit --
My Father and Bell are quite well I cannot say
so much of my Brother who looks like Death &
is in a low, uncomfortable way, I do not know what
to make of his Complaint, but tho' I trust it is
attended with no alarming symptoms of danger nor will & that
it threatens no consequences of danger, I am far from
easy upon his account, the leʃs so from not knowing
what to wish about him, or whether he would be better
for country air, or a moderate degree of diʃsipation
here -- I hope to talk to you on this subject in
a more chearful & comfortable style when I write



next -- we have led the a life of the most perfect quietn[eʃs]
& retirement since we came -- indeed a whole week
I was in this room -- one night I went to an aʃsembly
at the Dʃs of Gordons of which the noise, crowd & heat
stupified & overcame me, & I hardly recovered the
effects of it the next day, tho' I was at home before
twelve -- what does not habit reconcile one to, or at
least enable one to bear! my reason & inclination
can never again make their peace or agree wth the
absurdity & stupidity of a great crowd, but in three
Months I shall have heard no noise, felt no heat
& shall come home without feeling the least tired --
I have not yet seen Mr Digby, he is now & then
in To[u]n for a few hours, but he is principally
at Kew [wh]ere his duty, & wish to be of service
confine [h]im -- he has been sometime in
Somersetshire wth his Family -- I believe the
King is much better, I have the greatest hopes of
his recovery, but the foundation vain of these hopes
is open to you in Dr Willis's evidence in the report
of the Committee on the Ex: of the Physicians --
I have reason to think highly of Dr Willis's good sense
skill & what is of the most consequence of his heart
character & good intentions which are sincere as
his endeavours to promote the King's recovery &
unmixed with political or worldly motives, on him
I pin my Faith & shall thank God when he is
allowed (by the removal of the other Physicians) to
have fair play & the sole, uninterrupted, unopposed
management of the King --
As to party, the rage of it runs so high, to that extreme



of violence as is inconceivable, it disunites families
diʃsolves Friendships, banishes even good manners
& common civility, & requires the sacrifice of reason
& common Sense! God help us -- what sad times &
what a dreary black prospect!



adieu my dear Friend! God bleʃs you -- you are in
luck to be out of this tourbillon -- remember us to Mr
D. & let me hear from you soon -- if I hear anything
that can interest you, depend on my letting you kno[w]
God bleʃs you once more your sincere & affec: C.M.G.

Bell never comes here now or very late so that I have
time to read &c -- I am very much engaged wth my
table which grows extremely pretty --

To[2]
Mrs Dickenson
Taxal
Chapel le Frith
Derbyshire[3]

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


Notes


 1. Meaning uncertain, but possibly 'To soil or wear (esp. a book) with the thumbs in using or handling; hence, to read much or often' (OED s.v. thumb v., 3a).
 2. Postmark 'JA 26 89' to left of address when unfolded.
 3. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

Normalised Text


St Jamess 26th January 1789

My dear Friend!

      I have been very ill since I received your letter, not dangering
or painfully so, & not of my Horton Rheumatism
so that you see it is of no consequence, particularly as
I am now quite well -- it was only a violent Cold & fever
with a pain in all my Limbs, which kept me three
days in bed -- this fine weather has quite recovered
me & I am again taking my Bark which was suspended
for a week, constantly every day -- thank you my
dear Friend for your letter, & for having openly told me
that I had vexed you, I had feared having done so, by
something I said that day on the subject of correspondence
yet did not feel conscious of self reproach, or of having
merited yours, of seeing you averse to an explanation I
forbore to press you, for one -- I am now 28 years old,
ten years older than when I first knew you, have been
in the world for near 12 years, & have had more experiences
of various kinds than most people of my age -- much
vexation, many disappointments, in reasonable
plans & hopes of happiness, & many, of those which it was
not unnatural for a warm imagination & a cœur sensible
to form, in the days of enthusiasm! I am blaséed upon
most subjects, I have learnt to appreciate things at
their just value & price & the days of romance are over!
But though I am not so easily deceived by the appearance
of virtue, by the professions of Friendship I am far from



being a sceptic in either -- I could not if I were inclined,
without blindness & the height of ingratitude when I
am blessed with so many Friends, whose virtues excite my
admiration & respect whilst their kindness & long attachment
to me constitute my happiness -- And I believe I myself
am not a worse Friend for being a reasonable one --
I am very glad to hear such a good account of little
Louisa's Health, I never could have a doubt of her successes
I hope she will not feel her power, & be allowed to use
it before she, has principles & reason to teach her the
proper objects on which to exert it, & the discretion &
moderation that ought always to attend on power -- it
is dangerous in the hands of a clever child -- to herself
& the habit of governing, is a most fatal one, in a woman --
this I particularly address to Mr Dickenson who
I hope has not forgotten all the useful admonitions
& instructions given him on this Subject at Horton
& thumbs away with proper Spirit --
My Father and Bell are quite well I cannot say
so much of my Brother who looks like Death &
is in a low, uncomfortable way, I do not know what
to make of his Complaint, but though I trust it is
attended with no alarming symptoms & that
it threatens no consequences of danger, I am far from
easy upon his account, the less so from not knowing
what to wish about him, or whether he would be better
for country air, or a moderate degree of dissipation
here -- I hope to talk to you on this subject in
a more cheerful & comfortable style when I write



next -- we have led a life of the most perfect quietness
& retirement since we came -- indeed a whole week
I was in this room -- one night I went to an assembly
at the Duchess of Gordons of which the noise, crowd & heat
stupefied & overcame me, & I hardly recovered the
effects of it the next day, though I was at home before
twelve -- what does not habit reconcile one to, or at
least enable one to bear! my reason & inclination
can never again make their peace or agree with the
absurdity & stupidity of a great crowd, but in three
Months I shall have heard no noise, felt no heat
& shall come home without feeling the least tired --
I have not yet seen Mr Digby, he is now & then
in Toun for a few hours, but he is principally
at Kew where his duty, & wish to be of service
confine him -- he has been sometime in
Somerset with his Family -- I believe the
King is much better, I have the greatest hopes of
his recovery, but the found vain of these hopes
is open to you in Doctor Willis's evidence in the report
of the Committee on the Examination of the Physicians --
I have reason to think highly of Doctor Willis's good sense
skill & what is of the most consequence of his heart
character & good intentions which are sincere as
his endeavours to promote the King's recovery &
unmixed with political or worldly motives, on him
I pin my Faith & shall thank God when he is
allowed (by the removal of the other Physicians) to
have fair play & the sole, uninterrupted, unopposed
management of the King --
As to party, the rage of it runs so high, to that extreme



of violence as is inconceivable, it disunites families
dissolves Friendships, banishes even good manners
& common civility, & requires the sacrifice of reason
& common Sense! God help us -- what sad times &
what a dreary black prospect!



adieu my dear Friend! God bless you -- you are in
luck to be out of this tourbillon -- remember us to Mr
Dickenson & let me hear from you soon -- if I hear anything
that can interest you, depend on my letting you know
God bless you once more your sincere & affectionate Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Bell never comes here now or very late so that I have
time to read &c -- I am very much engaged with my
table which grows extremely pretty --

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. Meaning uncertain, but possibly 'To soil or wear (esp. a book) with the thumbs in using or handling; hence, to read much or often' (OED s.v. thumb v., 3a).
 2. Postmark 'JA 26 89' to left of address when unfolded.
 3. 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/1/15/1/34

Correspondence Details

Author: Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Place sent: London

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

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

Date sent: 26 January 1789

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Charlotte Gunning to Mary Hamilton. She writes that she is now twenty-eight years old, ten years older than when she first met Hamilton. She writes that over the last 'near 12 years' of being out 'in the world', she has had more 'experiences of various kinds than most people of my age -- much vexation, many dissappointments [sic]'. She also writes that she has been blessed with many good friends. The letter also relates to the health of herself and her family and the health of the King, who is much better, and she has the greatest hope for his recovery. She mentions Dr Willis's [Francis Willis, (1718-1807), Physician, treated the King during his illness] report on the King's illness to the Committee on the 'Ex[amination] of the Physicians'. Gunning thinks highly of Dr Willis's skill and his good intentions. The letter continues on the King's health and the political situation.
    Dated at St James's, [London].
    Original reference No. 33.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 994 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: Sophie Iveson, 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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