Single Letter

HAM/1/15/2/3

Letter from Mary Hamilton to Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Diplomatic Text


This day last Year my Mother died[1]      3

Novem.
23d
1779
[2]

Louvre,[3] Tuesday 5 oClock
Novbr. 23d. 1779

My Dear Dear friend
      My Cold is not worse but I am a very poor creature
& have such acute pains darting acroʃs my head, particularly when
I hold it down that you must be content ------
------ with a very few lines from me.
Your dear Note lay upon my table when I came into my Apartments at Louvre -- how welcome!
I have heard a good character of Yor. partner, indeed
yt. he was uncommonly amiable, he must surely have
merit, otherwise my Astrea[4] wld- not have return'd home
in such spirits after having spent some hours in a
sort of tête à tête wth. him -- I pursue this subject
no farther till I hear more.      tomorrow I send my
ye.
Hair for You to be set, --      I've not seen my Uncle --
he did not tell me where he proposed being in Town,
I must therefore wait till he enquires after me --
      How You will be envied by all the esprits engroʃsing
so much of the Provosts attention, my Compliments
to him, & tell him I invite him to meet You at
my Apartments to breakfast en trio.
      I shall keep ye. Character ------ Sent till AstreaYou



returns, I think You have shown Your Talent in depick-
tion
, but have heighten'd the shade much too strong
-- time must undoubtedly have soften'd the dark tints
for they every part of the picture appears to me to
have a certain harmony of coloring scarcely to be
equall'd. -- The Verses are very much to my taste
& they have the merit of originality -- I suppose I
like ym. ye. more as You are ye. subject.
this is a dreadful anniversary day -- this coming to
Town -- Oh think what I suffer'd this time last
Year -- I have said it, & I will perform my
promise -- I will endeavour to banish gloomy ideas.
I have sent to Mrs. Jackson, & hope to see her some
time this Eveg. -- You know not how much I am
indebted to her -- her love & affection has sav'd me
many many bitter moments.
I sent for Lettice & she is to take ye. charge of sending
my Packet to Mr. Fraser for to be inclosed in a
frank -- I cld. procure none to day -- Adieu my
Astrea my Dear Love! I will write a few lines
tomorrow for Yo. will be anxious to hear of my cold
return ------------ as soon as poʃsible.
Miranda[5]

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


Notes


 1. It is unclear whether this line was written after the letter was sent.
 2. These three lines are written vertically at the top left of page 1 in an unknown hand.
 3. Hamilton and her close friends had various code words for places at Court, including 'Babel' (at Windsor) and 'Acapulea'. 'Louvre' may stand for Queen's House.
 4. 'Astrea' is their code name for Gunning.
 5. 'Miranda' is a code name for Mary Hamilton among her close friends.

Normalised Text


This day last Year my Mother died      



Louvre, Tuesday 5 oClock
November 23d. 1779

My Dear Dear friend
      My Cold is not worse but I am a very poor creature
& have such acute pains darting across my head, particularly when
I hold it down that you must be content
with a very few lines from me.
Your dear Note lay upon my table when I came into my Apartments at Louvre -- how welcome!
I have heard a good character of Your partner, indeed
that he was uncommonly amiable, he must surely have
merit, otherwise my Astrea would not have return'd home
in such spirits after having spent some hours in a
sort of tête à tête with him -- I pursue this subject
no farther till I hear more.      tomorrow I send my
Hair for You to be set, --      I've not seen my Uncle --
he did not tell me where he proposed being in Town,
I must therefore wait till he enquires after me --
      How You will be envied by all the esprits engrossing
so much of the Provosts attention, my Compliments
to him, & tell him I invite him to meet You at
my Apartments to breakfast en trio.
      I shall keep the Character Sent till You



return, I think You have shown Your Talent in depiction
, but have heighten'd the shade much too strong
-- time must undoubtedly have soften'd the dark tints
for every part of the picture appears to me to
have a certain harmony of coloring scarcely to be
equall'd. -- The Verses are very much to my taste
& they have the merit of originality -- I suppose I
like them the more as You are the subject.
this is a dreadful anniversary day -- this coming to
Town -- Oh think what I suffer'd this time last
Year -- I have said it, & I will perform my
promise -- I will endeavour to banish gloomy ideas.
I have sent to Mrs. Jackson, & hope to see her some
time this Evening -- You know not how much I am
indebted to her -- her love & affection has sav'd me
many many bitter moments.
I sent for Lettice & she is to take the charge of sending
my Packet to Mr. Fraser for to be enclosed in a
frank -- I could procure none to day -- Adieu my
Astrea my Dear Love! I will write a few lines
tomorrow for You will be anxious to hear of my cold
return as soon as possible.
Miranda

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



 1. It is unclear whether this line was written after the letter was sent.
 2. These three lines are written vertically at the top left of page 1 in an unknown hand.
 3. Hamilton and her close friends had various code words for places at Court, including 'Babel' (at Windsor) and 'Acapulea'. 'Louvre' may stand for Queen's House.
 4. 'Astrea' is their code name for Gunning.
 5. 'Miranda' is a code name for Mary Hamilton among her close friends.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Mary Hamilton to Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Shelfmark: HAM/1/15/2/3

Correspondence Details

Author: Mary Hamilton

Place sent: London (certainty: low)

Addressee: Charlotte Margaret Gunning

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 23 November 1779

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Mary Hamilton to Charlotte Gunning. She writes of her health and also alludes to Gunning being involved with a partner who 'must surely have merit, otherwise my Astrea w[ou]ld not have return[e]d home in such spirits after having spent some hours in a sort of tête à tête w[i]th him'. She also comments on a picture of Gunning's and writes of some poetry of which Gunning is the subject.
    At the top of the letter Hamilton has written that a year ago that day her mother had died. She writes of the dreadful anniversary and of what she suffered at this time the previous year. She is determined however to 'banish gloomy ideas' and commends Mrs Jackson [née Caterina Clarke], whose 'love & affection has sav[e]d me many many bitter moments'. Hamilton signs her letter 'Miranda'.
    Original reference No. 3.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 413 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: Donald Alasdair Morrison, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Anna Lawson-Walker, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted November 2014)

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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