Single Letter

HAM/1/19/20

Letter from William 7th Lord Napier to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


4th-
      Canterbury Octr 2d- 1772
      I was made happy My dear Mary by getting
yours of the 26-7 last night & can only
ʃay the more of them that comes to
me the more pleaʃure I receive as
every thing from your fair fingers must
be delightfull, but whatsoever was the reaʃon
of my not hearing from you, is not
belonging to me to inquire as the honor
you do me in writing at all shall be
always looked upon by me with the
greatest gratitude. However My dearest
Miʃs Hamilton may be perswaded that
the Races was a time no Person had a
right to break in upon, but Pray who
was the happy Man that danced & entertain
ed
you so much as not to tire you
even at 4 or 5 o'Clock in the morning
he must have been very agreeable
indeed & I should be monstrously jealous
had I not got yours wrote the very day



after the Races as I should have been
tempted to have done you the injustice
to have thought that this agreeable Orontes
had made the Fair Caʃsandra even give
up her friends but I am now quite satis-
fied
that whatsoever Caʃsandra might
have done for Orontes, My agreeable
Friend will not give up the friendship I
flatter myself she has for me, on any
account, & on my part I am reʃolved
never to give up mine for her. That
point being settled I shall go on in
anʃswering yours -- Be aʃsured I don't
care a farthing under what derection
your letter comes to me provided it
be one that brings them ʃafe thats
all my concern & the last came just
as ʃafe as the former ones. I have
had two letters from Lord Cathcart since
he got to London, he writes only a few
lines being greatly hurried abt Buʃineʃs



which I dare ʃay is the reaʃon you have
not heard from him I derect for him
at London & they find their way to him
but I can inform you of nothing elʃe but
that he & family were well two days ago
      For God ʃake My dearest Girl write
me no Latin epistle, much leʃs a Greek
one the very sight of either now wd-
certainly kill me, even a quotation of
either gives my Nerves ʃuch a tremor
that makes me uncapable to move for a
week. so from the above epistles Good
Lord deliver me, but write as many
& as much as you please in English
which is a language much better adapted
for our correspondance & indeed now
to my Capacity, as the trouble & pains
in anʃwering, as well as reading them,
would be much more than I am capable
off -- I will allow all you ʃay but I dont
believe any language or any other thing



can give My dearest Miʃs Hamiltons virtues
a higher Polish or make them more con-
spicuous
than they are already at least in
my opinion, as they certainly are not in the
rude uncultivated state you are pleased
to call them. I have not ʃeen Miʃs Carter
as yet not having been at Deal where
she lives with her Father, but she is very
well as I see her Brother ʃome times
indeed his Wife having been so ill wt
the Gout (tho a Woman abt twenty five)
has been the occaʃion that I have never
as yet ventured to ride the Sixteen
Miles that divides us -- I am extremely
glad the kitten is so much better
as for being tired of Br & ʃr- I believe she
was pretty much so before I left you
as least I thought so, nay could take
my Bible Oath on it, I wish she was
to try Buxton now -- apropos I hope
you remember your engagement



of going there next spring tell Mrs-
Hamilton with best wishes & Compts-
that I shall not let her off on any
Account and as I'll have you on my ʃide
I make no doubt but she will be ready
to sett out as ʃoon as I get to Northamp
ton
to escort you ʃafely thro the high
Mountains of Derbyshire -- you
want to know what new acquaintances
I have made, anʃwer none, being quite
well known to every body here that
I should wish to be known too, ʃome
if poʃsible I would willingly drop, but
ʃome times we must take the bad
to come at the Good which is my
case in many places that I go too
& should I say this place is excepted I
should most certainly entertain you
with a Canterbury tale -- your Purse
My dear Mary is my Constant companion
never out of my Pocket but when its in



my hand & it never fails reminding me
of my dear Friend Miʃs Hamilton*. This
place is famous for Brawn, which
with Mrs- Hamiltons permiʃsion when
the time comes I propose sending
her a Collar of it -- You ʃay that your
greatest wish is the perpetual continuance
of my Friendship believe me My dearest
Mary you have it in the greatest degree
& my greatest happineʃs will be to be
to be indulged with yours in the ʃame
way -- I must now give over as ʃome
Gentlemen are comedto me about
buʃineʃs otherwise I did deʃign to have
wrote out this Sheet as I have no
greater pleaʃure than in chatting in
this way with you when I am debarred
the more substantial one of yr Company
Adieu My dearest Mary write ʃoon &
believe me Yours most Affct for ever






* Dont think I need the Purse for to put
me in mind of you, very far from it,
but the truth is every thing that comes
from you makes me happy to look at
so once more My dearest Girl Adieu[1]

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red text is normalised and/or unformatted in other panel)


Notes


 1. An asterisk at the start of this postscript matches an asterisk at the top of p.5. The postscript has been left in situ because of its closing intention.

Normalised Text



      Canterbury October 2d- 1772
      I was made happy My dear Mary by getting
yours of the 26-7 last night & can only
say the more of them that comes to
me the more pleasure I receive as
every thing from your fair fingers must
be delightful, but whatsoever was the reason
of my not hearing from you, is not
belonging to me to inquire as the honor
you do me in writing at all shall be
always looked upon by me with the
greatest gratitude. However My dearest
Miss Hamilton may be persuaded that
the Races was a time no Person had a
right to break in upon, but Pray who
was the happy Man that danced & entertained
you so much as not to tire you
even at 4 or 5 o'Clock in the morning
he must have been very agreeable
indeed & I should be monstrously jealous
had I not got yours wrote the very day



after the Races as I should have been
tempted to have done you the injustice
to have thought that this agreeable Orontes
had made the Fair Cassandra even give
up her friends but I am now quite satisfied
that whatsoever Cassandra might
have done for Orontes, My agreeable
Friend will not give up the friendship I
flatter myself she has for me, on any
account, & on my part I am resolved
never to give up mine for her. That
point being settled I shall go on in
ansswering yours -- Be assured I don't
care a farthing under what direction
your letter comes to me provided it
be one that brings them safe thats
all my concern & the last came just
as safe as the former ones. I have
had two letters from Lord Cathcart since
he got to London, he writes only a few
lines being greatly hurried about Business



which I dare say is the reason you have
not heard from him I direct for him
at London & they find their way to him
but I can inform you of nothing else but
that he & family were well two days ago
      For God sake My dearest Girl write
me no Latin epistle, much less a Greek
one the very sight of either now would
certainly kill me, even a quotation of
either gives my Nerves such a tremor
that makes me incapable to move for a
week. so from the above epistles Good
Lord deliver me, but write as many
& as much as you please in English
which is a language much better adapted
for our correspondence & indeed now
to my Capacity, as the trouble & pains
in answering, as well as reading them,
would be much more than I am capable
of -- I will allow all you say but I dont
believe any language or any other thing



can give My dearest Miss Hamiltons virtues
a higher Polish or make them more conspicuous
than they are already at least in
my opinion, as they certainly are not in the
rude uncultivated state you are pleased
to call them. I have not seen Miss Carter
as yet not having been at Deal where
she lives with her Father, but she is very
well as I see her Brother some times
indeed his Wife having been so ill with
the Gout (though a Woman about twenty five)
has been the occasion that I have never
as yet ventured to ride the Sixteen
Miles that divides us -- I am extremely
glad the kitten is so much better
as for being tired of Brother & sister I believe she
was pretty much so before I left you
as least I thought so, nay could take
my Bible Oath on it, I wish she was
to try Buxton now -- apropos I hope
you remember your engagement



of going there next spring tell Mrs-
Hamilton with best wishes & Compliments
that I shall not let her off on any
Account and as I'll have you on my side
I make no doubt but she will be ready
to set out as soon as I get to Northampton to escort you safely through the high
Mountains of Derbyshire -- you
want to know what new acquaintances
I have made, answer none, being quite
well known to every body here that
I should wish to be known to, some
if possible I would willingly drop, but
some times we must take the bad
to come at the Good which is my
case in many places that I go to
& should I say this place is excepted I
should most certainly entertain you
with a Canterbury tale -- your Purse
My dear Mary is my Constant companion
never out of my Pocket but when its in



my hand & it never fails reminding me
of my dear Friend Miss Hamilton*. This
place is famous for Brawn, which
with Mrs- Hamiltons permission when
the time comes I propose sending
her a Collar of it -- You say that your
greatest wish is the perpetual continuance
of my Friendship believe me My dearest
Mary you have it in the greatest degree
& my greatest happiness will be to be
indulged with yours in the same
way -- I must now give over as some
Gentlemen are cometo me about
business otherwise I did design to have
wrote out this Sheet as I have no
greater pleasure than in chatting in
this way with you when I am debarred
the more substantial one of your Company
Adieu My dearest Mary write soon &
believe me Yours most Affectionately for ever






* Dont think I need the Purse for to put
me in mind of you, very far from it,
but the truth is every thing that comes
from you makes me happy to look at
so once more My dearest Girl Adieu

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quotations,
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 1. An asterisk at the start of this postscript matches an asterisk at the top of p.5. The postscript has been left in situ because of its closing intention.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from William 7th Lord Napier to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/19/20

Correspondence Details

Author: William, 7th Lord Napier

Place sent: Canterbury

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 2 October 1772

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from William Napier [later 7th Lord Napier] to Mary Hamilton, relating to Hamilton's writing to him in Latin and Greek. Napier writes 'For God sake My dearest Girl write me no Latin Epistle, much less a Greek one'. He continues: 'the very sight of either now would certainly kill me, even a quotation of either gives my Nerves such a tremor that makes me uncapable to move for a week'. He gives her leave to write as much as she wishes in English, a language he views as much more useful for their correspondence. Indeed, he notes that to answer as well as to read another language is much more trouble that he 'is capable of'. He continues further on the subject. He also writes that he has not yet seen Miss [Elizabeth] Carter as he has not been to Deal, where she lives with her father. Her brother has informed him that she is well.
    Napier also asks Hamilton who the 'happy man' was that she danced with until 5 o'clock in the morning? As she was not tired after this, Napier assumes that he must have been 'very agreeable indeed'. Napier declares that he would have been jealous were it not for the letter he received from her that same day. He reminds Hamilton to remember her engagement to go to Buxton in the spring and writes that he will not let Mrs Hamilton off on any account.
    Dated at Canterbury.
   

Length: 2 sheets, 972 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 2018/19 provided by Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Chenming Gao, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Paula Gaskill, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted June 2019)

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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