Single Letter

HAM/1/19/22

Letter from William 7th Lord Napier to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


6th-
      Canterbury Novr. 8th 1772
      To shew My Dearest Girl, what pleaʃure I
always receive from her Correspondance
I never let one post paʃs without writing
her after getting hers. Last night My dearest
Mary brought me yours without a date
so cannot ʃay whither it came in course
of Post or not, however it made me very
happy to find you & Mrs Hamilton quite
recovered from your late indispoʃitions
& its my most ʃincere Prayer & Wish that
you may continue only as well as I wish you
that, with the aʃsurance you give me of
the continuance of your Friendship will
always make me happy & believe me I prize
that Friendship together with your Correspon-
-dance
much more than I am able to dis-
-cribe
but as I am now quite convinced
that it is ʃincerely returned your own
feelings will be the best guide to find
out my meaning as there is ʃometimes



a ʃome thing within one, that makes known
to one, what they neither can tell, write or
discribe clearly to another person, have
you never felt that ʃame ʃome thing wh-
you absolutely could not discribe pray
tell me in your next. I hope you have,
as I would have all my Friends feel the
same ʃensations I do, especially when I feel
them give me ʃuch infinite pleaʃure
as ʃome of them does, & I can aʃsure you
My dearest Mary none more than the
above one -- your Correspondance My
dearest Girl has made me do a thing I
never thought could have happened to
me Viz. to court one of your fashionable
Patriots (as I have a thorough detestation
of them all) look at the Frank this comes
in being run out I was obliged to
beg a Gentleman to get me a dozen
from Mr Alderman S------ had
it been Wilkes or even the D-l I



would have applied from frank, rather
than not had ʃome for you, so you
see my Friendship for you has absolutely
changed my Nature You deʃire my
dear Mary to know what is the reason
that Friendship when so rational a Pleaʃure
is so very seldom found The reason My
dear Girl is very plain, we are a Sett of
very selfish Creatures, at first a paʃsion
rises that we call Friendship between
Man & Man or Woman & Woman that
continues till ʃome little trifling affair
comes into play that concerns both,
each thinks the other ought to give
up & dear self makes a breach in their
minds that blotts out a regard which
they called Friendʃhip & com̄only makes
them enemy's to each other for the
future, Jealousy in our Case, --- Envy
in yours often puts an end to that thing
com̄only called Friendʃhip likeways,



that between Man & Woman is I believe the
one that lasts longest tho if you'll believe
ʃome people there is none that can
subʃist between them, as Friendʃhip with
Woman is Sister to Love whither that
be true or not, is not the point, but
even allow it to be so, one thing is certain
that without Love and regard there
can be neither Love nor Friendʃhip
between the ʃame or the different Sexes
& both Love & Friendʃhip must be quite
a drug, unleʃs you can banish self entirely
as its impoʃsible they can subʃist in my
humble opinion together -- tell me
My dear Girl whither you agree with
me or not in your next, as I willingly
would shew you that I have both Love
& Friendship for you, by giving up my
own opinion to you, should we differ,
as I am quite perswaded you could
give me so just & strong reasons for



your opinion, that together with my
great inclination to be always on
your ʃide must be convincing
      It gives me great pleasure to find
you have wrote your Uncle Cathcart
as for Sir Wm Hamiltons destination
I have never heard of any more of it
than what I have wrote you, if I
do you may be ʃure I shall let you
know. -- Many thanks to My dearest
Mary for her sending me her Latin
Mr advice concerning my health
but I am afraid was I to try it, the
cure might prove worse than the
decease as giving up port Wine which is
the only kind I can drink with any
kind of Pleaʃure, might bring the Gout
into my Stomach & I am ordered to
drink so much every day both by
my Edinr Phiʃicians & those in this
place -- now My dear Girl I will refer to



you whither its not better to have a little
of an Asthmatical complaint than the
Gout in any of the noble parts, ʃuch as
the Head & Stomach I believe you'll
agree with me the first is best, your
experience by attending your Father My
dear Mary must tell you what the Gout
is, as he was greatly afflicted with it.
I have not read Sir Wm H: observations on
Mount Vesuvius, indeed I have not time
to read when with the Regiment, so
many people coming constantly in to
me breaks off the thread of ones read-
ing
The year I am from the Regt is my
year for reading I suppose I have
been interrupted at least twenty
times ʃince I began this letter
so you may eaʃily judge whither it
would be poʃsible to read or not. --
what I wrote to you My dearest Mary
was only a hint not to touch upon



Characters to many people only to those
that you are ʃure off so I beg you'll go
on to me as I like greatly to hear
your sentiments fully on every subject
as you judge so very justly on every
subject that I get great knowledge
from you thinking on paper to me
I can write no more so many people
is speaking in my room, but must ʃay
I wish Sir Wm & Lady Wake had stay'd
at home ʃince it deprived me of a longer
letter from you Please my best respect
to Mrs Hamilton & believe me to be
My dearest Mary yours most faithfully
& most affctly -- Wm N-

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Normalised Text



      Canterbury November 8th 1772
      To show My Dearest Girl, what pleasure I
always receive from her Correspondence
I never let one post pass without writing
her after getting hers. Last night My dearest
Mary brought me yours without a date
so cannot say whether it came in course
of Post or not, however it made me very
happy to find you & Mrs Hamilton quite
recovered from your late indispositions
& its my most sincere Prayer & Wish that
you may continue only as well as I wish you
that, with the assurance you give me of
the continuance of your Friendship will
always make me happy & believe me I prize
that Friendship together with your Correspondence
much more than I am able to describe
but as I am now quite convinced
that it is sincerely returned your own
feelings will be the best guide to find
out my meaning as there is sometimes



a some thing within one, that makes known
to one, what they neither can tell, write or
describe clearly to another person, have
you never felt that same some thing which
you absolutely could not describe pray
tell me in your next. I hope you have,
as I would have all my Friends feel the
same sensations I do, especially when I feel
them give me such infinite pleasure
as some of them does, & I can assure you
My dearest Mary none more than the
above one -- your Correspondence My
dearest Girl has made me do a thing I
never thought could have happened to
me Viz. to court one of your fashionable
Patriots (as I have a thorough detestation
of them all) look at the Frank this comes
in being run out I was obliged to
beg a Gentleman to get me a dozen
from Mr Alderman S had
it been W or even the Devil I



would have applied from frank, rather
than not had some for you, so you
see my Friendship for you has absolutely
changed my Nature You desire my
dear Mary to know what is the reason
that Friendship when so rational a Pleasure
is so very seldom found The reason My
dear Girl is very plain, we are a Set of
very selfish Creatures, at first a passion
rises that we call Friendship between
Man & Man or Woman & Woman that
continues till some little trifling affair
comes into play that concerns both,
each thinks the other ought to give
up & dear self makes a breach in their
minds that blots out a regard which
they called Friendship & commonly makes
them enemy's to each other for the
future, Jealousy in our Case, Envy
in yours often puts an end to that thing
commonly called Friendship likeways,



that between Man & Woman is I believe the
one that lasts longest though if you'll believe
some people there is none that can
subsist between them, as Friendship with
Woman is Sister to Love whether that
be true or not, is not the point, but
even allow it to be so, one thing is certain
that without Love and regard there
can be neither Love nor Friendship
between the same or the different Sexes
& both Love & Friendship must be quite
a drug, unless you can banish self entirely
as its impossible they can subsist in my
humble opinion together -- tell me
My dear Girl whether you agree with
me or not in your next, as I willingly
would show you that I have both Love
& Friendship for you, by giving up my
own opinion to you, should we differ,
as I am quite persuaded you could
give me so just & strong reasons for



your opinion, that together with my
great inclination to be always on
your side must be convincing
      It gives me great pleasure to find
you have wrote your Uncle Cathcart
as for Sir William Hamiltons destination
I have never heard of any more of it
than what I have wrote you, if I
do you may be sure I shall let you
know. -- Many thanks to My dearest
Mary for her sending me her Latin
Master advice concerning my health
but I am afraid was I to try it, the
cure might prove worse than the
disease as giving up port Wine which is
the only kind I can drink with any
kind of Pleasure, might bring the Gout
into my Stomach & I am ordered to
drink so much every day both by
my Edinburgh Phisicians & those in this
place -- now My dear Girl I will refer to



you whether its not better to have a little
of an Asthmatical complaint than the
Gout in any of the noble parts, such as
the Head & Stomach I believe you'll
agree with me the first is best, your
experience by attending your Father My
dear Mary must tell you what the Gout
is, as he was greatly afflicted with it.
I have not read Sir William Hamilton observations on
Mount Vesuvius, indeed I have not time
to read when with the Regiment, so
many people coming constantly in to
me breaks off the thread of ones reading
The year I am from the Regiment is my
year for reading I suppose I have
been interrupted at least twenty
times since I began this letter
so you may easily judge whether it
would be possible to read or not. --
what I wrote to you My dearest Mary
was only a hint not to touch upon



Characters to many people only to those
that you are sure of so I beg you'll go
on to me as I like greatly to hear
your sentiments fully on every subject
as you judge so very justly on every
subject that I get great knowledge
from you thinking on paper to me
I can write no more so many people
is speaking in my room, but must say
I wish Sir William & Lady Wake had stay'd
at home since it deprived me of a longer
letter from you Please my best respect
to Mrs Hamilton & believe me to be
My dearest Mary yours most faithfully
& most affectionately -- William Napier

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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/1/19/22

Correspondence Details

Author: William, 7th Lord Napier

Place sent: Canterbury

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 8 November 1772

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from William Napier [later 7th Lord Napier] to Mary Hamilton. He writes of Hamilton's uncles, Lord Cathcart and Sir William Hamilton, and of Sir William's Observations on Vesuvius. Napier begins his letter on the subject of friendship and thanks Hamilton for sending him her Latin Master's advice concerning his health [to give up drinking wine]. Napier writes that if he were to try it he is afraid that 'the cure might prove worse than the disease'.
    Napier has not yet read Sir William Hamilton's observations on Vesuvius as he has little time to read because of the constant interruptions while he is with his regiment. He ends his letter by noting that he can write no more as many people are coming into the room, except to say that he wishes that Sir William and Lady Wake had stayed at home as it deprived him of receiving a longer letter from Hamilton.
    Dated at Canterbury.
   

Length: 2 sheets, 1038 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: Chenming Gao (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: 2 April 2020

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