Single Letter

HAM/1/19/24

Letter from William 7th Lord Napier to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


8th-

Canterbury Decb, 2d 1772

Yours My dearest Mary of thursday morning
(as dated) came Safe to hand last night
and I promise You not to deʃire long
letters from You again unleʃs You are
reʃolved not to turn every thing I write
against me You ʃay I have chagrined
You, recollect the two first pages of
the letter I have now lying before me
and I make no doubt but Your own
justice will oblige You to own that I
have more reaʃon, what a fine
Character You give of me, You could
eaʃily retaliate upon me did you not
know by experience if you did not
that it would have no effect on me
does not that inʃinuate that I do not pique
myself in writing truth to my friends
but ʃince You do not like truth from
me (as upon my honor I never wrote
one single word to You that I did not



think You deʃerved) I shall for the future
write falsehoods, to begin You are no Phenix[1]
of the Age so dont believe a word I wrote
about that, I have not the least regard,
Love, or friendʃhip, for You, I really can
say no worse of You so shall drop the
subject as far as answering Your letter
will allow me. Be aʃsured I shall never
again unleʃs You deʃire me, Mention a
Regiment or officers whither they be old,
Young, or Handʃome, had you not deʃired
some time ago to be informed about
them I should very likely never have
thought on them, & I thought it was
natural enough to inquire who they
were at N------[2] that I might
have given You a more ʃatisfactory
anʃwer than I was capable off before
they arrived eʃpecially as I am almost
a Stranger to the most of them, but
away with ʃuch Stuff      You really my



dearest Girl made a great mistake or
I have wrote what I never deʃigned, what
I mean't by female Correspondants was
not to You, it was entirely in a figura=
tive
stile supposing a chit, chat, letter
from two Miʃses that had sworn the
greatest Friendʃhip for each other
which the flirting of a Fan put an
end too at once. But as You have
quite mistaken my meaning in every
one word where You are concerned
I must lay it all to the deʃiring a monstrous
long letter, that put You out of humour
(if thats poʃsible) if I dare use the expreʃsi
on
after what I promised above)
or to the dull dreary month of Novr, in which
other Nations ʃay we hang our selves in
I did bid You write without reserve &
hope You will always do so to me
as nothing I know I like so well from
those I have a regard for -- Hold



I forgot I have no regard for You nor
do I care what You write. But I find
I am always making blunders so the
best thing I can do is to beg you'll
preʃent my best Compliments and
Wiʃhes to Mrs Hamilton & believe that
I am not, or ever was, Your most sin
cere
or affctly- Yours & c -- Wm.Napier

      Miʃs Hamilton may expect her puppy
some time next month or beginning
of Feby- providing Povey has any that
I think is worthy to be Sent here

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


Notes


 1. 'A person or thing of unique excellence or matchless beauty; a paragon' (OED, s.v. phoenix n.1, 2a).
 2. Perhaps Northampton was meant?

Normalised Text


8th-

Canterbury December 2d 1772

Yours My dearest Mary of thursday morning
(as dated) came Safe to hand last night
and I promise You not to desire long
letters from You again unless You are
resolved not to turn every thing I write
against me You say I have chagrined
You, recollect the two first pages of
the letter I have now lying before me
and I make no doubt but Your own
justice will oblige You to own that I
have more reason, what a fine
Character You give of me, You could
easily retaliate upon me did you not
know by experience
that it would have no effect on me
does not that insinuate that I do not pique
myself in writing truth to my friends
but since You do not like truth from
me (as upon my honor I never wrote
one single word to You that I did not



think You deserved) I shall for the future
write falsehoods, to begin You are no Phoenix
of the Age so don't believe a word I wrote
about that, I have not the least regard,
Love, or friendship, for You, I really can
say no worse of You so shall drop the
subject as far as answering Your letter
will allow me. Be assured I shall never
again unless You desire me, Mention a
Regiment or officers whether they be old,
Young, or Handsome, had you not desired
some time ago to be informed about
them I should very likely never have
thought on them, & I thought it was
natural enough to inquire who they
were at N that I might
have given You a more satisfactory
answer than I was capable of before
they arrived especially as I am almost
a Stranger to the most of them, but
away with such Stuff      You really my



dearest Girl made a great mistake or
I have wrote what I never designed, what
I meant by female Correspondents was
not to You, it was entirely in a figurative
style supposing a chit, chat, letter
from two Misses that had sworn the
greatest Friendship for each other
which the flirting of a Fan put an
end to at once. But as You have
quite mistaken my meaning in every
one word where You are concerned
I must lay it all to the desiring a monstrous
long letter, that put You out of humour
(if thats possible) if I dare use the expression
after what I promised above)
or to the dull dreary month of November in which
other Nations say we hang our selves in
I did bid You write without reserve &
hope You will always do so to me
as nothing I know I like so well from
those I have a regard for -- Hold



I forgot I have no regard for You nor
do I care what You write. But I find
I am always making blunders so the
best thing I can do is to beg you'll
present my best Compliments and
Wishes to Mrs Hamilton & believe that
I am not, or ever was, Your most sincere
or affectionately Yours & c -- WilliamNapier

      Miss Hamilton may expect her puppy
some time next month or beginning
of February providing Povey has any that
I think is worthy to be Sent here

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



 1. 'A person or thing of unique excellence or matchless beauty; a paragon' (OED, s.v. phoenix n.1, 2a).
 2. Perhaps Northampton was meant?

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/1/19/24

Correspondence Details

Author: William, 7th Lord Napier

Place sent: Canterbury

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 2 December 1772

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from William Napier [later 7th Lord Napier] to Mary Hamilton. He writes that he has received Hamilton's last letter and promises not to ask her for a long letter again if she means to 'turn every thing I write against me'. Napier writes of what a 'fine character' Hamilton had given him, and that she has only to read the first two pages of his last letter to her, to know that he does not mean to 'chagrin' her. He writes in jest that she does not like the truth, and from now on he will write only falsehoods, and to begin with, he states that he does not have 'the least regard, Love, or friendship for you'. Hamilton has criticized Napier for his use of the term 'female Correspondants [sic]' in his last letter, and he defends himself by noting that it was purely a figure of speech 'supposing a chit, chat, letter from two Misses that had sworn the greatest Friendship for each other which the flirting of a Fan put an end too [sic] at once'. He writes that she has mistaken his meaning, and as he is always 'making blunders so the best thing I can do is to beg' his compliments be given to her mother.
    Napier adds at the bottom of the sheet that Hamilton can expect her puppy next month (see HAM/1/19/41).
    Dated at Canterbury.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 555 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 2017/18 provided by Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Georgia Tutt, MA student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Kayleigh Ryan, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted May 2018)

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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