Single Letter

HAM/1/2/33

Letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


14

14

Sunday 12th- 1790
Buxton


My dear Mary

      I have spent an uncomfortable
day as I cannot get my Father to speak to
me on this Subject -- Not poʃseʃsing much
Sensibility himself he cannot judge how
cruelly he acts in trifling with other's --
he hates to argue upon a Subject & is now
playing the same game as when we
were in Jeopardy -- Money unfortunate
ly
is of too- precious a Quality in my
Fathers Eyes & between ourselves to a
rich Jew or Jeweʃs he would have married
us all -- Seeing that we are all for this
Connnection he is reduced to a dilemma &
I am surprised that he is not gone to Birch
he has avoided my looks all day & to prevent
my speaking to him he has been poring



his Eyes out in a book of some sort -- several
times I wished to speak to him this morning
when I was always interrupted by some
Fool or other & I determined upon a con-
versation
immediately after dinner, when
he set off to Church & from there went
home with Mrs. Longden -- Consent
he must & will in time -- Pray tell
Eliza if you think proper that I mean to propose to Mr. D.
to give Cr. upon ye- marriage 1500£, one
thousand of which /that in yr- Uncles hands
I will transfer to Cr. & join with my Father
in a Bond for 500£, if that sum cannot be
immediately raised -- As She knows
our Situation -- I hope She wd. be satisfied
with it -- I wish I could tell him
what Cr.'s fortune is & what he would
settle upon her -- I wd. not have him
come here, for in our present humour



we shd. not be civil or escape thro' the back
Door -- If Cr. /of whom & his Connections we
certainly know but little/ will be properly
communicate, He cannot wish to have
a warmer friend than he will find [me]
to be -- I would have taken a Chaise
and flown to you if I could have
brought on a conversation this morng
And my heart rebels, when I must
forbid you to come to the Arms of your
Husband -- Sarah only wanted a knowledge
of herself to have behaved always in such
a manner as to deserve yr- warmest Affections
& tho it is a painful leʃson, She now sees her error
in idolizing an Object -- not quite deserving of that
unbounded degree of affectn -- If you can gain
the intelligence I want, send to me in ye- morning --
I took pains in drying the Wafer[1] of my last --
Hang Peggy! give her a months notice -- If I had
been at home I would have turned her out of
doors -- Mrs. Chetham will make enquiries for
a Cook for us -- I have recd. Dr. Hall's
Letter to day -- he advises a continuance of the use


[2]
use of the Bath & he's sent me two prescriptions
which I shall take, thō I am almost well with-
out
them -- to day I had no pain & feel very little
uneasineʃs, in 2 or 3 days I expect to be quite well[3]

again & restored to the Arms of the best Wife in
the World
-- God bleʃs you -- pray give my Love
to nostro Fratello & his Dulcinea del Toboso[4]
To Sarah Louisa & --
J. D -- [5]


      I wrote part of this before Timothy came
& meant to send it by ye- Joiner

Mrs. Dickenson[6]

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


Notes


 1. Wafer 'small disk of flour mixed with gum and non-poisonous colouring matter or [...] gelatine [...] for sealing letters, attaching papers, or receiving the impression of a seal' (OED s.v. n, 3a).
 2. The image of this page has been turned upside down for ease of presentation.
 3. Moved these four lines here from bottom of p.3, after the address line.
 4. The 'fratello' (also used in the more fully Italian closing of HAM/1/2/30) must be the Dickensons' future brother-in-law, Count Palombi, so that his 'Dulcinea del Toboso' (the beautiful lady of Don Quijote's imagination, in reality a farm-girl) would be Elizabeth Dickenson. Rather than disparaging his sister, Dickenson is perhaps poking gentle fun at her suitor's enchantment with her.
 5. These lines and the postscript that follows appear at top of p.3, above the address line.
 6. This line appears in the middle of p.3, written vertically.

Normalised Text




Sunday 12th- 1790
Buxton


My dear Mary

      I have spent an uncomfortable
day as I cannot get my Father to speak to
me on this Subject -- Not possessing much
Sensibility himself he cannot judge how
cruelly he acts in trifling with other's --
he hates to argue upon a Subject & is now
playing the same game as when we
were in Jeopardy -- Money unfortunately
is of too precious a Quality in my
Fathers Eyes & between ourselves to a
rich Jew or Jewess he would have married
us all -- Seeing that we are all for this
Connnection he is reduced to a dilemma &
I am surprised that he is not gone to Birch
he has avoided my looks all day & to prevent
my speaking to him he has been poring



his Eyes out in a book of some sort -- several
times I wished to speak to him this morning
when I was always interrupted by some
Fool or other & I determined upon a conversation
immediately after dinner, when
he set off to Church & from there went
home with Mrs. Longden -- Consent
he must & will in time -- Pray tell
Eliza if you think proper that I mean to propose to Mr. Dickenson
to give Chevalier upon the marriage 1500£, one
thousand of which /that in your Uncles hands
I will transfer to Chevalier & join with my Father
in a Bond for 500£, if that sum cannot be
immediately raised -- As She knows
our Situation -- I hope She would be satisfied
with it -- I wish I could tell him
what Chevalier's fortune is & what he would
settle upon her -- I would not have him
come here, for in our present humour



we should not be civil or escape through the back
Door -- If Chevalier /of whom & his Connections we
certainly know but little/ will be properly
communicate, He cannot wish to have
a warmer friend than he will find me
to be -- I would have taken a Chaise
and flown to you if I could have
brought on a conversation this morning
And my heart rebels, when I must
forbid you to come to the Arms of your
Husband -- Sarah only wanted a knowledge
of herself to have behaved always in such
a manner as to deserve your warmest Affections
& though it is a painful lesson, She now sees her error
in idolizing an Object -- not quite deserving of that
unbounded degree of affection -- If you can gain
the intelligence I want, send to me in the morning --
I took pains in drying the Wafer of my last --
Hang Peggy! give her a months notice -- If I had
been at home I would have turned her out of
doors -- Mrs. Chetham will make enquiries for
a Cook for us -- I have received Doctor Hall's
Letter to day -- he advises a continuance of the



use of the Bath & he's sent me two prescriptions
which I shall take, though I am almost well without
them -- to day I had no pain & feel very little
uneasiness, in 2 or 3 days I expect to be quite well

again & restored to the Arms of the best Wife in
the World
-- God bless you -- pray give my Love
to nostro Fratello & his Dulcinea del Toboso
To Sarah Louisa & --
John Dickenson --


      I wrote part of this before Timothy came
& meant to send it by the Joiner

Mrs. Dickenson

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



 1. Wafer 'small disk of flour mixed with gum and non-poisonous colouring matter or [...] gelatine [...] for sealing letters, attaching papers, or receiving the impression of a seal' (OED s.v. n, 3a).
 2. The image of this page has been turned upside down for ease of presentation.
 3. Moved these four lines here from bottom of p.3, after the address line.
 4. The 'fratello' (also used in the more fully Italian closing of HAM/1/2/30) must be the Dickensons' future brother-in-law, Count Palombi, so that his 'Dulcinea del Toboso' (the beautiful lady of Don Quijote's imagination, in reality a farm-girl) would be Elizabeth Dickenson. Rather than disparaging his sister, Dickenson is perhaps poking gentle fun at her suitor's enchantment with her.
 5. These lines and the postscript that follows appear at top of p.3, above the address line.
 6. This line appears in the middle of p.3, written vertically.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from John Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/2/33

Correspondence Details

Author: John Dickenson

Place sent: Buxton

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Taxal, Chapel-en-le-Frith (certainty: medium)

Date sent: 12 December 1790

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from John Dickenson to his wife Mary née Hamilton, relating to Dickenson's father and sisters.
    Original reference No. 14.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 575 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: Cristina García Rodríguez, 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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