Single Letter

HAM/1/3/2/10

Letter from Sarah Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


      10

      From Miss S. Dickenson
to her sister in law Mrs. J Dickenson

Jany 26. 1807.

My dear Sister

      Mr: Fletcher proposes
to send My Brothers cash in in the basket
I have netted for you, as it is to be a casket for
your treasure, I have no doubt of its being
acceptable to you, & that its agreeable contents
will make ample amends for its numerous
deficiencies. I had intended to have netted in
a smaller scale, 2 bags for Louisa & Miʃs
Morrison, but I have not been very well lately;
& since the arrival of Mr Pits speeches,[1] I have been employd in read
ing
& admiring the astonishing powers of his
mind, if I coud expreʃs my sentiments as well,
I shoud be as enthusiastic as Mr Thomson
but I must be content with simply observing
I never read any work that gave me more pleasure.
I had last night every prospect of my fathers
having a regular & comfortable fit of the gout in
his foot, the inflammation was strong & the
swelling had commenced, I got up about 5 this
morning, & from the pain he complaind of, concluded



he was going on perfectly well; I had not however
been with him many minutes before he
told me his foot was become easy, & a most violent
& obstinate spasm on the chest took place. I
gave him guaiacum & agar & at length he
was relieved. I mention this circumstance
so fully as I think it tends strongly to prove
that the spasm is a gouty affection, & that
it does not arise from the cause his medical
friends sometimes suggest; & as this is a
very flattering hope to me, I have indulged
myself in repeating it to you.       Tell my dear
Louisa that this day has not been forgotten
by her affectionate relatives at Birch Hall.
Grand papa tho much better, does not feel
well enough to write, but he joins me in
sincere wishes for a long continuance of helth
& happineʃs to her.       I have not heard from my
sister for some time. I am of course anxious,
but the interruptions that must naturally
arise to any intercourse with that devoted[2]
country, cannot be a cause of surprise tho it may
be of regret. I am in a fever about the lottery
tickets, can you enquire or must I apply else-
where
; I have not written to her lately, as I woud
not finally dash all her airy dreams whilst
there was the least hope of their being realised.
I have paid the 8:8:0 to Mr Brandt[3]. I propose to take
this letter tomorrow (if my father is tolerably well)



to Manchester when I propose to call on Mr Brandt
& gather what intelligence I can from him
we are much obliged to my Brother for the presenta
tion
, & medicine for the horse, he is now better
& the farrier says he will be a very valuable
animal to my father, so all thoughts of
changing him is given up. you will thank
my Brother for the horse, & the vines which I hope will be
more productive than their predeceʃsors.
I am not now going to flourish,[4] or paʃs the
strict bounds of sober truth when I tell you
of the flowers in my garden about the 10th to
15th of January I had in bloom a jonquil
roses purple primrose snow drop hepatica
aconite oxlip heartsease bearsfoot, yellow
& white potentilla Italian cytiʃsus ------
Christmas rose daisies periwinkle lau-
restinus
; & in full bud a branch of the paʃsion
tree that had not been in the greenhouses,
a while either, anemone & c & c. I heard a throstle
sing in december, & a sparrow this morning pickd
up a feather to line no doubt its nest.[5] Mrs: becky
presents her respectful duty to her young mistreʃs
& desires me to say that being as broad as long is a small matter
compared to her weighty charms. Mungo is very
fat & very dirty, & angus increases daily in size
& good manners , he is no longer the Bonaparte
of the neighbourhood, & even sustains cou-
rage
enables him to bring the news paper with
leʃs dismay than formerly.



Mrs: Mckenner has been very ill but is now
better, the good news of to day has raised Mr
M above par, & he coud not make up a sorrow
ful
face all tho his wife has been so Great[6]
an invalid Mr Streetly looks very delicate
& I think is declining, Dr C continues in
excellent mind & the marriage of a third
cousin to a man of 4000 a year is an unde
niable
subject on all occasions. Mrs N & I
write notes, & very pretty notes too I aʃsure
you, & visit very cordially, so I expect we
shall not be off the hinges again for some
time to come Blagsey is arrived at his neplus
-ultra
, his insolence & ingratitude can go
no farther as I trust there is a final stop to all
intercourse of every kind, I am not now sorry, altho
I was afraid lest my father might suffer, but as
hes borne this fresh instance of his malignity
with tolerable composure, I am disposed to think
it a very happy ecclairciʃsement. I will not enter
into particulars as the detail will be too long for
for me to write it todistinctly, but my father will not fail
in his next letter to give you a circumstantial
account -- Mr. Lucas's paragon[7] is I believe
better, if not quite well. There is a pleasant young
woman come to live in this neighbourhood
with whose mother I was formally[8] very well
acquainted with she has calld upon me with
out the ceremony of being first waited upon by
me, & I intend to return her visit when my father
is quite well. Tell Miʃs Morrison if Mr Pit had
not croʃsed my way, I shoud have finished the trim̄ing[9]

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


Notes


 1. Perhaps The Speeches of ... William Pitt in the House of Commons, ed. W. S. Hathaway, first published November 1806, the year of Pitt's death.
 2. Devoted in sense 'doomed' (OED s.v., 5). Where her sister Elizabeth (Palombi) resides is Naples.
 3. Possibly the Charles Frederic Brandt of Manchester, merchant, whose will of 17 Aug 1811 was proved in PCC on 17 Oct 1814 (TNA PROB 11/1561/274).
 4. Here in sense 'use florid language' (OED s.v. flourish, v. 7b).
 5. Late 1806 was exceptionally mild: 'To the very close of the year the grass continued to grow ... and many of the inmates of our gardens (native and exotic) to thrive and blossom.' (Luke Howard, 1818, The Climate of London: Deduced from meteorological observations, vol. 1, notes to Table II).
 6. Overwriting makes the final reading uncertain.
 7. Here in the now-obsolete sense 'companion or partner in marriage' (OED s.v. paragon n., 2).
 8. A conscious use of formally rather than an uncharacteristic misspelling of formerly.
 9. Last sheet(s) of letter missing.

Normalised Text




January 26. 1807.

My dear Sister

      Mr: Fletcher proposes
to send My Brothers cash in in the basket
I have netted for you, as it is to be a casket for
your treasure, I have no doubt of its being
acceptable to you, & that its agreeable contents
will make ample amends for its numerous
deficiencies. I had intended to have netted in
a smaller scale, 2 bags for Louisa & Miss
Morrison, but I have not been very well lately;
& since the arrival of Mr Pitts speeches, I have been employed in reading
& admiring the astonishing powers of his
mind, if I could express my sentiments as well,
I should be as enthusiastic as Mr Thomson
but I must be content with simply observing
I never read any work that gave me more pleasure.
I had last night every prospect of my fathers
having a regular & comfortable fit of the gout in
his foot, the inflammation was strong & the
swelling had commenced, I got up about 5 this
morning, & from the pain he complained of, concluded



he was going on perfectly well; I had not however
been with him many minutes before he
told me his foot was become easy, & a most violent
& obstinate spasm on the chest took place. I
gave him guaiacum & agar & at length he
was relieved. I mention this circumstance
so fully as I think it tends strongly to prove
that the spasm is a gouty affection, & that
it does not arise from the cause his medical
friends sometimes suggest; & as this is a
very flattering hope to me, I have indulged
myself in repeating it to you.       Tell my dear
Louisa that this day has not been forgotten
by her affectionate relatives at Birch Hall.
Grand papa though much better, does not feel
well enough to write, but he joins me in
sincere wishes for a long continuance of health
& happiness to her.       I have not heard from my
sister for some time. I am of course anxious,
but the interruptions that must naturally
arise to any intercourse with that devoted
country, cannot be a cause of surprise though it may
be of regret. I am in a fever about the lottery
tickets, can you enquire or must I apply elsewhere
; I have not written to her lately, as I would
not finally dash all her airy dreams whilst
there was the least hope of their being realised.
I have paid the 8:8:0 to Mr Brandt. I propose to take
this letter tomorrow (if my father is tolerably well)



to Manchester when I propose to call on Mr Brandt
& gather what intelligence I can from him
we are much obliged to my Brother for the presentation
, & medicine for the horse, he is now better
& the farrier says he will be a very valuable
animal to my father, so all thoughts of
changing him is given up. you will thank
my Brother for the horse, & the vines which I hope will be
more productive than their predecessors.
I am not now going to flourish, or pass the
strict bounds of sober truth when I tell you
of the flowers in my garden about the 10th to
15th of January I had in bloom a jonquil
roses purple primrose snow drop hepatica
aconite oxlip heartsease bear's-foot, yellow
& white potentilla Italian cytisus
Christmas rose daisies periwinkle laurustinus
; & in full bud a branch of the passion
tree that had not been in the greenhouses,
a while either, anemone & c & c. I heard a throstle
sing in december, & a sparrow this morning picked
up a feather to line no doubt its nest. Mrs: becky
presents her respectful duty to her young mistress
& desires me to say that being as broad as long is a small matter
compared to her weighty charms. Mungo is very
fat & very dirty, & angus increases daily in size
& good manners , he is no longer the Bonaparte
of the neighbourhood, & even sustains courage
enables him to bring the news paper with
less dismay than formerly.



Mrs: Mckenner has been very ill but is now
better, the good news of to day has raised Mr
Mckenner above par, & he could not make up a sorrowful
face although his wife has been so Great
an invalid Mr Streetly looks very delicate
& I think is declining, Dr C continues in
excellent mind & the marriage of a third
cousin to a man of 4000 a year is an undeniable
subject on all occasions. Mrs N & I
write notes, & very pretty notes too I assure
you, & visit very cordially, so I expect we
shall not be off the hinges again for some
time to come Blagsey is arrived at his ne plus ultra
, his insolence & ingratitude can go
no farther as I trust there is a final stop to all
intercourse of every kind, I am not now sorry, although
I was afraid lest my father might suffer, but as
he's borne this fresh instance of his malignity
with tolerable composure, I am disposed to think
it a very happy éclaircissement. I will not enter
into particulars as the detail will be too long for
me to write it distinctly, but my father will not fail
in his next letter to give you a circumstantial
account -- Mr. Lucas's paragon is I believe
better, if not quite well. There is a pleasant young
woman come to live in this neighbourhood
with whose mother I was formally very well
acquainted she has called upon me with
out the ceremony of being first waited upon by
me, & I intend to return her visit when my father
is quite well. Tell Miss Morrison if Mr Pitt had
not crossed my way, I should have finished the trimming

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



 1. Perhaps The Speeches of ... William Pitt in the House of Commons, ed. W. S. Hathaway, first published November 1806, the year of Pitt's death.
 2. Devoted in sense 'doomed' (OED s.v., 5). Where her sister Elizabeth (Palombi) resides is Naples.
 3. Possibly the Charles Frederic Brandt of Manchester, merchant, whose will of 17 Aug 1811 was proved in PCC on 17 Oct 1814 (TNA PROB 11/1561/274).
 4. Here in sense 'use florid language' (OED s.v. flourish, v. 7b).
 5. Late 1806 was exceptionally mild: 'To the very close of the year the grass continued to grow ... and many of the inmates of our gardens (native and exotic) to thrive and blossom.' (Luke Howard, 1818, The Climate of London: Deduced from meteorological observations, vol. 1, notes to Table II).
 6. Overwriting makes the final reading uncertain.
 7. Here in the now-obsolete sense 'companion or partner in marriage' (OED s.v. paragon n., 2).
 8. A conscious use of formally rather than an uncharacteristic misspelling of formerly.
 9. Last sheet(s) of letter missing.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Sarah Dickenson to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/3/2/10

Correspondence Details

Author: Sarah Dickenson

Place sent: Manchester (certainty: high)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Leighton Buzzard, Beds. (certainty: medium)

Date sent: 26 January 1807

Letter Description

Summary: Incomplete letter from Sarah Dickenson to Mary Hamilton, the last sheet(s) being missing. Dickenson writes of reading Pitt's speeches, of the treatment of her father's gout, of the astonishing winter blooming of her garden. She writes light-heartedly of various named animals, offers some neighbourhood gossip, and the letter breaks off at the end of a sheet.
    Original reference No. 10.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 986 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: Georgia Tutt (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: 3 August 2020

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