Single Letter

HAM/1/3/2/3

Letter from Elizabeth Palombi to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


Naples, May 1st: 1802

     
At length, my Dear Sister, we may be said
to be drawn nearer to each other by the general
Peace, as for many years we seem to have been
separated more by the unhappy & desolating War
than by the Alps, & distant tracts, wch: are plac'd
between this country & my dear Native land.
      It is also to the ever-lamentable revolutions
which have not only pervaded & convuls'd all Europe
but almost the whole World, that you must
attribute any seeming negligence of mine
towards such good Friends; but tho' you have,
without doubt, suffer'd in Engd: the effects of this
general vain & intollerable confusion, yet you
can have but little idea of what weaker & more
defenceleʃs & ill-govern'd countries have undergone
& will have to regret for many many years to
come; I shall not however prolong this subject,
which never fails to recall the most painful
ideas, & have only touch'd on it in order to
plead my excuse, for never having written
immediately to yourself, to thank you, my Bror:
& my amiable Niece, for the kind & acceptable
present I recd: in the beginning of the year 1801.
In order to render more secure your having my
acknowledgements, with every proper expreʃsion



of gratitude, I begg'd our Dear Sarah wou'd not
fail to write to you very particularly on this
subject; & she has aʃsur'd me that, to the best of
her memory, she had done so: but for several
years past it has been difficult to ascertain
any point, owing to the uncertainty of the Post,
& the actual interruption of all correspondence
      I believe I have now to redouble my thanks
as I have lately recd: the sum of 8 guineas
from England; but not having had any letter
from my Sister I am left to gueʃs the
generous hand it comes from: Be aʃsur'd my
heart is very sensible to the kindneʃs of all
my Friends; who have still the goodneʃs not
only to keep me in their remembrance, but also
to confer benefits on me. Now that Commerce
is restor'd to Europe I shall frequently have
opportunities of sending to Liverpool, wch: wou'd
be very pleasing to me indeed, cou'd I be able
to send you any thing from hence wch: cou'd be
agreeable or useful to you, but here again
I am limited to the smallest trifles, wch: can
only be entred into Engd: by the aid of some obliging
Captn: of a ship, who can find means to get them
privately on shore, without causing my Freinds
to pay more for the duties than they are worth



I have, for some years been anxious to send some
little token of remembrance to my sweet Louisa,
to keep for the sake of Aunt Ippa, for whom my
Sister informs me she still retains a regard; & I
cou'd have wish'd to send you several curiosities
which I obtain'd on purpose, but which have been
lost or ruin'd by change of place &c, as the hope
of being able to send them to you was so near
at an end; particularly as your present residence
is now remote from Manchester. It luckily
happens that I have an opporty: of sending to
Liverpool, at the same time that my sister
tells me you are expected
at B. Hall; so that I have
hastily done some cuttings
out, wch: wou'd have been
better executed had I had
more time, & stronger eyes; however
the Bomboliera[1] I have sent Louisa
may serve as a specimen of my work, & is
indeed a greater proof of my affection than the most
elegant keep-sake I cou'd have sent, on account of
the weakneʃs of my sight, when I am a Nurse, & the
almost impoʃsibility of obtaining time, & quiet moments
to employ myself in such an art. You must
excuse me my dear Sister, that to you, to whom
I owe so much gratitude, I venture to send you so
simple a token of remembrance as a piece of cold
marble, but tho freezing to the touch, you must be
told that this comes from a very warm heart, no leʃs
than that of the fam'd Mount Vesuvius, whose
productions cannot be disdain'd by a lover of nature
                                                         & natural curiosities.



These specimens of lava which but ill reppresent the
mountain, sea, & light-house at Naples, were actually
thrown up in the time of the eruptions, so that I
hope you will not dislike it. I have sent also some ashes
found in our garden in the last great eruption, & wch: threatend
Naples with destruction, some of the same were found 200
miles distant at that time. I have sent 3 red pearls wch: are
formd in a shell-fish resembling a muscle,[2] but much



larger, from wch: they take the wool from wch: gloves are
made at Taranto, specimens of wch: I sent to Sarah, & begg'd
she wou'd divide them with you. I have to beg that you
will try to take the Portrait of Louisa, as you did that
of my favorite Party who has met with much admiration
here; if you cou'd send it as a letter, perhaps it wou'd
be better preserv'd than by the Sea; at all events I must
desire you will endeavour to give me this satisfaction.
I hope to hear charming accts. of you all & that I may continue
to have the consolation to find, that age or infirmities
make very slow progreʃs in the person of our ever reverd
                             & beloved Father.
Believe me ever
yours


Pray excuse my venturing to send you such
ridiculous trifles wch: indeed are laughable
but the time was so limited
that nothing better cou'd be
musterd with my best love
to my Bror: & affectte: remembrance
to Mrs Morison I remain ever yours[3]

Elizth. Palombi. May 1st
X 1802
[4]

Mrs: J Dickenson[5]

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


Notes


 1. Variant of bomboniera, a small but elaborate gift, often including sugared almonds, given to guests on special occasions.
 2. See also HAM/1/4/5/16: 'Six pair of Gloves made of the Silk of the horse muscle wch. are the production of this Country, & reckon'd very curious'.
 3. Moved postscript here from right side of address panel in centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 4. The large X extends over the end of Palombi in the line above.
 5. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

Normalised Text


Naples, May 1st: 1802

     
At length, my Dear Sister, we may be said
to be drawn nearer to each other by the general
Peace, as for many years we seem to have been
separated more by the unhappy & desolating War
than by the Alps, & distant tracts, which are plac'd
between this country & my dear Native land.
      It is also to the ever-lamentable revolutions
which have not only pervaded & convuls'd all Europe
but almost the whole World, that you must
attribute any seeming negligence of mine
towards such good Friends; but though you have,
without doubt, suffer'd in England the effects of this
general vain & intolerable confusion, yet you
can have but little idea of what weaker & more
defenceless & ill-govern'd countries have undergone
& will have to regret for many many years to
come; I shall not however prolong this subject,
which never fails to recall the most painful
ideas, & have only touch'd on it in order to
plead my excuse, for never having written
immediately to yourself, to thank you, my Brother
& my amiable Niece, for the kind & acceptable
present I received in the beginning of the year 1801.
In order to render more secure your having my
acknowledgements, with every proper expression



of gratitude, I begg'd our Dear Sarah would not
fail to write to you very particularly on this
subject; & she has assur'd me that, to the best of
her memory, she had done so: but for several
years past it has been difficult to ascertain
any point, owing to the uncertainty of the Post,
& the actual interruption of all correspondence
      I believe I have now to redouble my thanks
as I have lately received the sum of 8 guineas
from England; but not having had any letter
from my Sister I am left to guess the
generous hand it comes from: Be assur'd my
heart is very sensible to the kindness of all
my Friends; who have still the goodness not
only to keep me in their remembrance, but also
to confer benefits on me. Now that Commerce
is restor'd to Europe I shall frequently have
opportunities of sending to Liverpool, which would
be very pleasing to me indeed, could I be able
to send you any thing from hence which could be
agreeable or useful to you, but here again
I am limited to the smallest trifles, which can
only be entered into England by the aid of some obliging
Captain of a ship, who can find means to get them
privately on shore, without causing my Friends
to pay more for the duties than they are worth



I have, for some years been anxious to send some
little token of remembrance to my sweet Louisa,
to keep for the sake of Aunt Ippa, for whom my
Sister informs me she still retains a regard; & I
could have wish'd to send you several curiosities
which I obtain'd on purpose, but which have been
lost or ruin'd by change of place &c, as the hope
of being able to send them to you was so near
at an end; particularly as your present residence
is now remote from Manchester. It luckily
happens that I have an opportunity of sending to
Liverpool, at the same time that my sister
tells me you are expected
at Birch Hall; so that I have
hastily done some cuttings
out, which would have been
better executed had I had
more time, & stronger eyes; however
the Bomboliera I have sent Louisa
may serve as a specimen of my work, & is
indeed a greater proof of my affection than the most
elegant keep-sake I could have sent, on account of
the weakness of my sight, when I am a Nurse, & the
almost impossibility of obtaining time, & quiet moments
to employ myself in such an art. You must
excuse me my dear Sister, that to you, to whom
I owe so much gratitude, I venture to send so
simple a token of remembrance as a piece of cold
marble, but though freezing to the touch, you must be
told that this comes from a very warm heart, no less
than that of the fam'd Mount Vesuvius, whose
productions cannot be disdain'd by a lover of nature
                                                         & natural curiosities.



These specimens of lava which but ill represent the
mountain, sea, & light-house at Naples, were actually
thrown up in the time of the eruptions, so that I
hope you will not dislike it. I have sent also some ashes
found in our garden in the last great eruption, & which threatened
Naples with destruction, some of the same were found 200
miles distant at that time. I have sent 3 red pearls which are
formed in a shell-fish resembling a mussel, but much



larger, from which they take the wool from which gloves are
made at Taranto, specimens of which I sent to Sarah, & begg'd
she would divide them with you. I have to beg that you
will try to take the Portrait of Louisa, as you did that
of my favorite Party who has met with much admiration
here; if you could send it as a letter, perhaps it would
be better preserv'd than by the Sea; at all events I must
desire you will endeavour to give me this satisfaction.
I hope to hear charming accounts of you all & that I may continue
to have the consolation to find, that age or infirmities
make very slow progress in the person of our ever revered
                             & beloved Father.
Believe me ever
yours


Pray excuse my venturing to send you such
ridiculous trifles which indeed are laughable
but the time was so limited
that nothing better could be
mustered with my best love
to my Brother & affectionate remembrance
to Mrs Morison I remain ever yours


Mrs: John Dickenson

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



 1. Variant of bomboniera, a small but elaborate gift, often including sugared almonds, given to guests on special occasions.
 2. See also HAM/1/4/5/16: 'Six pair of Gloves made of the Silk of the horse muscle wch. are the production of this Country, & reckon'd very curious'.
 3. Moved postscript here from right side of address panel in centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.
 4. The large X extends over the end of Palombi in the line above.
 5. Moved address panel here from centre of p.3 when unfolded, written vertically.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Elizabeth Palombi to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/3/2/3

Correspondence Details

Author: Elizabeth Palombi (née Dickenson)

Place sent: Naples

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 1 May 1802

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Elizabeth Palombi to Mary Hamilton. Writing to Hamilton from Naples, Palombi notes that they are drawn nearer together 'by the general Peace, as for many years [they] seem to have been separated more by the unhappy & desolating War than by the Alps'. [Naples had been invaded by the French Army in 1799 and there was a revolution.] Her negligence, she writes, can be attributed not only to the war but to the revolutions which she describes as 'lamentable' and 'which have not only pervaded & convuls[e]d all Europe but almost the whole World'. She has no doubt that people in England also suffer the effects of this, but Hamilton 'can have but little idea of what weaker & more defenceless & ill-govern[e]d countries have undergone & will have to regret for many many years to come'. She continues that she will not prolong this subject in her letter as it brings forth 'the most painful ideas', but has touched on it in an attempt to plead her case for not writing sooner. She also notes 'the uncertainty of the Post, & the actual interruption of all correspondence'. Palombi notes that she has received eight guineas from England with no attached letter from her sister, so she is left to guess her benefactor. The letter continues that now commerce has been restored to Europe she will have opportunities, although limited to smaller items, to send things over to Liverpool with 'the aid of some obliging Captn: of a ship, who can find means to get them privately on shore, without causing [her] Freinds [sic] to pay more for the duties than they are worth'. Palombi writes that she has long wished to forward a token of remembrance to Louisa, Hamilton's daughter. Taking advantage of Hamilton's upcoming visit to her sister in Birch Hall, she writes that she has quickly forwarded to Liverpool a 'token of remembrance' for Hamilton and her daughter Louisa in the form of 'a piece of cold marble [...] from a very warm heart, no less than that of the fam[e]d Mount Vesuvius'. Such specimens of lava were 'thrown up in the time of the eruptions', so she hopes Hamilton 'will not dislike it'. She continues that she has also sent some ash which was found in her garden after the last major eruption and that some of the same ash was found 200 miles away at the time. Palombi ends her letter with the hope of having the 'consolation to find, that age or infirmities make very slow progress' in her father.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 983 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 2014/15 and 2015/16 provided by the Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Donald Alasdair Morrison, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Research assistant: Carla Seabra-Dacosta, MA student, University of Vigo

Transliterator: Nik McNally, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted November 2014)

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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