Single Letter

HAM/1/6/4/1

Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to John Dickenson

Diplomatic Text


Mrs. Montagu

Feb ye 13th 1787

Sir

      You would have received my congratu
lations
long ago, on the happy event of Mrs Dickensons
safe delivery of a Daughter, if a cruel disorder in my eyes
had not renderd me incapable of writing; but tho I am far
from being quite relieved from this complaint it is not now
violent enough to hinder my expreʃsing my joy on
the occasion, & gratitude to you for your kind communi
-cation
of it.      You tell me in your letter, that you hope
the dear little one will have the virtues & talents of its
Mother, but to tell you the truth, I should treat this
as a presumptionus expectation, these most valuable poʃseʃsions
being rarely hereditary, if the instructions & example the
young Lady will receive from Mrs Dickenson & you did not



give security for the paccomplishment of your wishes, & hopes;
for what talents might not be depreʃs'd by the dullneʃs
of a Swiʃs? or what virtues might not be impaired by
the levities of a ------ French Governeʃs? But I know the important
& delicate task of education will not be committed to
any one, but will be attended to by the tender & virtuous
Parents.
I beg of you dear Sir to present my best respects & sincere
congratulations to Mrs Dickenson, & aʃsure her, I regret
that I had not the earliest opportunity of being introduced
to the dear little Stranger.
                             I am Sir
                                  Your most Obedt
                                       Humble Servant
                                                         Eliz Montagu

I beg of you to present
my complimts to Mrs Lundal,
& inform her that I was, from ye disorder in my eyes
not able to return my thanks
for her good news & obliging
manner of imparting manner of imparting it.[1]



      Mrs. Montagu
Febry 13th 1787
Recd. at Bath

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Notes


 1. This postscript is written at bottom of p.2 on left side of the closer.

Normalised Text



February the 13th 1787

Sir

      You would have received my congratulations
long ago, on the happy event of Mrs Dickensons
safe delivery of a Daughter, if a cruel disorder in my eyes
had not rendered me incapable of writing; but though I am far
from being quite relieved from this complaint it is not now
violent enough to hinder my expressing my joy on
the occasion, & gratitude to you for your kind communication
of it.      You tell me in your letter, that you hope
the dear little one will have the virtues & talents of its
Mother, but to tell you the truth, I should treat this
as a presumptuous expectation, these most valuable possessions
being rarely hereditary, if the instructions & example the
young Lady will receive from Mrs Dickenson & you did not



give security for the accomplishment of your wishes, & hopes;
for what talents might not be depress'd by the dullness
of a Swiss? or what virtues might not be impaired by
the levities of a French Governess? But I know the important
& delicate task of education will not be committed to
any one, but will be attended to by the tender & virtuous
Parents.
I beg of you dear Sir to present my best respects & sincere
congratulations to Mrs Dickenson, & assure her, I regret
that I had not the earliest opportunity of being introduced
to the dear little Stranger.
                             I am Sir
                                  Your most Obedient
                                       Humble Servant
                                                         Elizabeth Montagu

I beg of you to present
my compliments to Mrs Lundal,
& inform her that I was, from the disorder in my eyes
not able to return my thanks
for her good news & obliging
manner of imparting it.




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 1. This postscript is written at bottom of p.2 on left side of the closer.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to John Dickenson

Shelfmark: HAM/1/6/4/1

Correspondence Details

Author: Elizabeth Montagu (née Robinson)

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: John Dickenson

Place received: unknown

Date sent: 13 February 1787

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to John Dickenson, congratulating him and Mary Hamilton on the birth of their daughter. Montagu notes that she would have written sooner but for an eye-complaint that prevented her writing. She notes that Dickenson wishes his daughter to have the 'virtues & talents of its Mother'. She suggests that this is a 'presumpt[u]ous expectation', that such valuable traits are 'rarely hereditary', but that the 'instructions and example' that the baby will receive from her parents -- rather than from 'the dullness of a Swiss [...] or the levities of a French Governess' -- will provide her with the qualities they wish. Montagu asks Dickenson to send her congratulations to Hamilton and to tell her that she is sorry that she had not been able earlier to be introduced to the 'dear little Stranger'.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 286 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 2016/17 provided by The John Rylands Research Institute.

Research assistant: Isabella Formisano, former MA student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Andrew Gott, dissertation student, University of Manchester (submitted June 2012)

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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