Single Letter

HAM/1/6/8/8

Letter from John Hope to Mary Hamilton

Diplomatic Text


Friday Eveng.

'Tis paʃt nine o' Clock, my dear friend, and there
is no news of my Letter yet. -- I can ʃend
you, however, Another that is worth two
of It. Read the Inclosed from Mr: Johnʃtone,
& you will ʃee, I ʃhall be released, on my
Parole, in a few days. -- The other printed
Letter is the one, that has prevail'd on him
to return to his former friendly Behaviours.
      You cannot conceive how happy I feel
at the Thoughts of being able to viʃit
my friends again; but I ʃhall take care
never to deserve a Rap on the Fingers
again for being too bold; -- I might ʃtill
conʃider myself as a Priʃoner, 'till my
Relations think proper to make me
a Freeman; -- and yet I do not wiʃh
that freedom ʃhould come ʃoon; for I ʃhall
then perhaps be obliged to leave ------ North=
=ampton
& my dear Friends at Hamilton
House. -- I ʃhall wish I had not known
them ʃo well. -- But I will not,
with anticipating Futurity, damp the
ʃatisfaction of the preʃent Hour. --
      It adds greatly to my Joy, the Thoughts
of being useful to good Mr: Nye. -- If
Mrs: Dicey will take care of his Children



I will gladly take the Charge of his Cellar
& his Books; and he may then wander
about a little & endeavour to forget his Loʃs. --
      I have read all the Minstrel[1] with the
highest Delight. -- You'll find the moral
& the Deʃcriptive ʃo beautifully blended, that
it cannot but be pleasing to your Mind.
      No wading thro' a number of useleʃs, super=
=numerary
Words, to get at the Meaning of
half a dozen Lines! -- No comparaiʃon
of Stars (all in one Page) to the Living
Eyes of Heaven
, to Lamps, to Citadells
of Light
! -- You know what I mean. --
I have juʃt got the Evening's Meditation[2]
ʃent me. -- What a profound Expreʃsion
is here! --
      " -- From what pure Wells of milky
"Of milky Light, what ʃoft o'erflowing Urn
"Are all these Lamps ʃo fill'd? -- "

Indeed I cannot tell; -- I never knew
before that there were Wells of Light; --
I have heard ʃay, as deep & as dark as a
Well; -- but perhaps I have not gone deep
enough to ʃee the Light. -- That may poʃsibly
be; -- yet, let the Light of my own Understand=
=ing
ever be my Guide; as on the Word of
Another I will never deʃire to go deep. --
Don't think me ʃaucy. -- Good Night. --
Your affectionate
J -

The Letter of last Night is
just come. -- I open'd ------ It to ʃee if ʃhould be ʃupress'd.

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


Notes


 1. Presumably James Beattie's poem The Minstrel; or, The Progress of Genius (two volumes, 1771 and 1774) (Wikipedia).
 2. Anna Laetitia Barbauld's poem A Summer Evening's Meditation (1773), from which Hope quotes a sentence below, carefully indicating that it starts and finishes mid-line.

Normalised Text


Friday Evening

'Tis past nine o' Clock, my dear friend, and there
is no news of my Letter yet. -- I can send
you, however, Another that is worth two
of It. Read the Enclosed from Mr: Johnstone,
& you will see, I shall be released, on my
Parole, in a few days. -- The other printed
Letter is the one, that has prevail'd on him
to return to his former friendly Behaviours.
      You cannot conceive how happy I feel
at the Thoughts of being able to visit
my friends again; but I shall take care
never to deserve a Rap on the Fingers
again for being too bold; -- I might still
consider myself as a Prisoner, 'till my
Relations think proper to make me
a Freeman; -- and yet I do not wish
that freedom should come soon; for I shall
then perhaps be obliged to leave Northampton
& my dear Friends at Hamilton
House. -- I shall wish I had not known
them so well. -- But I will not,
with anticipating Futurity, damp the
satisfaction of the present Hour. --
      It adds greatly to my Joy, the Thoughts
of being useful to good Mr: Nye. -- If
Mrs: Dicey will take care of his Children



I will gladly take the Charge of his Cellar
& his Books; and he may then wander
about a little & endeavour to forget his Loss. --
      I have read all the Minstrel with the
highest Delight. -- You'll find the moral
& the Descriptive so beautifully blended, that
it cannot but be pleasing to your Mind.
      No wading through a number of useless, supernumerary
Words, to get at the Meaning of
half a dozen Lines! -- No comparison
of Stars (all in one Page) to the Living
Eyes of Heaven
, to Lamps, to Citadells
of Light
! -- You know what I mean. --
I have just got the Evening's Meditation
sent me. -- What a profound Expression
is here! --
      " -- From what pure Wells
"Of milky Light, what soft o'erflowing Urn
"Are all these Lamps so fill'd? -- "

Indeed I cannot tell; -- I never knew
before that there were Wells of Light; --
I have heard say, as deep & as dark as a
Well; -- but perhaps I have not gone deep
enough to see the Light. -- That may possibly
be; -- yet, let the Light of my own Understanding
ever be my Guide; as on the Word of
Another I will never desire to go deep. --
Don't think me saucy. -- Good Night. --
Your affectionate
John -

The Letter of last Night is
just come. -- I open'd It to see if should be supress'd.

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quotations,
spellings, uncorrected forms, split words, abbreviations, formatting)



 1. Presumably James Beattie's poem The Minstrel; or, The Progress of Genius (two volumes, 1771 and 1774) (Wikipedia).
 2. Anna Laetitia Barbauld's poem A Summer Evening's Meditation (1773), from which Hope quotes a sentence below, carefully indicating that it starts and finishes mid-line.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester

Archive: Mary Hamilton Papers

Item title: Letter from John Hope to Mary Hamilton

Shelfmark: HAM/1/6/8/8

Correspondence Details

Author: John Hope

Place sent: Northampton (certainty: low)

Addressee: Mary Hamilton

Place received: Northampton (certainty: medium)

Date sent: c1773
when 1773 (precision: medium)

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from John Hope to Mary Hamilton. He writes that he is to be released on parole [for debt] in a few days. He considers himself a prisoner until his relations decide to give him his freedom. He also writes that he has been reading The Minstrel and A Summer Evening's Meditation and admires both poems.
   

Length: 1 sheet, 425 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 2018/19 provided by Department of Linguistics and English Language, University of Manchester.

Research assistant: Chenming Gao, undergraduate student, University of Manchester

Transliterator: Daniel Speight, undergraduate student, University of Manchester (submitted June 2019)

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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