Single Letter

GEO/ADD/3/83/34

Letter from Mary Hamilton to George, Prince of Wales

Diplomatic Text


34

34

Decbr- 17---[1] -- Sent. Thursday 30th- to be given ye 31st[2]
                                                        
      For the love of Heaven Stop, O stop
my friend! & do not thus headlong plunge yourself
into vice. Yor. last LetterNote & ye preceeding one
made every nerve of me thrill wth. horrorapprehension -- I had
determin'd to say nothing further upon ye. subject
fearing it wld- be in vain & hoping yor reason wd-
prove a sufficient guard -- but You listen not
to ye. voice of reason -- & Alas! will not longer I fear to
yt. of friendship. I conjure yo- strive to conquer
this unhappy infatuation -- where are fled those sentiments
of Honor & virtue wch. made yo. appear in so
amiable a light? who can have been so
infamous as to teach yo. such detestable doctrines?
you are preparing wretchedneʃs for yourself --
you are drawing others in to share it -- if you
will not acknowledge this now -- there will come
a time when you will keenly feel it -- for you have a




mind capable of reflection[3] & a heart too good ever totally to eradicate ye love & admiration of wt. is virtuous & amiable I know you better than yo do yourself -- you will repent -- but
perhaps it will be then too late. -- Look round ye. world
my friend -- see wether ye. votaries of vice are
to be envied -- ask if they are happy -- you will
find ym- a set of miserable wretches, & if you cld-
poʃsibly discern what they must at times feel -- it
wld. strike you wth- terrrordread. Ask your heart if
you are willing to sacrifice every amiable & good
quality -- to give up those [(]yor once favorite quotation)[4] “self approving hours”
for remorse & self reproach. for Nno joys can be per-
manent
yt. have not self approbation for their
basis. You alledge ye. poor undone object of your
present paʃsion
has already trod ye. paths of vice,
can yt. be a reason for your endeavouring to sink
her immortal soul still deeper in perdition? --
the idea makes me tremble; -- I have yor. eternal[5]





as well as temporal happineʃs at heart -- & I
cannot check its effusions -- I know what you
will suffer hereafter & I exert my endeavours
to save my friendto recall you to yourself -- If they are without effect,
-- I must submit to have my admonitions
treated wth- contempt -- & myself laugh'd at for
my presumptuous folly in having an opinion
in these matters different from ye. gay votaryies
of fashion -- but I shall have a pleasure they
cannot taste, yt. of acting in ye. most disinterested manner & speaking with
sincerity & truth. -- They will flatter your follies -- they will encourage your vices --
I point out ye one -- & I& warn you against ym.ye other -- They want to sink
you to a level wth. themselves -- I want to
raise your Virtues -- for you have virtues -- let
ym. not lie dormant but shew yourself superior
to ye. World -- you can -- you may -- you ought
to be so. -- My heart is torn wth- anguish upon



your account -- I am your Friend & as such must
feel -- I now bid you Adieu -- I have done
my Duty as your friend & take my leave of
you till you are restor'd to yourself. Adieu
May all ye Bleʃsings of Heaven attend you
De-grace ceʃsez de m'écrire, sauvez moi[6] de
l'affront de mépriser de que j'ai cru digne
de mon estime ------Adieu Jai prévû votre
changement, il màfflige, mais il ne me surprend
pas pour moi je ne changerai jamais.
Daignez vous souvenir quelquefois de mon
amitié, & Nne craignez pas que je vous
faʃse jamais des reproches -- je ne pleure
plus de moi que de vous

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


Notes


 1. The last two digits of the year '1779' have been erased, as in several other of Hamilton's letters to the Prince, but to what purpose?
 2. The month and elided year were not written at the same time as the body of the letter, and the information on date of sending and delivery seems to have been added later than both.
 3. Two insertions were made at this point in what had been the first line of the page: a whole new line added at the top of the page ('& a heart ... amiable', the last two words run over at the right underneath the new top line), and a parenthetic interlinear addition in a smaller hand ('I know ... yourself').
 4. Moved this parenthetic section here from the foot of the page, underneath a dividing line; a pair of asterisks indicates the intended position. The opening bracket is missing and has been supplied.
 5. Dividing line drawn by the author.
 6. Reconstruction of this heavily redacted line was aided materially by Professor Fabienne Toupin.

Normalised Text




December 17 -- Sent. Thursday 30th- to be given the 31st
                                                        
      For the love of Heaven Stop, O stop
my friend! & do not thus headlong plunge yourself
into vice. Your last Note & the preceding one
made every nerve of me thrill with apprehension -- I had
determined to say nothing further upon the subject
fearing it would be in vain & hoping your reason would
prove a sufficient guard -- but You listen not
to the voice of reason -- & Alas! will no longer I fear to
that of friendship. I conjure you strive to conquer
this unhappy infatuation -- where are fled those sentiments
of Honour & virtue which made you appear in so
amiable a light? who can have been so
infamous as to teach you such detestable doctrines?
you are preparing wretchedness for yourself --
you are drawing others in to share it -- if you
will not acknowledge this now -- there will come
a time when you will keenly feel it -- for you have a




mind capable of reflection & a heart too good ever totally to eradicate the love & admiration of what is virtuous & amiable I know you better than you do yourself -- you will repent -- but
perhaps it will be then too late. -- Look round the world
my friend -- see whether the votaries of vice are
to be envied -- ask if they are happy -- you will
find them a set of miserable wretches, & if you could
possibly discern what they must at times feel -- it
would strike you with dread. Ask your heart if
you are willing to sacrifice every amiable & good
quality -- to give up those (your once favourite quotation) “self approving hours”
for remorse & self reproach. for no joys can be permanent
that have not self approbation for their
basis. You allege the poor undone object of your
present passion has already trod the paths of vice,
can that be a reason for your endeavouring to sink
her immortal soul still deeper in perdition? --
the idea makes me tremble; -- I have your eternal





as well as temporal happiness at heart -- & I
cannot check its effusions -- I know what you
will suffer hereafter & I exert my endeavours
to recall you to yourself -- If they are without effect,
-- I must submit to have my admonitions
treated with contempt -- & myself laughed at for
my presumptuous folly in having an opinion
in these matters different from the gay votaries
of fashion -- but I shall have a pleasure they
cannot taste, that of acting in the most disinterested manner & speaking with
sincerity & truth. -- They will flatter your follies -- they will encourage your vices --
I point out the one -- & warn you against the other -- They want to sink
you to a level with themselves -- I want to
raise your Virtues -- for you have virtues -- let
them not lie dormant but show yourself superior
to the World -- you can -- you may -- you ought
to be so. -- My heart is torn with anguish upon



your account -- I am your Friend & as such must
feel -- I now bid you Adieu -- I have done
my Duty & take my leave of
you till you are restored to yourself. Adieu
May all the Blessings of Heaven attend you
de

Jai prévû votre
changement, il màfflige, mais il ne me surprend
pas pour moi je ne changerai jamais.
Daignez vous souvenir quelquefois de mon
amitié, ne craignez pas que je vous
fasse jamais des reproches --

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



 1. The last two digits of the year '1779' have been erased, as in several other of Hamilton's letters to the Prince, but to what purpose?
 2. The month and elided year were not written at the same time as the body of the letter, and the information on date of sending and delivery seems to have been added later than both.
 3. Two insertions were made at this point in what had been the first line of the page: a whole new line added at the top of the page ('& a heart ... amiable', the last two words run over at the right underneath the new top line), and a parenthetic interlinear addition in a smaller hand ('I know ... yourself').
 4. Moved this parenthetic section here from the foot of the page, underneath a dividing line; a pair of asterisks indicates the intended position. The opening bracket is missing and has been supplied.
 5. Dividing line drawn by the author.
 6. Reconstruction of this heavily redacted line was aided materially by Professor Fabienne Toupin.

Metadata

Library References

Repository: Windsor Castle, The Royal Archives

Archive: GEO/ADD/3 Additional papers of George IV, as Prince, Regent, and King

Item title: Letter from Mary Hamilton to George, Prince of Wales

Shelfmark: GEO/ADD/3/83/34

Correspondence Details

Sender: Mary Hamilton

Place sent: unknown

Addressee: George, Prince of Wales (later George IV)

Place received: unknown

Date sent: between 17 and 31 December 1779
notBefore 17 December 1779 (precision: high)
notAfter 31 December 1779 (precision: high)

Letter Description

Summary: Letter from Mary Hamilton to George, Prince of Wales, warning him against vice; and on his future unhappiness.
    Hamilton writes that 'you alledge the poor undone object of your present passion has already trod the paths of vice, can that be a reason for your endeavouring to sink her immortal soul still deeper in perdition?', and describes the unhappiness of the 'votaries of vice'.
    Sent Thursday 30 [December] to be given the 31 [December].
    [Draft, with frequent annotation and crossing out.]
   

Length: 1 sheet, 579 words

Transliteration Information

Editorial declaration: First edited 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: Transcription and XML version created as part of project 'Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers', funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council under grant AH/S007121/1.

Transliterator: Tino Oudesluijs, editorial team (completed January 2020)

Copyright: Transcriptions, notes and TEI/XML © the editors

Revision date: 10 December 2021

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