The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Mrs Sarah Dickenson (née Chetham) to Mary Hamilton

Dickenson (née Chetham), Sarah

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Mrs Sarah Dickenson to Mary Hamilton. Mrs Dickenson writes that she has been attached to Hamilton since her first acquaintance and asks Hamilton to write to her if she can ever be of any assistance in giving advice.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>She asks Hamilton not to be 'alarmed' by the news that she is aware that she is learning Latin. A 'Mr Lawton mentioned it to me, but without any reflections as he has the highest opinion of you imaginable'. Mrs Dickenson writes that there are few women 'who ought to be trusted with learning', and that Hamilton is an 'exception'. Whilst she retains her humility she 'can safely learn all the languages in the World'. She advises Hamilton not to spend too much time studying 'so as to hurt your health, remember that we are creatures form[e]d for society, & that we must not so wholly converse with old authors, as to neglect the cheerful conversation of our acquaintances'. She continues that 'too severe an application for study naturally gives the mind too serious a turn'. Study is best as amusement rather than occupation. While improving one's mind, vanity should be kept in check so that we do not look down on those with lesser intellect or opportunity.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Mrs Dickenson then moves on to speak of her daughters, one of whom is now at school and the other that reminds her of Hamilton. She also writes of recently losing a close friend.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Taxal [Derbyshire].</p>

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