The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Elizabeth Palombi to Mary Hamilton

Palombi (née Dickenson), Elizabeth

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>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.</p>


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