The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Henry Hamilton to John Dickenson

Hamilton, Henry

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Henry Hamilton to John Dickenson. He writes '[t]hat a man should write in such good spirits on the absence of his Wife would surprize me, did I not know how to account for things – your letter entertained me greatly, and for a Taxal man you surprize me how you could spin out such a variety of matter'. Henry Hamilton writes that his 'idea of the marriage state' is that 'he is happyest that has the smallest ground for regret, for as to being always in love, 'tis something like being always hungry which is impossible'. He continues that Mrs Dickenson would respond to such a view with 'filthy fellow, does he call that love?'. He knows of people who are not always kind to each other and knows of 'thousands who regard a Wife in the same Sense as they do a cane, a cork skrew, a snuf[f]box, only because they have had it so long'. Dickenson has described a 'paragon of a Woman, worth 20 golden fleeces'. He mentions Mary Hamilton's ill health and writes that he could cure her: 'damn that fellow Turton [her doctor] with his gout in the Nerves are not we all nerves'. He advises her to take a bit of gingerbread for breakfast with a glass of sack or old Madeira, to be in the open air when the weather is dry, and that tea should be 'banish[ed]'. The letter continues with advice on the food she should eat. Henry Hamilton notes that he would prefer a 'beef Steak Wife than a water gruel one'. 'Delicacy of the Sex! fiddlesticks'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Hamilton tells a story of a Taaffe in the Imperial Service who was asked by George II how he made 'so gallant a defence at a certain post with so few men'. He told the King that he had the soldiers' wives wear regimentals, 'and I gived a whirelock to ivery [sic] one of the bitches, and [...] plase [sic] your Majesty the bitches kipt [sic] up sich [sic] a whireing [sic], that we kipt [sic] the innemy [sic] off till we got a reinforcement'. Turton may be a 'clever fellow' but he is no physician for Dickenson or his wife, and Hamilton feels he knows more about gout than the doctor does. He then continues on his own health and treatments.</p>

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