The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Jean Baptiste Louis Georges Seroux d'Agincourt to Mary Hamilton

Seroux d'Agincourt, Jean Baptiste Louis Georges

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from [Jean Baptiste Louis Georges Seroux] d’Agincourt to Mary Hamilton. He praises her letter-writing skills, particularly her legible hand and her proficient use of and courtesy to write in the French language, despite the fact that D’Agincourt understands English perfectly well. He thanks her for taking the time to write to him, is glad to hear she is well and ‘as saucy as ever.’ He has heard talk of an accident that has frightened Lady Hamilton and asks Mary to send him the details as he has not had any news from her. He explains that Paris is still not what he would like it to be because, as in London, there are too many things to do and too many men to do them in one area. As a result he is gradually reducing his list of things to do and devoting more of his time to studying. He will be leaving for the countryside the following day where he will only have his books and his mother, who is in ill health and needs to be cared for, for company. He is comforted to hear that Hamilton’s own mother is well and asks her to pass on his regards. He thinks she is a wonderful woman and says that, when speaking to her about her daughter, the way in which she smiles whilst her eyes fill up with tears is one of the most touching things he has ever seen. He despairingly informs her that he has learnt that England and France will soon be going to war, the futility of which is something he readily expresses. Despite the situation, he is sending a verse that he has written for the birth of the Queen’s latest child, although he begs Hamilton not to show the Queen what he has written as he has no doubt that, given the situation, she would be horrified to be paid homage to by a Frenchman. He reminds Hamilton of the time when he had the honour of meeting the Queen and discussing the foreign plants that the King was having cultivated in the gardens at Kew. He muses on the French proverb ‘heureux comme un Roi ou comme une Reine’ [as happy as a King or Queen] and reflects on the fact that this may not always be the case. It seems that the Queen finds her happiness in the purity and tranquillity that nature has to offer and is in this spirit that he offers her his best wishes.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Paris, [France].</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Original reference No. 5.</p>

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