The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Mary Hamilton to Lady Mary Wake (née Fenton)

Hamilton, Mary

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Mary Hamilton to Lady Wake. She writes asking what excuse can she make for her long silence. She notes that she has been constantly engaged each day and each morning her time is spent with people visiting her but this would not have prevented her from finding time to write to her. Her silence is the result of her mind being in an 'uncomfortable unsettled state'. Hamilton did not wish Lady Wake to find out that she was unhappy and she would not have been unable to hide her feelings. As the cause of her unhappiness no longer exists she feels she can now write.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Hamilton writes of friends and of going to see Mrs Siddons at the theatre in the <i><i>Maid of Honour</i></i>, the <i><i>School for Scandal</i></i> and Charles Macklin [Actor and playwright, c.1699-1797] in the <i><i>Merchant of Venice</i></i>. Hamilton wished Wake was with her party to see this old 'veteran in his 85 year keeping up these characters to admiration – see the power of love'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Hamilton writes of news and gossip of friends and acquaintances. She notes that Miss Gunning (see <a target='_blank' class='externalLink uom-purple' href=''>HAM/1/15</a>) is 'in much beauty this Winter' and is well. Whilst Bell [Gunning] is greatly ill and looks very healthy and has been attending balls, assemblies and operas night after night. 'Is this not an extraordinary state of health – for she has no appetite, no sleep, no spirits sufficient for existence'. Hamilton reports that Mrs Vesey (see <a target='_blank' class='externalLink uom-purple' href=''>HAM/1/6/2</a>) told her yesterday that Lady Claremont told her that the Duchess of Devonshire [Cavendish, née Spencer], Georgiana, duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806), political hostess]is pregnant again and that she 'means to lead a sober quiet life this Winter'. Mrs Carter [Elizabeth Carter], she reports is much the same and is suffering with an headache. She tells Lady Wake that they never meet without talking of her and Mrs Carter asks that Hamilton sends her 'affectionate love' when next she writes. She writes that the Glovers are all well and the 'old man never fails when I am there drinking your health'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Hamilton provides a picture of the busy social life of her society and notes that in this week alone there are five Balls remaining and each are to begin after great assemblies and they can go on until 6 or 7 the following morning. She reports that the P[rince] 'selects & invites the Company either from the Opera or an assembly – I take care to keep out of the way as I am not desirous of being one of the chosen'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Hamilton reminds Lady Wake about a subscription of the Milk womans Verses as they are to be published that Spring.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Hamilton ends her letter by asking Lady Wake not to punish her for her long silence and asks to be remembered to her family.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Clarges Street [London].</p>

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