The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Lady Catherine Herries (née Foote) to Mary Hamilton

Herries (née Foote), Catherine

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Lady Catherine Herries to Mary Hamilton, concerning Hamilton's illness, friendship, Mrs Delany, Mrs Vesey and Horace Walpole.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Hamilton's letter gave Herries great pleasure. That her letter 'breathes your very self, that affectionate, that noble enlarged mind'. She continues on the importance that she places on herself and Hamilton writing of their feelings for each other. Although their feelings are well known to each other she still stresses what 'delight' it is to pour 'out the heart to one we love to telling how dear we feel that person'. Such writings bring one peace and 'it makes a part of one's own'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Hamilton has been ill and Herries writes of the distress that this must have caused her family, 'who could have the most distant idea of lo[o]sing you'. She admonishes Hamilton for not sending her the letter that John Dickenson had written her to inform her of Hamilton's illness but acknowledges the goodness of her friend for not wishing to distress her and the kindness of Dickenson for recognising the importance of their friendship for thinking of her at such a time.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries has enquired on Hamilton's friend, Mrs Delany, on her behalf and has passed on Hamilton's messages to her. Herries wonders at Hamilton's alarm for her friend's health. Delany is at Windsor and her servant informed Herries's own servant that she is well and that they do not expect her to be back in town until near Christmas. Herries continues her letter with news of other friends including Mrs Vesey. She feels that London is deserted at the moment and that it would be less so if Hamilton and perhaps one or two others of her friends were there with her. She notes that Mrs Vesey had just called on her to invite her to her home that night to meet Horace Walpole, who will be of the party, but that she is unable to go as she has 'company' of her own coming. Herries continues on the subject and on Mrs Vesey's 'schemes to make me do what was impossible'. Probably referring to Walpole, she notes that she has written Hamilton's message, as she could not deliver it in person. That this message was an act of 'common charity' by Hamilton [Hamilton possibly recommended her friend to Walpole] and that 'he must come again soon to make me forget my disappointment'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at St James's Street, [London].</p>

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