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

Herries (née Foote), Catherine

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Lady Catherine Herries to John Dickenson and Mary Hamilton, written in two parts: the first one is to Dickenson; the second one to Hamilton, in which Herries writes of the change in her economic circumstances.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Lady Herries writes to thank John Dickenson for the lines that he had written to her and will not 'allow you to feel that you have nothing to say because little besides what regarded your own fireside occasioned to you', as she finds few 'subjects can be so interesting to me as that same fireside'. She wishes that she could be closer to it. She continues on her love for the Dickensons and on the good health of John Dickenson.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In the second part, Herries writes that she can never be angry at Hamilton's silence, as she 'know[s] you as I know myself', but she was concerned that the cause of the silence was Hamilton's or her family's ill-health. Hamilton's letter has relieved her worries. Herries also feels guilty herself for causing Hamilton some pain of mind for having not shared her worries [possibly referring to the Sir Robert leaving his banking business: see HAM/1/17/230]. Herries does trust Hamilton 'but the secrets of others is not' her own to share. If they could only meet, she could tell her more things she feels it would not be right to write of. She alludes to her change in economic circumstances. The 'Change of Life must make it plain that there exists a strong motive for it & in fact some disappointments & misfortunes have made the strictest Economy necessary'. By strictest economy she means 'consistent with common comforts', of which, she assures Hamilton, she is not 'deprived' of, so Hamilton has no need to worry for her. Although not free from anxiety, Herries is not unhappy. She has the 'tranquillity' of knowing that she has tried to 'act right in trying moments' and the 'comfort' of seeing 'Sir Robert[s] health & spirits far better'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries moves on to more 'pleasing themes', including Hamilton's improved health and Hamilton meeting 'a French person trustworthy to keep up dear Louisa's French'. She would love to see her 'improvements'. She continues on Cheltenham and on her neighbours.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Cheltenham.</p>

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