<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Lady Catherine Herries to Mary Hamilton, relating to the economic situation of the nation and to Cheltenham society.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Herries asks for a line from Hamilton, as she has not received a letter from her for three months and is anxious to hear that she and her family are well.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Although late, Herries wishes her friend a happy New Year though, for the nation there is only 'sad & gloomy prospects [...] in public & private matters but we must hope'. She continues that at least the weather is unusually mild for the time of year. She writes on the poor and that charity can only 'alleviate not remove' such suffering (the increase in price of everything), whilst the economy is in such a state. Living costs are now three times what they were three years ago, which is affecting greatly those people on small incomes, who now deprive themselves from 'comforts' they have known all their life.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>She continues on less 'gloomy' subjects. She describes her house and writes that she will send Hamilton the plans of her house. Cheltenham has been quite busy and 'gay' with lots of party and dances. She herself does only what is necessary and has small card parties 'in return for the civilities of others -- leaving balls & suppers to those who are richer & gayer than we have any chance to be any more'. There has been a 'marriage settled though not made here', which has created much talk. She continues on this subject and on having received a 'delightful' letter from Mrs Elizabeth Carter and with family news.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Cheltenham.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>An annotation by the address states 'answer'd', probably written by Mary Hamilton.</p>
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