The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from William Napier (later 7th Lord Napier) to Mary Hamilton

Napier, William, 7th Lord

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from William Napier [later 7th Lord Napier] to Mary Hamilton, concerning her wish to learn Latin. Napier writes thanking Hamilton for telling him of her secret of studying Latin and assures her that he will not tell anyone but notes that he would have attempted to dissuade her from doing so if he could. The language, he notes, is not ‘only tedious in taking up years but when acquired of very little use to any body but those who[s]e employment are what is called the learned professions [...] and all the books in that language proper for your reading (for many are very improper for Lady’s) are translated into english’. Napier continues that as she is determined to study then he advises that she keep it secret from her friends and from everyone else. A learned woman, Napier writes, ‘is most commonly looked on as a great fault even by the learned’.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Napier also writes that he has got a copy of Mrs Elizabeth Carter’s poems for her. He concludes his letter on the subject of a newspaper report about an altercation that some of his regiment were involved in at Canterbury. The bustle was minor and caused by a drunken custom house officer.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Canterbury.</p>

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