The Mary Hamilton Papers : Letter from Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier, to Mary Hamilton

Napier, Francis Scott, 8th Lord

The Mary Hamilton Papers

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Letter from Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier, to Mary Hamilton, offering his advice on John Dickensons' proposal of marriage to Hamilton. Hamilton had asked Napier to give his opinion 'fairly' on Mr D. and Napier finds such a task difficult as he is unacquainted with him. He charges Hamilton of withholding some of Dickenson's letters to her and the whole of Hamilton's correspondence to him. This means that the inferences that he is to make 'must all be drawn from such hints as his Letters have furnished' him with. In one of the letters Dickenson suggests that he has been aware of Hamilton's 'partiality' for him for some time and that it appears that she has not denied this. Indeed, he notes that from a number of the letters that answer enquiries that she has made to Dickenson into his 'political principles and from the state of his affairs [...] I am inclined to believe that Hamilton's 'partiality [...] is too deeply rooted to be easily eradicated'. The fact that Hamilton has not forwarded Napier the last letter that Dickenson had written to her leads him to assume that Hamilton had already given him a positive answer. If this is the case it would be improper for him to offend Hamilton by going against her own choice. His only advice concerns Dickenson's letter no. 7 which provides details of the income of his father. If John Dickenson's father were to give them half of such a sum he feels it would not be adequate for her to set up housekeeping with. He hopes that he has not offended Hamilton by this.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Napier also writes that although Lady Cathcart is 89 years old, she was out at a Whist Party on Monday and did not return home until almost 10 o'clock. She played Cribbage yesterday and beat all the gentlemen in the house.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dated at Tewin Water [Hertfordshire].</p>

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