29 November 1812 – Sunday – from Chawton

[This letter was written to Martha Lloyd]

My dear Martha

I shall take care not to count the lines of your last Letter; you have obliged me to eat humble-pie indeed; I am really obliged to you however, & though it is in general much pleasanter to reproach than to be grateful, I do not mind it now.– We shall be glad to hear, whenever you can write, & can well imagine that time for writing must be wanting in such an arduous, busy, useful office as you fill at present.  You are made for doing good, & have quite as great a turn for it I think as for physicking little Children.  The mental Physick which you have been lately applying bears a stamp beyond all common Charity, & I hope a Blessing will continue to attend it.–

I am glad you are well & trust you are sure of being so, while you are employed in such a way;– I must hope however that your health may eer long stand the trial of a more common-place course of days, & that you will be able to leave Barton when Mrs D.D. arrivs there.–

There was no ready-made Cloak at Alton that would do, but Coleby has undertaken to supply one in a few days; it is to be Grey Woollen & cost ten shillings.  I hope you like the sim of it.– Sally knows your kind intentions & has received your message, & in return for it all, she & I have between us made out that she sends her Duty & thanks you for  your goodness & means to be a good girl if I please.– I have forgot to enquire as to her wanting anything particularly, but there is no apparent deficiency, she looks very neat & tidy.  The Calico for her Mother shall be bought soon.–

We have been quite alone, except Miss Benn, since 12 o’clock on wednesday, when Edward & his Harem drove from the door; & we have since heard of their safe arrival & happiness at Winchester.– Lizzy was much obliged to you for your message, but she had the little room.  Her Father having his choice & being used to a very large Bedchamber at home, would of course prefer the ample space of Yours.– The visit was a very pleasant one I really beleive on each side; they were certainly very sorry to go away, but a little of that sorrow must be attributed to a disinclination for what was before them.  They have had favourable weather however, & I hope Steventon may have been better than they expected.– We have reason to suppose the change of name has taken place, as we have to forward a Letter to Edward Knight Esqre from the Lawyer who has the management of the business.  I must learn to make a better K.–

Our next visitor is likely to be William from Eltham in his way to Winchester, as Dr. Gabell chuses he should come then before the Holidays, though it can be only for a week.  If Mrs Barker has any farther curiosity about the Miss Webbs let her know that we are going to invite them for Tuesday eveng — also Capt. & Mrs Clement & Miss Benn, & that Mrs Digweed is already secured.– “But why not Mr Digweed?”– Mrs Barker will immediately say — To that you may answer that Mr D. is going on tuesday to Steventon to shoot rabbits.–

The 4 lines on Miss W. which I sent you were all my own, but James afterwards suggested what I thought a great improvement & as it stands in the Steventon Edition.   P. &. P. is sold.  Egerton gives £110 for it.– I would rather have had £150, but we could not both be pleased, & I am not at all surprised that he should not chuse to hazard so much.– Its’ being sold will I hope be a great saving of Trouble to Henry, & therefore must be welcome to me.– The Money is to be paid at the end of the twelvemonth.–

You have sometimes expressed a wish of making Miss Benn some present;– Cassandra & I think that something of the Shawl kind to wear over her Shoulders within doors in very cold weather might be useful, but it must not be very handsome or she would not use it.  Her long Fur tippet is almost worn out.– If you do not return in time to send the Turkey yourself, we must trouble you for Mr Morton’s direction again, as we should be quite as much at a loss as ever.  It becomes now a sort of vanity in us not to know Mr Morton’s direction with any certainty.–

We are just beginning to be engaged in another Christmas Duty, & next to eating Turkies, a very pleasant one, laying out Edward’s money for the Poor; & the Sum that passes through our hands this year is considerable, as Mrs Knight left £20 to the Parish.– Your nephew William’s state seems very alarming.  Mary Jane, from whom I hear the other day, writes of him as very uneasy; I hope his Father & Mother are so too.– When you see Miss Murden, give her our Love & Good wishes, & say that we are very sorry to hear of her so often as an Invalid.  Poor Mrs Stent I hope will not be much longer a distress to anybody.– All of you that are well enough to look, are now passing your Judgements I suppose on Mrs John Butler; & “is she pretty? or is she not?” is the knotty question.  Happy Woman! to stand the gaze of a neighbourhood as the Bride of such a pink-faced, simple young Man!–

[To be continued briefly on the following day, Monday 30th November]

One Response to 29 November 1812 – Sunday – from Chawton

  1. Pingback: P. &. P. is sold. Egerton gives £110 for it.– I would rather have had £150, but we could not both be pleased | QuinnTessence

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