17 January 1809 – Tuesday – from Castle Square

My dear Cassandra

I am happy to say that we had no second Letter from Bookham last week  Yours has brought its usual measure of satisfaction & amusement, & I beg your acceptance of all the Thanks due on the occasion.– Your offer of Cravats is very kind, & happens to be particularly adapted to my wants–but it was an odd thing to occur to you.–

Yes–we have got another fall of snow, & are very dreadful; everything seems to turn to snow this winter.– I hope you have had no more illness among you, & that William will be soon as well as ever.  His working at a footstool for Chawton is a most agreable surprise to me, & I am sure his Grandmama will value it very much as a proof of his affection & Industry– but we shall never have the heart to put our feet upon it.– I beleive I must work a muslin cover in sattin stitch, to keep it from the dirt.– I long to know what his colours are– I guess greens & purples.–

Edwd & Henry have started a difficulty respecting our Journey, which I must own with some confusion, had never been thought of by us; but if the former expected by it, to prevent our travelling into Kent entirely he will be disappointed, for we have already determined to go the Croydon road, on leaving Bookham, & sleep at Dartford.– Will not that do?– There certainly does seem no convenient restingplace on the other road.–

Anna went to Clanville last friday, & I have hopes of her new Aunt’s being really worth her knowing.– Perhaps you may never have heard that James & Mary paid a morng visit there in form some weeks ago, & Mary tho’ by no means disposed to like her, was very much pleased with her indeed.  Her praise to be sure, proves nothing more than Mrs M.’s being civil & attentive to them, but her being so is in favour of her having good sense.– Mary writes of Anna as improved in person, but gives her no other commendation.– I am afraid her absence now may deprive her of one pleasure, for that silly Mr Hammond is actually to give his Ball–on friday.–

We had some reason to expect a visit from Earle Harwood & James this week, but they do not come.– Miss Murden arrived last night at Mrs Hookey’s, as a message & a basket announced to us.– You will therefore return to an enlarged & of course improved society here, especially as the Miss Williamses are come back.–

We were agreably surprised the other day by a visit from your Beauty & mine, each in a new Cloth Mantle & Bonnet, & I daresay you will value yourself much on the modest propriety of Miss W.’s taste, hers being purple, & Miss Grace’s scarlet.  I can easily suppose that your six weeks here will be fully occupied, were it only in lengthening the waist of your gowns.  I have pretty well arranged my spring & summer plans of that kind, & mean to wear out my spotted Muslin before I go.– You will exclaim at this–but mine really has signs of feebleness, which with a little care may come to something.–

Martha & Dr Mant are as bad as ever; he runs after her in the street to apologise for having spoken to a Gentleman while she was near him the day before.–Poor Mrs Mant can stand it no longer; she is retired to one of her married Daughters.– We hear through Kintbury that Mrs Esten was unluckily to lie in at the same time with Mrs C.A.– When William returns to Winchester Mary Jane is to go to Mrs Nunes for a month, & then to Steventon for a fortnight, & it seems likely that she & her Aunt Martha may travel into Berkshire together.–

To set against your new Novel of which nobody ever heard before & perhaps never may again, We have got Ida of Athens by Miss Owenson; which must be very clever, because it was written as the Authoress says, in three months.– We have only read the Preface yet; but her Irish Girl does not make me expect much.– If the warmth of her Language could affect the Body, it might be worth reading in this weather.– Adeiu–I must leave off to stir the fire & call on Miss Murden.

Eveng.  I have done them both, the first very often.– We found our friend as comfortable, as she can ever allow herself to be in cold weather;–there is a very neat parlour behind the Shop for her to sit in, not very light indeed, being a la Southampton, the middle of Three deep–but very lively, from the frequent sound of the pestle & mortar.– We afterwards called on the Miss Williamses, who lodge at Dusautoys; Miss Mary only was at home, & she is in very indifferent health.– Dr Hacket came in while we were there, & said that he never remembered such a severe winter as this, in Southampton before.  It is bad, but we do not suffer as we did last year, because the wind has been more N.E.-than N.W.– For a day or two last week, my Mother was very poorly with a return of one of her old complaints–but it did not last long, & seems to have left nothing bad behind it.–She began to talk of a serious Illness, her two last having been preceded by the same symptoms;–but thank Heaven! she is now quite as well as one can expect her to be in Weather, which deprives her of Exercise.– Miss M. conveys to us a third volume of sermons from Hamstall, just published; & which we are to like better than the two others;– they are professedly practical, & for the use of Country Congregations.– I have just received some verses in an unknown hand, & am desired to forward them to my nephew Edwd at Godmersham.–

“Alas! poor Brag, thou boastful Game! What now avails thine empty name?–
Where now thy more distinguish’d fame?–My day is o’er, & Thine the same.–
For though like me art thrown aside, At Godmersham, this Christmas Tide;
And now across the Table wide, Each Game save Brag or Spec: is tried.”–
“Such is the mild Ejaculation, Of tender hearted Speculation.”–

[This letter is left off here, and concluded on Wed, 18th]

One Response to 17 January 1809 – Tuesday – from Castle Square

  1. Pingback: Yes–We have got another fall of snow… | QuinnTessence

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