My dear Cassandra
We have been very gay since I wrote last; dining at Nackington, returning by Moonlight, and everything quite in Stile, not to mention Mr Claringbould’s Funeral which we saw go by on Sunday. I beleive I told you in a former Letter that Edward had some idea of taking the name of Claringbould; but that scheme is over, tho’ it would be a very eligible as well as a very pleasant plan, would any one advance him Money enough to begin on. We rather expected Mr Milles to have done so on Tuesday; but to our great Surprise, nothing was said on the subject, and unless it is in your power to assist your Brother with five or six Hundred pounds, he must entirely give up the idea.
At Nackington we met Lady Sondes’ picture over the Mantelpeice in the Dining room, and the pictures of her three Children in an Antiroom, besides Mr Scott, Miss Fletcher, Mr Toke, Mr J. Toke, and the Archdeacon Lynch. Miss Fletcher and I were very thick, but I am the thinnest of the two– She wore her purple Muslin, which is pretty enough, tho’ it does not become her complexion. There are two Traits in her Character which are pleasing; namely, she admires Camilla, & drinks no cream in her Tea. If you should ever see Lucy, You may tell her, that I scolded Miss Fletcher for her negligence in writing, as she desired me to do, but without being able to bring her to any proper sense of Shame–That Miss Fletcher says in her defence that as every Body whom Lucy knew when she was in Canterbury, has now left it, she has nothing at all to write to her about. By Everybody, I suppose Miss Fletcher means that a new set of Officers have arrived there–. But this is a note of my own.–Mrs Milles, Mr John Toke, & in short every body of any Sensibility enquired in tender Strains after You; and I took an opportunity of assuring Mr J.T. that neither he nor his Father need longer keep themselves single for You–. We went in our two Carriages to Nackington; but how we divided, I shall leave you to surmise, merely observing that as Eliz: and I were without either Hat or Bonnet, it would not have been very convenient for us to go in the Chair.– We went by Bifrons, & I contemplated with a melancholy pleasure, the abode of Him, on whom I once fondly doated.–
We dine to day at Goodnestone, to meet my Aunt Fielding from Margate, and a Mr Clayton, her professed Admirer; at least so I imagine. Lady Bridges has received very good accounts of Marianne, who is already certainly the better for her Bathing.– So– his royal Highness Sir Thomas Williams has at length sailed–; the Papers say “on a Cruize”. But I hope they are gone to Cork, or I shall have written in vain. Give my Love to Jane, as she arrived at Steventon Yesterday, I dare say. I sent a message to Mr Digweed from Edward, in a letter to Mary Lloyd, which [she] ought to receive to day; but as I know that the Harwoods are not very exact as to their Letters, I may as well repeat it to You–. Mr Digweed is to be informed that Illness has prevented Seward’s coming over to look at the intended Repairs at the Farm, but that he will come, as soon as he can. Mr Digweed may also be informed if you think proper, that Mr & Mrs Milles are to dine here tomorrow, and that Mrs Joan Knatchbull is to be asked to meet them.– Mr Richard Harvey’s match is put off, till he has got a Better Christian name, of which he has great Hopes. Mr Children’s two Sons are both going to be married, John & George–. They are to have one wife between them; a Miss Holwell, who belongs to the Black Hole at Calcutta.—-
I depend on hearing from James very soon; he promised me an account of the Ball, and by this time he must have collected his Ideas enough, after the fatigue of dancing, to give me one. Edward & Fly went out yesterday very early in a couple of Shooting Jackets, and came home like a couple of Bad Shots, for they killed nothing at all. They are out again to day, & are not yet returned. — Delightful Sport!– They are just come home; Edward with his two Brace, Frank with his Two and a half. What amiable Young Men!
[Letter is continued the following day, Friday, 16th]