My dear Cassandra
Your letter came quite as soon as I expected, and so your letters will always do, because I have made it a rule not to expect them till they come, in which I think I consult the ease of us both.– It is a great satisfaction to us to hear that your Business is in a way to be settled, & so settled as to give you as little inconvenience as possible.– You are very welcome to my father’s name, & [as] to his Services if they are ever required in it.– I shall keep my ten pounds too to wrap myself up in next winter.–
I took the liberty a few days ago of asking your Black velvet Bonnet to lend me its cawl, which it very readily did, & by which I have been enabled to give a considerable improvement of dignity to my Cap, which was before too nidgetty to please me.– I shall wear it on Thursday, but I hope you will not be offended with me for following your advice as to its ornaments only in part– I still venture to retain the narrow silver round it, put twice round without any bow, & instead of the black military feather shall put in the Coquelicot one, as being smarter;– & besides Coquelicot is to be all the fashion this winter.– After the Ball, I shall probably make it entirely black.–
I am sorry that our dear Charles begins to feel the Dignity of Ill-usage.– My father will write to Admiral Gambier.– He must already have received so much satisfaction from his acquaintance with & Patronage of Frank, that he will be delighted I dare say to have another of the family introduced to him.– I think it would be very right in Charles to address Sir Thos on the occasion; tho’ I cannot approve of your scheme of writing to him (which you communicated to me a few nights ago) to request him to come home & convey You to Steventon.– To do you justice however, You had some doubts of the propriety of such a measure yourself.–
I am very much obliged to my dear little George for his messages, for his Love at least;– his Duty I suppose was only in consequence of some hint of my favourable intentions towards him from his father or Mother.– I am sincerely rejoiced however that I ever was born, since it has been the means of procuring him a dish of Tea.– Give my best Love to him.
This morning has been made very gay to us, by visits from our two lively Neighbours Mr Holder & Mr John Harwood.- I have received a very civil note from Mrs Martin requesting my name as a Subscriber to her Library which opens the 14th of January, & my name, or rather Yours is accordingly given. My Mother finds the Money.– Mary subscribes too, which I am glad of, but hardly expected. — As an inducement to subscribe Mrs Martin tells us that her Collection is not to consist only of Novels, but of every kind of Literature &c &c — She might have spared this pretension to our family, who are great Novel-readers & not ashamed of being so; — but it was necessary I suppose to the self-consequence of half her Subscribers.–
I hope & imagine that Edward Taylor is to inherit all Sir Edw: Dering’s fortune as well as all his own fathers.–I took care to tell Mrs Lefroy of your calling on her Mother, & she seemed pleased with it.– I enjoyed the hard black Frosts of last week very much, & one day while they lasted walked to Deane by myself.– I do not know that I ever did such a thing in my life before.– Charles Powlett has been very ill, but is getting well again;– his wife is discovered to be everything that the Neighbourhood could wish her, silly & cross as well as extravagant.
Earle Harwood & his friend Mr Bailey came to Deane yesterday, but are not to stay above a day or two.– Earle has got the ap::pointment to a Prison ship at Portsmouth, which he has been for some time desirous of having; & he & his wife are to live on board for the future.–
We dine now at half after Three, & have done dinner I suppose before you begin– We drink tea at half after six.– I am afraid you will despise us.– My rather reads Cowper to us in the evening, to which I listen when I can. How do you spend your Evenings?– I guess that Eliz:th works, that you read to her, & that Edward goes to sleep.– My Mother continues hearty, her appetite & nights are very good, but her Bowels are still not entirely settled, & she sometimes complains of an Asthma, a Dropsy, Water in her Chest & a Liver Disorder. The third Miss Irish Lefroy is going to be married to a Mr Courtenay, but whether James or Charles I do not know.– Miss Lyford is gone into Suffolk with her Brother & Miss Lodge.– Everybody is now very busy in making up an income for the two latter. Miss Lodge has only 800£ of her own, & it is not supposed that her Father can give her much, therefore the good offices of the Neighbourhood will be highly acceptable.–
John Lyford means to take pupils.– James Digweed has had a very ugly cut–how could it happen?–It happened by a young horse which he had lately purchased, & which he was trying to back into its stable;– the Animal kicked him down with his forefeet, & kicked a great hole in his head;– he scrambled away as soon as he could, but was stunned for a time, & suffered a good deal of pain afterwards.– Yesterday he got up the Horse again, & for fear of something worse, was forced to throw himself off.–
[To be continued on the following day, 19th December]