25 December 1798 – continued from previous day

Tuesday.— I thank you for your long letter, which I will endeavour to deserve by writing the rest of this as closely as possible.– I am full of Joy at much of your information; that you should have been to a Ball, & have danced at it, & supped with the Prince, & that you should meditate the purchase of a new muslin Gown are delightful circumstances.– I am determined to buy a handsome one whenever I can, & I am so tired & ashamed of half my present stock that I even blush at the sight of the wardrobe which contains them.– But I will not be much longer libelled by the possession of my coarse spot, I shall turn it into a petticoat very soon.–

I wish you a merry Christmas, but no compliments of the Season.– Poor Edward! It is very hard that he who has everything else in the World that he can wish for, should not have good health too.– But I hope with the assistance of Bowel complaints, Faintnesses & Sicknesses, he will soon be restored to that Blessing likewise.– If his nervous complaint proceeded from a suppression of something that ought to be thrown out, which does not seem unlikely, the first of those Disorders may really be a remedy, & I sincerely wish it may, for I know no one more deserving of happiness without alloy than Edward is.–

My Mother’s spirits are not affected by her complication of disorders; on the contrary they are altogether as good as ever; nor are you to suppose that these maladies are often thought of.– She has at times had a tendency towards another which always releives her, & that is, a gouty swelling & sensation about the ancles.–

I cannot determine what to do about my new Gown; I wish such things were to be bought ready made.– I have some hopes of meeting Martha at the Christening at Deane next Tuesday, & shall see what she can do for me.- I want to have something suggested which will give me no trouble of thought or direction.-

Again I return to my Joy that you danced at Ashford, & that you supped with the Prince.– I can perfectly comprehend Mrs Cage’s distress & perplexity.– She has all those kind of foolish & incomprehensible feelings which would make her fancy herself uncomfortable in such a party.– I love her however inspite of all her Nonsense. Pray give t’other Miss Austen’s compts to Edw: Bridges when you see him again.

I insist upon your persevering in your design of buying a new Gown; I am sure you must want one, & as you will have 5Gs due in a week’s time, I am certain you may afford it very well, & if you think you cannot, I will give you the body lining.– Of my charities to the poor since I came home, you shall have a faithful account.– I have given a pr of Worsted Stockgs to Mary Hutchins, Dame Kew, Mary Steevens & Dame Staples; a shift to Hannah Staples, & a shawl to Betty Dawkins; amount in all to about half a guinea.– But I have no reason to suppose that the Battys would accept of anything, because I have not made them the offer.–

I am glad to hear such a good account of Harriot Bridges; she goes on now as young Ladies of 17 ought to do; admired & admiring; in a much more rational way than her three elder Sisters, who had so little of that kind of Youth.– I dare say she fancies Major Elrington as agreable as Warren, & if she can think so, it is very well.– I was to have dined at Deane to day, but the weather is so cold that I am not sorry to be kept at home by the appearance of Snow.– We are to have Company to dinner on friday; the three Digweeds & James.– We shall be a nice silent party I suppose.–

Seize upon the scissors as soon as you possibly can on the receipt of this.  I only fear your being too late to secure the prize.  The Lords of the Admiralty will have enough of our applications at present, for I hear from Charles that he has written to Lord Spencer himself to be removed.  I am afraid his serene Highness will be in a passion, & order some of our heads to be cut off.– My Mother wants to know whether Edwd has ever made the Hen House which they planned together.– I am rejoiced to learn from Martha that they certainly continue at Ibthrop, & I have just heard that I am sure of meeting Martha at the Christening.–

You deserve a longer letter than this; but it is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people so well as they deserve.–  God bless You.– Yours affec:tely    Jane Austen

[an addendum to be continued on the following day, 26th December]

 

One Response to 25 December 1798 – continued from previous day

  1. Pingback: I wish you a merry Christmas… | QuinnTessence

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