11 June 1799 – Tuesday – from 13, Queen Square, Bath

My dear Cassandra

Your letter yesterday made me very happy.  I am heartily glad that You have escaped any share in the Impurities of Deane, & not sorry as it turns out that our stay here has been lengthened.– I feel tolerably secure of our getting away next week, tho’ it is certainly possible that we may remain till Thursday the 27th–I wonder what we shall do with all our intended visits this summer?– I should like to make a compromise with Adlestrop, Harden & Bookham that Martha’s spending the summer at Steventon should be considered as our respective visits to them all.–

Edward has been pretty well for this last Week, & as the Waters have never disagreed with him in any respect, We are inclined to hope that he will derive advantage from them in the end;– everybody encourages us in this expectation, for they all say that the effect of the Waters cannot be negative, & many are the instances in which their benefit is felt afterwards more than on the spot.– He is more comfortable here than I thought he would be, & so is Eliz:– tho’ they will both I beleive be very glad to get away, the latter especially–Which one can’t wonder at somehow.–

So much for Mrs Piozzi.– I had some thoughts of writing the whole of my letter in her stile, but I beleive I shall not.– Though you have given me unlimited powers concerning Your Sprig, I cannot determine what to do about it, & shall therefore in this & in every future letter continue to ask you for further directions.– We have been to the cheap Shop, & very cheap we found it, but there are only flowers made there, no fruit — & as I could get 4 or 5 very pretty sprigs of the former for the same money which would procure only one Orleans plumb, in short could get more for three or four Shillings than I could have means of bringing home, I cannot decide on the fruit till I hear from you again.– Besides, I cannot help thinking that it is more natural to have flowers grow out of the head than fruit.– What do you think on that subject?–

I would not let Martha read First Impressions again upon any account, & am very glad that I did not leave it in your power.– She is very cunning, but I see through her design;– she means to publish it from Memory, & one more perusal must enable her to do it.– As for Fitzalbini, when I get home she shall have it, as soon as ever she will own that Mr Elliott is handsomer than Mr Lance–that fair Men are preferable to Black–for I mean to take every opportunity of rooting out her prejudices.–

Benjamin Portal is here.  How charming is that!– I do not exactly know why, but the phrase followed so naturally that I could not help putting it down.– My Mother saw him the other day, but without making herself known to him.–

I am very glad You liked my Lace, & so are You & so is Martha–& we are all glad together.– I have got your Cloak home, which is quite delightful!– as delightful at least as half the circumstances which are called so.– I do not know what is the matter with me to day, but I cannot write quietly; I am always wandering away into some exclamation or other.– Fortunately I have nothing very particular to say.–

We walked to Weston one evening last week, & liked it very much.– Liked what very much? Weston?– no– walking to Weston– I have not expressed myself properly, but I hope you will understand me.– We have not been to any public place lately, nor performed anything out of the common daily routine of No 13, Queen Square, Bath–.  But to day we were to have dashed away at a very extraordinary rate, by dining out, had it not so happened that we do not go– Edward renewed his acquaintance lately with Mr Evelyn who lives in the Queen’s parade & was invited to a family dinner, which I beleive at first Eliz: was rather sorry at his accepting, but yesterday Mrs Evelyn called on us & her manners were so pleasing that we liked the idea of going very much.– The Biggs would call her a nice Woman.– But Mr Evelyn who was indisposed yesterday, is worse to day & we are put off.–

It is rather impertinent to suggest any household care to a Housekeeper, but I just venture to say that the Coffee Mill will be wanted every day while Edw: is at Steventon as he always drinks Coffee for Breakfast.– Fanny desires her Love to You, her Love to Grandpapa, her Love to Anna, & her Love to Hannah;– the latter particularly is to be remembered.– Edwd desires his Love to You, to Grandpapa, to Anna, to little Edw:d, to Aunt James & Uncle James, & he hopes all your Turkies & Ducks & Chicken & Guinea Fowls are very well– & he wishes You very much to send him a printed Letter & so does Fanny– & they both rather think they shall answer it.– EA

“On more accounts than one you wished our stay here to be lengthened beyond last Thursday.”– There is some Mystery in this.  What have you going on in Hampshire besides the Itch from which you want to keep us?– Dr Gardiner was married yesterday to Mrs Percy & her three daughters.– Now I will give you the history of Mary’s veil, in the purchase of which I have so considerably involved you that it is my duty to economise for you in the flowers.– I had no difficulty in getting a muslin veil for half a guinea, & not much more in discovering afterwards that the Muslin was thick, dirty & ragged, & would therefore by no means do for a united Gift.– I changed it consequently as soon as I could, & considering what a state my imprudence had reduced me to, I thought myself lucky in getting a black Lace one for 16 shillings–.  I hope the half of that sum will not greatly exceed what You had intended to offer up on the altar of Sister-in-law affection.– Yours affe:

[Postscript upside down at top of first page]

They do not seem to trouble You much from Manydown.  I have long wanted to quarrel with them, & I beleive I shall take this opportunity.– There is no denying that they are very capricious!– for they like to enjoy their elder Sisters company when they can.

Miss Austen,

1 Response to 11 June 1799 – Tuesday – from 13, Queen Square, Bath

  1. Pingback: “I do not know what is the matter with me to day, but I cannot write quietly;… | QuinnTessence

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