My dear Cassandra
The Children were delighted with your letters, as I fancy they will tell you themselves before this is concluded.– Fanny expressed some surprise at the wetness of the Wafers, but it did not lead to any suspicion of the Truth.– Martha & You were just in time with your commissions, for two o’clock on monday was the last hour of my receiving them;–the office is now closed.– John Lyford’s history is a melancholy one.– I feel for his family; & when I know that his Wife was really fond of him, I will feel for her too, but at present I cannot help thinking their loss the greatest.–
Edward has not been well these last two days; his appetite has failed him, & he has complained of sick & uncomfortable feelings, which with other Symptoms make us think of the Gout–perhaps a fit of it might cure him, but I cannot wish it to begin at Bath.– He made an important purchase Yesterday; no less so than a pair of Coach Horses; his friend Mr Evelyn found them out & recommended them, & if the judgement of a Yahoo can ever be depended on, I suppose it may now, for I beleive Mr Evelyn has all his life thought more of Horses than of anything else.– Their Colour is black & their size not large–their price sixty Guineas, of which the Chair Mare was taken as fifteen–but this is of course to be a secret.–
Mrs Williams need not pride herself on her knowledge of Dr Mapleton’s Success here;– She knows no more than everybody else knows in Bath.– There is not a Physician in the place who writes so many Prescriptions as he does– I cannot help wishing that Edward had not been tied down to Dr Fellowes, for had he come disengaged, we should all have recommended Dr Mapleton; my Uncle & Aunt as earnestly as ourselves.– I do not see the Miss Mapletons very often, but just as often as I like; We are always very glad to meet, & I do not wish to wear out our satisfaction.– Last Sunday We all drank tea in Paragon; my Uncle is still in his flannels but is getting better again.–
On Monday, Mr Evelyn was well enough for us to fulfil our engagement with him;– the visit was very quiet & uneventful; pleasant enough.– We met only another Mr Evelyn, his cousin, whose wife came to Tea.–
Last night we were in Sidney Gardens again, as there was a repetition of the Gala which went off so ill on the 4th.– We did not go till nine, & then were in very good time for the Fire-works, which were really beautiful, & surpassing my expectation;–the illuminations too were very pretty.– The weather was as favourable, as it was otherwise a fortnight ago.– The Play on Saturday is I hope to conclude our Gaieties here, for nothing but a lengthened stay will make it otherwise. We go with Mrs Fellowes.–
Edward will not remain at Steventon longer than from Thursday to the following Monday I beleive, as the Rent-day is to be fixed for the consecutive friday.– I can recollect nothing more to say at present;– perhaps Breakfast may assist my ideas.
I was deceived–my breakfast supplied only two ideas, that the rolls were good, & the butter bad;– But the Post has been more friendly to me, it has brought me a letter from Miss Pearson. You may remember that I wrote to her above two months ago about the parcel under my care, & as I had heard nothing from her since, I thought myself obliged to write again two or three days ago, for after all that had passed I was determined that the Correspondence should never cease thro’ my means. This second Letter has produced an apology for her silence, founded on the Illness of several of the family.– The exchange of packets is to take place through the medium of Mr Nutt, probably one of the Sons belonging to Woolwich Academy, who comes to Overton in the beginning of July.– I am tempted to suspect from some parts of her Letter, that she has a matrimonial project in view– I shall question her about it when I answer her Letter; but all this you know is en Mystere between ourselves.–
Edward has seen the Apothecary to whom Dr Millman recommended him, a sensible, intelligent Man, since I began this–& he attributes his present little feverish indisposition to his having ate something unsuited to his Stomach.– I do not understand that Mr Anderton suspects the Gout at all;– The occasional particular glow in the hands & feet, which we considered as a symptom of that Disorder, he only calls the effect of the Water in promoting a better circulation of the blood. I cannot help thinking from your account of Mrs E.H. that Earle’s vanity has tempted him to invent the account of her former way of Life, that his triumph in securing her might be greater;– I dare say she was nothing but an innocent Country Girl in fact.– Adeiu–. I shall not write again before Sunday, unless anything particular happens.
Yours Ever Jane
[Following are letters dictated by the children as part of Jane’s as well]
My dear Cassandra
I thank you for your pretty letter;– My little Brothers were very well when Mama heard from Sackree. I have given all your messages except to my Uncle & Aunt Perrot, & I have not seen them since I had your letter. I am very happy at Bath, but I am afraid Papa is not much better for drinking the Waters.– Mama’s best Love.– Is the other chaffinche’s nest in the Garden hatched?– Your affec: Neice FAC– P.S.– Yes, I shall be very glad to go home & see brothers.
My dear Aunt Cassandra– I hope you are very well. Grandmama hopes the white Turkey lays, & that you have eat up the black one.– We like Gooseberry Pye & Goosebury pudding very much.– Is that the same Chaffinches Nest that we saw before we went away? & pray will you send me another printed Letter when You write to Aunt Jane again–If You like it.–EA
[Postscript by JA, below address panel]
We shall be with you on Thursday to a very late Dinner–later I suppose than my Father will like for himself–but I give him leave to eat one before. You must give us something very nice, for we are used to live well.