My dear Cassandra
I am obliged to you for two letters, one from Yourself & the other from Mary, for of the latter I knew nothing till on the receipt of Yours yesterday, when the Pigeon Basket was examined & I received my due.– As I have written to her since the time which ought to have brought me her’s, I suppose she will consider herself as I chuse to consider her, still in my debt.– I will lay out all the little Judgement I have in endeavouring to get such stockings for Anna as she will approve;–but I do not know that I shall execute Martha’s commission at all, for I am not fond of ordering shoes, & at any rate they shall all have flat heels.–
What must I tell you of Edward?– Truth or Falsehood?– I will try the former, & you may chuse for yourself another time.– He was better yesterday than he had been for two or three days before, about as well as while he was at Steventon– He drinks at the Hetling Pump, is to bathe tomorrow, & try Electricity on Tuesday;– he proposed the latter himself to Dr Fellowes, who made no objection to it, but I fancy we are all unanimous in expecting no advantage from it.
At present I have no great notion of our staying here beyond the Month.– I heard from Charles last week;–they were to sail on Wednesday.– My Mother seems remarkably well.– My Uncle overwalked himself at first & can now only travel in a Chair, but is otherwise very well.– My Cloak is come home, & here follows the pattern of its’ lace. [drawn diagram not reproduced here] If you do not think it wide enough, I can give 3d a yard more for yours, & not go beyond the two Guineas, for my Cloak altogether does not cost quite two pounds.– I like it very much, & can now exclaim with delight, like J. Bond at Hay Harvest, “This is what I have been looking for these three years.”– I saw some Gauzes in a shop in Bath Street yesterday at only 4s a yard, but they were not so good or so pretty as mine.– Flowers are very much worn, & Fruit is still more the thing.– Eliz: has a bunch of Strawberries, & I have seen Grapes, Cherries, Plumbs & Apricots– There are likewise Almonds & raisins, french plumbs & Tamarinds at the Grocers, but I have never seen any of them in hats.– A plumb or green gage would cost three shillings.– Cherries & Grapes about 5 I beleive–but this is at some of the dearest Shops;– My Aunt has told me of a very cheap one near Walcot Church, to which I shall go in quest of something for You.–
I have never seen an old Woman at the Pump room.– Eliz: has given me a hat, & it is not only a pretty hat, but a pretty stile of hat too– It is something like Eliza’s– only instead of being all straw, half of it is narrow purple ribbon.– I flatter myself however that you can understand very little of it, from this description–. Heaven forbid that I should ever offer such encouragement to Explanations, as to give a clear one on any occasion myself.– But I must write no more of… [six or seven lines cut away at top of p.3] . . . it so.– I spent friday evening with the Mapletons, & was obliged to submit to being pleased inspite of my inclination. We took a very charming walk from 6 to 8 up Beacon Hill, & across some fields to the Village of Charlcombe, which is sweetly situated in a little green Valley, as a Village with such a name ought to be.–
Marianne is sensible & intelligent, and even Jane considering how fair she is, is not unpleasant. We had a Miss North & a Mr Gould of our party;– the latter walked home with me after Tea;– he is a very Young Man, just entered of Oxford, wears Spectacles, & has heard that Evelina was written by Dr Johnson.– I am afraid I cannot undertake to carry Martha’s Shoes home, for tho’ we had plenty of room in our Trunks when we came, We shall have many more things to take back, & I must allow besides for my packing.–
There is to be a grand gala on tuesday evening in Sydney Gardens;– a Concert, with Illuminations & fireworks;– to the latter Eliz: & I look forward with pleasure, & even the Concert will have more than its’ usual charm with me, as the Gardens are large enough for me to get pretty well beyond the reach of its sound.– In the morning Lady Willoughby is to present the Colours to some Corps of Yeomanry or other, in the Crescent– & that such festivities may have a proper commencement, we think of going to [six or seven lines cut away at top of p.4] . . . I am quite pleased with Martha & Mrs Lefroy for wanting the pattern of our Caps, but I am not so well pleased with Your giving it to them–. Some wish, some prevailing Wish is necessary to the animation of everybody’s Mind, & in gratifying this, You leave them to form some other which will not probably be half so innocent.– I shall not forget to write to Frank.– Duty & Love &c.
Yours affec:ly Jane
[Postscript below address panel]
My Uncle is quite surprised at my hearing from you so often– but as long as we can keep the frequency of our correspondence from Martha’s Uncle, we will not fear our own.–