11 February 1801 – Wednesday – from Manydown

My dear Cassandra

As I have no Mr Smithson to write of, I can date my letters.– Yours to my Mother has been forwarded to me this morning, with a request that I would take on me the office of acknowledging it.  I should not however have thought it necessary to write so soon, but for the arrival of a letter from Charles to myself.– It was written last Saturday from off the Start, & conveyed to Popham Lane by Captn Boule in his way to Midgham.  He came from Lisbon in the Endymion, & I will copy Charles’ account of his conjectures about Frank.– “He has not seen my brother lately, nor does he expect to find him arrived, as he met Capt: Inglis at Rhodes going up to take command of the Petterel as he was coming down, but supposes he will arrive in less than a fortnight from this time, in some ship which is expected to reach England about that time with dispatches from Sir Ralph Abercrombie.”– The event must shew what sort of a Conjuror Capt: Boyle is.– The Endymion has not been plagued with any more prizes.– Charles spent three pleasant days in Lisbon.– They were very well satisfied with their Royal Passenger, whom they found fat, jolly & affable, who talks of Ly Augusta as his wife & seems much attached to her.– When this letter was written, the Endymion was becalmed, but Charles hoped to reach Portsmouth by monday or tuesday; & as he particularly enquires for Henry’s direction, you will e’er long I suppose receive further intelligence of him.– He received my letter, communicating our plans, before he left England, was much surprised of course, but is quite reconciled to them, & means to come to Steventon once more while Steventon is ours.– Such I beleive are all the particulars of his Letter, that are worthy of travelling into the Regions of Wit, Elegance, fashion, Elephants & Kangaroons.

My visit to Miss Lyford begins tomorrow, & ends on Saturday, when I shall have an opportunity of returning here at no expence as the Carriage must take Cath: to Basingstoke.– She meditates your returning into Hampshire together, & if the Time should accord, it would not be undesirable.  She talks of staying only a fortnight, & as that will bring your stay in Berkeley Street to three weeks, I suppose you would not wish to make it longer.–  Do not let this however retard your coming down, if you had intended a much earlier return.– I suppose whenever you come, Henry would send you in his Carriage a stage or two, where you might be met by John, whose protection you would we imagine think sufficient for the rest of your Journey.  He might ride on the Bar, or might even sometimes meet with the accomodation of a sunday-chaise.– James has offered to meet you anywhere, but as that would be to give him trouble without any counterpoise of convenience, as he has no intention of going to London at present on his own account, we suppose that you would rather accept the attentions of John.–

We spend our time here as quietly as usual.  One long morning visit is what generally occurs, & such a one took place yesterday.  We went to Baugherst.– The place is not so pretty as I expected, but perhaps the Season may be against the beauty of Country.  The house seemed to have all the comforts of little Children, dirt & litter.  Mr Dyson as usual looked wild, & Mrs Dyson as usual looked big.– Mr Bramston called here the morning before,–et voila tout.– I hope you are as well satisfied with having my coloured Muslin gown as a white one.  Everybody sends their Love–& I am sincerely Yours,

Miss Austen
24, Upper Berkeley Street
Portman Square

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