21 May 1801 – Thursday – from Paragon, Bath

My dear Cassandra

To make long sentences upon unpleasant subjects is very odious, & I shall therefore get rid of the one now uppermost in my thoughts as soon as possible.- Our veiws on G.P. Buildings seems all at an end; the observation of the damps still remaining in the offices of an house which has been only vacated a week, with reports of discontented families & putrid fevers, has given the coup de grace.– We have now nothing in veiw.– When you arrive, we will at least have the pleasure of examining some of these putrifying Houses again;– they are so very desirable in size & situation, that there is some satisfaction in spending ten minutes within them.–

I will now answer the enquiries in your last letter.  I cannot learn any other explanation of the coolness between my Aunt & Miss Bond than that the latter felt herself slighted by the former’s leaving Bath last summer without calling to see her before she went.– It seems the oddest kind of quarrel in the World; they never visit, but I beleive they speak very civilly if they meet; My Uncle & Miss Bond certainly do.  The 4 Boxes of Lozenges at 1s – 1d – 1/2 per box, amount as I was told to 4s-6d, and as the sum was so trifling, I thought it better to pay at once than contest the matter.

I have just heard from Frank; my father’s plans are now fixed; you will see him at Kintbury on friday, and unless inconvenient to you We are to see you both here on Monday the 1st of June.– Frank has an invitation to Milgate which I beleive he means to accept.– Our party at Ly Fust’s was made up of the same set of people that you have already heard of; the Winstones, Mrs Chamberlayne, Mrs Busby, Mrs Franklyn & Mrs Maria Somerville; yet I think it was not quite so stupid as the two preceding parties here.– The friendship between Mrs Chamberlayne & me which you predicted has already taken place, for we shake hands whenever we meet.  Our grand walk to Weston was again fixed for Yesterday, & was accomplished in a very striking manner; Every one of the party declined it under some pretence or other except our two selves, & we had therefore a tete a tete; but that we should equally have had after the first two yards, had half the Inhabitants of Bath set off with us.– It would have amused you to see our progress;– we went up by Sion Hill, & returned across the fields;– in climbing a hill Mrs Chamberlayne is very capital; I could with difficulty keep pace with her– yet would not flinch for the World.– on plain ground I was quite her equal–and so we posted away under a fine hot sun, She without any parasol or any shade to her hat, stopping for nothing, & crossing the Church Yard at Weston with as much expedition as if we were afraid of being buried alive.– After seeing what she is equal to, I cannot help feeling a regard for her.– As to Agreableness, she is much like other people.–

Yesterday Evening we had a short call from two of the Miss Arnolds, who came from Chippenham on Business; they are very civil, and not too genteel, and upon hearing that we wanted a House recommended one at Chippenham.– This morning we have been visitted again my Mrs & Miss Holder; they wanted us to fix an evening for drinking tea with them, but my Mother’s still remaining cold allows her to decline everything of the kind.– As I had a separate invitation however, I beleive I shall go some afternoon.  It is the fashion to think them both very detestable, but they are so civil, & their gowns look so white & so nice (which by the bye my Aunt thinks an absurd pretension in this place) that I cannot utterly abhor them, especially as Miss Holder owns that she has no taste for Music.–

After they left us, I went with my Mother to help look at some houses in New King Street, towards which she felt some kind of inclination–but their size has now satisfied her;– they were smaller than I expected to find them.  One in particular out of the two, was quite monstrously little;– the best of the sittingrooms not so large as the little parlour at Steventon, and the second room in every floor about capacious enough to admit a very small single bed.–  We are to have a tiny party here tonight; I hate tiny parties– they force one into constant exertion.– Miss Edwards & her father, Mrs Busby & her nephew Mr Maitland, & Mrs Lillingstone are to be the whole;– and I am prevented from setting my black cap at Mr Maitland by his having a wife & ten Children.–

My Aunt has a very bad cough; do not forget to have heard about that when you come, & I think she is deafer than ever.  My Mother’s cold disordered her for some days, but she seems now very well;– her resolution as to remaining here, begins to give way a little; she will not like being left behind & will be glad to compound Matters with her enraged family.–

You will be sorry to hear that Marianne Mapleton’s disorder has ended fatally; she was beleived out of danger on Sunday, but a sudden relapse carried her off the next day.– So affectionate a family must suffer severely; & many a girl on early death has been praised into an Angel I beleive, on slighter pretensions to Beauty, Sense, & Merit than Marianne.–

Mr Bent seems bent upon being very detestable, for he values the books at only 70£.  The whole World is in a conspiracy to enrich one part of our family at the expence of another.– Ten shillings for Dodsley’s Poems however please me to the quick, & I do not care how often I sell them for as much.  When Mrs Bramston has read them through I will sell them again.– I suppose You can hear nothing of your Magnesia.–

[Letter to be continued on the following day, Friday 22d May]

One Response to 21 May 1801 – Thursday – from Paragon, Bath

  1. Pingback: …yet [ I ] would not flinch for the World… | QuinnTessence

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