14 September 1804 – Friday – from Lyme

My dear Cassandra

I take the first sheet of this fine striped paper to thank you for your letter from Weymouth, & express my hopes of your being at Ibthrop before this time.  I expect to hear that you reached it yesterday Evening, being able to get as far as Blandford on wednesday.– Your account of Weymouth contains nothing which strikes me so forcibly as there being no Ice in the Town; for every other vexation I was in some measure prepared; & particularly for your disappointment in not seeing the Royal Family go on board on tuesday, having already heard from Mr Crawford that he had seen you in the very act of being too late.  But for there being no Ice, what could prepare me!– Weymouth is altogether a shocking place I perceive, without recommendation of any kind, & worthy only of being frequented by the inhabitants of Gloucester.– I am really very glad that we did not go there, & that Henry & Eliza saw nothing in it to make them feel differently.–

You found my letter at Andover I hope yesterday, & have now for many hours been satisfied that your kind anxiety on my behalf was as much thrown away as kind anxiety usually is.  I continue quite well, in proof of which I have bathed again this morning.  It was absolutely necessary that I should have the little fever & indisposition, which I had;– it has been all the fashion this week in Lyme.  Miss Anna Cove was confined for a day or two, & her Mother thinks she was saved only by a timely Emetic (prescribed by Dr Robinson) from a serious illness;– and Miss Bonham has been under Mr Carpenter’s care for several days, with a sort of nervous fever, and tho’ she is now well enough to walk abroad, she is still very tall & does not come to the Rooms.–

We all of us, attended them, both on Wednesday Evening, & last Evening, I suppose I must say, or Martha will think Mr Peter Debary slighted.– My Mother had her pool of Commerce each night & divided the first with Le Chevalier, who was lucky enough to divide the other with somebody else.– I hope he will always win enough to empower him to treat himself with so great an indulgence as cards must be to him.  He enquired particularly after you, not being aware of your departure.– We are quite settled in our Lodgings by this time, as you may suppose, & everything goes on in the usual order.  The servants behave very well & make no difficulties, tho’ nothing certainly can exceed the inconvenience of the Offices, except the general Dirtiness of the House & furniture, & all its Inhabitants.–

Hitherto the weather has been just what we could wish;– the continuance of the dry Season is very necessary to our comfort.– I endeavour as far as I can to supply your place, & be useful & keep things in order; I detect dirt in the Water-decanter as fast as I can, and give the Cook physic, which she throws off her Stomach.  I forget whether she used to do this, under your administration.–

James is the delight of our lives; he is quite an uncle Toby’s annuity to us.– My Mother’s shoes were never so well blacked before, & our plate never looked so clean.– He waits extremely well, is attentive, handy, quick, & quiet, and in short has a great many more than all the cardinal virtues, (for the cardinal virtues in themselves have been so often possessed that they are no longer worth having)– & amongst the rest, that of wishing to go to Bath, as I understand from Jenny.– He has the laudable thirst I fancy for Travelling, which in poor James Selby was so much reprobated; & part of his disappointment in not going with his Master, arose from his wish of seeing London.–

My Mother is at this moment reading a letter from my Aunt.  Yours to Miss Irvine, of which she had had the perusal–(which by the bye, in your place I should not like) has thrown them into a quandary about Charles & his prospects.  The case is, that my Mother had previously told my Aunt, without restriction, that a sloop (which my Aunt calls a Frigate) was reserved in the East for Charles; whereas you had replied to Miss Irvine’s enquiries on the subject with less explicitness & more caution.– Never mind — let them puzzle on together– As Charles will equally go to the E. Indies, my Uncle cannot be really uneasy, & my Aunt may do what she likes with her frigates.–

She talks a great deal of the violent heat of the Weather– We know nothing of it here.– My Uncle has been suffering a good deal lately; they mean however to go to Scarlets about this time, unless prevented by bad accounts of Cook.– The Coles have got their infamous plate upon our door.– I dare say that makes a great part of the massy plate so much talked of.– The Irvines’ house is nearly completed–I beleive they are to get into it on tuesday;– My Aunt owns it to have a comfortable appearance, & only “hopes the kitchen may not be damp”.– I have not heard from Charles yet, which rather surprises me;- some ingenious addition of his own to the proper direction perhaps prevents my receiving his letter.

I have written to Buller;– & I have written to Mr Pyne, on the subject of the broken Lid;– it was valued by Anning here, we were told, at five shillings, & as that appeared to us beyond the value of all the Furniture in the room together, We have referred ourselves to the Owner.  The Ball last night was pleasant, but not full for Thursday.  My Father staid very contentedly till half past nine — we went a little after eight — & then walked home with James & a Lanthorn, tho’ I beleive the Lanthorn was not lit, as the Moon was up.  But this Lanthorn may sometimes be a great convenience to him.–  My Mother & I staid about an hour later.  Nobody asked me the two first dances– the two next I danced with Mr Crawford– & had I chosen to stay longer might have danced with Mr Granville, Mrs Granville’s son–whom my dear friend Miss Armstrong offered to introduce to me– or with a new, odd looking Man who had been eyeing me for some time, & at last without any introduction asked me if I meant to dance again.– I think he must be Irish by his ease, & because I imagine him to belong to the Honble Barnwalls, who are the son & son’s wife of an Irish Viscount– bold, queerlooking people, just fit to be Quality at Lyme.– Mrs Feaver & the Schuylers went away, I do not know where, last tuesday, for some days; & when they return, the Schuylers I understand are to remain here a very little while longer.–

I called yesterday morning– (ought it not in strict propriety be termed Yester-Morning?) on Miss Armstrong, & was introduced to her father & Mother.  Like other young Ladies she is considerably genteeler then her Parents; Mrs Armstrong sat darning a pr of Stockings the whole of my visit–. But I do not mention this at home, lest a warning should act as an example.  We afterwards walked together for an hour on the Cobb; she is very conversable in a common way; I do not perceive Wit or Genius–but she has Sense & some degree of Taste, & her manners are very engaging.  She seems to like people rather too easily–she thought the Downes pleasant &c &c.

I have seen nothing of Mr & Mrs Mawhood.  My Aunt mentions Mrs Holder’s being returned from Cheltenham; so, her summer ends before theirs begins.– Hooper was heard of well at the Madeiras.– Eliza would envy him.– I need not say that we are particularly anxious for your next Letter, to know how you find Mrs Lloyd & Martha.– Say Everything kind for us to the latter– The former I fear must be beyond any remembrance of, or from, the Absent.– Yrs affec:ly
JA.

[Postscript]  I hope Martha thinks you looking better than when she saw you in Bath.– Jenny has fasten’d up my hair to day in the same manner that she used to do up Miss Lloyd’s, which makes us both [very] happy.–

[Continued by crossing on p.1]

Friday Eveng.–

The Bathing was so delightful this morning & Molly so pressing with me to enjoy myself that I beleive I staid in rather too long, as since the middle of the day I have felt unreasonably tired.  I shall be more careful another time, & shall not bathe tomorrow, as I had before intended.– Jenny & James are walked to Charmouth this afternoon;– I am glad to have such an amusement for him–as I am very anxious for his being at once quiet & happy.– He can read, & I must get him some books.  Unfortunately he has read the 1st vol. of Robinson Crusoe.  We have the Pinckards Newspaper however, which I shall take care to lend him.–

Miss Austen
Mrs Lloyd’s
Up. Hurstbourn
Andover

One Response to 14 September 1804 – Friday – from Lyme

  1. Pingback: But for there being no Ice, what could prepare me!– Weymouth is altogether a shocking place I perceive, without recommendation of any kind, & worthy only of being frequented by the inhabitants of Gloucester.– | QuinnTessence

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