24 August 1805 – Saturday – from Godmersham Park, Kent

My dear Cassandra

How do you do? & how is Harriot’s cold?– I hope you are at this time sitting down to answer these questions.– Our visit to Eastwell was very agreable, I found Ly Gordon’s manners as pleasing as they had been described, & saw nothing to dislike in Sir Janison, excepting once or twice a sort of sneer at Mrs Anne Finch.  He was just getting into Talk with Elizth as the carriage was ordered, but during the first part of the visit he said very little.– Your going with Harriot was highly approved of by everyone, & only too much applauded as an act of virtue on your part.  I said all I could to lessen your merit.–

The Mrs Finches were afraid you would find Goodnestone very dull; I wished when I heard them say so, that they could have heard Mr E. Bridges’s solicitude on the subject & have known all the amusements that were planned to prevent it.– They were very civil to me, as they always are;– Fortune was also very civil to me in placing Mr E. Hatton by me at dinner.– I have discovered that Ly Eliz:th for a woman of her age & situation, has astonishingly little to say for herself, & that Miss Hatton has not much more.– Her eloquence lies in her fingers; they were most fluently  harmonious.–

George is a fine boy, & well behaved, but Daniel cheifly delighted me; the good humour of his countenance is quite bewitching.  After Tea we had a Cribbage Table, & he & I won two rubbers of his brother & Mrs Mary.– Mr Brett was the only person there besides our two families.  It was considerably past eleven before we were at home, & I was so tired as to feel no envy of those who were at Ly Yates’ Ball.– My good wishes for it’s being a pleasant one, were I hope successful.

Yesterday was a very quiet day with us; my noisiest efforts were writing to Frank, & playing at Battledore & Shuttlecock with William; he & I have practised together two mornings, & improve a little; we have frequently kept it up three times, & once or twice six.  The two Edwards went to Canterbury in the chair, & found Mrs Knight as you found her I suppose the day before, chearful but weak.– Fanny was met walking with Miss Sharp & Miss Milles, the happiest Being in the World; she sent a private message to her Mama implying as much–“Tell Mama that I am quite Palmerstone!”– If little Lizzy used the same Language, she would I dare say send the same message from Goodnestone.–

In the evening we took a quiet walk round the Farm, with George & Henry to animate us by their races & merriment.– Little Edw:d is by no means better, & his papa & mama have determined to consult Dr Wilmot.  Unless he recovers his strength beyond what is now probable, his brothers will return to School without him, & he will be of the party to Worthing.– If Sea-Bathing should be recommended he will be left there with us, but this is not thought likely to happen.–

I have been used very ill this morning, I have received a letter from Frank which I ought to have had when Elizth & Henry had theirs, & which in it’s way from Albany to Godmersham has been to Dover & Steventon.  It was finished on ye 16th, & tells what theirs told before as to his present situation; he is in a great hurry to be married, & I have encouraged him in it, in the letter which ought to have been an answer to his.– He must think it very strange that I do not acknowledge the receipt of his, when I speak of those of the same dates to Eliz: & Henry; & to add to my injuries I forgot to number mine on the outside.–

I have found your white mittens, they were folded up within my clean nightcap, & send their duty to you.– Eliz: has this moment proposed a scheme, which will be very much for my pleasure, if equally convenient to the other party; it is that when you return on monday, I should take your place at Goodnestone for a few days.– Harriot cannot be insincere, let her try for it ever so much, & therefore I defy her to accept this self-invitation of mine, unless it be really what perfectly suits her.– As there is no time for an answer, I shall go in the Carriage on monday, & can return with you, if my going on to Goodnestone is at all inconvenient.–

The Knatchbulls come on Wednesday to dinner, & stay only till Friday morng. at the latest.– Frank’s letter to me is the only one that You or I have received since Thursday.– Mr Hall walked off this morng. to Ospringe, with no inconsiderable Booty.  He charged Eliz:th 5s for every time of dressing her hair, & 5s for every lesson to Sace, allowing nothing for the pleasures of his visit here, for meat drink & Lodging, the benefit of Country air, & the charms of Mrs Salkeld’s & Mrs Sace’s society.– Towards me he was as considerate, as I had hoped for, from my relationship to you, charging me only 2s6d for cutting my hair, tho’ it was as thoroughly dress’d after being cut for Eastwell, as it had been for the Ashford Assembly.– He certainly respects either our Youth or our poverty.– My writing to you to day prevents Eliz:th‘s writing to Harriot, for which Evil I implore the latter’s pardon.– Give my best Love to her–& kind remembrance to her Brothers.– Yours very affec:ly

You are desired to bring back with you Henry’s picture of Rowling for the Mrs Finches.

As I find on looking into my affairs, that instead of being very rich I am likely to be very poor, I cannot afford more than ten shillings for Sackree; but as we are to meet in Canterbury I need not have mentioned this.– It is as well however, to prepare you for the sight of a Sister sunk in poverty, that it may not overcome your Spirits.

[Continued upside down at top of p.1]

We have heard nothing from Henry since he went.– Daniel told us that he went from Ospringe in one of the Coaches.–

[Postscript below address panel]

Elizth hopes you will not be later here on Monday than 5 o’clock, on Lizzy’s account.–

Miss Austen
Goodnestone Farm


1 Response to 24 August 1805 – Saturday – from Godmersham Park, Kent

  1. Pingback: Her eloquence lies in her fingers; they were most fluently harmonious. | QuinnTessence

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