[Continued from the previous day, Monday 24th October]
Tuesday. Your close-written letter makes me quite ashamed of my wide lines; you have sent me a great deal of matter, most of it very welcome. As to your lengthened stay, it is no more than I expected, and what must be, but you cannot suppose I like it. All that you say of Edward is truly comfortable; I began to fear that when the bustle of the first week was over, his spirits might for a time be more depressed; and perhaps one must still expect something of the kind. If you escape a bilious attack, I shall wonder almost as much as rejoice.
I am glad you mentioned where Catherine goes today; it is a good plan, but sensible people may generally be trusted to form such. The day began cheerfully, but it is not likely to continue what it should, for them or for us. We had a little water-party yesterday; I and my two nephews went from the Itchen Ferry up to Northam, where we landed, looked into the 74, and walked home, and it was so much enjoyed that I had intended to take them to Netley today; the tide is just right for our going immediately after noonshine, but I am afraid there will be rain; if we cannot get so far, however, we may perhaps go round from the ferry to the quay. I had not proposed doing more than cross the Itchen yesterday, but it proved so pleasant, and so much to the satisfaction of all, that when we reached the middle of the stream we agreed to be rowed up the river; both the boys rowed great part of the way, and their questions and remarks, as well as their enjoyment, were very amusing; George’s enquiries were endless, and his eagerness in everything reminds me often of his Uncle Henry.
Our evening was equally agreeable in its way; I introduced speculation, and it was so much approved that we hardly knew how to leave off. Your idea of an early dinner tomorrow is exactly what we propose, for, after writing the first part of this letter, it came into my head that at this time of year we have not summer evenings. We shall watch the light today, that we may not give them a dark drive tomorrow. They send their best love to papa and everybody, with George’s thanks for the letter brought by this post.
Martha begs my brother may be assured of her interest in everything relating to him and his family, and of her sincerely partaking our pleasure in the receipt of every good account from Godmersham. Of Chawton I think I can have nothing more to say, but that everything you say about it in the letter now before me will, I am sure, as soon as I am able to read it to her, make my mother consider the plan with more and more pleasure. We had formed the same views on H. Digweed’s farm.
A very kind and feeling letter is arrived today from Kintbury. Mrs Fowle’s sympathy and solicitude on such an occasion you will be able to do justice to, and to express it as she wishes to my brother. Concerning you, she says: ‘Cassandra will, I know, excuse my writing to her; it is not to save myself but her that I omit so doing. Give my best, my kindest love to her, and tell her that I feel for her as I know she would for me on the same occasion, and that I most sincerely hope her health will not suffer.’ We have just had two hampers of apples from Kintbury, and the floor of our little garret is almost covered. Love to all.
Yours very affectionately,
Edward Austen Esq