26 June 1808 – Sunday – from Godmersham

My dear Cassandra

I am very much obliged to you for writing to me on Thursday, & very glad that I owe you the pleasure of hearing from you again so soon, to such an agreable cause; but you will not be surprised, nor perhaps so angry as I shd be, to find that Frank’s History had reached me before, in a letter from Henry.– We are all very happy to hear of his health & safety;–he wants nothing but a good Prize to be a perfect Character.–  This scheme to the Island is an admirable thing for his wife; she will not feel the delay of his return, in such variety.– How very kind of Mrs Craven to ask her!– I think I quite understand the whole Island arrangements,  & shall be very ready to perform my part in them.  I hope my Mother will go — & I trust it is certain that there will be Martha’s bed for Edward when he brings me home.  What can you do with Anna?–for her bed will probably be wanted for young Edward.– His Father writes to Dr Goddard to day to ask leave, & we have the Pupil’s authority for thinking it will be granted.–

I have been so kindly pressed to stay longer here, in consequence of an offer of Henry’s to take me back some time in September, that not being able to detail all my objections to such a plan, I have felt myself obliged to give Edwd & Elizth one private reason for my wishing to be at home in July.– They feel the strength of it, & say no more;–& one can rely on their secrecy– After this, I hope we shall not be disappointed of our Friends’ visit;– my honour, as well as my affection will be concerned in it.–

Elizth has a very sweet scheme of our accompanying Edward into Kent next Christmas.  A Legacy might make it very feasible;–a Legacy is our sovereign good.– In the mean while, let me remember that I have now some money to spare, & that I wish to have my name put down as a subscriber to Mr Jefferson’s works.  My last Letter was closed before it occurred to me how possible, how right, & how gratifying such a measure wd be.–

Your account of your Visitors good Journey, Voyage, & satisfaction in everything gave me the greatest pleasure.  They have nice weather for their introduction to the Island, & I hope with such a disposition to be pleased, their general Enjoyment is as certain as it will be just.– Anna’s being interested in the Embarkation shows a Taste that one values.– Mary Jane’s delight in the Water is quite ridiculous.  Elizabeth supposes Mrs Hall will account for it, by the Child’s knowledge of her Father’s being at sea.– Mrs J.A. hopes as I said in my last, to see my Mother soon after her return home, & will meet her at Winchester on any day, she will appoint.–

And now I beleive I have made all the needful replys & communications; & may disport myself as I can on my Canterbury visit.– It was a very agreable visit.  There was everything to make it so; Mr Knatchbull from Provender was at the W. Friars when we arrived, & staid dinner, which with Harriot–who came as you may suppose in a great hurry, ten minutes after the time– made our number 6.–  Mr K. went away early.– Mr Moore succeeded him, & we sat quietly working & talking till 10; when he ordered his wife away, & we adjourned to the Dressing room to eat our Tart & Jelly.– Mr M. was not un-agreable, tho’ nothing seemed to go right with him.  He is a sensible Man, & tells a story well.– Mrs C. Knatchbull & I breakfasted tete a tete the next day, for her Husband was gone to Mr Toke’s, & Mrs Knight had a sad headache which kept her in bed.  She had had too much company the day before;– after my coming, which was not till past two, she had Mrs M. of Nackington, a Mrs & Miss Gregory, & Charles Graham; & she told me it had been so all the morning.– Very soon after breakfast on friday Mrs C.K.– who is just what we have always seen her– went with me to Mrs Bridges’ & Mrs Moore’s, paid some other visits while I remained with the latter, & we finished with Mrs C. Milles, who luckily was not at home, & whose new House is a very convenient short cut from the Oaks to the W. Friars.– We found Mrs Knight up & better–but early as it was–only 12 o’clock–we had scarcely taken off our Bonnets before company came, Ly Knatchbull & her Mother; & after them succeeded Mrs White, Mrs Hughes & her two Children, Mr Moore, Harriot & Louisa, & John Bridges, with such short intervals between any, as to make it a matter of wonder to me, that Mrs K. & I should ever have been ten minutes alone, or have had any leisure for comfortable Talk.–  Yet we had time to say a little of Everything.–

Edward came to dinner, & at 8 o’clock he & I got into the Chair, & the pleasures of my visit concluded with a delightful drive home.– Mrs & Miss Brydges seemed very glad to see me.– The poor old Lady looks much as she did three years ago, & was very particular in her enquiries after my Mother;– And from her, & from the Knatchbulls, I have all manner of kind Compliments to give you both.  As Fanny writes to Anna by this post, I had intended to keep my Letter for another day, but recollecting that I must keep it two, I have resolved rather to finish & send it now.  The two letters will not interfere I dare say; on the contrary, they may throw light on each other.–

Mary begins to fancy, because she has received no message on the subject, that Anna does not mean to answer her Letter; but it must be for the pleasure of fancying it.– I think Elizth better & looking better than when we came.– Yesterday I introduced James to Mrs Inman;– in the evening John Bridges returned from Goodnestone–& this morng before we had left the Breakfast Table we had a visit from Mr Whitfield, whose object I imagine was principally to thank my Eldest Brother for his assistance.  Poor Man!–he has now a little intermission of his excessive solicitude on his wife’s account, as she is rather better.– James does Duty at Godmersham today.– The Knatchbulls had intended coming here next week, but the Rentday makes it impossible for them to be received, & I do not think there will be any spare time afterwards.  They return into Somersetshire by way of Sussex & Hants, & are to be at Fareham–& perhaps may be in Southampton, on which possibility I said all that I thought right– & if they are in the place, Mrs K. has promised to call in Castle Square;– it will [be omitted] about the end of July.– She seems to have a prospect however of being in that Country again in the Spring for a longer period, & will spend a day with us if she is.– You & I need not tell each other how glad we shall be to receive attention from, or pay it to anyone connected with Mrs Knight.– I cannot help regretting that now, when I feel enough her equal to relish her society, I see so little of the latter.–

The Milles’ of Nackington dine here on friday & perhaps the Hattons.– It is a compliment as much due to me, as a call from the Filmers.– When you write to the Island, Mary will be glad to have Mrs Craven informed with her Love that she is now sure it will not be in her power to visit Mrs Craven during her stay there, but that if Mrs Craven can take Steventon in her way back, it will be giving my brother & herself great pleasure.– She also congratulates her namesake on hearing from her Husband.– That said namesake is rising in the World;– she was thought excessively improved in her late visit.– Mrs Knight thought her so, last year.–

Henry sends us the welcome information of his having had no face-ache since I left them.– You are very kind in mentioning old Mrs Williams so often.  Poor Creature!– I cannot help hoping that each Letter may tell of her sufferings being over.– If she wants sugar, I shd like to supply her with it.– The Moores went yesterday to Goodnestone, but return tomorrow.  After Tuesday we shall see them no more– tho’ Harriot is very earnest with Edwd to make Wrotham in his Journey, but we shall be in too great a hurry to get nearer to it than Wrotham Gate.– He wishes to reach Guilford on friday night–that we may have a couple of hours to spare for Alton.– I shall be sorry to pass the door at Seale without calling, but it must be so;– & I shall be nearer to Bookham than I cd wish, in going from Dorking to Guilford– but till I have a travelling purse of my own, I must submit to such things.–

[continued below address panel]  The Moores leave Canterbury on friday–& go for a day or two to Sandling.– I really hope Harriot is altogether very happy–but she cannot feel quite so much at her ease with her Husband, as the Wives she has been used to.

[upside down at top of p1]  Good-bye.  I hope You have been long recovered from your worry on Thursday morng— & that you do not much mind not going to the Newbury Races.– I am withstanding those of Canterbury.  Let that strengthen you.–

Yrs very sincerley

Miss Austen
Castle Square


1 Response to 26 June 1808 – Sunday – from Godmersham

  1. Pingback: He wants nothing but a good Prize to be a perfect Character. | QuinnTessence

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