27 December 1808 – Tuesday – from Castle Square

My dear Cassandra

I can now write at leisure & make the most of my subjects, which is lucky, as they are not numerous this week.  Our house was cleared by half-past Eleven on saturday, & we had the satisfaction of hearing yesterday, that the party reached home in safety, soon after 5.  I was very glad of your letter this morning, for my Mother taking medicine, Eliza keeping her bed with a cold, & Choles not coming, made us rather dull & dependant on the post.  You tell me much that gives me pleasure, but I think not much to answer.–

I wish I could help you in your Needlework, I have two hands & a new Thimble that lead a very easy life.  Lady Sondes’ match surprises, but does not offend me;–had her first marriage been of affection, or had there been a grown-up single daughter, I should not have forgiven her– but I consider everybody as having a right to marry once in their Lives for Love, if they can — & provided she will now leave off having bad head-aches & being pathetic, I can allow her, I can wish her to be happy.–

Do not imagine that your picture of your tete a tete with Sir B- makes any change in our expectations here; he could not be really reading, tho’ he held the newspaper in his hand; he was making up his mind to the deed, & the manner of it– I think you will have a letter from him soon.–

I heard from Portsmouth yesterday, & as I am to send them more cloathes, they cannot be expecting a very early return to us.  Mary’s face is pretty well, but she must have suffered a great deal with it — an abscess was formed & open’d.  Our Eveng party on Thursday, produced nothing more remarkable than Miss Murden’s coming too, tho’ she had declined it absolutely in the morng, & sitting very ungracious & very silent with us from 7 o’clock, till half after 11 — for so late was it, oweing to the Chairmen, before we got rid of them.  The last hour, spent in yawning & shivering in a wide circle round the fire, was dull enough– but the Tray had admirable success.  The Widgeon, & the preserved Ginger were as delicious, as one could wish.  But as to our Black Butter, do not decoy anybody to Southampton by such a lure, for it is all gone.  The first pot was opened when Frank & Mary were here, & proved not at all what it ought to be;– it was neither solid, nor entirely sweet– & on seeing it, Eliza remembered that Miss Austen had said she did not think it had been boiled enough.–It was made you know when we were absent.– Such being the event of the first pot, I wd not save the second, & we therefore ate it in unpretending privacy; & tho’ not what it ought to be, part of it was very good.–

James means to keep three Horses on this increase of income, at present he has but one; Mary wishes the other two to be fit to carry Women– & in the purchase of one, Edward will probably be called upon to fulfil his promise to his Godson.  We have now pretty well ascertained James’s Income to be Eleven Hundred Pounds, curate paid, which makes us very happy– the ascertainment as well as the Income.– Mary does not talk of the Garden, it may well be a disagreable subject to her– but her Husband is persuaded that nothing is wanting to make the first new one Good, but trenching, which is to be done by his own servants & John Bond by degrees — not at the expense which trenching the other, amounted to.–

I was happy to hear, cheifly for Anna’s sake, that a Ball at Manydown was once more in agitation; it is called a Child’s Ball, & given by Mrs Heathcote to Wm — such was its’ beginning at least — but it will probably swell into something more.  Edward was invited, during his stay at Manydown, & it is to take place between this & twelfth-day.– Mrs Hulbert has taken Anna a pair of white shoes on the occasion.– I forgot in my last to tell you, that we hear by way of Kintbury & the Palmers, that they were all well at Bermuda in the beginning of Novr.–

[To be continued on the following day, Wednesday 28th December]

One Response to 27 December 1808 – Tuesday – from Castle Square

  1. Pingback: I consider everybody as having a right to marry once in their Lives for Love, if they can | QuinnTessence

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