7 October 1808 – Friday – from Castle Square

My dear Cassandra

Your letter on Tuesday gave us great pleasure, & we congratulate you all upon Elizabeth’s hitherto happy recovery;– tomorrow or Sunday I hope to hear of its’ advancing in the same stile.- We are also very glad to know that you are so well yourself, & pray you to continue so.–

I was rather surprised on Monday by the arrival of a Letter for you from your Winchester Correspondent, who seemed perfectly unsuspicious of your being likely to be at Godmersham;–I took complete possession of the Letter by reading, paying for, & answering it;– and he will have the Biscuits to day,–a very proper day for the purpose, tho’ I did not think of it at the time.–

I wish my Brother joy of completing his 30th year– & hope the day will be remembered better than it was six years ago.– The Masons are now repairing the Chimney, which they found in such a state as to make it wonderful that it shd have stood so long, & next to impossible that another violent wind should not blow it down.  We may therefore thank you perhaps for saving us from being thumped with old bricks.– You are also to be thank’d by Eliza’s desire for your present to her of dyed sattin, which is made into a bonnet, & I fancy surprises her by its’ good appearance.–

My Mother is preparing mourning for Mrs E.K.– she has picked her old silk pelisse to peices, & means to have it dyed black for a gown– a very interesting scheme, tho’ just now a little injured by finding that it must be placed in Mr Wren’s hands, for Mr Chambers is gone.– As for Mr Floor, he is at present rather low in our estimation; how is your blue gown?– Mine is all to peices.– I think there must have been something wrong in the dye, for in places it divided with a Touch.– There was four shillings thrown away;–to be added to my subjects of never failing regret–

We fould ourselves tricked into a thorough party at Mrs Maitlands, a quadrille & a Commerce Table, & Music in the other room.  There were two pools at Commerce, but I would not play more than one, for the Stake was three shillings, & I cannot afford to lose that, twice in an eveng— The Miss Ms. were as civil & as silly as usual.–

You know of course that Martha comes today; yesterday brought us notice of it, & the Spruce Beer is brewed in consequence.– On wednesday I had a letter from Yarmouth to desire me to send Mary’s flannels & furs &c– & as there was a packing case at hand, I could do it without any trouble.–

On Tuesday Eveng Southampton was in a good deal of alarm for about an hour; a fire broke out soon after nine at Webbes, the Pastrycook, & burnt for some time with great fury.  I cannot learn exactly how it originated, at the time it was said to be their Bakehouse, but now I hear it was in the back of their Dwelling house, & that one room was consumed.– The Flames were considerable, they seemed about as near to us as those at Lyme, & to reach higher.  One could not but feel uncomfortable, & I began to think of what I should do if it came to the worst;– happily however the night was perfectly still, the Engines were immediately in use, & before ten the fire was nearly extinguished– tho’ it was twelve before everything was considered safe, & a Guard was kept the whole night.  Our friends the Duers were alarmed, but not out of their good Sense or Benevolence.– I am afraid the Webbes have lost a great deal-more perhaps from ignorance or plunder than the Fire;–they had a large stock of valuable China, & in order to save it, it was taken from the House, & thrown down anywhere.– The adjoining House, a Toyshop, was almost equally injured– & Hibbs, whose House comes next, was so scared from his senses that he was giving away all his goods, valuable Laces &c, to anybody who wd take them.– The Croud in the High St I understand was immense; Mrs Harrison, who was drinking tea with a Lady at Millar’s, could not leave at twelve oclock.– Such are the prominent features of our fire.  Thank God! they were not worse.–

[To be continued on the following day, Saturday 8th October]

One Response to 7 October 1808 – Friday – from Castle Square

  1. Pingback: Our friends… were alarmed, but not out of their good Sense or Benevolence | QuinnTessence

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