My dear Cassandra
I have so many little matters to tell you of, that I cannot wait any longer before I begin to put them down.- I spent tuesday in Bentinck St, the Cookes called here & took me back; & it was quite a Cooke day, for the Miss Rolles paid a visit while I was there, & Sam Arnold dropt in to tea. The badness of the weather disconcerted an excellent plan of mine, that of calling on Miss Beckford again, but from the middle of the day it rained incessantly. Mary & I, after disposing of her Father & Mother, went to the Liverpool Museum, & the British Gallery, & I had some amusement at each, tho’ my preference for Men & Women, always inclines me to attend more to the company than the sight.–
Mrs Cooke regrets very much that she did not see you when you called, it was oweing [to some] blunder among the servants, for she did not know of our visit till we were gone.– She seems tolerably well; but the nervous part of her Complaint I fear increases, & makes her more & more unwilling to part with Mary.– I have proposed to the latter that she should go to Chawton with me, on the supposition of my travelling the Guildford road– & she I do beleive, would be glad to do it, but perhaps it may be impossible; unless a Brother can be at home at that time, it certainly must.– George comes to them to day. I did not see Theo’ till late on Tuesday; he was gone to Ilford, but he came back in time to shew his usual, nothing-meaning, harmless, heartless Civility.– Henry, who had been confined the whole day to the Bank, took me in his way home; & after putting Life & Wit into the party for a quarter of an hour, put himself & his Sister into a Hackney coach.–
I bless my stars that I have done with tuesday!– but alas! Wednesday was likewise a day of great doings, for Manon & I took our walk to Grafton House, & I have a good deal to say on that subject. I am sorry to tell you that I am getting very extravagant & spending all my Money; & what is worse for you, I have been spending yours too; for in a Linendraper’s shop to which I went for check’d Muslin, & for which I was obliged to give seven shillings a yard, I was tempted by a pretty coloured muslin, & bought 10 yds of it, on the chance of your liking it;– but at the same time if it shd not suit you, you must not think yourself at all obliged to take it; it is only 3/6 pr yd, & I shd not in the least mind keeping the whole.– In texture, it is just what we prefer, but its’ resemblance to green cruels I must own is not great, for the pattern is a small red spot.–?[I took the opportunity of buying some (two words lost here) for you], & now beleive I have done all my commissions, except Wedgwood.
I liked my walk very much; it was shorter than I had expected, & the weather was delightful. We set off immediately after breakfast & must have reached Grafton House by 1/2 past 11–, but when we entered the Shop, the whole Counter was thronged, & we waited full half an hour before we cd be attended to. When we were served however, I was very well satisfied with my purchases, my Bugle Trimming at 2/4d & 3 pr silk Stockgs for a little less than 12./S. a pr—
In my way back, who shd I meet but Mr Moore, just come from Beckenham. I beleive he wd have passed me, if I had not made him stop–but we were delighted to meet. I soon found however that he had nothing new to tell me, & then I let him go.– Miss Burton has made me a very pretty little Bonnet– & now nothing can satisfy me but I must have a straw hat, of the riding hat shape, like Mrs Tilson’s; & a young woman in this Neighbourhood is actually making me one. I am really very shocking; but it will not be dear at a Guinea.– Our Pelisses are 17/S. each– she charges only 8/ for the making, but the Buttons seem expensive;– are expensive, I might have said — for the fact is plain enough.
We drank tea again yesterday with the Tilsons, & met the Smiths.– I find all these little parties very pleasant. I like Mr S. Miss Beaty is goodhumour itself, & does not seem much besides. We spend tomorrow eveng with them, & are to meet the Coln & Mrs Cantelo Smith, you have been used to hear of; & if she is in good humour, are likely to have excellent singing.– To night I might have been at the Play, Henry had kindly planned our going together to the Lyceum, but I have a cold which I shd not like to make worse before Saturday;–so, I stay within, all this day.–
Eliza is walking out by herself. She has plenty of business on her hands just now–for the day of the Party is settled, & drawing near;– above 80 people are invited for next tuesday Eveng & there is to be some very good Music, 5 professionals, 3 of them Glee-singers, besides Amateurs.– Fanny will listen to this. One of the Hirelings, is a Capital on the Harp, from which I expect great pleasure.– The foundation of the party was a dinner to Henry Egerton & Henry Walter– but the latter leaves Town the day before. I am sorry–as I wished her prejudice to be done away– but shd have been more sorry if there had been no invitation.– I am a wretch, to be so occupied with all these Things, as to seem to have no Thoughts to give to people & circumstances which really supply a far more lasting interest– the Society in which You are– but I do think of you all I assure you, & want to know all about everybody, & especially about your visit to the W. Friars; “mais le moyen” not to be occupied by one’s own concerns?–
[To be continued two days later on Saturday, 20th April]