By this time my dearest Cassandra, you know Martha’s plans. I was rather disappointed I confess to find that she could not leave Town till after ye 24th, as I had hoped to see you here the week before. The delay however is not great, & everything seems generally arranging itself for your return very comfortably. I found Henry perfectly pre-disposed to bring you to London if agreable to yourself; he has not fixed his day for going into Kent, but he must be back again before ye 20th.– You may therefore think with something like certainty of the close of your Godmersham visit, & will have I suppose about a week for Sloane St. He travels in his Gig — & should the weather be tolerable, I think you must have a delightful Journey.– I have given up all idea of Miss Sharpe’s travelling with You & Martha, for tho’ you are both all compliance with my scheme, yet as you knock off a week from the end of her visit, & Martha rather more from the beginning, the thing is out of the question.– Have written to her to say that after the middle of July we shall be happy to receive her– & I have added a welcome if she could make her way hither directly; but I do not expect that she will.– I have also sent our invitation to Cowes.–
We are very sorry for the disappointment you have all had in Lady B.’s illness;– but a division of the proposed party is with you by this time, & I hope may have brought you a better account of the rest.– Give my Love & Thanks to Harriot;– who has written me charming things of your looks, & diverted me very much by poor Mrs C. Milles’s continued perplexity.– I had a few lines from Henry on Tuesday to prepare us for himself & his friend, & by the time that I had made the sumptuous provision of a neck of Mutton on the occasion, they drove into the Court– but lest you should not immediately recollect in how many hours a neck of Mutton may be certainly procured, I add that they came a little after twelve– both tall, & well, & in their different degrees, agreable.– It was a visit of only 24 hours– but very pleasant while it lasted.– Mr Tilson took a sketch of the Great House before dinner;– & after dinner we all three walked to Chawton Park, meaning to go into it, but it was too dirty, & we were obliged to keep on the oustide. Mr Tilson admired the Trees very much, but greived that they should not be turned into money.– My mother’s cold is better, & I beleive she only wants dry weather to be very well. It was a great distress to her that Anna shd be absent, during her Uncle’s visit– a distress which I could not share– She does not return from Faringdon till the eveng– & I doubt not, has had plenty of the miscellaneous, unsettled sort of happiness, which seems to suit her best. We hear from Miss Benn, who was on the Common with the Prowtings, that she was very much admired by the Gentlemen in general.–
I like your new Bonnets exceedingly, yours is a shape which always looks well, & I think Fanny’s particlarly becoming to her.– On Monday I had the pleasure of receiving, unpacking & approved our Wedgwood ware. It all came very safely, & upon the whole is a good match, tho’ I think they might have allowed us rather larger leaves, especially in such a Year of fine foliage as this. One is apt to suppose that the Woods about Birmingham must be blighted.– There was no Bill with the Goods — but that shall not screen them from being paid. I mean to ask Martha to settle the account. It will be quite in her way, for she is just now sending my Mother a Breakfast set, from the same place. I hope it will come by the Waggon tomorrow; it is certainly what we want, & I long to know what it is like; & as I am sure Martha has great pleasure in making the present, I will not have any regret. We have considerable dealings with the Waggons at present; a Hamper of Port & Brandy from Southampton, is now in the Kitchen– Your answer about the Miss Plumtrees, proves you as fine a Daniel as ever Portia was;– for I maintained Emma to be the eldest.– We began Pease on Sunday, but our gatherings are very small – not at all like the Gathering in the Lady of the Lake.– Yesterday I had the agreable surprise of finding several scarlet strawberries quite ripe; — had You been at home, this would have been a pleasure lost. There are more Gooseberries & fewer Currants than I thought at first.– We must buy currants for our Wine.–
The Digweeds are gone down to see the Stephen Terrys at Southampton, & catch the Kings birthday at Portsmouth. Miss Papillon called on us yesterday, looking handsomer than ever.– Maria Middleton & Miss Benn dine here tomorrow. We are not to enclose any more Letters to Abingdon St as perhaps Martha has told you.
I had just left off writing & put on my Things for walking to Alton, when Anna & her friend Harriot called in their way thither, so we went together. Their business was to provide mourning, against the King’s death; & my mother has had a Bombasin bought for her.– I am not sorry to be back again, for the young Ladies had a great deal to do — & without much method in doing it.– Anna does not come home till tomorrow morng — She has written I find to Fanny — but there does not seem to be a great deal to relate of Tuesday. I had hoped there might be Dancing.– Mrs Budd died on Sunday Eveng. I saw her two days before her death & thought it must happen soon. She suffered much from weakness & restlessness almost to the last. Poor little Harriot seems truely grieved. You have never mentioned Harry. How is he?
With love to you all, Yrs affecly
Edw. Austen’s Esqre