14 October 1813 – Thursday – from Godmersham

My dearest Cassandra

Now I will prepare for Mr Lushington, & as it will be wisest also to prepare for his not coming or my not getting a frank I shall write very close from the first & even leave room for the seal in the proper place.– When I have followed up my last with this, I shall feel somewhat less unworthy of you than the state of our Correspondence now requires.  I left off in a great hurry to prepare for our morng visits– of course was ready a good deal the first, & need not have hurried so much — Fanny wore her new gown & cap.– I was surprised to find Mystole so pretty.  The Ladies were at home; I was in luck, & saw Lady Fagg & all her five Daughters, with an old Mrs Hamilton from Canty & Mrs & Miss Chapman from Margate into the Bargain.– I never saw so plain a family, five sisters so very plain!– They are as plain as the Foresters or the Franfraddops or the Seagraves or the Rivers’ excluding Sophy.– Miss Sally Fagg has a pretty figure, & that comprises all the good Looks of the family.–

It was stupidish; Fanny did her part very well, but there was a lack of Talk altogether, & the three friends in the House only sat by & looked at us.– However Miss Chapman’s name is Laura & she had a double flounce to her gown.– You really must get some flounces.  Are not some of your large stock of white morng gowns just in a happy state for a flounce, too short?–

Nobody at home at either House in Chilham.– Edward Bridges & his friend did not forget to arrive.  The friend is a Mr Wigram, one of the three & twenty Children of a great rich mercantile Sir Robert Wigram, an old acquaintance of the Footes, but very recently known to Edwd B.– The history of his coming here, is that intending to go from Ramsgate to Brighton, Edw: B. persuaded him to take Lenham in his way, which gave him the convenience of Mr W.’s gig & the comfort of not being alone there; but probably thinking a few days of Gm would be the cheapest & pleasantest way of entertaining his friend & himself, offered a visit here, & here they stay till tomorrow.  Mr W. is about 5 or 6 & 20, not ill-looking & not agreable.– He is certainly no addition.– A sort of cool, gentlemanlike manner, but very silent.– They say his name is Henry.  A proof how unequally the gifts of Fortune are bestowed.– Have seen many a John & Thomas much more agreable.–

We have got rid of Mr R. Mascall however;– I did not like him either. He talks too much & is conceited– besides having a vulgarly shaped mouth.  He slept here on Tuesday; so that yesterday Fanny & I sat down to breakfast with six gentlemen to admire us.– We did not go to the Ball.- It was left to her to decide, & at last she determined against it.  She knew that it would be a sacrifice on the part of her Father & Brothers if they went — & I hope it will prove that she has not sacrificed much.– It is not likely that there shd have been anybody there, whom she wd care for.– I was very glad to be spared the trouble of dressing & going & being weary before it was half over, so my gown & my cap are still unworn.– It will appear at last perhaps that I might have done without either.–

I produced my Brown Bombasin yesterday & it was very much admired indeed– & I like it better than ever:– You have given many particulars of the state of Chawton House, but still we want more.– Edward wants to be expressly told that all the Round Tower &c. is entirely down, & the door from the Best room stopt up;– he does not know enough of the appearance of things in that quarter.– He heard from Bath yesterday.  Lady B. continues very well & Dr Parry’s opinion is that while the Water agrees with her she ought to remain there, which throws their coming away at a greater Uncertainty than we had supposed.– It will end perhaps in a fit of the Gout which may prevent her coming away.– Louisa thinks her Mother’s being so well may be quite as much oweing to her being so much out of doors, as to the Water.– Lady B. is going to try the Hot pump, the Cross Bath being about to be painted.– Louisa is particularly well herself, & thinks the Water has been of use to her.– She mentioned our enquiries &c. to Mr & Mrs Alex: Evelyn, & had their best Compts & Thanks to give in return.– Dr Parry does not expect Mr E. to last much longer.–

Only think of Mrs Holder’s being dead!– Poor woman, she has done the only thing in the World she could possibly do, to make one cease to abuse her.– Now if you please, Hooper must have it in his power to do more by his Uncle.– Lucky for the little girl! — An Anne Ekins can hardly be so unfit for the care of a Child as a Mrs Holder.

A letter from Wrotham yesterday, offering an early visit here;– & Mr & Mrs Moore & one Child are to come on Monday for 10 days.– I hope Charles & Fanny may not fix the same time — but if they come at all in October they must.  What is the use of hoping?– The two parties of Children is the cheif Evil.  To be sure, here we are, the very thing has happened, or rather worse, a Letter from Charles this very morng which gives us reason to suppose they may come here to day.  It depends upon the weather, & the weather now is very fine.– No difficulties are made however & indeed there will be no want of room, but I wish there were no Wigrams & Lushingtons in the way to fill up the Table & make us such a motley set.– I cannot spare Mr Lushington either because of his frank, but Mr Wigram does no good to anybody.– I cannot imagine how a Man can have the impudence to come into a Family party for three days, where he is quite a stranger, unless he knows himself to be agreable on undoubted authority.–

He & Edw. B. are going to ride to Eastwell — & as the Boys are hunting & my Br is gone to Canty Fanny & I have a quiet morng before us.  Edward has driven off poor Mrs Salkeld.– It was thought a good opportunity of doing something towards clearing the house.– By her own desire Mrs Fanny is to be put in the room next the Nursery, her Baby in a little bed by her;– & as Cassy is to have the Closet within & Betsey William’s little Hole they will be all very snug together.– I shall be most happy to see dear Charles, & he will be as happy as he can with a cross Child or some such care pressing on him at the time.– I should be very happy in the idea of seeing little Cassy again too, did not I fear she wd disappoint me by some immediate disagreableness.–

We had the good old original Brett & Toke calling here yesterday, separately.– Mr Toke I am always very fond of.  He enquired after you & my Mother, which adds Esteem to Passion.– The Charles Cages are staying at Godington.– I knew they must be staying somewhere soon.– Ed: Hussey is warned out of Pett, & talks of fixing at Ramsgate.– Bad Taste!– He is very fond of the Sea however;– some Taste in that — & some Judgement too in fixing on Ramsgate, as being by the Sea.–

The Comfort of the Billiard Table here is very great.– It draws all the Gentlemen to it whenever they are within, especially after dinner, so that my Br Fanny & I have the Library to ourselves in delightful quiet.–

There is no truth in the report of G. Hatton being to marry Miss Wemyss. He desired it may be contradicted.– Have you done anything about our Present to Miss Benn?– I suppose she must have a bed at my Mothers whenever she dines there.– How will they manage as to inviting her when you are gone?– & if they invite how they will contrive to entertain her?– Let me know as many of your parting arrangements as you can, as to Wine &c.– I wonder whether the Ink bottle has been filled.– Does Butcher’s meat keep up at the same price? & is not Bread lower than 2/6.– Mary’s blue gown!– My Mother must be in agonies.– I have a great mind to have my blue gown dyed some time or other — I proposed it once to you & you made some objection, I forget what.– It is the fashion of flounces that gives it particular Expediency.–

Mrs & Miss Wildman have just been here.  Miss is very plain.  I wish Lady B. may be returned before we leave Gm that Fanny may spend the time of her Father’s absence, at Goodnestone, which is what she would prefer.–

[To be continued on the following day, Friday 15th October]

One Response to 14 October 1813 – Thursday – from Godmersham

  1. Pingback: I ask, what am I to do with my Gratitude? — I can do nothing but thank you & go on. | QuinnTessence

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