Here I am, my dearest Cassandra, seated in the Breakfast, Dining, sitting room, beginning with all my might. Fanny will join me as soon as she is dressed & begin her Letter. We had a very good journey– Weather & roads excellent– the three first stages for 1s-6d– & our only misadventure the being delayed about a qr of an hour at Kingston for Horses, & being obliged to put up with a pr belonging to a Hackney Coach & their Coachman, which left no room on the Barouche Box for Lizzy, who was to have gone her last stage there as she did the first;– consequently we were all 4 within, which was a little crowd;– We arrived at a qr past 4 — & were kindly welcomed by the Coachman, & then by his Master, and then by Wm, & then by Mrs Perigord, who all met us before we reached the foot of the Stairs. Mde Bigeon was below dressing us a most comfortable dinner of Soup, Fish, Bouillee, Partridges & an apple Tart, which we sat down to soon after 5, after cleaning & dressing ourselves & feeling that we were most commodiously disposed of.– The little adjoining Dressing-room to our apartment makes Fanny & myself very well off indeed, & as we have poor Eliza’s bed our space is ample every way.– Sace arrived safely about 1/2 past 6. At 7 we set off in a Coach for the Lyceum — were at home again in about 4 hours and 1/2– had Soup & wine & water, & then went to our Holes. Edward finds his quarters very snug & quiet.– I must get a softer pen.– This is harder. I am in agonies.– I have not yet seen Mr Crabbe.– Martha’s Letter is gone to the Post.–
I am going to write nothing but short Sentences. There shall be two full stops in every Line. Layton and Shear’s is Bedford House. We mean to get there before breakfast if it’s possible. For we feel more & more how much we have to do. And how little time. This house looks very nice. It seems like Sloane St moved here. I believe Henry is just rid of Sloane St— Fanny does not come, but I have Edward seated by me beginning a Letter, which looks natural.
Henry has been suffering from the pain in the face which he has been subject to before. He caught cold at Matlock, & since his return has been paying a little for past pleasure.– It is nearly removed now — but he looks thin in the face– either from the pain, or the fatigues of his Tour, which must have been great.
Lady Robert is delighted with P. & P.- and really was so as I understand before she knew who wrote it — for, of course, she knows now.– He told her with as much satisfaction as if it were my wish. He did not tell me this, but he told Fanny. And Mr Hastings — I am quite delighted with what such a Man writes about it.– Henry sent him the Books after his return from Daylesford–but you will hear the Letter too.
Let me be rational & return to my two full stops.
I talked to Henry at the Play last night. We were in a private Box — Mr Spencer’s — Which made it much more pleasant. The Box is directly on the Stage. One is infinitely less fatigued than in the common way.– But Henry’s plans are not what one could wish. He does not mean to be at Chawton till ye 29.– He must be in town again by Octr 5.– His plan is to get a couple of days of Pheasant Shooting and then return directly; his wish was to bring you back with him. I have told him your scruples.– He wishes you to suit yourself as to time. And if you cannot come till later, will send for you at any time, as far as Bagshot.– He presumed you wd not find difficulty in getting so far. I cd not say you would. He proposed your going with him into Oxfordshire. It was his own thought at first. I could not but catch at it for you.
We have talked of it again this morning (for now we have breakfasted), and I am convinced that if you can make it suit in other respects you need not scruple on his account. If you cannot come back with him on ye 3d or 4th, therefore, I do hope you will contrive to go to Adlestrop.– By not beginning your absence till about the middle of this month I think you may manage it very well. But you will think all this over. One cd wish he had intended to come to you earlier, but it cannot be helped.
I said nothing to him of Mrs H. & Miss B– that he might not suppose Difficulties. Shall not you put them into our own Room? This seems to me the best plan– & the Maid will be most conveniently near.
Oh, dear me, when I shall ever have done? We did go to Layton & Shear’s before Breakfast. Very pretty English poplins at 4.3– Irish Do at 6.0– more pretty certainly — beautiful.–
Fanny & the two little girls are gone to take Places for tonight at Covent Garden; Clandestine Marriage & Midas. The latter will be a fine show for L. & M.– They revelled last night in Don Juan, whom we left in Hell at 1/2 past 11.– We had Scaramouch & a Ghost– and were delighted;– I speak of them; my delight was very tranquil, & the rest of us were sober-minded. Don Juan was the last of 3 musical things; — Five hours at Brighton, in 3 acts– of which one was over before arrived, none the worse– & The Beehive, rather less flat & trumpery.
I have this moment received £5 from kind, beautiful Edward. Fanny has a similar Gift. I shall save what I can of it for your better leisure in this place. My Letter was from Miss Sharpe.– Nothing particular.– A letter from Fanny Cage this morning.
4 o’clock.– We are just come back from doing Mrs Tickars, Miss Hare, and Mr Spence. Mr Hall is here; & while Fanny is under his hands, I will try to write a little more.
Miss Hare had some pretty caps, and is to make me one like one of them, only white sattin instead of blue. It will be white sattin and lace, and a little white flower perking out of the left ear, like Harriot Byron’s feather. I have allowed her to go as far as £1-16. My Gown is to be trimmed everywhere with white ribbon plaited on, somehow or other. She says it will look well. I am not sanguine. They trim with white very much.
I learnt from Mrs Tickars’s young Lady, to my high amusement, that the stays now are not made to force the Bosom up at all;– that was a very unbecoming, unnatural fashion. I was really glad to hear that they are not to be so much off the shoulders as they were.
Going to Mr Spence’s was a sad Business & cost us many tears, unluckily we were obliged to go a 2d time before he could do more than just look:– we went 1st at 1/2 past 12 and afterwards at 3. Papa with us each time– &, alas! we are to go again to-morrow. Lizzy is not finished yet. There have been no Teeth taken out however, nor will be I believe, but he finds hers in a very bad state, & seems to think particularly ill of their Durableness.– They have been all cleaned, hers filed, and are to be filed again. There is a very sad hole between two of her front Teeth.
This not seeing much of Henry. I have just seen him however for 3 minutes, & have read him the Extract from Mrs F.A.’s Letter– & he says he will write to Mrs F.A. about it, & he has no doubt of being attended to as he knows they feel themselves obliged to him.– Perhaps you may see him on Saturday next. He has just started such an idea. But it will be only for a couple of days.
[To be continued on the following day, Thursday 16th September]