20 May 1813 – Thursday – from Sloane St, London

My dear Cassandra

Before I say anything else, I claim a paper full of Halfpence on the Drawingroom Mantlepeice; & put them there myself & forgot to bring them with me.– I cannot say that I have yet been in any distress for Money, but I chuse to have my due as well as the Devil.– How lucky we were in our weather yesterday!– This wet morning makes one more sensible of it.  We had no rain of any consequence; the head of the Curricle was put half-up three or four times, but our share of the Showers was very trifling, though they seemed to be heavy all round us, when we were on the Hog’s-back; & I fancied it might then be raining so hard at Chawton as to make you feel for us much more than we deserved.–

Three hours & a qr took us to Guildford, where we staid barely two hours, & had only just time enough for all we had to do there, that is, eating a long comfortable Breakfast, watching the Carriages, paying Mr Herington & taking a little stroll afterwards.  From some veiws which that stroll gave us, I think most highly of the situation of Guildford.  We wanted all our Brothers & Sisters to be standing with us in the Bowling Green & looking towards Horsham.– I told Mr Herington of the Currants; he seemed equally surprised & shocked, & means to talk to the Man who put them up.  I wish you may find the Currants any better for it.– He does not expect Sugars to fall.–

I was very lucky in my gloves, got them at the first shop I went to, though I went into it rather because it was near than because it looked at all like a glove shop, & gave only four Shillings for them; — upon hearing which, every body at Chawton will be hoping & predicting that they cannot be good for anything, & their worth certainly remains to be proved, but I think they look very well.–

We left Guildford at 20 minutes before 12 — (I hope somebody cares for these minutiae) & were at Esher in about 2 hours more.– I was very much pleased with the Country in general–; — between Guildford & Ripley I thought it particularly pretty, also about Painshill & every where else; & from a Mr Spicer’s Grounds at Esher which we walked into before our dinner, the veiws were beautiful.  I cannot say what we did not see, but I should think there could not be a Wood or a Meadow or a Palace or a remarkable spot in England that was not spread out before us, on one side or the other.–

Claremont is going to be sold, a Mr Ellis has it now;– it is a House that seems never to have prospered.– At 3, we were dining upon veal cutlets & cold ham, all very good–; & after dinner we walked forward, to be overtaken at the Coachman’s time, & before he did overtake us we were very near Kingston.– I fancy it was about 1/2 past 6 when we reached this house, a 12 hours Business, & the Horses did not appear more than reasonably tired.  I was very tired too, & very glad to get to bed early, but am quite well to-day.  Upon the whole it was an excellent Journey & very thoroughly enjoyed by me;– the weather was delightful the greatest part of the day, Henry found it too warm & talked of its’ being close sometimes, but to my capacity it was perfection.– I never saw the Country from the Hogsback so advantageously.– We ate 3 of the Buns in the course of that stage, the remaining 3 made an elegant entertainment for Mr & Mrs Tilson who drank tea with us.–

Now, little Cass & her attendant are travelling down to Chawton;– I wish the day were brighter for them.  If Cassy should have intended to take any sketches while the others dine, she will hardly be able.– How will you distinguish the two Betsies?– Mrs Perigord arrived a 1/2 past 3 — & is pretty well, & her Mother, for her, seems quite well.  She sat with me while I breakfasted this morng — talking of Henrietta Street, servants & Linen, & is too busy in preparing for the future, to be out of spirits.– If I can, I shall call by & bye on Mrs Hoblyn & Charlotte Craven; Mrs Tilson is going out, which prevents my calling on her, but I beleive we are to drink tea with her.– Henry talks of our going to the Water-coloured Exhibition tomorrow, & of my calling for him in Henrietta St–; if I do, I shall take the opportunity of getting my Mother’s gown–; so, by 3 o’clock in the afternoon she may consider herself the owner of 7 yds of Bk Sarsenet as completely as I hope Martha finds herself of a 16th of the £20,000.–

I am very snug with the front Drawingroom all to myself & would not say “Thank you” for any companion but You.  The quietness of it does me good.– Henry & I are disposed to wonder that the Guildford road should not be oftener preferred to the Bagshot, it is not longer, has much more beauty & not more hills.– If I were Charles, I should chuse it; & having him in our thoughts we made enquiries at Esher as to their posting distances.– From Guildford to Esher 14 miles, from Esher to Hyde Park corner 15 — which makes it exactly the same as from Bagshot to H.P. corner, changing at Bedfont, 49 miles altogether, each way.–

I have contrived to pay my two visits, though the weather made me a great while about it, & left me only a few minutes to sit with C.C.– She looks very well & her hair is done up with an elegance to do credit to any Education.  Her manners are as unaffected & pleasing as ever.– She had heard from her Mother today.– Mrs Craven spends another fortnight at Chilton.– I saw nobody but Charlotte, which pleased me best.– I was shewn up stairs into a Drawg room, where she came to me, & the appearance of the room, so totally un-school-like, amused me very much.  It was full of all [continued below address panel] the modern Elegancies– & if it had not been for some naked Cupids over the Mantlepeice, which must be a fine study for Girls, one should never have Smelt Instruction.

Mrs Perigord desires her Duty to all the Ladies.– Yrs very affecly
J.A.–

Miss Austen
Chawton
Alton
Hants

One Response to 20 May 1813 – Thursday – from Sloane St, London

  1. Pingback: I hope somebody cares for these minutiae | QuinnTessence

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