My dearest Cassandra
Thank you five hundred & forty times for the exquisite peice of Workmanship which was brought into the room this morng, while we were at breakfast– with some very inferior works of art in the same way, & which I read with high glee– much delighted with everything it told whether good or bad.– It is so rich in striking intelligence that I hardly know what to reply to first. I beleive Finery must have it.
I am extremely glad you like the Poplin, I thought it would have my Mother’s approbation, but was not so confident of yours. Remember that it is a present. Do not refuse me. I am very rich.–
Mrs Clement is very welcome to her little Boy & to my Congratulations into the bargain, if ever you think of giving them. I hope she will do well.– Her sister in Lucina, Mrs H. Gipps does too well we think;– Mary P. wrote on Sunday that she had been three days on the Sofa. Sackree does not approve it.– How can Mrs J. Austen be so provokingly ill-judging?– I should have expected better from her professed if not her real regard for my Mother. Now my Mother will be unwell again. Every fault in Ben’s blood does harm to hers, & every dinner-invitation he refuses will give her an Indigestion.–
Well, there is some comfort in the Mrs Hulberts not coming to you– & I am happy to hear of the Honey.– I was thinking of it the other day.– Let me know when you begin the new Tea– & the new white wine.– My present Elegancies have not yet made me indifferent to such Matters. I am still a Cat if I see a Mouse.– I am glad you like our caps– but Fanny is out of conceit with hers already; she finds that she has been buying a new cap without having a new pattern, which is true enough.– She is rather out of luck, to like neither her gown nor her Cap– but I do not much mind it, because besides that I like them both myself, I consider it as a thing of course at her time of Life– one of the sweet taxes of Youth to chuse in a hurry & make bad bargains.–
I wrote to Charles yesterday, & Fanny has had a letter from him to day, principally to make enquiries about the time of their visit here, to which mine was an answer before-hand; so he will probably write again soon to fix his week.– I am best pleased that Cassy does not go to you.–
Now, what have we been doing since I wrote last? The Mr Ks came a little before dinner on Monday, & Edwd went to the Church with the two Seniors– but there is no Inscription yet drawn up. They are very goodnatured you know & civil & all that– but are not particularly superfine; however, they ate their dinner & drank their Tea & went away, leaving their lovely Wadham in our arms– & I wish you had seen Fanny & me running backwards & forwards with his Breeches from the little chintz to the White room before we went to bed, in the greatest of frights lest he should come upon us before we had done it all.– There had been a mistake in the Housemaids Preparations & they were gone to bed. He seems a very harmless sort of young Man– nothing to like or dislike in him;– goes out shooting or hunting with the two others all the morng.– & plays at whist & makes queer faces in the eveng.–
On Tuesday the Carriage was taken to the Painters;– at one time Fanny & I were to have gone in it, cheifly to call on Mrs C. Milles & Moy— but we found that they were going for a few days to Sandling & wd not be at home;– therefore my Brother & Fanny went to Eastwell in the chair instead. While they were gone the Nackington Milles’ called & left their cards.– Nobody at home at Eastwell.– We hear a great deal of Geo. H.’s wretchedness. I suppose he has quick feelings– but I dare say they will not kill him.– He is so much out of spirits however that his friend John Plumptre is gone over to comfort him, at Mr Hatton’s desire; he called here this morng. in his way. A handsome young Man certainly, with quiet, gentlemanlike manners.– I set him down as sensible rather than Brilliant.– There is nobody Brilliant nowadays.– He talks of staying a week at Eastwell & then comes to Chilham Cas: for a day or two, & my Br invited him to come here afterwards, which he seemed very agreable to.–
“T’is Night & the Landscape is lovely no more”, but to make amends for that, our visit to the Tyldens is over. My Brother, Fanny, Edwd & I went; Geo: staid at home with W.K. — There was nothing entertaining, or out of the common way. We met only Tyldens & double Tyldens. A Whist Table for the Gentlemen, a grown-up musical young Lady to play Backgammon with Fanny, & engravings of the Colleges at Cambridge for me. In the morng. we returned Mrs Sherer’s visit.– I like Mr S. very much. —
Well, I have not half done yet; I am not come up with myself.– My Br drove Fanny to Nackington & Canty yesterday, & while they were gone the Faggs paid their duty.– Mary Oxenden is staying at Canty with the Blairs, & Fanny’s object was to see her.– The Deedes’ want us to come to Sandling for a few days, or at least a day & night;– at present Edwd does not seem well affected– he wd rather not be asked to go anywhere– but I rather expect he will be persuaded to go for the one day & night.
I read him the cheif of your Letter, he was interested & pleased as he ought, & will be happy to hear from you himself.– Your finding so much comfort from his Cows gave him evident pleasure.– I wonder Henry did not go down on Saturday;– he does not in general fall within a doubtful Intention.– My face is very much as it was before I came away– for the first two or three days it was rather worse– I caught a small cold in my way down & had some pain every eveng— not to last long, but rather severer than it had been lately. This has worn off however & I have scarcely felt any thing for the last two days.–
Sackree is pretty well again, only weak;– much obliged to you for your message &c;– it was very true that she bless’d herself the whole time that the pain was not in her Stomach.– I read all the scraps I could of your Letter to her. She seemed to like it– & says she shall always like to hear anything of Chawton now — & I am to make you Miss Clewes’s assurance to the same effect, with Thanks & best respects &c.– The girls are much disturbed at Mary Stacey’s not admitting Dame L: — Miss C. & I are sorry but not angry;– we acknowledge Mary Stacey’s right & can suppose her to have reason.–
Oh!– the Church must have looked very forlorn. We all thought of the empty Pew.– How Bentigh is grown!– & the Canty-Hills-Plantation!– And the Improvements within are very great.– I admire the Chintz room very much.– We live in the Library except at Meals & have a fire every Eveng— The weather is set about changing;– we shall have a settled wet season soon. I must go to bed.
[To be continued on the following day, Friday 24th September]