24 May 1813 – Monday – from Sloane St

My dearest Cassandra

I am very much obliged to you for writing to me.  You must have hated it after a worrying morning.– Your Letter came just in time to save my going to Remnants, & fit me for Christian’s, where I bought Fanny’s dimity.  I went the day before (Friday) to Laytons as I proposed, & got my Mother’s gown, 7 yds at 6/6.  I then walked into No. 10, which is all dirt & confusion, but in a very promising way, & after being present at the opening of a new account to my great amusement, Henry & I went to the Exhibition in Spring Gardens.  It is not thought a good collection, but I was very well pleased– particularly (pray tell Fanny) with a small portrait of Mrs Bingley, excessively like her.  I went in hopes of seeing one of her Sister, but there was no Mrs Darcy;– perhaps however, I may find her in the Great Exhibition which we shall go to, if we have time;– I have no chance of her in the collection of Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Paintings which is now shewing in Pall Mall, & which we are also to visit.– Mrs Bingley’s is exactly herself, size, shaped face, features & sweetness; there never was a greater likeness.  She is dressed in a white gown, with green ornaments, which convinces me of what I had always supposed, that green was a favourite colour with her.  I dare say Mrs D. will be in Yellow.– Friday was our worst day as to weather, we were out in a very long & very heavy storm of hail, & there had been others before, but I heard no Thunder.– Saturday was a good deal better, dry & cold.– I gave 2/6 for the Dimity; I do not boast of any Bargains, but think both the Sarsenet & Dimity good of their sort.–

I have bought your Locket, but was obliged to give 18s for it– which must be rather more than you intended; it is neat & plain, set in gold. [Four or five words cut out]– We were to have gone to the Somerset house Exhibition on Saturday, but when I reached Henrietta Street Mr Hampson was wanted there, & Mr Tilson & I were obliged to drive about Town after him, & by the time we had done, it was too late for anything but Home.– We never found him after all.– I have been interrupted by Mrs Tilson.– Poor Woman! She is in danger of not being able to attend Lady Drummond Smiths Party tonight.  Miss Burdett was to have taken her, & now Miss Burdett has a cough & will not go.– My cousin Caroline is her sole dependance.– The events of Yesterday were, our going to Belgrave Chapel in the morng, our being prevented by the rain from going to eveng Service at St James, Mr Hampson’s calling, Messrs Barlow & Phillips dining here; & Mr & Mrs Tilson’s coming in the eveng a l’ordinaire.– She drank tea with us both Thursday & Saturday, he dined out each day, & on friday we were with them; & they wish us to go to them tomorrow eveng to meet Miss Burdett; but I do not know how it will end.  Henry talks of a drive to Hampstead, which may interfere with it.– I should like to see Miss Burdett very well, but that I am rather frightened by hearing that she wishes to be introduced to me.  If I am a wild Beast, I cannot help it.  It is not my own fault.– There is no change in our plan of leaving London, but we shall not be with you before Tuesday.  Henry thinks Monday would appear too early a day.  There is no danger of our being induced to stay longer.

I have not quite determined how I shall manage about my Cloathes, perhaps there may be only my Trunk to send by the Coach, or there may be a Bandbox with it.– I have taken your gentle hint & written to Mrs Hill.– The Hoblyns want us to dine with them, but we have refused.  When Henry returns he will be dining out a great deal I dare say; as he will then be alone, it will be more desirable;– he will be more welcome at every Table, & every Invitation more welcome to him.  He will not want either of us again till he is settled in Henrietta St.  This is my present persuasion.– And he will not be settled there, really settled, till late in the Autumn– “he will not be come to bide”, till after September.– There is a Gentleman in treaty for this house.  Gentleman himself is in the Country, but Gentleman’s friend came to see it the other day & seemed please on the whole.– Gentleman would rather prefer an increased rent to parting with five hundred Gs at once; & if that is the only difficulty, it will not be minded: Henry is indifferent as to the which.–

Get us the best weather you can for wednesday, Thursday & Friday.  We are to go to Windsor in our way to Henley, which will be a great delight.  We shall be leaving Sloane St about 12–, two or three hours after Charles’s party have begun their Journey.– You will miss them, but the comfort of getting back into your own room will be great!– & then, the Tea & Sugar!–

I fear Miss Clewes is not better, or you wd have metioned it.– I shall not write again unless I have any unexpected communication or opportunity to tempt me.– I enclose Mr Heringtons Bill & receipt.

I am very much obliged to Fanny for her Letter;– it made me laugh heartily; but I cannot pretend to answer it.  Even had I more time, I should not feel at all sure of the sort of Letter that Miss D. would write.  I hope Miss Benn is got quite well again & will have a comfortable Dinner with you today. —

Monday eveng– We have been both to the Exhibition & Sir J. Reynolds’, — and I am disappointed, for there was nothing like Mrs D. at either.– I can only imagine that Mr D. prizes any Picture of her too much to like it should be exposed to the public eye.– I can imagine he wd have that sort [of omitted] feeling– that mixture of Love, Pride & Delicacy.– Setting aside this disappointment, I had great amusement among the Pictures; & the Driving about, the Carriage been open, [sic] was very pleasant.– I liked my solitary elegance very much, & was ready to laugh all the time, at my being where I was.– I could not but feel that I had naturally small right to be parading about London in a Barouche.– Henry desires Edward may know that he has just bought 3 dozen of Claret for him (Cheap) & ordered it to be send down to Chawton.– I should not wonder if we got no farther than Reading on Thursday eveng— & so, reach Steventon only to a reasonable Dinner hour the next day;– but whatever I may write or you may imagine, we [continued below address panel] know it will be something different.– I shall be quiet tomorrow morng; all my business is done, & I shall only call again upon Mrs Hoblyn &c.– Love to your much [?redu]ced Party.– Yrs affecly,
J. Austen

Miss Austen
Chawton
By favour of
Messrs Gray & Vincent

One Response to 24 May 1813 – Monday – from Sloane St

  1. Pingback: Mrs Bingley in Green, Mrs Darcy no doubt in Yellow | QuinnTessence

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