My dearest Cassandra
You will have had such late accounts from this place as (I hope) to prevent your expecting a Letter from me immediately, as I really do not think I have wherewithal to fabricate one to day. I suspect this will be brought to you by our nephews, tell me if it is.– It is a great pleasure to me to think of you with Henry, I am sure your time must pass most comfortably & I trust you are seeing improvement in him every day.– I shall be most happy to hear from you again. Your Saturday’s Letter however was quite as long & as particular as I could expect.– I am not at all in a humour for writing; I must write on till I am.–
I congratulate Mr Tilson & hope everything is going on well. Fanny & I depend upon knowing what the Childs name is to be, as soon as you can tell us. I guess Caroline.– Our Gentlemen are all gone to their Sittingbourn Meeting, East & West Kent in one Barouche together–rather– West Kent driving East Kent.– I beleive that is not the usual way of the County. We breakfasted before 9 & do not dine till 1/2 past 6 on the occasion, so I hope we three shall have a long Morning enough.–
Mr Deedes & Sir Brook — I do not care for Sir Brook’s being a Baronet I will put Mr Deedes first because I like him a great deal the best — they arrived together yesterday — for the Bridges’ are staying at Sandling– just before dinner;– both Gentlemen much as they used to be, only growing a little older. They leave us tomorrow.–
You were clear of Guildford by half an hour & were winding along the pleasant road to Ripley when the Charleses set off on friday.– I hope we shall have a visit from them at Chawton in the Spring, or early part of the Summer. They seem well inclined.– Cassy had recovered her Looks almost entirely & I find they do not consider the Namur as disagreeing with her in general– only when the weather is so rough as to make her sick.–
Our Canterbury scheme took place as proposed & very pleasant it was, Harriot & I & little George within, my Brother on the Box with the Master Coachman.– I was most happy to find my Br included in the party, it was a great improvement, & he & Harriot & I walked about together very happily while Mr Moore took his little boy with him to Taylors & Haircutters.– Our cheif Business was to call on mrs Milles, & we had indeed so little else to do that we were obliged to saunter about anywhere & go backwards & forwards as much as possible to make out the Time & keep ourselves from having two hours to sit with the good Lady.
A most extraordinary circumstance in a Canterbury Morng— Old Toke came in while we were paying our visit. I thought of Louisa.– Miss Milles was queer as usual & provided us with plenty to laugh at. She undertook in three words to give us the history of Mrs Scudamore’s reconciliation, & then talked on about it for half an hour, using such odd expressions & so foolishly minute that I could hardly keep my countenance.– The death of Wyndham Knatchbull’s son will rather supersede the Scudamores. I told her that he was to be buried at Hatch.– She had heard, with military Honours at Portsmouth.– We may guess at how that point will be discussed, evening after evening.–
Oweing to a difference of Clocks, the Coachman did not bring the Carriage so soon as he ought by half an hour;– anything like a breach of punctuality was a great offence– & Mr Moore was very angry– which I was rather glad of– I wanted to see him angry– & though he spoke to his Servant in a very loud voice & with a good deal of heat I was happy to perceive that he did not scold Harriot at all. Indeed there is nothing to object to in his manners to her, & I do beleive that he makes her–or she makes herself– very happy.– They do not spoil their Boy.–
It seems now quite settled that we go to Wrotham on Saturday ye 13th, spend Sunday there, & proceed to London on Monday, as before intended.– I like the plan, I shall be glad to see Wrotham.– Harriot is quite as pleasant as ever; we are very comfortable together, & talk over our Nephews & Neices occasionally as may be supposed, & with much Unanimity– & I really like Mr M. better than I expected– see less in him to dislike.–
I begin to perceive that you will have this Letter tomorrow. It is throwing a Letter away to send it by a visitor, there is never convenient time for reading it– & Visitor can tell most things as well.– I had thought with delight of saving you the postage–but Money is Dirt.– If you do not regret the loss of Oxfordshire & Gloucestershire I will not– tho’ I certainly had wished for your going very much. “Whatever is, is best.”– There has been one infallible Pope in the World.–
George Hatton called yesterday– & I saw him– saw him for 10 minutes– sat in the same room with him– heard him talk– saw him Bow– & was not in raptures.– I discerned nothing extraordinary.– I should speak of him as a Gentlemanlike young Man– eh! bien tout est dit. We are expecting the Ladies of the Family this morng.–
How do you like your flounce?– We have seen only plain flounces.– I hope you have not cut off the train of your Bombasin. I cannot reconcile myself to giving them up as Morning gowns– they are so very sweet by Candle light.– I would rather sacrifice my Blue one for that purpose;– in short, I do not know, & I do not care.– Thursday or Friday are now mentioned from Bath as the day of setting off. The Oxford scheme is given up.– They will go diretly to Harefield–
Fanny does not go to Fredville, not yet at least. She has had a Letter of excuse from Mary Plumptre to day. The death of Mr Ripley, their uncle by Marriage & Mr P’s very old friend, prevents their receiving her.– Poor Blind Mr Ripley must be felt for, if there is any feeling to be had for Love or Money.
We have had another of Edward Bridges’ Sunday visits.– I think the pleasantest part of his married Life, must be the Dinners & Breakfasts & Luncheons & Billiards that he gets in this way at Gm. Poor Wretch! He is quite the Dregs of the Family as to Luck.–
I long to know whether you are buying Stockings or what you are doing. Remember me most kindly to Mde B. & Mrs Perigord.– You will get acquainted with my friend Mr Philips & hear him talk from Books– & be sure to have something odd happen to you, see somebody that you do not expect, meet with some surprise or other, find some old friend sitting with Henry when you come into the room.– Do something clever in that way.– Edwd & I settled that you went to St Paul’s Covent Garden, on Sunday.– Mrs Hill will come & see you– or else she wont come & see you, & will write instead.– I have had a late account from Steventon, & a baddish one, as far as Ben is concerned.– He has declined a [continued below address panel] Curacy (apparently highly eligible) which he might have secured against his taking orders– & upon its’ being made rather a serious question, says he has not made up his mind as to taking orders so early– & that if her Father makes a point of it, he must give Anna up rather than do what he does not approve.– He must be maddish. They are going on again [continued upside down at top of p1] as before– but it cannot last.– Mary says that Anna is very unwilling to go to Chawton & will get home again as soon as she can.– Good bye. Accept this indifferent Letter & think it Long & Good.– Miss Clewes is better for some prescription of Mr Scudamores & indeed seems tolerably stout now.– I find time in the midst of Port & Madeira to think of the 14 Bottles of Mead very often.– Yours very affecly, J.A.
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Lady Elizabeth her second Daughter & the two Mrs Finches have just left us.– The two Latter friendly & talking & pleasant as usual.
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Harriot & Fanny’s best Love.–
10, Henrietta Street