My dearest Cassandra
Having half an hour before breakfast– (very snug, in my own room, lovely morng, excellent fire, fancy me) I will give you some account of the last two days. And yet, what is there to be told?– I shall get foolishly minute unless I cut the latter short.– We met only the Brittons at Chilham Castle, besides a Mr & Mrs Osborne & a Miss Lee staying in the House, & were only 14 altogether. My Br & Fanny thought it the pleasantest party they had ever known there & I was very well entertained by bits & scraps.– I had long wanted to see Dr Britton, & his wife amuses me very much with her affected refinement & elegance.– Miss Lee I found very conversible; she admires Crabbe as she ought.– She is at an age of reason, ten years older than myself at least. She was at the famous Ball at Chilham Castle, so of course you remember her.–
By the bye, as I must leave off being young, I find many Douceurs in being a sort of Chaperon for I am put on the Sofa near the Fire & can drink as much wine as I like. We had Music in the Eveng, Fanny & Miss Wildman played, & Mr James Wildman sat close by & listened, or pretended to listen.–
Yesterday was a day of dissipation all through, first came Sir Brook to dissipate us before breakfast– then there was a call from Mr Sherer, then a regular morng visit from Lady Honeywood in her way home from Eastwell– then Sir Brook & Edward set off– then we dined (5 in number) at 12 past 4– then we had coffee, & at 6 Miss Clewes, Fanny & I draved away. We had a beautiful night for our frisks.– We were earlier than we need have been, but after a time Lady B. & her two companions appeared, we had kept places for them & there we sat, all six in a row, under a side wall, I between Lucy Foote & Miss Clewes.– Lady B. was much what I expected, I could not determine whether she was rather handsome or very plain.– I liked her, for being in a hurry to have the Concert over & get away, & for getting away at last with a great deal of decision & promtness [sic], not waiting to compliment & dawdle & fuss about seeing dear Fanny, who was half the eveng in another part of the room with her friends the Plumptres. I am growing too minute, so I will go to Breakfast.
When the Concert was over, Mrs Harrison & I found each other out & had a very comfortable little complimentary friendly Chat. She is a sweet Woman, still quite a sweet Woman in herself, & so like her Sister!– I could almost have thought I was speaking to Mrs Lefroy.– She introduced me to her Daughter, whom I think pretty, but most dutifully inferior to La Mere Beaute. The Faggs & the Hammonds were there, Wm Hammond the only young Man of renown. Miss looked very handsome, but I prefer her little, smiling, flirting Sister Julia.– I was just introduced at last to Mary Plumptre, but should hardly know her again. She was delighted with me however, good Enthusiastic Soul!– And Lady B. found me handsomer than she expected, so you see I am not so very bad as you might think for.– It was 12 before we reached home. We were all dog-tired, but pretty well today, Miss Clewes says she has not caught cold, & Fanny’s does not seem worse. I was so tired that I began to wonder how I should get through the Ball next Thursday, but there will be so much more variety then in walking about, & probably so much less heat that perhaps I may not feel it more. My China Crape is still kept for the Ball. Enough of the Concert.–
I had a Letter from Mary Yesterday. They travelled down to Cheltenham last Monday very safely & are certainly to be there a month.– Bath is still Bath. The H. Bridges’ must quit them early next week, & Louisa seems not quite to despair of their all moving together, but to those who see at a distance there appears no chance of it.– Dr Parry does not want to keep Lady B. at Bath when she can once move. That is lucky.– You will see poor Mr Evelyn’s death.
Since I wrote last, my 2d Edit. has stared me in the face.– Mary tells me that Eliza means to buy it. I wish she may. It can hardly depend upon any more Fyfield Estates.– I cannot help hoping that many will feel themselves obliged to buy it. I shall not mind imagining it a disagreable Duty to them, so as they do it. Mary heard before she left home, that it was very much admired at Cheltenham, & that it was given to Miss Hamilton. It is pleasant to have such a respectable Writer named. I cannot tire you I am sure on this subject, or I would apologise.– What weather! & what news!– We have enough to do to admire them both. I hope You derive your full share of enjoyment from each.
I have extended my Lights & increased my acquaintance a good deal within these two days. Lady Honeywood, you know;– I did not sit near enough to be a perfect judge, but I thought her extremely pretty & her manners have all the recommendations of Ease & goodhumour & unaffectedness;– & going about with 4 Horses, & nicely dressed herself– she is altogether a perfect sort of Woman.– Oh! & I saw Mr Gipps last night– the useful Mr Gipps, whose attentions came in as acceptably to us in handing us to the Carriage, for want of a better Man, as they did to Emma Plumptre.– I thought him rather a good looking little Man.–
I long for your Letter tomorrow, particularly that I may know my fate as to London. My first wish is that Henry shd really chuse what he likes best; I shall certainly not be sorry if he does not want me.– Morning church tomorrow.– I shall come back with impatient feelings. The Sherers are gone, but the Pagets are not come, we shall therefore have Mr S. again. Mr Paget acts like an unsteady Man. Dr Mant however gives him a very good Character; what is wrong is to be imputed to the Lady.- I dare say the House likes Female Government.–
I have a nice long Black & red letter from Charles, but not communicating much that I did not know. There is some chance of a good Ball next week, as far as Females go. Lady Bridges may perhaps be there with some Knatchbulls– Mrs Harrison perhaps with Miss Oxenden & the Miss Papillons– & if Mrs Harrison, then Lady Fagg will come.
The shades of Evening are descending & I resume my interesting Narrative. Sir Brook & my Brother came back about 4, & Sir Brook almost immediately set forward again for Goodnestone.– We are to have Edwd B. tomorrow, to pay us another Sunday’s visit– the last, for more reasons than one; they all come home on the same day that we go.–
The Deedes do not come till Tuesday. Sophia is to be the Comer. She is a disputable Beauty that I want much to see. Lady Eliz. Hatton & Annamaria called here this morng;– Yes, they called,– but I do not think I can say anything more about them. They came & they sat & the went.
[To be continued on the following day, Sunday 7th November]