This will be a quick return for yours, my dear Cassandra; I doubt its’ having much else to recommend it, but there is no saying, it may turn out to be a very long, delightful Letter. What a day was yesterday! How many impatient, grumbling spirits must have been confined!– We felt for you–I could think of nothing to amuse you but packing up your cloathes. My Mother was quite in distress about Edward & Anna, & will not be quite comfortable till she knows how their Journeys were settled.– In a few hours You will be transported to Manydown–& then for Candour & Comfort & Coffee & Cribbage.– Perhaps it will be your last visit there. — While I think of it, give my Love to Alethea (Alethea first, mind, she is Mistress) & Mrs Heathcote– & kind remembrance to Miss Charlotte Williams. Only think of your having at last the honour of seeing that wonder of wonders her elder Sister!–
We are very sorry for what you tell us of Deane. If Mrs Heathcote does not marry & comfort him now, I shall think she is a Maria & has no heart.– Really, either she or Alethea must marry him, or where he is [sic] to look for Happiness?–
I am exceedingly pleased that you can say what you do, after having gone thro’ the whole work–& Fanny’s praise is very gratifying;– my hopes were tolerably strong of her, but nothing like a certainty. Her liking Darcy & Elizth is enough. She might hate all the others, if she would. I have her opinion under her own hand this morning, but your Transcript of it which I read first, was not & is not the less acceptable.– To me, it is of course all praise–but the more exact truth which she sends you is good enough.–
We are to see the Boys for a few hours this day se’night–& I am to order a Chaise for them-which I propose 5 o’clock for, & having a 3 o’clock dinner.– I am sorry to find that Sackree was worse again when Fanny wrote; she had been seized the night before with a violent shivering & Fever, & was still so ill as to alarm Fanny, who was writing from her room.– Miss Clewes seems the very Governess they have been looking for these ten years;– longer coming than J. Bond’s last Shock of Corn.– If she will but only keep Good & Amiable & Perfect!–Clewes & [sic] is better than Clowes.–And is not it a name for Edward to pun on?–is not a Clew a Nail?–Yes, I beleive I shall tell Anna–& if you see her, & donot dislike the commission, you may tell her for me. You know that I meant to do it as handsomely as I could. But she will probably not return in time.–
Browning goes on extremely well; as far as he has been able to do anything out of doors, my Mother is exceedingly pleased.– The Dogs seem just as happy with him as with Thomas;– Cook & Betsey I imagine a great deal happier.– Poor Cook is likely to be tried by a wet Season now; but she has not begun lamenting much yet.– Old Philmore I beleive is well again. My Cold has been an Off & on Cold almost ever since you went away, but never very bad; I increase it by walking out & cure it by staying within. On Saturday I went to Alton, & the high wind made it worse–but by keeping house ever since, it is almost gone.–
I have had Letters from my Aunt & from Charles within these few days.–My Uncle is quite confined to his Chair, by a broken Chilblain on one foot & a violence swelling in the other, which my Aunt does not know what to call;– there does not seem pain enough for Gout.– But you had all this history at Steventon perhaps.– She talks of being another fortnight at Scarlets; she is really anxious I can beleive to get to Bath, as they have an apprehension of their House in Pulteney St having been broken into.– Charles, his wife, & Eldest & Youngest reached the Namur in health & safety last Sunday se’night; Middle is left in Keppel St—
Lady W. has taken to her old tricks of ill health again & is sent for a couple of Months among her friends. Perhaps she may make them sick.– I have been applied to for information as to the Oath taken in former times of Bell Book & Candle–but have none to give. Perhaps you may be able to learn something of its Origin & Meaning at Manydown.– Ladies who read those enormous great stupid thick Quarto Volumes, which one always sees in the Breakfast parlour there, must be acquainted with everything in the World.–I detest a Quarto.– Capt. Pasley’s Book is too good for their Society. They will not understand a Man who condenses his Thoughts into an Octavo.
I do not mean however to put Mrs H. out of conceit with her Society; if she is satisfied–well;– if she thinks others satisfied–still better;– I say nothing of the complaints which reach me from all quarters.–Kill poor Mrs Sclater if you like it, while you are Manydown.– Miss Benn dined here on friday, I have not seen her since;–there is still work for one evening more.–I know nothing of the Prowtings. The Clements are at home & are reduced to read. They have got Miss Edgeworth.– I have disposed of Mrs Grant for the 2d fortnight to Mrs Digweed;- it can make no difference to her, which of the 26 fortnights in the Year, the 3 vols lay in her House.– It is raining furiously–& tho’ only a storm, I shall probably send my Letter to Alton instead of going myself.–I had no thought of your writing by Mr Gray; On Sunday or Tuesday I suppose I shall hear.–
Cook does not think the Mead in a State to be stopped down.
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I do not know what Alethea’s notions of Letter writing & Note writing may be, but I consider her as still in my Debt– [continued below address panel] If Mrs Freeman is anywhere above ground give my best Compts to her.
Yrs very affecly
By favour of