[The exact date of this letter is unknown. It is listed with a question mark as being in mid-July of 1814. As such, I am posting it with a 15 July date. It is a joint letter to Anna Austen from her grandmother and her Aunt Jane.]
[first leaf, pp 1 & 2, missing]
… I am pretty well in health and work a good deal in the Garden, but for these last 3 or 4 weeks have had weakness in my Eyes; it was well for you it did not come sooner, for I could not now make petticoats, Pockets & dressing Gowns for any Bride expectant— I can not wear my spectacles, and therefore can do hardly any work but knitting white yarn and platting white willow. I write & read without spectacles, and therefore do but little of either– We have a good appearance of Flowers in the Shrubbery and borders, & what is still better, a very good crop of small Fruit, even your Goosberry [sic] Tree does better than heretofore, when the Gooseberries are ripe I shall sit upon my Bench, eat them & think of you, tho I can do that without the assistance of ripe gooseberries; indeed, my dear Anna, there is noboddy [sic] I think of oftener, very few I love better,– My Eyes are tired so I must quit you– Farewell.
Yr affec. G: M:
My dear Anna– I am very much obliged to you for sending your MS. It has entertained me extremely, all of us indeed; I read it aloud to your G.M. — & At C.– and we were all very much pleased.– The Spirit does not droop at all. Sir Tho:– Lady Helena, & St Julian are very well done– & Cecilia continues to be interesting inspite of her being so amiable.– It was very fit that you should advance her age. I like the beginning of D. Forester very much– a great deal better than if he had been very Good or very Bad.– A few verbal corrections were all that I felt tempted to make– the principal of them is a speech of St Julians to Lady Helena– which you will see I have presumed to alter.– As Lady H. is Cecilia’s superior, it wd not be correct to talk of her being introduced; Cecilia must be the person introduced– And I do not like a Lover’s speaking in the 3d person;– it is too much like the formal part of Lord Orville, & I think is not natural. If you think differently however, you need not mind me.– I am impatient for more– & only wait for a safe conveyance to return this Book.– Yours affecly, J.A.