My dear Cassandra
You were wrong in thinking of us at Guildford last night, we were at Cobham. On reaching G. we found that John & the Horses were gone on. We therefore did no more there than we had done at Farnham, sit in the Carriage while fresh Horses were put in, & proceeded directly to Cobham, which we reached by 7, & about 8 were sitting down to a very nice roast fowl &c.– We had altogether a very good Journey, & everything at Cobham was comfortable.– I could not pay Mr Herington!–That was the only alas! of the Business. I shall therefore return his Bill & my Mother’s £2.–that you may try your Luck.–
We did not begin reading till Bentley Green. Henry’s approbation hitherto is even equal to my wishes; he says it is very different from the other two, but does not appear to think it at all inferior. He has only married Mrs R. I am afraid he has gone through the most entertaining part.– He took to Lady B. and Mrs N. most kindly, & gives great praise to the drawing of the Characters. He understands them all, likes Fanny & I think foresees how it will all be.– I wonder James did not like it better. It diverted me exceedingly.–
We went to bed at 10. I was very tired, but slept to a miracle & am lovely today; & at present Henry seems to have no complaint. We left Cobham at 1/2 past 8, stopt to bait & breakfast at Kingston & were in this House considerably before 2 — quite in the stile of Mr Knight. Nice smiling Mr Barlowe met us at the door, & in reply to enquiries after News, said that Peace was generally expected.– I have taken possession of my Bedroom, unpacked my Bandbox, sent Miss P.’s two Letters to the twopenny post, been visited by Mde B.,– & am now writing by myself at the new Table in the front room.
It is snowing.– We had some Snowstorms yesterday, & a smart frost at night, which gave us a hard road from Cobham to Kingston; but as it was then getting dirty & heavy, Henry had a pair of Leaders put on from the latter place to the bottom of Sloane St.– His own Horses therefore cannot have had hard work.– I watched for Veils as we drove through the Streets, & had the pleasure of seeing several upon vulgar heads.–
And now, how do you all do? You in particular after the worry of yesterday & the day before. I hope Martha had a pleasant visit again, & that you & my Mother could eat your Beefpudding. Depend upon my thinking of the Chimney Sweeper as soon as I wake tomorrow.– Places are secured at Drury Lane for Saturday, but so great is the rage for seeing Keen that only a 3d & 4th row could be got. As it is in a front box however, I hope we shall do pretty well.– Shylock.– A good play for Fanny. She cannot be much affected I think.–
Mrs Perigord has just been here. I have paid her a Shilling for the Willow. She tells me that we owe her Master for the Silk-dyeing.– My poor old Muslin has never been dyed yet; it has been promised to be done several times.– What wicked People Dyers are. They begin with dipping their own Souls in scarlet sin.– Tell my Mother that my £6.15 was duly received, but placed to my account instead of hers, & I have just signed a something which makes it over to her.
It is Eveng. We have drank tea & I have torn through the 3d vol. of the Heroine, & do not think it falls off.– It is delightful burlesque, particularly on the Radcliffe style.– Henry is going on with Mansfield Park; he admires H. Crawford–I mean properly–as a clever, pleasant Man.– I tell you all the Good I can, as I know how much you will enjoy it.–
John Warren & his wife are invited to dine here, to name their own day in the next fortnight.– I do not expect them to come.– Wyndham Knatchbull is to be asked for Sunday, & if he is cruel enough to consent, somebody must be contrived to meet him.– We hear that Mr Keen is more admired than ever. The two vacant places of our two rows, are likely to be filled by Mr Tilson & his Brother Genl Chownes.– I shall be ready to laugh at the sight of Frederick again.– It seems settled that I have the carriage on friday to pay visits, I have therefore little doubt of being able to get to Miss Hares. I am to call upon Miss Spencer: Funny me!–
There are no good Places to be got in Drury Lane for the next fortnight, but Henry means to secure some for Saturday fortnight when You are reckoned upon.–
I wonder what worse thing than Sarah Mitchell You are forced upon by this time!– Give my love to little Cassandra, I hope she found my Bed comfortable last night & has not filled it with fleas.– I have seen nobody in London yet with such a long chin as Dr Syntax, nor Anybody quite so large as Gogmagoglicus.– Yours affecly J. Austen
[this letter will be continued briefly on the next day, Thursday, 3 March 1814]
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