[Letter from the Countess of Morley to Jane Austen, Wednesday 27th December. Miss Austen’s reply follows]
I have been most anxiously waiting for an introduction to Emma, & am infinitely obliged to you for your your kind recollection of me, which will procure me the pleasure of her acquaintance some days sooner than I shd otherwise have had it– I am already become intimate in the Woodhouse family, & feel that they will not amuse & interest me less than the Bennetts, Bertrams, Norriss & all their admirable predecessors– I can give them no higher praise–
Yr much obliged
Miss J. Austin [sic]
[Reply from Jane Austen to the Countess of Morley on Sunday, 31st December]
Accept my Thanks for the honour of your note & for your kind Disposition in favour of Emma. In my present State of Doubt as to her reception in the World, it is particularly gratifying to me to receive so early an assurance of your Ladyship’s approbation.- It encourages me to depend on the same share of general good opinion which Emma’s Predecessors have experienced, & beleive that I have not yet — as almost every Writer of Fancy does sooner or later — overwritten myself.– I am Madam,
Your obliged & faith:l Servt.