[Letter to Jane Austen’s niece, Caroline Austen]
My dear Caroline
I have followed your directions & find your Handwriting admirable. If you continue to improve as much as you have done, perhaps I may not be obliged to shut my eyes at all half a year hence.– I have been very much entertained by your story of Carolina & her aged Father, it made me laugh heartily, & I am particularly glad to find you so much alive upon any topic of such absurdity, as the usual description of a Heroine’s father.– You have done it full justice– or if anything be wanting, it is the information of the venerable old Man’s having married when only Twenty one, & being a Father at Twenty two.
I had an early opportunity of conveying your Letter to Mary Jane, having only to throw it out of [the omitted] window at her as she was romping with your Brother in the Back Court.– She thanks you for it– & answers your questions through me.– I am to tell you that she has passed her time at Chawton very pleasantly indeed, that she does not miss Cassy so much as she expected, & that as to Diana’s Temple she is ashamed to say it has never been worked at since you went away.– She is very glad that you found Fanny again.– I suppose you had worn her in your stays without knowing it, & if she tickled you, thought it only a flea.
Edward’s visit has been a great pleasure to us. He has not lost one good quality or good Look, & is only altered in being improved by being some months older than when we saw him last. He is getting very near our own age, for we do not grow older of course. . . .
Monday July 15 —
Miss C. Austen