8 September 1816 – Monday – from Chawton

My dearest Cassandra

I have borne the arrival of your Letter today extremely well; anybody might have thought it was giving me pleasure.– I am very glad you find so much to be satisfied with at Cheltenham.  While the Waters agree, every thing else is trifling.–

A Letter arrived for you from Charles last Thursday.  They are all safe, & pretty well in Keppel St, the Children decidedly better for Broadstairs, & he writes principally to ask when it will be convenient to us to receive Miss P.- the little girls & himself.– They wd be ready to set off in ten days from the time of his writing, to pay their visits in Hampshire & Berkshire– & he would prefer coming to Chawton first.  I have answered him & said, that we hoped it might suit them to wait till the last week in Sept:r, as we could not ask them sooner, either on your account, or the want of room.  I mentioned the 23d, as the probable day of your return.–When you have once left Cheltenham, I shall grudge every half day wasted on the road.  If there were but a coach from Hungerford to Chawton!– I have desired him to let me hear again soon.– He does not include a Maid in the list to be accommodated, but if they bring one, as I suppose they will, we shall have no bed in the house even then for Charles himself– let alone Henry–.  But what can we do?– We shall have the Gt House quite at our command;– it is to be cleared of the Papillon Servants in a day or two;– they themselves have been hurried off into Essex to take possession– not of a large Estate left them by an Uncle– but to scrape together all they can I suppose of the effects of a Mrs Rawstorn a rich old friend & cousin, suddenly deceased, to whom they are joint Executors.  So, there is a happy end of the Kentish Papillons coming here.

No morning service to day, wherefore I am writing between 12 & 1 o’clock.– Mr Benn in the afternoon– & likewise more rain again, by the look & sound of things.  You left us in doubt of Mrs Benn’s situation, but she has bespoke her Nurse.– Mrs F.A. seldom either looks or appears quite well.– Little Embryo is troublesome I suppose.– They dined with us yesterday, & had fine weather both for coming & going home, which has hardly ever happened to them before.– She is still unprovided with a Housemaid.– Our day at Alton was very pleasant– Venison quite right– Children well-behaved– & Mr & Mrs Digweed taking kindly to our Charades, & other Games.– I must also observe, for his Mother’s satisfaction, that Edward at my suggestion, devoted himself very properly to the entertainment of Miss S. Gibson.– Nothing was wanting except Mr Sweney; but he alas! had been ordered away to London the day before.–We had a beautiful walk home by Moonlight.–

Thank you, my Back has given me scarcely any pain for many days.– I have an idea that agitation does it as much harm as fatigue, & that I was ill at the time of your going, from the very circumstance of your going.– I am nursing myself up now into as beautiful a state as I can, because I hear that Dr White means to call on me before he leaves the Country.–

Eveng.– Frank & Mary & the Childn visited us this morng.– Mr & Mrs Gibson are to come on the 23d— & there is too much reason to fear they will stay above a week.– Little George could tell me where you were gone to, as well as what you were to bring him, when I asked him the other day.– Sir Tho: Miller is dead.  I treat you with a dead Baronet in almost every Letter.– So, you have C. Craven among you, as well as the Duke of Orleans & Mr Pococke.  But it mortifies me that you have not added one to the stock of common acquaintance.  Do pray meet with somebody belonging to yourself.– I am quite weary of your knowing anybody.–

Mrs Digweed parts with both Hannah & the old Cook, the former will not give up her Lover, who is a Man of bad Character, the Latter is guilty only of being unequal to anything.– Miss Terry was to have spent this week with her Sister, but as usual it is put off.  My amiable friend knows the value of her company.– I have not seen Anna since they day you left us, her Father & Brother visited her most days.– Edward & Ben called here on Thursday.  Edward was in his way to Selborne.  We found him very agreable.  He is come back from France, thinking of the French as one cd wish, disappointed in every thing.  He did not go beyond Paris.–

I have a letter from Mrs Perigord, she & her Mother are in London again;– she speaks of France as a scene of general Poverty & Misery,– no Money, no Trade– nothing to be got but by the Innkeepers– & as to her own present prospects, she is not much less melancholy than before.– I have also a letter from Miss Sharp, quite one of her Letters;– she has been again obliged to exert herself– more than ever– in a more distressing, more harrassed state– & has met with another excellent old Physician & his Wife, with every virtue under Heaven, who takes to her & cures her from pure Love & Benevolence.– Dr & Mrs Storer are their Mrs & Miss Palmer– for they are at Bridlington.  I am happy to say however that the sum of the account is better than usual.  Sir William is returned; from Bridlington they go to Chevet, & she is to have a Young Governess under her.–

I enjoyed Edward’s company very much, as I said before, & yet I was not sorry when friday came.  It had been a busy week, & I wanted a few days quiet, & exemption from the Thought & contrivances which any sort of company gives.– I often wonder how you can find time for what you do, in addition to the care of the House;– And how good Mrs West cd have written such Books & collected so many hard words, with all her family cares, is still more a matter of astonishment!  Composition seems to me Impossible, with a head full of Joints of Mutton & doses of rhubarb.–

[To be continued on the following day, 9th September]


1 Response to 8 September 1816 – Monday – from Chawton

  1. Pingback: I treat you with a dead Baronet in almost every Letter… | QuinnTessence

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