My dear Edward
Many Thanks. A thank for every Line, & as many to Mr Digweed for coming. We have been wanting very much to hear of your Mother, & are happy to find she continues to mend, but her illness must have been a very serious one indeed.– When she is really recovered, she ought to try change of air & come over to us.– Tell your Father I am very much obliged to him for his share of your Letter & most sincerely join in the hope of her being eventually much the better for her present Discipline. She has the comfort moreover of being confined in such weather as gives one little temptation to be out. It is really too bad, & has been too bad for a long time, much worse than anybody can bear, & I begin to think it will never be fine again. This is a finesse of mine, for I have often observed that if one writes about the Weather, it is generally completely changed before the Letter is read. I wish it may prove so now, & that when Mr W. Digweed reaches Steventon tomorrow, he may find You have had a long series of hot, dry weather. We are a small party at present, only G. Mama, Mary Jane & myself.– Yalden’s coach cleared off the rest yesterday. I suppose it is known at Steventon that Uncle Frank & Aunt Cassandra were to go to Town on some business of Uncle Henry’s– & that Aunt Martha had some business of her own which determined her to go at the same time;– but that Aunt Frank determined to go likewise & spend a few days with her family, may not be known– nor that two other places in the Coach were taken by Capt. & Mrs Clement.– Little Cassy went also, & does not return at present. They are all going to Broadstairs again.– The Aunt Cass: & the Aunt Martha did not mean to stay beyond two whole days, but the Uncle Frank & his Wife proposed being pressed to remain till Saturday.
I am glad you recollected to mention your being come home. My heart began to sink within me when I had got so far through your Letter without its being mentioned. I was dreadfully afraid that you might be detained at Winchester by severe illness, confined to your Bed perhaps & quite unable to hold a pen, & only dating from Steventon in order, with a mistaken sort of Tenderness, to deceive me.– But now, I have no doubt of your being at home, I am sure you would not say it so seriously unless it actually were so.– We saw a countless number of Postchaises full of Boys pass by yesterday morng— full of future Heroes, Legislators, Fools & Villains.– You have never thanked me for my last Letter, which went by the Cheese. I cannot bear not to be thanked. You will not pay us a visit yet of course, we must not think of it. Your Mother must get well first, & you must go to Oxford & not be elected; after that, a little change of scene may be good for you, & Your Physicians I hope will order you to the Sea, or to a house by the side of a very considerable pond.–
Oh! it rains again; it beats against the window.– Mary Jane & I have been wet through once already today, we set off in the Donkey Carriage for Farringdon as I wanted to see the improvements Mr Woolls is making, but we were obliged to turn back before we got there, but not soon enough to avoid a Pelter all the way home. We met Mr Woolls– I talked of its’ being bad weather for the Hay– & he returned me the comfort of its’ being much worse for the Wheat.– We hear that Mrs S- does not quit Tangier– Why & Wherefore?– Do you know that our Browning is gone?– You must prepare for a William when you come, a goodlooking Lad, civil & quiet, & seeming likely to do.– Good bye. I am sure Mr W.D. will be astonished at my writing so much, for the Paper is so thin that he will be able to count the Lines, if not read them.– Yours affecly
My dear James
We suppose the Trial is to take place this week, but we only feel sure that it cannot have taken place yet because we have heard nothing of it. A letter from Gm today tells us that Henry as well as William K- goes to France with his Uncle.–
Yrs Ever — J.A.
Mr Edward Austen
By favour of
Mr W. Digweed