My Dear Cassandra
You must read your letters over five times in future before you send them, & then perhaps you may find them as entertaining as I do–I laughed at several parts of the one which I am now answering.–
Charles is not come yet, but he must come this morning, or he shall never know what I will do to him. The Ball at Kempshott is this Evening, & I have got him an invitation, though I have not been so considerate as to get him a Partner. But the cases are different between him & Eliza Bailey, for he is not in a dieing way, & may therefore be equal to getting a partner for himself.–
I believe I told You that Monday was to be the Ball Night, for which, & for all other Errors into which I may ever have led You, I now humbly ask your pardon.
Elizabeth is very cruel about my writing Music;–& as punishment for her, I should insist upon always writing out all hers for her in future, if I were not punishing myself at the same time.– I am tolerably glad to hear that Edward’s income is so good a one–as glad as I can at anybody’s being rich besides You & me–& I am thoroughly rejoiced to hear of his present to you.–
I am not to wear my white sattin cap tonight after all; I am to wear a Mamalouc cap instead, which Charles Fowle sent to Mary, & which she lends me.– It is all the fashion now, worn at the Opera, & by Lady Mildmays at Hackwood Balls–I hate describing such things, & I dare say You will be able to guess what it is like.– I have got over the dreadful epocha of Mantuamaking much better than I expected.– My Gown is made very much like my blue one, which you always told me sat very well, with only these variations;–the sleeves are short, the wrap fuller, the apron comes over it, & a band of the same completes the whole.–
I assure You that I dread the idea of going to Bookham as much as you can do; but I am not without hopes that something may happen to prevent it; Theo’ has lost his Election at Baliol, & perhaps they may not be able to see company for some time.– They talk of going to Bath too in the Spring, & perhaps they may be overturned in their way down, & all laid up for the summer.
[this letter continues on the next day, 9th January 1799]