Letters of Jane Austen -- Brabourne Edition
Letters to her sister Cassandra Austen, 1813 -- Part 1

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THE eleventh division of the letters includes those written during that which I believe to have been Jane Austen's last visit to Godmersham. With regard to most of these later letters, I have derived much assistance from my mother's old pocket-books, in which she regularly kept her diary from the time she was eleven years old until she was unable to write. During the earlier years there are only casual entries relating to Aunt Jane. As, for instance: "June 18, 1807. -- Papa brought me a packet from Southampton containing a letter from Aunt Cassandra, and a note and long strip of beautiful work as a present from Aunt Jane." Then in September of the same year the visit of "grandmamma and Aunts Cassandra and Jane Austen" to Chawton House is duly chronicled, and in 1808 "Aunt Jane's" stay at Godmersham for a week, accompanied by her brother James and his wife. There is also an interesting entry of the date of September 28, 1811: "Letter from At. Cass. to beg we would not mention that Aunt Jane wrote Sense and Sensibility." But, although many passages both in our letters and the pocket-books evince the affection which from a very early period existed between the aunt and the niece, the time when that affection seems to have ripened into more intimate friendship was in 1812, during a visit which my mother, in company with her father and cousin, "Fanny Cage" (afterwards Lady Bridges), paid to Chawton Great House in that year. They arrived there on April 14, and stayed until May 7, when they returned to Kent, paying Oxford a visit on their way. My mother had at this time just completed her nineteenth year, and she and her aunt seem to have been much together during this visit. Unfortunately I have no letters bearing the date of this particular year; probably because the sisters were more than usually together at Chawton Cottage; but during the next three years I am able, by a comparison of the letters and the pocket-books, to trace Jane's movements with greater ease, and in somewhat more of detail.

And here there comes to me a great source of grief -- namely, that although I have five letters addressed by "Aunt Jane" to my mother during the years 1814-16, the pocket-books show the receipt in those same years of upwards of thirty letters from the same aunt, which would be invaluable for our present purpose, but which I fear must have been destroyed, with the exception of those which I have already found, and now publish.

Miss Knight, the "Marianne" of our letters, known to and loved by all my generation of the family as "Aunt May," who succeeded my mother in the management of the Godmersham household, and reigned there, to her own happiness and that of everybody about her, until my grandfather's death, thus writes of the intimacy between her sister and aunt: --

"Your dear mother, being so many years older than the rest of us, was a friend and companion of the two aunts, Cassandra and Jane, particularly of the latter, and they had all sorts of secrets together, whilst we were only children." That this was the case is abundantly shown by the five letters above mentioned, from which we shall see that the aunt and niece opened their hearts to each other, and wrote in the most unreserved manner. The pocket-book of 1812 chronicled many "walks with Aunt Jane" during that month at Chawton, but none of the "secrets" are told, nor is there anything which illustrates the life of our heroine, if I may apply such a term to one who would have been amused beyond measure at the idea of its application to herself.

The ten letters of 1813 were written -- the first from Sloane Street, in May, the next two from Henrietta Street (to which locality her brother Henry had moved from Sloane Street), in September, and the seven following from Kent, and are all addressed to her sister at Chawton. In that year Godmersham required painting, and the family moved off to Chawton in April, and stayed there for six months, during which time the friendship between the aunt and niece grew and increased, as the entries in the pocket-books prove to demonstration.

June 6th. -- "Aunt Jane and I had a very interesting conversation."

June 22nd. -- "Aunt Jane and I had a delicious morning together."

June 23rd. -- "Aunt Jane and I walked to Alton together."

July --. -- "Had leeches on for headache. Aunt Jane came and sat with me."

August 1st. -- "Spent the evening with Aunt Jane."

But, in fact, the whole diary is a continuous record of meetings between the relations; every day it is either "The Cottage dined here" or "we dined at the Cottage," "Aunt Jane drank tea with us," &c., &c. The first letter of this series was written whilst Jane was on a visit to her brother Henry, with whom she returned to Chawton on June 1. It contains some interesting allusions to "Pride and Prejudice," from which we may gather that the authoress had an ideal "Jane" (Mrs. Bingley) and "Elizabeth" (Mrs. Darcy), and that she succeeded in finding a satisfactory likeness of the first, but not of the second, in the picture galleries which she visited. I am not much surprised at this circumstance, for with all her beauty and sweetness, Jane Bingley is a less uncommon character than her sister Elizabeth, upon whom the authoress had exerted all her power, and was proportionately attached to this most successful creation of her brain. The special message to "Fanny" upon this point reminds me of another entry in this year's diary: "We finished `Pride and Prejudice.'" I have often heard my mother speak of "Aunt Jane" reading some of her own works aloud to her; perhaps this refers to one of the occasions on which she did so. How delightful it must have been to hear those life-like characters described by the lips of the very person who had called them into existence!

It will be seen from another paragraph in this letter that my mother had written her aunt a letter in the character of "Miss Darcy," which made her "laugh heartily." It was their habit to talk over the characters of Aunt Jane's books together, and if I only had it in my power to add some of their conversations to these letters I have no doubt that they would prove highly interesting to my readers. Jane returned with the Godmersham family to Kent early in September, and her letters from Henrietta Street were written during the short stay which the party made with Henry Austen on their homeward journey. I am able to fix the dates by the pocket-books. On Tuesday, September 14, my mother writes: "Papa and Aunt Jane, Lizzie, Marianne, and I left Chawton at nine, and got to Uncle Henry Austen's house in Henrietta Street in good time." The letters of the 14th and 16th tell the story of their doings, which the diary summarises pretty accurately: "We shopped all day; a complete bustle" on the 15th; and on the 16th: "We called on Mrs. Tilson, and were all Spenced," Spence being the individual who was apparently entrusted with the superintendence of the teeth of the Godmersham family. The allusions in the letter to the visit to Covent Garden are also corroborated by entries in the pocket-book, which prove the amusement which was derived by the younger members of the party as well as by their aunt. The Mr. Tilson mentioned in the London letters was one of Henry Austen's partners in the bank.

"Miss Clewes," after whom Jane inquires, was governess at Godmersham, whom my mother had engaged for her younger sisters, and whom she describes in her diary as "a treasure." She had been preceded by Miss Sharpe, who was my mother's own governess, and is often mentioned in these letters. Miss Clewes lived nearly eight years at Godmersham. The diary continues, under date of Friday, the 17th: "We left town at eight, and reached dear Godmersham before six."

During the next two months Jane remained in Kent, and here again the comparison with the pocket-books enables me to make out the allusions in the letters. "Her sister in Lucina, Mrs. H. Gipps" (Letter 64), was, before her marriage, "Emma Plumptre," whose sister, "Mary P.," was a great friend of my mother's; her other two chief friends being "Mary Oxenden," daughter of Sir Henry Oxenden, of Broome, afterwards Mrs. Hammond, and "Fanny Cage," of all three of whom we find frequent mention in the letters. The "Mr. K.s" who "came a little before dinner on Monday" were Messrs. Wyndham and Charles Knatchbull, the first and second sons of my grandfather, Sir Edward Knatchbull, by his second wife, Frances Graham, and "their lovely Wadham" was their cousin, son of Wyndham Knatchbull, of London, and afterwards the owner (on his brother William's death) of Babington, in Somersetshire. Wyndham Knatchbull was twenty-seven in 1813, as he was born in 1786. He was afterwards the Rev. Dr. Knatchbull, Rector of Smeeth-cum-Aldington, and died in 1868, at the age of eighty-two.

"We hear a great deal about George Hatton's wretchedness." I remember hearing from my mother that the gentleman here referred to had "a great disappointment" in early life, but who the lady was or whether this was the "wretchedness" I cannot say. Perhaps it had nothing to do with love, and was only caused by the death of his great-aunt, Lady Charlotte Finch (née Fermor), who died in June, 1813. But I am bound to say that I have a letter before me which says, "all the young ladies were in love with George Hatton -- he was very handsome and agreeable, danced very well, and flirted famously." At any rate, Aunt Jane rightly surmised that his "quick feelings" would not kill him, for he lived to be Earl of Winchilsea, and to marry three times, his last wife being Fanny Margaretta, eldest daughter of Mr. Rice, of Dane Court, and the "Lizzie" of our letters. He died in 1858, and those who in later life knew the warm-hearted generosity of his nature, the sterling worth of his character and excellence of his disposition, will not be surprised to hear of that general popularity in youth which he undoubtedly enjoyed. I may mention with regard to the letter now before us, that he got over his "wretchedness" in due time, for early in the following June my mother's diary records: "The intended marriage of George Hatton and Lady Charlotte Graham announced," which duly took place on July 26, and on the 30th the entry occurs "saw the bride and bridegroom pass to Eastwell in proper state!" I ought perhaps to add the entry of August 7, which is to this effect: "George Hatton and bride called; Lady Charlotte is a sweet little perfection."

"The Sherers" were the Rector of Godmersham and his wife. Mr. Sherer is often mentioned in my mother's diary, and seems to have been much liked. He died in 1825.

Evington, where "the gentlemen" all dined one night, was and is the seat of the Honywood family, in the parish of Elmsted, some miles the other side of Wye from Godmersham. The Lady Honywood mentioned in these letters was the wife of Sir John Courtenay Honywood, and daughter of the Rev. Sir William Henry Cooper, Bart. The commendations which Jane bestows upon her in a later letter (No. 70), were well deserved, for even within my memory she was a graceful and charming woman, and must have been beautiful in her youth. I have always heard her spoken of as one of the most delightful people, and believe that she fully deserved the description.

I cannot unravel the "Adlestrop Living business" at this distance of time, but it was a Leigh Living. The Rev. Thos. Leigh, younger son of William Leigh, of Adlestrop (who was eldest brother of Thomas Leigh, Rector of Harpsden, Henley-on-Thames, Mrs. George Austen's father), held this living in 1806, and in that year succeeded to Stoneleigh under a peculiar limitation in the will of Edward, fifth Lord Leigh, on the death of the latter's sister Mary. Mr. Leigh Perrot, his first cousin, claimed to be next in remainder, but sold his claim, and James Henry, son of James, eldest brother of the Rev. Thomas of Adlestrop, and grandfather of the present Lord Leigh, succeeded. I have no other clue to the matter, which is not of much importance, and has little to do with Jane Austen.

The "Sackree" of whom such frequent mention is made in the letters from Godmersham was the old nurse of my grandfather's children, an excellent woman and a great favourite. I remember some of her stories to this day, especially one of a country girl who, on being engaged by the housekeeper of a certain family, inquired if she might "sleep round." "Sleep round?" was the reply. "Yes, of course; you may sleep round or square, whichever you please, for what I care!" However, after the lapse of a few days, the girl having been kept up for some work or other till ten o'clock, did not appear in the morning. After some delay, the housekeeper, fancying she must be ill, went up to her room about nine o'clock, and finding her fast asleep and snoring soundly, promptly woke her up, and began to scold her for an idle baggage. On this, the girl with an injured air, began to remonstrate, "Why ma'am, you told me yourself I might sleep round, and as I wasn't in bed till ten o'clock last night, I a'nt a coming down till ten this morning." Mrs. Sackree went by the familiar name of "Caky," the origin of which I have been unable to trace, but which was perhaps given to her in the Godmersham nursery by the little ones, who were doing their best to pronounce her real name. She lived on at Godmersham, saw and played with many of the children of her nurslings, and died in March, 1851, in her ninetieth year. Mrs. Sayce was her niece, and my mother's lady's-maid, of whom I know no more than that she occupied that honourable position for twelve years, married a German in 1822, and died at Stuttgard in 1844. Sackree succeeded her as housekeeper when she left Godmersham.

I have no further record of Jane's proceedings in September, save an entry of my mother's that "Aunt Jane and I paid poor visits together," and another that they "called on the Reynolds' at Bilting," which was a house belonging to the Godmersham property, about a mile from Godmersham, of which I suppose a family of that name were the tenants in 1813. I do not know who the Dr. Isham was who was so good as to say that he was "sure that he should not like Madame D'Arblay's new novel half so well" as "Pride and Prejudice," but I imagine that the vast majority of the readers of both books would have agreed with him; for the new novel referred to was "The Wanderer," of which I have already hinted my opinion that the falling off from the previous works of the fair authoress is so very manifest that it is difficult to suppose that it was written by the same hand to which we are indebted for "Evelina," "Cecilia" and "Camilla."

Mr. J. P. is Mr. John Pemberton Plumptre, grandson of the John Plumptre who married Margaretta Bridges in 1750. His father married a Pemberton, whence his second Christian name, and he himself married in 1818 Catherine Matilda Methuen, daughter of Paul Cobb Methuen, of Corsham House, Wilts; but, having only three daughters, Fredville came, on his decease in 1864, to Charles John, the son of his brother Charles. Mr. Plumptre represented East Kent for twenty years, from 1832 to 1852, having been returned as "an unflinching Reformer," but afterwards seeing reason to ally himself with the Conservative party. This caused much anger among his former political friends, and was the occasion of some amusing election squibs, one of which I remember. It was written in 1837, when Mr. Rider, whose property was in West Kent, contested Mr. Plumptre's seat in the Liberal interest. The squib was a parody on the song, "Oh where, and oh where, is your Highland Laddie gone?" the words "Jockey Rider" being substituted throughout for "Highland Laddie"; and the verse, "In what clothes, in what clothes, is your Highland Laddie clad?" was thus transformed -- blue, it should be observed, being the Liberal colour in East Kent: --

In what clothes, in what clothes, is your Jockey Rider clad?

He's clad all o'er in Blue -- but that Blue is very bad;
For it's all second-hand, being what J. P. Plumptre had!

"Norton Court" was the residence of the Mr. Lushington, who came to Godmersham during this visit of Jane's, and who was afterwards, as the Right Hon. Stephen Rumbold Lushington, for some years Patronage Secretary of the Treasury, sat in several Parliaments for Canterbury, afterwards served as Governor of Madras, married the daughter of Lord Harris, and died at Norton Court in 1868, in his ninety-fourth year. He was a pleasant and agreeable man of the world, and I am not surprised to find that he made a favourable impression upon Jane. The most amusing thing I remember to tell about him is in connection with the celebrated East Kent election in 1852, when Sir E. Dering and Sir B. Bridges did battle for the seat vacated by Mr. Plumptre, and the latter won. Soon after the contest, I had a long talk with Mr. Lushington, who had very warmly espoused Sir E. Dering's cause, and who loudly declared that his defeat had been in a great measure owing to illegal expenditure on the part of Sir Brook, which he vehemently denounced, and expressed himself very strongly in favour of purity of election and as a hater of bribery of any sort. Presently, however, our conversation drifted into a talk about old times, and the days when he was Secretary of the Treasury before the Reform Bill of 1832. We talked of the Dering family, of their Borough of New Romney, which used to return two members, and of the present Sir Edward Dering's uncle, who managed the Surrenden estates during his long minority. Upon this subject our lover of purity of election waxed wroth. "A confounded old screw he was!" he exclaimed. "I was always ready, on the part of the Government, to give him a thousand for the seats, but the old fellow always insisted upon two thousand guineas, and I had to give him his price!" Whatever his views, however, upon such matters, he was certainly a favourite with the ladies, his musical talents being one of his recommendations, for I find an entry in my mother's pocket-book of one year "Mr. Lushington sang. He has a lovely voice, and is quite delightful." I gather from a similar source that he was generous with his "franks," another way to ladies' hearts of which unfortunate M.P.'s have been deprived by the progress of modern improvements. Mystole, to which allusion is made in the sixty-fifth and sixty-sixth letters, was, and is, the seat of the old Kentish family of Fagge. At the present moment it is let to Colonel Laurie, lately M.P. for Canterbury, but at the date of our letters it was occupied by the Rev. Sir John Fagge, rector of Chartham (in which parish Mystole is situate), who had, as the letters show, a wife (Miss Newman, of Canterbury, who survived her husband thirty-five years, and died in 1857), four sons and five daughters, all of the latter of whom Jane seems to have been lucky enough to find at home upon the occasion of her visit.

The Mr. Wigram who is introduced as the friend of Edward Bridges would have been mentioned more favourably by Jane if she had known him longer and better. I only knew him as a man somewhat advanced in years, who lived in Grosvenor Square, where I have had the honour of dining with him more than once. But, undoubtedly, he was a most kind-hearted and good man, a warm friend, of a generous and benevolent disposition, and quite agreeable enough to justify his parents in having called him Henry (see Letter 66).

"The good old original Brett and Toke" (Letter 66) refers to the heads of two very old Kentish families. "Spring Grove" is about half-a-mile from "Wye," and was built in 1674, although Bretts had been buried in Wye some 150 years before. Mr. Toke was the owner of Godinton, near Ashford, which was and is a beautiful and interesting old house, standing in a pleasant and well-timbered park, which lies between the town of Ashford and the adjoining property of Hothfield Park, the seat of the Tufton family, the head of which is now Lord Hothfield. Hasted gives a somewhat lengthy description of the house at Godinton, and tells us that "in the hall there is a series of fine family portraits, several of which are by Cornelius Johnson. The staircase is of very ancient carved work, in the windows of which are collected all the arms, quarterings, and matches -- in painted glass -- of the family. The drawing-room upstairs is curiously wainscotted with oak and carved; particularly along the upper part of it, all round the room, is a representation of the exercise and manoeuvres of the ancient militia, with the men habited and accoutred with their arms, in every attitude of marching, exercise, &c., which makes a very droll exhibition of them. There are several handsome chimney-pieces through the house, of Bethersden marble, well carved and ornamented with the arms of the family." This was the house in which "the Charles Cages" were staying, which brings me to an account of the two brothers of that name, who were both very cheery and popular visitors at many other houses besides hospitable Godinton.

Edward and Charles Cage were the younger brothers of Lewis, the husband of Fanny Bridges. They were both clergymen and both great sportsmen. Edward married a Welsh lady, who was very worthy but extremely small. My satirical relatives at Godmersham nicknamed her "Penny Piece," though I do not exactly know why, and all I can remember of her is that she hated butterflies and was terribly afraid of guns. Her husband was Rector of Eastling and kept harriers. I have been told that he had the names of his hounds upon his spoons and forks, and once observed to a visitor, "If the Archbishop of Canterbury were to come here he would think it rather odd to see the names of my hounds upon my spoons and forks," which was probably true, though in those days bishops might have sometimes seen even more extraordinary things in the houses of their clergy. Mr. E. Cage died in 1835, and his widow in 1848. Charles Cage had the livings of Bensted and Bredgar, and lived at Chrismill, near Milgate, but afterwards removed to Leybourne. He married Miss Graham, sister of Lady Knatchbull and Lady Oxenden, and of Charles Graham, rector of Barham, also referred to in our letters. She was much liked by the Godmersham family. She died in 1847, and he survived her little more than a year. There are many anecdotes of the two Cages, but I only recollect one of Charles -- namely, that when one of his nieces was reading to him the 2nd Chapter of the Acts, he stopped her with a sigh at the mention of the "Elamites," and on being asked why, replied," It does so put me in mind of Brockman and his hounds in Elham Park!" (a noted fox covert in East Kent). I remember that he came to grief in a disagreeable manner during a visit to Hatch, which occurred in my boyish days. In one of the passages there are two doors precisely alike, one of which opens into a room and the other on to a back staircase. The worthy old gentleman, going along this passage, opened the latter under the impression that it was the former, marched boldly forward as if on level ground, and naturally enough tumbled downstairs. How he escaped serious injury I cannot imagine, but I believe he suffered no material inconvenience from the shock, unpleasant though it must have been.

The sixty-seventh letter possesses now a more melancholy interest to some who will read these pages than when I first discovered it among the rest. It will be seen to be a joint composition, the first part being written by Jane's niece, "Lizzy," afterwards Mrs. Rice, of Dane Court, who only died as these pages were being prepared for publication. Few women ever lived who possessed greater power of attracting the love of others, and few have ever been more fondly loved by those who had the good fortune to know her.

Milgate, mentioned in the sixty-ninth letter, was bought by Mr. R. Cage, a barrister, in 1624, and has been in the Cage family ever since; its present possessor being General (Lewis) Knight, only son of Henry and Sophia Cage.

The Mrs. Harrison mentioned in the sixty-ninth and seventieth letters must have been Mrs. Lefroy's sister, née Charlotte Brydges, who had first married Mr. Branfill, and, after his death in 1792 (leaving her with a son and daughter), Mr. John Harrison, of Denne Hill, who died in 1818 without issue. The madness is, of course, a pleasantry of the writer, since neither family was afflicted with more than the ordinary insanity which mankind enjoy, although both had plenty of that ability which sometimes appears like madness to those who do not happen to possess it.

The seventieth letter is the last from Godmersham, and begins by describing a dinner party at Chilham Castle. "The Bretons" were Dr. Breton and his wife. He was a gentleman little in stature, somewhat odd in appearance, and eccentric in character. He married Mrs. Billington, and had the rectory of Kennington, between Godmersham and Ashford, where he lived and died. My mother chronicles this gathering as "a better party than usual," and by "bits and scraps" of it Jane herself was "very well entertained." Then comes an amusing account of a concert at Canterbury to which she went, with my mother and Miss Clewes, and where the races of Bridges and Plumptre seem to have come in force from Goodnestone and Fredville, and to have had a pleasant time of it. My mother says of this concert that she had "an enjoyable cose with sweet Mary Plumptre," which corresponds with the account in the letter. The next letter -- for I do not doubt there was a "next" from Godmersham -- would probably have given us an account of the Canterbury ball, which was to take place on the following Thursday, but unfortunately it is not forthcoming. All the same, however, the ball did take place, for the pocket-book informs me: "We went to the Canty. Ball; good company, but no dancing; officers idle and scarcity of county Beaux. Sophia (Deedes) and I only danced the 2nd, and her partner was an officer, mine Wm. Hammond; white sarsnet and silver, silver in my hair."

On Saturday, November 18, Jane left Godmersham, accompanying my grandfather and mother to Wrotham Rectory, on a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Moore, and on the 15th she went on to her brother Henry's house in Henrietta Street.


Sloane St.: Monday (May 24)


I am very much obliged to you for writing to me. You must have hated it after a worrying morning. Your letter came just in time to save my going to Remnant's, and fit me for Christian's, where I bought Fanny's dimity.

I went the day before (Friday) to Layton's, as I proposed, and got my mother's gown -- seven yards at 6s. 6d. I then walked into No. 10, which is all dirt and confusion, but in a very promising way, and after being present at the opening of a new account, to my great amusement, Henry and I went to the exhibition in Spring Gardens. It is not thought a good collection, but I was very well pleased, particularly (pray tell Fanny) with a small portrait of Mrs. Bingley, excessively like her.

I went in hopes of seeing one of her sister, but there was no Mrs. Darcy. Perhaps, however, I may find her in the great exhibition, which we shall go to if we have time. I have no chance of her in the collection of Sir Joshua Reynolds's paintings, which is now showing in Pall Mall, and which we are also to visit.

Mrs. Bingley's is exactly herself -- size, shaped face, features, and sweetness; there never was a greater likeness. She is dressed in a white gown, with green ornaments, which convinces me of what I had always supposed, that green was a favourite colour with her. I dare say Mrs. D. will be in yellow.

Friday was our worst day as to weather. We were out in a very long and very heavy storm of hail, and there had been others before, but I heard no thunder. Saturday was a good deal better; dry and cold.

I gave 2s. 6d. for the dimity. I do not boast of any bargains, but think both the sarsenet and dimity good of their sort.

I have bought your locket, but was obliged to give 18s. for it, which must be rather more than you intended. It is neat and plain, set in gold.

We were to have gone to the Somerset House Exhibition on Saturday, but when I reached Henrietta Street Mr. Hampson was wanted there, and Mr. Tilson and I were obliged to drive about town after him, and by the time we had done it was too late for anything but home. We never found him after all.

I have been interrupted by Mrs. Tilson. Poor woman! She is in danger of not being able to attend Lady Drummond Smith's party to night. Miss Burdett was to have taken her, and now Miss Burdett has a cough and will not go. My cousin Caroline is her sole dependence.

The events of yesterday were, our going to Belgrave Chapel in the morning, our being prevented by the rain from going to evening service at St. James, Mr. Hampson's calling, Messrs. Barlow and Phillips dining here, and Mr. and Mrs. Tilson's coming in the evening à l'ordinaire. She drank tea with us both Thursday and Saturday; he dined out each day, and on Friday we were with them, and they wish us to go to them to-morrow evening, to meet Miss Burdett, but I do not know how it will end. Henry talks of a drive to Hampstead, which may interfere with it.

I should like to see Miss Burdett very well, but that I am rather frightened by hearing that she wishes to be introduced to me. If I am a wild beast I cannot help it. It is not my own fault.

There is no change in our plan of leaving London, but we shall not be with you before Tuesday. Henry thinks Monday would appear too early a day. There is no danger of our being induced to stay longer.

I have not quite determined how I shall manage about my clothes; perhaps there may be only my trunk to send by the coach, or there may be a band-box with it. I have taken your gentle hint, and written to Mrs. Hill.

The Hoblyns want us to dine with them, but we have refused. When Henry returns he will be dining out a great deal, I dare say; as he will then be alone, it will be more desirable; he will be more welcome at every table, and every invitation more welcome to him. He will not want either of us again till he is settled in Henrietta Street. This is my present persuasion. And he will not be settled there really settled -- till late in the autumn; "he will not be come to bide" till after September.

There is a gentleman in treaty for this house. Gentleman himself is in the country, but gentleman's friend came to see it the other day, and seemed pleased on the whole. Gentleman would rather prefer an increased rent to parting with five hundred guineas at once, and if that is the only difficulty it will not be minded. Henry is indifferent as to the which.

Get us the best weather you can for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We are to go to Windsor in our way to Henley, which will be a great delight. We shall be leaving Sloane Street about 12, two or three hours after Charles's party have begun their journey. You will miss them, but the comfort of getting back into your own room will be great. And then the tea and sugar!

I fear Miss Clewes is not better, or you would have mentioned it. I shall not write again unless I have any unexpected communication or opportunity to tempt me. I enclose Mr. Herington's bill and receipt.

I am very much obliged to Fanny for her letter; it made me laugh heartily, but I cannot pretend to answer it. Even had I more time, I should not feel at all sure of the sort of letter that Miss D.[1] would write. I hope Miss Benn is got well again, and will have a comfortable dinner with you to-day.

Monday Evening. -- We have been both to the exhibition and Sir J. Reynolds's, and I am disappointed, for there was nothing like Mrs. D. at either. I can only imagine that Mr. D. prizes any picture of her too much to like it should be exposed to the public eye. I can imagine he would have that sort of feeling -- that mixture of love, pride, and delicacy.

Setting aside this disappointment, I had great amusement among the pictures; and the driving about, the carriage being open, was very pleasant. I liked my solitary elegance very much, and was ready to laugh all the time at my being where I was. I could not but feel that I had naturally small right to be parading about London in a barouche.

Henry desires Edward may know that he has just bought three dozen of claret for him (cheap), and ordered it to be sent down to Chawton.

I should not wonder if we got no farther than Reading on Thursday evening, and so reach Steventon only to a reasonable dinner hour the next day; but whatever I may write or you may imagine we know it will be something different. I shall be quiet to-morrow morning; all my business is done, and I shall only call again upon Mrs. Hoblyn, &c.

Love to your much . . . party.

Yours affectionately,

May 2, 1813. From Sloane St.
Miss Austen, Chawton.
By favour of Messrs. Gray & Vincent.

[1] Miss Darcy.


Henrietta St.: Wednesday (Sept. 15, 1/2 past 8).

Here I am, my dearest Cassandra, seated in the breakfast, dining, sitting-room, beginning with all my might. Fanny will join me as soon as she is dressed and begin her letter.

We had a very good journey, weather and roads excellent; the three first stages for 1s. 6d., and our only misadventure the being delayed about a quarter of an hour at Kingston for horses, and being obliged to put up with a pair belonging to a hackney coach and their coachman, which left no room on the barouche box for Lizzy, who was to have gone her last stage there as she did the first; consequently we were all four within, which was a little crowded.

We arrived at a quarter-past four, and were kindly welcomed by the coachman, and then by his master, and then by William, and then by Mrs. Pengird, who all met us before we reached the foot of the stairs. Mde. Bigion was below dressing us a most comfortable dinner of soup, fish, bouillée, partridges, and an apple tart, which we sat down to soon after five, after cleaning and dressing ourselves and feeling that we were most commodiously disposed of. The little adjoining dressing-room to our apartment makes Fanny and myself very well off indeed, and as we have poor Eliza's[1] bed our space is ample every way.

Sace arrived safely about half-past six. At seven we set off in a coach for the Lyceum; were at home again in about four hours and a half; had soup and wine and water, and then went to our holes.

Edward finds his quarters very snug and quiet. I must get a softer pen. This is harder. I am in agonies. I have not yet seen Mr. Crabbe. Martha's letter is gone to the post.

I am going to write nothing but short sentences. There shall be two full stops in every line. Layton and Shear's is Bedford House. We mean to get there before breakfast if it's possible; for we feel more and more how much we have to do and how little time. This house looks very nice. It seems like Sloane Street moved here. I believe Henry is just rid of Sloane Street. Fanny does not come, but I have Edward seated by me beginning a letter, which looks natural.

Henry has been suffering from the pain in the face which he has been subject to before. He caught cold at Matlock, and since his return has been paying a little for past pleasure. It is nearly removed now, but he looks thin in the face, either from the pain or the fatigues of his tour, which must have been great.

Lady Robert is delighted with P. and P.,[2] and really was so, as I understand, before she knew who wrote it, for, of course, she knows now. He told her with as much satisfaction as if it were my wish. He did not tell me this, but he told Fanny. And Mr. Hastings! I am quite delighted with what such a man writes about it. Henry sent him the books after his return from Daylesford, but you will hear the letter too.

Let me be rational, and return to my two full stops.

I talked to Henry at the play last night. We were in a private box -- Mr. Spencer's -- which made it much more pleasant. The box is directly on the stage. One is infinitely less fatigued than in the common way. But Henry's plans are not what one could wish. He does not mean to be at Chawton till the 29th. He must be in town again by Oct. 5. His plan is to get a couple of days of pheasant shooting and then return directly. His wish was to bring you back with him. I have told him your scruples. He wishes you to suit yourself as to time, and if you cannot come till later, will send for you at any time as far as Bagshot. He presumed you would not find difficulty in getting so far. I could not say you would. He proposed your going with him into Oxfordshire. It was his own thought at first. I could not but catch at it for you.

We have talked of it again this morning (for now we have breakfasted), and I am convinced that if you can make it suit in other respects you need not scruple on his account. If you cannot come back with him on the 3rd or 4th, therefore, I do hope you will contrive to go to Adlestrop. By not beginning your absence till about the middle of this month I think you may manage it very well. But you will think all this over. One could wish he had intended to come to you earlier, but it cannot be helped.

I said nothing to him of Mrs. H. and Miss B., that he might not suppose difficulties. Shall not you put them into our own room? This seems to me the best plan, and the maid will be most conveniently near.

Oh, dear me! when I shall ever have done. We did go to Layton and Shear's before breakfast. Very pretty English poplins at 4s. 3d.; Irish, ditto at 6s.; more pretty, certainly -- beautiful.

Fanny and the two little girls are gone to take places for to-night at Covent Garden; "Clandestine Marriage" and "Midas." The latter will be a fine show for L. and M.[3] They revelled last night in "Don Juan," whom we left in hell at half-past eleven. We had scaramouch and a ghost, and were delighted. I speak of them; my delight was very tranquil, and the rest of us were sober-minded. "Don Juan" was the last of three musical things. "Five hours at Brighton," in three acts -- of which one was over before we arrived, none the worse -- and the "Beehive," rather less flat and trumpery.

I have this moment received 5l. from kind, beautiful Edward. Fanny has a similar gift. I shall save what I can of it for your better leisure in this place. My letter was from Miss Sharpe -- nothing particular. A letter from Fanny Cage this morning.

Four o'clock. -- We are just come back from doing Mrs. Tickars, Miss Hare, and Mr. Spence. Mr. Hall is here, and, while Fanny is under his hands, I will try to write a little more.

Miss Hare had some pretty caps, and is to make me one like one of them, only white satin instead of blue. It will be white satin and lace, and a little white flower perking out of the left ear, like Harriot Byron's feather. I have allowed her to go as far as 1l. 16s. My gown is to be trimmed everywhere with white ribbon plaited on somehow or other. She says it will look well. I am not sanguine. They trim with white very much.

I learnt from Mrs. Tickars's young lady, to my high amusement, that the stays now are not made to force the bosom up at all; that was a very unbecoming, unnatural fashion. I was really glad to hear that they are not to be so much off the shoulders as they were.

Going to Mr. Spence's was a sad business and cost us many tears; unluckily we were obliged to go a second time before he could do more than just look. We went first at half-past twelve and afterwards at three; papa with us each time; and, alas! we are to go again to-morrow. Lizzy is not finished yet. There have been no teeth taken out, however, nor will be, I believe, but he finds hers in a very bad state, and seems to think particularly ill of their durableness. They have been all cleaned, hers filed, and are to be filed again. There is a very sad hole between two of her front teeth.

Thursday Morning, Half-past Seven. -- Up and dressed and downstairs in order to finish my letter in time for the parcel. At eight I have an appointment with Madame B., who wants to show me something downstairs. At nine we are to set off for Grafton House, and get that over before breakfast. Edward is so kind as to walk there with us. We are to be at Mr. Spence's again at 11:05; from that time shall be driving about I suppose till four o'clock at least. We are, if possible, to call on Mrs. Tilson.

Mr. Hall was very punctual yesterday, and curled me out at a great rate. I thought it looked hideous, and longed for a snug cap instead, but my companions silenced me by their admiration. I had only a bit of velvet round my head. I did not catch cold, however. The weather is all in my favour. I have had no pain in my face since I left you.

We had very good places in the box next the stage-box, front and second row; the three old ones behind of course. I was particularly disappointed at seeing nothing of Mr. Crabbe. I felt sure of him when I saw that the boxes were fitted up with crimson velvet. The new Mr. Terry was Lord Ogleby, and Henry thinks he may do; but there was no acting more than moderate, and I was as much amused by the remembrances connected with "Midas" as with any part of it. The girls were very much delighted, but still prefer "Don Juan"; and I must say that I have seen nobody on the stage who has been a more interesting character than that compound of cruelty and lust.

It was not possible for me to get the worsteds yesterday. I heard Edward last night pressing Henry to come to you, and I think Henry engaged to go there after his November collection. Nothing has been done as to S. and S.[4] The books came to hand too late for him to have time for it before he went. Mr. Hastings never hinted at Eliza in the smallest degree. Henry knew nothing of Mr. Trimmer's death. I tell you these things that you may not have to ask them over again.

There is a new clerk sent down to Alton, a Mr. Edmund Williams, a young man whom Henry thinks most highly of, and he turns out to be a son of the luckless Williamses of Grosvenor Place.

I long to have you hear Mr. H.'s opinion of P. and P. His admiring my Elizabeth so much is particularly welcome to me.

Instead of saving my superfluous wealth for you to spend, I am going to treat myself with spending it myself. I hope, at least, that I shall find some poplin at Layton and Shear's that will tempt me to buy it. If I do, it shall be sent to Chawton, as half will be for you; for I depend upon your being so kind as to accept it, being the main point. It will be a great pleasure to me. Don't say a word. I only wish you could choose too. I shall send twenty yards.

Now for Bath. Poor F. Cage has suffered a good deal from her accident. The noise of the White Hart was terrible to her. They will keep her quiet, I dare say. She is not so much delighted with the place as the rest of the party; probably, as she says herself, from having been less well, but she thinks she should like it better in the season. The streets are very empty now, and the shops not so gay as she expected. They are at No. 1 Henrietta Street, the corner of Laura Place, and have no acquaintance at present but the Bramstons.

Lady Bridges drinks at the Cross Bath, her son at the Hot, and Louisa is going to bathe. Dr. Parry seems to be half starving Mr. Bridges, for he is restricted to much such a diet as James's bread, water and meat, and is never to eat so much of that as he wishes, and he is to walk a great deal -- walk till he drops, I believe gout or no gout. It really is to that purpose. I have not exaggerated.

Charming weather for you and us, and the travellers, and everybody. You will take your walk this afternoon, and . . .

Henrietta St., the autumn of 1813.
Miss Austen, Chawton.
By favour of Mr. Gray.

[1] Eliza, Henry Austen's first wife, who had died in the earlier part of this year.

[2] "Pride and Prejudice."

[3] Lizzie and Marianne.

[4] "Sense and Sensibility."


Henrietta St.: Thursday (Sept. 16, after dinner).

Thank you, my dearest Cassandra, for the nice long letter I sent off this morning. I hope you have had it by this time, and that it has found you all well, and my mother no more in need of leeches. Whether this will be delivered to you by Henry on Saturday evening, or by the postman on Sunday morning, I know not, as he has lately recollected something of an engagement for Saturday, which perhaps may delay his visit. He seems determined to come to you soon however.

I hope you will receive the gown to-morrow, and may be able with tolerable honesty to say that you like the colour. It was bought at Grafton House, where, by going very early, we got immediate attendance and went on very comfortably. I only forgot the one particular thing which I had always resolved to buy there -- a white silk handkerchief -- and was therefore obliged to give six shillings for one at Crook and Besford's; which reminds me to say that the worsteds ought also to be at Chawton to-morrow, and that I shall be very happy to hear they are approved. I had not much time for deliberation.

We are now all four of us young ladies sitting round the circular table in the inner room writing our letters, while the two brothers are having a comfortable cose in the room adjoining. It is to be a quiet evening, much to the satisfaction of four of the six. My eyes are quite tired of dust and lamps.

The letter you forwarded from Edward, junr., has been duly received. He has been shooting most prosperously at home, and dining at Chilham Castle and with Mr. Scudamore.

My cap is come home, and I like it very much. Fanny has one also; hers is white sarsenet and lace, of a different shape from mine, more fit for morning carriage wear, which is what it is intended for, and is in shape exceedingly like our own satin and lace of last winter; shaped round the face exactly like it, with pipes and more fulness, and a round crown inserted behind. My cap has a peak in front. Large full bows of very narrow ribbon (old twopenny) are the thing. One over the right temple, perhaps, and another at the left ear.

Henry is not quite well. His stomach is rather deranged. You must keep him in rhubarb, and give him plenty of port and water. He caught his cold farther back than I told you; before he got to Matlock, somewhere in his journey from the North, but the ill effects of that I hope are nearly gone.

We returned from Grafton House only just in time for breakfast, and had scarcely finished breakfast when the carriage came to the door. From 11 to half-past 3 we were hard at it; we did contrive to get to Hans Place for ten minutes. Mrs. T. was as affectionate and pleasing as ever.

After our return Mr. Tilson walked up from the Compting House and called upon us, and these have been all our visitings.

I have rejoiced more than once that I bought my writing-paper in the country; we have not had a quarter of an hour to spare.

I enclose the eighteen-pence due to my mother. The rose colour was 6s. and the other 4s. per yard. There was but two yards and a quarter of the dark slate in the shop, but the man promised to match it and send it off correctly.

Fanny bought her Irish at Newton's in Leicester Square, and I took the opportunity of thinking about your Irish, and seeing one piece of the yard wide at 4s., and it seemed to me very good, good enough for your purpose. It might at least be worth your while to go there, if you have no other engagements. Fanny is very much pleased with the stockings she has bought of Remmington, silk at 12s., cotton at 4s. 3d. She thinks them great bargains, but I have not seen them yet, as my hair was dressing when the man and the stockings came.

The poor girls and their teeth! I have not mentioned them yet, but we were a whole hour at Spence's, and Lizzy's were filed and lamented over again, and poor Marianne had two taken out after all, the two just beyond the eye teeth, to make room for those in front. When her doom was fixed, Fanny, Lizzy, and I walked into the next room, where we heard each of the two sharp and hasty screams.

The little girls' teeth I can suppose in a critical state, but I think he must be a lover of teeth and money and mischief, to parade about Fanny's. I would not have had him look at mine for a shilling a tooth and double it. It was a disagreeable hour.

We then went to Wedgwood's, where my brother and Fanny chose a dinner set. I believe the pattern is a small lozenge in purple, between lines of narrow gold, and it is to have the crest.

We must have been three-quarters of an hour at Grafton House, Edward sitting by all the time with wonderful patience. There Fanny bought the net for Anna's gown, and a beautiful square veil for herself. The edging there is very cheap. I was tempted by some, and I bought some very nice plaiting lace at 3s. 4d.

Fanny desires me to tell Martha, with her kind love, that Birchall assured her that there was no second set of Hook's Lessons for Beginners, and that, by my advice, she has therefore chosen her a set by another composer. I thought she would rather have something than not. It costs six shillings.

With love to you all, including Triggs, I remain.
Yours very affectionately,


Henrietta St., autumn of 1813.
Miss Austen, Chawton.
By favour of []


Godmersham Park: Thursday (Sept 23).


Thank you five hundred and forty times for the exquisite piece of workmanship which was brought into the room this morning, while we were at breakfast, with some very inferior works of art in the same way, and which I read with high glee, much delighted with everything it told, whether good or bad. It is so rich in striking intelligence that I hardly know what to reply to first. I believe finery must have it.

I am extremely glad that you like the poplin. I thought it would have my mother's approbation, but was not so confident of yours. Remember that it is a present. Do not refuse me. I am very rich.

Mrs. Clement is very welcome to her little boy, and to my congratulations into the bargain, if ever you think of giving them. I hope she will do well. Her sister in Lucina, Mrs. H. Gipps, does too well, we think. Mary P. wrote on Sunday that she had been three days on the sofa. Sackree does not approve it.

Well, there is some comfort in the Mrs. Hulbart's not coming to you, and I am happy to hear of the honey. I was thinking of it the other day. Let me know when you begin the new tea, and the new white wine. My present elegancies have not yet made me indifferent to such matters. I am still a cat if I see a mouse.

I am glad you like our caps, but Fanny is out of conceit with hers already; she finds that she has been buying a new cap without having a new pattern, which is true enough. She is rather out of luck to like neither her gown nor her cap, but I do not much mind it, because besides that I like them both myself, I consider it as a thing of course at her time of life -- one of the sweet taxes of youth to choose in a hurry and make bad bargains.

I wrote to Charles yesterday, and Fanny has had a letter from him to-day, principally to make inquiries about the time of their visit here, to which mine was an answer beforehand; so he will probably write again soon to fix his week. I am best pleased that Cassy does not go to you.

Now, what have we been doing since I wrote last? The Mr. K.'s[1] came a little before dinner on Monday, and Edward went to the church with the two seniors, but there is no inscription yet drawn up. They are very good-natured you know, and civil, and all that, but are not particularly superfine; however, they ate their dinner and drank their tea, and went away, leaving their lovely Wadham in our arms, and I wish you had seen Fanny and me running backwards and forwards with his breeches from the little chintz to the white room before we went to bed, in the greatest of frights lest he should come upon us before we had done it all. There had been a mistake in the housemaids' preparation, and they were gone to bed.

He seems a very harmless sort of young man, nothing to like or dislike in him -- goes out shooting or hunting with the two others all the morning, and plays at whist and makes queer faces in the evening.

On Tuesday the carriage was taken to the painter's; at one time Fanny and I were to have gone in it, chiefly to call on Mrs. C. -- Milles and Moy[2] -- but we found that they were going for a few days to Sandling, and would not be at home; therefore my brother and Fanny went to Eastwell in the chair instead. While they were gone the Nackington Milles's called and left their cards. Nobody at home at Eastwell.

We hear a great deal of Geo. H.'s wretchedness. I suppose he has quick feelings, but I dare say they will not kill him. He is so much out of spirits, however, that his friend John Plumptre is gone over to comfort him, at Mr. Hatton's desire. He called here this morning in his way. A handsome young man certainly, with quiet, gentlemanlike manners. I set him down as sensible rather than brilliant. There is nobody brilliant nowadays. He talks of staying a week at Eastwell, and then comes to Chilham Castle for a day or two, and my brother invited him to come here afterwards, which he seemed very agreeable to.

"'Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more," but to make amends for that, our visit to the Tylden's is over. My brother, Fanny, Edwd., and I went; Geo. stayed at home with W. K. There was nothing entertaining, or out of the common way. We met only Tyldens and double Tyldens. A whist-table for the gentlemen, a grown-up musical young lady to play backgammon with Fanny, and engravings of the Colleges at Cambridge for me. In the morning we returned Mrs. Sherer's visit. I like Mr. S. very much.

Well, I have not half done yet, I am not come up with myself. My brother drove Fanny to Nackington and Canty. yesterday, and while they were gone the Faggs paid their duty. Mary Oxenden is staying at Canty. with the Blairs, and Fanny's object was to see her.

The Deedes want us to come to Sandling for a few days, or at least a day and night. At present Edwd. does not seem well affected -- he would rather not be asked to go anywhere -- but I rather expect he will be persuaded to go for the one day and night.

I read him the chief of your letter; he was interested and pleased, as he ought, and will be happy to hear from you himself. Your finding so much comfort from his cows gave him evident pleasure. I wonder Henry did not go down on Saturday; he does not in general fall within a doubtful intention.

My face is very much as it was before I came away; for the first two or three days it was rather worse. I caught a small cold in my way down, and had some pain every evening, not to last long, but rather severer than it had been lately. This has worn off, however, and I have scarcely felt anything for the last two days.

Sackree is pretty well again, only weak. Much obliged to you for your message, &c.; it was very true that she blessed herself the whole time that the pain was not in her stomach. I read all the scraps I could of your letter to her. She seemed to like it, and says she shall always like to hear anything of Chawton now, and I am to make you Miss Clewes's assurance to the same effect, with thanks and best respects, &c.

The girls are much disturbed at Mary Stacey's not admitting Dame L. Miss C. and I are sorry, but not angry; we acknowledge Mary Stacey's right, and can suppose her to have reason.

Oh! the church must have looked very forlorn. We all thought of the empty pew. How Bentigh is grown! and the Canty. Hill Plantation! And the improvements within are very great. I admire the chintz room very much. We live in the library except at meals, and have a fire every evening. The weather is set about changing; we shall have a settled wet season soon. I must go to bed.

Friday. -- I am sorry to find that one of the nightcaps here belongs to you -- sorry, because it must be in constant wear.

Great doings again to-day. Fanny, Lizzy, and Marnne. are going to Goodnestone for the fair, which is to-morrow, and stay till Monday, and the gentlemen are all to dine at Evington. Edwd. has been repenting ever since he promised to go, and was hoping last night for a wet day, but the morning is fair. I shall dine with Miss Clewes, and I dare say find her very agreeable. The invitation to the fair was general. Edwd. positively declined his share of that, and I was very glad to do the same. It is likely to be a baddish fair -- not much upon the stall, and neither Mary O.[3] nor Mary P.[4]

It is hoped that the portfolio may be in Canty. this morning. Sackree's sister found it at Croydon and took it to town with her, but unluckily did not send it down till she had directions. Fanny C.'s screens can be done nothing with, but there are parts of workbags in the parcel, very important in their way. Three of the Deedes girls are to be at Goodnestone.

We shall not be much settled till this visit is over, settled as to employment I mean. Fanny and I are to go on with Modern Europe together, but hitherto have advanced only twenty-five pages. Something or other has always happened to delay or curtail the reading hour.

I ought to have told you before of a purchase of Edward's in town; he desired you might hear of it -- a thing for measuring timber with, so that you need not have the trouble of finding him in tapes any longer. He treated himself with this seven-shilling purchase, and bought a new watch and new gun for George. The new gun shoots very well.

Apples are scarce in this country -- 1l. 5s. a sack. Miss Hinton should take Hannah Knight. Mrs. Driver has not yet appeared. J. Littleworth and the grey pony reached Bath safely.

A letter from Mrs. Cooke: they have been at Brighton a fortnight; stay at least another, and Mary is already much better.

Poor Dr. Isham is obliged to admire P. and P.,[5] and to send me word that he is sure he shall not like Madame D'Arblay's new novel half so well. Mrs. C. invented it all, of course. He desires his compliments to you and my mother.

Of the Adlestrop living business, Mrs. C. says: "It can be now no secret, as the papers for the necessary dispensations are going up to the Archbishop's Secretary. However, be it known that we all wish to have it understood that George takes this trust entirely to oblige Mr. Leigh, and never will be a shilling benefited by it. Had my consent been necessary, believe me, I should have withheld it, for I do think it on the part of the patron a very shabby piece of business. All these and other Scrapings from dear Mrs. E. L. are to accumulate no doubt to help Mr. Twisleton to a secure admission again into England." I would wish you, therefore, to make it known to my mother as if this were the first time of Mrs. Cooke's mentioning it to me.

I told Mrs. C. of my mother's late oppressions in her head. She says on that subject: "Dear Mrs. Austen's is, I believe, an attack frequent at her age and mine. Last year I had for some time the sensation of a peck loaf resting on my head, and they talked of cupping me, but I came off with a dose or two of calomel, and have never heard of it since."

The three Miss Knights and Mrs. Sayce are just off; the weather has got worse since the early morning, and whether Mrs. Clewes and I are to be tête-à-tête, or to have four gentlemen to admire us, is uncertain.

I am now alone in the library, mistress of all I survey; at least I may say so, and repeat the whole poem if I like it, without offence to anybody.

Martha will have wet races and catch a bad cold; in other respects I hope she will have much pleasure at them, and that she is free from ear-ache now. I am glad she likes my cap so well. I assure you my old one looked so smart yesterday that I was asked two or three times before I set off whether it was not my new one.

I have this moment seen Mrs. Driver driven up to the kitchen door. I cannot close with a grander circumstance of greater wit.

Yours affectionately,
J. A.

I am going to write to Steventon, so you need not send any news of me there.

Louisa's best love and a hundred thousand million kisses.

Miss Austen, Chawton, Alton, Hants.

[1] Knatchbulls.

[2] Mrs. C. Milles was the mother of Mr. R. Milles of Nackington and Elmham, Norfolk. "Moy" means "Molly" Milles -- probably an imitation of her mother's way of pronouncing her name. She was sister to Mr. R. Milles, and "the Nackington Milles'" refers to his widow who lived there after his death

[3] Mary Oxenden.

[4] Mary Plumptre.

[5] "Pride and Prejudice."

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