Skip to main content

Full text of "Letters of Jane Austen"

See other formats


Google 



This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 



I^'^'7C,II-B (,} 




•■-13 



LETTEES 



<< 



JANE AUSTEN 



KI>ITeD 

\SD CRITICAL 



EDWARD, LORD BRABOURNE 

.1 , y/" 



IS TWO VOLUMKR 
VOL. I. 



I 



II p» 



^f'^ 



mmmmmmmir^'^^ 



. .-,'1 I 



^m - 




•/ 



1 



1 



I' 



^ 



EX UBRIS RUSSELL GRAY 





* 


Q W JH 

eJ O ei 




Sffl) 


K^ «J c^ 




S^p' 


^^^ 


Ijcat-^ 


< O " 




ffi O J 


•- 


• 
• • 



r 



i^ * 1' vi 






HARVARD 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 

JAN 33 'a/ 1 






JANE AUSTEN'S 
LETTEKS 



I.OSMUil PaiJITSII IIT 

PAai.iA»Kirr liTiiKir 



/ 




y 



' .' '^ V H /. .. 
V fc A « i; f J 






HARVARD 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 



/ 



\ 



-A \ 



THE QUEERS MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY. 

Madam, 

It was the knowledge that your Jlajesty so highly 
ii])I)reci[it«d the works of Jane Austin which embold- 
ened me to nak permission to dedicale to your Majesty 
these volumes, containing as they do niinierous letteni 
of that authoress, of wtiJch, a« her grent-nephew, I hnve 
i-ccentiy become jxissessed. These lettent are printed, 
niili the exception of a very few omiaiions which ii]>- 
I>eared obviously desirable, just as they were written, and 
if there should be found in them, or in the chapters 




■ • 



. » 



• * • 



\ 



f ',im 



CONTENTS 

THE. FIB8T VOLUME. 

INTHODgCTIIlM ...,., 
. IIIIDUliHIillAM AHll UUOUNESTOIilE 
. AIHTK.NH AKD KKIOBTS 

. (irKveNTiiK ABD cTMAWToir, wikchehtek 




INTEODUCTION. 



It is right that some explanation should be 
given of the manner in wiiich the letters wow 
published came into my possession. 

The Rev. J. E, Aiieten Iieigh, nephew to Jane 
Austen, and first cousin to my mother Lady 
KnatchbuU, published in 1869 ' a Memoir ' of 
liis aunt, and supplemented it by a second and 
enlarged edition in the following year, to which 



X INTRODUCTION. 

what was given to the other, by which mearis 
Mr. Austen Leigh became acquainted with the 
existence ami contents of ^Lady Susan/ and 
knowing that it was the property of my mother, 
wrote to ask her permission to attach it to, and 
{lublish it with, the second edition of his ^ Memoir.* 
My mother was at that time unable to attend to 
business, and my youngest sister, who lived with 
lier, replied to the request, giving the desired per- 
mission on her behalf, but stating at. the same 

fl 

time that the autograph copy liad been lost for the 

* 

last six years, that any letters which existed could 
not be found, and that my mother was not in a fit 
state to allow of any search being made. It so 
happened that no reference was made to me, and I 
only knew of the request having been made and 
«rranted when I saw the talc in print. But on my 
mother's death, in December 1882, all her papers 
ranie into my possession, and I not only found the 
original copy of * Lady Susan * — in Jane Austen's 
own handwriting — among the other books in the 
IVovender library, but a square box full of letters, 
faiKtened up carefully in separate packets, each 
of which was endorsed *For Lady Knatchbul)/ 
in the handwriting of my great-aunt, Cassandra 



\ 



INTRODUCnOX. XI 

Austen, and wilJi wliicli was a paper endorsed^ 
in tny motlicr's handwriting, ' Letters from . my 
dear Aunt Jane Austen, and two from Aunt Casr 
flandra after her decease,' wliicli paper contained 
tlie letters written to my mother liersclf. The box 
itself liad been endorsed by my mother aa foUowfl >-^ 

' Letters from Aunt Jane to ' Aunt Cassandra at 
different periods of her life — a few. to. me — aniX 
^onic from Aunt Cass, to me after' At. Jaiie's 
death.' 

This endorsement bears tlie date Augunt,.l.&uG,' 
and was probably mule the lost time niy mother 
l<K)ked at the letters. At all events, a comparison 
of these letters with some quoted by. Mr.: Austen 
Trf;igh makes it abundantly clear that they have 




DfTBODUCTlOX. 

come into my possession were of sufficient public 
interest to justify me in giving them to the world. 
Tbey had evidently, for the most part, been left 
to my mother by her Aunt C<assandra Austen ; 
they contain the confidential outpourings of Jane 
Austen's soul to her beloved sister, interspersed 
with many family and personal details which, 
Joubtkss, she would have told to no other human 
being. But to-day, more than seventy long years 
have rolled away since the greater part of them 
were written ; no one now living can, I think, have 
any possible just cause of annoyance at their 
publication, whilst, if I judge rightly, the public 
nerer took a deeper or more lively interest in all 
tliat concerns Jane Austcfi than at the present 
moment Her works, slow in their progress 
towards popularity, have achieved it witli the 
greater certainty, and have made un imjiression 
the more permanent from its gradual advance. 
The popularity continues, although the customs 
and manners which Jane Austen describes have 
changed and varied so much as to belong in a 
great measure to another age. But tlie reason of 
its continuance is not far to seek. Human nature 
if the same in all ages of the world, and Uhe 



\ 



i 



INTRODUCTION. xiii 

inimitable Jane ' (aa an old friend of mine used 
always to call her) is true to Nature from first to 
last. She does not attract our imagination by 
sensational descriptions or marvellous plots; but, 
with 80 little * plot ' at all as to offend those who read 
only for excitement, she describes men and women 
exactly as men and women really are, and tells her - 
tale of ordinary, everyday life with such truthful 
delineation, such bewitching simplicity, and, more- 
over, with such purity of style and language, as 
have rarely been equalled, and perhaps never 
surpassed. 

This being the case, it has seemed to me that 
the letters which show what her own 'ordinary, 
everyday life ' was, and wliicli afford a picture 




1 

f 

r 

If 



, 



^; 



( 



.,((II.*IW'I' 



LETTEBB 

OF 

JANE AUSTEN. 



CHAFTEU L 

OODUEBSHAH AM) QOODNESrOint. 

My great-aunt, Jane Au8ten,died on July 18, 1817. 
As circumstances over which I had no control 
prevented my appearance in the world until 
twelve years later, I waa unfortunately debarred 







LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



OH. I. 



Aunt Jane, and that the latter's name has been 
a hoanehold word in my family from the earliest 
period of my recollection. It is of my mother 
that Jane Austen wiites to her sister Cassandra 
(October 7, 1808), *I am greatly pleased with 
your account of Fanny ; I found her in the summer 
just what you describe, almost another sister, and 
could not have supposed that a neice ^ would ever 
have been so much to me. She is quite after one's 
own heart.' And it is to my mother that her Aunt 
CSassandra writes in 1817, after her sister's death : 
* I believe she was better known to you than to 
any human being besides myself.' The memory 
of ' Aunt Jane ' was so constantly and so tenderly 
cherished by my mother, and I have always heard 
her spoken of in such terms of affection, that 
I feel very much as if I must have known her 
myself, and I am not content to let these letters 
go forth to the world without such additional 
information as I am able to impart with respect 
to the people and things of whom and of which 
they treat 

In order to be properly interested in a bio- 
graphy or in biographical letters, it is necessary 

* Alwftjt to spelt in her letUiB. 



as. t. GODMERSHAM AND GOODNESTONB. S 

that the reader should know aomething of the 
' dramatis peraonie,' bo as to feel as nearly aa 
possible aa if they were personal acquuntances t 
and if this desirable point is once reached, the 
amuseihent to be found in the narrative is sensibly 
increased. Of course it is very possible to fall 
into the error of going too much into detul, and 
provoking tlie exclamation, 'What has this got 
to do with Jane Austen P ' I think that this is an 
exclamation very likely to be made by some of 
those who may peruse these volumes ; but, on the 
other hand, I am inclined to beheve that, upon 
the whole, it is bettei' to give too much than too 
little information. For my own part, I confess 
that, if I read letters of this kind at all, I like 
to know as much as is to be known about tho 




4 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. ck. i. 

•tin in the possession of the same family ; and, such 
beii^ my view of the case, I have endeavoured 
to give as much information as I could about 
everybody and everything. At the distance of 
time from which these letters were written, it is 
next to impossible not to miss, and perhaps occa- 
aonally misunderstand, some of the allusions ; but, 
lor the most part, I hope and think this has been 
svoided. 

To m considerable extent, the letters tell their 
own story, the first being written in 1796, when the 
writer was not yet twenty-one — the last in 1816, 
the year before she died. The * Memoir ' published 
by Mr. Austen Leigh gives an outline of Jane 
Austen's history which these letters will do much 
to fill up and complete ; but there are some points 
which he has left untouched, and others upon 
which he was not in possession of the information 
Trhich 1 am now able to impart. For instance, Mr. 
Austen Leigh speaks of lettei*s written in November, 
1800, as * the earUest letters ' he has seen, whereas 
the present collection comprises more than twenty 
which were written before that time. Again, he 
quotes a sentence written in April, 1805, as ^ evi- 
dence that Jane Austen was acquainted with Bath 



^v 



mm 



CH. I. GODSIEHSIIAM AND OOODNESTONE, 6 

before it became her residence in 1801/ the fact 
of which acquaintance, the reason for it and the 
manner in which it came about, will all be found 
in these letters. 

It IB not my desire or intention to attempt a 
regular biography of Jane Austen, by which I 
mean an account of the events of her life set down 
in chronological order and verified witli historical 
precision. In truth, the chief beauty of Jane 
Austen's life really consisted in its being unevent- 
ful : i( was empliatically a home life, and ahe the 
lij^lit and blessing of a home circle. When it has 
been said that slie was born at Steventon Rectory 
on December IG, 1775, that the family moved to 
Bath in 1801, that her father died there in January, 
1805, that she subsequently went with her mother 




V. 



6 USTTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. oo. u 

mdenUnd them as they ought to be understood 
to make . them interesting, I think it is very 
desirable to arrive at a more complete knowledge 
than has hitherto been possible for the general 
public, of the circumstances under which they 
were written, and the places to and from which 
Ihej were addressed. 

Of Steventon, where the first half of Jane 
Austen's life was passed, there is little to be said 
beyond what has been already told by Mr. Austen 
Leigh. Bat it is interesting to enquire how it was 
that Steventon became Jane Austen's home, and 
the more so since it was through the same channel 
that her family became interested in Godmersham 
Park and Chawton House, from or to the former 
of which many of her letters were addressed, and 
near to the latter of which was the home where 
she passed the later period of her life. In fact, 
before one can thoroughly understand and feel at 
home with the people of whom Jane Austen writes, 
and who were the friends and companions of her 
life, one should know something of the history of 
Godmersham and Goodnestone, in Kent, as well as 
of Steventon and Chawton, in Hampshire ; and I 
am bound to say, speaking from personal expe- 



V 



ca. I. OOUMERSIIAU AND OOODSESTONE. 7 

rience, that the more we know about them, tlie 
better we shall like them. 

I will take Godmeraham first, partly because I 
know it best, and partly because it obliges me to 
eotcr upon a genealogical sketch which is required 
in order to trace the way in which this place 
became connected with Jane Austen and Jane 
Austen with the place. Godraersliam Park is 
situated in one of the most beautiful parta of 
£ent, namely, in the Valley of the Stour, which 
lies between Ashford and Canterbury. Soon after 
you pass the Wye Station of the railway from the 
former to tlie latter place, you sec Oodmersham 
Church on your left hand, and just beyond it comes 
into view the wall which shuts off the shrubberies 
and pleasure grounds of the great house from the 




8 I«ETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oir. x. 

chalk kills (the proper name of wliich is the 
Backbone of Kent) wliich runs from Dover to 
Folkestone, and from Folkestone by Lyminge, 
Korton, Stowting, Braboume, and Brook to Wye, 
where the break occurs, and on the other side of 
the yalky the hills appear again, running down 
from Chilham, past Godmersliam to Challock and 
Eastwell, and away behind Charing and Lenham. 
80 that Oodmersham Park, beyond the house, is 
upon the chalk downs, and on its further side is 
bounded by ]^g's Wood, a large tract of wood- 
land containing many hundred acres and possessed 
by several different owners. It is a healthy as well 
MB a lovely situation, with Chilham Park to the 
north and Eastwell Park to the south, 6.^ miles from 
Ashford and 8 miles from Canterbury, and witliin 
an easy drive from the quaint little town of Wye. 

Oodmersham formerly belonged to the ancient 
family of Brodnax, one of whom lived in tlie reign 
of Henry V., and married Alicie Scappe, from 
whom descended various generations of the name, 
who seem to have lived either at nythe,Burmar8h, 
or Cheriton-;— all places in Kent adjoining each 
other — until we come to Thomas Brodnax, of 
Oodmersham, who, having married, first a Oilbert, 



\ 
\ 
\ 



on. r. OODMKHSIIASI AND aOODNESTOM-:. 9 

ami then ft Uroclciiian, of lioncliboroii}i]i, dial in 
1002. His great-grandson William, having married 
tlic daughter of Thomas Diggcs, of Chilliain, was 
kniglite<l, either for that reason or a better, in 
1GG4, and left a son William, who married, first a 
Coppin and then a May, and died in 1720. 

It itj through Tliomas Brodnax, tlie son of this 
last-named William, that the Austen family became 
connected witli Godmcreham. lie clianged his 
name, doubtlesB for very good cause, first in 1727 
to May (his mother's name), and then, in 1738, to 
Knight. As Thomas May Kniglit he ended his 
life, in 1781, aged eighty years, and of him Hasted, 
the Kentisli historian, says that ' he was a gentle- 
man wiiose eminent worth ought not here to pass 
nnnoticed; wliose high character for upright 




I 



10 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEK. ch. i. 

Hasted, * a family of ancient standing in Kent/ and 
one of whom, John Austen, of Broadford, not only 
died there, in 1620, but was comfortably buried 
in the parish church, where are— or were — hung 
his coat of arms in commemoration of the event. 
Prom him descended John Austen, of Oraveliurst 
and Broadford, who died in 1705, aged seventy-six, 
Baving had a son John and a daughter Jane by 
his wife Jane Atkins. The son married Elizabeth 
Weller, had a son William, and then died the year 
before his father. The daughter married Stephen 
Stringer, and had a daughter named Hannah. 
William Austen and Hannah Stringer being thus 
first cousins, the former married Bebecca Ilampson, 
and had a son George, wlio was Jane Austen's 
father ; the latter married William Monk, and had 
a daughter Jane, who married Thomas May Kniglit, 
of Godmersham Park and Cliawton House. This 
latter couple had one son, Thomas Knight, who 
married Catherine, daughter of Wadham Knatch- 
ball. Canon and Prebendary of Durham, and, 
having no children, Mr. Knight adopted Edward 
Austen, G^rge Austen's second son, and, dying in 
1794, left him all his property, subject to his 
widow's life interest 



\ 






on. I. G0D>IE11SIIAM AND Q00DNE8T0NE. 11 

It will be eeen by the foregoing accouut how 
it was tliat the Austens became concerned with 
Godmersham, and it will also be seen tliat the 
various county histories which Mr. Austen Leigh 
follows, in saying that Mr. Thomas Knight left 
his property to ' his cousin Edward Austen," cer- 
tainly make the most of the relationship. All that 
the two could fairly say was that tlieir great-grand- 
father and great-grandmother were brother and 
sister, and their grandfather and grandmother 6rat 
cousins ; but, according to the present ideas of the 
world, it is somewhat straining a point to claim the 
relationship of ' cousin ' for the second generation 
after the indisputable first -con si nship. I believe, 
however, that, as a matter of fact, Mr. Knight had 
no nearer relations than this branch of the family, 




12 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN* ov. t. 

under sixty years of age, his widow, as will appear 
from the letters, gave up the property to Edward 
Austen, to whom it would otherwise have come 
only at her decease. She reserved a certain in- 
come for herself, retired to Canterbury, and settled 
down in a house known as * White Friars,' so called 
from the Augustine or * White Friars ' (though the 
appellation more properly belonged to the Car- 
meUtes), who formerly possessed it, and from whom 
it passed through various hands till it came by 
marriage into the possession of the Papillons of 
Acrise, from whom Mr. W. 0. Hammond, of 
St. Albans Court, bought it, lived there for a time, 
and then sold it to Mrs. Knight, who inhabited 
it until her death in October 1812. In November 
1812 Edward Austen and his family took the 
name of Knight. 

Mrs. Knight {n^e Catherine Knatchbull) lived 
on the best of terms with those who succeeded her 
at Godmersham. She was a very superior woman, 
with a good understanding and highly cultivated 
mind ; she was my mother's godmother, and I shall 
add to the present collection of letters two of hers, 
one to my mother and the other to my father. Sir 
Edward Knatchbull, which I think are of some 



N 



OODUERSHAH AND OOODNESTONB. 



13 



interest. Mrs. Knight waa not only a very su- 
perior, but a very beautiful woman, if we may 
judge from her picture, by Bomney, which now 
hangs in the dining-room at Chawton House, and 
is enough to make anyone proud of being related 
to her. It was, aa I have said, the adoption 
of my maternal grandfather Edward Austen, by - 
Mr. Knight, which enabled the former to marry ; 
and this brings me to the connection of Jane 
Austen and her family with Ooodnestone, which 
shall duly be set forth in a manner which will 
throw light upon many of the characters in our 
play. For the 'Elizabeth* to whom frequent 
reference is made throughout tliese letters, bdmg 
the wife chosen by my revered grandfather, and 




14 LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. ch. t. 

and 18 in old records written Oodwinceston, * which 
name,' says Hasted, Mi took from Earl Godwin, 
once owner of it.' Goodnestone was not the ori- 
^nal seat of the Bridges race. Collins tells us 
that * this family has been of good antiquity in 
Ireland, where several of the branches thereof have 
. now considerable estates ; but the first that settled 
in England was John Bridges of South Littleton, in 
Worcestershire, who, on November 14, 1578, pur- 
chased an house and lands at Alcester, in War- 
wickshire. Ilis grandson, John Bridges, settled at 
Hackney, and was the father of Col. John Bridges, 
whose second son, Brooke, was the first Bridges who 
possessed Goodnestone. For we find from Hasted 
that in the reign of Queen Anne one Sir Thos. 
Engham sold it to Brook Bridges, of Grove, auditor 
of the imprest, who new built the mansion, and 
died possessed of it in 1717. ^He built,' says 
Collins, * a very handsome house, and very much 
improved the gardens, and along the side of the 
terras walks, stand the busts of the twelve Ccesars, 
in marble, larger than the life ; they were brought 
finom Some, and cost about 600/.' His son, who 
was created a baronet in 1718, married, first, Mar- 
garet Marsham, daughter of Sir Bobt. Marsham and 



\ 






en, I. OODMEBSHAM AND OOODNESTONE. 16 

sister of the first Lord Komney; secondly, Mary, 
daughter of Sir Tliomas Hales, of Bekeabourne. 

It ia necessary to go back as far as this, in 
order to show the connection and kinship of 
various persons to whom allusion ie made in some 
of the Godmersham and Goodnestone letters. Sir 
Brook left two children by his first wife : Margaret, 
who married Jolin Plumptre, Esq., of Fredville 
near Wingham, M.P. for Nottingham in 1760, and 
died without children (with which a second wife 
amply supplied him), and Brook, who succeeded 
him as second baronet in March, 1728, This Sir 
Brook married Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas 
Palmer, of Wingham (of whom more anon), but 
died during his shrievalty (May 23, 1733), after 
which a posthumous child was born to him, who 




' "■ ■ III 



16 I.ETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. on. J. 

Fitzwallcr peerage, which the fifth Sir Brook so 
nearly aaatained before the Committee of Fi*ivi- 
leges of the Ilouse of Lords in later years, that 
no one ever quite knew how he failed to get it, 
any more than they understood the species of wild 
justice by which a peerage of the same name, 
bat not the same peerage, was eventually given to, 
and died with him. The third Sir Brook and 
Panny Fowler (who died March 15, 1825) had 
ten children, all of whom are mentioned, some of 
them frequently, in these letters. There were four 
sons, of whom William, the eldest, became the 
fourth baronet upon the death of his father in 
1791, took the name of Brook by Act of Parlia- 
ment, married Eleanor Footc, tlie daughter of 
John Foote, Esq., banker, of London, and by her 
(who died in 1806) had two sons, Sir Brook (who 
succeeded him, married his first cousin Fanny 
Cage, was created Lord Fitzwalter, of Woodham 
Walter, Sussex, in 1868, and died without issue in 
1875) and George, who married Louisa, daughter 
of Chas. Chaplin, Esq., M.P., of Blankney, Lincoln- 
shire, and succeeded his brother as sixth baronet. 
The fourth Sir Brook also left a daughter Eleanor, 
who married in 1828 the Bo v. Henry Western 



\ 






on. I. OUDMEItsnAlil AND G00DHB8T0NB. 17 

Hiimptrc, third son of Mr. Flumptrc, of FrodTillo, 
and had a large family. 

But I am descending into modern times far too 
rapidly, having jet to deal with the seven younger 
children of the third Sir Brook and Fanny Fowler. 
The second son was Henry, who also took the 
name of Brook, married in 1795 Jane, daughter 
of Sir Thos. I^rm Hales, and had sundry childreo 
who need not here be specified. The other two 
sons were Brook Edward and Brook John, who 
also married, but who do not signify to us at 
present. It is with the daughters that we are 
more concerned, for four of the ux married — three 
of them m tlie same year — and to them or their 
children we have constant references in the letters 
before us. Fanny married Lewis Cage, of Milgatc, 




18 LBTTEES OF JANE AUSTEN. ch. i. 

fifteen yean later, in 1806, Harriet Mary married 
the Bey. Geo. Moore, Bector of Canterbury, and 
eldest son of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, 
bj whom she also had a numerous family. 

I cannot forbear interrupting my genealogical 
narrative here, in the hope that my lady readers 
win be interested in the matter which causes the 
intermption, inasmuch as it relates to the manners 
and customs of just a hundred years ago with 
regard to matrimonial engagements. I have the 
letters in which Fanny Fowler, Lady Bridges, 
announces the coming marriages of her three elder 
daughters; they were written to her husband's 
half-brother's (Chas. Fielding) wife, and being in- 
teresting, although very remotely connected with 
* Jane Austen,' if I may not properly insert them, 
as I shall venture to do, in the appendix to these 
volumes, what is the use of having an appendix at 
all ? I shall certainly do so, for the benefit of all 
those mothers who have daughters, married or to 
be married, in order that they may see and appre- 
ciate the manner in which my beloved great- 
grandmother bore the loss (by marriage) of three 
daughters in one year. Besides these three and 
Mrs. Moore, however, she had two daughters to 



\ 



en. I. GOUMERSHAM AND QOODNESTONE. 19 

console her, neither of -whom was married. 
Marianne (mentioned in the thirty-fifth letter, 
who was a confirmed invalid all her life, and 
died in 1811) and t/ouisa. Tlie latter, who ia 
mentioned in letter sixty-six as having gone with 
her mother to Bath in 1813, lived many years, 
much loved and respected by all my generation, 
who knew her as 'Great-Aunt Louisa,' and often 
saw her at Godmersham and Goodnestone, at the 
latter of which she died in June 1856. When 
Sir Brook, the third baronet, died in 1791, his 
widow retired to Goodnestone Farm, and lived 
there with these two unmarried daughters and 
the two Miss Cages, Fanny and Sophia, who 
came to her after the death of their parents, the 
latter having died within a few months of each 




20 LETTERS OF JAKE AUSTEN. ok. i. 

relationships of the eastern part of Kent which 
have given rise to the saying that * in Kent they 
are all first cousins.' But I cannot forbear saying 
a few more words in this place upon Kentish 
relationships, which will assist in explaining some 
other allusions in our letters, and without wiiich 
I should reaUy feel as if I had been guilty of an 
inexcusable omission. 

My mother, who took a deep interest in all 
fSunily matters, and was an infallible authority 
upon questions connected with county genealogy, 
always b^an her elucidation of any point relating 
to her mother's family with the follovriug words : 
* Once upon a time there were three Miss Palmers.* 
As nobody is at all likely to dispute this fact at 
the present day, I pause to remark that the 
Palmers were an old Kentish family, of Wingham, 
and the first baronet. Sir Thomas, was raised to 
that dignity in 1621. Of him says Hasted, * He so 
constantly resided at Wingham that he is said 
to have kept sixty Christmases without intermis- 
sion in this mansion with great hospitaUty.' Sir 
Thomas had three sons, each of whom was 
knighted, and from him descended the father 
of the three ladies whose doings I am about to 



V 



CB. I. OODMEBSIIAM AND OOODNESTONE. 21 

commemorate. Their names were Mary, Elizabeth, 
and Anne. Mary became t)ie second wife of 
Daniel, seventli Earl of Winchilsea, by whom slie 
had four daughters, of whom only one, Heneage, 
married, her husband being Sir George Osbom, 
of Cliickaanda Priory, Bedfordshire. EUz&beth 
Palmer married Edward Finch, fifth brother of 
the said Daniel, seventh Earl of Winchilsea, who 
took tlie name of Hatton under the will of his 
aunt, the widow of Viscount Hatton, and died 
in 1771, leaving a son George. Meanwhile, the 
second, tliird, and fourth brothers lived and died, 
and only the second brother, William, left a son. 
He accomplislied this by marrying twice : first. 
Lady Anne Douglas, who had no children ; secondly, 
Lady Qiailotte Fermor, whose son George auc- 
ceeded hia uncle Daniel as eighth Earl of Win- 




22 LErrrEBS of jane AUSTEN. n. t. 

Hatton' several times mentioned in die letters 
from Oodmersbam. 

But, in following up the Unches and Hattons, 
I have left Anne, the third Miss Palmer, too long 
alone, and must hasten back to her, with many 
apologies. She was the lady who, as has been 
already mentioned, married the second Sir Brook 
Bridges ; but, whether the honour of the alliance, 
or the responsibihties of tlie ofllce of High Sheriff 
of the county, or some other cause, brought about 
the catastrophe, certain it is that Sir Brook left 
her a widow, as has already been stated, in 1733 ; 
and, in 1737, she took to herself a second husband, 
in the person of Charles Fielding, second son of 
Basil, fourth Earl of Denbigh, by whom she had 
two sons and two daughters before her death 
in 1743. This lady's second son Charles was a 
commodore in the navy ; he married Sophia Finch, 
aister of George Fmch, eighth Earl of Winchilsea, 
and daughter of William and Lady Charlotte 
finch (n^« Fermor). Lady Charlotte was governess 
to the children of King George m., and her 
daughter, Mrs. Charles Fielding, hved with her 
at Windsor and St. James*, so her children were 
brought np with the Boyal Family. This will 



ca. I. OODMERSIIAM AND Q0ODNE3T0NE. 23 

explain the varioufi references to members of the 
Fielding family which will be found in Jane 
Austen'a letters ; and, though I feel rather ashamed 
of having inflicted upon my readers such a dull 
chapter of genealogy, those who care to do k> 
will be able to identify by its aid many of the 
people who were her contemporaries, friends, and 
relations. 




24 LETTEBS OF JANS AUSTEN. em. IL 



C3IIAPTER n. 

AU8TEN8 AND KNIGIITS. 

In the preceding chapter I have dealt pretty fully 
with the relationships wliich accrued to Jane 
Austen through the marriage of her brother 
Edward to Elizabeth Bridges, and her consequent 
connection with Oodmersham and Ooodnestone. 

Before, however, I come to speak of her non- 
Kentish relations, it may be as well to specify the 
children of that marriage, the elder of wliom are 
constantly mentioned in the letters. T)ie * Fanny ' 
whose name occurs so often, and to whom some of 
the later letters are addressed, is Fanny Catherine, 
the eldest child of the marriage, wlio was born on 
January 23, 1793. A son may be pardoned for 
saying (especially when it is simply and literally 
true) that never was a more exemplary life passed 
than that of his mother. Upon October 10, 1808, 
jort before she had completed her sixteenth year, 



\ 

V 



«B. u. AUSTENS AND KNIOUTS, 2u 

her mother (the ' Elizabeth ' of the letters) died 
very aiiddcnly, Icaviny ten cliildrcii beaitlca hcmelf, 
the youngest quite n baby. Krum that moment my 
mother took charge of the family, watched over 
her brotlicra and Bisters, was her father's right 
hand and mainstay, and proved herself as admirable 
in tliat position as afterwards in licr married life. 
She married my father. Sir Edward KnatcIibuU, as 
his second wife, on October 24, 1820, when she had 
nearly completed her twcnly-cighth year, and died 
on Christmas morning, 1882, being within four 
■weeks of completing her ninetietli year. Uestdes 
her, the children of my grandfather and grand- 
mother consisted of six boys and four girls. 

Edward, the eldest son, married twice, and 




26 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. iu 

to his eldest son by his second wife, Adela, daughter 
of John Portal, Esq., of Freefolk, in the county of 
Hants. Tlie second son, Oeorge Thomas, is the 
*ittle Dordy' of the letters, and seems to have 
been a particular pet of Jane's. He was one of 
those men who are clever enough to do almost 
anything, but live to their lives' end very comfort- 
ably doing nothing. The most remarkable achieve- 
ment of his which I am able to record was his 
winning a 50Z. prize in the lottery in 1804, when 
quite a child, an event duly chronicled in her 
pocket-book of that year by my mother, who kept 
a regular journal of family events from very early 
childhood. Subsequently, my respected uncle was 
mighty at cricket, and one of the first, if not the 
first, who introduced the practice of * round ' 
bowling instead of the old-fashioned ^ underhand.' 
He was very well informed, agreeable, a pleasant 
companion, and always popular with his nephews 
and nieces ; but I know of nothing else which he 
did worthy of mention, except marry in 1 837 as 
kind-hearted a woman as ever lived in the person 
of Hilare, daughter of Admiral Sir Bobt. Barlow, 
and widow of the second Lord Nelson. They had 
no children, and passed a great deal of their time 






ilii ■ ^i^"*^— r^ 



TO. u. AUSTENS AND KNIGUTS. 27 

on the Continent. She died in 1837, and lie sur- 
vived her ten years, dj-ing in August 18C7. 

The next brother, Henrj-, married his first 
cousin, Sophia Cage, sister of Lady Bridges, and 
afterwards the daughter of tlie liev. E. Northey, 
and died in 1843. lie left two children, one by 
eacli wife, and the fourth brother, William, left 
several also, having married three times, and held 
the rectory of Steventon until his death in I87S. 

But as he, together with tlie two younger sona, 
Cliarles Bridges and Brook John (the former of 
whom died umnamed in October 1867, and the 
latter left no children, and died in 1878), were too 
yonng to be more than casually mentioned in 
'At. Jane's ' correspondence, it is needless to give fur- 
ther particulars about them. All tlie sons of the . 




ilW I n ■ 



28 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. n. 

in April of the present year. Those who are left 
are Marianne, still unmarried, and Louisa, who 
married Lord George Hill, as his second wife, the 
first having been her sister Cassandra, who died 
in 1842. 

This record will serve to explain many allusions 
in the letters, but I have still to deal with the 
* inimitable Jane's ' kith and kin in Hampshire and 
further abroad. Her own immediate family con- 
sisted of five brothers and the one sister, Cassandra, 
aome three years older than herself, to whom most 
of * the lettera ' are addressed. 

I remember * Great- Aunt Cassandra ' very well, 
which is not extraordinary, considering that she 
only died in the spring of 1845, when I was nearly 
sixteen years old. All through her Ufe she was a 
constant visitor at her brotlier's house at God- 
mersham, and it was to this circumstance, and to 
the consequent separation of the sisters, that we 
owe most of our letters. As the penny post had 
not been invented in those good old times, people . 
wrote less frequently and took more pains with 
their letters than is now the general habit, and we 
shall find several allusions to the ^ franks ' which 
could at that time (and indeed up to 1840) be 



\ 

\ 



CB. II. ADSTBNS AND KMOHTS. 29 

given by members of Parliament, who were thus 
enabled to oblige their friends by saving them the 
heavy postage of their letters. 

However, franka or no franks, it is very certiuu 
that tiie two aistera wrote to each other letters 
which may fairly be called voluminoiia, and my 
great regret is that, in presenting to the pubUc so 
many of Jane's letters to Cassandra, I cannot add 
to their value by producing any of Cassandra's to 
Jane, of wliich the latter gives us sufficient hints 
to make us feel that they must have been of an 
amusing and interesting character. In all proba- 
bility, however, when Jane Austen died in 1817, 
and aJl her papera and letters came into her sister's 
possession, the latter did not think her own letters 
worth preserving, and they were accordingly de- 




so LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. ii. 

Borrow^ it was not one which interfered with her 
cheerful disposition and temperament, so far at 
least as we younger people could tell, and all my 
recollections of her are pleasant. The warmest 
affection doubtless existed between the two sisters ; 
but indeed, so far as my experience goes of Austens 
and Knights, I should say that there has seldom 
been a family in which family affection and unity 
has existed in a stronger degree. 

Jane Austen's eldest brother was James, the 
husband of the * Mary ' to whom such frequent 
allusions are made, who was Mary Lloyd before 
she married, the mother of Mr. Austen Leigh, the 
writer of the Memoir, and the sister of EUzabeth, 
who was Mrs. Fowle of Kintbury, and of Martha, 
who is so often mentioned, and who eventually 
married Sir Francis Austen, one of Jane's younger 
brothers, and died in 1843. Neither she, however, 
nor her sister Mary was the first wife of their 
respective husbands. James Austen first married 
Anne, daughter of General Mathew, who presented 
him with one only daughter before she shuffled off 
this mortal coil. This daughter, however, is of some 
importance to our present purpose, partly because, 
her name being Jane Anna Elizabeth, she is the 



\ 

\ 



iB«»'P«iV«iBWP««ni>MPH««MiV'^«"MM*«*^«*va**<*«"9 



CH. n. AUSTENS AND KNIGHTS. 31 

* Anna ' frequently referred to in our letters, and 
partly because, in November 1814, slie thought fit 
to marry the Rev. Benjamin Ijefroy, afterwards 
Eector of Ashe (the ' Ben ' of the letters, who (lied 
in 1829), and thus gives me a peg upon which to 
hang a few other Lefroys, and show how they 
come to be so often mentioned by ' At. Jane.' Mrs, 
B. Lefroy had one 8on and six daughters, and died 
in 1872. 

Once upon a time there was a Thomas Lefroy, 
of Canterbury, who married a Phoebe Thomson 
of Kenfield (an estate not far from that cathedral 
city), and had a son Antliony, who lived some time 
at Leghorn, married Elizabeth Langlni."}, and begat 
two sons, the one of wliom was named Anthony, 
while the other rejoiced in the appellation of Isaac 




mm^^mmtmr 



32 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. on. ir. 



Mcanwiiilc Iwuic Peter George liefroy becnmo 
Fellow of All Souls, llector of Anlie, near Ste« 
▼ent<m, and Compton, in Surrey, husband of Anne 
Brydges, of Wotton, Kent (sister of Sir Egerton 
Brydges), and father of two sons, the younger of 
whom was the Benjamin who married our ' Anna/ 
whilst tlie elder was Jolm Henry Oeorge, of 
Ewshott House, Famham, who also became Hector 
<^ Ashe and Compton, married a Cottrell, and 
died in 1823, when his brother Benjamin suc- 
ceeded him in the living of Ashe, the three pre- 
sentations to which had been purchased by Mr. 
Langlois. He must have been immediately pre- 
ceded in the rectory by Dr. Bussell, tlie grand- 
father of Mary Bussell Mitford, to wlioso family 
we shall also And allusions in the earlier letters. 
There was a great intimacy between tlie rectories 
of Ashe and Steven ton, and Mrs. Lefroy was a 
valued friend of Jane*s up to the time of her 
death, in 1804, which was occasioned by a fall 
from lier horse. 

After this little Lefi*oy interlude I must return 
to James Austen, who is keeping all the rest of 
his family waiting in the most unconscionable 
manner. 






a^^-.'^ - "JT .J-".*!." 



on. II. AUSnCNS AND KNiailTS, 33 

I hnve nlrondy Haid tlint liis hcc-otiiI wife was 
Miiry Lloyd, wlio bnrc liiiii two cliililrcn, ' Jnnics 
lidward' ftiid 'Caroline Mary Craven,' mid dictl in 
1843, Imving survived her husljand twenty-four 
years. lie only survived his sister Jane two years, 
nnd died nt Stcvcnton in December 1819. James 
Edwnrd, the writer of the Memoir, mjuTied Emma, 
Uanglitcr of Cliarles Smith, Esq., of Suttons, and 
died in 1,874, leaving a numerous family. He took 
the name of Leigh in addition to that of Austen, 
havinf* inherited Scarlets, in Berkshire, under the 
will of tlie widow of his maternal uncle James Leigh 
Perrot, * of whom more anon,' as the old chroniclers 
nay. Ilis widow died in 187G, and his sister 
Caroline, who never married, died in 1880. 




u 



LETTERS OF JAKE AUSTEN. 



OB* n* 



8eem to be, as far as I can discover them, that 
my worthy great-uncle's want of * steadiness of 
purpose ' was evinced by his trying various pro- 
fessions, one after the other, without achieving any 
particular success in any. I gather from the letters 
before us that his sister gauged his character pretty 
well, and did not anticipate much success for his 
career. He seems to have had a hankering after 
a soldier's life for some time ; then he went into 
a bank in Alton. He aflerwards became Beceiver- 
General for Oxfordshire, and also a banker in 
London; and, whilst he lived there, helped his 
sister Jane with her publishing business. In 1816 
his bank broke, upon which he became a clergy- 
man, and went out as chaplain to Berlin in 1818. 
He married twice, which seems to have been the 
general habit of the family, his first wife being 
his first cousin Madame de Feuillade, n^e Eliza 
Hancock. Mr. Austen Leigh is mistaken in saying 
that his grandfather, Oeorge Austen, had only one 
sister. He had two, who rejoiced in the eupho- 
nious names of * Philadelphia * and * Leonora.* The 
latter died single, the former married Mr. Hancock, 
and her daughter married the Comte de Feuillade, 
and when he liad been unlucky enough to be 



\ 



OB. II. AUSTENS AND KNIOnTS. 35 

guillotined in tiie French Revolution, took her 
cousin Henry en secondes nocen, died in 1813, and 
left liim inconsolable until 1820, when he consoled 
himself with Eleanor, daughter of Henry Jackson, 
of London, by his wife, who was one of the 
Papillons of Acrise. He had no children, and died 
in 1850 at Tunbridge Wells, having, I believe, had 
no preferment except the hving of Steventon» 
which, on the death of hia brother James in 1819, 
he held for a short time, until hia nephew, William 
Knight, was old enough to take it — a comfortable 
family arrangement. 

I cannot leav6 Henry Austen without giving to 
my readers the only example of his ' conversational 
powers ' with which I am acquainted, and which 




S8 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



OS. XL 



do get on, sir, where I can I ' * You stupid fellow I * 
was the rejoinder. * Any fool can do that. I 
want you to get on where you can't I ' 

Of the two sailor brothers of Jane Austens- 
Francis and Charles — ^Mr. Austen Leigh gives a 
fuller history than of the others, because he thinks 
that * their honourable career accounts for Jane 
Austen*8 partiality for the navy, as well as for the 
readiness and accuracy with which she wrote 
mbout it.* However this may be, there can be no 
doubt that their career was most honourable, and 
that they were both of them as good examples of 
British sailors as could well be furbished. I believe 
that both of them were much loved in their pro- 
fession, as they certainly were by their relations, 
old and young. The * Memoir ' teUs us that Francis 
Austen was upon one occasion spoken of as * tA^ 
officer who kneeled at church,' which reminds me 
of an anecdote which my mother used to tell 
of one admiral having whispered to the other at 
the commencement of Divine Service, '• Brother, 
what do you think it is that people mostly say into 
their hats when they come into church ? For my 
part, I always say, **For what I am going to 
receive the Lord make me truly thankful."" ' And 



tmm 



mwmmi 



CH. u. AUSTENS AND KNIGHTa 37 

I am not prepared to say that he could have 
improved on the petition. 

As I am upon anecdotes, let rae tell one also 
of Sir Francis Austen, since it shall never be said 
that I omitted that which I have heard of him all 
my life as one of the tilings moi>t like himself tliat 
lie ever did. He was exceedingly precise, and 
spoke always with due deliberation, let the occasion 
be what it might, never having been known to hurry 
himself in his speech for any conceivable reason. 
It so fell out, then, that whilst in some foreign 
seas where sharks and similar unpleasant creatures 
abound, a friend, or sub-officer of his (I know noC 
which), was bathing from the ship. Presently Sir 
Francis called out to him in his usual tone and 
manner, ' Mr. Fakenham, you are in danger of 




Mta 



■ 1 fc ■■! J he.- 



S8 



LETTEB8 OF JANE AUSTEN. 



OS. lU 



Another anecdote of * Uncle Frank ' occurs to 
roe, bearing upon the exact precision which was 
one of his characteristics. On one occasion he is 
said to have visited a well-known watchmaker, one 
of whose chronometers he had taken with him 
during an absence of five years, and which was 
8tiU in ezceUent order. After looking carefully 
at it, the watchmaker remarked, with conscious 
pride, * Well, Sir Francis, it seems to have varied 
none at alL' Very slowly, and very gravely, came 
the answer : * Yes, it has varied — eight seconds I ' 

Sir Francis lived to be nearly ninety- three, 
and died at his house, Portsdown Lodge, in 1865, 
just twenty years after his sister Cassandra had 
died at the same place. He also was twice mar- 
ried, first to Mary Gibson, of Bamsgate, who died 
in 1823, and then to the Martha Lloyd of our 
letters. At the time of his death he was a G.C.B., 
and Senior Admiral of the Fleet, just before his 
attainment to which dignity he thus wrote to one 
of his nieces, in 1862 : — 

*And now with reference to my nomination 
as Bear Admiral of the United Eangdom. It is 
an appointment held by patent under the Oreat 
Seal ; and, though honourable, is certainly in my 



mmt 



mm 



»^" 



en. n. AUSTENS AND KNIGIITS. 39 

case not a lucrative office,' as I am compelled, to 
qualify for holding it, to resign my good-service 
pension of 300Z. a year. The salaiy is, I believe, 
about the same, but there are very heavy fees of 
office to be paid, which will absorb at least one 
quarter of the salary. This ought not to be so. 
It is a national reproach liiat an officer should 
have to pay for honours conferred on him by 
his sovereign, and whicli we may presume were 
fairly earned. It is true I had the opportunity of 
retaining the pension, and refusing the other ; but 
who, after reacliing nearly tlie top of the list (I 
have only two above me), would like to refuse so 
distinguished an honour?' 

Tills jirivate little expression of discontent, &oni 
1 man of a. contented and liappy disposition, seems 




^■•■kite 



■•■■■HiE?- ':. 



40 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oe. n. 

his first wife being Miss Fanny Palmer, of Bermuda, 
who had three daughters, and died young ; and his 
second, her sister Harriet, by whom he had two 
boys. He was a man of a singularly sweet temper 
and disposition, and I cannot help quoting from 
Mr. Austen Leigh the record left of him by * one 
who was with him at his death/ * Our good 
admiral won the hearts of all by his gentleness 
and kindness while he was struggling with disease, 
and endeavouring to do his duty as Commander- 
in-Chief of the British naval forces in these waters* 
His death was a great grief to the whole fleet. I 
know that I cried bitterly when I found he was 
dead.' 

A great many allusions to her sailor brothers 
will be found in Jane's letters, and in her delight 
at their promotion and interest in their profession 
one is forcibly reminded of * Fanny Price ' and her 
beloved brother William, although in the latter 
case the intervention of an ardent lover procured 
for young Price that which a proper family pride 
induces me to beUeve was obtained by my great- 
undes by their own merits. 

These, then, were the members of the family of 
Steventon Rectory ; and between them all, as indeed 






■ w ■ m wmm » i i m u 



CH. n. AUSTENS AND KNIQHT8. 41 

may be gathered from the letters before us, the 
wannest aficction always existed. If proof of Una 
■were needed, it is afibrded by the numerous and 
affectionate references to lier brothers to which 
1 have alluded, and by the sympathy for each 
other which crops up whenever we have an oppor- 
tunity of observing it. IIow anxiously ' Frank's ' 
promotion is expected ; how welcome is the presence 
of ' onr own particular Uttle brother ' Charles ; how 
assiduous is Jane in her attendance upon Henry in 
liis illness, and how promptly his brother Edward 
hurries to London when he is informed of it I All 
these are signs and tokens of the warmth of family 
feeling, the brotherly and sisterly affection, which^ 
in the case of the Austen?, certainly went to show 




f'i" inniiiMAii..-, 



42 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. ch. ii. 

I have already mentioned her father's two 
nsters, and her mother's brother, Mr. Leigh Perrot, 
who inherited from a great-uncle his additional 
name and a small property to justify the addition. 
He married a Lincolnshire Cholmeley (Jane by 
name — she died in 1836), and hved sometimes at 
Bath and sometimes at Scarlets. Bath was also 
patronised by Dr. Cooper, the Incumbent of Son- 
ning, near Beading, which was very unkind of 
him, because, as he married Jane Austen's aunt — 
her mother's eldest sister, Jane Leigh — ^lie coidd 
have taken no surer means to confuse a biographer 
who seeks to identify the ^ Uncle ' and * Aunt ' to 
whom Jane constantly alludes in her Bath letters. 
Had he foreseen the difBculty no doubt he would 
have lived somewhere else ; but, as matters stand 
at present, it is just possible that (although I have 
made every enquiry in order to prevent it) I may 
occasionally have mistaken the avuncular allusions 
in some of the letters, in which case I beg to 
apologize to the wronged uncle, and am thankful 
to reflect that it makes no great diflerence to 
anybody. 



\ 



mmmmmfmmmtmimimmm^^Kmmmmmtmm 



CHAPTER m. 

STEVENTOS AKD CIIAWTON, WINCHESTER. 

Since it may very likely happen that these volumea 
may fall into the hands of persona wlio have not 
read Mr. Austen Leigh's ' Memoir,' it is but right 
that, with the assistance which it affords me, I 
should, without attempting a regular biography, 
give some brief account of an existence to which, 
in my humble judgment, the world is so much 
indebted. I have already deacribed the relatione 
by whom Jane was surrounded, and given such an 




44 LETTERS OF JAXE AUSTEN. ob. m. 

quiet Tillage she came into the world on Decem- 
ber 16, 1776. Steventon, as Mr. Austen Leigh 
ieDs us, is situated * upon the chalk hills of North 
Hants, in a winding valley about seven miles from 
Basingstoke.' The house, standing in the valley^ 
was somewhat better than the ordinary parsonage- 
bouses of the day; the old-fashioned hedgerows 
were beautiful, and the country around sufficiently 
picturesque for those who have the good taste to 
admire country scenery. As, however, the house 
bas been pulled dovm for some sixty years, a new 
one built on the other side of the valley, and the 
church ^ restored ' (a word of somewhat equivocal 
meaning), it b useless to attempt a description of 
things which exist no longer. The Uving was in the 
gift of Mr. Knight, of Giawton (and Godmersham), 
to whom also nearly the whole parish belonged, 
and hence it was that Jane's father, the Rev. Geo. 
Austen, obtained the preferment, whilst the living 
of the adjacent parish of Dcane came to him as 
the gift of his uncle, Francis Austen, his father's 
brother, who married a Motley, went to Sevenoaks, 
bad a son Francis, who took his mother's name, 
bought Kppington, and estabUshed a branch of 
the Austria there. Mr. George Austen held these 






««««M«««fM««*«iS«ai9MMHBiiM|»i 



CK. UL STEVfiSTON AND CHAWTON, WLNCnESTER 45 

two livings io 1764, and moved from Deane to 
Steventon in 1771, four years before the birtli of 
his daughter Jane. In speaking of his marriage 
with Cassandra Leigli, Mr. Austen Leigh mentionu 
her uncle, Dr. Theophilua Leigh, who lived to be 
ninety, and was Master of Balliol College for above 
half a century. The story is told of him that 
lie was elected — lieing a 'Corpus' man — 'under 
the idea that he was in weak healtli and Ukely 
soon to cause another vacancy.' Tliis was the 
story always told of the venerable President of 
M^dalen, Dr. Boulh, who died in his hundredth 
year, having, according to tradition, outlived 
several generations of men who, during their life- 
times, were considered to be certain to succeed 




46 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. ni. 

letters speak. Haw it was passed, what were her 
habits and what her occupations, will be better 
gathered from the letters themselves than from any 
description which I could collect from the imper- 
fect data before me or invent for myself. It is 
▼ery dear, however, that Jane Austen was by no 
means averse to amusement, appreciated a ball as 
much as anybody, and got all the enjoyment she 
could out of life, as a sensible young woman might 
have been expected to do. I have been told that 
I might very well have left out all those parts of 
her letters which refer to the details of dress and 
the descriptions of her gowns and other raiment 
which she gives to her sister. I am, however, of 
a contrary opinion ; that which does not interest 
one person may be precisely that which pleases 
another, and to alter or omit the apparently insig- 
nificant parts of a large picture may have a 
prejudicial efiect upon the whole. Besides, it is 
something in the nature of a comfort to ordinary 
persons to find that so superior a being as Jane 
Austen concerned herself about such trifles as the 
* fit ' of a gown or the colour of a stocking, and I 
am glad to be in a position to afford the slightest 
comfort to anybody. Of the sweetness of her 



\ 



**^'***"*^l^*«<""*""'^<«*'^HMMWMMa««»>«*WH 



OH. ni. STEVENTON AKD CHAWTON, WINCHESTER. 47 

temper, and the bright, 'sunshiny' character of 
her disposition, no one can doubt who has heard 
her spoken of by tiiose wlio personally knew her, 
and I do not think these letters will alter the 
general opinion. Here and there, it ia true, tliere 
may be sentences which hardly seem to be written 
in a kindly vein towards those to whom they refer ; 
but it must never be forgotten that these sentences 
were written only for the eyes of a eiater who 
thoroughly knew and appreciated the spirit of 
fun in which they flowed from Jane's pen, and in 
which they were meant to be taken, and that they 
never would have been written or spoken bo as 
to give pain to the people mentioned. Indeed, it 
eliould always be borne in mind during the perusal 
of these letters that, although, as I have before 




48 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. os. in. 

Apart from the visits which I have mentioned, 
Jaiic*8 existence seems to have glided on in unin- 
terrupted tranquillity in that old parsonage-house 
at Stcventon, until the year 1800, when her father 
made up his mind to give up the active duties of 
his parish and retire to Bath, for which, as he was 
then some seventy years of age, he can scarcely 
be blamed. lie accomplished his purpose in the 
following year, when he did not, as has been stated, 
resign his living to his son, but placed him in the 
house and parish as his loaim tenenn^ in which 
capacity he continued to act during the rest of his 
fat]ier*s lifetime. 

Tliere is little more to say about Stcventon, 
save that one anecdote occurs to me which may be 
as well recorded. At one time the Bev. George 
Austen took pupils. It seems that a word which 
is pronounced * rice ' (though I will not vouch for 
the spelling) was formerly used in Hampshire to 
mgnify * faggots' or * underwood,' and upon one 
occaaon a pupil was heard *to observe to another, 
with a deep sigh, that he was afraid they would 
have nothing but rice puddings for some time to 
come, for he had heard Mrs. Austen say that * a 
waggon-load of rke^ had come in that morning. 



^•mm 



«H 



**«I^N^>' ••«• I 



OH. ni. STEVENTON AND OHAWTON, TVINUHESTEa 49 

Wlicn the deatli of Mr. Austen occurred early 
in 1805, tlic widow and daui^'Iitcrs moved into 
lodgings in Gay Street, and remained in Dnth for 
Bomc montliR, and Mr. Austen Ijcigl] givca U8 a 
letter of Jane's from Gay Street, written in April, 
in which occurs the following cliaractcriatic remark 
about an individual into whose identity I have 
not thought it necessary to enquire : * Foor Mn. 
Stent I it has been her lot to bo always in the way ; 
but wc must bo merciful, for perhaps in time wo 
may come to be Mrs. Stents ourselves, unequal to 
anything, and unwelcome to everybody.' 

I do not know why the family chose South- 
ampton as their next residence, but so it was, 
and there they lived for the next four years, in 
L Jioiisc with a plcaaaiit garden attiiclicd, close to 




60 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



on. in* 



and the death of her brother's wife at Godmer- 
sham, that they tell us less of Iier own doings than 
might otherwise have been the case. So far as we 
can judge, she seems to have had a certain amount 
of society at Southampton, and to have hked her 
life there as well as could have been expected. 
The change to Chawton in 1809, however, could 
not have been unwelcome. Mr. Knight was 
then able to offer to his mother and sisters the 
chmce between a house on his Hampshire pro* 
perty and one upon his estate in Kent. The 
latter must have been either Eggarton or Bilting, 
both within easy distance of Godmersham; but 
I suppose that the associations connected with 
Hampsliire caused the selection of Chawton Cot- 
tage, and there was passed the remainder of Jane's 
life; there were composed or completed most of 
her novels. * Chawton Cottage ' had formerly been 
the steward's house, enlarged and improved by 
Mr. Knight; there was nothing particular about 
it; the vicinity to the high road was somewhat 
inconvenient, but balanced by its proximity to the 
* great house,' and it seems to have answered very 
well the purpose for which Mr. Knight had con- 
certed it into a habitable residence. 



OK. III. STEVENION AND OnAWTON, WIHCHE8TER. 61 

Mr. Austen Leigh gives a kindly warning to 
admirers of Jane Austen who might tJtkc it into 
their licads to make a pilgrimage to the place, 
Tliere is nothing in it cither beautiful or romantic* 
nothing to associate it with the memory of the 
immortal Jane. When Cassandra Austen died in 
1845, it was turned into dwcUing!i for labourers, 
and so altered that it cannot now be seen as it was 
in Jane's days. Very recently I paid a visit to it, 
whilst staying at Chawton House, in order that 
I might satisfy myself with ray own eyes as to 
its present condition. As you come through the 
village of Chawton, along the road from Alton, the 
cottage is the last building upon your right hand, at 
the turning where the Winchester road branches off 
to the ri"!it, j ust before you reacli the park in which 




52 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. ok. ni. 

of the place has now been converted into a 
labourers' club— an excellent institution, of which 
it would be well if there were more in England. 
I entered this club, the windows of which look 
mway from the road, and there, perhaps upon the 
very spot where Jane had oflen sat in old days, 
was a young labourer diligently perusing the 
^Standard,' whilst opposite to him another was 
engaged on the * Graphic,* and a third was con- 
templating with evident satisfaction the arrival of 
m foaming glass of beer, having, to judge from his 
appearance, just come from a hard day's work. 
There are three dwellings in the building besides 
the club ; a low range of out-buildings, probably 
little touched since Jane's days, flanks the. cottage 
on the Alton side, and behind it is a large garden, 
now divided among the cottagers, extending be- 
yond the building, also on the further side, and 
altogether of sufficient size to have aflbrded plenty 
of space for tlic former occupants to indulge 
their taste for flowers and slirubs, and to have 
quiet walks therein when they wished for privacy. 
I pictured to myself the figure of Jane Austen 
walking up and down, intent upon deciding the 
late of one of her heroes or heroines, or maturing 






t0m 



CH. 111. 8TEVEXT0N AND CIIAIVTON, WINCHESTER. oS 

the plot of her next book. Tliis, however, required 
a somcwhal strong elTort of imaginatioD, inasQiuch 
as no eigna of slinibs or walks remain, the ground 
is all under cultivation, and the only living crea- 
tures which met my view were two worthy rnstics 
engaged in ordinary f^ricultiiral work. After you 
pass the cottage, a few hundred yarils further 
along tlie road, you arrive at a gate on your left, 
on entering which you face Chawton House, an 
old Elizabethan-mansion built on rising ground, 
wliich is about two hundred yards from the gate, 
the beautiful little church standing upon your 
right hand when you have advanced about half- 
way from the gate to the house. Tins place has 
long been tlie seat of tlie Knight family, one of 
whom (William) had a lease of it in 1525 from Sir 




54 LETTERS OF JANE AUSl'EN. cm. m. 

although now quite large enough, and certainly 
comfortable enough, for any reasonable mortals. 
This John Knight appears as a subscriber of fifty 
pounds on the 27th May, 1588, among the ' names 
of persons in Hampshire who contributed to the 
funds raised by Queen Elizabeth to defray the 
expenses in resisting the Spanish Armada.' His 
descendants were devoted Boyalists in the Civil 
Wars, and there is now at Chawton, among other 
interesting relics, a small ornament in the shape of 
a head of King Charles the First, said to have been 
given to his friends on the scaffold, which has come 
down from Sir Bichard Knight, who was knighted 
for his services rendered to the Royal cause. This 
jgentleman's name also api)cars among the list of 
those chosen by King Charles the Second at the 
restoration to be invested with the Order of the 
Boyal Oak, which order was, after all,, never es- 
tabUshed, the project being abandoned under the 
apprehension that it might perpetuate, dissensions 
which were better consigned to oblivion. There 
is a handsome monument of white and black 
marble in a recess on the south side of the chancel 
in Chawton Church, whereon this Sir Eichard 
Knight is represented by a full-length cumbent 



\ 

\ 



ib«« 



'^^^m *^ ~. t 



on. nr. &TEVENTON AND CHA.WTON, WINCIIESTER. 55 

figure of white marble, in armour, holding a staff 
of office in his right hand. 

Tlie near neighbourhood of Cliawton House 
must iiave been a great advantage and pleasure to 
Jane during her life at the cottage from 1809 until 
1817. About half a mile from her old home there 
is a very large beech wood, ' Chawton Park ' by 
name, in which the trees are magnificent, and there 
is no underwood to prevent those who are privi- 
leged to do so from walking beneatli their shade. 
The wood belongs to the owner of Chawton HouGe, 
and one can imagine it to have been a favourite 
haunt of Jane's. Whether she indulged herself in 
roaming there or not, however, I imagine her life 
to have been altogether very happy, because she 
was all the time with her own people, occupied i 




^MM^Bafc 



66 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTKN. os. lu. 

ono. Ucr health was evidently fniUng in the 
latter part of the year 1810, and in May of the 
following year tlie two mtorn went togetlicr to 
Winchester, from whicli Jane was never to return. 
Tliey took lodgings in tlio corner house of College 
Street, of which Jane writes that Uhey are very 
comfortable. We Imve a neat little drawing- 
room, with a bow-window overlooking Dr. Gabell's 
gardai.* During the next two months Cassandra 
nursed her beloved sister with unfaiUng tendeniess 
and assiduity. She was assisted from time to time 
by her sister-in-law, Mrs. James Austen (tlie ' Mary ^ 
of the letters), and her brothers James and Henry 
were able to be frequently with her. Cassandra's 
letters, herewith pubhshcd, tell all that is to be 
told of Jane Austen's last days on earth, and tell it 
in language at once simple and 2)athctic. On July 
18th she died, and on the 24th she was buried 
in Winchester Cathedral, * near the centre of the 
north aisle, almost opposite to the beautiful chantry 
tomb of William of Wykcham,' the place of burial 
being marked by a large slab of black marble in 
tlie pavement, bearing the following inscription : — 
* In memory of Jane Austen, youngest daughter 
of the late Bevd. George Austen, formerly Hector 



- • vaw^i^vwa^qp 



OJi. III. STEVENTON AND CHAWTON, WlNCIIliSTEU. 57 

of Stcvcntoii, in tliis County. Slio dcpai'tcd thU 
lifi; OH July 18, 1817, ajfotl 41, nflor a lonj; illiicas, 
supiiortod wltli tlio patience niid \\q\ic of a Ciirwtiiui. 
Tliu Ijcnevolcncc of liur Iicart, tlio swcctiicso of licr 
tetii))cr, and tlio cxtnionliiinry ctulowincnts of licr 
miiul, obtftiiial the i-c^'ttrd of nil who knew licr, 
itnd itio wanncit love of lior imiucJiatc coniioxums. 
Tlicir grief ie in proportion to their aflection ; tlicy 
know their loss to be irreparable, but in their 
(Iccj>cst ndliciion they are consoled by a firm, 
though liiiiiible, Iiojjc that her charity, devotion, 
faith, and purity have rendered her Boul accept- 
able in the sight of licr Redeemer/ 

Mr. Austen Leigh, the writer of tlio memoir, 
sulise(piently inserted a brass in the north wall, 
near the grave, with an inscription denoting that 




6B LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. on. ni. 

been created by her own hand. It is something to 
be able to say of any author or authoress that their 
works may be read without fear of harm ; it is 
Mmething more to be able to say, as we can truly 
say in this case, that, whilst in Jane Austen's books 
instruction and amusement are happily blended, 
the innate purity of her soul shines throughout 
each story and upon every page, and the mind of 
the reader is insensibly led to a love of all that is 
moral and virtuous and a distaste for anything that 
is the reverse. Jane did not live to enjoy the full 
knowledge of the popularity which was destined to 
be hers, but of it and of her it may be permitted 
to ber relatives to be proud ; and proud they are 
to believe that wherever the English language is 
read and spoken her works stand and will remain 
an everlasting memorial of genius turned to good 
account and talents exercised for the benefit and 
improvement of mankind. 



\ 



■^••i 



CnAPTEB IV. 

THE IfOTSLS. 

I WAS going to devote iny nest chapter entirely to 
Jane Austen's novels, when I recollected that such 
a chapter could by no means be made complete 
without referring to other novels and novelists 
at tlie same time. Such a chapter may be at 
once discarded by tliose who do not care for the 
subject, or wlio are satisfied to read and enjoy 
tlieir novels without being troubled with iny 




60 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. ob. zt» 

tlie Other would be satisfactory if unsupplied with 
aomeUiiiig of a more substantial character. 

I think it b immensely interesting to read side 
by side and compare the different styles of the 
novels which have charmed successive generations^ 
and, in discussing Jane Austen's works, to contrast 
thoae of other writers who wrote practically for 
the same generation. 

Several passages in our letters show us that 
Jane Austen was well acquainted with some at 
least of Bichardson's novels. Of the general popu- 
larity of these works at the time of their publi- 
cation I imagine there can be no doubt; and, 
indeed, this need cause one no surprise, if one 
supposes the British pubhc to have accepted as 
an accurate estimate of them all, that which their 
talented author gives of * Pamela ' in his preface 
to the edition of 1742, which is so deUciously 
modest that I cannot forbear to transcribe it : — 

* If to Divert and Entertain, and at Ihe same 
time to Instruct and Improve, the Minds of the 
Youth of both sexes : 

*If to inculcate Behgion and Morality in so 
easy and agreeable a manner, as shall render them 
equally delightful and profitable : 



\ 



■wir' •" • I ■■■ 



OH. IT. THE NOVELS. 61 

' If to set forth, iu the most exemplary lights, 
the Parental, the Filial, and tlie Social Duties : 

' If to paint Vice in its proper Colours, to make 
it deservedly Odious ; and to set Virtue in its own 
amiable Liglit, and to make it look Lovely : 

' If to draw cliaracters with Justness, and to 
support them distinctly : ' 
And, after a few more ' ifs ' of the same sort — 

' If to effect all these good Ends, in so pro- 
bable, so natural, so lively a manner, as shall 
engage the Passions of every sensible Header, and 
attach tlieir regard to the story : 

' If these be laudable or wortliy recommen- 
dations, the Editor of the following Letters ven- 
tures to assert that alt these ends are obtained here. 




62 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. it. 

Nevertheless, whatever attractions English 
society once found in ' Pamela/ ' Clarissa/ and ' Sir 
CSharles Grandison/ I fancy that in the present day 
there are few people who would not find them 
insofferably dull, and still fewer who would not 
raise more serious objections both to the matters 
of which they treat and to the manner of their 
treatment. Certainly there is in these books a 
great deal of plain-speaking ; a spade is called a 
spade, and there is much from which that which 
we now call good taste and delicacy would recoil. 

One must make allowance, I suppose, for the 
advance of time and improvement of manners; 
and as * Sir Charles Grandison ' (the last of the 
three) was published some fifty years before Jane 
Austen wrote, these works must be considered as 
belonging altogether to another generation. More- 
over, if we allow that their general tendency, at 
least, was to decry vice and exalt virtue, I am 
afraid that this is more than we can say of many 
of the * sensational ' novels which are so largely 
read in the present day. Take any one of these, 
and you will find that, if crime is not actually made 
attractive, it is generally excused or extenuated ; 
ajmpathy for the criminal is created or suggested,. 






OH. 1*. THE NOVELS. 63 

tlie story teems witli startling incidents, anj the 
best praise which can probably be accorded to the 
book 13 the somewhat negative recommendation 
that it has no particular tendency at all. 

It certainly was not books of such a character 
and complexion which Jane Austen had in view 
in that spirited defence of novels and novel-readers 
which we find at the end of tlie fifth chapter of 
' Northanger Abbey,' where, after describing it as 
the habit of Catherine Morland and Isabella Thorpe 
upon a rainy morning ' to shut themselves up, 
and read novels together,' she goes on ' Yes, novels ; 
for I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic 
custom so common with novel-writers, of degrading 
by their contemptuous censure the very perform- 
ances to the number of which .they are themselves 




64 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. os. it. 

is onfy * Cecilia,' or ' Camilla,' or ' Belinda,' " or, in 
short, onfy some work in which the greatest powers 
of the mind are displayed, in which the most 
thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest 
delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of 
wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the 
best chosen language.' 

The mention of Miss Burney*s novels in this 
passage reminds me of tlie frequent comparisons 
which have been instituted between her works and 
those of Jane Austen, and as I like to be in the 
fashion, I will add one more to the number of 
those who have compared the two. 

My own taste for novel-reading commenced at 
a very early age ; strange to say, such works of 
fiction had a greater attraction for me tlian the 
Latin grammar or even the Greek Testament, and 
having access to my father's library, which con- 
tained, amid a multitude of other literature, most 
of the best novels which had been published for 
many years past, I was enabled to indulge my taste 
to the full, and probably read a great deal more 
than was good for me. I well remember how in 
those days I delighted in ' Evelina,' * Cecilia,' and 
* Camilla,' and I have little doubt that my verdict 



X 

\ 



rmmmtm 



<;b. IV. THE NOVELa 65 

would have then been given in favour of Mies 
Biiniey, if I had been obUged to give a preference 
to one authoress over tlie other. But, on looking 
back to-<lay, I can fairly say tliat, if I have read 
these tliree novels three times over since those 
days (wliich I rather doubt), I have certainly 
j>cni9e<l Jane Austen's books five or six times 
as often, nud much more frequently my special 
favourites, which I give here in tlieir order of 
merit: ' Piidu and IVejudico,' 'Mansfield Park,' 
and ' Emma.' Tlicse rank, to my mind, amoug the 
few books which one can take up again and again, 
and recur to particular passages and scenes which 
never seem to tire one in the reading. Miss Bronte's 
* Jane Eyre ' and ' Villette ' are of the same class ; 
Charles Reade's ' It is Never too Late to Mend,' 




66 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. CK it. 

one of Miss Burney's novels. As far as plot and 
incident are concerned, there is perhaps something^ 
more of both to be discovered than in Jane Austen's 
works ; but one of the principal merits of the latter 
18, that they excite a continuous interest in the 
mind of the reader, in spite of that absence of plot 
and incident which is really conspicuous on looking 
t>ack at the conclusion of the book. Take, for 
instance, * Sense and Sensibility ' : the whole story 
may be compressed into half-a-dozen sentences, 
and there is nothing exciting or sensational about 
it. But the characters of the two sisters, EUnor 
and Marianne, are sustained witli wonderful fidelity 
throughouU and the reader is captivated by delinea- 
tions of everyday life so simple and so true to 
nature as amply to supply the want of ^ plot.' To 
this standard Miss Bumey never seems to me to 
approach, or to come within a mile of Jane Austen, 
whilst in some instances she approximates both 
to the vulgar and the horrible, neither of which 
is to be found in the pages of the immortal Jane. 
The scenes in ^ Evelina ' in which the unfortunate 
Madame Duval is victimised by the French- hating 
Captain Mirvan (a character to read of which 
makes an Englishman blush for his nationality). 



N 

\ 



on. IT. Tlin NOVELS. 67 

the courtsliip of Mr. Dubster, and the wliole 
character of Mra. Mittin in ' Camilla,' as well as the 
eccentricities of Mr. Brigga in ' Cecilia,' certainly 
savour of vulgarity, whilst tlie ' horrible ' is ex- 
emplified by the suicide of Mr. Harrell in ' Cecilia/ 
the death of Bellamy in ' Camilla,' and sundry other 
harrowing passages which season Miss Bumey's 
performances. It may be said, perhaps, that she 
wrote for an earlier generation than Jane Austen, 
but the novels of both were published within the^ 
same forty years — i.e. between 1778 and ]818 — a 
proximity of publication which seems to render 
legitimate the comparison between tlie two. ' Eve- 
lina ' was published in 1778, 'Cecilia' in 1782, 
' Camilla ' in 1790, and the ' Wanderer ' in 1813 ; 
whilst Jane Austen's 'Sense and Sensibility' and 




68 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh.iv. 

reputation must stand upon those first three, with- 
out the ' prestige ' of which I cannot think that 
the •Wanderer* would ever have met with any 
public fame. But, even with regard to these three, 
there is another remark which occurs to me as 
being one justified by the facts of the case, and 
which appears to establish the superiority of the 
one writer over the other. There must be ad- 
mitted to be originality in some of Miss Bumey's 
characters, as well as skiU in the manner of their 
introduction and the description of their conduct. 
But what one character can we fix upon to re- 
Diember, as we cannot help remembering the 
creations of Jane Austen; who, throughout all 
Miss Bumey's novels, can be held to rival the pro- 
Tokingly silly Mrs. Bennet, so delightful in her 
folly, the insuflcrable Mr. Collins, the detestable 
Mrs. Norris, the inimitable Miss Bates, and a score 
more of the figures which Miss Austen places upon 
the canvas, in such a manner as to make us all 
feel that they are not only real living people, but 
personal acquaintances of our own P 

It must certainly be conceded that there is 
much more of excitement to l>e found in the novels 
of Miss Bumey than in those of Jane Austen ; her 



\ 



^m 



en. IT. THE NOVELS. 6& 

heroines are placed in mucli more extraordinary 
situations ; like loadstonea, wlierever they appear, 
they attract lovers ; and the conduct of some of 
tlie latter is so violently extravagant as to liave an 
appearance of unreality, which detracts from the , 
interest of the etory. Still it must be confessed that 
' Evelina,' ' Cecilia,' and ' Camilla ' are all pleasant 
reading, and in each novel the heroine always satia- 
factorily escapes from her troubles and trials, and 
marries the right peraon in the most desirable and 
orthodox manner. This is only right and proper. 
I have no patience with authors who excite in our 
hearts an interest, more or less kind, for their 
lieroes and heroines, and then harrow our feelings 
by either killing them or leaving them in a state 




70 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oe. it. 

that Miss Bronte had meant to have killed her 
hero without doubt, but, deterred by the remon- 
strances of her father, conceded so much as to 
leave his fate in uncertainty ; but, for my own part, 
I would rather have known the worst, and have 
read that last page again and again, with a feeling 
of disappointment and regret that there should 
have been any doubt left about the matter. 

I have lately been reading the * Diary and 
Letters * of Madame D'Arblay (Miss Bumey), and 
cannot help saying that I find as great a contrast 
between the letters of the two authoresses as 
between their novels. It may be said that it is 
hardly fair to compare the private letters of one 
sister to another, such as those which I now give 
to the world, with those which were probably 
written, if not with a view to publication, at least 
with an idea that they might some day be pub- 
lished. I cannot, however, admit the unfairness, 
and, if I did, I feel that I should be bringing a 
graver charge against Miss Bumey than I intend to 
do— namely, the charge of having habitually • made 
up' her letters for the public eye. Such letters 
are not really letters, in the sense in which we use 
the word as ordinarily applied to the written com- 



\ 

s 






AH. IT. THE NOVELS. 71 

tnunications between relatioas and fricndn, vlierein 
tliey express to each other their thoiiglite and 
describe their actions, with no intention that these 
should be known beyond the immediate circle in 
which the person moves to whom the letters are 
■written. I assume Miss Burney's letters to be 
genuine, according to this view, and I say that 
neither they nor her Diary could ever have been 
written by Jane Austen. They are the records of 
a life whicli was Uved much more before the world 
than the life of Jane ; and, without wishing in 
any degree to disparage the writer, I must say that 
they chronicle tlie praise and approval which she 
received both in pubUc and in private, after a 
fashion, and to an extent from which the more 




72 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. it. 

and what die was, how she lived, and with whom 
she passed her time — all, in short, that we can 
posflibly desire to know about her and her pro- 
ceedings — Jane Austen's letters, on the contrary,. 
leave us to find out all these things for ourselves,. 
and to regret that no furtlicr or more minute 
record is in existence. Of course I may be accused 
of partiality for my own relative in aiTiving at thia 
result of a comparison between two authoressca 
both of whom have deserved well of the public,. 
and each of whom may be appreciated and admired 
without decrying the other. Still, considering that^ 
as far as concerns education outside her own home,, 
general intercourse with the world and oppor- 
tunities of observation, the advantage was certainly 
rather on the side of Miss Bumey, I think it is but 
due to Jane Austen to maintain, as I confidently 
do, the great superiority of her writings in point 
of correctness of tone and taste, purity of style and 
language, and fidelity of description. 

It is a less easy matter to compare her, as she 
has been compared, with Charlotte Bronte, or with 
our still more modem novehsts, George Eliot and 
Charlotte Yonge. All these three have achieved for 
themselves the honour of elevating and purifying 



\ 



servffBvnne^n 



en. IT. TIIE NOVELS. 75 

the aspirations of mankind, at the same time that 
in their several styles of Ection they liave aflbnied 
to the world an infinite variety of intellectual 
amuacmcnt. 

Of George Eliot and Charlotte Yonge I do not 
dcMirc to write to-day. Tiic one has been too 
recently taken from us to allow of the impartial 
discussion of her works, which, however meri- 
torious, cannot be acciiraloly gauged until further 
time has clapscdj for a book is, in this respect, like 
a beautiful landscape, and requires distance to 
dcvclope it in its greater or smaller perfection. 
The other still lives to delight a large number of 
admiring readers, and, therefore, I prefer to say 
no more of her writings, except that I am quite 
sure that no one has ever been the worse, while 




74 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. it. 

fessed my partiality for • Jane Eyre ' and * Villette/ 
and for these books, as well as for their authoress, 
I again avow an immense admination. But they 
are books which Jane Austen never could or would 
have written, and some of the most interesting 
characters are such as it would never have entered 
into her mind to conceive. It never would have 
occurred to her, for instance, to take for a hero 
such a man as Mr. Rochester, who, having been so 
unfortunate as to marry a mad wife, thinks it 
perfectly legitimate to take a second during the 
lifetime of the first, without a hint to the intended 
victim of the true state of the case. Nor, in all 
probability, would she ever have tliought of repre- 
senting the said victim as continuing to cherish 
such a devoted love for the man who had so 
proposed to wrong her, as to induce her to return, 
after a becoming interval, for a last look at the 
mansion in which the wrong had been so nearly 
perpetrated, and, finding that the mansion and mad 
wife had been conveniently burnt together, and the 
would-be bigamist crippled and blinded by the 
aame happy event, to come lovingly back to him, 
and marry him as contentedly as if nothing particu- 
lar had happened. These characters, however, did 



\ 



tmmm^mmmmmmmmi^ 



OS. IT. THE NOVELS. 76 

occur to Cliarlotte Brontij, and her delineation of 
them is such as to make diem attractive by their 
very defects, and to cariy lier readers along with 
them, in spite of all the moral considerations which 
ought, I suppose, to deter us from reading about, 
and still more from liking, such naughty people. 
The truth is, that the style of the two writers is bo 
dissimilar, the scenes and characters of which they 
treat are so entirely difi*erent, that it is hardly 
possible to compare them without doing injustice 
to one or the other. Fortunately, it is both 
possible and permissible to delight at one and the 
same time in the novels of both, and to appreciate 
the one without in the smallest d^ree underrating 
the otlier. I can honestly say that this is so in my 
own caac, and that, loving them both. I do not 




76 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. cv. it* 

Kti — ^I have in my possession a manuscript 
novel, comprising 3 vols., about the length of 
lljss Burney's * Evelina.' As I am well aware of 
what consequence it is that a work of this sort 
sliould make its first appearance under a respect- 
able name, I apply to you. I shall be much 
obliged, therefore, if you will inform me whether 
you choose to be concerned in it, what will be the 
expense of publisliing it at the author's risk, and 
what you will venture to advance for the property 
of it, if on perusal it is approved of? Should you 
give any encouragement, I will send you the work. 
I am. Sir, your humble servant, 

George Austen. 

StefVDtOD, Orerton, IlaotSi 
Norember 1, 1707. 

This proposal, we are told, was declined by 
return of post, which the publisher must have 
regretted in subsequent years, though not with 
a deeper sorrow than the publisher at' Bath, who 
went so far as to buy * Northanger Abbey ' for 10/., 
and having laid it aside as worthless, was sub- 
sequently induced to return it, which he gladly 
did, for the same money, and was afterwards 
that it was by the author of * Pride and 






mm 



tmm 



ca. IV. THE NOVELS. 77 

Prejudice,' and otlior works wliich had then 
established tlie reputation of the autlioress. It 
was Henry Austen wlio thus gained tlie manuscript, 
and disappointed the original purchaser by the 
subsequent disclosure of the state of the case. 

Of the keen interest ■vvliicli Jane took in her 
books we have evidence in some of the letters in 
tliesc volumes, and also in tliose which Mr. Austen 
Leigli ha-s already given to the world. In one of 
the latter (January 29, 1813) she writes to her 
sister of ' Pride and Prejudice ' : — 

' I want to tell you that I have got my own 
darhng child from London. On Wednesday I 
received one copy sent down by Falkener, with 
three lines from Henry to say that he had given 
another to Qiarles, and sent a third by the coach 




78 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. ch. it. 

Although I have said that Jane Austen would 
never have chronicled all the laudatory remarks 
vrhich might have been made, of and to her, by 
the admirers of her books, it must not be thought 
that I intend to represent her by any means as 
insensible to their praise or careless of the appro- 
bation which she received. This would have been 
unnatural, and therefore inconsistent with Jane's 
character. She undoubtedly appreciated the ap- 
proval of her friends and the world, although she 
probably never anticipated the extent to which 
that approval would ultimately reach. Indeed, 
during her lifetime it was by no means general, 
and some of the criticisms which she herself col- 
lected are of a very contrary character. * Mans- 
field Park' is called *a mere novel,' * Sense and 
Sensibility ' and * Pride and Prejudice ' are stig- 
matised as * downright nonsense.' Jane's language 
is called * poor,' * Emma ' is declared to be * not 
interesting,' and sundry opinions of an unfavour- 
able tendency are recorded, which at the present 
day would be scouted as heretical by the literary 
world, but which only show the entirely different 
views which people are able to take upon the same 
subject. 



\ 
\ 

\ 



THE NOVELS. 



79 



It is refreBliing to turn to such a genuine 
instance of admiration as that wliich I find narrated 
in a letter from Lady George Ilill to my motlier 
(iier siater) in 1856. Speaking of the widow of 
Sir Guy Campbell, she saya : — 

' Lady Campbell is " Pamela's " daughter and 
Lord Edwd. Fitzgerald's, and a most ardent 
admirer and enthusiastic lover of Aunt Jane's 
works. Aunt Cassandra herself would be satisfied 
at her appreciation of them — nothing ever like 
them before or since. Wiien she heard I was lier 
niece she was in extasies. " My dear, is it pos- 
sible, are you Jane Auaten'a niece? that I should 
never have known that before 1— come and tell me 
about her — do you remember her ? was she pretty? 
wasn't she pretty P Oh, if I could but have seen 



su 



LETTEKS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



OH. IT. 



ynite and ask her. Tlie Arclibishop of Dublin is 
another of her staunch admirers, and we have 
#uch long conversations about her." Then off slio 
went, talking over and repeating parts of every 
one of tlie books, &c.* 

This is by no means a solitary instance of the 
enthusiasm with which Jane's works are admired* 
and which has induced me to believe that anything 
connected with her which has not hitherto seen 
the light may not be unacceptable to those who, 
in a greater or less dqpree, share the opinions of 
Lady OampbelL 



\ 



iWWHM- 



CIIAriEU V. 

THE NOVELS. 

I itAVK ppokcn elflowhere of Miss Tytlcr'sLife of 
Jane Austen as being little more tliau a reproduc- 
tion of Mr. Austen Leigh's ' Memoir.' I have, I 
confess, .1 niucli greater objection to her manner 
of treating the novels ; for, although she speaks of 
touching thcra ' with a reverent liand/ she appears 
to me to liave done just the reverse, and to have 
given an account of each book, sometimes in Jaoo 
Austen's words, with a ruiniing commentary, but 




LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. ch. t. 

and is in sympathy with the spirit of the book^ 
they are admirably adapted for this purpose; 
but as a great number of people dislike anything 
of the kind, it is a comfort to be able to add that 
they are equally delightful to read to oneself. The 
reviews of these books which have already ap- 
peared, and the general knowledge of them which 
18 possessed by the public, deter me from entering 
into any lengthy criticism of their peculiar excel- 
lences or occasional defects, nor do I think it either 
necessary or desirable to introduce quotations from 
novels which are so well known and appreciated 
by the great body of tlie readers of fiction. There 
are, however, some few remarks which occur to 
me which may not be out of place, when we are 
considering the life and character of the gifted 
authoress of these works, and the circumstances 
under which they were written. 

My first observation, then, is to the effect, that 
in all her books the heroes are decidedly inferior 
to the heroines; their characters less vigorously 
drawn, and themselves less interesting to the 
reader. There they are; because every heroine 
requires a hero ; but in every case it is she and not 
he who is the prominent figure in the play. 



\ 



V* 



f^ipMpaMi 



on. T. THE NOVEta 8S 

Let us take the six novels into view. * Bide 
and Prejudice ' givea us Darcy ; * Sense and Senn- 
bility,' Edward Ferrars ; * Northanger Abbey,' 
Henry Tilncy; 'Mansfield Park,' Edmund Bertram; 
■ Emma,' Mr. Knightley ; and * FersuasioD,' Captain 
Wentworth. Then look at the six heroines to 
match — Elizabetli Bennet (she is sometimes spoken 
of in the novel as ' Eliza Bennet,' and it is notice- 
able in our letters that Jane constantly calls her 
Elizabeths * Eliza'), Elinor Dashwood, Catherine 
Morland, Fanny Price, Emma Woodhouse, and 
Anne EUiot — how much more we seem to know 
and to sympathise with the women than witii the 
men throughout 1 

Darcy is really the only one for whom I feel 
much regard. He was certainly proud— a fault 




84 LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. os. t. 

to deter his firiend Bingley from such a connection ; 
and when he found himself vanquished by the 
channs of Elizabeth, he got rid of his pride with 
a rapidity as commendable as that with which the 
lady dismissed her * prejudice.' I think that we 
are told more of Darcy than of most of Jane's 
other heroes, and the gradual alteration of Eliza- 
beth's opinion of him as his character becomes 
better understood, and consequently better appre- 
ciated by her, is told and worked out in the most 
admirable manner. The gentleman's disposition 
was not one which made him likely to be the victim 
of a hasty attachment, and we watch with interest 
the struggle which goes on in his mind before 
he allows his growing love for Elizabeth to conquer 
his objections to her family. When this result 
has been accomplished, the lady is still perfectly 
unaware of the conquest which she has achieved, 
and his declaration to her at the parsonage, where 
ahe is on a visit to her friend, Charlotte Collins, 
takes her entirely by surprise.' This is a very 
good scene in itself, and marks an epoch in the 
hero's life; for her contumelious rejection of his 
advances has a marvellous effect upon him, to 
the very great improvement of his character. lie 



\ 
\ 

\ 



TUE NOVELS. 



86 



accepts her decision in a manner which would 
have made it difficult for an ordinaty writer to 
bring the two together again except hj some 
strange and unuaual method. Jane, howerer, 
manngea it all in a most natural manner. Some 
words of Elizabetli regarding his two greatest 
offences — the abstracting of her sister's lover and 
the supposed wrongs of Wickham — induce him to 
write a long letter of explanation, which com- 
mences the change in the lady's heart, and from 
tliat moment Barcy only appears during the rest 
of the story in the most amiable light. I reject 
altogether the idea that the beauties of Femberley 
had any effect in inducing Elizabeth to reconsider 
her refusal, and the sole doubt which remains 
upon my mind Is the extent to which gratitude 




S6 ' LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. cs. t. 

Edward Ferran scarcely inspires much respect. 
Whatever excuse there may be for his conduct, he 
eertainly behaves in such a manner as to induce 
Elinor to believe him attached to herself, whilst all 
the time he was engaged to another woman; for, 
if this had not been the case, the discovery of 
the engagement would not have filled the sensible 
heroine with such astonishment and dismay. His 
engagement was a boyish entanglement from which 
a man of any strength of character would have 
freed himself as soon as he found how much he 
had mistaken his own feelings, and how unsuited 
he and the lady were to each other, whilst there 
18 something ludicrous in the rapidity with which, 
the very moment that his fool of a brother has 
conveniently taken her off his h<ands, he hurries 
off to Elinor, to make her happy by the assurance 
that he had really been all the while false to the 
lady whom he had still proposed to marry, and 
had loved her and her alone, although perfectly 
prepared to sacrifice her to his absurd ^engage- 
ment.' His readiness, moreover, to become a 
clergyman because clerical preferment was found 
for him does not add to the attractiveness of his 
character; but Jane*s picture of a clergyman is 



\ 



OH.T. THE NOVELS. 87 

generally that of a second sou wliu enters the 
profession in order to hold a family living, an idea 
not unnatural in the daughter of one who was him- 
self tiie possessor of one of those benefices. 

Our two next heroes, Ilenry Tilney and Ed- 
mund Bertram, are to be classed in this category. 
Of the former, indeed, we know very little. A 
ball-room acquaintance at Bath, whose father, 
being deceived as to Catlieriiie Morland's position 
and fortune, invites lier to Northanger, and courts 
her on his son's behalf until he ilnds out the mis- 
take, we really know nothing more of this hero 
than that lie displays a certain amount of amiable 
good sense in his conversations with Catherine, 
and a creditable degree of fimineas in refusing to 
give her up at hie father's command, or to root 




88 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. t. 

his superiority to the other members of his family, 
and general good conduct throughout the story, 
entitle him to our respect, if not to something more. 
We cannot help feeling sorry that he did not show a 
little more finnness in the matter of the theatricals, 
but are pleased at liis readiness to give Fanny Price 
(at a time when he was not the least in love with her) 
the full credit which she deserved for her conduct 
upon that trying occasion. He may be blamed 
for having been attracted by the fascinations of 
Miss Crawford, when Fanny was there to be com- 
pared with her, but this was one of the most 
natural things in the world. Miss Crawford un- 
doubtedly was fascinating, and moreover had, and 
showed precisely that kind of predilection for 
Edmund which is so delightful to a young man 
when evinced by a pretty, clever, and agreeable 
person of the other sex. Besides, Fanny's per- 
fections being before his eyes every day, naturally 
struck him less than those of her rival, and he 
went on comfortably considering his affection for 
his cousin to be of the most quiet and brotherly 
description, until the exigencies of the story com- 
pelled him to find out that it was something of a 
different nature. Take him all in all, I must own 



X 

\ 

\ 



■:»■ 



CH. T. THE NO\'ELS. 89 

Edmund Bertram to be, after all, a hero above the 
■ average of such people, and one leas inferior to 
the heroine than any other of his class in the six 
novels, excepting always Darcy, to whom I remain 
faithful ; inasmuch as I think there is more power 
in his character and more masterly touches in its 
delineation. 

I frankly confess that I never could endure Mr. 
Knightley. He interfered too much, he judged 
other people rather too quickly and too harshly, 
he was too old for Emma, and being the elder 
brother of her elder sister's husband, there waa 
something incongruous in the match which I could 
never bring myself to approve. To tell tlie truth, 
I aiways wanted Emma to marry Frank Churchill, 
and eo did Mi\ and Mrs. Weston. Mr. Knightley, 




90 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. cs. t. 

I am certain that he frequently lectured her, was 
jealous of every agreeable man that ventured to 
say a dvil word to her, and evinced his intellec- 
tual superiority by such a plethora of eminently 
senrible conversations, as either speedily hurried 
her to an untimely grave, or induced her to run 
•way with eomelKxly possessed of an inferior in- 
tdlect, but more endearing qualities. 

As to Captain Wentworth we are really told so 
little that there is nothing to say, except that he 
was a most faithful lover, but would have been 
wiser if he had not waited so long before letting 
the object of his affections know that such was 
the case. There is something pleasant about all 
Jane*s sailors. Her sailor brothers were good 
examples of their class, and from them she pro- 
bably drew her ideas. Not a word can be said 
against Captain Wentworth, and I sincerely hope 
that he and his Anne lived very happily all the 
rest of their lives. 

But now let us turn from heroes to heroines, 
and I shall hardly know how to praise cnougli. 
Let Elizabeth Bennet stand forth ; she is, to. my 
mind, the most delightful character that ever con- 
descended to display her perfections in a novel. 



X 

\ 



«n. V. THE NOVEI£. 91 

Siie is not so intensely sweet and amiable as Anne 
Elliot, so Bternly Beneiblc as Elinor Dashwood, so 
simple and grateful as Fanny Price, so ' euperior' 
as Emma ; but not one of them all can equal lier 
aa a heroine of romance, and that principally be- 
cause there is nothing romantic about her. She la 
drawn -with such an exquisite touch that she is far 
more like a personal acquaintance than one * in a 
book ;' one enters into her feelings, understlnds her 
thouglits, her iiopes and her fears, and cannot help 
taking the same sort of interest in her proceedings 
as if she was one's own relation. How cleverly ia 
the line d^a^v^l which separatee lier and Jane from 
the rest of the Bennct family, to whom they were 
as mucli superior as if tliey had been the children 




92 JJBTTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. cm. y. 

hem mudi that indignation had been misplaced ; 
with what interest do we watch the gradual change 
of her opinion of Darcy, as the mists whicli have 
enveloped his cliaracter are gradually cleared 
away ; and how heartily do we rejoice at her ulti- 
mate decision to accept the man wlio so well de- 
served her, and at the opportunity, created by the 
most bitter opponent of the marriage, which happily 
brought him a second time to her feet I 

I do not know any character in any novel that 
ever was written whose career from first to last, 
throughout the whole book, one follows with such 
intense and continuous interest as that of this 
channing Elizabeth. There are scvenal scenes to 
which I might call special attention, as illustrative 
of her character ; but I will be content with one, 
to my mind the most delicious and inimitable scene 
in tlie whole book — ^I mean the interview between 
Elizabeth and Lady Catherine de Burgh, when the 
latter, furious at the report that her nephew Mr. 
Darcy is about to marry Elizabeth, drives over, in 
mil the dignity and grandeur which can be imparted 
by a chaise and four, to insist upon its being im- 
mediately contradicted. If it were possible that 
cor admiration of Elizabeth could be bcreased. 



\ 

\ 



■•• ■■■ 



THE NOVEI^ 



03 



lier comluct and langufigc during thie trying inlcr- 
viow would certainly accomplish such a result. 
The calinnces and self-possession with wliicli she 
encounters tlie arrogant insolence of lior visitor, 
tile courageous and undaunted spirit with which 
slic refuses to be bullied and brow-beaten, and the 
acute but perfectly civil manner in which she holds 
her own, and puts her adversary entirely in tlie 
wrong throughout the whole of the conversation, 
are described with a rare talent, and the whole 
scene is one wliich, both in its conception and exe- 
cution, is undoubtedly one of the most excellent 
that over was written. 

I could dwell with delight upon Elizabetli for a 
much longer time, but in my comparison of heroes 




94 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. t. 

in good-breeding and refinement as Lucy Steele, 
mud to receive as the first great secret the news 
that her own lover was engaged to this obnoxious 
young woman. It was disagreeable, too, to have a 
sister whose ' sensibility ' took the form of love-sick 
extravagances which must have constantly grated 
against Elinor's * sense,* and wlio, by carrying her 
hysterical sentimentality so far as nearly to die of 
it, caused a disagreeable interruption to the tran- 
quillity of their domestic life. But, under all these 
circumstances, Elinor evinced a fortitude and self- 
control which must command our respect if it doe» 
not attract our admiration ; she takes a common- 
sense view of everything which occurs, submits 
with proper resignation to things which appear 
inevitable, condoles with and comforts her sister 
in her love disappointment without disclosing her 
own much greater reason to be heart-broken, and 
contentedly accepts and settles down with her 
lover when time and the vagaries of- Miss Lucy 
Stede have enabled him to declare himself in his 
true colours. Altogether she is an admirably- 
drawn character, and the contrast between her 
* sense ' and the * sensibility ' of Marianne, so well 
depicted and sustained, elevates her, at her sister's^ 



\ 



ca. T. THE NOVELS. 9b 

expense, to a very creditable place among the list 
of heroines. 

Upon the whole, I think Catherine Morland the 
least interesting of the aforesaid list, and yet she 
is the heroine of such an interesting story, that I 
feel aorry as aoon as I have written the words. I 
am consoled, however, by the reflection that the 
authoress begins her book by the remark that in 
her early youth nobody would ever have supposed 
Catherine bom to be a heroine. She was the 
daughter of a clergyman, one of a large family, 
rather uninformed, very romantic, and, for the rest 
of it, a good-tempered, well-disposed, and good- 
looking girl, with no very marked characteristic 
or striking abUity, or anything else to diatinguiah 
her from the common herd of girls. She is made 




96 I^ETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. ch. t. 

We are able, upon the whole, to take her to our 
aflections as a commendable specimen of the heroine 
tribe, although certainly eclipsed by other creations 
of the same fertile brain. 

Fanny Price is altogether of a different calibre, 
and, according to my opinion, contests with Emma 
Woodhouse the second place after Elizabeth fiennet. 
They are, of course, very different people in many 
respects, but as a matter of taste I am inclined to 
give the preference to Fanny. She is so gentle, 
•o grateful, so ready to do a kindness to any 
and everybody, so submissive to Aunt Norris, so 
thoughtful for Lady Bertram, so good a daughter, 
so lo^ng a sister, such an affectionate cousin, such 
a true and faithful friend, that one is inclined to 
wonder how a character can have been drawn with 
so few faults as to be near perfection, and yet so 
natural that it is impossible not to recognize it as 
a true picture. From her first entry into Mansfield 
Park down to the very end of the story, our hearts 
go out to Fanny Price, and we love her with a 
steady and unvarying love. She wins our sympathy 
from the moment we make her acquaintance, and 
keeps it throughout her wliole career. She had 
something to bear, too, during her sojourn in her 



\ 



en. T. niE NOVELS. 07 

uncle's house. There are few things more difficult 
to endure than injustice, ami of this Aunt Norris 
inJiicted a perpetual and unlimited amount upon 
the devoted head of her long-suflering niece. But 
there are worse things to endure in life than 
even the injustice of an ill-conditioned old aunt. 
It must have been a sore trial to Fanny to see 
Mary Crawford stealing from her that which sho 
prized beyond everything else — licr cousin Edmund'^ 
afTt'ction — and a sorer trial still to see him bestow- 
ing tliat affection upon a woman wlio, with all her 
beauty and otiier attractions, did not come up to 
Fanny's standard, and whom she could not deeir. 
worthy of her cousin. Very trying, too, must have 
been those conversations with Edmund, wherein^ 




98 LETTEIIS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. t. 

what her conscience told her to be right, which 
sustained her in that severe trial in the matter of 
the theatricals in the absence of Sir Thomas, stood 
her equally in good stead throughout all her other 
troubles and trials. If we admire Elizabeth Bennet 
most, I really think tliat, upon the whole, we love 
Fanny Price best. It is impossible not to love such 
a thoroughly unselfish character, and I think she 
must be admitted to be one of the best of heroines 
and most charming of people. 

The partisans of * Emma ' must forgive me for 
placing her only third on the list. She is a very 
charming creature, and all the more so for not 
having been drawn faultless, but with just enough 
imperfection to set her off, without taking her out 
of the category of ordinary mortals, to whom abso- 
lute perfection is an impossibility. Her propensity 
for match-making was decidedly objectionable, but 
as she failed so signally in this respect, it was pro- 
bably its own punishment. Left the mistress of 
her father's house at an early age by the marriage 
of her sister, Emma ran a good chance of being 
spoiled, and such would probably have been her 
fate but for the excellent governess provided for 
her in the person of Miss Taylor, who became an 






CH. T. THE KOVELa 99 

equally excellent wife for Mr. Weston just before 
the commencement of the story. Still, Miss Emma 
seems to have been tolerably self-willed, and to 
have been possessed of an independent spirit of 
her own, and a confidence in her own judgment - 
which the adulation of her neighbours must have 
considerably increased. One does not exactly gee 
why Emma Woodliouse should have been r^arded 
as a little goddess in her own neighbourhood, but 
euoh appears to have been the case, and she ia 
depicted throughout the story as the intellectual 
superior of everybody else, except Mr. Knightley, 
who treats her more like an elder brother than a 
lover, administers to her a well-deserved rebuke 
upon the occasion of her making an unkindly 
satirical remark to poor Misa Bates, and gracioualy 




100 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oa. r. 

mintalcc in entering into a secret engagement with 
Frank ChurchilU in a sweet and womanly character^ 
and would have required less looking after and 
management than the * superior ' Emma. 

I have but little to say of * Anne Elliot/ the 
heroine of * Persuasion,' but that little is good, 
^th a worldly father and unsjrmpathetic elder 
sister, her early life, after the loss of her mother, 
was not of the happiest description, nor had its 
happiness been increased by the breaking ofT 
of her engagement with Lieutenant Wentworth, 
their mutual attachment having been thwarted by 
that want of pecuniary resources which so often 
operates as a barrier in similar cases. Anne Elliot, 
taking after her mother rather tlian her father, 
was of a sweet disposition, amiable in every rela- 
tion of life, and so faitliful to her first love as to 
have been quite ready to • take up ' with him again 
when he came home eight years later with the 
rank of Captain, and his sister's husband. Admiral 
Crofts, had taken Kellynch, Sir Walter ElUofs 
family place. The gentleman, however, from 
timidity, doubt of her affection, and afterwards 
firom the report that she was to marry her rich 
bat profligate cousin, Mr. Elliot, held aloof, and 



\ 

\ 



THE NOVELS. 



101 



tlUl iiot renew his former suit. Sweet, inotleat, 
tciuler-lieiii-tcd, woiiiaiily Aimc Elliot Ijcliavcd just 
lis >i\\ti hIioiiM linvc dono uiulci' sucli a condition 
of allitirs. Of course she never obtruded herself 
upon her lover in t!ie slightest degree, or took any. 
.''leps to let Iiiiii know the unuhanged state of her 
flfTections. Slie reinnined true to him throughout 
all Icuiptjilions to the contrary, refused her coiisin, 
kept her secret with proper reserve until the right 
tuomcnt and opportunity arrived, and then with- 
out hesitation forgave Captain Wentworth his 
doubts and delay, owned her continued affection 
without any pretence of concealment, and obtained 
the husband for whom she had so long waited, 
-ind whom she so well deserved. We do not hear 
so much of Anne Elliot as of some of Jane's other 




102 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. t. 

better able to understand and describe the feelings 
and actions of her own than those of the other sex. 
Still, it must be allowed that she shows a marvel- 
lous knowledge of both, and that few, if any, men 
who have attempted novel-writing have equalled 
either the male or female creations of the * inimit- 
able Jane.' 

It would occupy more time and space than 
I can aflbrd if I were to criticize in detail one half 
or one quarter of the prominent characters in these 
novels. I have spoken elsewhere of a certain want 
of * plot ' and * incident,' but this I say in praise 
rather than blame, the wonder being at the manner 
in which the^^books are made so intensely interesting 
with so little of either. Perhaps tlie truth lies in 
the fact tliat, whilst a weak or imperfectly drawn 
character requires some exciting events to make it 
interesting, Jane's characters are so well drawn as 
to be interesting under the most trivial and ordi- 
nary circumstances. 

Take one instance from * Pride and Prejudice.' 
There is nothing very remarkable in a man having 
married a silly wife, although one is incUned to 
wonder that a person with such a keen sense of 
humour and lively appreciation of the folly of 






MHlHMVyUfa 



J. 



en. T. THE NOVELS. lOS 

Other people as Mr. Bennet should have been 
caught by a pretty face when handicapped by 
such intense and silly vulgarity aa that which his 
wife displayed. Such things did happen in Jane 
Austen's days, and probably happen still ; but for 
all that one may wonder on, consoling oneself 
with the reflection that the man must always be 
punished for the rest of his life. But the remark- 
able thing is, that out of this somewhat ordinary 
couple Jane manages to create two very amusing 
characters, whose daily conversations required no 
stirring events of any kind to make (hem so inte- 
resting as to cause the reader always to wish they 
were longer. Mr. Bennet bore his fate with more 
equanimity than many men would have done, and 
his quaint, dry remarks are irresistibly comic, and 




104 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oo. v. 

acaroclj-concealed view of marrying one of his 
couniiB by way of atonement for being next in the 
ientail, and, therefore, the future possessor of their 
liome upon their father's deatli, is our first intn> 
duction to this worthy individual, and we are at 
once led to expect amusement from such a cha- 
racter. Tlie reality, however, even surpasses our 
Anticipations. Ilis conversations are charming; 
the self-assurance with whicli he proposes to Eliza- 
beth, the readiness with which he consoles liimself 
with her friend, Charlotte Lucas ; above all, the 
grateful servility with which he accepts the crumbs 
which fall from Lady Catherine de Burgh's table, 
and magnifies her with continuous adoration — all 
combine to enhance our admiration of the skill 
which could draw such a character with a touch 
which makes it amusingly ridiculous without being 
unnaturally absurd. But perhaps the letter in 
which he condoles with Mr. ]3cnnet on the occasion 
of Lydia's elopement, and that in which he warns 
Elizabeth against marrying Lady Catherine's nephew 
without the consent of that august potentate, are 
two of the finest pieces of composition in the 
book. The first is simply inimitable, and the 
second falls little sliort of it. 



\ 



•mmSSSSSSSSSa^^^SZTT^^ 



en. T. THE NOVELS. 106 

The Collins episode in tliis book suggests a 
comparison witli that of Mr, Elton in 'Emma.' In 
eacli case the gentleman is refused by tlie heroine, 
and in earli marries aomebody elwc with very little 
delay. Mr. Collins, however, has the advantage 
both in the wife he selects and the behaviour 
which lie adopts, lie cheerfully accepts the situa- 
tion, receives EIi;!abet]i at tlic parsonage, and only 
revenges iiimself by parading before her eyes aa 
mucli as ])ossiblc tlie inestimable advantages con- 
ferred H|ion iiim by tlie vicinity of Eosings. 

Mr. Elton, a man equally conceited but of 
greater nbility, shows himself to be more little- 
minded in a similar situation, for he evidently 
resents liis refusal to the end of the chapter, and 




106 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. cs. t. 

oompariaon with Mr. Elton, and should have all 
the credit he deserves. 

The character of Lady Catherine de Burgh has 
sometimes been deemed exaggerated ; but in Jane 
Austen*s days the deference paid to rank and 
position was far greater than at present, and an 
arrogant woman, accustomed to have her own 
way and impatient of contradiction, is, I suppose, 
pretty much the same kind of being in all ages of 
the world. If there is any criticism which may 
fairly be made, it is the total want of good-breed- 
ing which Lady Catherine, supposed to be a well- 
bred woman, exhibits in her conversations with 
those whom she deems her inferiors, whose feel- 
ings she apparently seeks to outrage every minute 
in the most unnecessary manner, and to whom she 
speaks after a fashion utterly at variance with the 
present usages of society. Some allowance must 
of course be made for the change in times and 
manners which has taken place, but' in this one 
particular it is difficult not to incline to the opinion 
that the character is a little exaggerated. She is 
splendid, however, in the interview with Elizabeth, 
to which I have already alluded, and, as a set-oflT 
to the heroine, as well as to Mr. Collins, is perfec- 



N 

\ 

\ 



Piiap«iMt«p>«iw>vnnnMP 



THE N0VBL3. 



107 



tion. Indeed, one of the most delicious tilings in 
the whole book is the way in which her arrogant 
interference is made to punish itself, and causes 
her to impart to Darcy that whicii ho might not 
otherwiae have discovered — namely, that change 
in Elizabeth's feelings wliich encourages him to ap- 
proach her once more. The way in which he does 
tliis is very natural, and excee(]ingly well told, 
and, in fact, there is hardly a page in this book 
which does not excite our wonder that it should 
have been written by a gii'l of twenty-one, ignorant 
of the world outside her own family circle. 

There is more ' finish ' about * Emma,' and, per- 
haps, also about * Mansfield Park,' but, take it all 
in all, ' Pride and Prejudice ' is tlie most wonderful 



108 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. oh. t. 

unblemished character. This is just as it should 
be, for we are bound to take a more or less tender 
interest in the heroine of a book, and it is de* 
cidedlj preferable to experience this feeling for 
a well-conducted and respectable young woman 
than for the doubtful and sometimes really dis- 
reputable heroines whom we encounter too often 
in more modern novels. Jane's heroines never 
transgress the bounds of conventional good* 
behaviour. They enjoy their dancing, their novel- 
reading, their innocent flirtations, and other similar 
amusements which enlivened the society of tlieir 
day; but they indulge in no extravagances, do 
nothing out of the common way, and are a model 
set of heroines whom nobody but Jane could have 
made so entertaining and interesting as she has 
certainly done. They all deserve to marry com- 
fortably — which seems to have been Jane's idea of 
tlie true object of a girl's life — and it is impossible 
to grudge their deserts to such meritorious people. 

This leads me to another observation upon the . 
drill and tendency of these novels. I think they 
really do all diat the author of * Pamela ' declares 
that he does in the self-laudatory preface which I 
have quoted. They make virtue lovely, and vice 






ri jm ■i nm ' ' v ^t^^f^^f^^ 



OH. T. THE NOVELS. 109 

the reverse ; they show how the one brings its 
own reward, the other its own punishment, and 
'nitbout ever preaching to us, thej continually 
impress upon our minds lessons of a purifying' 
and elevating tendency. The different moUves 
which influence men and women in various circum- 
stances of life — the special faults which beset 
certain natures — the effects which those faults 
produce upon others, the opposite results of a 
religious training and of a mere worldly cducaUon ; 
all these are drawn by tlie master-hand of a great 
artist, and are brought befo. i us with a fidelity of 
description which can hardly fiul to impress the 
reader. 

There is very little direct mention of religion, 
as a mainspring of action, in any of Jane Austen's 




110 LETTERS OF JANE AU8TEX. ok. t. 

attract those whose lives are less exemplary, and 
who feel that the narrative is of worlds outside 
and apart from their own. There is nothing of 
this in Jane's books. So far from any parade of 
religion, there is so little allusion to anything 
of the kind that it would be a misnomer to apply 
the term * religious novel ' to any of her works. 
But yet, throughout them all, the moral and 
virtuous thoughts and actions, which can spring 
only from a mind imbued with the principles of 
religion, are constantly brought before us, in such 
a manner as to command our respect, and to afford 
«., at the same time, an example of the way in 
which such thouglits can be cherished, and such 
actions performed, without any separation from the 
world, or the necessity of conducting ourselves 
diflferently from other people. There is a purity 
of thought as weU as of style, an undercurrent of 
refinement, and an inii)erceptible suggestion of 
good which have not improbably had more salu- 
tary efiects than any * religious ' novels that have 
ever been written. But I M'ill indulge myself in 
no further criticism. Popular approbation has 
already stamped these books as among the greatest 
of English novels. I am glad of the opportunity 



\ 



^"*^""^"*'*^*«V>««"'««iiHViWi«V»WMHW«« 



^ 



THE KOVEia. 



Ill 



of throwing such further light upon the life of the 
writer as can be afibrded by those of her letters 
whicli remain to us, and I only regret that I have 
not more materials from which to furnish the lovers 
of her works still further details of the life of 
Jane Austeo. 



\ 



LETTEES. 
1796 

The first two letters which I am able to prcBent 
to my readers were written from Steventon to Jane 
Austen's sister Cassandra in January 1706. The 
most interesting allusion, perhaps, is to her ' young 
Irish friend,' wlio -wonld seem by the context to 
have been the late lord Oliief Justice of Ireland, 
though at the time of writing only 'Mr. Tom 




114 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



1793 



of the letters, as well as from some passages in 
later letters, that this little affair had nothing 
to do with the * addresses ' referred to, any more 
than with that * passage of romance in her history * 
with which Mr. Austen Leigh was himself so 

* imperfectly acquainted * that he can only tell us 
that there was a gentleman whom the sisters 
met * whilst staying at some seaside place,' whom 
Cassandra Austen thought worthy of her sister Jane, 
and likely to gain her affection, but who very pro- 
▼oldngly died suddenly after having expressed his 

* intention of soon seeing them again/ Mr. Austen 
Leigh thinks that, * if Jane ever loved, it was this 
unnamed gentleman ; ' but I have never met with 
any evidence upon the subject, and from all I have 
heard of * Aunt Jane,* I strongly incline to the 
opinion that, whatever passing inclination she may 
have felt for anyone during her younger days (and 
that there was once such an inclination is, I believe, 
certain), she was too fond of home; and too happy 
among her own relations, to have sought other 
ties, unless her heart had been really won, and that 
this was a thing which never actually happened. 
Her allusion (letter two) to the day on which * I 
am to flirt my last with Tom Lefiroy * rather nega- 



\ 



17P0 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 116 

lives the idea that tlicre was anything serious 
between the two, whilst a later reference (letter 
ten) to Mrs. Lefroy's ' friend ' seems to intimate 
that, whoever tlic latter may have been, any 
attachment which existed was ratiicr on the side 
of the gentleman than of the lady, and was not 
recognized by lier as being of a permanent nature. 
The first letter ia written on her sister Caa- 
sandra's birthday, and is directed to her at Kint- 
bury, wliere she eeeras to have been staying with 
her friend Elizabeth Fowie (often referred to in 
these letters as ' Eliza '}, nie Lloyd, whose sister 
was the ' Mary ' wiio ' would never have guessed * 
the ' tall clergyman's' name, and who afterwards 
married the ' James ' (Jane's brother) wlio wa» 
taken into the carriage as an encouragement to 




116 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1705 

of him that he was * the best prcachcTi ridcT to 
hoanda, and cavalry oflTiccr in Berks/ 

The Harwoods of Deanc were country neigh- 
bours of whom we shall find frequent mention. 
They were a very old Hampshire family, living 
upon their own property, which was formerly 
much larger than at the date of our letters, and 
which, I believe, has now passed away altogether 
from its former possessors. Close to Deane is 
Ashe, of which Mr. Lefroy was rector, and Ashe 
Parke, now occupied by Col. R. Portal, and in 1700 
belonging to Mr. Portal, of Laverstoke, was at that 
time occupied by the family of St. John. The 
Bivers family lived, I believe, at Worthy Park, 
Kingsworthy, and I itnngino the Miss Dcancs to 
have been of the family of that name living in 
Winchester. One member of this family has since 
held the neighbouring living of Bighton. The 
Lyfords were medical men, father and son, living 
at Basingstoke. It will be noted that one of them 
attended Mrs. George Austen in the illness men- 
tioned in the earlier letters, and it was one of the 
same family who was Jane Austen's doctor in her 
last illness at Winchester. In a little volume con- 
cerning the * Vme hunt ' which he printed privately 



\ 



1700 LETTEH3 OF JANE AUSTEN. 117 

in 18C5, Mr. Auptcn Leigh tells a good atory of 
the grandfatlier of llio 'John Lyford ' here men- 
tioned, ' a fine tall man, with Biich n Hnxcn wig as 
is not to be eccn or conceived by tine generation/ 
He knew nothing about fox-hunting, but had a 
due and proper regard for those who indulged in 
it, and it is recorded of him that upon one occa- 
sion, having accidentally fallen in with Mr. Chute's 
hounds wlien checked, he caused great confusion 
by galloping up in a very excited state, waving his 
hat, and exclaiming 'Tally-ho I Mr. Ciiuto. Tally- 
ho 1 Mr. Cliutc' Not that ho had seen the fox, 
but because lie imngincd that ' Tally-ho ! ' was the 
word with which fox-hunters ordinarily greeted 
each other in the field. 

Among the people mentioned an having been 




118 LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706 



I, and afterwards for Oxford University 
for fourteen years. He was made a Privy Councillor 
in 1870| and lived till 1881, very greatly respected 
and beloved by a large circle of friends. In 1796 
the Heathcotes lived at Worting, a house in a 
village of the same name, situate about five or 
mx miles from Steventon. Mr. J. Portal was 
Mr. Portal, of Freefolk House, near Overton. He 
married twice, and, living till 1848, was succeeded 
by the eldest son of his second wife, Melville 
Portal, who was afterwards for a short time 
member for North Hants. Mr. John Portal's 
eldest daughter by his first marriage was Caroline, 
who married Edward Austen's fourth son William. 
Adda, one of his daughters by his second wife, 
became the second wife of the *Uttle Edward' 
mentioned in the letters, who was the eldest son 
of the same Edward Austen, Jane's brother, the 
owner of Oodmersham and Chawton. She died 
in 1870. Mr. Portals brother WilUam lived at 
Laverstoke, which, as well as Ashe Park, belonged 
to him. Mr. Bigg Wither, of Manydown, had 
two other daughters besides Mrs. Heathcote, 
namely, Alithea, with whom * James danced,' 
and Catherine, who afterwards married the Rev. 



\ 

\ 



1700 LETTEKS OF JANE AUSTEN. 119 

Herbert Kill, who enjoyed the double distinction 
of being Sonthey'a uncle and (at one time) chaplain 
to t)ie Britifili factory at Lisbon. * Ibtliorp ' was 
a ]iouse near Lord Portsmouth's place, Huret- 
bourne, where lived as a widow Mrs. Lloyd, the 
motlier of Eliza, Martha, and Mary. Her husband, 
the Rev, Nowys Lloyd, had lield tlie two livings 
of Enbourne near Newbury and Bishopston, Wilta, 
and at tlie latter place fell in love with * Martha 
Craven,' who waa living there with an * Aunt 
Willoughby,' having run away from a mother 
whom family tradition alleges to have treated her 
badly. Mrs. Lloyd died in April 180u, when the 
Austen.s were at Bath. The Coopers, whose arrival 
is expected in the first, and announced in the 
second letter, were Dr. Cooper, already mentioned 




120 LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1700 

bring proof positive as to the identity of Mr. 
Benjamin Portal, which is the more to be regretted 
because a person with such * handsome' eyes 
deserves to be identified. There was, however, a 
certain clergyman, the Eev. William Portal, a 
member of the . Freefolk and Laverstoke family, 
who had a wife, seven sons, and the Bectory of 
Stoke Charity in Hants. None of these sons 
married, but, judging by dates, some of them 
must have been living about 1790, and probably 
Benjamin was one of them. 

The third letter of 1796 is dated from London^ 
where the writer had evidently stopped for a night 
on her way from Steventon to Bowling, a journey 
which in those days was a much more serious 
affair than at present, when a few hours of rail- 
road take us comfortably from one place to the 
other. Bowling was and is a small place belonging 
to the Bridges family, being about a mile distant 
from Ooodnestone. Edward Austen, Jane's brother, 
lived there at this time, though whether his* 
brother-in-law. Sir Brook, let it or lent it to him 
I cannot say. Probably the former; at any rate» 
here he lived, and here were his three eldest 
children bom. The subsequent letters (four to 



V 

\ 



irmi^fe^^m^mmmmmfi^^ 



1700 LETTEIIS OF JANE AUSTEN. 121 

seven inclusive) ivere written whilst Jane was 
visiting her brother, and are full of touchca of her 
own quaint humour. Mra. Knight had not left 
Godmersliam at this time, but waa about to do so, 
and my grandfather and grandmother were going 
to take posBtission. The * Mr. and Mrs. Cage ' were 
Lewis Cage and his wife, Fanny Bridges. Harriet 
and Louisa were the two unmarried sisters of the 
kttci'; Edward, their brother, and the 'Mr. and 
Mrs. Bridges ' must have been Henry Bridges, next 
brother to Sir Brook (fourth baronet), who was 
licctor of Danbury and Woodham Ferrers, in 
Essex, who had married Jane Hales the year be- 
fore this letter was written. Sir Thomas Ilalea, 
his father-in-law, was M,P. for Dover, and had four 
daughters besides Jane, of whom the two youngest, 




122 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1700 

her home) will be understood by those who have 
perused Miss Bumey's novel of that name, and to 
those who have not will, I hope, be an inducement 
to do so, as it will certainly repay the perusal. 
Lady Waltham was the wife of Lord Waltham, 
and a great friend of Lady Bridges. 

There are other allusions to things and people 
• scattered throughout these letters, to understand 
which it is necessary to bear in mind that they arc 
often made in the purest spirit of playful nonsense, .^ 
and are by no means to be taken as grave and 
serious expressions of opinion or statement of facts. 
When, for instance, speaking of Mrs. Knight, the 
widow of Oodmersliam, she says * it is imagined 
that she will shortly be married again,' and in the 
next letter speaks of her brother Edward as in- 
tending to get some of a vacant farm into his 
occupation, * if he can cheat Sir Brook enough in 
the agreement,' she is writing in the same spirit 
of fun as when she presently tells us that her 
brother had thoughts of * taking the name of 
Claringbould,' that * Mr. Bichard Harvey's match is 
put off till he has got a better Christian name,' 
and that two gentlemen about to marry * are to 
have one wife between them.' Mrs. Eniglit was 



\ 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



123 



advanced in years at the time, and her marrying 
a second time a very unlikely thing to occur ; and 
I suppose no man ever hved who was less likely 
to ' cheat ' or take advantage of another than ray 
grandfather, Edward Austen. It is in the same 
vein of fun, or of originality, if tlie phrase be 
better, tiiat she speaks (letter seven) of ' the Captain 
John Gore, commanded by the "Triton,"' instead 
of ' the " Triton," commanded by Captain John 
Gore,' and, in tlie postscript to the same letter, of 
her brother Frank being ' much pleased witli the 
prospect of having Captain Gore under his com- 
mand,' when of course ihe relative position of the 
two was precisely the reverse. Many people will 
think this explanation superfluous, but I have so 
often met with matter-of-fact individuals who per- 



124 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 17W 



of a clergyman), and to * ronge ' — i.e. * to 
affect with a pleasing melancholy' — are well 
enough when used and appreciated in family 
fetters and conversations, but might give rise to 
curious dissertations upon the different use of par- 
ticular English words at different times, if given 
without comment or explanation to the public^ 
whilst the literal interpretation of things said in 
jest to those who understood tlie jest at the time 
would cause the most serious mistakes as to the 
real meaning of the writer and the spirit in which 
she wrote. 

The sixth and seventh letters are full of local 
and personal allusions of more or less interest. 
Tlie dinner-party at Nackington is pleasantly 
described, and the wealth of Mr. Milles referred 
to in the pretended expectation expressed that 
he would have advanced money to a person with 
whom he had no relationship which might have 
induced such generosity. It was natural that 
Lady Sondes' picture should be found in her 
father's house, for in that relationship stood Mr. 
Milles to her. She was at this time living at Lees 
Court with her husband, who did not die until 
ten years later. Bifrons was at this time in the 



\ 
\ 



1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 125 

possession of the Taylor family, from whom it 
afterwards passed to the Conynghams ; but I do 
not know to whom Jane refers as the individual 
upon whom ahe once fondly doated, although the 
' once ' could not have been very long before, aa 
at this time she had not yet completed her twenly- 
firat year. Mrs. Joan Knatchbull lived in Canter- 
bury. She was tlie only sister of Sir Wyndham 
Knatchbull, who died in 1763, when the title and 
estates went to his uncle. The othei- people 
referred to in these letters are cither dealt with 
in the preliminary chapters, or do not appear to 
require further notice, having little to do with 
Jane or her family. 




126 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1793 

as I had preriouslj heard of his being invited. In 
addition to our set at the Harwoods' ball, we had 
tiie Grants, St. Johns, Lady Bivers, her three 
daughters and a son, Mr. and IMQss Heathcote, Mrs. 
Lefevre, two Mr. Watkins, Mr. J. Portal, Miss 
Beanes, two Miss Ledgers, and a tall clergyman 
who came with them, whose name Mary would 
never have guessed. 

We were so terrible good as to take James in 
our carriage, though there were three of us before ; 
but indeed he deserves encouragement for the very 
great improvement which has lately taken place in 
his dancing. Miss Heathcote is pretty, but not near 
so handsome as I expected. Mr. H. began with 
Elizabeth, and afterwards danced with her again ; 
but they do not know how to be particular. I flatter 
myself, however, that they will profit by the three 
successive lessons which I have given them. 

You scold me so much in the nice long letter 
which I have this moment received from you, that 
I am almost afraid to tell you how my Irish friend 
and I behaved. Imagine to yourself everything 
most profligate and shocking in the way of dancing 
and sitting down together. I can expose myself, 
however, only once more^ because he leaves the 
country soon after next Friday, on which d^ we 

\ 



17«l LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 127 

are to have a dance at Aahe after all. He ia a very 
gentlemanlike, good-looking, pleaaant young man, 
I assure you. But as to our having ever met, 
except at the three last balls, I cannot say much ; 
for he is so excessively laughed at about me at 
Ashe, that he is ashamed of coming to Steventon, 
and ran away when we called on Mrs. Lefroy a 
few days ago. 

We left Warren at Dean Gate, in our way home 
last night, and he is now on hia road to town. He 
left hia love, &c., to you, and Iwill deliver it when 
we meet. Henry goes to Harden to-day in his way 
to his Master's degree. We shall feel the loss of 
these two moat agreeable young men exceedingly, 
and shall have nothing to console us till the arrival 
of the Coopers on Tuesday. As they will stay here 
till the Monday following, perliaps Caroline will go 




128 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706 

Benjamin Portal, whose eyes are as handsome as 
ever. Everybody is extremely anxious for your 
return, but as you cannot come home by the Ashe 
ball, I am glad that I have not fed them with false 
hopes. James danced with Alithea, and cut up the 
turkey last night with great perseverance. You 
aay nothing of the silk stockings ; I flatter myself, 
therefore, that Charles has not purchased any, as 
I cannot very well aflbrd to pay for them ; all my 
money is spent in buying white gloves and pink 
persian. I wish Charles had been at Manydown, 
because he would have given you some description 
of my friend, and I think you must be impatient to 
hear something about him. 

Henry is still hankering after the Regulars, and 
as his project of purchasing the adjutancy of the 
Oxfordshire is now over, he has got a scheme in his 
head about getting a lieutenancy and adjutancy 
in the 86th, a new-raised regiment, which he fan- 
cies will be ordered to the Cape of Good Hope. I 
heartily hope that he will, as usual, be disappointed 
in this scheme. We have trimmed up and given 
away all the old paper hats of Mamma's manufac- 
ture ; I hope you will not regret the loss of yours. 

After I had written the above, we received a 
•visit from Mr. Tom Lefroy and his cousin George. 



mmmmm^ 



irtW LETTEKS OF JANE AUSTEN. 129 

Tlie latter is really very weU-behaved now ; and aa 
for the other, lie haa but one fault, which time will, 
I trust, entirely remove — ^it is that his moraing coat 
is a great deal too light. He is a very great 
admirer of Tom Joues, and therefore wears the 
same coloured clothes, I imagine, which he did 
when he was wounded. 

Sumiai/. — By not returning till the 19th, you 
will exactly contrive to miss seeing the Coopers, 
which I suppose it is your wish to do. We have 
heard nothing from Charles for some time. One 
would supi)ose they must have sailed by this time, 
as the wind is so favourable. What a funny name 
Tom has got for his vessel I But he has no taste 
in names, as we well know, and I dare say he 
chriHtened it himself. I am sorry for the Beaches' 




180 



LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



170G 



U. 

SteTenton : ThnT9dt7 (Jannarj 10). 

I have just received yours and Mary's letter, 
and I thank you both, though their contents might 
have been more agreeable. I do not at all expect 
to see you on Tuesday, since matters have fallen 
out so unpleasantly ; and if you are not able to 
return till after that day, it will hardly be possible 
for us to send for you before Saturday, though for 
my own part I care so little about the ball that 
it would be no sacrifice to me to give it up for 
the sake of seeing you two days earlier. We are 
extremely sorry for poor Eliza's illness. I trust, 
however, that she has continued to recover since 
you wrote, and that you will none of you be the 
worse for your attendance on her. What a good- 
for-nothing feUow Charles is to bespeak the stock- 
ings 1 I hope he wiU be too hot all the rest of his 
life for it I 

I sent you a letter yesterday to Ibthorp, which 
I suppose you ¥rill not receive at Eintbury. It 
was not very long or very witty, and therefore if 
you never receive it, it does not much signify. I 
wrote principally to tell you that the Coopers were 
arrived and in good health. The little boy is very 




mm 



17M LETTERa OF JANE AUSTEN. 131 

like Dr. Cooper, and the litde girl is to resemble 
Jane, they say. 

Our party to Ashe to-morrow night will consist 
of Edward Cooper, Jamea (for a ball is nothing 
without him), Buller, who is now staying with us, 
and I. I look forward with great impatience to it, 
as I ratlier expect to receive an offer from my friend 
in the course of tlie evening. I shall refuse him, 
however, unless he promises to give away his white 
coat. 

I am very much flattered by your commenda- 
tion of my last letter, for I write only for fame, and 
without any view to pecuniary emolument. 

Edward is gone to spend the day with his friend, 
John Lyford, and does not return till to-morrow. 
Anna is now here ; she came up in her chaise to 




1S2 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706 

if the wind should be favourable on Sunday, which 
it proved to be, they were to sail from Falmouth 
on that day. By this time, therefore, they are at 
Barbadoes, I suppose. The Rivers are stUl at Many- 
down, and are to be at Ashe to-morrow. I intended 
to call on the Miss Biggs yesterday had the weather 
been tolerable. Caroline, Anna, and I have just 
been devouring some cold souse, and it would be 
difficult to say which enjoyed it most. 

Tell Mary that I make over Mr. Heartley and 
all his estate to her for her sole use and benefit in 
future, and not only him, but all my other admirers 
into the bargain wherever she can find them, even 
the kiss which C. Powlett wanted to give me, as I 
mean to confine myself in future to Mr. Tom Lefroy, 
for whom I don't care sixpence. Assure her also, as 
a last and indubitable proof of Warren's indiflereuce 
to me, that he actually drew that gentleman's picture 
for me, and delivered it to me without a sigh. 

Friday. — ^At length the day is come on which I 
am to flirt my last with Tom Lefroy, and when you 
receive this it will be over. My tears flow as I 
write at the melancholy idea. Wm. Chute called 
here yesterday. I wonder what he means by 
being so civil. There is a report that Tom is going 
to be married to a Lichfield lass. JohnXyford 




mm 



170G LETTETtS OF JANE AUSTEN. 135 

and his sister bring Edward home to-day, dine with 
us, and we sliall all go together to Aahe. I under- 
Btand that we are to draw for partners. I shall be 
extremely impatient to hear from you again, that 
I may know how £li2a is, and when you are to 
return. 

With best love, &c., I am affectionately yours, 
J. Austen. 

MU> Austen, 

The R»T. Mr. Fowle's, Kintburj, Nevtnu;. 

m. 

Cork Street : Tueedfly mora (August 17Pfl>. 
MV DEAR CaSSAXDRA, 

Here I am once more in this scene of dissipation 
and vice, and I begin already to find my morala 
corrupted. We reached Staines yesterday, I do not 




134 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706 

again. We are to be at Astley's to-night, which I 
am glad of. Edward has heard from Henry this 
morning. He has not been at the races at all, 
unless his driving Miss Pearson over to Bowling 
one day can be so called. We shall find him there 
on Thursday. 

I hope you are all alive after our melancholy 
partmg yesterday, and that you pursued your in- 
tended avocation with success. Otoi bless you I I 
must leave ofi*, for we are going out. 

Yours very affectionately, 

J. AusnTEK. 

Everybody's love. 

IV. 

Rowling : ThoiBdtj (September 1). 

Mr DEAREST Cassandra, 

The letter which I have this moment received 
from you has diverted me beyond moderation. I 
could die of laughter at it, as they used to say at 
school You are indeed the finest comic writer of 
the present age. 

Since I wrote last, we have been very near 
returning to Steventon so early as next week. Such, 
for a day or two, was our dear brother Henry's 
scheme, but at present matters are restored, not to 






w^^ 



■■—• X, 



1700 LETTERS OP JANE AUSTEN. 136 

what t]icy were, for ray absence seems likely to 
be lengtliciied still farther. I am sottj for it, but 
what can I do ? 

Henry leaves us to-morrow for Yarmouth, aa 
he wishes very much to consult his physician there, ' 
on wliom lie has great reliance. He is better than 
he was when he first came, though still by no 
means well. According to his present plan, he will 
not return liere till about the 23rd, and bring with 
him, if he can, leave of absence for three weeks, as 
he wants very much to have some shooting at 
Godmersham, wiiither Edward and Elizabeth are 
to remove very early in October. If this scheme 
holds, I shall hardly be at Steventon before the 
middle of that montlt ; but if you cannot do with- 
out me. I could return. I supoose. with Frank i 




136 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706 

makes a very superb surplice. I am sorry to say 
that my new coloured gown is very much washed 
out, though I charged everybody to take great 
care of it. I hope yours is so too. Our men had 
but indifferent weather for their visit to Godmers- 
ham, for it rained great part of the way there and 
all the way back. They found Mrs. Enight remark- 
ably well and in very good spirits. It is imagined 
that she will shortly be married again. I have 
taken little George once in my arms since I have 
been here, which I thought very kind. I have told 
Fanny about the bead of her necklace, and she 
wants very much to know where you found it 

To-morrow I shall be just like CamiUa in Mr. 
I)ubster*s summer-house ; for my Lionel will have 
taken away the ladder by which I came here, or at 
least by which I intended to get away, and liere I 
must stay tiU his return. My situation, however, 
is somewhat preferable to hers, for I am very 
happy here, though I should be glad to.^ct home 
by the end of the month. I have no idea that 
IGss Pearson will return with me. 

What a fine feUow Charles is, to deceive us into 
writing two letters to him at Cork 1 I admire his 
ingenuity extremely, especially as he is so great a 
gainer by it. ^ 



\ 



1790 LETTERS OF JANE AL'STEN. 137 

Mr. and Mrs. Cage and Mr. and Mrs. Bridges 
dined with us yesterday, Fanny seemed as glad to 
see me as anybody, and enquired very much after 
you, whom she supposed to be making your 
weddin<;-clothes. She is as handsome as ever, and 
somewhat fatter. We had a very pleasant day, and 
some liqucttrt in the evening. Louisa's figure is 
very much improved ; she is as stout again as she 
was. Iler face, from wliat I could see of it one 
evening, appeared not at all altered. She and the 
genllemen walked up hero on Monday nighU— 
sliG came in the morning with the Cages from 
Ilytlie. 

Lady Hales, with her two youngest daughters, 
iiavc been to see ua, Caroline is not grown at all 
cairt<cr tlmn she was, nor Ilarrict at all more deli- 




138 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1700 

nor can I hear anything of Anna's gloves. Indeed 
I have not enquired at all about them hitherto. 

We are very busy making Edward's shirts, and 
I am proud to say that I am the neatest worker of 
the party. They say that there are a prodigious 
number of birds hereabouts this year, so that 
perhaps / may kill a few. I am glad to hear so 
good an account of Mr. Limprey and J. Lovett. I 
know nothing of my mother's handkerchief, but I 
dare say I shall find it soon. 

I am very afiectionately yours, 

Janb. 

Mki Aofteoy 8t«f«iitoo, Ofertoo, Ilaoti. 

V. 

Bowling: Monday (September 5). 

Mt dear Cassandra, 

I shall be extremely anxious to hear the event 
of your ball, and shall hope to receive so long and 
minute an account of every particular that I shall 
be tired of reading it. Let me know how many, 
besides their fourteen selves and Mr. and Mrs. 
Wright, Michael will contrive to place about their 
coach, and how many of the gentlemen, musicians, 
and waiters, he will have persuaded to come in 
dr shooting-jackets. I hope John Lovett's h^d* 



\ 






irofl LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 139 

dent will not prevent his attending the ball, as 
you will otherwise be obUged to dance with Mr. 
Tincton the whole evening. Let me know how 
J. Harwood deports himself without the Miss 
Biggs, and which of the Marys will carry the day 
with my brother Jamea. 

We were at a ball on Saturday, I assure you. 
We dined at Goodnestone, and in the evening 
danced two countrj'-dances and the Boulangeries. 
I opened the ball with Edward Bridges; tlie other 
couples were Lewis Cage and Uarriet, Frank and 
Louisa, Fanny and George. Elizabeth played one 
country-dance, Lady Bridges the other, which she 
made Henry dance with her, and Miss Finch played 
llie Boulangeries. 

In reading over the laat three or four lines, I 




140 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706 

and spread itself abroad. Mr. and Mrs. Cage and 
George repair to Hythe. Lady Waltham, Miss 
Bridges, and Miss Mary Finch to Dover, for the 
health of the two former. I have never seen 
Marianne at all. On Tliursday Mr. and Mrs. 
Bridges return to Danbury ; Miss Harriet Hales 
accompanies them to London on her way to Dorset- 
•hire. 

Farmer Claringbould died this morning, and I 
fancy Edward means to get some of his farm, if he 
can cheat Sir Brook enough in the agreement. 

We have just got some venison from Godmers- 
ham, which the two Mr. Uarveys are to dine on 
to-morrow, and on Friday or Saturday the Good- 
nestone people are to finish their scraps. Uenry 
went away on Friday, as lie purposed, wWioui fayl. 
You will hear from him soon, I imagine, as he 
talked of writing to Stevcnton shortly. Mr. Bichard 
Harvey is going to be married ; but as it is a 
great secret, and only known to half the neigh- 
bourhood, you must not mention it. The lady*s 
name is Musgrave. 

I am in great distress. I cannot determine 
whether I shall give Bichis half a guinea or only 
five shillings when I go away. Counsel me, amiable 
Ifiss Austen, and tell me which will be the most. 



V 



1 . mgjz^:." 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



141 



Wc walked Frank laat night to Crixhall Buff, 
and he appeared much edified. Little Edward 
vas breeched yesterday for good and all, and waf 
wliippcd into the bargain. 

Pniy rcnicinbor iiio to everybody who docs not 
enquire after nio ; those who do, remember mc with- 
out bidding. Give my love to Mary Harrison, and 
tell lierlwish, wliencver she ia attached to a young 
man, some respectable Dr. Marchmont may keep 
them apart for five voluinca. . . . 



VL 

BowUng I TIiumJaj (Seiitombei 10). 
My DKAll Cassanihia, 

We have been very gay since I wrote last ; 
dining at Nackington. returning by moonlight, and 




142 I^ETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1796 

was said on the subject, and unless it is in your 
power to assist your brother with five or six 
hundred pounds, he must entirely give up the idea. 

At Nackington we met Lady Sondes' picture 
over the mantel-piece in the dining-room, and the 
pictures of her three children in an ante-room, 
besides Mr. Scott, Miss Fletcher, Mr. Toke, Mr. J. 
Toke, and Uie Archdeacon Ljmch. Miss Fletcher 
and I were very thick, but I am the thinnest of the 
two. She wore her purple muslin, which is pretty 
enough, though it does not become her complexion. 
There are two traits in her character which are 
pleasing — ^namely, she admires Camilla, and drinks 
no cream in her tea. If you should ever see Lucy, 
you may tcU her that I scolded Miss Fletcher for 
her negligence in writing, as she desired me to do, 
but without being able to bring her to any proper 
sense of shame — that Miss Fletcher says in her 
defence, that as everybody whom Lucy knew when 
she was in Canterbury has now left it, she has 
nothing at all to write to her about. By everybody^ 
I suppose Miss Fletcher means that a new set of 
officers have arrived there. But this is a note of 
my own. 

Mrs. MUles, Mr. John Toke, and in short every- 
body of any sensibility enquired m tender strains. 



■ . w ^ « 



LETTEHS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



143 



after you, and I took an opportunity of assuring 
Mr. J. T. that neither lie nor hia father need 
longer keep themselves single for you. 

We went in our two carriages to Nackington ; 
but Iiow we divided I shall leave you to surmise, 
merely observing that, as Elizabeth and I were 
■without either hat or bonnet, it would not have 
been very convenient for us to go in the chaise. 
We went by Bifrons, and I contemplated with a 
melancholy pleasure the abode of him on whom 
I once fondly doated. We dine to-day at Good- 
nestone, to meet my Aunt Fielding from Margate 
and a Mr. Clayton, her professed admirer — at least 
so I imagine. Lady Bridges has received very 
good accounts of Marianne, who ia already certainly 
the better for her bathing. 

9o His Royal Highness Sir Thomas WilUama 




144 



LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



1706 



that illness has prevented Seward's coming over to 
k>ok at the repairs intended at the farm, but that 
he will come as soon as he can. Mr. Digweed may 
also be informed, if you think proper, that Mr. and 
Mrs. Milles are to dine here to-morrow, and that 
Mrs. Joan Enatchbull is to be asked to meet them. 
Mr. Bichard Harvey's match is put off till he has 
got a better Christian name, of which he has great 
hopes. 

Mr. Children's two sons are both going to be 
married, John and Oeorge. They are to have one 
wife between them, a Miss Holwell, who belongs to 
the Black Hole at Calcutta. I depend on hearing 
firom James very soon ; he promised me an account 
of the ball, and by this time he must have collected 
his ideas enough after the fatigue of dancing to 
give me one. 

Edward and Fly went out yesterday very early 
in a couple of shooting jackets, and came home like 
a couple of bad shots, for tliey killed nothing at 
all. They are out again to-day, and are not yet 
returned. Delightful sport ! They are just come 
home, Edward with his two brace, Frank with his 
two and a half. What amiable young men I 

Friday. — ^Your letter and one from Henry are 
just come, and the contents of both accord with 



.- <T- 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN, 



145 



my scheme more than I had dared expect. In one 
particular I could wish it otherwise, for Henry ii 
very indifiereiit indeed. You must not expect ub 
quite 80 early, however, as Wednceilay, the 20th — 
on that day se'nnighl, according to our present plan, 
we may be witli you. Frank had never any idea 
ofyoingaway before Monday, the 26th. I shall 
write to Miss Mason immediately and press her 
returning with us, whicli Henry thinka very hkely 
and particularly eligible. 

Buy Mary Harrison'a gown by all means. You 
shall have mine for ever so much money, though, if 
I am tolerably rich when I get home, T shall like it 
very much myself. 

As to the mode of our travelling to town, / 
want to go in a stage-coach, but Frank will not 



I 

4 




146 



LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



1700 



vn. 

Rowling: SondAj (Septamlier 18). 
Ht dear CaB&AJSDJLAj 

This morning has been spent in doubt and 
deUberation, in forming plans and removing diffi- 
culties, for it ushered in the day with an event 
which I had not intended should take place so 
soon by a week. Frank has received his appoint- 
ment on board the ^Captain John Gore/ com- 
manded by the ^Triton/ and wiU therefore be 
obliged to be in town on Wednesday ; and though I 
have every disposition in the world to accompany 
him on that day, I cannot go on the uncertainty of 
the Pearsons being at home, as I should not have a 
place to go to in case they were from home. 

I wrote to Miss P. on Friday, and hoped to 
receive an answer from her this morning, which 
would have rendered everything smooth and easy, 
and would have enabled us to leave this place to- 
morrow, as Frank, on first receiving his appoint- 
ment, intended to do. He remains till Wednesday 
merely to acconunodate me. I have written to her 
again to-day, and desired her to answer it by return 
of poet. On Tuesday, therefore, I shall positively 
know whether they can receive me on Wednesday. 



1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 147 

If they cannot, Edwanl has been so good aa to 
promise to take me to Greenwich on the Monday 
following, which was the day before fixed on, if 
that suits them better. If I have no answer at all 
on Tuesday, I must suppose Mary is not at home, 
and must wait till I do hear, as, after having invited 
lier to go to Steventon with me, it will not quite do 
to go home and say no more about it. 

My father will be so good as to fetch home his 
prodigal daughter from town, I hope, unlcM he 
wishes mc to walk the hospitals, enter at the 
Temple, or mount guard at St. James'. It will 
hardly be in Frank's power to take me home — nay, 
it certainly will not. I shall write again as soon as 
I get to Greenwich. 

What dreadful hot weather we have I It keeps 




148 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



17Q0 



coming into Kent again, the time of ita taking 
place ia ao very uncertain that I should be waiting 
for dead meris shoes. I had once determined to go 
with Frank to-morrow and take my chance, &c., 
but they dissuaded me from so rasli a step, as I 
really think on consideration it would have been ; 
for if the Pearsons were not at liomc, I sliould 
inevitably fall a sacrifice to the arts of some fat 
woman who would make me drunk with small 
beer. 

Uary is brought to bed of a boy — both doing 
very well. I shall leave you to guess what Mary I 
mean. Adieu, with best love to all your agreeable 
iunates. Don't let the Lloyds go on any account 
before I return, unless Miss P. is of the party. 
How ill I have written I I Ix^gin to liate myself. 

Yours ever, 

J. Austen. 

The * Triton ' is a new 32 frigate just launched 
at Deptford. Frank is much pleased with the 
prospect of having Captain Ooro under his com- 
mand. 



\ 



1708, 1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



1798, 1799 

The next division of letters comprises those written ] 
in 17O8 aiitl in January 1709. The first is written 
from JliirlftmT, evidently tlic fu'st stajje ofa journey 
homo to Stcvcnton from Godmcrsham, where Mr. 
and Mrs. George Austen had been visitinf,' their . 
con Edward in liis new abode, probably for the ' 
first time, since he could not have been eettlcd 
tlicrc for more than a year ; ami there is a graphic 
account of the loss and recovery of Jane's writing 
and dressing boxes, which appear to have had a 
narrow escape from a voyage to tlic West Indica. 
From this and tiie following letters, it would sccra 
that Mrs. Austen was in delicate health, and ap- 




150 LETTERS OF JANE AU8TEX. 1706^ 1700 

the ndghbourhood affords, and fills her letters 
with such gossip about things and people as would 
be likely to interest her sister. Most of the people 
to whom she alludes will be identified by reference 
to the introductory chapters of this book, and of 
others there is nothing more to \ye said tlian that 
they were country neighbours of various stations 
in life, to whom attaches no particular interest as 
far as Jane Austen is concerned. The Digweeds 
were brothers who occupied a fine old Elizabethan 
manor-house and a large farm in Steventon, which 
belonged to the Knight family until Mr. E. Knight 
(son of K Austen) sold it to the Duke of Welling- 
ton, and the late Duke sold it in 1874 to Mr. 
Harris. An attempt to restore it failed, and even- 
tually a new house was built some fifty yards from 
the old one ; but, although the latter was turned 
into stables, its appearance in front at least was 
not injured, and there is a charming view of it 
across the lawn fix>m the drawing-room of the new 
house. Previous to its sale to the present owner, 
the Digweed family had occupied the manor-house 
for more than 150 years, but not being Irish 
tenants, I suppose they got no compensation for 



\ 
\ 



■y>— <y»*i^orTP i * L " ■ ■ ■ J ■ !■ " ^ .M ' 



ITDrf, 1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



151 



' John Bond ' was Mr. Austen's ' factotum ' m 
his farming operations. There is an anecdote 
extant relating to this worthy which may as well 
be told here : Mr. Austen used to join Mr. Digweed 
in buying twenty or thii'ty sheep, and that all 
might be fair, it was their custom to open the pen, 
and the first half of tlie sheep which ran out were 
counted as belonging to the rector. Going down 
to the fold on one occasion after this process had 
been gone through, Mr. Austen remarked one 
sheep among liis lot larger and finer than the rest. 
*WelI, John," he observed to Bond, who was with 
him, 'I think we have had the best of the luck 
with Mr. Digwecd to-day, in getting that sheep.' 
' Maybe not so much in the luck as you think, air,' 
responded the faithful John. ' I ace'd her the 




152 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706, 1700 

80 long unpublished, but at all events this proves 
that it was no hasty production, but one which had 
been well considered, and submitted to the judg- 
ment of others long before it was given to tlie 
public. Jane changed the name of another novel 
also between composition and publication, ^ Sense 
and Sensibility' having been at first entitled 
* Elinor and Marianne.' 

In the same letter there is an observation about 
'Mrs. Knight's giving up the Godmersham estate 
to Edward being no such prodigious act of gene- 
rosity after all,' which was certainly not intended 
seriously, or if so, was written under a very im- 
perfect knowledge of the facts. I have seen the 
letters which passed upon tlie occasion. The first 
is from Mrs. Knight« offerinfr to give up the pro- 
perty in the kindest and most generous terms, and 
this when she was not much above forty years of 
age, and much attached to tlie place. Then comes 
my grandfather's answer, deprecating the idea of 
her making such a sacrifice, and saying that he 
and his wife were already well enough ofi* through 
Mrs. Knight's kindness, and could not endure that 
she should leave for their sakes a home which she 
loved so much. Mrs. Knight replies that it w^ts 



\ 



ll ll rUlii li afJ-jg- .- iSmmi^M.\- r ' ■ "■ ■ ■ ' . ' 



LETTKRS OP JANE AUSTEX. 



153 



through her great affection for my grandfather 
that her late husband had adopted him, that she 
loved him as if he wa3 her own son, that his letter 
had strengtliencd her in her resolution to give up 
the property to Iiim, and that she considered there 
were duties attacliing to tlie possession of landed 
property which could not be discliarged by a 
woman so well as by a man. She reminds him 
liow that the poor had always been liberally 
treated by tlie Godmershara family, and expresses 
lier happiness at feeling that he will do his duty in 
tills and other respects, and that she shall spend 
the rest of her days near enough to see much of 
liim and lus wife. I am quite sure that my grand- 
fatlier was most gratefully fond of Mrs. Knight, 
and considered her conduct, as indeed it was, an 




1&4 LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706^ 1709 

mother bore her journey thither. I am now able 
to send you a continuation of the same good 
account of her. She was very little fatigued on her 
arrival at this place, has been refreshed by a com- 
fortable dinner, and now seems quite stout. It 
wanted five minutes of twelve when we left Sitting- 
bourne, firom whence we had a famous pair of 
horses, which took us to Bochester in an hour and 
a quarter ; the postboy seemed determined to show 
my mother that Kentish drivers were not always 
tedious, and really drove as fast as Cax. 

Our next stage was not quite so expeditiously 
performed ; the road was heavy and our horses very 
indifferent However, we were in such good time, 
and my mother bore her journey so well, that ex- 
pedition was of little importance to us ; and as it 
was, we were very little more tlian two hours and 
a half coming liither, and it was scarcely past 
four when we stopped at the inn. My mother 
took some of her bitters at Ospringe, and some 
more at Bochester, and she ate some bread several 
times. 

We have got apartments up two pair of stairs, 
as we could not be otherwise accommodated with 
a sitting-room and bed-chambers on the same floor, 
we wished to be. We have one double- 



mtmmmmw^mm 



1708, urn LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



155 



bedded and one single-bedded room ; in the former 
my mother and I are to sleep. I shall leave you to 
guese who is to occupy the otiier. We sate down 
to dinner a little after five, and had some beef- 
steaks and a boiled fowl, but no oyster sauce. 

I should have begun my letter soon after our 
arrival but for a little adventure which prevented 
me. After we had been liere a quarter of an Itour 
it was discovered tliat my writing and dressing 
boxes liad been by accident put into a chaise 
■which was just packing off as we came in, and 
were driven away towards Gravesend in tlieir way 
to the West Indies. No part of my property could 
have been such a prize before, for in my writing- 
box was all my worldly wealth, 7/., and my dear 
Harry's deputation. Mr. Nottley immediately de- 




156 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706, iroO* 



wards the clouds cleared away, and we had a very 
bright chrystal afternoon. 

My father is now reading the ^ Midnight Bell,' 
which he has got from the library, and mother 
sitting by the fire. Our route to-morrow is not 
determined. We have none of us much inchnation 
for London, and if Mr. Nottley will give us leave,. 
I think we shall go to Staines through Croydon 
and Kingston, which will be much pleasanter than 
any other way ; but he is decidedly for dapham 
and Battersea. Ood bless you all I 

Yours affectionately, 

J. A. 

I flatter myself that itty Dardy will not forget 
me at least under a week. £iss him for me. 



MiM Aiiftco, (Jodmenham Fterk, 
FaTvnhiuD. 



IX. 

StcTentoo; SaturdAj (OetoW 27). 
Mr DEAR Ca88AM>RA, 

Your letter was a most agreeable surprise to 
me to-day, and I have taken a long sheet of paper 
to show my gratitude. 

We arrived here yesterday between four' and 



1708, 1709 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 167 

five, but I cannot send you quite so tmimpliant an 
account of our last day's journey on of the first 
and second. Soon after I had finished my letter 
from Staines, ray mother began to suffer from the 
exercise or fatigue of travelling, and she waa a 
good deal indisposed. She liad not a very good 
niglit at Staines, but bore her journey better than 
I liad expected, and at Basingstoke, where we 
stopped move than half an hour, received much 
comfort from a mess of broth and the eight of 
Mr. Lyford, who recommended her to take twelve 
drops of laudanum when she went to bed as a 
composer, which s!ie accordingly did, 

James called on us just aa we were going to tea, 
aad my motiier waa well enough to talk very cheer- 
fully to him before ahe went to bed, James scema 




158 



LETTERB OF JANE AUSTEN. 1708^ 1700 



oflT, and we were obliged to stop at Hartley 
to have our wheels greased. 

Whilst my mother and Mr. Lyford were together 
I went to Mrs. Byder's and bought what I intended 
to buy, but not in much perfection. There were 
no narrow braces for children and scarcely any 
Dotting silk ; but Miss Wood, as usual, is going to 
town very soon, and will lay in a fresh stock. I 
gave 2s. Zd. a yard for my flannel, and I fancy it is 
not very good, but it is so disgraceful and con- 
temptible an article in itself that its being com- 
paratively good or had is of little importance. I 
bought some Japan ink likewise, and next week 
shall b^n my operations on my hat, on which 
you know my principal hopes of happiness de- 
pend. 

I am very grand indeed ; I liad the dignity of 
dropping out my mother's laudanum last night. I 
carry about the keys of the wine and closet, and 
twice since I began this letter have had orders to 
give in the kitchen. Our dinner was very good 
yesterday, and the chicken boiled perfectly tender ; 
therefore I shall not be obliged to dismiss Nanny 
on that account. 

Almost everything was unpacked and put away 
last night. Nanny chose to do it, and I was not 




wm 



nm, 1700 LEITERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 159 

sorry to be busy. I have unpacked the gloves 
and placed yours in your drawer. Their colour is 
light and pretty, and I believe exactly what we 
fixed on. 

Your letter was chaperoned here by one from 
Mrs. Cooke, in which ahe saya tliat ' Battleridge' 
is not to come out before January, and ahe ia so 
little Eatisfied with Cawthorn'a dilatorinesa that she 
never means to employ him again. 

Mrs. Hall, of Sherborne, was brought to bed 
yesterday of a dead child, some weeks before she 
expected, owing to a fright. I suppose she hap- 
pened unawares to look at her husband. 

There lias been a great deal of rain here for 
this last fortniglit, much more than in Kent, and 
indeed we found the roads all the way from 
Staines most disgracefully dirty. Steventou lane _ 




ICO LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1708, 1790 

little and great. My dear itty Dordy's remem- 
brance of me is very pleasing to me — ^foolishly 
pleasing, because I know it will be over so soon. 
My attaclimcnt to him will be more durable. I 
shall think witli tendeiiiess and delight on his 
beautifid and smiling countenance and interesting 
manner until a few years liave turned him into an 
ungovernable ungracious fellow. 

The books from Winton are all unpacked and 
put away ; the binding has compressed them most 
conveniently, and there is now very good room in 
the bookcase for all that we wish to have there. 
I believe the servants were very glad to see us. 
Nanny was, I am sure. She confesses that it was 
very dull, and yet she had her child with her till 
last Sunday. I understand that there are some 
grapes left, but I believe not many ; they must be 
gathered as soon as possible, or this rain will 
entirely rot tlicm. 

I am quite angry with myself for not writing 
closer ; why is my alphabet so much more sprawly 
than yours ? Dame Tilbury*s daughter has lain in. 
Shall I give her any of your baby clothes ? The 
laceman was here only a few days ago. How 
unfortunate for both of us that he came so soon I 
Dame Bushell washes for us only one week more. 






1708, 17TO LETTEIIS OF JANE AUSTEN. IGl 

as Sukey lias j^ot a place. John Steevena' wife 
undertakes our p it rifi cation. She does not look as 
if .inythinp slie toiiclied would evpr be clean, but 
who knows ? We do not seem hkely to have any 
otlier maidservant at present, but Danie Staples 
will supply the place of one. Mary has hired a 
young girl from Ashe who has never been out to 
service to be her scr\ib, but James fears her not 
being strong enough for the place. 

Earle Harwood lias been to Deane lately, as I 
tltink Mary wrote ne word, and his family then told 
liim that they would receive his wife, if she con- 
tinued to beliave well for another year. He was 
very grateful, as well he might ; their behaviour 
tliroughout the wliole aflair has been particularly 
kind. Earle and liis wife live in the most private 




162 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706, 1700 



happy together, for I have just heard the heavy 
step of the latter along the passage. 

James Digweed called to-day, and I gave him 
his brother's deputation. Charles Harwood, too^ 
has just called to ask how we are, in his way from 
Dummer, whither he has been convejing Miss 
Oarrett, who is going to return to her former 
residence in Kent. I toill leave ofT, or I shall not 
have room to add a word to-morrow. 

Sunday My mother has had a very good 

night, and feels much better to-day. 

I have received my Aunt's letter, and thank 
you for your scrap. I will write to Charles soon. 
Pray give Fanny and Edward a kiss from me, and 
ask George if he has got a new song for me. Tia 
really very kind of my Aunt to ask us to Bath 
agam ; a kindness that deserves a better return 
than to profit by it. Yours ever, 

J. A. 

MIm Aniton, GodmenhAm Park, 
FkTvnhaniy Kent 

X. 

SaimdAj, Norember 17» 170S. 

Mr DKAB Cassandra, 

If you paid any attention to the conclusion of 
my last letter, you will be satisfied, before you 




^iiw 



170fl, 17W LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 163 

receive this, tlint my mother has had no relapse, 
and tlint Miss Dcbary cnnics. The former con- 
tinues to recover, and tliougli she does not. gain 
streiigtli very rapidly, my cxpcctatioiia are humble 
enougli not to oulstride her improvements. Slie 
was able to sit iip nearly eight hours yesterday, 
and to-day I hope we sliall do as much. ... So 
much for my patient — now for myself. 

Mrs. Lefroy did come last Wednesday, and tlie 
Harwoods came likewise, but very considerately 
paid their visit before Mrs. Ijcfroy's arrival, with 
whom, in spite of interruptions both from my 
fatiier and James, I was enough alone to hear all 
that was interesting, which you -will easily credit 
wlien I tell you that of her nephew she said 
nothing at all, and of lier friend very little. She 




164 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706, 1700 

end of which was a sentence to this effect : * I am 
▼erj sorry to hear of Mrs. Austen's illness. It 
would give me particular pleasure to have an 
opportunity of improving my acquaintance with 
that family — ^with a hope of creating to myself a 
nearer interest. But at present I cannot indulge 
Any expectation of it.' This is rational enough ; 
there is less love and more sense in it than some- 
times appeared before, and I am very well satisfied. 
It will all go on exceedingly well, and decline away 
in a very reasonable manner. There seems no 
likelihood of his coming into Hampshire this 
Christmas, and it is therefore most probable that 
our indiflerence will soon be mutual, unless his 
regard, which appeared to spring from knowing 
nothing of me at first, is best supported by never 
seeing me. 

Mrs. Lefroy made no remarks in the letter, nor 
did she indeed say anything about him as relative 
to me. Perhaps she thinks she has said too much 
already. She saw a great deal of the Mapletons 
while she was in Bath. Christian is still in a very 
bad state of health, consumptive, and not likely 
to recover. 

Mrs. Portman is not much admired in Dorset- 
shire ; the good-natured world, as usual, extolled 



171)3, iriw LETTEIIS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



166 



her beauty so liiglily, that all the nci;,'hboiirliood 
have hail the pleasure of beiiij^ disappointed. 

My mollicr desires me to tell you that I am a 
very good houeckecpcr, which I have no reluc- 
tance in doing, because I really think it my peculiar 
excellence, and for this reason — I always take care 
to provide sucii things as please my own appetite, 
wliicli I conBider an the chief merit in houHckcep- 
ing. I have h.id some r.igout veal, and I mean to 
have some haricot mutton to-morrow. We are to 
kill a pig soon. 

Tlicrc is to be a ball at Ba-singstokc next 
Tliursday. Our assemblies have very, kindly de- 
clined ever since wc laid down the carriage, eo 
that dis-convonionco and di)* -inclination to go havo 
kept pace togclhor. 



166 - LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1708, 1700 

/whom she is heartily tired. Her nurse is come, 
and has no particular charm either of person or 
manner ; but as all the Uurstboume world pro- 
nounce her to be the best nurse that ever was, 
Mary expects her attachment to increase. 

What fine weather this is ! Not very becoming 
perhaps early in the morning, but very pleasant 
out of doors at noon, and very wholesome — at least 
everybody fancies so, and imagination is everything. 
To Edward, however, I really think dry weather 
of importance. I have not taken to fires yet. 

I believe I never told you that Mrs. Coulthard 
and Anne, late of Manydown, are both dead, and 
both died in childbed. We have not regaled Mary 
with this news. Harry St. John is in Orders, has 
done duty at Ashe, and performs very well. 

I am very fond of experimental housekeeping, 
such as having an ox-clieek now and then ; I shall 
have one next week, and I mean to have some 
little dumpUngs put into it, that I may fancy myself 
at Oodmersham. 

I hope George was pleased with my designs. 
Perhaps they would have suited him as well had 
they been less elaborately finished ; but an artist 
cannot do anything slovenly. I suppose baby 
grows and improves. 



\ 






« 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



167 



Suntlay. — I have just received a note from 
James to Bay that Mary waa brought to bed last 
night, at eleven o'clock, of a fiBe little boy, and 
that everything is going on very well. My mother 
had desired to know nothing of it before it should 
be all over, and we were clever enough to prevent 
her having any sus]»icion of it, thougli Jenny, who 
liad been left here by her mistress, waa sent for 
liorae. . . . 

I called yesterday on Betty Londe, who en- 
<]iiired particularly after you, and said slie seemed 
to miss you very much, because you used to call 
in upon her very often. This was an oblique 
reproach at me, which I am sorry to have merited, 
jind from wliicli I will profit. I shall send George 
another picture when I write next, which I sup- 
|)08e will be soon, on Mary's account. My mother- 



. 168 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706^ 1709 

trouble of announcing to you any more of Mary's 
children, if, instead of thanking me for the intelli- 
gence, you always sit down and write to James. 
I am sure nobody can desire your letters so much 
as I do, and I don't think anybody deserves them 
so well. 

Having now reUeved my heart of a great deal 
of malevolence, I will proceed to tell* you that 
Mary continues quite well, and my mother tole- 
rably so. I saw the former on Friday, and though 
I had seen her comparatively hearty the Tuesday 
before, I was really amazed at the improvement 
which three days had made in her. She looked 
well, her spirits were perfectly good, and she spoke 
much more vigorously than Elizabeth did when 
we left Godmersham. I had only a glimpse at the 
child, who was asleep ; but Miss Debary told me 
that his eyes were large, dark, and handsome. She 
looks much as she used to do, is netting herself a 
gown in worsteds, and wears what Mrs. Birch would 
call a pot hat A short and compendious history 
of Ikliss Debary I 

I suppose you have heard from Ilcnry himself 
that his affairs are happily settled. We do not 
know who furnishes the qualificjition. Mr. Mowell 
would have readily given it, had not all his Oxford* 






1708, 1709 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN, 169 

shire property been cng^ed for a similar purpose 
to the Colonel. Amusing enough I 

Our familj- affairs are rather deranged at pre- 
sent, for Nanny has kept her bed these three or- 
four days, with a pain in her side and fever, and 
we are forced to have two charwomen, which is 
not very comfortable. She is considerably better 
now, but it must still be some time, I suppose, 
before she la able to do anything. You and 
Edward will be amused, I think, when you know 
tliat Nanny Littlewart dresses my hair. 

The ball on Thursday was a very small one 
indeed, hardly so large as an Oxford smack. 
There were but seven couples, and only twenty- 
seven people in the room. 

The Overton Scotchman has been kind enough 




170 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706, 1700 

chase the only one of Egerton's works of which 
his family are ashamed. That these . scruples, how- 
^ ever, do not at all interfere with my reading it, 

you wiU easily believe. We liave neither of us 
yet finished the first volume. My father is dis- 
appointed — I am not, for I expected nothing better. 
Never did any book carry more internal evidence 
of its author. Every sentiment is completely 
Egerton's. Tliere is very little story, and what 
there is is told in a strange, unconnected way. 
There are many characters introduced, apparently 
merely to be delineated. We have not been able 
to recognise any of them hitherto, except Dr. and 
Mrs. Hey and Mr. Oxenden, who is not very 
tenderly treated. 

You must tell Edward that my father gives 
23^. a piece to Seward for his last lot of sheep, 
and, in return for this news, my father wislies to 
receive some of Edward's pigs. 

We have got Boswell's * Tour to the Hebrides,* 
and are to have his * Life of Johnson ;' and, as 
some money will yet remain in Burdon's hands, it 
is to be laid out in the purchase of Cowper's works. 
This would please Mr. Clarke, could he know it 

By the bye, I have written to Mrs. Birch 
among my other writings, and so I hope to have 



1708, 1700 IJilTBRS OF JANE AUSTEN. 171 

some account of alt the people in that part of the 
world before long. I have written to Mrs. E. 
Leigh too, and Mrs. Ileatlicote has been ill-natured 
enough to send me a letter of enquiry ; so that 
altogether I am tolerably tired of letter-writing, 
and, unless I have anything new to tell you of 
my mother or Mary, I shall not write again for 
many days ; perliaps a little repose may restore 
my regard for a pen. Ask little Edward whether 
Bob Brown wears a great coat this cold weather. 

M'lm \\iiUn. Uodii>«rHh>m Park. . 



My dear Cabsakdra, 



XII. 

Slei-enton: Deceiiib«i' 1. 




172 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1708^ 179(> 

go by the * Excellent ; ' but the * Excellent ' was not 
sailed, nor likely to sail, when he despatched this to 
me. It comprehended letters for both of us, for 
Lord Spencer, Mr. Daysh, and the East India 
Directors. Lord St. Vincent had left the fleet when 
he wrote, and was gone to Gibraltar, it was said 
to superintend the fitting out of a private expe- 
dition from thence against some of the enemies^ 
ports; ACnorca or Malta were conjectured to be 
the objects. 

Frank writes in good spirits, but says that our 
correspondence cannot be so easily carried on in 
future as it has been, as the communication be- 
tween Cadiz and Lisbon is less frequent than 
formerly. You and my mother, therefore, must 
not alarm yourselves at the long intervals that 
may divide his letters. I address this advice to 
you two as being the most tender-hearted of the 
family* 

My mother made her enh*ee into the dressing- 
room through crowds of admiring spectators yes- 
terday afternoon, and we all drank tea together 
for the first time these five weeks. She has had a 
tolerable night, and bids fair for a continuance in 
the same brilliant course of action to-day. ^ . . 

Mr. Lyford was hero yesterday ; he came while 



mm 



1708, 17(K1 LErrERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 173 

we ivere at dinner, aiid partook of our elegant 
entertain ment. I was not ashamed st asking him 
to sit down to table, for we had some pease-soup, 
a pparerib, and a pudding. U-- wants my mother 
to look yellow and to throw out a rash, but she 
will do neither. 

I was at Deane yesterday morning. Mary was 
very well, but does not gain bodily strength very 
fast. When I saw her so stout on the third and 
sixth days, I expected to have seen lier as wdl as 
ever by the end of a fortnight. 

James went to Ibthorp yesterday to see hia 
nioliicr and child. Letty is with Mary at present, 
of course exceedingly happy, and in raptures with 
the chdd. Mary does not manage matters in such 
a way as to make me want to lay in myself. She 




174 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706, 1790 

No news from IQntbury yet. Eliza sports with 
our impatience. She was very well last Thursday. 
Who is AGss Maria Montresor going to marry, and 
what is to become of Miss Mulcaster ? 

I find great comfort in my stuff gown, but I 
hope you do not wear yours too often. I have 
made myself two or three caps to wear of eveningn 
since I came home, and they save me a world of 
torment as to hair-dressing, which at present gives 
me no trouble beyond washing and brushing, for 
my long hair is always plaited up out of sight, and 
my short hair curls well enough to want no paper- 
ing. I have had it cut lately by Mr. Butler. 

There is no reason to suppose that Miss Morgan 
is dead aft;er all. Mr. Lyford gratified us very 
much yesterday by his praises of my father's 
mutton, which they all think the finest that was 
ever ate. John Bond begins to find himself grow 
old, which John Bonds ought not to do, and un- 
equal to much hard work ; a man is therefore 
hired to supply his place as to labour, and John 
himself is to have the care of the sheep. There 
are not more people engaged than before, I believe ; 
only men instead of boys. I fancy so at least, but 
you know my stupidity as to such matters. lizzie 
Bond is just apprenticed to Miss Small, so we may 



I 



1708, 17Wt LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 175 

lic^e to see her able to spoil powns in a few 
years. 

My father lias applied to Mr. May for an ale- 
house for Robert, at his request, and to Mr. Deane, 
of Winchester, likewise. This was my mother's 
idea, who thouglit he would be proud to oblige a 
relation of Edward in return for Edward's accept- 
ing his money, lie sent n very civil answer indeed, 
but has no house vacant at present. May expects 
to liave an empty one soon at Famham, so perhaps 
Nanny may have the honour of drawing ale for the 
Bishop. I shall write to Frank to-morrow, 

Charles Powlett gave a dance on Thursday, to 
the great disturbance of all Jiis neighbours, of 
course, who, you know, take a most lively interest 
in the state of his finances, and live in hopes of his 




176 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1708, 1700 



Sunday. — ^My father is glad to hear so good an 
account of Edward's pigs, and desires he may be 
told, as encouragement to his taste for them, that 
Lord Bolton is particularly curious in his pigs, has 
had pigstyes of a most elegant construction built 
for them, and visits them every morning as soon as 
he rises. Affectionately yours, 

J. A. 

IOm Awm, Oodannlism Park, 
FftTenham. 



XIIL 
Stemton : Tnetday (Deodmto 18). 

Mt dear Cassandba, 

Your letter came quite as soon as I exi^ectcd, 
and so your letters will always do, because I have 
made it a rule not to expect them till they come, 
in which I think I consult the ease of us both. 

It is a great satisfaction to us to hear that your 
business is in a way to be settled, and so settled 
as to give you as little inconvenience as possible. 
You are very welcome to my fatlier's name and to 
his services if tlicy are ever required in it. I shall 
keep my ten pounds too, to wrap myself up in next 
innter. 



1788, nm LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 177 

I took t!ic liberty a few days ago of aslun-j 
your black velvet bonnet to lend me its cawl, 
which it vei-y readily did, and by which I have 
l)cen enabled to give a considerable improvemeut 
of dignity to cap, which was before too nidgctty to 
please me. I shall wear it on Thursday, but I hope 
you will not be offended with me for foUowiog yo\ir 
advice aa to its ornaments only in part. I still ven- 
ture to retain the narrow silver round it, put twice 
round without any bow, and instead of the black 
military feather shall put in the coquelicot one as 
being smarter, and besides coquelicot is to be all the 
fashion this winter. After the ball I shall probably 
make it entirely black. 

I am soiTy that our dear Charle-) begins 
to feel the dignity of ill-usage. My father will 
write to Admiral Gambler. He must have already 




178 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706, 17(X^ 

some doubts of the propriety of such a measure 
yourself. 

I am very much obliged to my dear little 
George for liis message — for his love at least ; his 
duttfj I suppose, was only in consequence of some 
hint of my favourable intentions towards him from 
his father or mother. I am sincerely rejoiced, how- 
ever, that I ever was bom, since it has been the 
means of procuring him a dish of tea. Give my 
best love to him. 

This morning lias been made very gay to us by 
visits from our two lively neighbours, Mr. Holder 
and Mr. John Harwood. 

I have received a very civil note from Mrs. 
Martin, requesting my name as a subscriber to 
her Ubrary which opens January 14, and my 
name, or rather yours, is accordingly given. My 
mother finds the money. May subscribes too, 
which I am glad of, but hardly expected. As an 
inducement to subscribe, Mrs. Martin tells me that 
her collection is not to consist only of novels, but 
of every kind of literature, &c. She might have 
spared this pretension to our family, who are great 
novel-readers and not ashamed of being so ; but it 
was necessary, I suppose, to the self-<:onseqi|ence 
of half her sub8cril>er8. 









1708, 1700 LETTEIta OF JANE AUSTEN. 



179 



I liope and imagine that Edward Taylor is to 
inlierit all Sir Edward Bering's fortune as well as all 
hia own fatlier's. I took care to tell Mrs. Lefroy of 
your calling on her mother, and she seemed pleased 
with it. 

I enjoyed the hard black frosts of last week 
very much, and one day while they lasted walked 
to Deane by myself. I do not know that I ever 
did such a thing in my life before. . 

Charles Powlett has been very ill, but is getting 
well again. His wife is discovered to be everything 
that the neighbouriiood could wish her, silly aod 
cross as well as extravagant. Earle Harwood and 
Iiis friend Mr. Bailey came to Deane yesterday, but 
are not to stay above a day or two. Earle has got 
the appointment to a prison-ship at Fortsmouthf. 



180 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1708^ 1709 



Hy mother continues hearty; her appetite and 
nights are very good, but she sometimes complains 
of an asthma, a dropsy, water in her chest, and a 
liver disorder. 

The third Miss Insh Lefroy is going to be 
married to a Mr. Courteney, but whether James or 
Charles I do not know. Miss Lyford is gone into 
Suffolk with her brother and Miss Lodge. Every- 
body is now very busy in making up an income 
£>r the two latter. Miss Lodge has only 800/. of 
her own, and it is not supposed that her father can 
give her much ; therefore the good offices of the 
neighbourhood will be highly acceptable. John 
Lyford means to take pupils. 

James Digweed has had a very ugly cut — how 
could it happen ? It happened by a young horse 
which he had lately purchased, and which he was 
trying to back into its stable ; the animal kicked 
him down with his forefeet, and kicked a great 
hole in his head ; he scrambled away as soon as 
he could, but was stunned for a time, and suffered 
a good deal of pain afterwards. Yesterday he got 
upon the horse again, and, for fear of something 
worse, was forced to throw himself off. 

Wednesday. — ^I have changed my mind,^ and 
changed the trimmings of my cap this morning ; 



1703, 1700 LETTEItS OF JANE AUSTEN. 181 

they arc now such as you suggested. I felt as if I 
should not prosper if I strayed from your direc- 
tions, and I think it makes ine look more like Lady 
Conyiigliam now than it did before, which is &11 
that one lives for now. I Ijelieve I shall make my 
new gown hke my robe, but the back of the latter 
is all in a piece ^^'ith the tail, and will seven yards 
enable me to copy it iu that respect P 

Mary went to church on Sunday, and had the 
weather been smiling, we should have seen her 
here before this time. Perhaps I may stay at 
Manydoivn as long as Monday, but not longer. 
Martiia sends me word that she is too busy to write 
to me now, and but for your letter I should have 
supposed her deep in the study of medicine pre- 
paratory to their removal from Ibthorp. The - 




182 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1708, 1709 

forced to let James and Miss Debary have two 
sheets of your drawing-paper, but they shan't have 
imy more ; there are not above three or four left, 
bendes one of a smaller and richer sort. Perhaps 
you may want some more if you come through 
town in your return, or rather buy some more, for 
your wanting it will not depend on your coming 
through town, I imagine. 

I have just heard from Martha and Frank : his 
letter was written on November 12. All well 
mud nothing particular. 

J. A. 

IGm Asftsn, QoduMfBliMB Ftok, 

FaTmham. C 

XIV. 

8t«Tentoo : Monday iiif(ht (December 84)» 

>It deab Cassandba, 

I have gdt some pleasant news for you which I 
am eager to communicate, and therefore begin ray 
letter sooner, though I shall not send it sooner than 
usual. 

Admiral Oambier, in reply to my father's appli- 
cation, writes as follows : — * As it is usual to keep 
young officers in small vessels, it being vmoet 
propejr on account of their inexperience, and it 



17113, ITIIO LETTERS OF JAWE AUSTEN. 183 

being also a eitufition where they are more. in the 
way of learning tlieir duty, your eon has been con- 
tinued in the " Scorpion ; " but I liave mentioned to 
tl;e ]ioard of Admiralty his wish to be in a frigate, 
and v,'h(?n a proper opportunity ofiera and it is 
Judged tliat lie has taken his turn in a small ship, 
I hope he will be removed. With regard to your 
son now in tlie " London " I am glad I can give you 
the assurance that hia promotion is hkely to take 
place very soon, aa Lord Spencer has been so good 
as to say he would include him in an aiTangement 
that he proposes making in a sliort time relative to 
some promotions in that quarter.' 

There I I may now finish my letter and go and 
hang myself, for I am sure I can neither write nor 
do anything which will not appear insipid to you 
after this. Now 1 really think he will soon be 




184 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1796, 1700 

Ghiinbier to Cliarles, who, poor fellow, though he 
sinks into nothing but an humble attendant on the 
hero of the piece, will, I hope, be contented with 
the prospect held out to him. By what the Admi- 
ral says, it appears as if he had been designedly 
kept in the * Scorpion.' But I will not torment 
myself with conjectures and suppositions ; facts 
shall satisfy me. 

Frank had not heard from any of us for ten 
weeks when he wrote to me on November 12 in 
consequence of Lord St. Vincent being removed 
to Gibraltar. When his commission is sent, how- 
ever, it will not be so long on its road as our letters, 
because all the Government despatches are for- 
warded by land to his lordship from Lisbon witli 
great regularity. 

I returned from Manydovm this morning, and 
found my mother certainly in no respect worse 
tlian when I left her. She does not like the cold 
weather, but that we cannot help. I spent 
my time very quietly and very pleasantly with 
Catherine. Miss Blackford is agreeable enough. 
I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it 
saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal. 
I found only Catherine and her when I got to 
ICanydown on Thursday. We dined together and 






170a, 170(1 LEITERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 185 

went together to Worting to seek the protection of 
Mrs, Clarke, 'witli wliom were Lady Mildmay, her 
eklcst son, and a Mr. and Mrs. Hoare. 

Our ball was very thin, but by no means un- 
pleasant. There were thirty-one people, and only 
eleven ladles out of the number, and but five 
single women in the room. Of the gentlemen 
present you may have some idea from the hst of 
my partners — Mr. Wood, O, Lefroy, Rice, a Mr. 
Butcher (belonging to the Temples, a sailor and not 
of tlie lltli Liglit Dragoons), Mr. Temple (not the 
horrid one of all), Mr. Wm. Orde (cousin to the 
Kingsclere man), Mr. John Ilarwood, and Mr. Cal- 
land, who appeared as usual with his hat in his 
hand, and stood every now and then behind Catlie- 
rine and me to be talked to and abused for not 
dancing. We teaaed him, however, into it i 




186 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706, 1700 

cold weather and with few couples I fancy I could 
just as well dance for a week together as for half 
an hour. My black cap was openly admired by 
Mrs. Lefroy, and secretly I imagine by everybody 
else in the room. 

Tuesday. — ^I' thank you for your long letter, 
which I will endeavour to deserve by writing the 
rest of this as closely as possible. I am full of joy 
at much of your information ; that you should 
have been to a ball, and have danced at it, and 
supped with the Prince, and that you should medi- 
tate the purchase of a new muslin gown, are de- 
lightful circumstances. / am determined to buy a 
handsome one whenever I can, and I am so tired 
and ashamed of half my present stock, that I even 
blush at the sight of the wardrobe which contains 
them. But I will not be much longer libelled by 
the possession of my coarse spot ; I shall turn it 
into a petticoat very soon. I wish you a merry 
Christmas, but tio compliments of the season. 

Poor Edward ! It is very hard that he, who 
has everything else in the world that he can wish 
for, should not have good health too. But I hope 
with the assistance of stomach complaints, faint* 
nesses, and sicknesses, he will soon be restored to 
that s blessing likewise. If his nervous complaint 



T'-'iTT ^~ • --^^ - .,. .■^^. »■«»«. 



irne, 1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEK. 187 

proceeded from a suppression of sometliing that 
ought to be thrown out, which does not seem un- 
likely, tlie first of these disorders may really be a 
remedy, and I sincerely wish it may, for I know no 
one more deserving of happiness without alloy than 
Edward is. 

I cannot determine what to do about my new 
gown ; I wish such things were to be bought ready- 
made. I have some hopes of meeting Martha at 
the christening at Deane next Tuesday, and shall 
aee what she can do for me. I want to have some- 
thing suggested which will give me no trouble of 
thought or direction. 

Again I return to my joy that you danced at 
Asliford, and tliat you supped with the Prince. I 
can perfectly comprehend Mrs. Cage's distress and 




188 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 170S, 170^ 

you think you cannot, I will give you the body- 
lining. 

Of my charities to the poor since I caine home 
you shall have a faithful account. I have given a 
pair of worsted stockings to Mary Hutchins, Dame 
£ew, Mary Steevens, and Dame Staples ; a shift to 
Hannah Staples, and a shawl to Betty Dawkins ; 
amounting in all to about half a guinea. But I 
have no reason to suppose that the BaUys would 
accept of anything, because I have not made them 
the offer. 

I am giad to hear such a good account of 
Harriet Bridges ; she goes on now as young ladies 
of seventeen ought to do, admired and admiring, 
in a much more rational way than her three elder 
sisters, who had so little of that kind of youth. I 
dare say she fancies Major Elkington as agreeable 
as Warren, and if she can think so, it is very well. 

I was to have dined at Dcane to-day, but the 
weather is so cold that I am not sorry to be kept 
at home by the appearance of snow. We are to 
have company to dinner on Friday: the three 
Digweeds and James. We shall be a nice silent 
party, I suppose. Seize upon the scissors as soon 
as you possibly can on the receipt of this. 1 only 
fear your being too late to secure the prize. 



•c»«h«VMHbMi^»MMWMi«Han«iH«« 



1708, 1700 LETr£Il3 OF JANE AUSTEN. 189 

The Lords of the Admiralty will have enough 
of our applications at present, for I hear from 
Charles that he has written to Lord Spencer him- 
self to be removed. I am afraid liis Serene High- 
Tiess will be in a passion, and order some of our 
heads to be cut off. 

My motlier wanta to know whetlier Edward has 
■ever made the hen-house which tliey planned to- 
gctlier. I am rejoiced to hear from Martha that 
they certainly continiie at Ibthorp, and I have just 
heard that I am sure of meeting Martha at the 
christening. t 

You deserve a longer letter than this ; but it 
is ray unhappy fate seldom to treat people eo well 
as they deserve. . . . God bless you I 
Youra affectionately, 




190 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1798, 170^ 

XV. 

St0Teiiton ; Fridftj (December S8). 

Ht dear Cassandra, 

Frank is made. He was yesterday raised to 
tlie rank of Commander, and appointed to the 
* Fetterel ' sloop, now at Gibraltar. A letter firom 
Daysh has just announced this, and as it is con- 
firmed by a very friendly one from Mr. Mathew to 
the same effect, transcribing one from Admiral 
Oambier to the General, we have no reason to 
suspect the truth of it. 

As soon as you have cried a little for joy, you 
may go on, and learn farther that the India House 
have taken Captain Austm*s .petition into con- 
sideration — this comes from Daysh — and likewise 
that lieutenant Charles John Austen is removed 
to the jTamar* frigate — this comes from the 
Admiral. We cannot find out where the * Tamar ' 
is, but I hope we shall now see Charles here at all 
events. 

This letter is to be dedicated entirely to good 
news. If you will send my father an account of 
your washing and letter expenses, &c., he will 
send you a draft for the amount of it, as weU as 
fot jnour next quarter, and for Edward's rent. If 



■'**■ • T - it - , ^ f i -pB i m w an , , „ w ^tmKfmm^tjtmmK'rr^ 



1708, 1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 191 

you don't buy a muslin gown now on the strengtU 
of this money and Frank's promotion, I shall 
never forgive you. 

Mrs. Lefroy has just sent me word that Lady 
Dorchester meant to invite me to her ball on 
January 8, which, thougli an humble blessing 
compared with what the last page records, I do 
not consider as any calamity. 

I cannot write any more now, but I have 
written enough to make you very happy, and 
therefore may safely conclude. 

Yours affectionately, 



Mias .\ufiMii, Oodmsnhua P»rk. 



Jaice. 




192 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1708, 1700 

and I have got him an invitation, though I have 
not been so considerate as to get him a partner. 
But the cases are diflerent between him and Eliza 
Bailey, for he is not in a djing way, and 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, and for all other errors into 
which I may ever have led you, I humbly ask 
your pardon. 

Elizabeth is very cruel about my writing 
music, and, as a 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 be at any- 
body's being rich except you and me — and I am 
thoroughly rejoiced to hear of his present to you. 

I am not to wear my white satin cap to-night, 
after all ; I am to wear a niamalone cap instead, 
which Charles Fowle sent to Mary, and which she 
lends me. It is all the fashion now ; worn at the 
opera, and by Lady Mildmays at Hackwood balls. 
I hate describing such things, and I dare say you 
will be able to guess what it is like. I have got 
over the dreadful epocha of mantua-maldng much 
better than I expected. My gown is made very 



I* ■'■ . ^ 



i:W, 1700 Li;TTt;B5 OF JANE AUSTEN. 193 

iiiucli like my blue one, which you always told 
me 8<it very well, with only these variations : the 
sleevea arc short, the wrap fuller, the apron coma^ 
over it, antl a band of the eame completea the 
whole. 

I assure you that I dread the idea of going to 
Brighton as imicli as you do, but I am not without 
hopes that soiiietliing may happen to prevent it. 

F has loBt liis election at B — ■, and per- 
haps they may not be able to see company for 
Bome time. They talk of going to Bath, too, in the 
spring, and perhaps they may be overturned in 
tiieir way down, and all laid up for the summer. 

Wednesilay. — I have liad a cold and weakness 
in one of my eyes for some days, which makes 
writing neither very pleasant nor very profitable. 




194 LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1708^ ITW 

the shut-up ono in the new nursery. Nurse and 
the child slept upon the floor, and there we all were 
in some confusion and great comfort. The bed 
did exceedingly well for us, lx)th to lie awake in 
and talk till two o'clock, and to sleep in the rest of 
the night. I love Martha bettor than ever, and I 
mean to go and see her, if I can, when she gets 
home. We aU dined at the Ilarwoods* on Tliursday^ 
and the party broke up the next morning. 

Tliis complaint in my eye has been a sad bore 
to me, for I have not been able to read or work in 
any comfort since Friday, but one advantage will 
be derived from it, for I shall be such a proficient 
in music by the time I have got rid of my cold^ 
that I shall be perfectly qualified in that science at 
least to take Mr. Roope's office at Eastwell next 
summer ; and I am sure of Elizabeth's recommen- 
dation, be it only on Harriet's account. Of my 
talent in drawing I have given specimens in my 
letters to you, and I have nothing to do but to 
invent a few hard names for the stars. 

Alary grows rather more reasonable about her 
child's beauty, and says that she does not think 
him really handsome ; but I suspect her moderation 

to be something like that of W W^— 's'mama. 

Perhaps Mary has told you that they are going to 



— *- ^ 



A 



1-D8, 1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 195 

enter more into dinner parties ; the Bipgs and Mr. 
Holder dine tlicro to-morrow, and I ara to meet 
them. I shall sleep there. Catherine hns tlie 
honour of giving her name to a set, wliich will bo 
composed of two Witliers, two Heathcotes, aBlack- 
ford, and no Bigg except liersclf. Siic congra- 
tulated me last night on Frank's promotion, aa if 
she really felt the joy she talked of. 

My sweet Httle George I I am delighted to 
hear that he has such an inventive genius aa to 
face-making. I admired his yellow wafer very 
much, and hope he will choose the wafer for your 
next letter. I wore my green sitocs last night, and 
took my white fan with me ; I am very glad he 
never threw it into the river. 

Mrs. Knight giving up the Gk>dmersham estate 




196 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706^ 1700 

Mrs. Bramston's little moveable apartment was 
tolerably filled last night by herself, Mrs. H. Black- 
stone, her two daughters, and me. I do not like 
the Miss Blackstones ; indeed, I was always deter- 
mined not to like them, so there is the less merit 
in it. Mrs. Bramston was very civil, kind, and 
noisy. I spent a very pleasant evening, chiefly 
among the Manydown party. There was the same . 
kind of supper as last year, and the same want of 
chairs. There were more dancers than the room 
could conveniently hold, which is enough to con- 
stitute a good ball at any time. 

I do not think I was very much in request. 
People were rather apt not to ask me till they 
could not help it ; oue*s consequence, you know, 
varies so much at times without any particular 
reason. There was one gentleman, an officer of 
the Chesliire, a very good-looking young man, who, 
I was told, wanted very much to be introduced to 
me; but as he did not want it quite enough to 
take much trouble in eflecting it, we never could 
bring it about 

I danced with Mr. John Wood agidn, twice with 
a Mr. South, a lad from Wbchester, who, I suppose, 
18 as far from being related to the bishop of that 
dio^iese as it is possible to be, with Q. Lefit)y, and 



1708, 1700 LETTDRS OF JANE AUSTEN. 197 

J. Harwood, wlio, I think, takea to me rather more 
than he used to do. One of my gayest actions was 
sitting down two dances in preference to having 
Lord Boltoii'a eldest son for my partner, who 
danced too ill to be endured. The Miss Charterises 
were there, and played the parts of the Miss Edene 
with great spirit. Charles never came. Naughty 
Charles! I suppose he could not get superseded 
in lime. 

Mis3 Debary has replacetl your two sheets of 
drawing-paper with two of superior size and qua- 
lity ; so I do not grudge her having taken them at 
alt now. Mr. Ludlow and Miss Pugh of Andover 
are lately married, and so is Mrs. Skeete of Basing- 
stoke, and Mr, French, chemist, of Reading. 

I do not wonder at your M-anting to read ' First 
Impressions' again, so seldom as you have gone 




198 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706| 1709 

I shall not be able to send this till to-morrow, 
and you will be disappointed on Friday ; I am very 
aorry for it, but I cannot help it. 

The partnership between Jeflereys, Toomer, and 
L^ge is dissolved ; the two latter are melted away 
into nothing, and it is to be hoped that Jeflereys 
wiU soon break, for the sake of a few heroines 
whose money he may have. I wish you joy of 
your birthday twenty times over. 

I shall be able to send this to the post to-day, 
which exalts me to the utmost pinnacle of human 
felicity, and makes me bask in the sunshine of 
prosperity, or gives me any other sensation of plea* 
mire in studied language which you may prefer. 
Do not be angry with me for not filling my sheet, 
and believe me yours aflectionately, j 4 

Uim Ansteiiy GodmenhAm Park, 

FftTWtluUB. 

xvn. 

Stofentoo : Moodaj (Jtoiuoj 91). 

Mt dear Cassandba, 

I wiU endeavour to make this letter more 
worthy your acceptance than my last, which was 
M shabby a one that I think Mr. Marshalt could 
never charge you with the postage. My eyes hav^ 



17l>ji, 1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTES. 199 

been very iudifTerent since it was written, but are 
now getting better once more ; keeping them bo 
many hours open on Thurstlay night, aa well aa the 
diiat of the ball-room, injured them a good deal. 
I use them as bttle as I can, but you know, and 
Elisabeth knows, nnd everybody who ever had 
weak eyes knows, how delightful it is to hurt them 
by employment, against the advice and entreaty of 
all one's friends. 

Charles leaves us to-night. The ' Tamar ' la in 
tlie Downs, and Mr. Daysli advises him to join her 
there directly, as tliere is no chance of her going 
to the westward. Charles does not approve of thi« 
at all, and will not be much grieved if lie should 
be too late for her before she sails, as he may then 
liope to get into a better station. He attempted 




/ 

I 

I 



200 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706, 17(K> 

should like to go as far as Ospringe with him very 
much indeed, that I might surprise you at Ood- 
nersham. 

Martha writes me word that Charles was very 
much admired at Kintbury, and Mrs. Lefroy never 
saw anyone so much improved in her life, and 
thinks him handsomer than Henry. He appears 
to far more advantage here than he did at Ood- 
mersham, not surrounded by strangers and neither 
oppressed by a pain in his face or powder in his 
hair. 

James christened Elizabeth Caroline on Satur- 
day morning, and then came home. Mary, Anna» 
and Edward have left us of course ; before the 
second went I took dovm her answer to her cousin 
Fanny. 

Yesterday came a letter to my mother from 
Edward Cooper to announce, not the birtli of a 
child, but of a living ; for Mrs. Leigh has begged 
his acceptance of the Rectory of Hamstall-Bidware 
in Staffordshire, vacant by Mr. Johnson's death. 
We collect from his letter that he means to reside 
there, in which he shows his wisdom. Stafford- 
shire is a good way off ; so we shall see nothing 
more of them till, some fifteen years hence, the 
Mis^ Coopers are presented to us, fine, joUy^ 



1708, 1700 LETTERS OP JANE AUSTEN. 201 , 

hanclsome, ignorant girls. Tlie living is valued at 
140/. a year, but perhaps it maybe improvable. 
How will tiiey be able to convey the furniture of j 
the tlressing-room so far in safety? 

Our first cousins seem all dropping off very 
foHt. One is incorporated into the family, another , 
dies, and a third goes into Staffordshire, We can 
learn nothing of the disposal of the other living. 
I liave not the smallcat notion of Fulwar's having 
it. Lord Craven liaa probably other connections 
and more intimate ones, in that line, than he now 
has with the Kintbury family. 

Our ball on Thursday vi&s a very poor one, only 
eight couple and but twenty-three people in the 
room ; but it was not the ball's fault, for we were 
deprived of two or tiiree families by the sudden 
illness of Mr. Witlier, who was seized that morn- 




202 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1706» 1709 

but from this attack he is now rapidly recovering, 
and will be well enough to return to Manydown, I 
fancy, in a few days. 

It was a fine thing for conversation at the ball. 
But it deprived us not only of the Biggs, but of 
Mrs. Russell too, and of the Boltons and John 
Harwood, who were dining there likewise, and of 
Mr. Lane, who kept away as related to the fSsunily. 
Poor man I — ^I mean Mr. Wither — ^his life is so use- — 
ful, his character so respectable and worthy, that I 
really believe there was a good deal of sincerity 
in the general concern expressed on his account. 

Our ball was chiefly made up of Jervoises and 
Terrys, the former of whom were apt to be vulgar, 
the latter to be noisy. I had an odd set of part- 
ners : Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Street, Col. Jervoise, James 
Digweed, J. Lyford, and Mr. Briggs, a friend of the 
latter. I had a very pleasant evening, however, 
tliough you will probably find out that there was 
no particular reason for it ; but I do not think it 
worth while to wait for enjoyment until there is 
aome real opportunity for it. Mary behaved very 
well, and was not at all fidgetty. For the history 
of her adventures at the ball I refer you to Anna's 
letter. 

"^When you come home you will have some 



m^m^ 



1708, 1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN, 



203 



shirts to make up for Cliarlea. Mrs. Davies 
frightened him into buying a piece of Irish when 
we were in Basingstoke. Mr. Daysh supposes that 
Captain Austen's commission has reached him by 
this time. 

Tuesday. — ^Tour letter has pleased and amused 
me very much. Your essay on happy fortniglita is 
highly ingenious, and the talobcrt skin made me 
iaugh a good deal. Whenever I fall into mis- 
fortune, how many jokes it ought to furnish to my 
acquaintance in general, or I shall die dreadfully 
in their debt for entertainment. 

It began to occur to me before you mentioned 
it that I had been somewhat silent as to ray mother's 
health for some time, but I thought you could have 
no difficulty in divining its exact state — you, who 




204 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1708^ 1709 

exactly rach a one as is necessary to make me 
happy. You quite abash me by your progress in 
Hotting, for I am still without silk. You must get 
me some in town or in Canterbury ; it should be 
finer than yours. 

I thought Edward would not approve of Charles 
being a crop, and rather wished you to conceal it 
from him at present, lest it might fall on his spirits 
and retard his recovery. My father furnishes him " 
with a pig from Cheesedown ; it is already killed 
and cut up, but it is not to weigh more than nine 
stone ; the season is too far advanced to get him 
a larger one. My mother means to pay herself 
for the salt and the trouble of ordering it to be 
cured by the sparibs, the souse, and the lard. We 
have had one dead lamb. 

I congratulate you on Mr. E. Hatton's good 
fortune. I suppose the marriage will now follow 
out of hand. Give my compUments to Miss Finch. 

Wliat time in March may we expect your re- 
turn in ? I begin to be very tired of answering 
people's questions on that subject, and, independent 
of thiJLt, I shall be very glad to see you at home 
again, and then if we can get Martha and shirk 
• • • who will be so happy as we ? 
^'I think of going to Ibthorp in about a fort« 



.:Ti - . .' 



1700 LETTEllS OF JANE AUSTEN. 205 

night. My eyes arc pretty well, I thank you, if 
you please. 

Wednesday, 23rrf. — I wish my dear Fanny 
many rcturus of this day, and tliat she may ott 
every return enjoy as much pleasure as she is 
now receiving from her doU's-bcds. 

I liave juBt heard from Cliarles, who is by this 
time at Deal. He is to be Second Lieutenant, 
wliich pleases him very well. The *Endymion ' U 
come into the Downs, which pleases htm Ukewiae. 
He expects to be ordered to Slieemese shortly, as 
the ' Taraar ' has never been refitted. 

My father and mother made the same match 
for you laet night, and are very much pleased with 
it. He is a beauty of my mother's. 

Youra affectionately, . 
J.Mn. 




206 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. ITW 

the watera' for the benefit of his health, which 
was supposed to be delicate ; the experiment seems: 
to have been successful, for he lived fifty-three 
years longer, dying at Godmersham in December 
18*32, at the good old age of eighty-two. Cassandra 
had stayed at home with her father at Steventon^ 
and Mrs. Austen and Jane had accompanied the 
Godmersham party. These letters contain little 
more than ordinary chit-chat, and for the most 
part explain themselves. There is another allu- 
sion to * Pride and Prejudice ' under the name of 
* first Impressions,' which Martha Lloyd seems to 
have been allowed to read ; another proof that 
this work at least was read and talked over in the 
family long before it was published. 



XVUI. 
IS, Qae«i*s SqoMB, Friday (May 17). 

Mt DEABEsr Cassandba, 

Our journey yesterday went off exceedingly 
well ; nothing occurred to alarm or delay us. We 
found the roads in excellent order, had very good 
horses all the way, and reached Devizes with ease 
by four o'clock. I suppose John has told you in 



3S?MSSiS»v^r*T "— -ii ,.* r *»i» j .. ^. . z^ */" -■ -n « n *. ,-'""» j^ ' -,• , .. , . * ^^r'i '."T* iT%~sr' 



1700 UTTIERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 20T 

what manner we were divided wlien we left Ando- 
ver, and no alteration was afterwards made. At 
Pevizes we had comfortable rooms and a good 
dinner, to which we sat down about five ; amongst 
other things we had asparagus and a lobster, which 
made me wish for you, and some cheesecakes, on 
which the children made so delightful a supper as 
to endear tlie town of Devizes to them for a long- 
time. 

Well, here we are at Bath ; we got here about 
one o'clock, and have been arrived just long 
enougli to go over the house, fix on our rooms, 
and be very well pleased with the whole of it. 
Poor Elizabeth has had a dismal ride of it irom 
Devizes, for it has rained almost all the way, and 
our first view of Bath ha^i been just as gloomy as it 
was last November twelvemonth. 




208 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1700 

Foley and Mrs. Dowdeswell with her yellow shawl 
airing out, and at the bottom of Eingsdown Uill we 
met a gentleman in a buggy, who, on minute 
examination, turned out to be Dr. Hall — and Dr. 
Hall in such very deep mourning that either his 
mother, his wife, or himself must be dead. These 
are all of our acquaintance who have yet met our 
eyes. 

I have some hopes of being plagued about my' 
trunk ; I had more a few hours ago, for it was too 
heavy to go by the coach which brought Thomas 
and Bebecca from Devizes; there was reason to 
suppose that it might be too heavy likewise for any 
other coach, and for a long time we could hear of 
no waggon to convey it. At last, however, we 
anluckily discovered that one was just on the point 
of setting out for this plac^, but at any rate the 
trunk cannot be here till to-morrow ; so far we are 
safe, and wlio knows what may not happen to 
procure a farther delay ? 

I put Mary's letter into the post-oiB'^e at Ando- 
ver with my own hand. 

We are exceedingly pleased with the house; 
the rooms are quite as large as we expected. Mr& 
Bromley is a fat woman in mourning, and a little 
Uack kitten runs about the staircase. Elizabeth 



• iv — rjr.:.:)c '.'*'>*^:;h33k' -"-i.^r*. • 



very nice-sized rooms, w 
thing comfortable. I ha^ 
apartment, aa I ought to 
large as our bedroom at h 
not materially less. Tlie I 
any at Steventon, and I h. 
drawers and a closet full of 
that there is nothing else in it 
be called a cupboard rather i 

Tell Mary that there we 
work in the inn at Devizes ' 
could not be sure of their 
relations, I did not make my 

I hope it will be a tolen 
first we came, all Uie umbre] 
the pavements are getting v< 

My mother does not see 
her journey, nor are any c 
Edward seemed i^*i— ' 



210 LETTEEB OF JANE AUSTEN. ITOd 

•ending for tea, coffee, and sugar, &c., and going 
out to taste a cheese himself, will do him good. 

There was a very long list of arrivals here in 
the newspaper yesterday, so that we need not 
immediately dread absolute soUtude ; and there is a 
public breakfast in Sydney Gardens every morning, 
80 that we shall not be wholly starved. 

Elizabeth has just had a very good account 
of the three little boys. I hope you are very 
busy and very comfortable. I find no difficulty in 
closing my eyes. I like our situation very much ; 
it is far more cheerful than Paragon, and the 
prospect from the drawing-room window, at which 
I now write, is rather picturesque, as it commands 
a prospective view of the left side of Brock Street, 
broken by three Lombardy poplars in the garden 
of the last house in Queen's Parade. 

I am rather impatient to know the fate of my 
best gown, but I suppose it will be some days 
before Frances can get through the trunk. In the 
meantime I am, with many thanks for your trouble 
in making it, as well as marking my silk stockingti 

Yours very affectionately, 

Jahb. 

\ A great deal of love from everybody. 

Wm Amtao, Stwvntoa, Ofsitoo, Hsati. 






LETPERS OF JANK AUSTEN. 



IJ, Qutnin Sfjuan, Suad«7 (Judi 3). 

My deah Cassakdra, 

I am obliged to you for two letters, one from 
yourself anil the otlicr from Mary, for of the latter 
I knew nothing till on the receipt of yoiirs yester- 
day, when the pigcoii-basket was exaiiiined, and I 
received my due. As I have written to her since 
the time which ought to have Iirought me hers, I 
suppose she will consider herself, as I cliooee to 
consider her, still in my debt. 

I will lay out all tlic little judgment I have in 
endeavouring to get such stockings for Anna as slie 
will approve ; but I do not know tliat I shall 
execute Martha's commission at all, for I am not 
fond of ordering shoes ; and, at aiiy rate, they ahaH 




212 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 170^ 

made no objection to it, but I fancy we are all 
unanimous in expecting no advantage from it. At 
present I have no great notion of our staying here 
beyond the month. 

I heard from Charles last week ; they were to 
sail on Wednesday. 

My mother seems remarkably well. My uncle 
overwalkcd himself at first, and can now only 
travel in a chair, but is otherwise very well. 

My cloak is come home. I like it very much^ 
and can now exclaim with delight, like J. Bond at 
&ay-harvest, ' This is what I have been looking for 
these three years.* I saw some gauzes in a shop 
in Bath Street yesterday at only id. a yard» 
but they were not so good or so pretty as mine. 
Flowers are very much worn, and fruit is still 
more the thing. Elizabeth has a bunch of straw- 
berries, and I have seen grapes, cherries, plums, 
and apricots. There are likewise almonds and 
raisins, French plums, and tamarinds at the 
grocers*, but I have never seen any of them in 
hats. A plum or greengage would cost three 
shillings ; cherries and grapes about five, I believe, 
but this is at some of the dearest shops. My aunt 
^^has told me of a very cheap one, near Walcot 
Church, to which I shall go in quest of something 



^"'P^'^^^f^^'i'mmmmwfmmftmmfms'mmmmBm'^mmmmm^m 



1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 213 

for you. I have never seen an old woman at the 
])UiTip-rooni. 

Elizabeth has i^ivcn nic a hat, and it is not only 
a pretty hat, but a pretty style of hat too. It ia soine- 
tliing hke Eliza's, only, instead of being all straw, 
-half of it is narrow purple ribbon. I flatter myself, 
however, tliat you can understand very little of it 
from this description. Heaven forbid that lehould 
ever ofler such encouragement to explanations aa 
to give a clear one on any occasion myself 1 But 
T must write no more of this. . . . 

I spent Friday evening with the Mapletons, and 
was obliged to submit to being pleased in spite of 
my inclination. We took a very chamiing walk 
from six to eight up Beacon Hill, and across eomc 
fields, to the village of Cliarlccombc, wliich ia 
sweetly situated iu a little green valley, as a village 




214 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 170(^ 

Martha's shoes home, for, though we had plenty 
of room in our trunks when we came, we shall have 
many more things to take back, and I must allow 
besides for my packing. 

There is to be a grand gala on Tuesday even 
ing in Sydney Gardens, a concert, with illumina* 
tions and fireworks. To the latter Elizabeth and I 
look forward with pleasure, and even the concert 
will have more than its usual charm for me, as the 
gardens are large enough for me to get pretty well 
beyond the reach of its sound. In the morning 
Lady Willoughby is to present the colours to some 
corps, or Yeomanry, or other, in the Crescent, and 
that such festivities may have a proper commence^ 
ment, we think of going to . . • 

I am quite pleased with Martha and Mrs. Lisfroy 
for wanting the pattern of our caps, but I am not 
so well pleased with your giving it to them. Some 
wish, some prevailing wish, is necessary to the 
animation of everybody's mind, and in gratifying 
this you leave them to form some other which will 
not probably be half so innocent. I shall not for* 
get to write to Frank. Duty and love, &c 

Tours affectionately. 



^p 



LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



216 



My uncle ia quite surprised at my hearing from 
you so often ; but as long as we can keep the fre- 
quency of our correspondence froni Martha's uncle, 
■we will not fear our own. 



SIiM Auaten, StSTeoton, 



13, Quwn Square, TuMd»y (June 11). 

My deae Cassandka, 

Your letter yesterday made me very happy- I 
am heartily glad that you have escaped any share 
in tlie impurities of Deane, and not sorry, as it 
turns out, that our stay here has been lengthened 
I feel tolerably secure of our getting away next 
week, though it is certainly possible that we may- 
remain till Thursday tlie 27th. I wonder what we 




216 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1799 

body encourages us in this expectation, for they 
all say that the effect of the waters cannot be nega- 
tive, and many are the instances in which their 
benefit is felt afterwards more than on the spot. 
He is more comfortable here than I thought he 
would be, and so is Elizabeth, though they will 
both, I believe, be very glad to get away — the latter 
especially, which one can't wonder at somehow. 
80 much for Mrs. Fiozzi. I had some thoughts ot 
writing the whole of my letter in her style, but I 
believe I shall not. 

Though you have given me unlimited powers 
concerning your sprig, I cannot determine what to 
do about it, and shall therefore in this and in every 
other future letter continue to ask your farther 
directions. We have been to the cheap shop, and 
very cheap we found it, but there are only flowers 
made there, no fruit ; and as I could get four or 
five very pretty sprigs of the former for the same 
money which would procure only one Orleans 
plum — ^in short, could get more for three or four 
shillings than I could have means of bringing 
home — ^I cannot decide on the fruit till I hear from 
you agab. Besides, I cannot help thinkiqg that it is 
more natural to have flowers grow out of the head 
than fruit. What do you think on that subject P 



LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



21 T 



I would not let Martha read 'First Impressions 
.ngain upon any account, and am very glad that I 
did not leave it in your power. She Ib very cunning, 
but I saw through her design ; she means to pub- 
lish it from memory, and one more perusal must 
«nable her to do it. As for ' Fitzalbini,' wlien I get 
home she shall have it, as aoon as ever she will 
own that Mr. Elliott is liandsomer than Mr. Lance, 
that fair men are preferable to black ; for I mean 
to take every opportunity of rooting out her pre- 
judices. 

Benjamin Portal is here. How charming that 
is ! I do not exactly know why, but the phrase 
followed so naturally that I could not help putting 
it down. My mother eaw him the other day, but 
without making herself known to him. 




218 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 170» 

We walked to Weston one evening last week, 
and liked it very much. liked what very much ? 
Weston ? No, walking to Weston. I have not ex- 
pressed myself properly, but I hope you will under^ 
stand me. 

We have not been to any public place lately, 
nor performed anything out of the common daUy 
routine of No. 13, Queen Square, Bath. But to* 
day we were to have dashed away at a very extra- 
ordinary rate, by dining out, had it not so happened 
that we did not go. 

Edward renewed his acquaintance lately with 
Mr. Evelyn, who lives in the Queen's Parade, and 
was invited to a family dinner, which I believe at 
first Elizabeth was rather sorry at his accepting ; 
but yesterday Mrs. Evelyn called on us, and her 
manners were so pleasing that we liked the idea of 
going very much. The Biggs would call her a nice 
woman. But Mr. Evelyn, who was indisposed 
yesterday, is worse to-day, and we are put off. 

It is rather impertinent to suggest any house- 
hold care to a housekeeper, but I just venture to 
say that the cofiee-mill will be wanted every day 
while Edward is at Steventon, as he ali^ays drinks 
, oofiee for breakfast 
^ Fanny desires her love to you, her love to 






1700 LETTEIiS OF JANE ADSTEN. 

grandpapa, her love to Anna, and lier love 
Ilaiinali ; the latter is particularly to bo rcmci 
bored. Edward desires his love to yoii, to grand- 1 
papa, to Anna, to little Edward, to Aunt JamcaJ 
and Uncle James, and he hoi)os all your turkcjrti 
and ducks, and chicken and guinea fowla arc very 1 
well ; and he ^vislies you very much to send him J 
a printed letter, and so docs Fanny — and tlicybotk 
rather think they shall answer it. 

' On more accounts tlian one you wished our J 
stay here to be lengtlionod beyond laat Thursday/ 1 
There is some mystery in this. What have you ( 
going on in Hampshire besides the itch from { 
which you want to keep us ? 

Dr. Gardiner was married yesterday to Mr». 
Percy and her three daughters. 

Now I will give you the history of Mary's veil. 




220 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1700 

myself lacky in getting a black lace one for sixteen 
shillmgs. I hope tlie half of that sum will not 
greatly exceed what you had intended to oficr upon 
the altar of sister-in-law affection. 

Yours affectionately, Jan£ 

Tliey do not seem to trouble you much from 
Manydown. I have long wanted to quarrel with 
them, and I believe I shall take this opportunity^ 
There is no denying that they are very capricious 
^—for they like to enjoy their elder sister's com- 
pany when they can. 

IfiM AiMtoii, Sterratoii, Orertoo, II«ntt. 



13, Queen Square, Wedneeday (Jane 10). 

Mt dear Cassandra, 

The children were delighted with your letters, 
as 1 fancy they will tell you themselves beiore this 
is concluded. Fanny expressed some surprise at 
the wetness of the wafers, bat it did not lead to 
any suspicion of the truth. 

Martha and you were just in time with your 
commissions, for two o'clock on Monday was the 
last hour of my receiving them. The office is now 
dosed. 



s;- ". =t;'<*" — »■■ ■! . ^nww^p 



1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 221 

John Lyford's history is a melaiiclioly one. I 
feel for his family, and when I kuow that his wifo 
was really fond of hiia, I will feel for her too, but 
at present I (;annot help thinking their loes the 
jrreatest. 

Edward has not been well these last two days ; 
his appetite has failed htm, and he has complained 
of sick and uncomfortable feelings, which, with 
otlier symptoms, make us think of the gout ; per- 
haps a fit of it might ciire him, but I cannot wish 
it to begin at Bath. He made an important pur- 
chase yesterday : no les9 so than a pair of coach- 
horses. His friend Mr. Evelyn found them out 
and recommended them, and if the judgment of a 
Yahoo can ever be depended on, I suppose it 
may now, for I believe Mr. Evelyn has all his 




222 LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1790 

hdp wishing that Edward had not been tied down 
to Dr. Fellowes, for, had he come disengaged, we 
should all have recommended Dr. Mapleton ; my 
uncle and aunt as earnestly as ourselves. I do not 
see the Miss Mapletons very often, but just as often 
as I like ; we are always very glad to meet, and I 
do not wish to wear out our satisfaction. 

Last Sunday we all drank tea in Paragon ; my 
uncle is still in his tiannels, but is getting better again. 

On Monday Mr. Evelyn was well enough for 
us to fulfil our engagement with him ; the visit was 
very quiet and uneventful — pleasant enough. We 
met only another Mr. Evelyn, his cousin, whose 
wife came to tea. 

Last night we were in Sydney Gardens again, 
as there was a repetition of the gala which went 
off so ill on the 4th. We did not go till nine, and 
then were in very good time for the fireworks, 
whidi were really beautiful, and surpassing my ex- 
pectation ; Uie illuminations too were very pretty. 
The weather was as favourable as it was otherwise 
a fortnight ago. The play on Saturday is, 1 hope^ 
to condude our gaieties here, for nothing but a 
lengthened stay will make it otherwise^ We go 
Mrs. Fellowes. 

Edward will not remain at Steventon longer 



1700 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 223 

than from Tlmrsday to the following Monday, I 
believe, as the rent-day is to be fixed for the con- 

secuiive Friday. 

I can recollect nothing more to say at present; 
perhaps brcakfa'^t inrty assist my ideas. I was de- 
ceived — my breakfast supplied only two ideas — that 
tlie rolls were good and the butter bad. IJut the 
post has been more friendly to me — it has brought 
me a letter from Miss Pearson. 

You may remember tiiat I wrote to her above 
two months ago about the parcel under my care ; 
and as I had heard nothinf; from her since, I 
thought myself obliged to write again two or three 
days ago, for after all that has pa.ssed I was deter- 
mined that the correspondence should never cca&e 
through my means. This second letter has pro- 




224 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1701^ 

• 

Edward has seen the apothecary to whom Dr» 
HUknan recommended him, a sensible, intelligent 
man, since I began this, and he attributes his pre- 
sent little feverish indisposition to his having ate 
something unsuited to his stomach. I do not un- 
derstand that Mr. Anderton suspects the gout at 
all ; the occasional particular glow in the hands and 
feet, which we considered as a symptom of that 
disorder, he only calls the effect of the water Iii 
promoting a better circulation of the blood. 

I cannot help thinking from your account of 
Mrs. K H. that Earle's vanity has tempted him to 
invent the account of her former way of life, that 
his triumph in securing her might be greater ; I 
dare say she was nothing but an innocent country 
girl in* fact. Adieu I I shall not write again before 
Sunday, unless anything particular happens. 

Yours ever, j^ 

We shall be with you on Thursday to a very late 
dinner — Plater, I suppose, than my father will like 
for himself — but I give him leave to eat one before 
You must give us something very nice, for we are 
used to live well. 



\ Mki Aifltto, SfetTMioo, OtMoo, HanU. 



■*^^"«»«*^M w ^ « •* 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



1800, I80I 

These are all addressed to Godinersliam, where 
Ca^saiid ra was staying with her brother Edward. 
* Ileathcote and Chute for ever,' in the first letter 
(No. 22), refers to the two Conservative members, 
wlio again stood and were returned without & 
contest in 1802. Mr. William Chute, of the Vine, 
in the parish of Sherboiti St. John, Basingstoke, 
was a mighty fox-lutnter, and the founder of the 
celebrated pack which has since been called by 
tlic name of liia house. He was elected M.P. for 
}Iants in 1705. Camden mentions this scat in the 
following laudatory words, after the description of 
Basing House : — 



226 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

Bray, daughter and heire of John Bray, and cousin 
to Sir Beinold Bray, a most worthy Knight of the 
Order of the Garter, and a right noble Banneret : 
whose son Thomas Lord Sands was grandfather to 
William L. Sands that now liveth/ 

Warner has, in his * History of Hampshire,' an 
interesting account of tliis place and of the Sands 
family, concluding thus : * About 1654, the ancient 
family mansion of the Vine, together with the estate, 
was sold, in those unhappy times, to Chaloner Chute, 
Esq., a lawyer, who, in 1656, was returned member 
for liiGddlesex ; and again for the same place in the 
Parliament of Bichard Cromwell ; and also Speaker 
of the House, but from the anxiety of his mind 
respecting the tumults, he was so ill, that the Par- 
liament chose another Speaker, until his health 
should be re-established ; but that never happened : 
he dying April 15, 1659.' Anthony Chute, says 
Warner, * stood the famous contested election for 
the county ' in 1734, and afterwards sat for Yar- 
mouth and subsequently for Newport in the Isle of 
Wight A collateral branch of Chutes, from Nor- 
folk, came into this property in 17T6. 
N, An allusion in letter No. 24 (written Novem- 

ber 20, 1800) to James Digweed's compliment to 



1800, 1801, LETTERS OF JAKE AUSTEN. 227 

Cassandra respecting the fall of two elms, suggests 
the quotation from a letter published by Mr. 
Austen Leigli, of the date of November 8, in that 
same year : — ' Sunday evening. We have had a 
dreadful storm of wind in the fore-part of this day 
wliich haa done a great deal of mischief among 
our trees. I was sitting alone in the dining-room 
when an odd kind of crash startled me; in a 
moment afterwards it waa repeated, I then went 
to the window, which I reached just in time to see 
the last of our two highly valued elms descend 
into tlie sweep ; the other, which had fallen, I sup- 
pose, in the first crash, and which was the nearest 
to the pond, taking a more easterly direction, sank 
among our screen of chestnuts and firs, knocking 
down one spruce fir, breaking off the head of 




228 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

mach injured that it cannot stand. I am liappy 
to add, however, that no greater evil than the 
loss of the trees has been the consequence of the 
storm in this place^or in our immediate neighbour- 
hood ; we grieve, therefore, in some comfort.* In 
this same twenty-fourth letter occurs the sentence 
^ You and George walking to Eggerton I * Eggerton, 
or more properly Eggarton, was an old manoi'-house 
near Godmersham, on the other ride of the river. 
It formerly belonged — that is to say, so long ago 
za the reign of Queen Elizabeth — to the Scots of 
Scot's Uall, from whose possession it passed through 
several hands until it came into those of the Gott 
family, one of whom left it to the co-heiresses of 
William Western Hugessen of Provender ; and when 
these two ladies married respectively Sir Edward 
Knatchbull (my grandfather) and Sir Joseph Banks, 
this property was sold to Jane, a sister of Mr. 
Thomas Knight. Another of his sisters, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Knight, was of weak intellect, and after 
the two sisters had rerided first at Silting, she was 
moved to Eggarton, a larger and more convenient 
house, and two lady attendants, liGss Cuthbert and 
\ her sister Maria, were engaged to look after her, 
which they did for many years. It was to these 



- •' T '.V HMJ'"^ 



eventually puUcd down I 
Kniglit, who did not care 
Godmereham. 

The twenty-fifth letter ii 
up with remarks upon the p 
Stevcnton and aetthng at £ 
curred in 1801, and doea nc 
regretted by Jane aa much ai 
pccted. But the fact is that 
dependent upon the world out 
and carried witli her wherevc 
Uons aiid resourcea of her c 
require to be supplemented b 
ance. Her home was wherev 
were, and whether at Stevei 
where, her cheerful temperan 
unvaried, and assured her ow 
as that of those with whom shi 

The othpr w»- ' 



2S0 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 



XXIL 
SteTeDtoB! Saturdfty erening (October 36). 

Ht dear Cassandra, 

I am not yet able to acknowledge the receipt 
of any parcel from London, which I suppose will 
not occasion you much surprise. I was a. little 
disappointed to-day, but not more so than is per- 
fectly agreeable, and I hope to be disappointed 
again to-morrow, as only one coach comes down 
on Sundays. 

You have had a very pleasant journey of course, 
and have found Elizabeth and all the children 
very well on your arrival at Godmersham, and I 
congratulate you on it. Edward is rejoicing this 
evening, I dare say, to find himself once more at 
home, from which he fancies he has been absent 
a great while. His son left behind him the very 
fine chestnuts which had been selected for planting 
at Godmersham, and the drawing of his own which 
he had intended to carry to George ; the former 
will therefore be deposited in the soil of Hamp- 
shire instead of Kent, the latter I^ have already 
\ consigned to another element. 

We have been exceedingly busy ever since you 



■ . ■ i '*> I ■ ^ 



« 
f 



3 il' 



I 



-.QV.VX to take advantage of th( 
PI wcatlier ourselves by going to see 

neighbours. 

On Thursday we walked to Deai 
j: Oakley Hall and Oakley, and to 



/igain. At Oakley Hall we did a g 
some sandwiches all over mustard, 
Bramston's porter, and Mrs* Bramst 
rencies, and gained a promise from 
two roots of heartsease, one all yel 
other all purple, for you. At Oaklej 
ten pair of worsted stockings and a shi 
is for Betty Dawkins, as we find she w 
than a rug ; she is one of the most gr 

III whom Edward's charity has reached, 

she expresses herself more warmly th 

\[m for she sends him a * sight of thanks/ 

This morning we called at the Har 
in their dining-room found * Heathcote 
for ever/ Mrs. WilH*'^^ ^ 



t - : 



232 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, leOl 

narvon*8 park, and fainted away in the evening, and 
the second walked down from Oakley Hall attended 
by Mrs. Augusta Bramston; they had meant to 
come on to Steventon aflerwards, but we knew a 
trick worth two of that. K I had thought of it 
in time, I would have said something civil to her 
about Edward's never having had any serious idea 
of calling on Mr. Chute while he was in Hamp- 
shire ; but unluckily it did not occur to me. Mrs. 
Heathcote is gone home to-day ; Catherine had paid 
her an early visit at Deane in the morning, and 
brought a good account of Harris. 

James went to Winchester Fair yesterday, and 
bought a new horse, and Mary has got a new maid- 
two great acquisitions ; one comes from Folly farm^ 
is about five years old, used to draw, and thought 
very pretty, and the other is niece to IXnah at 
]^tbury. 

James called by my father's desire on Mr. Bayle 

to inquire into the cause of his being so horrid. 

Mr. Bayle did not attempt to deny his being 

horrid, and made many apologies for it ; he did 

not plead his having a drunken self, he talked 

only of a drunken foreman, &c., aud gave hopes 

\ of the tables being at Steventon od Monday 

•e'mujjbt next We have had no letter since you 




leOO, 1801 LRTTEBS OF JAKE ADSTEN. 23S 

left U9, except one from Mr. Serle of Bisliopstoke 
to inquire tlie character of Jamea Elton. 

Our wiiole neighbourhood is at present very 
busy grieving over poor Mrs. Martin, who has 
totally failed in her business, and had very lately 
an execution in lier house. Her own brother and 
Mr. Eider are the principal creditors, and they 
have seized her eflecta in order to prevent other 
people's doing it. Tliere has been the same affair 
going on, we are told, at Wilson's, and my hearing 
nothing of you makes me apprehensive tliat you, 
your fellow-travellers, and all your effects, might 
be seized by the baihffs when you atopt at the 
liousc, and sold altogether for the benefit of the 
creditors. 

In talking of Mr. Decdes' new house, Mrs- 




234 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

once more how peculiarly fortunate you have been 
in your weather, and tlien I will drop the subject 
for ever. Our improvements have advanced very 
well ; the bank along the dm walk is sloped down 
for the reception of thorns and lilacs, and it is 
settled that the other side of the path is to con- 
tinue turfed, and to be i^lanted with beech, ash, 
and larch. 

Monday. — ^I am glad I had no means of sending 
this yesterday, as I am now able to thank you for 
executing my commission so welL I like the 
gown very much, and my mother thinks it very 
ugly. I like the stockings also very much, and 
greatly prefer having two pair only of that quality 
to three of an inferior sort. Tlie combs are very 
pretty, and I am much obliged to you for your 
present, but am sorry you should make me so 
many. The pink shoes are not particularly beauti- 
ful, but they fit me very well; tlie others are 
faultless. I am glad Uiat I have still my cloak to 
expect. 

Among my other obligations, I must not omit 
to remember your writing me so long a letter in a 
time of such hurry. I am amused by yoiur going 
to liClgate at last, and glad that you have so 
charming a day for your journey home. 



1800, IfiOl LliTTICnS OF JANE AUSTEN, 236 

My father ajiproves his etockings very Iiigtily, 
niiil finda no fatilt witli any part of Mrs. Hancock'i 
bill except tlio clmrge of Za. Gd. for the packing- 
box. 

The ■weather docs not know how to be other- 
wise than fine. I am surprised that Mrs, Harriot 
should not bo taller. Surely you have made a 
mistake. Did Mr. lloland make you look wellP 
Yours aflectiouatcly, J. A. 

MiM Austin, Oodmpnihtm Pmrk, 
Farenhim, Kent. 



XXIII. 

SMvonMni Stturdtj' (N'oTembtr 1). 



My DEAR CASSAIfDRA, 




236 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

of the Egyptian squadron, was off the Isle of 
Cypnis, whither they went from Jaffa for provi- 
sions, &c., and whence they were to sail in a day 
or two for Alexandria, there to wait the result of 
the English proposals for the evacuation of E^ypt. 
The rest of the letter, according to the present 
fashionable style of composition, is chiefly descrip- 
tive. Of his promotion he knows nothing^; of 
prizes he is guiltless. 

Your letter is come ; it came, indeed, twelve 
lines ago, but I could not stop to acknowledge it 
before, and I am glad it did not arrive till I had 
completed my first sentence, because the sentence 
had been made ever since yesterday, and I think 
forms a very good beginning. 

Your abuse of our gowns amuses but does not 
discourage me ; I shall take mine to be made up 
next week, and the more I look at it the better it 
pleases me. My cloak came on Tuesday, and, 
though I expected a good deal, the beauty of the 
lace astonished me. It is too handsome to be 
worn — almost too handsome to be looked at. The 
glass is all safely arrived also, and gives great 
satisfaction. The wine-glasses are much smaller 
than I expected, but I suppose it is the proper 
size. We find no fault with your manner of per* 



■. ^MM 



I 



1800, leoi LETTEIiS OF JANR AUSTEN. 237 

forming any of our coramissiona, but if you like to 
lliiiik yourself remiss in any of them, pray do. 

My luotlier was rather vsxed that you could 
not go to Pcnlington's, but 6he lias since written to 
hiiii, whicli does just as well. Mary is disappointed, 
of course, about her locket, and of course delighted 
jibout the mangle, which is safe at Basingstoke. 
You will tliank Edward for it on their behalf, &c., 
&c., and, as you know how much it was wished for, 
will not feel that you arc inventing gratitude. 

Did you think of our ball on Thursday evening, 
and did you Buppose me at it P You might very 
safely, for there I was. On Wednesday morning 
it was settled tliat Mrs. Ilarwood, Mary, and I 
sliould go together, and atiortiy afterwards a very 
civil note of invitation for me came from Mrs. 




\ 



238 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

sometimes we had seventeen couple. The Forts- 
mouths, Dorchesters, Boltons, Portals, and Clerks 
were there, and all the meaner and more usual &c., 
&c.*s. There was a scarcity of men in general^ 
and a still greater scarcity of any that were good 
for much. I danced nine dances out of ten — ^five 
with Stephen Terry, T. Chute, and James Digweed^ 
and four with Catherine. There was commonly a 
couple of ladies standing up together, but not often 
any so amiable as ourselves. 

I heard no news, except that Mr. Peters, who 
was not there, is supposed to be particularly at- 
tentive to Miss Lyford. You were inquired after 
very prettily, and I hope the whole assembly now 
understands that you are gone into Kent, which 
the families in general seemed to meet in ignorance 
of. Lord Portsmouth surpassed the rest in his 
attentive recollection of you, inquired more into 
the length of your absence, and concluded by 
desiring to be * remembered to you when I wrote 
next.' 

Lady Portsmouth had got a different dress on, 
and Lady Bolton is much improved by a wig. The 
three Ifiss Terries were there, but no Annie ; which 
was a great disappointment to me. I hope the 
poor girl had not set her heart on her appearance 



"•^iW 



1800, 1801 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 239 

that evening so much aa I liad, Mr. Terry is Ul, 
in a very low way, I saiil civil things to Edward 
for Mr. Chute, -wlio amply returned tbem by de- 
claring that, had he known of my brother's being 
at Steventon, he should have made a point of 
calling upon him to thank iiim for hia civility 
about the Hunt. 

I Iiavc heard from Charles, and am to send 
his shirts by half-dozens as they are finished ; one 
set will go next week. Tlie ' Endymion ' is now 
waiting only for orders, but may wait for them 
perhaps a month. Mr. Coulthard' was unlilcky in 
very narrowly missing another unexpected guest 
at CJiawton, for Charles had actually set out and 
got half way thither in order to spend one day 
with Edward, but turned back on discovering the 
distance to be considerably more than he had 




240 



LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 



\ 



and my father buried him on Thursday. A deaf 
IkGss Fonnereau is at Ashe, which has prevented 
Mrs. Lefroy's going to Worting or Basingstoke 
•during the absence of Mr. Lefroy. 

My mother is very liappy in the prospect of 
•dressing a new doll which Molly has given Anna. 
My father's feelings are not so enviable, as it ap- 
pears that the farm cleared 300/. last year. James 
and Mary went to Ibthorp for one night last 
Monday, and found Mrs. Lloyd not in' very good 
looks. Martha has been lately at Kintbury, but is 
probably at home by this time. Mary's promised 
maid has jilted her, and hired herself elsewhere. 
The Debaries persist in being afflicted at the death 
of their uncle, of whom they now say they saw a 
great deal in London. Love to all. I am glad 
George remembers me. 

Tours very affectionately, J. A. 

I am very unhappy. In re-reading your letter 
I find I might have spared myself any intelligence 
of Charles. To have written only what you knew 
before I You may guess how much I feel. I 
wore at the ball your favourite gown, a bit of 
muslin of the same round my head, bordered with 
Mrs. Cooper's band, and one little comb. 

Kin AnftM, Oodmtnham Park. 



LErXERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



Slerenton: Thureday (KoTember 20). 

Mt dear Cassaxdra, 

Your letter took me quite by surprise this 
morning ; you are very welcome, however, and I am 
very mucli obliged to you. I believe I drank too 
mucli wine last niglit at Tluratbourne; I know not 
how else to account for the shaking of my hand 
toKlay. You will kindly make allowance there- 
fore for any indistinctness of writing, by attribut- 
ing it to tliia venial error. 

Nauglity Cliarlea did not come on Tuesday, but 
f;ood Charles came yesterday morning. About two 
o'clock he walked in on a Gosport hack. His 
feeling equal to such a fatigue is a good sign, and 
his feeling no fatigue in it a still better. He walked 




\ 



242 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800^ 1801 

It was a pleasant evening; Cliarles found it 
remarkably so, but I (iannot tell why, unless the 
absence of Miss Terry, towards whom his con- 
science reproaches him with being now perfectly 
indiflerent, was a relief to him. There were only 
twelve dances, of which I danced nine, and was 
merely prevented from dancing the rest by the 
want of a partner. We began at ten, supped at 
one, and were at Deane before five. There were 
but fifty people in the room ; very few families 
indeed from our side of the county, and not many 
more froiti the other. My partners were the two 
8t. Johns, Hooper, Holder, and very prodigious 
Mr. Mathew, with whom I called the last, and 
whom I liked the best of my little stock. 

There were very few beauties, and such as there 
were were not very handsome. Miss Iremonger 
did not look well, and Mrs. Blount was the only 
one much admired. She appeared exactly as she 
did in September, with the same broad fa^e, dia- 
mond bandeau, white shoes, pink husband, and fat 
neck. The two Miss Coxes were there : I traced 
in one the remains of the vulgar, broad-featured 
girl who danced at Enham eight years ago ; the 
other is refined into a nice, composed-looking 
girl, like CSatherine Bigg. I looked at Sir Thomas 



' ~ • I ii ' m [ ■_ ■ _ 



1800, iBO] Licrrjiits or jank austen. 24S 

Cliaiiipncys nnd thought of poor Hoaalio ; I looked 
nt his dauglitcr, and thuuglit her a queer animal 
with a wliitciicck. lira, Warren, I was constrained 
to think a very line young wonifin, which I much 
rof^ret. Slic danced away witli great activity. Her 
liusband is ugly enough, ugUer even than his 
cousin Jolin ; but he does not look bo vert/ old. 
The M!is8 Miiitlauda are both prettyish, very like 
Anne, with brown skins, large dark eyes, and a 
good deal of nose. The General has got the gout, 
iind Mrs. Miiitiand the jaundice. Miss Debary, 
Susan, and Sally, all in black, but without any 
statues, made their appearance, and I was as civil 
to them as circumstances would allow me. 

They told me nothing new of Martha. I mean 
to go to her on Thursday, unless Charles should 




\ 



244 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

■ 

Mary said that I looked very well last night 
I wore my aunt's gown and handkerchief, and my 
hair was at least tidy, which was all my ambition. 
I will now have done with the ball, and I will 
moreover go and dress for dinner. 

Thursday evening. — Charles leaves us on Satur- 
day, unless Henry should take us in his way to the 
island, of which we have some hopes, and then 
they will probably go together on Sunday. 

The young lady whom it is expected that Sir 
Thomas is to marry is iCss Emma Wabshaw; 
she livei somewhere between Southampton and 
Winchester, is handsome, accomplished, amiable, 
and everything but rich. He is certainly finishing 
his house in a great hurry. Perhaps the report of 
his being to marry a Miss Fanshawe might origi- 
nate in his attentions to this .very lady — the names 
are not unlike. 

Summers has made my goivn very well indeed, 
and I get more and more pleased with it. Charles 
does not like it, but my father and Mary do. My 
mother is very much resigned to it; and as for 
James, he gives it the preference oyer everything 
of the kind he ever saw, in proof of which I am 
desired to say that if you like to sell yours Mary 
will buy it. 



1 II I 



i- to enjoy. There was a whist and a 

|- and six outsiders. Rice and Lucy ma 

Eobinson fell asleep, James and Mrs. A 
nately read Dr. Finnis' pamphlet on t 
and I bestowed my company by turns 
On inquiring of Mrs. Clerk, I fin< 
Heathcote made a great blunder in 1 
the Crookes and Morleys. It is youn( 
who is to marry the second Miss JA 
it is the Miss Morleys instead of the m 
Crooke who were the beauties at the n 
ing. This seems a more likely tale, a beti 
imposture. 

The three Digweeds all came on Tu 
we played a pool at commerce. Jame 
left Hampshire to-day. I think he must 
with you, from his anxiety to have you 
Faversham balls, and likewise from h 
ing that the two elms fell from thAt 



246 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

never occurred to me before, but I dare say it 
was so. 

Hacker has been here to-day putting in the 
fruit trees. A new plan has been suggested con- 
cerning the plantation of the new inclosure of the 
right-hand side of the elm walk : the doubt is 
whether it would be better to make a little orchard 
of it by planting apples, pears, and cherries, or 
whether it should be larch, mountain ash, and 
acacia. What is your opinion ? I say nothing, and 
am ready to agree with anybody. 

You and George walking to Eggerton I What a 
droll party I Do the Ashford people still come to 
Gbdmersham church every Sunday in a cart ? It 
is you that always disliked Mr. N. Toke so much» 
not /. I do not like his wife, and I do not like 
Mr. Brett, but as for Mr. Toke, there are few people 
whom I like better. 

Miss Harwood and her friend have taken a 
house fifteen miles from Bath ; she writes very 
kind letters, but 9ends no other particulars of the 
situation. Perhaps it is one of the first houses in 
Bristol. ^ 

\ Farewell ; Charles sends you his best love and 

Edward his worst. If you think the distinction 
improper, you may take the worst yourself. He 



—J, out of course not before the 
Cliarles is in very good looks indet 
comfort of finding out the other evi 
the fat ^Is with long noses were t. 
me at the 1st H. ball. They all pro 
Atkinsons of En — (iU^ble). 

I rejoice to say that we have just 
letter from o\ir dear Frank. It is U. 
short, written from Lamica in Cypr 
lately as October 2. He came from u 
and was to return there in three or 
knew nothing of bis promotion, and doe 
above twenty lines, from a doubt of t 
ever peaching you, and an idea of all le 
' opened at Tioina. He wrote a few dayi 
you from Alexandria by the ' Mercury,* 
despatches to Lord I^th. Another letb 
owing to ufl bendes this, one if not tax 
none of these are to me. Henrv 
morrovi for o"- -' ' 



\ 



248 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

Lady Saye and Seale and her daughter are going to 
remove to Bath. Mrs. Estwick is married again 
to a Mr. Sloane, a young man under age, without 
the knowledge of either family. He bears a good 
character, however. 

MiM Auften, GodmenhAm Park, 
Fafcnham, Kent 

XXV. 

Stemtoo: Satordaj (Jtaanuj 8). 

Mr DEAR Cassandra, 

As ^ you have by this time received my last 
letter, it is fit that I should b^in another, and I 
begin with the hope, which is at present uppermost 
in my mind, that you often wore a white gown in 
the morning at the time of all the gay parties being 
with you. 

Our visit at Ash Park, last Wednesday, went 
off in a corned way. We met Mr. Lefroy and 
Tom Chute, played at cards, and came home again. 
James and Mary dined here on the following day, 
and at night Henry set off in the mail for London. 
He was as agreeable as ever during ^his visit, and 
has not lost anything in Miss Lloyd's estimation. 

Yesterday we were quite alone— -only our four 
selves ; but to*day the scene is agreeably varied by 




liouseniaid, witii a sedate, 
19 to undertake the double 
former and sweetlieart to t 
of course, to be allowed on 

You feel more for John 
deserves. I am sorry to lot 
lie is not ashamed to own h 
doubt at all of getting a goi 
had even an oficr many yeare 
Faine of taking him Into his 
might quit my fatlier'a. 

There are three parts of 1 
thought of aa likely to have 
Westgate Buildings, Charles i 
the short streets leading iro 
Pulteney Street. 

Westgate Buildings, thougl 
part of the town, are not b: 
selves. The street >• *■— 






250 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

preferable. The buildiDgs are new, and its nearness 
to Klngsmead Fields would be a pleasant circum- 
stance. Perhaps you may remember, or perhaps 
you may forget, that Charles Street leads from 
the Queen Square Chapel to the two Green Park 
Streets. 

The houses in the streets near Laura Place I 
should expect to be above our price. Oay Street 
would be too high, except only the lower house on 
the left-hand side as you ascend. Towards thai 
my mother has no disinclination ; it used to be 
lowef rented than any other house in the row, from 
some inferiority in the apartments. But above all 
others her wishes are at present fixed on the 
comer house in Chapel Bow, which opens into 
Prince's Street. Her knowledge of it, however, is 
confined only to the outside, .and therefore she is 
equally uncertain of its being really desirable as of 
its being to be had. In the meantime she assures 
you that she will do everything in her power to 
avoid Trim Street, although you have not expressed 
the fearful presentiment of it which was rather 
expected. ^ 

We know that Mrs. Perrot will want to get us 
into Oxford Buildings, but we all unite in particular 
[e of that part of the town, and therefore hope 



■■■■^■■■^■■■■■■■aKariw^^pn 




miscellany, luamiscript, 
over tlic house, nre to 
own drawinga will not 
the two paintings on tii 
My mother says that 
prints in the best bedrooi 
to hia two sisters. Do y( 
about it P 

She has written to mj 
impatient for the answer. 
give up the idea of our bot 
May. Your going I cons: 
necessary, and I shall not« 1 
there 'is no place here or 1 
want to be staying at, am 
the keep of two will be 
will endeavour to make the 
ordering my stomach with 
the trouble of f""" — 



\ 



252 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800^ 1801 

our two selves are to travel down together, and 
my father follow us afterwards in about a fortnight 
or three weeks. We have promised to spend a 
couple of days at Ibthorp in our way. We must 
all meet at Bath, you know, before we set out for 
the sea, and, everything considered, I think the 
first plan as good as any. 

My father and mother, wisely aware of the 
difficulty of finding in all Bath such a bed as ^ 
their own, have resolved on taking it with 
(hem ; all the beds, indeed, that we shall want 
are 'io be removed — ^viz., besides theirs, our own 
two, the best for a spare one, and two for ser- 
vants; and these necessary articles will probably 
be the only material ones that it would answer to 
send down. I do not think it will be worth while 
to remove any of our chests of drawers ; we shall 
be able to get some of ^ much more commodious 
sort, made of deal, and painted to look very neat ; 
and I flatter myself that for little comforts of all 
kinds our apartment will be one of the most com- 
plete things of the sort all over Bath, Bristol 
included. v 

We have thought at times of removing the 
sideboard, or a Pembroke table, or some other 
piece of furniture, but, upon the* whole, it has 



again in March. Her spirits are Ix 
were. 

I have DOW attuned the true i 
-writing, which we are always told is 
paper exactly what one would say 
person by word of mouth. I have bei 
you almost as fast as I could the wl 
letter. 

Your Cliristmas gaieties are really 
prising; I think they would satisfy 
Walter herself. I hope the ten shiUinj 
Uiss Foote may make everything easy !> 
and her cousin Frederick. So Lady Brid 
deUcate language of Coulson Wallop, is 
I ani very glad to hear of the Fear 
fortune. It ia a piece of promotion whi 
they looked forward to as very deaii 
years ago, on Captain Lockyer'e illness. 
them a connderable in*'^'— 



\ 



254 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

all in furnishing our house in Bath, and I have 
engaged for your willingly undertaking to do it all. 
I get more and more reconciled to the idea of our 
removal. We have lived long enough in this 
neighbourhood : the Basingstoke balls are certainly 
on the decline, there is something interesting in 
the bustle of going away, and the prospect of 
spending future summers by the sea or in Wales is 
very delightful. For a time we shall now possess- 
many of the advantages which I have often thought 
of with envy in the wives of sailors or soldiers. It 
must not be generally known, however, that I am 
not sacrificing a great deal in quitting the country, 
or I can expect to inspire no tenderness, no in- 
terest, in those we leave behind. 

The threatened Act of Parliament does not 
seem to give any alarm. 

My father is doing all in his power to increase 
his income, by raising his tithes, &c., and I do not 
despair of getting very nearly six hundred a year. 

In what part of Bath do you mean to place 
your bees ? We are afraid of the South Parade's 
being too hot. v 

Monday. — ^Martha desires her best love, and 
says a great many kind things about spending 
some time with you in March, and depending on a 



^ r^TT^ . . — w^M^^^-^i^^— ^^ 



Fkverthun, Eaat, 



Stcmton! Tin 

Ut drab Cassandu, . 

The ' perfaa|» ' which concluded 
being only a 'perhaps,' vrill not c 
beini; overpowered with surprise, I da 
jfhfndd recdve this before Tuesday, fi 
drcumstances are very perverse, will 
I received yours with much general pi 
and etiU more peculiar goodwill, two 
and I suppose I need not tell you that 
long, b^g written on a foolscap she 
entertaining, bdng written by you. 

Mr. Payne has been dead long 
Henry to be out of mourning for hiin 
last visit, though we knew nothinc >-' 
that time. '^^ ' 



. 256 I^ETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

I am glad that the Wildmans are going to give 
a ball, and hope you will not fail to benefit both 
yourself and me by laying out a few kisses in the 
purchase of a frank. I believe you are right in 
proposing to delay the cambric muslin, and I sub- 
mit with a kind of voluntary reluctance. 

Mr. Peter Debary has declined Deane curacy ; 
he wishes to be settled near London. A foolish 
reason ! as if Deane were not near London in 
comparison of Exeter or York. Take the whole 
world through, and he will find many more places 
at a greater distance from London than Deane 
than he will at a less. What does he think of 
Olencoe or Lake Katherine ? 

I feel rather indignant that any possible objec- 
tion should be raised against so valuable a piece 
of preferment, so delightful a. situation I — that 
Deane should not be universally aUowed to be as 
near the metropolis as any other country villages. 
As this is the case, however, as Mr. Peter Debary 
has shown himself a Peter in the blackest sense of 
the word, we are obliged to look elsewhere for an 
heir; and my father has thought it a^necessary 
compliment to James Digweed to offer the curacy 
to him, though without considering it as either a 
or an eligible situation for him. Unless 



■y'WI*ii*— ^ i .^ J i l l . 



^.(uaJ in value or efficiency 

Were you indeed to be 
the fixturea of the hoiiBe 1- 
actually erected in it ath' 
Brydges or Mrs. Lloyd. 

Martha and I dined yestera 
the Fowletts and Tom Chute, 
fail to do. Mrs. Fowlett waa e 
and nakedly dressed ; we have h 
of estimating her lace and her 
sud too little to aflTord us much o 

Mrs. John Lyford is so much 
state of widowhood as to be goi 
being a widow agun; she is 
Fendall, & banker in Gloucester 
good fortune, but considerably ol 
and with three little children, 
never been here yet ; she can cot 
and is not able to fix the dav- 

I fancv "W- " 



258 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

probably have it for the remainder of my father's 
lease. This pleases us all much better than it*s 
falling into the hands of Mr. Harwood or Fanner 
Twitchcn. Mr. Holder is to come in a day or two 
to talk to my father on the subject, and then John 
Bond's interest will not be forgotten. 

I have had a letter to-day from Mrs. Cooke* 
Mrs. Laurel is going to be married to a Mr* 
Hinchman, a rich East Indian. I hope Blary will 
be satisfied with this proof of her cousin's exis- 
tence and welfare, and cease to torment herself 
with the idea of his bones being bleaching in Uie 
sun on Wantage Downs. 

Martha's visit b drawing towards its dose^ 
which we all four sincerely regret. The wedding 
day is to be celebrated on the 16th, because the 
17th falls on Saturday; and a^ay or two before 
the 16th Mary will drive her sister to Ibthorp to 
find all the festivity she can in contriving for 
everybody's comfort, and being thwarted or teased 
by almost everybody's temper. Fulwar, Eliza, and 
Tom Chute are to be of the party. I know of 
nobody else. I was asked, but declined it. 

Eliza has seen Lord Craven at Barton, and 
probably by this time at jj^tbury, where he was 
expected for one day this week. She found hia 



mm 



I 






lor the present lie has lod 
tlioy arc in view of a dwell 
shaw, that village of vodc 
atretchei itself out for the i 
who docs not wish for a hot 

Pray give my love to Gt 
am very glad to hear he cao 
and that I hope he will conti 
of hia improvement in the art 

I think you judge very 
your London visit, and I am 
put off for Bome time. You 8| 
reugnation of Mrs. Jordan an 
that it would be an iuBult to 
required ; but to prevent you 
of this rupture of your en 
Smithson, I must assure you 
him to be a great miser. 

Friday. — No answer from 



260 LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800| 1801 



furniture, packing clothes, and preparing 
for their removal to Scarletts. 

You are very kind in planning presents for me 
to make, and my mother has shown me exactly the 
same attention; but as I do not choose to have 
generosity dictated to me, I shall not resolve on 
giving my cabinet to Anna till the first thought of 
it has been my own. 
^ Sidmouth is now talked of as our summer 

abode. Qei all the information, therefore, about 
it that you can from Mrs. C. Cage. 

My father's old ministers are already deserting 
him to pay their court to his son. The brown 
mare, which, as well as the black, was to devolve 
on James at our removal, has not had patience to 
wait for that, and has settled herself even now at 
Deane. The death of Hugh " Capet, which, like 
that of Mr. Skipsey, though undesired, was not 
wholly unexpected, being purposely effected, has 
made the immediate possession of the mare very 
convenient, and everything else I suppose wiU be 
seized by degrees in the same manner. Martha 
and I work at the books every day. ^ 

Yours affectionately, J. A. 



V 

\ 



Mia Awt«i, QodflMnkaB P^ 



■^^ 



of my letters. You liad he 
me again before Tuesday, bi 
with what a merciless sister 
cannot recall the past, but yo 
mc quite so often in future. 

Your letter to Mary was c 
she left Dean with Martha j 
and it gives us great pleasure 
Cbilham ball was so agreeable, am 
four dances with Mr. Kemble. De 
as the latter drcumstance was, I ( 
dering at its taking place. WL; 
four dances with so stupid a man i 
dance two of them with some 
officer who was struck with yot 
soon as you entered the room ? 

Martha left you her beat love 
to you herself in a short time ; bu 
memory rather than h^* ' 



\ 



2G2 LETTEII8 OF JANE AUSTEK. 10OO| 1801 

towiii provided you should go to the shop on your 
own account, otherwise you may be sure that she 
would not have you recollect the request. 

James dined with us yesterday, wrote to 
Edward in the evening, filled three sides of paper, 
every line inclining too much towards the north- 
east, and the very first line of all scratched' out, 
and this morning he joins his lady in the fields of 
Elysium and Ibthorp. 

Last Friday was a very busy day with us. We 
were visited by Miss Lyford and Mr. Bayle. The 
latter b^an his operations in the house, but had 
only time to finish the four sitting-rooms ; the rest 
is deferred till the spring is more advanced and 
the days longer. He took his paper of appraise- 
ment away with him, and therefore we only know 
the estimate he has made of one or two articles of 
furniture which my father particularly inquired 
into. I understand, however, that he was of opi- 
nion that the whole would amount to more than 
two hundred pounds, and it is not imagined that 
this will comprehend the brewhouse and many 
other, &c., &c. 

Miss Lyford was very pleasant, and gave my 
mother such an account of the houses in Westgate 
Buildings, where Mrs. Lyford lodged four years 



"T""''^**'" 



w 



v\ ' tJ 



present the environs of L 
Ills clioice. IQs views on 
advanced since I came hi 
amlntious, and actually reqi 
able and a creditable-looking 

On Saturday Mias Lyfoni 
home — that is to say, it waa a 
soon afterwards a party of fine 1 
well-known commodious green ' 
full of Bantam cocks and Qal 
house — Mrs. Heathcote, Mrs. Ha 
Austen, Miss Bigg, Miss Jane Sis 

Hardly a day passes in whic 
aome visitor or other : yesterday 
stone, who is very sorry that ah< 
afterwards Mr. Holder, who vti 
hour with my father and James 
maimer. John Bond eat d lui. 

Mr. Holder ww - 



264 LETTEBS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

fort of not changing his home is a very material 
one to him, and since such are his unnatural feel- 
ings, his belonging to Mr. Holder is the every thing 
needful; but otherwise there would have been a 
situation offering to him, which I had thought of 
with particular satisfaction, viz., under Harry Dig- 
weed, who, if John had quitted Cheesedown, would 
have been eager to engage him as superintendent 
at Steventon, would have kept a horse for him to 
ride about on, would probably have supplied him 
with a more permanent home, and I think would 
certainly have been a more desirable master alto- 
gether. 

John and Corbett are not to have any concern 
with each other — there are to be two farms and 
two bailiffs. We BTe.o{ opinion that it would be 
better in only one. 

This morning brought my aunt's reply, and 
most thoroughly affectionate is its tenor. She 
thinks with the greatest pleasure of our being set- 
tled in Bath — ^it is an event which will attach her to 
the place more than anytliing else could do, &c., &c. 
She b, moreover, very urgent with my^ mother not 
to delay her visit in Paragon, if she should continue 
^ ^unwell, and even recommends her spending the 
whole winter with them. At present and for many 



"WQBHVBHRWiqpw 



ISOO, ITOI LETTEIiS OF JANE AUSTEN. 265 

days past my mother has been quite stout, and she 
wishes not to be obhged by any relapse to alter 

lier arrangements. 

Mr. and Mrs. Cliamberlayne are in Bath, lodg- 
ing at the Ciiaritable Eepoaitory ; Iwish the scene 
may suggest to Mrs. C. the notion of selling her 
black beaver bonnet for the relief of the poor.- 
Mrs. Welby has been singing duets with the Prince' 
of Wales. 

My fatlier lias got above 500 volumes to dispose 
of; I want James to take them at a venture at half 
a guinea a volume. The whole repairs of the par- 
sonage at Deane, inside and out, coachbox, basket - 
and dickey will not much exceed 100/. 

Have you seen that Major Byng, a nephew of 
Lord Torrington, is dead ? That must be Edmund. 

Friday. — I tliank you for yours, though I should 




266 LETTERS OF JANE AQSTEN. 1800^ 1801 

Mrs. WHes flatters herself falsely, it has never been 
' Mrs. Bice's wish to have her son settled near her- 
self ; and there is now a hope entertained of her 
relenting in favour of Deane. 

Mrs. Lefroy and her son-in-law were here yes- 
terday ; she tries not to be sanguine, but he was in 
excellent spirits. I rather wish they may have the 
curacy. It would be an amusement to Mary to 
superintend their household management, and abuse 
them for expense, especially as Mrs. L. means to 
advise them to put their washing out. 

Yours afiectionately, J. A. 

Ilia Avatn, OodnMrtbAm Ptek, 
FATenbaaiy Kflni. 

XXVUI. 
Sterenton : Wcdnatday (Jtmiaiy 91). 

Expect a most agreeable letter, for not being 
overburdened with subject (having nothing at all 
to say), I shall have no check to my genius firom 
beginning to end. 

Well, and so Frank's letter has made you very 
happy, but you are afraid he would^ not have 
patience to stay for the * Haarlem,' which you wish 
^'him to have done as being safer than the mer- 
chantman. Poor fellow I to wait from the middle 



^mmmmmmmmmmm^mtmmmmmmmmmmmmimmmmmttM m 



\ 



268 XETTER8 OF JANE AUSTEN. 1600, 180r 

I dined at Deane yesterday, as 1 told you I 
should, and met the two Mr. Holders. We played 
at vingt-un^ which, as Fulwar was unsuccessful, gave 
him an opportunity of exposing himself as usual. 

Eliza says she is quite well, but she is thinner 
than when we saw her last, and not in very good 
looks. I suppose she has not recovered from the 
effects of her illness in December. She cuts her 
hair too short over her forehead, and does not wear 
her cap far enough upon her head ; in spite of these 
many disadvantages, however, I can still admire 
her beauty. They all dine here to-day ; much good 
may it do us aU. 

"William and Tom are much as usual ; Caroline 
is improved in her person ; I think her now really 
a pretty child. She is still very shy, and does not 
talk much. 

Fulwar goes next month into Gloucestershire^ 
Leicestershire, and Warwickshire, and Eliza spends 
the time of his absence at Ibthorp and Deane ; she 
hopes, therefore, to see you before it is long. 

Lord Craven was prevented by company at 
home from paying his visit at IQntbury, but, as I 
told you before, Eliza is greatly pleased with him» 
and they seem likely to be on the most friendly 
terms. 



PaiklMMMlMP 




„^;.vt weeK, and i slialJ ^ 
can, tliat you may direct 

Tlie neighbourhood h 
•death of Mrs. Elder ; so in. 
are rather rejoiced at it no 
Tery dear I and Mre. Sogers 
rable. Not even death itselt 
■of the world. 

You are not to give yot 
going to Penlingtons when yc 
father is to settle the matter if 
himself; you are only to take 
bills of his in your hnnds, a 
not be sorry to be excused t. 
□ess. 

l^urtday. — Our party ye 
quietly pleasant. To-day we al 
and to-morrow I dine again a' 
evcntfiil week I 

Eliza left »-- 



270 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800^ 1801 

likewise a message : she will be much obliged to you 
if you can bring her the pattern of the jacket and 
trousers, or whatever it is that Elizabeth's boys 
wear when they are first put into breeches ; so if 
you could bring her an old suit itself, she would be 
very glad, but that I suppose is hardly done. 

I am happy to hear of Mrs. Knight's amend- 
ment, whatever might be her complaint. 

Tlie Wylmots being robbed must be an amusing 
thing to their acquaintance, and I hope it is as 
much their pleasure as it seems their avocation to 
be subjects of general entertainment. 

I have a great mind not to acknowledge the 
receipt of your letter, which I have just had the 
pleasure of reading, because I am so ashamed to 
compare the sprawling lines of this with it. But 
if I say all that I have to say, I hope I have no 
reason to hang myself 

Caroline was only brought to bed on the 7th of 
this month, so that her recovery does seem pretty 
rapid. I have heard twice from Edward on the 
occasion, and his letters have each been exactly 
what they ought to be— cheerful and amusing. He 
. dares not write otherwise to m^, but perhaps he 
"" might be obliged to purge himself from the guilt 
of writing nonsense by filling his shoes with whole 




- "-j^r 



^H""^". ct"' "■-'-vo., . 



272 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1800, 1801 

XXIX. 

8t«?<Bntoiii Sundftj (Januftrj 20). 

I have notliing to say about Manydown, but 
I write because you will expect to hear from me, 
and because if I waited anotlier day or two, I hope 
your visit to Goodncstone would make my letter 
too late in its arrival. I dare say I sliall be at M. 
in the course of this week, but as it is not certain 
you will direct to me at home. 

I shall want two new coloured gowns for the 
summer, for my pink one will not do more than 
clear me from Steventon. I shall not trouble you, 
however, to get more than one of Uiem, and tliat is 
to be a plain brown cambric muslin, for morning 
wear; the other, which is to be a very pretty 
yellow and white cloud, I mean to buy in Bath. 
Buy two brown ones, if you please, and both of a 
length, but one longer tlian the other — ^it is for a 
tall woman. Seven yards for my mother, seven 
yards and a half for me ; a dark brown, but the kind 
of brown is left to your own. choice, and I had 
rather they were different, as it will be always some- 
thing to say, to dispute about which is the prettiest* 
They must be cambric muslin. 

How do you like this cold weather ? I hope 



\ 



• <M m x ■ ■. 




siicli bitloriic-fs of coll 
sUirvcd, quite froxcii, i 
back again wjtli all youi 

Your uufortunato t. 
Thursday into a situatio 
I arrivctl ut Aslie Park 
Bcanc, and was shut up ii 
Mr, Holder alone for ten 
thoughts of insisting on th 
Corbett being ficnt for, and 
ini me to move two steps 1 
lock of which I kept one 1 
"VVe met nobody but ourecl 
Again, and were very cross. 

On Friday I wound up i 
pation by meeting William '. 
am pretty well, I thank yon. 
there a sudden fall of sno 
impassable, anil — - ' 



274 LETTERS OF JANE AU8TEX. 1800, 1801 

Fulwar and Eliza left Deane yesterday. You 
will be glad to hear that Mary is going to keep 
another maid. I fancy Bally is too much of a 
servant to find time for everything, and Mary 
tliinks Edward is not so much out of doors as he 
ought to be ; there is therefore to be a girl in the 
nursery. 

I would not give much for Mr. Price's chance 
of hving at Deane ; he builds his hope, I find, not 
upon anything that his mother has written, but 
upon the efiect of what he has written himself. He 
must write a great deal better than those eyes in- 
dicate if he can persuade a perverse and narrow- 
minded woman to oblige those whom she doefr' 
not love. 

Your brother Edward makes very honourable 
mention of you, I assure you, in his letter to James, 
and seems quite sorry to part with you. It is a 
great comfort to me to think that my cares have 
not been thrown away, and that you are respected 
in the world. Perhaps you may be prevailed on 
to return with him and Elizabeth into Kent, when 
they leave us in April, and I rather suspect that 
your great wish of keeping yourself disengaged 
has been with that view. Do as you like ; I have 
overcome my desire of your going to Bath with 



N 



\ 




=— -B CO me sea, 
mean to do it. j 
Mr. Cooper, but ft 
""xa'toallonrn 

weeis in town I 
"^y notice, from 
•>«« in aeveland C 
•o lay in a .lock „ 
™« me MuMaent 
ronwilil,„,,,__^j 

■" ">"e, and p 

."■."■^ of ex,„i,ite , 
H into. 

iMnnotwriteany 
'"'yon nor for letter^ 
» Kenti,h vi,i,. p„^_^| 

;^'"'eT, loving relatio, 

2r «"■ ""' ^'^ 



N 



276 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEK. 1800, 1801 

but they will not have tlieirs till Friday, as they 
' have a scheme for the Newbury Assembly. 

Nanny's husband is decidedly against ]ier quit- 
ting service in such times as these, and I believe 
would be very glad to have her continue with us. 
In some respects she would be a great comfort, 
and in some we should wish for a different sort of 
servant Tlie washing would be the greatest eviL 
l^othing is settled, however, at present with her, 
but I should think it would be as well for all 
parties if she could suit herself in the meanwhile 
jiomewhere nearer her husband and child than 
Bath. Mrs. H. Eice's place would be very likely 
to do for her. It is not many, as she is hersdf 
aware, that she is qualified for. 

My mother has not been so well for ^many 
months as she is now. 

Adieu. Yours sincerely, J. A. 

Ilki Avatn, QodaMnhMB Fttk^ 



^■Wi^V 




""« 'V. ,S,o,.e 
"."■'«' 'o .owe, 

ft""' io,,,. 



278 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1801 

to which Jane and Mrs. Chamberlayne walked, 
which was, of course, the Weston by Bath, cele- 
brated for the battle of 1643, in which the Boyalist 
Sir Bevil OrenviUe lost his life, and which was 
fought on Lansdown, mostly in this parish, from 
which the present Marquis of that name takes 
his title. 

It will be seen that there is an * hiatus * in the 
letters after 1801, for I have discovered none be- 
tween May in that year and August 1805. During 
this period the family lived in Bath, first at Na 4 
Sydney Terrace, and afterwards in Green Park 
Buildings, until Mr. Austen's death. Before the 
move to Southampton, which occurred later in the 
same year, Jane went to pay a visit to her rela- 
tions in Kent, frt)m which county the next letters 
were written. 



TansoB: TintdAj (lUj If). 
Mr DEAR CA8BA2n)RA, 

I have the pleasure of writing from my awn 
room up two pair of stairs, with everything very 
comfortable about me. 



\ 




above once in Three"' 

Between I,ugge„ 

grand ^e^^ „^j ^^ 

Pereeired in what . 
port had been p„,i, 
"■e utmost exertion , 
P«« of the beef. H 
*«« very acceptable J 
iaWng inquired the , 
""Wd a. hilling. 

Wehadaverj-ne 
'°oW .hnoat aa well 
" a '«7 ahabby gen, 
advantage, however, w, 
'""iog from thence to 

f««™nbyyonrcloc 
iiouse. 

Fnu,k,who« black h 
™" window. re«,V«i . 



\ 



280 LETTERS OF JANE AU8TEX. 1801 

violent cough. We drank tea as soon as we ar- 
rived, and so ends the account of our journey^ 
which ray mother bore without any fatigue. 

How do you do to-day ? I hope you improve in 
sleeping — I tliink you must, because / fall off; 
I have been awake ever since five and sooner ; I 
fancy I had too much clothes over me ; I thought 
I shmdd by the feel of them before I went to 
bed, but I had not courage to alter them. I am 
warmer here without any fire than I have been 
lately with an excellent one. 

Well, and so the good news is confirtned, and 
Martha triumphs. My uncle and aunt seemed 
quite surprised that you and my father were not 
coming sooner. 

I have given the soap and the basket, and each 
have been kindly received. One thing only among- 
all our concerns has not arrived in safety : when I 
got into the chaise at Devizes I discovered that 
your drawing ruler was broke in two ; it is just at 
the top where the cross-piece is fastened on. I 
beg pardon. 

There is to be only one more ball — ^next Mon- 
day is the day. Tlie Chamberlaynes are still here. 
I begin to think better of Mrs. C , and upon 
recollection believe she has rather a long chin than 



«.' ". li.. ^1 



iM)! i.i'vrricns of jaxe AiraiEN. 281 

ollierwise, as she remembers us in Gloucestershire 
when we were very ciiarining young women. 

The firat view of Batii in fine weather does not 
answer my expectations; I think I see more dis- 
tinctly througli rain. Tlie sun was got behind 
everjthing, and the appearance of tlie place from 
the top of Kingsdown was all vapour, shadow, 
smoke, and confusion. 

I fancy we are to have a Iiouae in Seymour 
Street, or thereabouts. My uncle and aunt both 
like tlie situntion. I was glad to hear the former 
talk of all the liousea in New King Street as too 
email ; it was my own idea of them. I had not 
been two minutes in the dining-room before he 
questioned me witli all his accustomary eager 
interest about Frank and Charles, their views and 
ntentions. I did my best to give information. 




\ 



282 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1801 

Tuesday night. — ^When my uncle went to take 
hifl second glass of water I walked with him, and 
in our morning's circuit we looked at two houses 
in Oreen Park Buildings, one of which pleased me 
very well. We walked all over it except into the 
garret ; the dining-room is of a comfortable size, 
just as large as you like to fancy it ; the second 
room about 14 ft. square. The apartment over the 
drawing-room pleased me particularly, because it 
is divided into two, the smaller one a very nice- 
sized dressing-room, which upon occasion might 
admit a bed. The aspect is south-east" The only 
doubt Lb about the dampness of the offices, of which 
there were symptoms. 

Wednesday. — ^Mrs. Mussell has got my gown, 
and I will endeavour to explain what her intentions 
are. It is to be a round gown, with a jacket and 
a frock front, like Cath. Bigg's, to open at the 
«ide. The* jacket is all in one with the body, and 
comes as far as the pocket-holes— about half a 
quarter of a yard deep, I suppose, all the way 
round, cut off straight at the comers with a broad 
hem. No fulness appears either in the body or the 
flap ; the back is quite plain in this form ^j^, and 
the sides equally so. The front is sloped round to 
the bosom and drawn in, and there is to be a frill 



H.L>...L.^, ' LJ..: L ■ .- : "JV S W. . " u ^ 






IPOl LlCTTl-;nS OF JAXE AUSTEN. 28S 

of the same to put on occasionally when all one's 
h.iiid kerchiefs are dirty — -which frill fumt fall back. 
She is to put two breadths and a-half in the tail, 
and no gores — gores not being so much worn aa 
they were. There is nothing new in the sleeves: 
tiicy are to be i)laiii, with a fulness of tlie same 
falling down and gathered up underneath, just like 
aome of Martlia's, or perhaps a little longer. Low 
in tlic back beliind, and a belt of the same. I can 
tliink of nothing more, though I am afraid of not 
being particular enough. 

lly motlier has ordered a new bonnet, and so 
have I ; botli wiiite strip, trimmed with wliite 
ribbon. I find my straw bonnet looking very- 
much like other people's, and quite as smart. 
Bonnets of cambric mueliu on the plan of Lady 
Eridges' are a good deal worn, and some of them 




284 LKTTKIIS OF JANE AU8TKN. 1801 

much Struck with the odd looks of the two latter ; 
/ have only seen her. Mrs. Busby drinks toa and 
plays at cribbago here to-morrow ; and on Fridayt 
I believe, we go to the Chamberlaynes*. Last night 
we walked by the Canal. 

Milt AuRieiiy Mn. Lloyd'f, Up IlantboiirMy 

Andorar. 

XXXL 

« 

Paragon i Tuatdaj (Maj IS). 

Mt dear Cassandra, 

My mother has heard from Mary, and I have 
heanl from Frank ; we therefore know something 
now of our concerns in distant quarters ; and you, 
I hope, by some means or other are equally in- 
structed, for I do not feel inclined to transcribe the 
letter of cither. 

You know from Elizabeth, I dare say, that my 
father and Frank, deferring their visit to Kipping- 
ton on account of Mr.^ M. Austen's absence, are to 
be at Godmersham to-day ; and James, I dare say, 
has been over to Ibthoq) by this time to inquire 
particularly after Mrs. Lloyd's health, and forestall 
whatever intelligence of the sale I might attempt 

* Fnatk MocW]r-A«0Can, who boii^t Kippii^fton fron Sir Okaa. 
Fanabj. 




% n<lventi,,„ . 
"■■"-oonij '■'"*'' the 



28G LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1801 

lettc and ball with a thought ; I dressed myself as 
well as I could, and had all my finery much ad- 
mired at home. By nine o'clock my uncle* aunt, 
and I entered the rooms, and linked Miss Winstone 
on to us. Before tea it was rather a dull affair ; 
but then the before tea did not last long, for there 
was only one dance, danced by four couple. Think 
of four couple, surrounded by about an hundred 
people, dancing in the Upper Booms at Bath. 

After tea we cheered up ; the breaking up of 
private parties sent some scores more to the ball, 
and though it was shockingly and inhumanly thin 
for this place, there were people enough, I suppose, 
to have made five or six very pretty Basbgstoke 
assemblies. 

I then got Mr. Eveljm to talk to, and Miss T. 
to look at ; and I am proud to say that though 
repeatedly assured that another in the same party 
was the She^ I fixed upon the right one from the 
first. A resemblance to Mrs. L. was my guide. 
She is not so pretty as I expected ; her face has 
the same defect of baldness as her sister's, and her 
features not so handsome ; she was highly rouged, 
and looked rather quietly and contentedly silly 
than anything else. 

Mrs. B. and two young women were of the 



'••'\l 



I. til I 



i 



The Evelyns rei 
we were very happj 
are going to-morrow 
Dolphina for ten da. 
Woodward, is just mai 
lady rich in money and 

I thank you for you 
long and very agreeable, 
more particulars of our t 
heard the price of nothi 
hay, hops, tables, and my 
and study table. Mary i 
count of their own gains 
being better informed in 
Mrs. Lloyd's commission 
musk when I write again. 

I have bestowed thret 
Mapletona, and I fancy 
Uarianne, aa I »"* -' 



288 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1801 

I like my dark gown very much indeed, colour, 
make, and everything ; I mean to have my new 
white one made up now, in case we should go to 
the rooms again next Monday, which is to be really 
the last time. 

Wednesday. — ^Another stupid party last night ; 
perhaps if larger they miglit be less intolerable, 
but here there were only just enough to make one 
card-table, with six people to look on and talk 
nonsense to each other. Lady Fust, Mrs. Busby, 
and a Mrs. Owen sat dovm with my uncle to whist, 
within five minutes after the three old Toughs came 
in, and there they sat, with only the exchange of 
Adm. Stanhope for my uncle, till their chairs were 
announced. 

I cannot anyhow continue to find people agree- 
able ; I respect Mrs. Cliamberlayne for doing her 
hair well, but cannot feel a more tender sentiment. 
Miss Langley is like any other short girl, with a 
broad nose and wide mouth, fashionable dress and 
exposed bosom. Adm. Stanhope is a gentleman- 
like man, but then his legs are too short and his 
tail too long. Mrs. Stanhope could not come ; I 
fancy she had a private appointment with Mr. 
Ghamberlayne, whom I wished to see more than 
all the rest. 



■«wv 



My motlier had a letter y 

father; it seems as if the W. 

entirely given up. He talks oi 

night at Ck>djnerBham, and then i 

Youn ever. 

Excepting a slight cold, my mi 
she has been quite free from fe 
complaints since her arrival here. 

Um Antlm, Mn. Uaji't, 

Hnntbonn Tunnt, AndoTer. 

yyYTT , 

Tingoa: T 

Ut dbab Cassandka, 

To make long sentences upon 
jecta is very odious, and I shall t 
of the one now uppermost in my i 
as possible. 



290 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1801 

• 

in the offices of an house which has been only 
vacated a week, with reports of discontented fami- 
lies and putrid fevers, has given the coup de grace. 
We have now nothing in view. When you arrive, 
we will at least have the pleasure of examining 
«ome of these putrefying houses again ; they are so 
very desirable in size and situation, that there is 
8ome satisfaction in spending ten minutes within 
them. 

I will now answer the inquiries in your last 
letter. I cannot learn any other explanation of 
the coolness between my aunt and Miss Bond than 
that the latter felt herself slighted by the* former's 
leaving Bath last summer without calling to see 
her before she went. It seems the oddest kind of 
quarrel in the world. They never visit, but I 
believe they speak very civilly if they meet. My 
uncle and Miss Bond certainly do. 

The four boxes of lozenges, at 1«. 1^. per box, 
amount, as I was told, to 4«. 6^., and as the sum 
was so trifling, I thought it better to pay at once 
than contest the matter. 

I have just heard from Frank. My father's 
plans are now fixed ; you will see him at Kintbury 
on Friday, and, unless inconvenient to you, we are 
to see you both here on Monday, the 1st of June 



*fw 



1801 LETTEKS OF JAXE AUSTEN. 291 

Frank haa an mvitation to Mllgate, which I believe 
he means to accept. 

Our party at Ly. Fust's was made up of the same 
set of people that you Iiave ah^ady heard of — the 
Winslnnes, Mrs. Chaniberlayoe, Mrs. Busby, Mra. 
Franklyn, and Mrs. Maria Somerville ; yet I tliink 
it was not quite so stupid as the two preceding 
parties here. 

Tiie friendship between Mrs. Chamberlayne and 
me wliich you predicted has ah-eady taken place, 
for we sliake hands whenever we meet. Our grand 
walk to Weston was again fixed for yesterday, 
«nd was accomplished in a very striking manner. 
Every one of the party declined it under some 
pretence or other except our two selves, and we 
had therefore a tcle-a-tete, but that we should 



292 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1801 

nothing, and crossing the churchyard at Weston 
with as much expedition as if we were afraid of 
being buried aHve. After seeing what she is 
equal to, I cannot help feeling a regard for her 
As to agreeableness, she is much like other people* 
Yesterday evening we had a short call from 
two of the Miss Arnolds, who came from Chippen* 
ham on business. They are very civil, and not too 
genteel, and upon hearing that we wanted a hoUse^ 
recommended one at Chippenham. 

This morning we have been visited again by 
Mrs. and Miss Holder ; they wanted us to fix an 
evening for drinking tea with them, but my 
mother's still remaining cold allows her to decline 
everything of the kind. As 1 had a separate in- 
vitation, however, I believe I shall go some after- 
noon. It is the fashion to think them both very 
detestable, but they are so civil, and their gowns 
look so white and so nice (which, by the bye, my 
aunt thinks an absurd pretension in this place), 
that I cannot utterly abhor them, especially as Miss 
Holder owns that she has no taste for music. 

After they left us I went with my mother to help 
look at some houses in New King Street, towards 
which she felt some kind of inclination, but their 
size has now satisfied her. They were smaller than 



".^SSMMM^HP* 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



293 



I expected to find tbcm ; one in particular out of 
the two was quite monstrously little ; the best of 
the sitting-roome not so large as the little parlour 
at Stcventon, and the second room In every floor 
, about capacious cnougli to admit a very nnall 
single bed. 

We arc to have a tiny party here to-night. I 
hate tiny parties, tliey force one into constaut 
exertion. Miss Ilxlwards and her father, Mrs. 
Busby and Iier nephew, Mr. Maitland, and Mrs. 
Lillingstone are to be the wliole ; and I am pre- 
vented from setting my black cap at Mr. Maitlaod 
by his having a wife and ten children. 

My aunt lias a very bad cough — do not foi^t 
to have heard about that when you come — and 
I think she is deafer than ever. My mother's cold 
disordered her for some days, but she seems now 



294 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1801 

early death has been praised into an angel, I be* 
lieve, on slighter pretensions to beauty, sense, and 
merit than Marianne. 

Mr. Bent seems bent upon being very detest* 
able, for lie values the books at only 70/. The 
whole world is in a conspiracy to enrich one part 
of our family at the expense of another. Ten 
shillings for Dodsley's Poems, however, please me 
to the quick, and I do not care how often I sell 
them for as mucrh. When Mrs. Bramston has read 
them through I will sell them again. I suppose 
you can hear nothing of your magnesia ? 

Friday. — ^You have a nice day for your journey,, 
in whatever way it is to be performed, whether in 
the Debary*s coach or on your own twenty toes. 

Wlien you have made Martha's bonnet you 
must make her a cloak of the same sort of mate* 
rials ; they are very much worn here, in different 
forms — many of them just like her black silk 
spencer, with a trimming round the armholea 
instead of sleeves ; some are long before, and some 
long all round, like C. Bigg's. Our party last night 
supplied me with no new idea for my letter. 

Yours ever, J. A. 

The nckfords are in Bath, and have called 



leOl LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 395 

licrc. Slie is tlic moat eleyant-looking woman I 
hnvc seen Bincc I left Martha ; he ia &a rafGsh in 
liin appearance as I would wish every disciple of 
Godwin to be. We drink tea to-nigbt with Hra. 
Busby. I scandalised her nephew cruelly; he has 
but tlircc children instead of ten. 
Best love to everybody. 

Mi»a Auflten, tho HeT. F. O. Fowlo'i, 
Kinlbury, Newbury. 



1805 

TiiK thirty-third letter begins with an account 
of n visit to Eastwell Park, where lived George 
Hatton and his wife, Lady Ehzabeth [n^e Murray). 
The two boys, George and Daniel, to whom refer- 




290 LKTTKItS OK JANK AUSTEN. IdOft 

died unmarried. Goodncatono Foriiii to which tlio 
first letter was written, and from wliich Jano 
afterwards writes, is a comfortable house very 
near the great house, wliich has generally been 
inhabited as a dower house or by some younger 
member of the Bridges family, to whom it belongs. 
^ Ilarriot ' means Harriet Bridges, as this was the 
year before she married Mr. Moore. It will be 
noticed that Jane always hos a good word 
for her when she speaks of her, which, considering 
the freedom of her general remarks upon her 
acquaintance, is a high testimony to character, 
which was doubtless deserved. It must be admitted 
that my beloved great-aunt was a careless speller. 
She invariably spells * niece ' * neice ' in these letters, 
and in that now before me she spells Lady Bridges* 
name ^Brydges* twice, wliich I note to remark 
that the Goodnestone family spell their name with 
an * i,' the Wootton family with a *y,' which makes 
a diflerence, though I cannot describe it in the 
same terms as Mr. Justice Haliburton (Sam Slick) 
once used to me in the House of Commons^ when, 
having occasion to write his name, I asked him if 
I should spell it with one * T or two. * Sir,' he 
replied, * on no account with more than one ; tkerg 



nvi 



]8on LnTTfins or jam: austhx. 297 

w nn "I" of n dijfirmre.' TIio Knntiilibulli who 
are inentioncd ns liaving ittaycd at Gixlmorsham at 
this time were Captain Cliarlca KimtclibuU, B.N., 
son of Wadham KnatchbuU, Chancellor ami Pre- 
boiidary of Durham, wlio had married liis cousin 
Francos, only daiiglitcr and heiress of Major Norton 
Knatchbiill (yoiin;^cst son of the fourth Uatch 
Imronet), of Itabiiigton, Somersetshire, which place 
Captain Charles now posaeesod in riglit of liis wife. 
The Diikc of Gloiincftter, whose death put oil 
the Deal ball, was tlic brother of Kinp: Ocorgo the 
Tliinl, who died in liis C2d year. At the time uf 
his death he commanded a regiment of Guards, 
and was Warden and Kccj>cr of the New Forest, 
Ranger of Windsor Forest and of Hamjiton Court 
Park, and Clianccllor of Dublin University, 




298 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1806* 

xxxm. 

Oodmwtham Fuk : SatiiidAy (August 24). 

Mr DEAR Cassandra, 

How do you do ? and how is Harriot's cold P 
I hope you arc at this time sitting down to answer 
these questions. 

Our visit to Eastwell was very agreeable; I 
found Ly. Gordon's manners as pleasing as they had 
been described, and saw nothing to dislike in Sir 
Janison, excepting once or twice a sort of sneer 
at Mrs. Anne Ilnch. He was just getting into talk 
with Elizabeth as the carriage was ordered, but 
during the first part of the visit he said very 
little. 

Your going with Harriot was highly approved 
of by every one, and only too much applauded as 
an act of virtue on your part. I said all I could 
to lessen your merit. The Mrs. Finches were 
afraid you would find Ooodnestone very dull ; I 
wished when I heard them say so that they could 
have heard Mr. E. Bridges's solicitude on the 
subject, and have known all the amusements that 
were planned to prevent it. 

They were very civil to me, as they always are ; 
Fortune was also very civil to me in placing Mr. 



iV 




cioriuenre lies m iier 
fluently liarinoiiious. 

George ia a fine bo} 
Baniel chiefly delighted i 
his countenance is quite hi 
had a cribbage-tablc, and'h 
of liis brother and Mrs. Ma 
only person there, besides o\ 

It was considerably [>ast 
at home, and I was so tired 
those who were at Ly. Ya 
wishes for its being a pleasa 
successful. 

Yesterday was a very qu 
noisiest eflbrts were writing ti 
at battledore and shuttlecoc 
and I have practised togethe: 
improve a little; we have f 
Arte times, and once or twic* 

The * — "" 



300 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1805 

Fanny was met walking with Miss Sharp and Miss 
MiUes, the happiest being in the world ; she sent a 
private message to her mamma implying as much. 
* Tell mamma tliat I am quite Palmerstone I ' If 
little Lizzy used the same language she would, I 
daresay, send the same message from Gk)odnestonc. 

In the evening we took a quiet walk round the 
farm, with Oeorge and Henry to animate us by 
tlieir races and merriment. Little Edward is by 
no means better, and his papa and mamma have 
determined to consult Dr. Wilmot. Unless he 
recovers his strength beyond what is now pro- 
bable, his brothers will return to school without 
him, and he will be of the party to Worthing. If 
sea-bathing should be recommended he will be left 
there with us, but this is not thought likely to 
happen. 

I have been used very ill tliis morning : I have 
received a letter from Frank which I ought to 
have had when Elizabeth and Henry had theirs, 
and which in its way from Albany to Godmersham 
has been to Dover and Steventon. It was finished 
on ye I6th, and tells what theirs told before as to 
his present situation ; he is in a great hurry to be 
married, and I have encouraged him in it, in the 
letter which ought to have been an answer to 



LETTEES OF JAKE AUSTEN. 



801 



He must think it very strange that I do not 
acknowledge the receipt of his, when I speak 
of those of the same date to Eliz. and Henry ; 
and to add to my injuries, I forgot to number mine 
on the outside. 

I have found your white mittens ; they were 
folded up within my clean nightcap, and send their 
duty to you. 

Elizabeth has this moment proposed a scheme 
which will be very much for my pleasure if equally 
convenient to the otlier party; it is that when you 
return on Monday, I should take your place at 
Goodnestone for a few days. Harriot cannot be 
insincere, let her try for it ever so much, and there- 
fore I defy her to accept tiiis self-invitation of mine, 
unless it l)e really what perfectly suits her. Aa 



302 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1805 

bs. for every lesson to Sace, allowing nothing for 
the pleasures of his visit here, for meat, drink, and 
lodging, the benefit of country air, and the charms 
of Mrs. Salkeld*s and Mrs. Sace's society.^ Towards 
me he was as considerate as I had hoped for 
from my relationship to you, charging me only 
2$. M. for cutting my hair, though it was as 
thoroughly dressed after being cut for Eastwell as 
it had been for the Ashford assembly. He cer- 
tainly respects either our youth or our poverty. 

My writing to you to-day prevents Elizabeth 
writing to Harriot, for which evil I implore the 
latter's pardon. Give my best love to her, and 
kind remembrance to her brothers. 

Tours very affectionately, 

J. A. 

You are desired to bring back with you Henry's 
picture of Bowling for tlie Misses Finches. 

As I find, on looking into my affairs, that instead 
of being very rich I am likely to be very poor, I 
cannot afford more than ten shillings for Sackree ; 
but as we are to meet in Canterbury I need not 
have mentioned this. It is as well, however, to 
prepare you for the sight of a sister sunk in 
poverty, that it may not overcome your spirits. 

> Hit GodMRhM hooMkMpv tad IdlyVMld. 



I fll 



Miu AuaUn, OoodoHtone Fun 



OoodoMtoiM 

Ifr DBAS Cassandra, 

We had a vary pleasant 
and reached thU place abou 
seemed to bid fair for a pu 
but scenes of great agitation 
was much to be endured and 
sit down to table. 

Harriot found a letter i 
desiring to know if she and 
be at the ball at Deal on Fr 
the Eastwell family bad somt 
And were to make use of Ron 
while I was dressing she cami 
letter in her hand, in great 
irom Captain Woodford, conta 



304 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1805 

The offer of a ticket for this grand ball, with 
an invitation to come to her house at Dover before 
and after it, was Lady Forbes's message. Harriot 
was at first very little inclined, or rather totally 
disinclined, to profit by her ladyship's attention ; 
but at length, after many debates, she was per- 
suaded by me and herself together to accept the 
ticket. The offer of dressing and sleeping at 
Dover she determined on Marianne's account to 
decline, and her plan is to be conveyed by Lady 
Elizabeth Hatton. 

I hope their going is by this time certain, and 
will be soon known to be so. I think Miss H. 
would not have written such a letter if she had 
not been all but sure of it, and a little more. I am 
anxious on the subject, from the fear of being in 
the way if they do not come to give Harriot a 
conveyance. I proposed and pressed being sent 
home on Thursday^ to prevent the possibility of 
being in the wrong place, but Harriot would not 
hear of it. 

There is no chance of tickets for the Mr. 
Bridgeses, as no gentlemen but of the garrison are 
invited. 

With a civil note to be fabricated to Lady 
Fm and an answer written to Ifiss H., you will 



- I^J.LB.IL. 



180S LETTERS OF JAXE AHOTEN. 806 

easily believe tl\at we could not begin diimer till 
six. We were agreeably surprised by Edward 
Bridges'e company to it. He had been, strange to 
tell, too late for the cricket match, too late nl least 
to play himself, and, not being asked to dine with 
the players, came home. It is impossible to do 
justice to the hospitality of his attentions towards 
inc ; he made a point of ordering toasted cheese 
for supper entirely on my account. 

We had a very agreeable evening, and here I 
am before breakfast writing to you, having got up 
between six and seven ; Lady Brydgea's room OtUSt 
be good for early rising. 

Mr. Sankey was here last night, and found liis 
patient better, but I have heard from a maid- 
servant thatalie has had but an indifferent night. 

Tell Elizabeth that I did not gi?e her letter to 



806 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. IdCV^ 

Harriot la constrwicd to give up all hope of 
seeing Edward here to fetch me, as I soon recol- 
lected that Mr. and Mrs. Charles Enatchbull's being 
at Oodmersham on Thursday must put it out of the 
question. 

Ilad I waited till after breakfast, the chief of 
all this might have been spared. Tlie Duke of 
01oucester*s death sets my heart at ease, though 
it will cause some dozens to ache. Harriot's is not 
among the number of the last ; she is very well 
pleased to be spared the trouble of prepara- 
tion. She joins me in best love to you all, and will 
write to Elizabeth soon. I shall be very glad to 
hear from you, that we may know how you all are^ 
especially the two Edwards. 

I have asked Sophie if she has anything to say 
to lizzy in acknowledgment of the little bird, 
and her message is that, with her love, she is 
very glad Lizzy sent it. She volunteers, moreover, 
her love to little Marianne, with the promise of 
bringing her a doll the next time she goes to 
Godmeniham. 

John is just come from Ramsgate, and brings a 
good account of the people there. He and his 
brother, you know, dine at Nackington ; we are to 
dinfe at four, that we may walk afterwards. As it 



ie05 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. SOT 

is now two, aud Harriot lias letters to write, ve 
shall probably not get out before. 

Yours aflecttonately, 
J. A. 

Three o'clock. — Harriot is just come from 
Marianne, and thinks lier upon the whole better. 
The sicknesa has not returned, and a headache is 
at present her ciiief complaintj which Henry at- 
tributes to the sickness. 



Him Auaten, Edward Aasten's, Esq. 

OodmenhLm Pkrk, Fivenhkm. 



XXXV. 

Qoodnutone Farm ; Fridaj (Aiig:nit SO). 

Mr DEAR Cassaxbba, 

I have determined on staying here till Monday. 



308 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1606 

Tuesday if Monday should be wet. Harriot has 
this moment desired me to proi>080 his coming 
hither on Monday, and taking mo back the next day. 

The purport of Elizabeth's letter makes mo 
anxious to hear more of what we are to do and 
not to do, and I hope you will he able to write mo 
your own plans and opinions to-morrow. The 
Journey to London is a point of the first expe- 
diency, and I am glad it is resolved on, though it 
teems likely to injure our Worthing scheme. I 
expect that u^ are to be at Sandling, while they are 
in town. 

It gives us great pleasure to hear of little 
Edward's being better, and we imagine, from his 
mama's expressions, that he is expected to be well 
enough to return to school with his brothers. 

Marianne was equal to seeing me two days ago ; 
wo sat with her for a couple of hours before 
dinner, and the same yesterday, when she was evi- 
dently better, more equal to conversation, and more 
cheerful than during our first visit She received 
me very kindly, and expressed her regret in not 
having been able to see you. 

She is, of course, altered since we saw her in 
October, 1794. Eleven years could not pass away 
«ven in health without making some change, but 



180.-, LinTEnS OF JAXE AUSTEN. SOD 

in licr C.1NC it is wonderful that the change should 
bo so little. I have not seen licr to advantage, as 
I iiiideiNtand she has frequently a nice colour, and 
liLT rniiiplGxion him not yet recovered from the 
ctluctN of licr liitu illiicHH. Iler face is grown longer 
iiiid thinner, and her features more marked, and 
the likeness which I rcnicnihor to have always 
Been between lier find Catherine Higg Im stronger 
than ever, and so striking is the voice and manner 
of speaking that I seem to be really hearing 
Catherine, and once or twice liavc been on the 
point of calling Harriot * Alcthca.' She le very 
pleasant, cheerful, and interested in everything' 
abont her, and at tlio same time shows a thought- 
fid, considerate, and decided turn of mind. 

Edward Jlridges dined at iiome yesterday ; the 




310 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEX. 18(NS 

Next week seems likely to be an unpleasant 
one to this family on the matter of game. The 
evil intentions of the Guards are certain, and the 
gentlemen of the neighbourhood seem unwilling to 
come forward in any decided or early support of 
their rights. Edward Bridges has been trying to 
arouse their spirits, but without success. Mr. 
Hammond^ under the influence of daughters and 
an expected ball, declares he will do nothing. 

Harriot hopes my brother will not mortify her 
by resistmg all her plans and refusing all her invi- 
tations; she has never yet been successful with 
him in any, but she trusts he will now make 
her all the amends in his power by coming on 
Monday. She thanks Elizabetli for her letter, and 
you may be sure is not less solicitous than myself 
for her going to town. 

Fray say everything kind for us to Miss 8harpe» 
who could not regret the shortness of our meeting 
in Canterbury more than we did. I hope she re- 
turned to Gkxlmersham as much pleased with Mrs. 
Knight's beauty and Miss Milles's judicious remarks 
as those ladies respectively were with hers. You 
must send me word that you have heard from Miss 
Irvine. 

I had almost forgot to thank you for your 



1805 LliTTKRS OF JANE AUSTEN. 311 

letter. I am glad you recommended 'Giaborue,' for 
liaving begun, I am pleased with it, and I bad 
quite determined not to read it. 

I suppose everybody will be black for the D. of 
G. Must we buy lace, or will ribbon do? 

We shall not be at Worthing so soon aa we 
have been used to talk of, shall we? This will be- 
no evil to U9, and we are sure of my mother and 
Martha being happy together. Do not forget to 
write to Charles. As I am to return so soon, we 
shall not send the pincushions. 

Yours affectionately, J. A. 

You continue,! suppose, taking liartshom, and 
I hope with good effect. 




312 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. ISOT 

tions in Castle Square. There is little to observe 
in the rest of the letter, although one is glad to 
find that Captain Foote was not put out of temper 
by having to eat underdone mutton, and that Mrs. 
Austen's finances were in a satisfactory condition 
at the commencement of the new year. 

* Clarentine ' is, of course, Miss S. S. Bumey's 
work, which other people besides Jane have thought 
* foolish.' It is a novel of the most ordinary 
description, and not one which she would have 
been likely to approve. There is a playful allusion 
in these letters to the chance of Martha Lloyd's 
marriage ; Jane could not foresee that this event 
would be delayed until her own brother Frank 
sought the lady's affection many years later. 



SovUiamptoa : WedsMday (Juraaiy 7). 

Mr DEAR Cabbandra, 

You were mistaken in supposing I should ex- 
pect your letter on Sunday ; I had no idea of hear- 
ing from you before Tuesday, and my pleasure 
yesterday was therefore unhurt by any previous dis- 
appointment \' thank you for writing so much ; 



fCBm 



Lf:TTERS OF JAXE AUSTEN, 



313 



you must really liave sent me the value of two 
letters ill one. We arc extremely glad to hear 
tliat Eljzabetli is so much better, and hope you will 
be sensible of still further amendment in her when 
you return from Canterbury. 

Of your visit there I must now speak ' in- 
cessantly ; ' it surprises, but pleases nie more, and I 
consider it as a very just and honourable distinc- 
tion of you, and not less to the credit of Mrs. 
Kuight. I have no doubt of your spending your 
time with her most pleasantly in quiet and rational 
conversation, and am so far from thinking her ex- 
pectations of you will be deceived, that my only 
fear ie of your being so agreeable, so much to her 
taste, as to make lier wish to keep you mth her for 
ever. If that should be the case, we must remove 
to Canterbui-j', which I should not like so well as 




314 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1807 

has invited my mother to spend there the time of 
Mrs. F. A.'s confinement, which she seems half 
inclined to do. 

A few days ago I had a letter from Miss Irvine, 
and as I was in lier debt, you will guess it to be a 
remonstrance, not a very severe one, however ; tlie 
first page is in her usual retrospective, jealous, in- 
consistent style, but the remainder is chatty and 
harmless. She supposes my silence may have pro- 
ceeded from resentment of her not having written 
to inquire particularly after my hooping cough, 
&c. She is a funny one. 

I have answered her letter, and have endea- 
voured to give something like the truth with as 
little incivility as I could, by placing my silence to 
the want of subject in the very quiet way in which 
we live. Phebe has repented, and stays. I have 
also written to Charles, and I answered Miss BuUer's 
letter by return of post, as I intended to tell you 
in my last 

Two or three things I recollected when it was 
too late, that I might have told you ; one is, that 
the Welbys have lost their eldest son by a putrid 
fever at Eton, and another that Tom Chute is going 
to settle in Norfolk. 

You have sparcely ever mentioned Lizzy since 



:TSSSWsanr^^!rmmmamm 



LKTTERS OF JAXE AUSTEN. 



316 



your being sit Godmersiiaui. I hope it is not be- 
cause she is nlteroi! for the worse. 

I cannot yet satisfy Fanny as to Mrs. Foote's 
baby's niune, iind I must not encourage her to ex- 
jM;i:t a pood one, as Captain Foote is a professed 
-adversary to all but the plainest ; he hkes only 
Mary, Elizabctli, Anne, &c. Our best chance is of 
' Caroline,' which in compliment to a sister seems 
the only exception. 

He dined with us on Friday, and I fear will not 
soon venture again, for the strength of our dinner 
was a boiled leg of mutton, underdone even for 
James ; and Captain Footc has a particular dis- 
like to underdone mutton ; but he was so good- 
humoured and pleasant that I did not much mind 
Ilia being Bt.irved. lie gives us all the most cor- 




816 LETTERS OF JANE AU8TEX. 1807 

correspondent wanted; and she means to defer 
making any of the caps as long as she can, in hope 
of having Mrs. D.'s present in time to be serviceable 
as a pattern. She desires me to tell ydu that the 
gowns were cut out before your letter arrived^ 
but that they are long enough for Caroline. Tho 
Becb^ as I believe they are called, have fallen to 
Frank's share to continue, and of course are cut 
out to admiration. 

* Alphonfdne ' did not do. We were disgusted in 
twenty pages, as, independent of a bad translation, 
it has indelicacies which disgrace a pen hitherto 
80 pure ; and we changed it for the * Female Qui* 
zotte,' which now makes our evening amusement ; 
to me a very high one, as I find the work quite 
equal to what I remembered it. Mrs. F. A., to 
whom it is new, enjoys it as one could wish ; the 
other Mary, I believe, has little pleasure from that 
or any other book. 

My- mother does not seem at all more dis- 
appointed than ourselves at the termination of the 
family treaty ; she thinks less of that just now than 
of the comfortable state of her own finances, which 
she finds on closing her year's accounts beyond her 
expectation, as she begins the new year with a 
balance of 80iL in her favour ; and when she has 



LETTERS OF JANE AtraXEN. 



317 



written her answer to my aunt, whicli you know 
always hangs a little upon lier mind, she will be 
above the M'orld entirely. You will have a groat 
deal of unreserved discourse witli Mrs. K., I dare 
say, upon this subject, as well as upon many otlitir 
of our family matters. Abuse everybody but tnc. 
Thxtrvday — We expected Jamce yesterday, but 
he did not come ; - if he comes at all now, his 
visit will be a very short one, as he must return 
to-morrow, that Ajax and the cliair may be Bcnb 
to Winchester on Saturday. Caroline's new peliase 
depended upon her motlier's being able or iioC to 
come 80 far in the chair ; how the guinea that wiQ 
be saved by the same means of return is to be 
spent I know not. Mrs. J. A. does not talk much 
of poverty now, tliough she has no hope of my 
brother's being able to buy another horse next 



818 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. ISOT 

and each party feels quite equal to our present ex* 
penses; but much increase of house-rent would 
not do for either. Frank limits himself, I believe, 
to four hundred a year. 

You will be surprised to hear that Jenny is not 
yet come back ; we have heanl notliing of her since 
her reaching Itchingswell, and can only suppose 
that she must be detained by illness in somebody 
or other, and that she has been each day expecting 
to be able to come on the morrow. I am glad I 
did not know beforehand that she was to be absent 
during the whole or almost the whole of our 
friends being with us, for though the inconve- 
nience has not been nothing, I should have feared 
still more. Our dinners have certainly suflcred 
not a little by having only Molly's head and Molly's 
hands to conduct them ; she fries better than she 
did, but not like Jenny. 

We did not take our walk on Friday, it was too 
dirty, nor have we yet done it ; we may perhaps 
do something like it to-day, as after seeing Frank 
skate, which he hopes to do in Uie meadows by the 
beech, we are to treat ourselves with a passage 
over die ferry. It is one of the pleasantest frosts 
I ever knew, so very quiet. I hope it will last 
some time longer for Frank's sake, who is quito 



LETTEItS OF JANE ADSTEN. 



SIO 



anxious to get some skating ; he tried yesterday, 
but it Tvould not do. 

Our acquaintance increase too fast. lie was 
recognised lately by Admiral Bertie, and a few 
days since arrived the Admiral and his daughter 
Catherine to wait upon ue. Tlicro was nothing to 
like or dislike in either. To the Bcrtics are to be 
added tiie Lances, with whose cards we have been 
endowed, and whoso visit Frank and I returned 
yesterday. They live about a mile and three- 
rjunrlers from S. to the right of the new road to 
Portsmouth, and I believe their house is one of 
those which are to be seen almost anywhere among 
the woods on the other side of the lichen. It is 
a handsomo building, stands high, and in a very 
beautiful situation. 

We found only Mrs. Lance at home, and whether 



820 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTKN. 1807 

A liandiiomc stylo and ore rich, and she sccincd to 
like to be rich, and wc gave her to understand that 
we were fur from bein};; so ; she will soon feel there* 
fore that we are not worth her acquaintance. 

You must have heard from Martha by this 
tune. We have had no accounts of Kintbury smce 
her letter to me. 

Mrs. F. A. has had one fainting fit lately ; it 
came on as usual after eating a hearty dinner, but 
did not last long. 

I can recollect nothing more to say. When my 
fetter is gone, I suppose I shall. 

Yours aflectionately, J. A. 

I have just asked Caroline if I should send her 
love to her godmama, to which she answered 
•Yes." 

Mlat AMtoiii Qodmsnlisfli JMl^ 
Fsvwriuuiv Kaot 

xxxvn. 

SovtlMBipCoat Ftbrisija. 
My DEAREST CaSSAKDRA, 

My expectation of having nothing to say to 
you after the conclusion of my last seems nearer 
truth than I thought it would bcifor I feel to have 



m 



T>nTi:u3 or jank au«te». 



831 



but little. I need not, therefore, bo above acknow- 
ledging tlio receipt of youra tliis nioniing, or of 
replying to every part of it wliich ie capable of an 
answer, and you may acconlingly prepare for my 
nn<,'iiig tlio changes of the glads and sorrys for tho 
Test of tlic page. 

Unluckily, however, I see QOtliing to bo glad of, 
unless I make it a matter of joy that Mra. Wylraot 
has another son, and tliat Lord Lucnu has taken a 
mistress, both of wliirh events are, of course, joyful 
to the actore ; but to l>c sorry I find many occa- 
sions. The first is, that your return a to be 
delayed, and wlicther I over get beyond the firBt 
ie doubtful. It is no use to lament. I never 
heard that even Queen Mary's lamentation did her 
any good, and I could not, therefore, expect benefit 
from mine. We arc all sorry, and now that Bubjoet 



J 



322 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1807 

80 apprehensive of farther detention, that, if nothing 
eke occurs to create it, I cannot help thinking she 
will marry Peter Debary. 

It vexed me that I could not get any fish for 
Kintbury while their family was large, but so it 
was ; and till last Tuesday I could procure none. 
I then sent them four pair of small soles, and 
should be glad to be certain of their arriving in 
good time, but I have heard nothing about them 
since, and had rather hear nothing than evil. They 
cost six shillings, and as they travelled in a basket 
which came from Kintbury a few days before with 
poultry, &c., I insist upon treating you with the 
booking, whatever it may be. Tou are only eighteen 
pence in my debt. 

Mrs. E. Leigh did not make the slightest allu- 
sion to my uncle's business, as I remember telling 
you at the time, but you shall have it as often as 
you like. My mother wrote to her a week ago. 

Martha's rug is just finished, and looks well, 
though not quite so well as I had hoped. I see 
no £Eiult in the border, but the middle is dingy. 
My mother desires me to say that she will knit one 
for you as soon as you retiun to choose the colours 
and pattern. 

I am sorry I have aflronted yt>u on the subject 



r 



■■■ 



iBff LETTERS OF JANE AOSTEN. 323 

of Mr. Moore, but I do not mean ever to like 
him ; and as to pitying a young woman merely 
because she cannot live in two places at tl»c same 
time, and at once enjoy tbe comforts of being 
married and single, I ehall not attempt it, even 
for Harriet. You Eee I have a spirit as well as 
yourself. 

Frank and Mary cannot at all approve of your 
not being at home iu time to help thein in Uieir 
finishing purchases, and desire me to say that, if 
you are not, they will be as spiteful a^ possible, 
and choose everything in tlie style most likely to 
vex you — knives thr.t will not cut, glasses that will 
not hold, a sofa without a seat, and a bookcue 
without shelves. 

Our garden is putting in order by a man who 



824 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1807 

berry bnsbes, and a spot is found very proper for 
raspberries. 

The alterations and improvements within doors, 
too, advance very properly, and the offices will be 
made very convenient indeed. Our dressing table 
is constructing on the spot, out of a large kitchen 
table belonging to the house, for doing which we 
have the permission of Mr. Husket, Lord Lans- 
down's painter— domestic painter, I should caU 
him, for he lives in the castle. Domestic chaplains 
have given way to this more necessary office, and 
I suppose whenever the walls want no toucliing up 
he is employed about my lady's face. 

The morning was so wet that I was afraid we 
should not be able to see our little visitor, but 
Frank, who alone could go to church, caUed for 
her after service, and she is now talking away at 
my side and examining the treasures of my writing- 
desk drawers — very happy, I believe. Not at all 
shy, of course. Her name is Catherine, and . her 
sister's Caroline. She is something like her 
brother, and as short for her age, but not so weUr 
looking. 

What is become of all the shyness in the world ? 
Moral as well as natural diseases disappear in the 
progress of time, and new ones take their place* 



1807 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN, 326 

Shyness and the sweating sickness Lave given way 
to confidence and paralytic complaints. 

I am sorry to hear of Mrs. Whitfield's increas- 
ing ilhiess, and of poor Marianne Bridges having 
juffered so much ; these are some of my oorrowB ; 
and tliat Mrs. Decdes is to have another child I 
suppose I may lament. 

The death of Mrs. W. K. we had seen. I had 
00 idea that anybody liked her, and therefore felt 
notliing for any survivor, but I am now feeUng 
away on her iiusband's account, and think he had 
better marry Miss Sharpe. 

I have tiiis instant made my present, and have 
the pleasure of seeing it smiled over with genuine 
jatisfaction. I am sure I may, on tliie occasion, 
3all Kitty Foote, as Hastings did H. Egerton, my 



826 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1807 

benefaction from the family of Knight to that of 
Austen. 

But I must tell you a story. Mary has for 
some time had notice from Mrs. Dickson of the 
intended arrival of a certain TAias Fowler in this 
place. Miss F. is an intimate friend of Mrs. D., 
and a good deal known as such to Mary. On 
Thursday last she caUed. here while we were out. 
Mary found, on our return, her card with only her 
name on it, and she had left word that she would 
call again. The particularity of this made us talk» 
and, among other conjectures, Frank said in joke» 
^ I dare say she is staying with the Pearsons.' The 
connection of the names struck Mary, and she 
immediately recollected Miss Fowler's having been 
very intimate with persons so called, and, upon 
putting everything together, we have scarcely a 
doubt of her being actually staying with the only 
family in the place whom we cannot visit. 

What a contretemps I in the language of 
France. What an unluckiness I in that of Madame 
Duval. The black gentleman has certainly em-r 
ployed one of his menial imps to bring about 
this complete, though trifling, mischief. liGss F. 
has never caUed again, but we are in daily ex* 
pectation of it Miss P. has, of course, given her 



We shall rejoice in bt 
when Edward belongs to 
our spare bed filled more 
by him. Does he leave Elt 

We are reading ' Clareh 
to find bow. fooliah it ia. 
much leaa on a second readii 
it does not bear a third at 
natural conduct and force> 
striking merit of any kind. 

Miss Harrison is going ii 
tend Mrs. Dusantoj, aa usua 
to young Mr. G., and is to b 
swears, drinks, is cross, jealoi 
The match makes her famil; 
occasioned his being disinheri 
. The Browns are added to 
ance. He commands the Sea 
Sir Thomas, and was introdu 



828 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1807 

but she is a nice-looking woman, and wears one of 
the prettiest straw bonnets in the place. 

Monday. — The garret beds are made, and ours 
will be finished to-day. I had hoped it would be 
finished on Saturday, but neither Mrs. Hall nor 
Jenny was able to give help enough for that, and 
I have as yet done very little, and Mary nothing 
at aU. This week we shall do more, and I should 
like to have all the five beds completed by the end 
of it. There will then be the window curtains, 
sofa-cover, and a carpet to be altered. 

I should not be surprised if we were to be 
visited by James again this week; he gave us 
reason to expect him soon, and if they go to 
Eversley he cannot come next week. 

There, I flatter myself I have constructed you 
a smartish letter, considering my want of materials, 
but, like my dear Dr. Johnson, I believe I have 
dealt more in notions than facts. 

I'hope your cough is gone and that you are 
otherwise well, and remain, with love. 

Yours aflectionately, J. A. f 

Wm AwtflB, QodflNnham Park, 



np 



■will. It ia believed at TunI 
everything after the death c 
Aiuten's third »n John; i 
■WM the only one of the fai 
ftneral, it seems likely to be 
-wealth can never prosper. 

I really have very little 
do not feel as if I should spn 
•how of much. I am incline 
Mary will be obliged to y. 
often Elizabeth nurses her b 
twenty-four hours, how oftei 
what; you need not trouble 
result of your observations, 
«arly enough for the comu 
You are recommended to biin 
•eeds Sx>m Oodmenham, par 
seed. 

My mother has heard this 



830 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1807 

fered ever since their return, and she has herself a 
cough much worse than any she ever had before^ 
subject as she has always been to bad ones. She 
writes in good humour and cheerful spirits, how- 
ever. The negotiation between them and Adlestrop 
so happily over, indeed, what can have power to 
vex her materially ? 

Elliston, she tells us, has just succeeded to a 
considerable fortune on the death of an uncle. I 
would not have it enough to take htm from the 
stage ; she should quit her business, and live with 
him in London. 

We could not pay our visit on Monday ; the 
weather altered just too soon, and we have since 
had a touch of almost everything in the weather 
way ; two of the severest frosts since the winter 
b^an, preceded by rain, hail, and snow. Now we 
are smiling again. 

Saturday — I have received your letter, but I 
suppose you do not expect me to be gratified by 
its contents. I confess myself much disappointed 
by this repeated delay of your return, for though 
I had pretty weU given up all idea of your being 
with us before our removal, I felt sure that March 
would not pass quite away without bringing you. 
Before April Qomes, of course something else will 



: 



ij 

! ;i 



i 






jirai Biiy now, tnat it was a very u 

\ I ilj that I am afraid it must have 

|; ' M ' deal of pain, and that I dare sa 

very comical. 



i ' 



I 



I am obliged to Fanny foi 
Coleman's children, whose name 
ever, quite forgot ; the new one 
Caroline. I have got Mr. Bower 
it came in my aunt's letter. 

You must have had more sno 
than we had here ; on Wednesd 
was a thin covering of it over th 
of the houses, but I do not thii 
left the next day. Everybody use 
says that snow never lies more 
hours near it, and, from what w 
ourselves, it is very true. 

Frank's going into Kent de] 
upon his being unemployed ; but i 



^A 



382 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1807 

flince given away two or three fine ones, he has 
no particular reason to expect an appointment 
now. He^ however, has scarcely spoken about the 
Kentish journey. I have my information chiefly 
from her, and slie considers her own going thither 
as more certain if he should be at sea than if not. 

Frank has got a very bad cough, for an Austen ; 
but it docs not disable him from making very nice 
fringe for the drawing-room curtains. 

Mrs. Day has now got the carpet in hand, and 
Monday I hope will be t]ie last day of her employ- 
ment here. A fortnight afterwards slie is to be 
called again from the shades of her red-checked 
bed in an alley near the end of tlie High Street, 
to clean tlie new house and air the bedding. 

We licar tliat we are envied our house by many 
people, and that tlie garden is tlie best in the town. 
Tliere will be green baize enough for Martha's 
room and ours, not to cover tliem, but to lie over 
the part where it is most wanted, under the dressing 
table. Mary is to have a piece of carpeting for 
the same purpose; my mother says she does not' 
want any, and it may certainly be better done 
without in her rooms than in Martha's and ours, 
from the diflerence of their aspect. 

I recomhieiid Mrs. Grant's letters, as a present 



■ivl 



ll -I 



4uireu lor the book here, 
known. 

I believe / put five breat 
my flounce ; I kuow I found 
I bod expected, and that I i 
tres«ed if I had not bought 
myself to need for the soke 
on which we think so difiereni 
gown will be a veiy neccssa 
and I wish you a pretty ont 
things whenever I am tempte 
nothing of the sort to be seen. 

We arc reading Barrett's 
him dreadfully abusive of pool 
no longer take his part agtun 
years ago. 

Sunday. — This post bos bi 
own aamirance of her cominrr 



884 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1807 

Basingstoke on their return from Eversley, where 
ahe aays they have spent their time very pleasantly. 
She does not own herself in any danger of being 
tempted back again, however, and as she signs by 
her maiden name, we are at least to suppose her 
not married yet 

Tliey must have had a cold visit, but as she 
found it agreeable I suppose there was no want of 
blankets, and we may trust to her sister's taking 
care that her love of many should be known. She 
sends me no particulars, having time only to write 
the needful. 

I wish you a pleasant party to-morrow, and not 
more than you like of Miss Hatton*s neck. Lady B. 
must have been a shameless woman if she named 
H. Hales as within her husband's reach. It is a 
piece of impertinence, indeed, in a woman to 
pretend to fix on any one, as if she supposed it 
could be only ask and have. A Mridower with 
three children has no right to look higher than 
his daughter's governess. 

I am forced to be abudve for want of subject, 
having really nothing to say. When Martha comes 
she will supply me with matter ; I shall have to tell 
you how she likes the housct and what she 
of Maiy. ^ 




Youre al 



Godme„l,.„ at tti, ,; 
<ie«npUo„ of a,3 ^^ 
l^ir reception by tteir 

.'^""^'"dp^lyimpro 



386 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1808 

trees on each side of the principal walk, and added 
it to the shrubberies. The family always walked 
through it on their way to church, leaving the 
shrubberies by a little door in the waU, at the end 
of the private grounds, which brought them out just 
opposite the church. Tlie same improving hand 
planted also a great deal on the other (east) side of 
the river, where was a pretty sort of summer-house 
caUed * The Temple,' built by one of the preceding 
owners of the place. The road at that time ran 
nearer to the house than the present turnpike 
road ; it formerly divided the river from the park, 
and the hill called * the Canterbury Hill ' was also 
planted by my grandfather, and is the plantation 
to which reference is here made. 

* Edward and CSaroline' are James and Mary 
Austen's children — the writer of the * Memoir,' 
who was now nearly ten years old, and his little 
sister. 

The fortieth letter commences with an account 
of a visit to CSanterbury, wherein is a kindly men- 
tion of Mrs. Knight (Catherine Knatchbull) and a 
criticism on Mr. Moore (Harriet Bridges' husband), 
who does not seem to have heea a favourite of 
Jane*s, although she never varies in her affecticmate 




.ivic gratelully acltnowle 
and Jane stayed with lie: 
Wliite Friare liouse. 

' Buckwell ' ia an old- 
longing to the Godmershan 
the Afihford road, within ai 
ging ' of the Ush-pond does i 
Jane, but it is a kind of sp 
fascination of ita own, thou 
that of ' letting the water o 
pond. Tliere are few mc 
than this to schoolboys who 
to have pond-owning fathei 
has to be exercised whilst t 
away is amply rewarded 
become sufficiently reduced 
of the carp and tench spla: 
■ astonishm^"* -* '' 



838 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1806 

mud, and the capture of the fish in small landing 
nets, varied by the eager chase after the eels, 
whose twistings and windings are enough to baffle 
the most experienced holder of eel-tongs, and 
whose capture is the climax of the sport. This, 
however, is not strictly germane to Jane Austen, 
whom I do not suspect of having ever waded after 
eels in her life, and who upon the occasion of the 
present less exciting amusement stayed quietly 
at home. In the same letter the expression : 
* I initiated her into the mysteries of Inmanism ' 
requires explanation. Mrs. Inman was the aged 
widow of a former clergyman at Gk)dmersham, 
who lived at the park-keeper's house (* Old Hills *), 
and it was one of the * treats ' of the Oodmersham 
children to walk up to her with fruit after dessert. 
She was blind, and used to walk about the park 
with a gold-headed walking-stick, and leaning on 
the arm of her faithftd servant Nanny Part She 
died in September 1815. 

* John Bridges,' who had grown * old and black,* 
was Brook John, younger brother of the reigning 
Sir Brook. Strange to say, he married the sister 
of his eldest brother's second wife, Miss Hawley — 
as Bdward^ married the sister of the first wife. 



LETTEBS OF JAKE AUSTEN. 



339 



Misa Foote — a rare example of confidence it) a 
fraternal selection of a family from which to choose 
a partner for life. John Bridges had the curacy 
of Moldash (whicli was attached to the li^'ing of 
Godmersham), and lived some time with his sister 
and brother-in-law, with whose children he was a 
great favourite. He hunted (which was a comtnoo 
qualification with clergymen iu those days), bad 
delicate health, and died in 1812, leaving no 
children. Ilis widow afterwards mfuried Mr. 
Bramston, of Skreens, in Essex. She was the ' Aunt 
Charlotte' of the Godmersham family, and died 
in 1848. 

The forty-first letter mentions 'Mr. KnatchbuU 
of Provender ' as being at the Wliite Friars. Thia 
was my fatlier, aftenvards the Right Hon. Sir 



340 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1806 

channel came into my father's and, ultimately, 
into my possession. * Charles Oraham/ rector of 
Barham, and brother to my grandfather Sir E. 
KnatchbuU's second wife, was always intimate at 
Hatch, as was, in after years, his only son, a most 
popular young man, who was unhappily drowned 
at Oxford whilst an undergraduate of Trinity 
College in that University. The *Lady Knatch- 
buU ' here mentioned was my grandfather's third 
wife Mary Hawkins, co-heiress of Nasli Court, 
near Faversham. Curiously enough tliis property, 
which was sold, has come back to a descendant 
of this lady, one of whose daugliters, Eleanor 
Knatchbull, married the fourth Lord Sondes, and 
the late owner of Nash Court, Ifr. Ladd, lately 
bequeathed it (subject tc the life interest of his 
wife) to one of the younger sons of the fifth Lord 
(now the first Earl) Sondes— his neighbour at Lees 
Court, which adjoins it. 

The Knatchbttlls who * returned into Somerset- 
shire* were the branch of the Hatch family al- 
ready mentioned in the uxth division of letters. 

The Lady Bridges mentioned in the forty- 
second letter was not the then baronet's wife, IGss 
Foote, who had died two years before, but his 



My dear CASSAIfDEA, 

Wliero shall I begin P W 
portant nothings shall I toll ; 
after seven yesterday morning 
our own carriage, and wc drove < 
Hotel ; which, by-thc-byc, had I 
comfortable quartern— very dir 
very ill-provided. James hcQwa 
coach at five. Our first eight 
Deptford Hill brought to my mil 
into Kent fourteen years ago ; 
heath wo suffered nothing, aQ> 
vanced it grew quite cool. At 3 
reached within the two hours i 
we went to the Bull, the same 
breakfasted in that saidjoume] 



842 LKTTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1806 

bourne by tlirce. Daniel was watching for us at 
tlie door of the Ocorge, and I was acknowledged 
very kindly by Mr. and Mrs. Marsliall, to the 
latter of whom I devoted my conversatioui while 
Mary went out to buy some gloves. A few minutes, 
of course, did for Sittingboume ; and so off we 
drove, drove, drove, and by six o'clock were at 
Godmersham. 

Our two brotliers were walking before the 
house as we approaclied, as natural as life. Fanny 
and Lizzy met us in the Ilall with a great deal of 
pleasant joy ; we went for a few minutes into the 
breakfast parlour, and then proceeded to our 
rooms. Mary has the Hall chamber. I am in the 
Yellow room — very literally — for I am writing in 
it at this moment. It seems odd to me to have 
such a great place all to myself, and to be at God- 
mersham witliout you is also odd. 

You are wislied for, I assure you : Fanny, who 
came to me as soon as she had seen her Aunt 
James to her room, and stayed while I dressed, 
was as energetic as usual in her longings for you. ^ 
She is grown both in height and size since last year, 
but not immoderately, looks very well, and seems 
as to conduct and manner just what she was and 
what one could wish her to continue. 



wmmmm 




'""'"■'" look i„i 
-"'O™. after,;. 



844 LBTTEB8 OF JAN£ AUSTEK. 1806 

It has Struck ten; I must go to breakfast 

Since breakfast I have had a tete-fhtete with 
Edward in his room ; he wanted to know James's 
plans and mine, and from what his own now' are 
I tliink it ahrcady nearly certain that I shall return 
when they do, though not with them. Edward 
will be going about the same time to Alton, where 
he has business with Ifr. Trimmer, and where he 
means his son should join him ; and I shall pro* 
bably be his companion to that place, and get on 
afterwards somehow or otiier. 

I should have preferred a rather longer stay 
here certainly, but there is no prospect of any 
later conveyance for me, as he does not mean to 
accompany Edward on Iiis return to Winchester, 
from a very natural unwillingness to leave Eliza* 
beth at that time. I shall at any rate be glad not 
to be obhged to be an incumbrance on Uioee who 
have brought me here, for, as James has no horse, 
I must feel in their carriage that I am taking his 
place. We were rather crowded yesterday, though 
it does not become me to say so, as I and my boa 
were of the party, and it is not to be supposed but 
that a child of three years of age was fidgety. 

I need scarcely beg you to keep all this to 
yourself, leal it should get round by Anna's means. 



mmmm 



/ 



LETTEna OF JANE AUSTEN. 



845 



/ 

^Blie is very kiiiilly inquired after by her fricndB 
* here, who all regret her not coming with her 
father ami motlier. 

I left Ueniy, I ho]ic, free from his tircaomo 
complaint, in other respects well, and tlunldng 
with great pleasure of Cheltenham and Stone* 
Icigh. 

The brewery scheme is quite at an end : at a 
meeting of the subscribers last week it was br 
general, and I believe very hearty, consent dia- 
Bolved. 

The country is very beautiful. I saw as much 
as ever to admire in my yesterday's journey. 

Thursday. — I am glad to find that Anna was 
pleased witli going to Southampton, and ho]W with 
all my heart that the visit may be satisfactory to- 
evervbodv. Tell her that she will hear in a few 



346 LETTERS OF JA2^ AUSTEN. 1806 

thing is kept up by the two brothers being gone 
to Canterbury in the chair. 

I cannot discover, even through Fanny, that 
her mother is fatigued by her attendance on the 
children. I have, of course, tendered my services, 
and when Louisa is gone, who sometimes hears the 
little girls read, will try to be accepted in her 
stead. She will not be here many days longer. 
The Moores are partly expected to dine here to- 
morrow or Saturday. 

I feel rather languid and solitary — ^perhaps be* 
cause I have a cold ; but three years ago we were 
more animated with you and Harriot and Miss 
Sharpe. We shall improve, I dare say, as we 
go on. 

I have not yet told you how the new carriage 
is liked — ^very well, very much indeed, except the 
lining, which does look rather shabby. 

I hear a very bad account of Mrs. Whitefield ; 
a very good one of Mrs. Knight, who goes to 
Broadstairs next month. Miss Sharpe is going 
with Miss Bailey to Tenby. The Widow Kennet 
succeeds to the post of laundress. 

Would you believe it my trunk is come al- 
ready ; and, what completes the wondrous happi- 
ness, nothing is damaged. . I unpacked it all before 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



347 



I went to bed laat night, and wlien I went down 
to breakfast this morning presented the run, 
■which was received most gratefully, and met with 
universal admiration. My frock is also given, and 
kindly accepted. 

Friday. — I Iiave received your letter, and I 
think it gives me nothing to be sorry for but 
Mary'a cold, which I hope is by this time better. 
Her approbation of her child's hat makes me very 
happy. Mrs. J. A. bought one at Gayleard's for 
Caroline, of the same sliape, but brown and with 
a feather. 

X hope Huxham is a comfort to you; t am 
glad you are taking it. I shall probably have an 
opportunity of ginng Ilarriot your message to- 
morrow ; she does not come here, they have not a 
dav to snare, but Louisa and I are to go to her in 



848 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1806 

seems rather surprised at tlie Maitlands drinking 
tea with you, but that does not prevent my ap- 
proving it. I hope you had not a disagreeable 
evening with Miss Austen and her niece. You 
know how interesting the purchase of a sponge* 
cake is to me. 

I am now just returned from E^erton ; Louisa 
and I walked together and found Miss Maria at 
home. Uer sister we met on our way back. She 
had been to pay her compliments to Mrs. Inman, 
whose chaise was seen to cross the park while we 
were at dinner yesterday. 

I told Sackree that you desired to be remem- 
bered to her, which pleased her ; and she sends her 
duty, and wishes you to know that she has been 
into the great world. She went on to town after 
taking William to Eltham, and, as well as myself, 
saw the ladies go to Court on the 4th. She had 
the advantage indeed of me in bemg in the Palace. 

Xouisa is not so handsome as I expected, but she 
is not quite well. Edward and Caroline seem very 
happy here ; he has nice plajrfellows in Lizzy and 
Charles. They and their attendant have the boys' 
attic Anna will not be surprised that the cutting 
off her hair is very much regretted by several of 
the party in this house ; I am tolerably reconciled 



LETTERS OF JANE ADSTEK. 



349 



to it hy considering tliat two or three years may 
restore it again. 

You are very important with your Captain 
Bulinore and Hotel Master, and I trust, if your 
trouble overbalances your dignity on the occasion, 
it will be amply repaid by Mrs. Craven's appro- 
bation, and a pleasant scheme to see her. 

Mrs. Cooke has written to my brother James 
to invite him and his wife to Bookliam in their way 
back, which, as I learn through Edward's means, 
they »re not disinclined to accept, but that my 
being with them would render it impracticable, 
the nature of tlie road affording no conveyance to 
James. I shall therefore make them easy on that 
head as soon as I can. 

I have a great deal of love to give from every- 



850 LETTEKS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1808 

XL. 

OodflMnhAm : Moiidaj ( JaiM 90). 

Mt DEAR Cassandra, 

I will first talk of my visit to Canterbury, as 
Mrs. J. A.'s letter to Anna cannot have given you 
every particular of it which you are likely to wish 
for. I had a most affectionate welcome firom 
Harriot, and was happy to see her looking almost 
as well as ever. She walked with me to call on 
Mrs. Brydges, when Elizabeth and Louisa went to 
Mrs. Milles'. Mrs. B. was dressing, and could not 
see us, and we proceeded to the White Friars, 
where Mrs. K. was alone in her drawing room, as 
gentle, and kind, and friendly as usual. She 
inquired after everybody, especially my mother 
and yourself. We were with her a quarter of an 
hour before Elizabeth and Louisa, hot firom Mrs. 
Baskerville's shop, walked in ; they were soon fol- 
lowed by the carriage, and another five minutes 
brought Mr. Moore himself, just returned firom his 
morning ride. 

Well, and what do I think of Mr. Moore ? I 
win not pretend in one meeting to dislike him, 
whatever Mary may say, but I can honestly assure 
her that I ^eaw nothing in him to admire. Bib 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



351 



manners, as yoii have always said, are gentleman- 
like, but by no means winning. He made one 
formal inquiry after you. 

I saw their httic girl, and very small and %'ery 
]tretty slie is. Her features are as delicate as 
Marj- Jmiu'b, with nice dart eyes ; and if she Iiad 
Marj- Jane's fine colour she would be quite com- 
plete. Harriot's fondness for her seems just what 
is amiable and natural, and not foolish. I saw 
Carohne also, and thought her very plain. 

Edward's plan for Hampshire does not vaiy; 
he only improves it with the kind intention of 
taking me on to Southampton, and spending one 
wliolc day witii you ; and, if it is found practicable, 
Edward, jun., will be added to our party for that 
one day also, which is to be Sunday, the 10th of 




362 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1806 

J. A.'8 going with me one morning, my staying 
the night, and Edward's driving me home the next 
evening. Her very agreeable present will make 
my circumstances quite easy. I shall reserve half 
for my pelisse. I hope by this early return I am 
sure of seeing Catherine and Alethea ; and I pro- 
pose that, either with or without them, you and 
I and Martha shall have a snug fortnight while 
my mother is at Steventon. 

We go on very well here. Mary finds the 
children less troublesome than she expected, and, 
independent of them, there is certainly not much 
to try the patience or hurt the spirits at Godmer- 
sham. I initiated her yesterday into the mysteries 
of Inman-ism. The poor old lady is as thin and 
cheerful as ever, and very thankful for a new 
acquaintance. I had called on her before with 
Elizabeth and Louisa. 

I find John Bridges grown very old and black, 
but his manners are not altered ; he is very pleas- 
ing, and talks of Hampshire with great admiration. 

F^y let Anna have the pleasure of knowing 
that she is remembered with kindness, both by 
Mrs. Cooke and Miss Bharpe. Her manners must 
be very much worsted byyour description of them, 
bat I hope they will improve by this visit 



mi 




leo-l LETTEnS OF JANE AUSTEN. 353 

Mrs. Kiiiglit finished her letter with, 'Give my 
best lovo to CasHaiidra when you write to her.* 
I shall like Bpcnding a day at the White Friars 
very much. 

Wo breakfastetl in the library this morning for 
the first time, and most of the party have been 
complaining all day of the heat ; but Louisa and 
I foel alike as to weather, and are cool and com- 
fortable. 

Wednesday. — The Mooree came yesterday in 
their curricle, between one and two o'clock, and 
innuediatcly after the noonsliine which succeeded 
their arrival a party set off for Buckwell, to see tho 
pond dragged — Mr. Moore, James, Edward, and 
James ; Edward on lioraeback, John Bridges driving 
The rest of us remained quietly 



854 LETTERS OF JANE AUCTEN. 1806 



binL His manners to her want tenderness, and he 
was a little violent at last about the impossibility 
of her going to Eastwell. I cannot see any un- 
happiness in her, however, and as to kind-hearted- 
ness, &c, she is quite unaltered. Mary was 
disappointed in her beauty, and thought him very 
disagreeable; James admires A^r, and finds Aim 
conversable and pleasant. 

I sent my answer by them to Mrs. Knight, my 
double acceptance of her note and her invitation, 
which I wrote without much efibrt, for I was rich, 
and the rich are always respectable, whatever be 
their style of writing. 

I am to meet Harriot at dinner to-morrow. It 
is one of the audit days, and Mr. M. dines with 
the Dean, who is just come to Canterbury. On 
Tuesday there is to be a family meeting at Mrs. C. 
Milles's: Lady Bridges and Louisa from Good- 
nestone, the Moores, and a party firom this house- 
Elizabeth, John Bridges, and myself. It will give 
me pleasure to see Lady B. ; she is now quite welL 
Louisa goes home on Friday, and John with her» 
but he returns the next day. These are our 
engagements ; make the most of them. 

Mr. Waller is dead, I see. I cannot grieve 
about it| nor* perhaps, can his widow very much. 




almost all been ill 
Lizzy was going to 
specks aod a great 
however, and tliey a 

I want to bear of 
we have had them t 
you have been obliged 
and must visit the sto 
when you were quite b 

One begins really to 
and I wish she may c 
Cheltenham, it will be a 
him. He will be very 
him in London, as his 
very precious, but does 
not forget Charles next 

So much did I write 



S56 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. laOS 

imy anxiety. You are very amiable and very clever 
to write such long letters ; every page of yours has 
more lines than this, and every line more wonls 
than the average of mine. I am quite ashamed ; 
but you have certainly more little events than 
we have. Mr. Lyford supplies you with a great 
deal of interesting matter (matter intellectual, 
not physical), but I have nothing to say of Mr* 
Scudamore.^ 

And now, that is such a sad, stupid attempt 
at wit about matter that nobody can smile at it, 
and I am quite out of heart. I am sick of myself 
and my bad pens. I have no other complaint, 
however ; my languor is entirely removed. 

Ought I to be very much pleased with * Mar- 
mion ' ? As yet I am not. James reads it aloud in 
the evening — the short evening, beginning at about 
10, and broken by supper. 

Happy lirs. Harrison and Miss Auston t You 
seem to be always calling on them. I am glad 
your various civilities have turned out so well, and 
most heartily wish you success and pleasure in 
your present engagement I shall think of you 
to-night as at NeUey, and tonnorrow too, that 

■TktdDotorwhosllMdidtteOoteinbMiCHdlj. H«fif«ltft 



I > 



]KJH LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEK. 367 

I may be quite sure of being right, and therefcH^e 

I gucaa you will not go to Netley at all. 

Tliis is a sad story about Mrs. P. I should not 
have suspected her of Biicli a thing. She stayed 
tlie Sacrament, I remember, the last time that yoii 
and 1 did. A hint of it, with initials, was in yes- 
terday's ' Courier,' and Mr. Moore guessed it to be 
Ijord S., beheving there was no other Viscount 8. 
in the peerage, and so it proved, Lord Viscount 8. 
not being ttiere. 

Yc3, I enjoy my apartment very much, and 
iilways spend two or three hours in it after break- 
fast. Tlie change from Brompton quarters to these 
i.-* material as to space. I catch myself going on 
to llio hall chamber now and llien. 

Little Carohne looks very plain among licr 




S68 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 180S 



Mary wishes my mother to buy whatever she 
thinks necessary for Anna's shifts, and hopes to see 
her at Steventon soon after the 9th of July, if that 
time is as convenient to my mother as any other. 
I have hardly done justice to what she means on 
the subject, as her intention is that my mother 
should come at whatever time she likes best. They 
will be at home on the 9th. 

I always come in for a morning visit from 
Crundale, and Mr. and Mrs. lilmer have just given 
me my due. He and I talked away gaily of 
Southampton, the Harrisons, Wallers, &c. 

Fanny sends her best love to you all, and will 
write to Anna very soon. 

Yours very affectionately, Janb. 

I want some news from Paragon. 
I am almost sorry that Bose BUI Oottage should 
be so near suiting us, as it does not quite. 

Mki AiilMt Otttte 8)Mi% SovtiMifloa. 

XU. 

QwiMilnBi : Sodsj ( J«as S8). 
Mr DSAR CA88A2n>lA« 

I am very much obliged to you for writing to 
me <m Thursday* and very glad that I owe the 




''=»")■ an/,, 
P"2etobeai 

•or hi, ^f^ . , 

"""■" i" a..cl 
f ««-. 10 a,t 

^'«"°=- What 
^'«"probabfy 

/^•«.a„d,,, 
'"V''^'.egra,„ 



360 LETTERS OF JAME AUSTEN. laOS 

at home in July. They feel the strength of it and 
say no more, and one can rely on their secrecy. 
After this I hope we shall not be disappointed of 
our friend's visit ; my honour as well as my affec- 
tion will be concerned in it.^ 

Elizabeth has a very sweet scheme- of our 
accompanying Edward into Kent next Christmas. 
A legacy might make it very feasible — a legacy is 
our sovereign good. In the meanwhile, let me 
remember that I have now some money to spare, 
and that I wish to have my name put down as a 
subscriber to Mr. Jefferson's works. My last letter 
was closed before it occurred to me how possible, 
how right, and how gratifying such a measure 
would be. 

Your account of your visitors' good journey, 
voyage, and satisfaction in everything gave me the 
greatest pleasure. They have nice weather for their 
introduction to the island, and I hope, with such a 
disposition to be pleased, their general enjoyment 
is as certain as it will be just Anna's being in- 
terested in the embarkation shows a taste that 
one values. Mary Jane's delight in the water is f 
quite ridicnkras. Elisabeth supposes Mrs. Hall 

> I kftft M <!•• to tkit 



1608 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 361 

account for it by the child's knowledge of her 
fatlier'a being at sea. 

Mrs. J. A. hopes, as I said in lay last, to see 
my mother soon after her return home, and will 
meet her at Winchester on any day ehe will ap- 
point. 

And now I beheve I have made all the need- 
ful replies and communications, and may disport 
myself as I can on my Canterbury visit. 

It was a very agreeable visit. There was 
everything to make it so — kindness, conversation, 
variety, without care or cost. Mr. Knatchbull, from 
Provender, was at the W. Friars when we arrived, 
and stayed diimer, which, with Harriot, who 
came, as you may suppose, in a great hurry, ten 
minutes after the time, made our number six. 




S62 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 180S 

Toke's, and Mrs. Knight had a sad headache which 
kept her in bed. She had had too much company 
the day before. After my coming, which was not 
till past two, she had Mrs. Milles, of Nackington, a 
Mrs. and Miss Gregory, and Charles Graham ; and 
she told me it had been so all the morning. 

Very soon after breakfast on Friday, Mrs. C* 
K., who is just what we have always seen her^ 
went with me to Mrs. Brydges, and Mrs. Moore's^ 
paid some other visits while I remained with the 
latter, and we finished with Mrs. C. Milles, who 
luckily was not at home, and whose new house is 
a very convenient short cut from the Oaks to the 
W. Friars. 

We found Mrs. Knight up and better; but 
early as it was — only 12 o'clock — ^we had scarcely 
taken ofi* our bonnets before company came — 
Ly. Knatchbull and her mother ; and after them 
succeeded Mrs. White, Mrs. Hughes and her two 
children, Mr. Moore, Harriot and Louisa, and 
John- Bridges, with such short intervals between 
any as to make it a matter of wonder to me 
that Mrs. K. and I should ever have been ten 
minutes alone or have had any leisure for comfort- 
able talk, yet we had time to say a little of every- 
thing. Edward came to dinner, and at 8 o'clock 



1808 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 363 

he and I got into tlie chair, and the pleasurea of 
my visit concluded with a dehghtful drive home. 

Mrs. and Miss Brydgcs seemed very glad to eee 
mc. The poor old lady looka much as she did 
three years ago, and was very particular in her 
enquiries after iny mother. And from her and 
fi'om the KnatclibuUs I have all manner of kind 
comphments to give you both. 

As Fannj' ^vritca to Anna by this post I had 
intended to keep my letter for another day, but, 
recollecting that I must keep it two, I have resolved 
rather to finisli and send it now. The two letters 
will not interfere, I dare say ; on the contrary, 
they may throw light on each other. 

Mary begins to fancy, because she haa received 
no message on the subject, that Anna does not 




S64 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1808 

solicitude on his wife's account, as she is rather 
better. James does duty at Oodmersham to-day. 

Tlie Knatchbulls had intended coming here next 
week, but the rent-day makes it impossible for 
them to be received, and I do not think there will 
be any spare time afterwards. They return into 
Somersetshire by way of Sussex and UantSi and are 
to be at Fareham and, perhaps, may be in South* 
aropton, on wliich possibility I said all that I 
tlioughl right, and, if they are in the place, Mrs. 
K. has promised to call in Castle Square ; it will bo 
about the end of July. She seems to have a pro- 
sixH!t, however, of being in tliat county again in 
tlie spring for a longer period, and will spend a day 
with us if slie is. 

You and I need not tell each other how glad 
we shall be to receive attention from, or pay it 
to anyone connected with, Mrs. Knight I cannot 
help regretting that now, when I feel enough her 
equal to relisli her society, I see so little of the 
latter. 

The Milles of Nackington dine here on Friday, 
and perhaps the Hattons. It is a compliment as i 
much due to me as a call from the lUmers. 

When you write to the island, Mary will be 
glad to baTe Mrs. Craven informed, with her loTe» 




noartng from her husband 
ia rising in the world ; she - 
improved in her lato visit. 
her so last year, ^niy sei 
formaUon of hin having ha 
loft them. 

Tou aro very kind in 
'Vt^lliama so often. Poor cr 
hoping that each letter may 
being over. If slio wantn h\ 
iupply her with it. 

The Hoorcs went ycstcr 
but return to-morrow. AtU 
800 them no more, tliough Hi 
with Edward to take Wrotha 
we shall bo in too groat a hui 
than Wrotham Gate. He w: 
ford on Friday night, that w 
of hours to spare for Altoa 



S66 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. laOB 

I could wisli in going from Dorking to Quildford ; 
but till I have a travelling purse of my own I must 
submit to such things. 

The Moores leave Canterbury on Friday, and 
go for a day or two to Sandling. I really hope 
Harriot is altogether very happy, but she cannot 
feel quite so much at her ease with her husband 
as the wives she has been used to. 

Good-bye. I hope you have been long re- 
covered from your worry on Thursday morning, 
and that you do not much mind not going to the 
Newbury races. I am withstanding those of Can* 
terbury. Let that strengthen you. 

Yours very sincerely, Jaki. • 

Miii AwliB, Obsdt Sqwuv^ Soatkuulos. 

XUL 
Oodmcnhaa : TInmdij (Jus SO). 

Mr DEAB Cabsakdea^ 

I give you all joy of Frank's return, which 
happens in the true sailor way, just after our being 
told not to expect him for some weeks. The wind 
has been very much against him, but I suppose 
he must be in our ndghbourhood by this time 
Fanny is in hourly expectation of him here. 



i 




jiiy Kerseymere Bpencer 
our evening walks. 

Maiy thanks Anna for 
her to buy enough of her 
make a shirt handkerchief. 
her Aunt MaiUand's kind p 
to send no Anna's height, 
whether she is as tall as Fan 
tell me of any UtUe thing tl 
acceptable to Mrs. F. A.? 
something : has she a silver 
recommend a kroocli ? I si 
than half a guinea about it. 

Our Tuesday's engagemen 
aantly ; we called first on Ur 
her very well ; and at dinnei 
of Nackington, in addition 
Qodmersham, and Urs. M< 
looked very well, and woi 



Im KIimI mimI niiiUliIni ^lvt« um f;«H»<l liiitiiiiiirHl 
miilloK, mill iiinkti friiMMily niM|Mii'i««N. lli'i* ^ori 
lOlwnrtl WMn aUi t(Nikiiit( vi^ry wi*ll« ami willi 
MimiiitM*!! Mi* iiimllorcMl mm |ii«rN. tii iIm« i«vi«iiiii(( 
i^Aiiitt Mr. M(Nih% Mr. Tukoi Ih*. niMt Mtm. VVnUliy, 
himI iillit^ni. (hti« onhl-inliln wiiM foriiMMi, ilio n^ni 
tif iin niii mihI Inlki^li mill itt Imlf ii(li*r iiiiii^ wo 

0(IIIH« (IWAy. 

YoMoriUy my two liriilliiMn wont lo (1iuil4*rlMiryt 
unil J, IHIgiHi loA \\n A»r biiidoii in liU wAy to 
(ViiiU«riil)r^% whoiv ho in Ui tnko liin tiiAMtor'n 

l^lvr^n) «iiu) r^n^liiio aihI llioir iimiiiiiia liavo 
aH hail Ui<^ UtHhuorstliaiii mhK the Airiiior with 
Hiuv-ihiwal aini fovor, whioh hin look?! arc dtill 
^udTiHrii^t ft\>m. Ih \n very happy hero, howcvcr» 
hul I beliew the litUo girl will bo glad to go 
home; hor c^mimiw an* lOi> much for her. We 
ai^ lo kav>^ EJwaitl^ I find, at Southampton, while 
hb nnMher is in Berkshire for the races, and 
ai^ TYiy Gkehr lo have hb father too. If circum- 
stuces are firovirahle^ that will be a good time for 
oor K^heiDe to Keaufieu. 

Laidr E. HatioD called here a few mornings 
i^cv ber daagblcr ElizUu with her, who says as 
filtk as erer, bat holds up her head and smiles^ 



J-fl« LETTEKS OF JA5E ACaTES. SfiO 

itid M to be at the nces. Annamaria «*»•> titcru 
with itrs. Hope, bat we are to see lier here l«>- 
roorrow. 

So much WM wnttcn before bivakfost ; ii U 
n'rw hftlf-pi^t twelve, anJ, having hcarO lizzy read, 
I am moved down into the library fur iho »akf 
of fire, which agreeably surprised us when we 
an.icinbled at ten, and here in warm and hapjty 
flulitudc proceed to acknowledge this day's letter. 

We give you credit for your spirited voyage, 
and arc very glad it was accompli shoil so pleasantly, 
and tiiat Anna enjoyed it so much. I hope you 
are not the worse for the fatigue ; but to cmlurk 
at four Tou must have got up at three, ami uiMt 
likely had no sleep at all. Mary's uot choo«tiig Ui 
be at home occasions a general small surprise A» 
to Martha, she has not the least chance in ihmJ 



368 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 180S 

be kind and amiable, give one good-humoured 
smiles, and make friendly enquiries. Her son 
Edward was also looking very well, and with 
manners as unaltered as hers. In the evening 
came Mr. Moore, Mr. Toke, Dr. and Mrs. Walsby, 
and others. One card-table was formed, the rest 
of us sat and talked, and at half after nine we 
came away. 

Yesterday my two brothers went to Canterbury, 
and J. Bridges left us for London in his way to 
Cambridge, where he is to take his master's 
d^ree. 

Edward and Caroline and their mamma have 
all had the Oodmersham cold, the former with 
sore-throat and fever, which his looks are still 
suffering from. He is very happy here, however, 
but I believe the little girl will be glad to go 
home; her cousins are too much for her. We 
are to have Edward, I find, at Southampton, while 
his mother is in Berkshire for the races, and 
are very likely to have his father too. If circum- 
stances are favourable, that will be a good time for 
our scheme to Beaulieu. i 

Lady E. Hatton called here a few mornings 
ago, her daughter Elizth. with her, who says as 
little as ever, but holds up her head and smiles^ 




„u uuwn 1 

"f lire, which ^^^ 

"saembled at ten, am 

solitude proceed to ac 

We give you cred 

«nd are very glad it wa 

and that Anna enjoye 

are not the worse for 

at four joa must have 

likely had no deep at ■ 

be at home occasions a 

•o Martha, she has no 

"orld of hearing from, 

lier impudence in propo! 

« tired of writing long 

»T>" a pity that one ■ 

receiving them I 

Fanny Austen's matcl 
•ony she has behaved 
Mmfort to us in her n.,„. 



370 LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1808 

James and Edward are gone to Sandling to- 
day — a nice scheme for James, as it will show him 
a new and fine country. Edward certainly excels 
in doing the honours to his visitors, and provid- 
ing for their amusement, They come back this 
evening. 

Elizabeth talks of going with her three girls to 
Wrotham while her husband is in Hampshire ; she 
is improved in looks since we first came, and, ex- 
cepting a cold, does not seem at all unwell. She 
is considered, indeed, as more than usually active 
for her situation and size. I have tried to give 
James pleasure by telling him of his daughter's 
taste, but if he felt he did not express it. I rejoice 
in it very sincerely. 

Henry talks, or rather writes, of going to the 
Downes, if the * St. Albans ' continues there, but I 
hope it wiU be settled otherwise. I had every- 
body's congratulations on her arrival at Canterbury. 
It is pleasant to be among people who know one's 
connections and care about them, and it amuses 
me to hear John Bridges talk of * Frank.' I have 
thought a little of writing to the Downs, but I 
shall not, it is so very certain that he would be 
somewhere else when my letter got there. 

Mr. Tho. Leigh is again in town, or was very 



LETTF.rtS OF JANE AUSTEN, 



371 



lately. ITeniy met with hira last Sunday in St. 
James's Church, lie owned being come up un- 
expectedly on bu:?iness, which we of course think 
can be only one business, and he came poet from 
Adlestrop in one day, which, if it could be 
doubted before, convinces Henry that he will live 
for ever. 

Mrs. Knight is kindly anxious for our good, 
and tliinks Mr. L. P.* mtut be desirous for hin 
fiimUy'.'t sake to have everything settled. Indeed 
I do not know where we are to get our legacy, 
but we will keep a sharp look-out. Lady B. was 
all in prosperous black the other day. 

A letter from Jenny Smalbone to her daughter 
brings intelligence which ia to be forwarded to my 
motlier — the calving of a cow at Steventon. I am 



372 LETTEIIS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1808 

I do not at all regard Martha's disappointment 
in the island ; she will like it the better in the end. 
I cannot help thinking and re-thinking of your 
going to the island so heroically. It puts me in 
mind of Mrs. Hastings' voyage down the Ganges, 
and, if we had but a room to retire into to eat our 
fruit, we would have a picture of it hung there. 

Friday^ July 1. — ^The weather is mended, 
which I attribute to my writing about it ; and I am 
in hopes, as you make no complaint, though on 
the water and at four in the morning, that it has 
not been so cold with you. 

It will be two years to-morrow since we left 
Bath for Clifton, with what happy feelings of 
escape! 

This post has brought me a few lines from the 
amiable Frank, but he gives us no hope of seeing 
him here. We are not unlikely to have a peep at 
Henry, who, unless the * St Albans * moves quickly, 
will be going to the Downs, and who will not be 
able to be in Kent without giving a day or two to 
Oodmersham. 

James has heard this morning from Mrs. Cooke, 
in reply to his offer of taking Bookham in his way 
home* which is kindly accepted; and Edwd. has 
bad a less agreeable answer from Dr. Ooddard, 




luuiii, lor tie has no room 
My brothers returned ) 
spent a very agreeable d 
Tliey found Mrs. D.' at hoi 
from buaineM abroad to d 
the place very much, and 
giria handsome, but Mary' 
ference. The number of 
good deal, for not only are 
home, but the three little 1 
them. 

James means to go once 
hia friend Dr. Marlowe, who 
time. / shall hardly have s 
going there. In another we 
and there, my having been 
seem like a dream, as my vii 
already. 

The orange wine will wai 



374 



LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 



1808 



the Hattoiis and Milles' dine here to-day, and I 
ahall eat ice and drink French wine, and be above 
vulgar economy. Luckily tlie pleasures of friend- 
ship, of unreserved conversation, of similarity of 
taste and opinions, will make good amends for 
orange wine. 

Little Edwd. is quite well again. 

Yours affiBctionately, with love firom all, 

J. A. 

Hki Aatltii, OmUs Sqaavi, Sovtkamploo. 



BiTD or xni niisT volcms. 



B kR. 



BOS I raimm 

MM9 COl. II 



nr liCAU 



. _ I a, . xr -^ 




~E-^mS^£ 






km 9iMm vMril «n Invtmcf ttito MI|MM MtliorM them)A hmUm to iflMt apM tkrlr 



A SPECIAL EDITION OF 

JANE AUSTEN'S NOVELS. 

(THE STEVCNTON EDITION.) 



To meet a detnre t»om€time$ expre$sed far a iup^iar edition 
of these Worku^ a small number of copies have been worketl 
im hand-^nuide paper^ in a special ink^ and bound in 
white doth. 

These copies are sold in sets only^ in six volumes^ large 
crown Hvo. at the published price of 6Zs. 

te»kloiiftl4« krown Ink m eld-fa»hi«4ic*« paper, and MadfqiwInMf-avoMiUi* dkvnafortor 

" " Id ~ 



W » trt 4dM0^s 4* Hmt m ^rnmun^nAs po«Bi«d o«t hf Mr. Ihi Mnaiicr lo nmrk, TW mm •iltirai 
fM to «wUy k«M la tiM Uad, aad H mmi for f rtqMBi ■•• Md iitanMt miMr Itaa Iv ■«• 

AIM 

THE POFT7LAR EDITION. Id 6 fob. crows Sto. tea.; or Meh 

m^ Mamo. BBNTLBY*S ara tht OMLY COMPLETE EDITlOHl oT 

MlM AMtto't Works. 

VouTin L SEVSE AVS SEK SIBILITT. 

YoLuifi n. PRIDE AID PREJUDICE. 

YoLUif B m. HAISFIELD PARK. 

YouTMi IV. EMMA. 

VoLUMi' y. lORTHAH&ER ABBEY, and PERSUASIOV. 

YotuMi VI. LAST SUSAH, THE WATSOVS, ftc f 

( With s Msmsir mtU FsHrsU tf the Asthsrsss.) 
TO BE OBTAINED AT ALL BOOK8ELLERB. 



BICHARD BBNTLST a SON, NEW BURLINGTON STREET, 




it 








mm 



I THE rmRROtttR WILL BE CHARGED 
I THt COST OF rn'ERDUE NOTlFICATiriN 
IF THIS BOOK IS NOT RITIVRNED T(^ 
r»F MHRARY ON' OB RrFOHI- TlfE LAST 
DATE ST.UiPED HELOW. 








ai'