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LETTERS — continued ....... 1 


MISS KNIGHT ........ .333 

APPENDICES . . . . . . . . .34.5 





1808, 1809 

These letters were written at a time when the first 
great misfortune fell upon the Godmersham family, 
in the loss of the wife and mother so tenderly 
loved by all. In the last week of September Eliza- 
beth Austen was confined with her youngest child, 
and on the 8th of October, after eating a hearty 
dinner, she was suddenly seized with sickness, and 
expired before the serious nature of her attack had 
been fully realized. The first two letters of the 
series, written just before this event, are in Jane's 
usual and cheerful spirit, and require no particular 
comment. The third (JSTo. 45) was Jane's first 
communication to her sister after the melancholy 
news from Godmersham, and this and the two 


subsequent letters are principally upon the same 
subject. The forty-eighth letter alludes to the 
approaching marriage of Edward Bridges ^ with 
Harriet Foote, the sister of his brother Sir Brook's 
late wife. There are also allusions in this letter to 
some matters connected with her own mother's (the 
Leigh) family, which are of no public interest ; nor 
is there anything in the forty-ninth to which I 
need call attention. In the fiftieth Jane alludes (as 
elsewhere in subsequent letters) to Lady Sondes' 
second marriage. This lady was Mary Ehzabeth, 
only daughter of Eichard Milles, Esq., of Elmham, 
Norfolk, who married, in 1785, Lewis Thomas, the 
second Lord Sondes, who died in 1806, and she 
subsequently married General Sir Henry Tucker 
Montresor, K.C.B., of Denne Hill. She died in 
1818, leaving several children by her first, but 
none by her second husband, who married twice 
again, first Annetta, daucrfiter of the Eev. Edward 
Cage, Eector of Eastling, by whom he left a family, 
and lastly Miss Fairman, who survived him many 
years, but had no children. 

I do not knoAV what ' deed ' Sir Brook Bridges 

^ Edward Bridges had tlie living of Leiiliam, his visits from which 
to Godmersham are referred to in subsequent letters. He afterwards 
w^ent to Wingham, wliere he died, in 1825, leaving a large family. 


was supposed to be ' making up his mind to ' 
during the tete-a-tete to which aUusion is made in 
the letter, unless it was the deed of taking for liis 
second wife Dorothy, eldest daughter of Sir Henry 
Hawley, wliich he actually accomphshed in Decem- 
ber of the next year. Probably, however, Jane 
was jokingly alluding to the probabihty of his 
proposing to Cassandra herself. This is the last 
letter of the year, for the next bears the date of 
January 1809. It alludes to the illness of Mrs. 
E. Leigh, who would seem by the context to have 
been the mother of Mrs. Cooke, and, as George 
Cooke was ' the Eeverend George Leigh Cooke,' 
we may gather, without searching more closely the 
family pedigree, that these were Jane's relations on 
the mother's side, of whom she saw a good deal 
from time to time, after taking ' Bookham ' in her 
way to and from Steventon.-^ 

I have no record of the visit to Godmersham, 
to the prospect of which allusion is made in this 
letter, and it is to be regretted that there are 
no letters after January 1809, for more than two 

^ I find tliat the Rev. Mr. Cooke, Rector of Bookliam, was one of 
Jane's god-parents — the others were Mrs. Jane Austen of Seyenoaks 
and Mrs. Miisgrave, born Jane Iluggins, and wife of Dr. James 
Musgraye, whose mother was Catherine Perrot. 


4: LETTERS OF JANE AUSTEN. 1808, 1809 

years, tliougli, of course, many must liave been 
written. These January letters do not contain any 
other aUusions which appear to require explana- 
tion, or regarding which explanation would be of 
any general interest. 


Castle Square: Saturday (Octo'ber 1). 

My dear Cassandra, 

Your letter this morning was quite unexpected , 
and it is well that it brings such good news to 
counterbalance the disappointment to me of losing 
my first sentence, which I had arranged full of 
proper hopes about your journey, intending to 
commit them to paper to-day, and not looldng for 
certainty till to-morrow. 

We are extremely glad to hear of the birth 
of the child, and trust everything will proceed as 
well as it begins. His mamma has our best wishes, 
and he our second best for health and comfort — 
though I suppose, unless he has our best too, we do 
nothing for her. We are glad it was all over before 
your arrival, and I am most happy to find who the 
godmother is to be. My mother was some time 
guessing the names. 


Henry's present to you gives me great pleasure, 
and I shall watch the weather for Mm at this time 
with redoubled interest. 

We have had four brace of birds lately, in 
equal lots, from Shalden and Neatham. 

Our party at Mrs. Duer's produced the novelties 
of two old Mrs. Pollens and Mrs. Heywood, with 
whom my mother made a quadrille table ; and of 
Mrs. Maitland and Caroline, and Mr. Booth without 
his sisters, at commerce. I have got a husband for l^ 
each of the ]\Iiss Maitlands ; Colonel Powlett and 
his brother have taken Argyle's inner house, and 
the consequence is so natural that I have no 
ingenuity in planning it. If the brotlier should 
luckily be a little sillier than the Colonel, what a 
treasure for Eliza ! 

Mr. Lyford called on Tuesday to say that he 
was disappointed of his son and daughter's coming, 
and must go home himself the following morning ; 
and as I was determined that he should not lose 
every pleasure, I consulted him on my complaint. 
He recommended cotton, moistened with oil of 
sweet almonds, and it has done me good. I hope, 
therefore, to have nothing more to do with Eliza's 
receipt than to feel obliged to her for giving it, as 
I very sincerely do. 


Mrs. Tilson's remembrance gratifies me, and I 
will use her patterns if I can. 

I have just finished a handkerchief for Mrs. 
James Austen, which I expect her husband to give 
me an opportunity of sending to her ere long. 
Some fine day in October will certainly bring him 
to us in the garden, between three and four o'clock. 
She hears that Miss Bigg is to be married in a 
fortnight. I wish it may be so. 

About an hour and a-half after your toils on 
Wednesday ended, ours began. At seven o'clock 
Mrs. Harrison, her two daughters and two visitors,, 
witlf Mr. Debary and his eldest sister, walked in. 

A second pool of commerce, and all the longer 
by the addition of the two girls, who during the 
first had one corner of the table and spillikens to 
themselves, was the ruin of us ; it completed the 
prosperity of Mr. Debary, however, for he won 
them both. 

Mr. Harrison came in late, and sat by the fire, 
for which I envied him, as we had our usual luck 
of having a very cold evening. It rained when 
our company came, but was dry again before they 
left us. 

Tlie Miss Ballards are said to be remarkably 
well-informed ; their manners are unaffected and 


pleasing, but tliey do not talk quite freely enough 
to be agreeable, nor can I discover any right they 
had by taste or feeling to go their late tour. 

Miss Austen and her nephew are returned, but 
Mr. Choles is still absent. ' Still absent,' say you, 
' I did not know that he was gone anywhere ; ' 
neither did I know that Lady Bridges was at 
Godmersham at all, till I was told of her being 
still there, which I take, therefore, to be the most 
approved method of announcing arrivals and de- 

Mr. Choles is gone to drive a cow to Brentford, 
and his place is supphed to us by a man who lives 
in the same sort of way by odd jobs, and among 
other capabilities has that of working in a garden, 
which my mother will not forget if we ever have 
another garden here. In general, however, she 
thinks much more of Alton, and really expects to 
move there. 

Mrs. Ly ell's 130 guineas rent have made a 
great impression. To the purchase of furniture, 
whether liere or there, she is quite reconciled, and 
talks of the trouble as the only evil. I depended 
upon Henry's liking the Alton plan, and expect 
to hear of something perfectly unexceptionable 
there, through him. 


Our Yarmouth division seem to liave got nice 
lodgings ; and, with fish ahnost for nothing and 
plenty of engagements and plenty of each other, 
must be very happy. 

My mother has undertaken to cure six hams 
for Frank ; at first it was a distress, but now it is 
a pleasure. She desires me to say that she does 
not doubt your making out the star pattern very 
well, as you have the breakfast-room rug to look at. 

We have got the second volume of ' Espriella's 
Letters,' and I read it aloud by candlelight. The 
man describes well, but is horribly anti-English. 
He deserves to be the foreigner he assumes. 

Mr. Debary went away yesterday, and I, being 
gone with some partridges to St. Maries, lost his 
parting visit. 

I have heard to-day from Miss Sharpe, and find 
that she returns with Miss B. to Hinckley, and will 
continue there at least till about Christmas, when 
she thinks they may both travel southward. Miss 
B., however, is probably to make only a temporary 
absence from Mr. Chessyre, and I should not 
wonder if Miss Sharpe were to continue with her ; 
unless anything more eligible ofier she certainly 
will. She describes Mss B. as very anxious that 
she should do so. 


Sunday. — I had not expected to liear from you 
again so soon, and am much obhged to 3'ou for 
writing as you did ; but now, as you must have a 
great deal of the business upon your hands, do not 
trouble yourself with me for the present ; I shall 
consider silence as good news, and not expect 
another letter from you till Friday or Saturday. 

You must have had a great deal more rain than 
has fallen liere ; cold enough it has been, but not 
wet, except for a few hours on Wednesday evening, 
and I could have found nothing more plastic than 
dust to stick in ; now, indeed, we are likely to have 
a wet day, and, though Sunday, my mother begins 
it without any ailment. 

Your plants were taken in one very cold, blus- 
tering day, and placed in the dining-room, and 
there was a frost the very same night. If we have 
warm weather again they are to be put out of 
doors ; if not, my mother will have them conveyed 
to their winter quarters. I gatlier some currants 
every now and then, when I want either fruit or 

Pray tell my little goddaughter that I am de- 
hghted to hear of her saying her lesson so well. 

You have used me ill : you have been writing 
to Martha without telling me of it, and a letter 


which I sent her on Wednesday to give her infor- 
mation of you must have been good for nothing. 
I do not know how to think that something will 
not still happen to prevent her returning by 
the 10th ; and if it does, I shall not much regard 
it on my own account, for I am now got into 
such a way of being alone that I do not wish even 
for her. 

The Marquis has put ofi being cured for 
^ another year ; after waiting some weeks in vain 
for the return of the vessel he had agreed for, he 
is gone into Cornwall to order a vessel built for 
himself by a famous man in that country, in which 
he means to go abroad a twelvemonth hence. 

Everybody who comes to Southampton finds 
it either their duty or pleasure to call upon us ; 
yesterday we were visited by the eldest Miss 
Cotterel, just arrived from Waltham. Adieu I 
With love to all, 

Yours affectionately, J. A. 

We had two pheasants last night from Neatham. 
To-morrow^ eveninor is to be c^iven to the Maitlands. 
We are just asked to meet Mrs. Hey wood and Mrs. 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 

Godmersham Park, Faversliam, Kent. 



Castle Square : Friday (October 7). 

Mt dear Cassaxdea, 

Your letter on Tuesday gave us great pleasure, 
and we congratulate you all upon Elizabeth's 
hitherto happy recovery ; to-morrow, or Sunday, 
I hope to hear of its advancing in the same style. 
We are also very glad to know that you are so 
well yourself, and pray you to continue so. 

I was rather surprised on Monday by the arri- 
val of a letter for you, from your Winchester cor- 
respondent, who seemed perfectly unsuspicious of 
your being hkely to be at Godmersham. I took 
complete possession of the letter by reading, pay- 
ing for, and answering it ; and he will have the 
biscuits to-day — a very proper day for the pur- 
pose, though I did not think of it at the time. 

I wish my brother joy of completing his thirtieth 
year, and hope the day will be remembered better 
than it was six years ago. 

The masons are now repairing the chimney, 
which they found in such a state as to make it 
wonderful that it should have stood so long, and 
next to impossible that another violent wind should 
not blow it down. We may, therefore, thank you 


perhaps for saving us from being thumped with 
old bricks. You are also to be thanked by Eliza's 
desire for your present to lier of dyed satin, which 
is made into a bonnet, and I fancy surprises her by 
its good appearance. 

My mother is preparing mourning for Mrs. 
E. K. ; she has picked her old silk pelisse to pieces, 
V and means to have it dyed black for a gown — a 
very interesting scheme, though just now a little 
injured by finding that it must be placed in Mr. 
Wren's hands, for Mr. Chambers is gone. As for 
Mr. Floor, he is at present rather low in our esti- 
^ mation. How is your blue gown ? Mine is all to 
pieces. I think there must have been something 
wrong in the dye, for in places it divided with a 
touch. There was four shillings thrown away, to 
be added to my subjects of never-failing regret. 

We found ourselves tricked into a thorough 
party at Mrs. Maitland's, a quadrille and a com- 
\merce table, and music in the other room. There 
were two pools at commerce, but I would not play 
more than one, for the stake was three shillings, 
and I cannot afford to lose that twice in an even- 
ing. The Miss M.'s were as civil and as silly as 
^ usual. 

. You, know of course that Martha comes to-day, 


yesterday brought us notice of it, and the spruce ; 
beer is brewed in consequence. 

On Wednesday I had a letter from Yarmouth, 
to desire me to send Mary's flannels and furs, &c. ; ^^^ 
and, as there was a packing case at hand, I could 
do it without any trouble. 

On Tuesday evening Southampton was in a 
good deal of alarm for about an hour : a fire broke ,'_ 
out soon after nine at Webb's, the pastrycook, and 
burnt for some time with great fury. I cannot 
learn exactly how it originated ; at the time it was 
said to be their bakehouse, but now I hear it was 
in the back of their dwelling-house, and that one 
room was consumed. 

The flames were considerable : they seemed 
about as near to us as those at Lyme, and to reach 
higher. One could not but feel uncomfortable, 
and I began to think of what I should do if it 
came to the worst ; happily, however, the night 
was perfectly still, the engines were immediately 
in use, and before ten the fire was nearly extin- 
guished, though it was twelve before everything 
was considered safe, and a guard was kept the 
whole night. Our friends the Duers were alarmed, 
but not out of their good sense or benevolence. 

I am afraid the Webbes have lost a great deal, 


more perliaps from ignorance or plunder than the 
fire ; they liad a large stock of valuable china, and, 
in order to save it, it was taken from the house and 
thrown down anywhere. 

The adjoining house, a toyshop, was almost 
equally injured, and Hibbs, whose house comes 
next, was so scared from his senses that he was 
giving away all his goods, valuable laces, &c., to 
anybody who would take them. 

The crowd in the High Street, I understand, 
was immense ; Mrs. Harrison, who was drinkiufr tea 
with a lady at Millar's, could not leave at twelve 
o'clock. Such are the prominent features of our 
fire. Thank God they were not worse ! 

Saturday. — Thank you for your letter, which 
found me at the breakfast table with my two com- 
p anions c • 

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 niece would ever have been so much 
to me. She is quite after one's own heart ; give 
her my best love, and tell her that I always think 
of her with pleasure. 

I am much obliged to you for inquiring about 
my ear, and am happy to say that Mr. Lyford's 


prescription lias entirely cured me. I feel it a 
fi^reat blessinor to hear ao^ain. 

Your gown shall be unpicked, but I do not re- 
member its being settled so before. 

Martha was here by half-past six, attended by 
Lyddy ; they had some rain at last, but a very 
good journey on the whole ; and if looks and words 
may be trusted Martha is very happy to be 
returned. We receive her with Castle Square 
weather ; it has blown a gale from the N.W. ever 
since she came, and we feel ourselves in luck that 
the chimney was mended yesterday. 

She brings several good things for the larder, 
which is now very rich : we had a pheasant and 
hare the other day from the Mr. Grays of Alton. 
Is this to entice us to Alton, or to keep us away ? 
Henry had probably some share in the two last 
baskets from that neighbourhood, but we have not 
seen so much of his hand-writing, even as a direc- 
tion to either. 

Martha was an hour and a-half in Winchester, 
walking about with the three boys and at the 
pastrycook's. She thought Edward grown, and 
speaks with, the same admiration as before of his 
manners ; she saw in George a little Hkeness to his 
uncle Henry. 



I am glad you are to see Harriot ; give my love 
to lier. I wish you may be able to accept Lady 
Bridges' invitation, though / could not her son 
Edward's ; she is a nice woman and honours me 
by her remembrance. 

Do you recollect whether the Manydown family 
sent about their weddino- cake ? Mrs. Dundas has 
set her heart upon having a piece from her friend 
Catherine, and Martha, who knows what import- 
ance she attaches to this sort of thing, is anxious 
for the sake of both that there should not be a 

Our weather, I fancy, has been just like yours ; 
we have had some very delightful days, our 5th and 
6th were what the 5th and 6th of October should 
always be, but we have always wanted a fire within 
doors, at least except for just the middle of the day. 

Martha does not find the key which you left in 
my charge for her suit the keyhole, and wants to 
know whether you think you can have mistaken 
it. It should open the interior of her liigli drawers, 
but she is in no hurry about it. 

Sunday. — It is cold enough now for us to 
prefer dining upstairs to dining below without a 
fire, and being only three we manage it very 
well, and to-day with two more we shall do just 


.as well, I dare say. Miss Foote and Miss Wetliered 
are coming. 

My mother is much pleased with Elizabeth's 
admiration of the rug ; and pray tell Elizabeth that 
the new mourning gown is to be made double only 
in the body and sleeves. 

Martha thanks you for your message, and de- 
sires you may be told, with her best love, that your 
wishes are answered, and that she is full of peace 
and comfort here. I do not think, however, that 
here she will remain a great wliile ; she does not 
herself expect that Mrs. Dundas will be able to 
•do with her long. She icishes to stay with us till 
Christmas, if possible. Lyddy goes home to- 
morrow : she seems well, but does not mean to go 
to service at present. 

The Wallops are returned. Mr. John Harrison 
has paid his visit of duty and is gone. We have 
got a new physician, a Dr. Percival, the son of 
a famous Dr. Percival, of Manchester, who wrote 
moral tales for Edward to give to me. 

When you write again to Catherine, thank her 
on my part for her very kind and welcome mark of 
friendship ; I shall value such a brooch very much. 

Good-bye, my dearest Cassandra. 

Yours very affectionately, J. A. 

VOL. 11. * C 


Have you written to Mrs. E. Leigh ? Martha 
will be glad to find Anne in work at present, and 
I am as glad to have her so found. We must turn 
our black pelisses into new, for velvet is to be very 
much worn this winter. 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 
Godmersham Park, Faversham, Kent. 


Castle Square (Octoljer 13). 

My deakest Cassandra, 

1 have received your letter, and with most 
melancholy anxiety was it expected, for the sad 
news reached us last night, but without any par- 
ticulars. It came in a short letter to Martha from 
her sister, begun at Steventon and finished in 

We have felt — we do feel — for you all, as you 
will not need to be told : for you, for Fanny, for 
Henry, for Lady Bridges, and for dearest Edward, 
whose loss and whose sufierings seem to make those 
of every other person nothing. God be praised 
that you can say what you do of him : that lie has 
a religious mind to bear him up, and a disposition 
that will gradually lead him to comfort. 


My dear, dear Fanny, I am so thankful tliat 
she has you with her ! You will be everything to 
her ; you will oive her all the consolation that 
human aid can give. May the Almighty sustain 
you all, and keep you, my dearest Cassandra, 
well ; but for the present I dare say you are equal 
to everything. 

You will know that the poor boys are at 
Steventon. Perhaps it is best for them, as they 
will have more means of exercise and amusement 
there than they could have with us, but I own 
myself disappointed by the arrangement. I should 
have loved to have them with me at such a time. 
I shall write to Edward by this post. 

We shall, of course, hear from you again very 
soon, and as often as you can write. We will ^\T:'ite 
as you desire, and I shall add Bookham. Hamstall, 
I suppose, you write to yourselves, as you do not 
mention it. 

What a comfort that Mrs. Deedes is saved from 
present misery and alarm ! But it will fall heavy 
upon poor Harriot ; and as for Lady B., but that 
her fortitude does seem truly great, I should fear 
the effect of such a blow, and so unlooked for. 
I long to hear more of you all. Of Henry's anguish 



1 think with grief and sohcitude ; but he will exert 
himself to be of use and comfort. 

With what true sympathy our feelings are 
shared by Martha you need not be told ; she is the 
friend and sister under every circumstance. 

We need not enter into a panegyric on the 
departed, but it is sweet to think of her great 
worth, of her solid principles, of her true devo- 
tion, her excellence in every relation of life. It is 
also consolatory to reflect on the shortness of the 
sufferings which led her from this world to a 

Farewell for the present, my dearest sister. 
Tell Edward that we feel for liim and pray for 

Yours affectionately, J. Austen. 

I will write to Catherine. 

Perhaps you can give me some directions about 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 

Godmersliam Park, Faversham, Kent. 



Castle Square : Saturday niglit (October 15). 

My dear Cassaxdea, 

Your accounts make us as comfortable as we 
can expect to be at such a time. Edward's loss is 
terrible, and must be felt as such, and these are 
too early days indeed to think of moderation in 
o'rief, either in him or his afflicted daus^hter, but 
soon we may hope that our dear Fanny's sense of 
duty to that beloved father will rouse her to exer- 
tion. For his sake, and as the most acceptable 
proof of love to the spirit of her departed mother, 
she will try to be tranquil and resigned. Does she 
feel you to be a comfort to her, or is she too much 
overpowered for anything but solitude ? 

Your account of Lizzy is very interesting. Poor 
child ! One must hope the impression will be 
strong, and yet one's heart aches for a dejected 
mind of eight years old. 

I suppose you see the corpse ? How does it 
apj)ear ? We are anxious to be assured that 
Edward will not attend the funeral, but when it 
comes to the point I think he must feel it im- 

Your parcel shall set off on Monday, and I hope 


the shoes will fit ; Martha and I both tried them 
on. I shall send you such of your mourning as I 
think most likely to be useful, reserving for myself 
your stockings and half the velvet, in which selfish 
arrangement I know I am doing what you wish. 

/ am to be in bombazeen and crape, according 
to what we are told is universal here, and which 
agrees with Martha's previous observation. My 
mourning, however, will not impoverish me, for by 
having my velvet pelisse fresh lined and made up, 
I am sure I shall have no occasion this winter for 
anything new of that sort. I take my cloak for 
the lining, and shall send yours on the chance of 
its doing something of the same for you, though 
I believe your pelisse is in better repair than mine. 
One Miss Baker makes my gown and the other my 
bonnet, which is to be silk covered Avith crape. 

I have written to Edward Cooper, and hope he 
will not send one of his letters of cruel comfort to 
my poor brother ; and yesterday I wrote to Alethea 
Bigg, in reply to a letter from her. She tells us in 
confidence that Catherine is to be married on 
Tuesday se'nnight. Mr. Hill is expected at Many- 
down in the course of the ensuing week. 

We are desired by Mrs. Harrison and Miss 
Austen to say everything proper for them to your- 


self and Edward on this sad occasion, especially 
that nothing but a wish of not giving additional 
trouble wdiere so much is inevitable prevents their 
writing themselves to express their concern. Tliey 
seem truly to feel concern. 

I am glad you can say what you do of Mrs. 
Knight and of Goodnestone in general ; it is 
a great relief to me to know that the shock did 
not make any of them ill. But what a task was 
yours to announce it ! Now I hope you are 
not overpowered with letter-writing, as Henry 
^nd John can ease you of many of your corre- 

Was Mr. Scudamore in the house at the time, 
was any application attempted, and is the seizure 
at all accounted for ? 

Sunday. — As Edward's letter to his son is not 
-come here, we know that you must have been 
informed as early as Friday of tlie l)oys being at 
Steventon, wliich I am glad of. 

Upon your letter to Dr. Goddard's being for- 
warded to them, Mary wrote to ask whether my 
mother wished to have lier grandsons sent to her. 
We decided on their remaining where they were, 
which I hope my brother will approve of. I am 
sure lie will do us tlie justice of believing that in 


such a decision we sacrificed inclination to wliat 
we tliouglit best. 
V I shall write by the coach to-morrow to Mrs.. 
J. A., and to Edward, about their mourningv 
though this day's post will probably bring direc- 
tions to them on that subject from yourselves. 
I shall certainly make use of the opportunity of 
addressing our nephew on the most serious of all 
concerns, as I naturally did in my letter to him 
before. The poor boys are, perhaps, more com- 
fortable at Steventon than they could be here, but 
you will i\iideTst2ind my feelings with respect to it. 

To-morrow will be a dreadful day for you alL 
Mr. Whitfield's will be a severe duty.^ Glad shall 
I be to hear that it is over. 

That you are for ever in our thoughts you will 
not doubt. I see your mournful party in my 
mind's eye under every varying circumstance of 
the day; and in the evening especially figure to 
myself its sad gloom : the efforts to talk, the 
frequent summons to melancholy orders and cares,, 
and poor Edward, restless in misery, going from 
one room to another, and perhaps not seldom up- 
stairs, to see all that remains of his Elizabeth.. 

^ Mr. Whitfield was the Rector of Godmersham at this time^ 
having come there in 1778. 


Dearest Fanny must now look upon herself as liis 
prime source of comfort, his dearest friend ; as the 
being who is gradually to supply to him, to tlie 
extent that is possible, Avhat he has lost. This con- 
sideration will elevate and cheer her. 

Adieu. You cannot write too often, as I said 
before. We are heartily rejoiced that the poor 
baby gives you no particular anxiety. Kiss dear 
Lizzy for us. Tell Fanny that I sliall write in a 
day or two to Miss Sharpe. 

My mother is not ill. 

Yours most truly, J. Austen. 

Tell Henry that a hamper of apples is gone to/ . 
liim from Kintbury, and that Mr. Fowle intended 
writing on Friday (supposing him in London) to 
beg that the charts, &c., may be consigned to the 
care of the Palmers. Mrs. Fowle has also Avritten 
to Miss Palmer to beg she will send for them. 

Miss Austeu, Edward Austen's, Esq. 

Godmersham Park, Faversham, Kent. 


Castle Square : Monday (October 24). 

My dear Cassandra, 

Edward and George came to us soon after seven 
on Saturday, very well, but very cold, having by 


choice travelled on the outside, and Avitli no great 
coat but what Mr. Wise, the coachman, good- 
naturedly spared them of his, as they sat by his 
side. They were so much chilled when they ar- 
rived, that I was afraid they must have taken cold ; 
but it does not seem at all the case ; I never saw 
them looking better. 

They heliave extremely well in every respect, 
showing quite as much feehng as one wishes to 
see, and on every occasion speaking of their father 
with the liveliest affection. His letter was read 
over by each of them yesterday, and with many 
tears ^ George sobbed aloud, Edward's tears do not 
flow so easily ; but as far as I can judge they are 
both very properly impressed by what has hap- 
pened. Miss Lloyd, who is a more impartial judge 
than I can be, is exceedingly pleased with them. 

George is almost a new acquaintance to me, 
and I find him in a different way as engaging as 

We do not want amusement : bilbocatch, at 
which George is indefatigable, spillikins, paper 
ships, riddles, conundrums, and cards, with watcli- 
ing tlie flow and ebb of the river, and now and 
then a stroll out, keep us well employed ; and 
we mean to avail ourselves of our kind papa's 


consideration, by not returning to Winchester till 
quite the evening of Wednesday. 

Mrs. J. A. had not time to get them more than 
one suit of clothes ; their others are making here, 
and though I do not beheve Southampton is famous 
for tailoring, I hope it will prove itself better than 
Basingstoke. Edward has an old black coat, which 
will save Ms having a second new one ; but I find 
that black pantaloons are considered by them as 
necessary, and of course one would not have them 
made uncomfortable by the want of what is usual 
on such occasions. 

Fanny's letter was received with great pleasure 
yesterday, and her brother sends his thanks and 
will answer it soon. We all saw what she wrote, 
and were very much pleased with it. 

To-morrow I hope to hear from you, and to- 
morrow we must think of poor Catherine. To-day 
Lady Bridges is the heroine of our thoughts, and 
glad shall we be when we can fancy the meeting 
over. There will then be nothing so very bad for 
Edward to undergo. 

The ' St. Albans,' I find, sailed on the very day 
of my letters reaching Yarmouth, so that we must 
not expect an answer at present ; we scarcely feel, 
however, to be in suspense, or only enough to keep 


our plans to ourselves. We liave been obliged to 
explain them to our young visitors, in consequence 
of Fanny's letter, but we have not yet mentioned 
them to Steventon. We are all quite familiarised 
to the idea ourselves ; my mother only wants Mrs. 
Seward to go out at Midsummer. 

What sort of a kitchen garden is there ? Mrs. 
J. A. expresses her fear of our settling in Kent, 
and, till this proposal was made, we began to look 
forward to it here ; my mother Avas actually talking 
of a house at Wye. It will be best, however, as 
it is. 

Anne has just given her mistress warning ; she 
is going to be married ; I wish she would stay her 

On the subject of matrimony, I must notice a 
wedding in the Salisbury paper, which has amused 
me very much, Dr. Phillot to Lady Frances St. 
Lawrence. She wanted to have a husband I sup- 
pose, once in her hfe, and lie a Lady Frances. 

I hope your sorrowing party were at church 
yesterday, and have no longer tliat to dread. 
Martha was kept at home by a cold^ but I icent 
with my two nepliews^ and I saw Edward icas nmcJi 
affected by the sermon^ which, indeed, I coidd have 
supposed puiposely addressed to the afflicted, if the 


text had not naturally come in tlie course of Dr. 
Mant's observations on the Litany : ' All that are 
in danger, necessity, or tribulation,' was the subject 
of it. The weather did not allow us afterwards to 
get farther than the quay, w^here George was very 
happy as long as we could stay, flpng about from 
one side to the other, and skipping on board a 
collier immediately. 

In the evening we had the Psalms and Lessons, 
and a sermon at home, to which they were very 
attentive ; but you will not expect to hear that 
they did not return to conundrums the moment it 
teas over. Their aunt has written pleasantly of 
them, which was more than I hoped. 

While I write now, George is most industriously 
making and naming paper ships, at which he after- 
wards shoots with horse-chestnuts, brought from 
Steventon on purpose ; and Edward equally intent 
over tlie ' Lake of Killarney,' twisting himself 
about in one of our great chairs. 

Tuesday. — Your close-written letter makes me 
quite ashamed of my wide lines ; you have sent 
me a great deal of matter, most of it very welcome. 
As to your lengthened stay, it is no more than I 
expected, and wliat must be, but you cannot sup- 
pose I like it. 


All that you say of Edward is truly com- 
fortable ; I began to fear that when the bustle of 
the first week was over, his spirits might for a time 
be more depressed; and perhaps one must still 
expect something of the kind. If yuu escape a 
bilious attack, I shall wonder almost as much as 
rejoice. I am glad you mentioned where Catherine 
goes to-day ; it is a good plan, but sensible people 
may generally be trusted to form such. 

The day began cheerfully, but it is not likely 
to continue wdiat it should, for them or for us. 
We had a little water imrty yesterday ; I and my 
two -nephews went from the Itchen Ferry up to 
Northam, where we landed, looked into the 74, 
and walked home, and it was so much enjoyed 
that I had intended to take them to Netley to-day ; 
the tide is just right for our going immediately 
after moonshine, but I am afraid there will be rain ; 
if we cannot get so far, however, we may perhaps 
go round from the ferry to the quay. 

I had not proposed doing more than cross the 
Itchen yesterday, but it proved so pleasant, and so 
much to the satisfaction of all, tliat wlien we 
reached the middle of tlie stream wx^ agreed to 
be rowed up the river ; both the boys rowed great 
part of the way, and their questions and remarks. 


as well as their enjoyment, were very amusing ; 
George's enquiries were endless, and his eagerness 
in everything reminds me often of his Uncle Henry, 

Our evening was equally agreeable in its way : 
I introduced speculation^ and it was so much ap- 
proved that we hardly knew how to leave off. 

Your idea of an early dinner to-morrow is 
exactly what we propose, for, after writing the 
first part of this letter, it came into my head that 
at this time of year we have not summer evenings. 
We shall watch the light to-day, that we may not 
give them a dark drive to-morrow. 

They send their best love to papa and every- 
body, with George's thanks for the letter brought 
by this post. Martha begs my brother may be 
assured of her interest in everything relating to 
him and his family, and of her sincerely partaking 
our pleasure in the receipt of eveiy good account 
from 'Godmersham. 

Of Chawton I think I can have nothing more 
to say, but that everything you say about it in the 
letter now before me will, I am sure, as soon as I 
am able to read it to her, make my mother consider 
the plan with more and more pleasure. We had 
formed the same views on H. Dig weed's farm. 

A very kind and feeUng letter is arrived to-day 


from Kintbury. Mrs. Fowle's sympatliy and solici- 
tude on such an occasion you will be able to do 
justice to, and to express it as she wishes to my 
brother. Concerning you^ she says : ' Cassandra 
will, I know, excuse my writing to her ; it is not 
to save myself but her that I omit so doing. Give 
my best, my kindest love to her, and tell her I feel 
for her as I know she would for me on the same 
occasion, and that I most sincerely hope her health 
will not suffer.' 

We have just had two hampers of apples from 
Kintbury, and the floor of our little garret is 
almost covered. Love to all. 

Yours very affectionately, J. A. 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen, Esq. 

Godmersliam Park, Faversham, Kent. 


Castle Square : Sunday (November 21). 

Your letter, my dear Cassandra, obliges me to 
write immediately, that you may have the earliest 
notice of Frank's intending, if possible, to go to 
Godmersliam exactly at the time now iixed for 
your visit to Goodnestone. 

He resolved, almost directly on the receipt of 


your former letter, to try for an extension of his 
leave of absence, that he might be able to go clown 
to you for two clays, but charged me not to give you 
any notice of it, on account of the uncertainty of 
success. Now, however, I must give it, and now 
perhaps he may be giving it himself; for I am just 
in the hateful predicament of being oblio-ed to 
write what I know will somehow or other be of no 

He meant to ask for five days more, and 
if they were granted, to go down by Thurs- 
day night's mail, and spend Friday and Saturday 
with you ; and he considered his chance of suc- 
ceeding by no means bad. I hope it will take 
place as he planned, and that your arrano-ements 
with Goodnestone may admit of suitable altera- 

Your news of Edward Bridges was quite news, 
for I have had no letter from Wrotham. I wish 
him happy with all my heart, and hope his choice 
may turn out according to his own expectations, 
and beyond those of his family ; and I dare say it 
will. Marriage is a great improver, and m a 
similar situation Harriet may be as amiable as 
Eleanor. As to money, that will come, you may 
be sure, because they cannot do without it. When 



you see him again, pray give liim our congratu- 
lations and best wishes. This match will certainly 
set John and Lucy going. 

There are six bedchambers at Chawton ; Henry 
wrote to my mother the other day, and luckily 
mentioned the number, which is just what we 
wanted to be assured of. He speaks also of 
garrets for store places, one of which she imme- 
diately planned fitting up for Edward's man ser- 
vant ; and now perhaps it must be for our own ; 
for she is already quite reconciled to our keeping 
one. The difficulty of doing without one had 
been thought of before. His name shall be Eobert, 
if you please. 

Before I can tell you of it, you will have heard 
that Miss Sawbridge is married. It took place, I 
beheve, on Thursday. Mrs. Fowle has for some 
time been in the secret, but the neighbourhood in 
general were quite unsuspicious. Mr. Maxwell 
was tutor to the young Grregorys — consequently, 
they must be one of the happiest couples in the 
world, and either of them worthy of envy, for .^he 
must be excessively in love, and he mounts from 
nothing to a comfortable home. Martha has heard 
him very highly spoken of. They continue for the 
present at Speen Hill. 


I have a Southampton match to return for your 
Kentish one, Captam G. Heathcote and Miss A. 
LyelL I have it from Aletliea, and hke it, because 
I had made it before. 

Yes, the Stoneleigh business is concluded, but 
it was not till yesterday that my mother was regu- 
larly informed of it, though the news had reached 
us on Monday evening by way of Steventon. My 
aunt says as little as may be on the subject b}^ way 
of information, and nothing at all by way of satisfac- 
tion. She reflects on Mr. T. Leigh's dilatoriness, and 
looks about with great diligence and success for in- 
•convenience and evil, among which she ingeniously 
places the danger of her new housemaids catchino- 
cold on the outside of the coach, wlien slie o-oes 
down to Bath, for a carriage makes her sick. 

John Binns has been offered tlieir place, but 
declines it ; as she supposes, because he will not 
wear a livery. Whatever be the cause, I like the 

In spite of all my mother's long and intimate 
knowledge of the writer, she was not up to the ex- 
pectation of such a letter as this ; the discontented- 
ness of it shocked and surprised ]ier — but / see- 
nothing in it out of nature, though a sad nature. 

She does not forget to wish for Chambers, you 



may be sure. No particulars are given, not a word 
of arrears mentioned, though in her letter to James 
they were in a general way spoken of. The amount 
of them is a matter of conjecture, and to my 
mother a most interesting one ; she cannot fix any 
time for their beginning with any satisfaction to 
herself but Mrs. Leigh's death, and Henry's two 
thousand pounds neither agrees with that period 
nor any other. I did not like to own our previous 
information of what was intended last July, and 
have therefore only said that if we could see Henry 
we might hear many particulars, as I had under- 
stood that some confidential conversation had 
passed between him and Mr. T. L. at Stoneleigh. 

We have been as quiet as usual since Frank and 
Mary left us ; Mr. Criswick called on Martha that 
very morning on his way home again from Ports- 
mouth, and we have had no visitor since. 

We called on the Miss Lyells one day, and 
heard a good account of Mr. Heathcote's canvass,, 
the success of which, of course, exceeds his expec- 
tations. Alethea in her letter hopes for my interest, 
which I conclude means Edward's, and I take this 
opportunity, therefore, of requesting that he will 
bring in Mr. Heathcote. Mr. Lane told us yester 
day that Mr. H. had behaved very handsomely. 


and waited on Mr. Thistlethwaite, to say that if he 
(Mr. T.) would stand, he (Mr. H.) would not oppose 
liim ; but Mr. T. declined it, acknowledging him- 
self still smarting under the payment of late elec- 
tioneering costs. 

The Mrs. Hulberts, we learn from Kintbury, 
come to Steventon this week, and bring Mary Jane 
Fowle with them on her way to Mrs. Xunes ; she 
returns at Christmas with her brother. 

Our brother we may perhaps see in the course 
of a few days, and we mean to take the oppor- 
tunity of his help to go one niglit to the play. 
Martha ought to see the inside of the theatre once 
while she hves in Soutliampton, and I think she 
will hardly wisli to take a second view. 

The furniture of Bellevue is to be sold to- 
morrow, and we shall take it in our usual Avalk, if 
the weather be favourable. 

How could you have a wet day on Thursday ? 
With us it Avas a prince of days, the most delight- 
ful w^e have had for weeks ; soft, bright, with a 
brisk wind from the south-west ; everybody was 
out and talking of spring, and Martha and I did 
not know how to turn back. On Friday evening 
we had some very blowing weather — from 6 to 9, 
I think we never heard it worse, even here. And 


one night we had so much rain that it forced its 
way again into the store closet, and though the 
evil was comparatively slight and the mischief 
nothing, I had some employment the next day in 
drying parcels, &c. I have now moved still more 
out of the way. 

Martha sends her best love, and thanks you for 
admitting her to the knowledge of the pros and 
cons about Harriet Foote ; she has an interest in 
all such matters. I am also to say that she wants 
to see you. Mary Jane missed her papa and 
mama a good deal at first, but now does very well 
without them. I am glad to hear of Httle John's 
being better ; and hope your accounts of Mrs. 
Knight will also improve. Adieu ! remember me 
affectionately to everybody, and believe me, 

Ever yours, J. A. 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 
Godmersliam Park, Faversham, Kent. 


('astle Square : Friday (December 0). 

Many thanks, my dear Cassandra, to you and 
Mr. Deedes for your joint and agreeable com- 
position, which took me by surprise this morning. 


He has certainly great merit as a writer ; he does 
ample justice to his subject, and, without being 
diffuse, is clear and correct ; and though I do not 
mean to compare his epistolary powers with yours, 
or to give him the same portion of my gratitude, 
he certainly has a very pleasing way of winding up 
a whole, and speeding truth into the world. 

' But all this,' as my dear Mrs. Piozzi says, ' is 
flight and fancy, and nonsense, for my master has 
his great casks to mind and I have my little chil- 
dren.' It is you^ however, in this instance, that 
have the httle children, and / that have the great 
cask, for we are brewing spruce beer again ; but 
my meaning really is, that I am extremely foolish 
in writing all this unnecessary stuff when I have so 
many matters to write about that my paper will 
hardly hold it all. Little matters they are, to be 
sure, but highly important. 

In the first place. Miss Curling is actually at 
Portsmouth, which I was always in hopes would 
not happen. I wish her no worse, however, than 
a long and happy abode there. Here she would 
probably be dull, and I am sure she would be 

The bracelets are in my possession, and every- 
thing I could wish them to be. They came with 


Martha's pelisse, which likewise gives great satis- 
faction. ♦ 

Soon after I had closed my last letter to you 
we were visited by Mrs. Dickens and her sister-in- 
law, Mrs. Bertie, the wife of a lately-made Admiral. 
Mrs. F. A.,^ I believe, was their first object, but 
they put up with us very kindly, and Mrs. D., 
finding in Miss Lloyd a friend of Mrs. Dundas, had 
another motive for the acquaintance. She seems 
a really agreeable woman — that is, her manners 
are gentle, and she knows a great many of our 
connections in West Kent. Mrs. Bertie hves in the 
Polygon, and was out when we returned her visit, 
which are her two virtues. 

A larger circle of acquaintance, and an increase 
of amusement, is quite in character Avith our ap- 
proaching removal. Yes, I mean to go to as many 
balls as possible, that I may have a good bargain. 
Everybody is very much concerned at our going 
away, and everybody is acquainted witli Chawton, 
and speaks of it as a remarkably pretty village, 
and everybody knows tlie house we describe, but 
nobody fixes on the right. 

I am very much obhged to Mrs. Knight for 
such a proof of the interest she takes in me, and 

^ Frank Austen. 


she may depend iij:)©!! it that I icill marry Mr. 
Papillon, whatever may be his reluctance or my 
own. I owe her much more than such a trifling 

Our ball was rather more amusing than I 
expected. Martha liked it very much, and I did 
not gape till the last quarter of an hour. It was 
past nine before we were sent for, and not twelve 
when we returned. The room was tolerably full, 
and there were, perhaps, thirty couple of dancers. 
The melancholy part was, to see so many dozen 
young women standing by without partners, and 
each of them with two ugly naked shoulders. 

It was the same room in which we danced 
fifteen years ago. I thought it all over, and in 
spite of the shame of being so much older, felt 
with thankfulness that I was quite as happy now 
as then. We paid an additional shilling for our 
tea, which we took as we chose in an adjoining 
and very comfortable room. 

There were only four dances, and it went to my 
heart that the Miss Lances (one of them, too, named 
Emma) should have partners only for two. You 
will not expect to liear that / was asked to dance, 
but I was — by the gentleman whom we met tliat 
Sunday with Captain D'Auvergne. We liave always 


kept up a bowing acquaintance since, and, being 
pleased with his black eyes, I spoke to him at the 
ball, which brought on me this civility ; but I do not 
know his name, and he seems so little at home in 
the English language, that I believe his black eyes 
may be the best of him. Captain D'Auvergne has 
got a ship. 

Martha and I made use of the very favourable 
state of yesterday for walking, to pay our duty at 
Chiswell. We found Mrs. Lance at home and alone, 
and sat out three other ladies who soon came in. 
We went by the ferry, and returned by the bridge, 
and were scarcely at all fatigued. 

Edward must have enjoyed the last two days. 
You, I presume, had a cool drive to Canterbury. 
Kitty Foote came on Wednesday, and her evening 
visit began early enough for the last part, the apple 
pie, of our dinner, for we never dine now till five. 

Yesterday I — or, rather, you — had a letter from 
Nanny Hilliard, the object of which is, that she 
would be very much obliged to us if we would get 
Hannah a place. I am sorry that I cannot assist 
her ; if you can, let me know, as I sliall not 
answer the letter immediately. Mr. Sloper is 
married again, not much to Nanny's, or anybody's 
satisfaction. The lady was governess to Sir 


Eobert's natural children, and seems to have 
nothing to recommend her. I do not lind, how- 
ever, that Nanny is Hkely to lose her place in 
consequence. She says not a word of what service 
she wishes for Hannah, or what Hannah can do, 
but a nursery, I suppose, or something of that 
kind, must be the thing. 

Having now cleared away my smaller articles 
of news, I come to a communication of some 
weight ; no less than that my uncle and aunt ^ are 
going to allow James 100/. a year. "We hear of it 
through Steventon. Mary sent us the other day 
an extract from m)^ aunt's letter on the subject, in 
which tlie donation is made with the greatest 
kindness, and intended as a compensation for his 
loss in the conscientious refusal of Hampstead 
living ; 100/. a year being all that he had at the 
time called its worth, as I find it was always in- 
tended at Steventon to divide the real income with 

Nothing can be more affectionate than my 
aunt's language in making the present, and like- 
Avise in expressing her hope of their being much 
more toc^ether in future than, to her sfreat resfret, 
they have of late years been. My expectations for 

^ Mr. aad Mrs. Leigh Perrot. 


my mother do not rise with this event. We will 
allow a little more time, however, before we fly 

If not prevented by parish business, James 
comes to us on Monday. Tlie Mrs. Hulberts and 
Miss Murden are their guests at present, and likely 
to continue such till Christmas. Anna comes home 
on the 19th. The hundred a year begins next 

I am glad you are to have Henry with you 
again ; with him and the boys you cannot but 
have a cheerful, and at times even a merry, Christ- 
mas. ' Martha is so (MSS. torn) 

We want to be settled at Chawton in time for 
Henry to come to us for some shooting in October, at 
least, or a little earlier, and Edward may visit us 
after takiiig his boys back to Winchester. Suppose 
we name the 4t]i of September. Will not that do ? 

I have but one tiling more to tell you. Mrs. 
Hill called on my motlier yesterday wlnle we were 
gone to Chiswell, and in the course of the visit 
asked her whether she knew any tiling of a clergy- 
man's family of the name of Alford, who had 
resided in our part of Hampshire. Mrs. Hill had 
been applied to as likely to give some information 


of them on account of tlieir probable vicinity to 
Dr. Hill's living, by a lady, or for a lady, who had 
known Mrs. and the two Miss Alfords in Bath, 
whither they had removed, it seems, from Hamp- 
shire, and who now wishes to convey to the Miss 
Alfords some work or trimming which she has 
been doincr for them ; but the mother and 
daughters have left Bath, and the lady cannot 
learn where they are gone to. While my mother 
gave us the account, the probability of its being 
ourselves occurred to us, and it had previously 

struck herself .... 

what makes it more 
likely, and even indispensably to be us, is that she 
mentioned Mr. Hammond as now having the living 
or curacy which tlie father had had. I cannot 
think who our kind lady can be, but I dare say 
we shall not like the work. 

Distribute the affectionate love of a heart not 
so tired as the right hand belonging to it. 

Yours ever sincerely, J. A. 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 

Godmersham Park, Faversliam, Kent. 



Castle Square : Tuesday (December 27). 

My dear Cassandra, 

I can now write at leisure and make the most 
of my subjects, which is lucky, as they are not 
numerous this week. 

Our house was cleared by half-past eleven on 
Saturday, and we had the satisfaction of hearing 
yesterday that tlie party reached home in safety 
soon after five. 

I was very glad of your letter this morning, for, 
my mother taking medicine, Eliza keeping her bed 
with a cold, and Choles not coming, made us rather 
dull and dependent on the post. You tell me 
much that gives me pleasure, but I think not much 
to answer. I wish I could help you in your needle- 
work. I have two liands and a new thimble that 
lead a very easy life. 

Lady Sondes' match surprises, but does not 
oiBTend me ; had her first marriage been of affec- 
tion, or had there been a grown-up single daughter, 
I sliould not have forgiven her ; but I consider 
everybody as liaving a right to marry once in their 
lives for love, if they can, and provided she will 
now leave off* having bad headaches and being 


pathetic, I can allow her, I can vjish her, to be 

Do not imagine that your picture of your 
tete-a-tete with Sir B. makes any cliange in'' our 
■expectations here ; he could not be really reaclino-, 
though he held the newspaper in his hand ; he 
was making up his mind to the deed, and the 
manner of it. I think you will have a letter from 
him soon. 

I heard from Portsmouth yesterday, and as I 
am to send them more clothes, they cannot be 
expecting a very early return to us. Mary's face 
is pretty well, but she must have suffered a great 
deal with it ; an abscess was formed and opened. 

Our evening party on Thursday produced 
nothing more remarkable than Miss Murden's 
coming too, though she had declined it absolutely 
in the morning, and sitting very ungracious and 
very silent witli us from seven o'clock till half after 
eleven, for so late was it, owing to the chairmen, 
before we got rid of tliem. 

The last hour, spent in yawning and shiverincr 
in a wide circle round the fire, was du]l enouixh, 
but the tray had admirable success. Tlie widgeon 
and the preserved ginger were as delicious as one 
could wish. But as to our black butter, do not 


decoy anybody to Southampton by such a hire, for 
it is all gone. The first pot was opened when 
Frank and Mary were here, and proved not at all 
what it ought to be ; it was neither solid nor 
entirely sweet, and on seeing it Eliza remembered 
that Miss Austen had said she did not think it had 
been boiled enough. It was made, you know, when 
we were absent. Such being the ev^ent of the first 
pot, I would not save the second, and we therefore 
ate it in unpretending privacy ; and though not 
what it ought to be, part of it was very good. 

James means to keep three horses on this 
increase of income ; at present he has but one. 
Mary wishes tlie other two to be fit to carry 
women, and in the purchase of one Edward will 
probably be called upon to fulfil his promise to 
his godson. We have now pretty well ascertained 
James's income to be eleven lumdred pounds, 
curate paid, which makes us very happy — the 
ascertainment as well as the income. 

Mary does not talk of the garden ; it may well 
be a disagreeable subject to her, but her husband 
is persuaded that nothing is wanting to make the 
first new one good but trenching, which is to 
be done by his own servants and John Bond, by 


degrees, not at the expense which trenchmg the 
other amonnted to. 

I was happy to hear, chiefly for Anna's sake, 
that a ball at Manydown was once more in agi- 
tation ; it is called a child's ball, and given by 
Mrs. Heathcote to Wm. Such was its beginning 
at least, but it will probably swell into something 
more. Edward was invited during his stay at 
Manydown, and it is to take place between this 
and Twelfth-day. Mrs. Hulbert has taken Anna a 
pair of white shoes on the occasion. 

I forgot in my last to tell you tliat we hear, by 
way of Kintbury and the Palmers, that they were 
all well at Bermuda in the beginning of Nov. 

Wednesday. — Yesterday must have been a day 
of sad remembrance at Gm. I am glad it is over. 
We spent Friday evening with our friends at the 
boarding-house, and our curiosity was gratified by 
the sight of their fellow-inmates, Mrs. Drew and 
Miss Hook, Mr. Wynne and Mr. Fitzhugh ; the 
latter is brother to Mrs. Lance, and very much the 
gentleman. He has lived in that house more than 
twenty years, and, poor man ! is so totally deaf that 
they say he could not hear a cannon, were it fired 
close to him ; having no cannon at hand to make 
the experiment, I took it for granted, and talked 



to him a little with my fingers, which was funny 
enough. I recommended him to read Corinna. 

Miss Hook is a well-behaved, genteelish woman ; 
Mrs. Drew well behaved, without being at all 
genteel. Mr. Wynne seems a chatty and rather 
famihar young man. Miss Murden was quite a 
different creature this last evening from what she 
had been before, owing to her having with Martha's 
help found a situation in the morning, which bids 
very fair for comfort. When she leaves Steventon, 
she comes to board and lodge mth Mrs. Hookey, 
the chemist — for there is no Mr. Hookey. I cannot 
saythat I am in any hurry for the conclusion of 
her present visit, but I was truly glad to see 
her comfortable in mind and spirits ; at her age, 
perhaps, one may be as friendless oneself, and in 
similar circumstances quite as captious. 

My mother has been lately adding to her 
possessions in plate — a wliole tablespoon and a 
whole dessert-spoon, and six whole teaspoons — 
which makes our sideboard border on tlie mag- 
nificent. They were mostly the produce of old 
or useless silver. I have turned the ll.^. in the 
list into 12.S'., and the card looks all the better ; a 
silver tea-ladle is also added, whicli will at least 


answer the purpose of making us sometimes think 
of John Warren. 

I have laid Lady Sondes' case before Martha, 
who does not make the least objection to it, and is 
particularly pleased with the name of Montresor. 
I do not agree with her there, but I like his rank 
very much, and always affix the ideas of strong- 
sense and highly elegant manners to a general. 

I must write to Charles next week. You may 
guess in what extravagant terms of praise Earle 
Harwood speaks of him. He is looked up to by 
everybody in all America. 

I shall not tell you anything more of Wm. 
Dig weed's china, as your silence on the subject 
makes you unworthy of it. Mrs. H. Dii^weed 
looks forward with crpeat satisfaction to our beino- 
her neighbours. I would have her enjoy the idea 
to the utmost, as I suspect there will not be much in 
the reality. With equal pleasure we anticipate an 
intimacy with her husband's bailiff and his "wife, 
who live close by us, and are said to be remarkably 
good sort of people. 

Yes, yes, we vnll have a pianoforte, as good a 
one as can be got for thirty guineas, and I will 
practise country dances, that we may have some 



amusement for our nepliews and nieces, when we 
have the pleasure of their company. 

Martha sends her love to Henry, and tells him 
that he will soon have a bill of Miss Chaplin's, 
about 14/., to pay on her account; but the bill 
shall not be sent in till his return to town. I hope 
he comes to you in good health, and in spirits as 
good as a first return to Godmersham can allow. 
With his nephews he will force himself to be 
cheerful, till he really is so. Send me some intel- 
ligence of Eliza ; it is a long while since I have 
heard of her. 

We have had snow on the ground here almost 
a week ; it is now going, but Southampton must 
boast no longer. We all send our love to Edward 
junior and his brotliers, and I hope Speculation is 
generally liked. 

Fare you well. 

Yours affectionately, J. Austen. 

My mother has not been out of doors this 
week, but she keeps pretty well. We have received 
through Bookham an indifferent account of your 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 
Godmersham Park, Faversham, Kent. 



Castle Square : Tuesday (January 10). 

I am not surprised, my clear Cassandra, that 
you did not find my last letter very full of matter, 
and I wish this may not have the same deficiency ; 
but we are doing nothing ourselves to write 
about, and I am therefore quite dependent upon 
the communications of our friends, or my own wits. 
This post brought me two interesting letters, 
yours and one from Bookham, in answer to an 
enquiry of mine about your good godmother, of 
whom we had lately received a very alarming 
account from Paragon. Mss Arnold was the in- 
formant then, and she spoke of Mrs. E. L. having 
been very dangerously ill, and attended by a 
physician from Oxford. 

Your letter to Adlestrop may perhaps bring 
you information from the spot, but in case it 
should not, I must tell you that she is better ; 
though Dr. Bourne cannot yet call her out of 
danger ; such was the case last Wednesday, and 
Mrs. Cooke's having had no later account is a 
favourable sign. I am to hear again from the 
latter next week, but not this^ if everything goes on 


Her disorder is an inflammation on the lungs, 
arising from a severe chill, taken in church last 
Sunday three weeks ; her mind all pious com- 
posure, as may be supposed. George Cooke was 
there when her illness began ; his brother has now 
taken his place. Her age and feebleness consi- 
dered, one's fears cannot but preponderate, though 
her amendment has already surpassed the expec- 
tation of the physician at the beginning. I am 
sorry to add that Becky is laid up with a complaint 
of the same kind. 

I am very glad to have the time of your return 
at all fixed ; we all rejoice in it, and it will not be 
later than I had expected. I dare not hope that 
Mary and Miss Curhng may be detained at Ports- 
mouth so long or half so long ; but it would be 
worth twopence to have it so. 

The ' St. Albans ' perhaps may soon be off to 
help bring home what may remain by this time 
of our poor army, whose state seems dreadfully 
critical. The ' Eegency ' seems to have been heard 
of only here ; my most pohtical correspondents 
make no mention of it. Unlucky that I should 
have wasted so much reflection on the subject. 

I can now answer your question to my mother 
more at large, and likewise more at small — with 


equal perspicuity and minuteness ; for the very day 
of our leaving Southampton is fixed ; and if the 
knowledge is of no use to Edward, I am sure it 
will give him pleasure. Easter Monday, April 3, 
is the day ; we are to sleep that night at Alton, 
and be with our friends at Bookham the next, if 
they are then at home ; there w^e remain till the 
following Monday, and on Tuesday, April 11, hope 
to be at Godmersham. If the Cookes are absent, 
we shall finisli our journey on the oth. These 
plans depend of course upon the weather, but I 
hope there will be no settled cold to delay us 

To make you amends for being at Bookham, it 
is in contemplation to spend a few days at Baiton 
Lodge in our way out of Kent. The hint of such a 
visit is most affectionately welcomed by Mrs. Birch, 
in one of her odd pleasant letters lately, in which 
she speaks of us with the usual distinguished kind- 
ness, declaring that she shall not be at all satisfied 
unless a very handsome present is made us imme- 
diately from one quarter. 

Fanny's not coming with you is no more than 
we expected, and as we have not the hope of a 
bed for her, and shall see her so soon afterwards 
at Godmersham, we cannot wish it otherwise. 


William will be quite recovered, I trust, by the 
time you receive this. What a comfort liis cross- 
stitch nmst have been ! Pray tell him that I should 
like to see his work very much. I liope our 
answers tliis morning have given satisfaction ; we 
had great pleasure in Uncle Deedes' packet ; and 
pray let Marianne know, in private, that I think 
she is quite right to work a rug for Uncle John's 
coffee urn, and that I am sure it must give great 
pleasure to herself now, and to him when he 
receives it. 

The preference of Brag over Speculation does 
not greatly surprise me, I believe, because I feel 
the same myself; but it mortifies me deeply, be- 
cause Speculation was under my patronage ; and, 
after all, what is there so delightful in a pair royal 
of Braggers ? It is but three nines or three knaves, 
or a mixture of them. Wlieu one comes to reason 
upon it, it cannot stand its ground against Specu- 
lation — of which I hope Edward is now convinced. 
Give my love to him if he is. 

The letter from Paragon before mentioned was 
much like those which had preceded it, as to the 
felicity of its writer. They found their house so 
dirty and so damp that they were obliged to be a 
week at an inn. John Binns had behaved most 


unliandsomely and engaged himself elsewliere. 
They have a man, however, on the same footing, 
which my aunt does not hke, and she finds both 
him and the new maidservant very, very inferior 
to Eobert and Martha. Whether they mean to 
have any other domestics does not appear, nor 
whether they are to have a carriage wdiile they are 
in Bath. 

The Holders are as usual, though I believe it 
is not very usual for them to be happy, which they 
now are at a great rate, in Hooper's marriage. 
The Irvines are not mentioned. The American 
lady improved as we went on ; but still the same 
faults in part recurred. 

We are now in Margiana, and hke it very well 
indeed. We are just going to set off for North- 
umberland to be shut up in Widdrington Tower, 
where there must be two or three sets of victims 
already immured under a very fine villain. 

Wednesday, — Your report of Eliza's health 
gives me great pleasure, and the progress of the 
bank is a constant source of satisfaction. With 
such increasing profits, tell Henry that I hope he 
will not work poor High-diddle so hard as he used 
to do.^ 

Has your newspaper given a sad story of a 


Mrs. Middleton, wife of a farmer in Yorkshire, her 
sister, and servant, being ahnost frozen to death in 
the late weather, her httle child qnite so ? I hope 
the sister is not onr friend Miss Woodd, and I 
rather think her brother-in-law had moved into 
Lincolnshire, but their name and station accord 
too well. Mrs. M. and the maid are said to be 
tolerably recovered, but the sister is hkely to lose 
the use of her limbs. 

Charles's rug will be finished to-day, and sent 
to-morrow to Frank, to be consigned by him to Mr, 
Turner's care ; and I am going to send Marmion 
out with it — very generous in me, I think. 

As we have no letter from Adlestrop, we may 
suppose the good woman was alive on Monday, 
but I cannot help expecting bad news from thence 
or Bookham in a few days. Do you continue quite 

Have you nothing to say of your little name- 
sake ? We join in love and many happy returns. 
Yours affectionately, J. Austen. 

The ManydoAvn ball was a smaller thing than I 
expected, but it seems to have made Anna very 
happy. At her age it would not have done for }iie. 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 
Godmersliam Park, Faversham, Kent. 



Castle Square: Tuesday (January 17). 

My dear Cassandra, 

I am happy to say that we had no second letter 
from Bookham last week. Yours has brought its 
usual measure of satisfaction and amusement, and 
I beg your acceptance of all the thanks due on the 
occasion. Your offer of cravats is very kind, and 
happens to be particularly adapted to my wants, 
but it was an odd thing to occur to you. 

Yes, we have got another fall of snow, and are 
very dreadful ; everything seems to turn to snow 
this winter. 

I hope you have had no more illness among 
you, and that William will be soon as well as ever. 
His working a footstool for Chawton is a most 
agreeable surprise to me, and I am sure his grand- 
mamma will value it very much as a proof of liis 
affection and industry, but we shall never have the 
heart to put our feet upon it. I beheve I must 
work a muslin cover in satin stitch to keep it from 
the dirt. I long to know what his colours are. I 
guess greens and purples. 

Edward and Henry have started a difficulty 
respecting our journey, which, I must own with 


some confusion, had never been thought of by us ; 
but if the former expected by it to prevent our 
travelhng into Kent entirely he will be disap- 
pointed, for we have already determined to go the 
Croydon road on leaving Bookham and sleep at 
Dartford. Will not that do? There certainly 
does seem no convenient resting-place on the 
other road. 

Anna went to Clanville last Friday, and I have 
hopes of her new aunt's being really worth her 
knowing. Perhaps you may never have heard that 
James and Mary paid a morning visit there in form 
some weeks ago, and Mary, though by no means 
disposed to like her, was very much pleased 
with her indeed. Her praise, to be sure, proves 
nothing more than Mrs. M.'s being civil and at- 
tentive to them, but her being so is in favour of 
her having good sense. Mary writes of Anna as 
improved in person, but gives her no other com- 
mendation. I am afraid her absence now may 
deprive her of one pleasure, for that silly Mr. 
Hammond is actually to give his ball on Friday. 

We had some reason to expect a visit from Earle 
Harwood and James this week, but they do not 
come. Miss Murden arrived last night at Mrs. 
Hookey's, as a message and a basket announced to 


US. You will therefore return to an enlarged and, 
of course, improved society here, especially as the 
Miss WilHamses are come back. 

We were agreeably surprised the other day 
by a visit from your beauty and mine, each in a 
new cloth mantle and bonnet ; and I daresay you 
will value yourself much on the modest propriety 
of Miss W.'s taste, hers being purple and Miss 
Grace's scarlet. 

I can easily suppose that your six weeks hero 
will be fully occupied, were it only in lengthening 
the waists of your gowns. I have pretty well 
arranged my spring and summer plans of that 
kind, and mean to wear out my spotted muslin 
iDefore I go. You will exclaim at this, but mine 
really has signs of feebleness, which, with a little 
care, may come to something. 

Martha and Dr. Mant are as bad as ever ; he 
runs after her in the street to apologise for having 
spoken to a gentleman while she was near him 
the day before. Poor Mrs. Mant can stand it 
no longer ; she is retired to one of her married 

When William returns to Winchester Mary 
Jane is to go to Mrs. Nune's for a month, and then 
to Steventon for a fortnight, and it seems likely 


that edie and her Aunt Martha may travel into 
Berkshire together. 

We shall not have a month of Martha after 
your return, and that month will be a very inter- 
rupted and broken one, but we shall enjoy our- 
selves the more when we can get a quiet half-hour 

To set against your new novel, of which nobody 
ever heard before, and perhaps never may again^ 
we have got Tela of Athens^ by Miss Owenson, 
which must be very clever, because it was written, 
as the authoress says, in three months. We have 
only read the preface yet, but her Irish girl does 
not make me expect much. If the warmth of her 
language could affect the body it might be worth 
reading in this weather. 

Adieu ! I must leave off to stir the fire and call 
on Miss Murden 

Evening. — I have done them both, the first 
very often. We found our friend as comfortable 
as she can ever allow herself to be in cold weather. 
There is a very neat parlour behind the shop for 
her to sit in, not very light indeed, being d la 
Southampton, the middle of three deep, but very 
lively from the frequent sound of the pestle and 


We afterwards called on the Miss Williamses, 
who lodge at Diirantoy's. ]\Iiss Mary only was at 
home, and she is in very indifferent health. Dr. 
Hacket came in while we were there, and said that 
he never remembered such a severe winter as this 
in Southampton before. It is bad, but we do 
not suffer as we did last year, because the wind 
has been more N.E. than X.W. 

For a day or two last week my mother was 
very poorly with a return of one of her old com- 
plaints, but it did not last long, and seems to have 
left nothing bad behind it. She began to talk of 
a serious illness, her two last having been preceded 
by the same symptoms, but, thank heaven ! she is 
now quite as well as one can expect her to be in 
weather which deprives her of exercise. 

Miss M. conveys to us a third volume of ser- 
mons, from Hamstall, just published, and which 
we are to like better than the two others ; they 
are professedly j/?'ac^2Va/, and for the use of country 
congregations. I have just received some verses 
in an unknown hand, and am desired to forward 
them to my nephew Edward at Godmersham. 

Alas ! poor Brag, thou boastful game ! 
AYliat now avails thine empty name 1 
"Where now thy more distinguished fame % 
My day is o'er, and thine the same, 


Foi' thou, like me, art thrown aside 
At Godmersham, this Christmas tide ; 
And now across the table wide 
Each game save brag or spec, is tried. 
Such is the mild ejaculation 
Of tender-hearted speculation. 

Wednesday. — I expected to have a letter from 
somebody to-day, but I have not. Twice every 
day I thmk of a letter from Portsmouth. 

Miss Murden has been sitting with us this morn- 
ing. As yet she seems very well pleased with her 
situation. The worst part of her being in South- 
ampton will be the necessity of one walking with 
her now and then, for she talks so loud that one is 
quite ashamed ; but our dining hours are luckily 
very different, which we shall take all reasonable 
advantage of. 

The Queen's birthday moves the Assembly to 
this night instead of last, and, as it is always fully 
attended, Martha and I expect an amusing show. 
We were in hopes of being independent of other 
companions by having the attendance of Mr. 
Austen and Captain Harwood ; but, as they fail us, 
we are obliged to look out for other help, and have 
fixed on the Wallops as least likely to be trouble- 
some. I have called on them this morning and 
found them very willing, and I am sorry tliat you 


must wait a whole week for the particulars of the 
evening. I propose being asked to dance by our 
acquaintance Mr. Smith, now Captain Smith, who 
has lately re-appeared in Southampton, but I shall 
dechne it. He saw Charles last August. 

What an alai^ming bride Mrs. . 
must have been ; such a parade is one of the 
most immodest pieces of modesty that one can 
imagine. To attract notice could have been her 
only wish. It augurs ill for her family ; it an- 
nounces not great sense, and therefore ensures 
boundless influence. 

I hope Fanny's visit is now taking place. You 
have said scarcely anything of her lately, but I trust 
you are as good friends as ever. 

Martha sends her love, and hopes to have the 
pleasure of seeing you when you return to South- 
ampton. You are to understand this message as 
being merely for the sake of a message to oblige 


Yours affectionately, J". Austen. 

Henry never sent his love to me in your last, 
but I send him mine. 

Miss Austeu, Edward Aiisten's, Esq. 
Godmersham Park, Faversliam, Kent. 




Castle Square: Tuesday (January 24). 

My dear Cassandra, 

I will give you the indulgence of a letter on 
Thursday this week, instead of Friday, but I do 
not require you to write again before Sunday, pro- 
vided I may believe you and your finger going on 
quite well. Take care of your precious self ; do 
not work too hard. Eemember that Aunt Cas- 
sandras are quite as scarce as Miss Beverleys.^ 

I had the happiness yesterday of a letter from 
Charles, but I shall say as little about it as possible^ 
because I know that excruciating Henry will have 
had a letter hkewise, to make all my intelligence 
valueless. It was written at Bermuda on the 7th 
and 10th of December. All well, and Fanny still 
only in expectation of being otherwise. He had 
taken a small prize in his late cruise — a French 
schooner, laden with sugar ; but bad weather parted 
them, and she had not yet been heard of. His 
cruise ended December 1st. My September letter 
was the latest he had received. 

This day three weeks you are to be in London, 
and I wish you better weather ; not but that you 

^ * Cecilia ' Beverley, tlio heroine of ^liss Buruey's novel. 


may have worse, for Ave have now nothing bnt 
ceaseless snow or rain and insufferable dirt to 
complain of; no tempestuous winds nor severity^ 
of cold. Since I wrote last we have had some- 
thing of each, but it is not genteel to rip up old 

You used me scandalouslv bv not mentionino- 
Edward Cooper's sermons. I tell you everything,, 
and it is unknown the mysteries you conceal from 
me ; and, to add to tlie rest, you persevere in 
giving a final e to invalid, thereby putting it out 
of one's power to suppose Mrs. E. Leigh, even for 
a moment, a veteran soldier. She, good woman, 
is, I hope, destined for some further placid enjoy- 
ment of her own excellence in this world, for her 
recovery advances exceedingly well. 

I had this pleasant news in a letter from 
Bookham last Thursday, but, as the letter was from 
Mary instead of her mother, you will guess her 
account was not equally good from home. Mrs. 
Cooke had been confined to her bed some day» 
by illness, but was then better, and Mary wrote 
in confidence of her continuing to mend. I have 
desired to hear again soon. 

You rejoice me by what you say of Fanny. I 
hope she will not turn good-for-notliing this ever 

F 2 


SO long. We thought of and talked of her yester- 
day with smeere affection, and wished lier a long 
enjoyment of all the happiness to which she seems 
born. While she gives happiness to those about 
her she is pretty sure of her own share. 

I am gratified by her having pleasure in what 
I write, but I wish the knowledge of my being 
exposed to her discerning criticism may not hurt 
my style, by inducing too great a solicitude. I 
begin already to weigh my words and sentences 
more than I did, and am looking about for a 
■sentiment, an illustration, or a metaphor in every 
corner of the room. Could my ideas flow as fast 
as the rain in the store-closet it would be 
•charming. . 

We have been in two or three dreadful states 
within the last week, from the melting of the snow, 
•&c., and the contest between us and the closet has 
now ended in our defeat. I have been obliged to 
move almost everything out of it, and leave it to 
splash itself as it likes. 

You have by no means raised my curiosity 
after Caleb. My disinclination for it before was 
affected, but now it is real. I do not like the 
evangelicals. Of course I shall be delighted when I 
read it, like other people, but till I do I dislike it. 



I am sorry my verses did not bring any return 
from Edward. I was in hopes they might, but 
I suppose he does not rate them high enough. It 
might be partiaUty, but they seemed to me purely 
classical — ^just like Homer and Virgil, Ovid and 
Propria que Maribus. 

I had a nice brotherly letter from Frank the 
other day, which, after an interval of nearly three 
weeks, was very welcome. No orders were come 
on Friday, and none were come yesterday, or we 
should have heard to-day. I had supposed Miss 
C. would share her cousin's room here, but a 
message in this letter proves the contrary. I will 
make the garret as comfortable as I can, but the 
possibilities of that apartment are not great. 

My mother has been talking to Eliza about our 
future home, and she^ making no difficulty at all of 
the sweetheart, is perfectly disposed to continue 
with us, but till she has written home for mother s 
approbation cannot quite decide. Mother does not 
like to have her so far off. At Chawton she will 
be nine or ten miles nearer, whicli I hope will have 
its due influence. 

As for Sally, she means to play John Binns 
with us, in her anxiety to belong to our household 
again. Hitherto she appears a very good servant. 


You depend upon finding all your plants dead, 
I liope. They look very ill, I understand. 

Your silence on the subject of our ball makes 
me suppose your curiosity too great for words. 
We were very well entertained, and could have 
stayed longer but for the arrival of my list shoes 
to convey me home, and I did not like to keep 
them waiting in the cold. The room was tolerably 
full, and the ball opened by Miss Glyn. The 
Miss Lances had partners. Captain Dauvergne's 
friend appeared in regimentals, Caroline Maitland 
had an officer to flirt with, and Mr. John Harrison 
was -deputed by Captain Smith, being himself 
absent, to ask me to dance. Everything went 
well, you see, especially after we had tucked Mrs. 
Lance's neckerchief in behind and fastened it with 
a pin. 

We had a very full and agreeable account of 
Mr. Hammond's ball from Anna last night ; the 
same fluent pen has sent similar information, I 
know, into Kent. She seems to liave been as 
happy as one could wish lier, and the com])lacency 
of her mamma in doing the honours of the evening 
must have made her pleasure almost as great. 
The grandeur of the meeting was beyond my 
hopes. I sliould like to have seen Anna's looks 


^nd performance, but that sad cropped head must 
have mjured the former. 

]\Iartha pleases herself with beheving that if 
I had kept her counsel you would never have heard 
of Dr. ]yl.'s late behaviour, as if the very slight 
manner in which I mentioned it could have been 
all on which you found your judgment. I do not 
endeavour to undeceive her, because I wish her 
happy, at all events, and know how highly she 
prizes happiness of any kind. She is, moreover, 
so full of kindness for us both, and sends you in 
particular so many good wishes about your finger, 
that I am wilhng to overlook a venial fault, and as 
Dr. ^L is a clergyman, their attachment, however 
immoral, has a decorous air. Adieu, sweet You. 
This is grievous news from Spain. It is well that 
Dr. Moore was spared the knowledge of such a 
son's death. 

Yours affectionately, J. Austex. 

Anna's hand gets better and better ; it begins 
to be too good for any consequence. 

We send best love to dear little Lizzy and 
Marianne in particular. 

The Portsmoutli paper gave a melancholy 
history of a poor mad woman, escaped from con- 


iinement, who said lier husband and daughter, 
of the name of Payne, hved at Ashford, in Kent. 
Do you own them ? 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 
Godmersham Park, Faversliam, Kent. 


Castle Square : Monday (.January 30). 

My dear Cassaxdra, 

I Avas not much surprised yesterday by the 
agreeable surprise of your letter, and extremely 
glad to receive the assurance of your finger being- 
well again. 

Here is such a wet day as never was seen. I 
wish the poor little girls had better weather for 
their journey ; they must amuse themselves witli 
watching the raindrops down the windows. 
Sackree, I suppose, feels quite broken-hearted. 
I cannot have done with the weather without 
observing how delightfully mild it is ; I am sure 
Fanny must enjoy it with us. Yesterday was a 
very blowing day ; we got to church, however, 
which Ave had not been able to do for two Sundays- 

I am not at all ashamed about the name of the 


novel, liaving been guilty of no insnlt towards 
your hanchvriting ; the diphthong I always saw, 
but knowino' how fond you Avere of adding' a 
vowel wherever you could, I attributed it to that 
alone, and the knowledge of the truth does the 
book no service ; the only merit it could have 
was in the name of Caleb, Avhich has an honest, 
unpretending sound, but in Ccelebs there is 
pedantry and affectation. Is it written only to 
classical scholars ? 

I shall now try to say only what is necessary, 
I am weary of meandering ; so expect a vast deal 
of small matter, concisely told, in the next two 

Mrs. Cooke has been very dangerously ill, but 
is now, I hope, safe. I had a letter last week from 
George, Mary being too busy to write, and at 
that time the disorder was called of the typhus 
kind, and their alarm considerable, but yesterday 
brought me a much better account from Mary, 
the origin of the complaint being now ascertained 
to be bilious, and the strong medicines requisite 
promising to be effectual. Mrs. E. L. is so much 
recovered as to get into the dressing-room ever}^ 

A letter from Ham stall gives us the history of 


Sir Tho. Williams's return. Tlie Admiral, avIio- 
ever he might be, took a fancy to the ' Xeptune,' 
and having only a worn-out 74 to offer in lieu of 
it. Sir Tho. declined such a command, and is come 
home passenger. Lucky man ! to have so fair an 
opportunity of escape. I hope his wife allows 
herself to be happy on the occasion, and does not 
<xive all her thoughts to being nervous. 

A great event happens this week at Hamstall 
in young Edward's removal to school. He is going 
to Eugby, and is very happy in the idea of it ; I 
wish his happiness may last, but it will be a great 
change to become a raw school-boy from being a 
pompous sermon-writer and a domineering brother. 
It will do him good, I dare say. 

Caroline has had a great escape from being 
burnt to death lately. As her husband gives the 
account, we must believe it true. Miss Murden 
is gone — called away by the critical state of Mrs. 
Pottinger, who has had another severe stroke, and 
is without sense or speech. Miss Murden wishes 
to return to Southampton if circumstances suit, 
but it must be very doubtful. 

We have been obliged to turn away Cholles, 
he grew so very drunken and negligent, and we 
have a num in liis place called Thomas. 


Martha desires me to communicate something 
•concerning herself which she knows will give you 
pleasure, as affording her very particular satisfac- 
tion — it is, that she is to be in town this spring 
^vith Mrs. Dundas. I need not dilate on the 
subject. You understand enough of the whys 
and wherefores to enter into her feelings, and to 
be conscious that of all possible arrangements it 
is the one most acceptable to her. She goes to 
Barton on leaving us, and the family remove to 
town in April. 

What you tell me of Miss Sharpe is quite new, 
and surprises me a little ; I feel, however, as you 
do. She is born, poor thing ! to struggle with 
•evil, and her continuing with Miss B. is, I hope, a 
proof that matters are not always so very bad 
between tliem as her letters sometimes represent. 

Jenny's marriage I had heard of, and supposed 
3^ou Avould do so too from Steventon, as I knew you 
were corresponding with Mary at the time. I hope 
she will not sully the respectable name she now 

Your plan for Miss Curling is uncommonly 
considerate, and friendly, and such as she must 
surely jump at. Edward's going round by 
Steventon, as I understand he promises to do, 


can be no reasonable objection ; Mrs. J. Austen's 
hospitality is just of the kind to enjoy such a 

We were very glad to know Aunt Fanny was 
in the country when we read of the fire. Pray 
give my best compliments to the Mrs. Finches, if 
they are at Gm. I am sorry to find that Sir J. 
Moore has a mother hvino^, but thouodi a verv 
heroic son lie might not be a very necessary 
one to her happiness. Deacon Morrell may be 
more to Mrs. Morrell. 

I wish Sir John had united something of the 
Christian with the hero in his death. Thank 
heaven ! we have had no one to care for particu- 
larly among the troops — no one, in fact, nearer to 
us than Sir John himself. Col. Maitland is safe 
and well ; his mother and sisters were of course 
anxious about him, but there is no entering much 
into the solicitudes of tliat family. 

My mother is well, and gets out when she can 
witli the same enjoyment, and apparently the same 
strength, as hitherto. She hopes you will not omit 
begging Mrs. Seward to get the garden cropped 
for us, supposing slie leaves the house too early 
to make the garden any object to herself. We 
are very desirous of receiving your account of tlie 


liouse, for your observations will have a motive 
whicli can leave nothing to conjecture and suffer 
nothing from want of memory. For one's own 
dear self, one ascertains and remembers everything. 

Lady Sondes is an impudent woman to come 
back into her old neighbourhood again ; I suppose 
she pretends never to have married before, and 
wonders how her father and mother came to have 
her christened Lady Sondes. 

The store closet, I hope, will never do so again, 
for much of the evil is proved to have proceeded 
from the gutter being choked up, and we have 
had it cleared. We had reason to rejoice in the 
child's absence at the time of the thaw, for the 
nursery was not habitable. We hear of similar 
disasters from almost everybody. 

No news from Portsmouth. We are very 
patient, ^hs. Charles Fowle desires to be kindly 
remembered to you. She is warmly interested in 
my brother and his family. 

Yours very affectionately, J. Austex. 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 
Godmersliam Park, Faversliam, Kent. 



The first three of these are from Sloane Street, 
where Jane Avas at this time visiting her brother 
Henry and his wife Ehza, to whom frequent refer- 
ence is made. They are hvely letters, and she 
seems to have enjoyed herself thoroughly, and to 
have had plenty of amusement of one sort and 
another. ' The D'Entraigues and Comte Julien ' 
w^ere doubtless friends of ' Ehza,' whose first hus- 
band had been a Frenchman ; the Cookes and 
Tilsons I have already mentioned, and nobody 
else in the fifty-fifth letter seems to require special 
attention. The fifty-sixth contains some interest- 
ino- allusions to ' S. and S.' (' Sense and Sensibility '), 
from which I gather that some of her home critics 
had thought that she put the incomes of her 
heroes and heroines either too Ioav or too high. 
It may be remarked that, as she told us in another 
letter tliat Ehzabeth was her favourite character 
in 'Pride and Prejudice,' so, with regard to the 
novel now under discussion, she has most reliance 
on a favourable reception for its lieroine Ehnor. 
Then comes an amusing description of her sister- 
in-law's musical party, wliere the drawing-room 


becoming too hot (an example constantly followed 
with fidelity by modern drawing-rooms under 
similar circumstances), Jane stood in the passage 
surrounded by gentlemen (just as other Janes have 
frequently done), and no doubt contributed greatly 
to the pleasure of the evening. I cannot pretend 
to interpret the message sent to ' Fanny ' respect- 
ing the ' first glee,' which is written in a ' gibberish ' 
probably only understood by the sender and re- 
ceiver of the same. We must therefore be satis- 
fied with knowing that ' the music was extremely 
good,' that the professionals, who were paid for it, 
sang very well, and the amateurs, wdio were not 
paid for it, would not sing at all. The Play was a 
favourite amusement of Jane's ; she seems to have 
gone to one or more every time she was in London. 
One is sorry to gather from this letter that Ehza 
caught cold from getting out of her carriage into 
the night air when the horses ' actually gibbed,' 
and one wonders what ' that quarter ' was from 
which Aunt Jane supposed that * the alloy of 
Fanny's happiness' would come ; but, having no 
clue to the mystery, one can do no more than 
wonder. From the fifty-seventh letter we gather 
that Mr. W. K. (Wyndham Knatchbull) thought 


Jane ' a pleasant-looking young woman,' and we 
have another ' gibberish ' message to Fanny, and 
in a . reference to a lady who is ' most happily 
married ' to a gentleman who ' is very rehgious 
and has got black whiskers,' one detects a touch 
of that peculiar humour wliich so often amuses us 
in the novels. 

The fifty-eighth letter imparts the interesting 
intelligence of a cousin's marriage, which I find 
duly authenticated by ' Burke's Landed Gentry,' 
which chronicles the fact that General Orde's first 
wife was Margaret Maria Elizabetli, eldest daugh- 
ter of Wm. Beckford, Esq., of Fonthill, WiUs, and 
that they were married in 1811, her sister ' Susan 
Euphemia ' having married the tenth Duke of 
Hamilton (tlien Marquis of Douglas) in 1810 ; but 
how these ladies were cousins to Jane Austen I 
€annot make out, and am not disposed to stop and 
inquire. ' Poor John Bridges ! ' probably refers to 
his state of health. He married Charlotte Hawley 
in 1810, and died in 1812 ; and having lived much 
at Godmersham, it was natural that ' our own dear 
brother ' (Mr. Knight) should be affected by his 
illness and early deatli. Mrs. Harding, who came, 
from Dummer (a little village five miles from 


Basingstoke) to Chawton with the Terrys, Avas 
Dionysia, daughter of Sir Boiichier Wrey, wife of 
Eichard Harding, Esq., of Upcott. and sister to 
Mrs. Nicholas Toke, of Godinton, wliom she had 
therefore a perfect right to resemble if she pleased, 
but it seems that she did not. We learn from this 
letter that Jane had ' uncomfortable feelings ' 
in thunderstorms, that several clerical changes 
in the neighbourhood were impending, and that 
Mr. Prowting ^ had opened a gravel-pit, but there 
is nothing in these circumstances which seems 
to call for remark. The fifty-ninth letter opens 
with a project for a visit from Miss Sharpe, and 
the rest of it is filled with various details which 
may be left to speak for themselves. The sixtieth 
refers to difficulties relating to the proposed 
Sharpe visit, but tells of a ' very pleasant ' one 
made to Chawton by Henry Austen and Mr. Til- 
son, and informs us, writing on Thursday, June 6, 
that they ' began peas on Sunday ' exactly two 
days before the orthodox time, which from Kino- 
George the Third's accession until his death was 
always held to be ' the good King's Birthday ' — 

^ The Prowtings were a family who had lived oii their own pro- 
perty in Chawton for some 200 years, and a descendant still hves 



namely, June 4 — so that the loyal inmates of Chaw- 
ton Cottage should have restramed their appetites 
until the Tuesday. There is not much more in this 
letter, and then we have unfortunately another gap 
of nearly two letterless years, there being none in 
my collection from June 6, 1811, until May 24^ 


Sloane St. : Thursday (April 18). 

My dear Cassandea, 

1 have so many little matters to tell you of, 
that I cannot wait any longer before I begin to 
put them down. I spent Tuesday in Eentinck 
Street. The Cookes called here and took me back, 
and it was quite a Cooke day, for the Miss Eolles 
paid a visit while I was there, and Sam Arnold 
dropped in to tea. 

The badness of the weather disconcerted an 
excellent plan of mine — that of calling on Miss 
Beckford again ; but from the middle of the day it 
rained incessantly. Mary and I, after disposing of 
her father and mother, went to the Liverpool 
Museum and the Britisli Gallery, and I had some 
amusement at each, though my preference for men 


and women always inclines me to attend more to 
the company than the sight. 

Mrs. Cooke regrets very much that she did not 
see you when you called ; it was owing to a 
blunder among the servants, for she did not know 
of our visit till we were gone. She seems tolerably 
well, but the nervous part of her complaint, I fear, 
increases, and makes her more and more unwillino* 
to part with Mary. 

I have proposed to the latter that she should go 
to Chawton with me, on the supposition of my 
travelling the Guildford road, and she, I do believe, 
would be glad to do it, but perhaps it may be 
impossible ; unless a brother can be at home at 
that time, it certainly must. George comes to 
them to-day. 

I did not see Theo. till late on Tuesday; he 
was gone to Ilford, but he came back in time to 
show his usual nothing-meaning, harmless, heart- 
less civihty. Henry, who had been confined the 
whole day to the bank, took me in his way home, 
and, after putting life and wit into the party for 
a quarter of an hour, put himself and his sister 
into a hackney coach. 

I bless my stars that I have done with Tuesday. 
But, alas ! Wednesday was likewise a day of great 

G 2 


doings, for Manon and I took our walk to Grafton 
House, and I have a good deal to say on that 

I am sorry to tell you tliat I am getting very 
extravagant, and spending all my money, and, 
what is worse for you^ I have been spending yours 
too ; for in a linendraper's shop to which I went 
for checked muslin, and for which I was obliged 
to give seven shillings a yard, I was tempted by a 
pretty-coloured muslin, and bought ten yards of it 
on the chance of your liking it ; but, at the same 
time, if it should not suit you, you must not think 
yourself at all obliged to take it ; it is only os. ^d. 
per yard, and I should not in the least mind 
keeping the whole. In texture it is just what we 
prefer, but its resemblance to green creivels, I must 
own, is not great, for the pattern is a small red 
spot. And now I believe I have done all my 
commissions except Wedgwood. 

I liked my walk very much ; it was shorter 
than I had expected, and the weather was dehghtful. 
We set off immediately after breakfast, and must 
have reached Grafton House by half-past 11 ; but 
when we entered the shop tlie whole counter was 
thronged, and we waited full half an hour before 
ve could be attended to. Wlien we were served, 


however, I was very well satisfied with my pur- 
chases — my bugle trimming at 26'. 4:d. and three 
pair silk stockings for a httle less than 12s. a 

In my way back who should I meet but Mr. 
Moore, just come from Beckenham. I believe he 
would have passed me if I had not made him stop, 
but we were delighted to meet. I soon found, 
however, that he had nothing new to tell me, and 
then I let him o'o. 

^liss Burton has made me a very pretty Httle 
bonnet, and now nothing can satisfy me but I 
must have a straw hat, of the riding-hat shape, 
like Mrs. Tilson's ; and a young woman in this 
neighbourhood is actually making me one. I am 
really very shocking, but it will not be dear at a 
guinea. Our pelisses are 176?. each ; she charges 
only 8.y. for the making, but the buttons seem ex- 
pensive — are expensive, I might have said, for the 
fact is plain enough. 

We drank tea again yesterday with the Tilsons, 
and met the Smiths. I find all these httle parties 
very pleasant. I like Mrs. S. ; Miss Beaty is good- 
humour itself, and does not seem much besides. 
We spend to-morrow evening with them, and are 
to meet the Coin, and ^Irs. Cantelo Smith you have 


been used to hear of, and, if slie is in good Immour, 
are likely to have excellent singing. 

To-niglit I might have been at the play ; 
Henry had kindly planned our going together to 
the Lyceum, but I have a cold which I should not 
like to make worse before Saturday, so I stay 
within all this day. 

Ehza is walking out by herself. She has plenty 
of business on her hands just now, for the day of the 
party is settled, and drawing near. Above 80 people 
are invited for next Tuesday evening, and there is to 
be some very good music — five professionals, three 
of tliem glee singers, besides amateurs. Fanny will 
listen to this. One of the hirehngs is a Capital on 
the harp, from which I expect great pleasure. The 
foundation of the party was a dinner to Henry 
Egerton and Henry Walter, but the latter leaves 
town the day before. I am sorry, as I wished her 
prejudice to be done away, but should have been 
more sorry if there had been no invitation. 

I am a wretch, to be so occupied with all these 
things as to seem to have no thoughts to give to 
people and circumstances which really supply a far 
more lasting interest — the society in which you 
are ; but I do think of you all, I assure you, and 
want to know all about everybody, and especially 


about your visit to the W. Friars ; ' mais le moyen ' 
not to be occupied by one's own concerns ? 

Saturday. — Frank is superseded in the 'Cale- 
donia.' Henry brought us this news yesterday 
from Mr. Daysh, and he heard at the same time 
that Charles may be in England in the course of a 
month. Sir Edward Pollen succeeds Lord Gambler 
in his command, and some captain of his succeeds 
Frank ; and I believe the order is already gone 
out. Henry means to enquire farther to-day. He 
wrote to Mary on the occasion. This is something 
to think of Henry is convinced that he will have 
the offer of something else, but does not think it 
will be at all incumbent on him to accept it ; and 
then follows, Avhat will he do ? and where will he 
live ? 

I hope to hear from you to-day. How are you 
as to health, strength, looks, &c. ? I had a very 
comfortable account from Chawton yesterday. 

If the weather permits, Eliza and I walk into 
London this morning. She is in want of chimney 
lights for Tuesday, and I of an ounce of darning 
cotton. She has resolved not to venture to the 
play to-night. The D'Entraigues and Conite Julien 
cannot come to the party, which was at first a 
grief, but she has since supphed herself so well 


with yjerformers that it is of no consequence ; tlieir 
not coming lias produced our going to them to- 
morrow evening, which I hke the idea of. It will 
be amusing to see the ways of a French circle. 

I wrote to Mrs. Hill a few days ago, and have 
received a most kind and satisfactory answer. Any 
time the first week in May exactly suits her, and 
therefore I consider my going as tolerably fixed. I 
shall leave Sloane Street on the 1st or 2nd, and be 
ready for James on the 9th, and, if his plan alters, I 
can take care of myself. I have explained my views 
here, and everything is smooth and pleasant ; and 
Eliza talks kindly of conveying me to Streatham. 

We met the Tilsons yesterday evening, but the 
singing Smiths sent an excuse, which put our Mrs. 
Smith out of humour. 

We are come back, after a good dose of 
walking and coaching, and I have the pleasure of 
your letter. I wish I had James's verses, but they 
were left at Cliawton. When I return thither, if 
Mrs. K. will give me leave, I will send them to 

Our first object to-day was Henrietta St., to 
consult with Henry in consequence of a very 
unlucky change of the play for this very niglit — 
' Hamlet ' instead of ' Kim? John ' — and we are to 


go on ^louday to ' Macbeth ' instead ; but it is a 
disappointment to us both. 

Love to all. 

Yours afiectionately, Jane. 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 

Godmersham Park, Faversham, Kent. 


Sloane St. : Thursday (April 25), 

My deare?<t Cassandra, 

I can return the compliment by thanking you 
for the unexpected pleasure of your letter yester- 
day, and as I like unexpected pleasure, it made me 
very happ}' ; and, indeed, you need not apologise 
for your letter in any respect, for it is all very fine, 
but not too fine, I hope, to be Y^itten again, or 
something like it. 

I think Edward will not suffer much longer 
from heat ; by the look of things this morning I 
suspect the weather is rising into the balsamic 
north-east. It has been hot here, as you may sup- 
pose, since it was so hot Y^ith you, but I have not 
suffered from it at all, nor felt it in such a degree 
as to make me imag^ine it woukl be anYthing; in the 
country. Everybody has talked of the heat, but I 
set it all down to London. 


I give you joy of our new nephew, and hope if 
he ever comes to be hanged it will not be till we 
are too old to care about it. It is a great comfort 
to. have it so safely and speedily over. The Miss 
Curlings must be hard worked in writing so many 
letters, but the novelty of it may recommend it to 
them ; mine was from Miss Eliza, and she says that 
my brother may arrive to-day. 

No, indeed, I am never too busy to think of 
S. and S. I can no more forget it than a mother 
can forget her sucking child ; and I am much 
obliged to you for your enquiries. I have had 
two sjieets to correct, but the last only brings us 
to Willoughby's first appearance. Mrs. K. regrets 
in the most flattering manner that she must wait till 
May, but I have scarcely a hope of its being out in 
June. Henry does not neglect it ; he has hurried 
the printer, and says he will see him again to-day. 
It will not stand still during his absence, it will be 
sent to Eliza. 

The Incomes remain as they were, but I will 
get them altered if I can. I am very much gra- 
tified by Mrs. K.'s interest in it ; and whatever may 
be the event of it as to my credit with her, sincerely 
wish her curioisty could be satisfied sooner tluxn 


is now probable. I think she will like my Elinor, 
but cannot build on anything else. 

Our party went off extremely well. There were 
many solicitudes, alarms, and vexations, before- 
hand, of course, but at last everything was quite 
right. The rooms were dressed up with Howers, 
&c., and looked very pretty. A glass for the 
mantlepiece was lent by the man wdio is making 
their own. ^h\ Egerton and ^Ir. Walter came at 
half-past five, and the festivities began with a pah' 
of very fine soals. 

Yes, ]\Ii\ Walter — for he postponed his leaving 
London on purpose — which did not give much 
pleasure at the time, any more than the circum- 
stance from which it rose — his calling on Sunday 
and being asked by Henry to take the family dinner 
on that day, Avhich he did ; but it is all smoothed 
over now, and she likes him very well. 

At half-past seven arrived the musicians in two 
hackney coaches, and by eight the lordly company 
began to appear. Among the earliest were George 
and Mary Cooke, and I spent the greatest part of 
the evening very pleasantly with them. The draw- 
ing-room being soon hotter than we liked, we 
placed ourselves in the connecting passage, which 
was comparatively cool, and gave us all the ad- 


vantage of tlie music at a pleasant distance, as well 
as that of the first view of every new comer. 

I was quite surrounded by acquaintance, espe- 
cially gentlemen ; and what with Mr. Hampson, 
Mr. Seymour, Mr. W. Knatchbull, Mr. Guillemarde, 
Mr. Cure, a Captain Simpson, brother to the Captain 
Simpson, besides Mr. Walter and Mr. Egerton, in 
addition to the Cookes, and Miss Beckford, and 
Miss Middleton, I had quite as much upon my 
hands as I could do. 

\ Poor Miss B. lias been suffering again from her 
old complaint, and looks thinner than ever. She 
certainly goes to Cheltenham the beginning of 
June. We were all delight and cordiality of course. 
Miss M. seems very happy, but has not beauty 
enough to figure in London. 

Including everybody we were sixty-six — which 
was considerably more than Eliza had expected, 
and quite enough to fill the back drawing-room 
and leave a few to be scattered about in the otlier 
and in the passage. 

The music was extremely good. It opened (tell 
Fanny) with ' Poike de Parp pirs praise pof Pra- 
pela ; ' and of the other glees I remember, * In 
peace love tunes,' ' Rosabelle,' ' The Red Cross 
Knight,' and 'Poor Insect.' Between the songs 


were lessons on the harp, or harp and pianoforte 
together ; and the harp-player was Wiepart, whose 
name seems famous, though new to me. There 
was one female smger, a short Miss Davis, all in 
blue, bringing up for the public line, Avhose voice 
was said to be very fine indeed ; and all the per- 
formers gave great satisfaction by doing what they 
were paid for, and giving themselves no airs. No 
amateur could be persuaded to do anything. 

The house was not clear till after twelve. If 
you wish to hear more of it, you must put your 
questions, but I seem rather to have exhausted 
than spared the subject. 

This said Captain Simpson told us, on the au- 
thority of some other Captain just arrived from 
Hahfax, that Charles was bringing the ' Cleopatra ' 
home, and that she was probably by this time in tlie 
Channel ; but, as Captain S. was certainly in liquor, 
we must not quite depend on it. It must give one 
a sort of expectation, however, and will prevent 
my writing to him any more. I would rather he 
should not reach England till I am at home, and 
the Steventon party gone. 

My mother and Martha both write with great 
satisfaction of Anna's behaviour. She is quite an 
Anna with variations, but she cannot have reached 


her last, for that is always the most flourishing and 
showy ; she is at about her third or fourtli, wliicli 
are generally simple and pretty. 

Your lilacs are in leaf, ours are in bloom. The 
horse-chestnuts are quite out, and the elms almost. 
I had a pleasant walk in Kensington Gardens on 
Sunday with Henry, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Tilson ; 
everything was fresh and beautiful. 

We did go to the play after all on Saturday. 
We went to the Lyceum, and saw the ' Hypocrite,' 
an old play taken from Moliere's ' Tartuffe,' and 
were well entertained. Dowton and Mathews were 
the good actors ; Mrs. Edwin was the heroine, and 
her performance is just what it used to be. I have 
no chance of seeing Mrs. Siddons ; she did act 
on Monday, but, as Henry was told by the box- 
keeper that he did not think she would, the plans, 
and all tliought of it, were given up. I should 
particularly liave liked seeing Jier in ' Constance,' 
and could swear at her with little effort for dis- 
appointing me. 

Henry has been to the Water-Colour Exhibition, 
which opened on Monday, and is to meet us there 
ao-ain some morning. If Ehza cannot go (and she 
has a cold at present) Miss Beaty will be invited 
to be my companion. Henry leaves town on Sunday 


afternoon, but lie means to write soon himself to 
Edward, and will tell his own plans. 

The tea is this moment setting out. 

Do not have your coloured muslin unless you 
really want it, because I am afraid I could not 
send it to the coach without giving trouble here. 

Ehza caught her cold on Sunday in our way to 
the D'Entraigues. The horses actually gibbed on 
this side of Hyde Park Gate : a load of fresh gravel 
made it a formidable hill to them, and they refused 
the collar ; T beheve there was a sore shoulder to 
irritate. Eliza was frightened and we got out, and 
were detained in the evening air several minutes. 
The cold is in her chest, but she takes care of her- 
self, and I hope it may not last long. 

This engagement prevented Mr. Walter's stay- 
ing late — he had his coffee and went away. Eliza 
enjoyed her evening very much, and means to cul- 
tivate the acquaintance ; and I see nothing to dis- 
like in them but their taking quantities of snufF. 
Monsieur, the old Count, is a very fine-looldng 
man, vnih quiet manners, good enough for an 
Englishman, and, I believe, is a man of great in- 
formation and taste. He has some fine paintings, 
which delighted Henry as much as the son's music 
gratified Eliza ; and among them a miniature of 


Philip Y. of Spain, Louis XIV. 's grandson, which 
exactly suited my capacity. Count Julien's per- 
formance is very wonderful. 

We met only Mrs. Latouche and Miss East, and 
we are just now engaged to spend next Sunday 
evening at Mrs. L.'s, and to meet the D'Entraigues, 
but M. le Comte must do witliout Henry. If he 
would but speak Enghsh, /would take to him. 

Have you ever mentioned the leaving off tea to 
Mrs. K. ? Eliza has just spoken of it again. The 
benefit she has found from it in sleeping has been 
very great. 

I shall write soon to Catherine to hx my day, 
which will be Thursday. We have no engagement 
but for Sunday. Ehza's cold makes quiet advis- 
able. Her party is mentioned in this morning's 
paper. I am sorry to hear of poor Fanny's state. 
From that quarter, I suppose, is to be the alloy of 
lier happiness. I will have no more to say. 

Yours affectionately, J. A. 

Give my love particularly to my goddaugliter. 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 
Godmersliam Park, Faversliam. 



Sloane St. : Tuesday. 

My dear Cassaxdra, 

I had sent off my letter yesterday before yours 
came, which I was sorry for ; but as Eliza has been 
so good as to get me a frank, your questions shall 
be answered without much further expense to 

The best direction to Henry at Oxford will be 
The Blue Boar, Cornmarket. 

I do nut mean to provide another trimming for 
my pelisse, for I am determined to spend no more 
money ; so I shall wear it as it is, longer than I 
ought, and then — I do not know. 

My head-dress was a bugle-band like the border 
to my gown, and a flower of Mrs. Tilson's. I de- 
pended upon hearing something of the evening 
from Mr. W. K., and am very well satisfied with 
his notice of me — ' A pleasing-looking young 
woman ' — that must do ; one cannot pretend to any- 
thing better now ; thankful to have it continued a 
few years longer ! 

It gives me sincere pleasure to hear of Mrs. 
Knight's having had a tolerable night at last, but 
upon this occasion I wish she had another name, 
for the two nights jm^e very much. 



We have tried to get ' Self-control,' but in vain. 
I should like to know vvliat her estimate is, but am 
always half afraid of finding a clever novel too 
clevei\ and of finding my own story and my own 
people all forestalled. 

Eliza has just received a few lines from Henry 
to assure her of the good conduct of his mare. 
He slept at Uxbridge on Sunday, and wrote from 

We were not claimed by Hans Place yesterday, 
but are to dine there to-day. ]\ir. Tilson called in 
the evening, but otherwise we were quite alone 
all' day ; and, after having been out a good deal, 
the change was very pleasant. 

I like your opinion of Miss Atten much better 
than I expected, and have now hopes of her stay- 
ing a whole twelvemonth. By this time I suppose 
she is hard at it, governing away. Poor creature ! 
I pity her, though they are my nieces. 

Oh ! yes, I remember Miss Emma Plumbtree's 
local consequence perfectly. 

I am in a dilemma, for want of an Emma, 
Escaped from the iips of Henry Gipps. 

But, really, I was never much more put to it 
than in continuing an answer to Fanny's former 
message. What is there to be said on the subject ? 


Pery pell, or pare pey ? or po ; or at tlie most, Pi, 
pope, pey, pike, pit. 

I congratulate Edward on the Weald of Kent 
Canal Bill being put off till another Session, as I 
have just had the pleasure of reading. There is 
always something to be hoped from delay. 

Between Session and Session 
The first Prepossession 
May rouse up the Nation, 
And the villainous Bill 
May be forced to lie still 
Against wicked men's will. 

There is poetry for Edward and his daughter. 
I am afraid I shall not have any for you. 

I forgot to tell you in my last that our cousin, 
Miss Payne, called in on Saturday, and was per- 
suaded to stay dinner. She told us a great deal 
about her friend Lady Cath. Brecknell, who is 
most happily married, and Mr. Brecknell is very 
rehgious, and has got black whiskers. 

I am glad to think that Edward has a tolerable 
day for his drive to Goodnestone, and very glad to 
hear of his kind promise of bringing you to town. 
I hope everything will arrange itself favourably. 
The 16th is now to be Mrs. Dundas's day. 

I mean, if I can, to wait for your return be- 
fore I have my new gown made up, from a notion 



of their making up to more advantage together ; 
and, as I find the mushn is not so wide as it used ta 
be, some contrivance may be necessary. I expect 
the skirt to require one-half breadth cut in gores, 
besides two whole breadths. 

Eliza has not yet quite resolved on inviting 
vlV Anna, but I tliink she will. 

Yours very afiectionately, Jane. 


Chawton: Wednesday (May 29). 

It was a mistake of mine, my dear Cassandra, 
to talk of a tenth child at Hamstall. I had forgot 
there were but eight already. 

Your enquiry after my uncle and aunt were most 
happily timed, for the very same post brought an 
account of them. They are again at Gloucester 
House enjoying fresh air, which they seem to have 
felt the want of in Bath, and are tolerably well, 
but not more than tolerable. My aunt does not 
enter into ])articulars, but she does not write in 
spirits, and we imagine that she has never entirely 
got the better of her disorder in the winter. Mrs. 
Welby takes her out airing in lier barouche, which 
gives her a headache — a comfortable proof, I sup- 


pose, of tlie iiselessness of the new carriage when 
they have got it. 

You certainly must have heard before I can 
tell you that Col. Orcle has married our cousin, 
Margt. Beckford, the Marchess, of Douglas's sister. 
The papers say that her father disinherits her, 
but I think too well of an Orde to suppose that she 
has not a handsome independence of her own. 

The chicken are all alive and fit for the table, / 1 
but we save them for something grand. Some of 
the flower seeds are coming up very well, but your 
mignonette makes a wretched appearance. Miss 
Benn has been equally unlucky as to hers. She 
had seed from four different people, and none of 
it comes up. Our young piony at the foot of U^ 
the fir-tree lias just blown and looks very hand- 
some, and the whole of the shrubbery border will 
soon be very gay with pinks and sweet-wilHams, 
in addition to the columbines already in bloom. 
The syringas, too, are coming out. We are Hkely 
to have a great crop of Orleans plumbs, but not 
many greengages — on the standard scarcely any, 
three or four dozen, perhaps, against the wall. I 
beheve I told you differently when I first came 
home, but I can now judge better than I could 


I liave had a medley and satisfactory letter this 
morning from the husband and wife at Cowes ; and, 
in consequence of what is related of their plans, 
we have been talking over the possibility of inviting 
them here in their way from Steventon, which is 
what one should wish to do, and is, I daresay, 
what they expect ; but, supposing Martha to be at 
home, it does not seem a very easy thing to accom- 
modate so large a party. My mother offers to give 
up her room to Frank and Mary, but tliere will 
then be only the best for two maids and three 

They go to Steventon about the 22nd, and I 
guess — for it is quite a guess — will stay there from 
a fortnight to three weeks. 

I must not venture to press ]\Iiss Sharpe's coming 
at present ; we may hardly be at Hberty before 

Poor John Bridges ! we are very sorry for 
his situation and for the distress of the familj^ 
Lady B. is in one way severely tried. And our 
own dear brother suffers a great deal, I dare say, on 
the occasion. 

I liave not much to say of ourselves. Anna is 
nursing a cold caught in the arbour at Faringdon, 
that slie may be able to keep her engagement to 


Maria M. this evening, Avlien I suppose she will 
make it worse. 

She did not return from Faringdon till Sunday, 
when H. B. walked home with her, and drank tea 
here. She was with the Prowtings almost all 
Monday. She went to learn to make feather trim- 
mings of ]\Iiss Anna, and they kept her to dinner, 
which was rather lucky, as we were called upon to 
meet Mrs. and ]\iiss Terry the same evening at the 
Digweeds ; and, though Anna was of course invited 
too, I think it always safest to keep her away from 
the family lest she should be doing too httle or too 

Mrs. Terry, Mary, and Eobert, with my aunt 
Harding and her daughter, came from Dummer for 
a day and a night — all very agreeable and very 
much delighted with the new house and mth 
Chawton in general. 

We sat upstairs and had thunder and lightning 
as usual. I never kncAv such a spring for thunder- 
storms as it has been. Thank God ! we have had 
no bad ones here. I thought myself in luck to 
have my uncomfortable feehngs shared by the 
mistress of the house, as that procured blinds and 
candles. It had been excessively hot the whole 
day. Mrs. Harding is a good-looking woman, Imt 


not mucli like Mrs. Toke, inasmuch as she is very- 
brown and has scarcely any teeth ; she seems to 
have some of Mrs. Toke's civility. Miss H. is an 
elegant, pleasing, pretty-looking girl, about nine- 
teen, I suppose, or nineteen and a half, or nineteen 
and a quarter, with flowers in her head and music 
at her finger ends. She plays very well indeed. 
I have seldom heard anybody with more pleasure. 
They were at Godington four or five years ago. 
My cousin, Flora Long, was there last year. 

My name is Diana. How does Fanny like it ? 
What a change in the weather ! We have a fire 
again now. 

Harriet Benn sleeps at the Great House to- 
night and spends to-morrow with us ; and the plan 
is that we should all walk with her to drink tea at 
Faringdon, for her mother is now^ recovered, but 
the state of the weather is not very promising at 

Miss Benn has been returned to her cottage 
since the beginning of last week, and has now just 
got another girl ; she comes from Alton. For 
many days Miss B. had nobody with her but her 
niece Elizabeth, who was delighted to be her visitor 
and her maid. They both dined here on Saturday 
while Anna was at Farinordon ; and last night an 


accidental meeting and a sudden impulse produced 
Miss Benn and Maria Middleton at our tea-table. 

If you liave not heard it is very fit you should, 
that Mr, Harrison has had the living of Fareham 
given him by the Bishop, and is going to reside 
there ; and now it is said that Mr. Peach (beautifu 
wiseacre) wants to have the curacy of Overton, and, 
if he does leave Wootton, James Digweed wishes to 
go there. Fare you well. 

Yours affectionately, Jane Austen. 

The chimneys at the Great House are done. 
Mr. Prowting has opened a gravel pit, very con- 
veniently for my mother, just at the mouth of the 
approach to his house ; but it looks a little as 
if he meant to catch all his company. Tolerable 

Miss Austen, Godmersliam Park, 
Faversliam, Kent. 


Oliawton : Friday (May 31) 

My dear Cassandra, 

I have a magnificent project. The Cookes have 
put off their visit to us ; they are not well enough 
to leave home at present, and we have no chance 


of seeing tliem till I do not know when — probably 
never, in this house. 

This circumstance has made me think the pre- 
sent time would be favourable for Miss Sharpe's 
coming to us ; it seems a more disengaged period 
with us than we are likely to have later in the 
summer. If Frank and Mary do come, it can 
hardly be before the middle of July, which will 
be allowing a reasonable length of visit for Miss 
Sharpe, supposing she begins it when you return ; 
and if you and Martha do not dislike the plan, and 
she can avail herself of it, the opportunity of her 
being' conveyed hither will be excellent. 

I shall waite to Martha by this post, and if 
neither you nor she make any objection to my pro- 
posal, I shall make the invitation directly, and as 
there is no time to lose, 5^ou must write by return 
of post if you have any reason for not wishing it 
done. It was her intention, I believe, to go first 
to Mrs. Lloyd, but such a means of getting here 
may influence her otherwise. 

We have had a thunder-storm again this morn- 
ing. Your letter came to comfort me for it. 

I have taken your hint, slight as it was, and 
have written to Mrs. Knight, and most sincerely do 
I hope it will not be in vain. I cannot endure the 


idea of her giving away lier own wheel, and have 
told her no more than the truth, in saying that I 
could never use it with comfort. I had a great 
mind to add that, if she persisted in giving it, I 
would spin nothing with it but a rope to hang 
myself, but I was afraid of making it appear a less 
serious matter of feeling than it really is. 

I am glad you are so well yourself, and wish 
everybody else were equally so. I will not say that 
your mulberry-trees are dead, but I am afraid they 
are not alive. We shall have pease soon. I mean 
to have them with a couple of ducks from Wood 
Barn, and Maria ffiddleton, towards the end of next 

From Monday to Wednesda}^ Anna is to be 
engaged at Faringdon, in order that she may come 
in for the gaieties of Tuesday (the 4th), on Sel- 
bourne Common, where there are to be volunteers 
and felicities of all kinds. Harriet B. is invited to 
spend the day with the John Whites, and her father 
and mother have very kindly undertaken to get 
Anna invited also. 

Harriot and Eliza dined here yesterday, and we 
walked back with them to tea. Not my mother — 
she has a cold which affects her in the usual way, 
and was not equal to the walk. She is better this 


morning, and I hope will soon physick away the 
worst j)art of it. It has not confined her ; she has 
got out every day that the weather has allowed 

Poor Anna is also suffering from her cold, which 
aIs worse to-day, but as she has no sore throat I 
\J hope it may S23end itself by Tuesday. She had a 
delightful evening with the Miss Middletons — syl- 
labub, tea, coffee, singing, dancing, a hot supper, 
eleven o'clock, everything that can be imagined 
agreeable. She desires her best love to Fanny, and 
will answer her letter before she leaves Chawton, 
and engages to send her a particular account of 
the Selbourne day. 

We cannot agree as to which is the eldest of 
the two Miss Plumb trees ; send us word. Have 
you remembered to collect pieces for the patch- 
work? We are now at a stand-still. I got up 
here to look for the old map, and can now tell you 
that it shall be sent to-morrow ; it was among the 
great parcel in the dining-room. As to my debt 
of 3,§. 6<:/. to Edward, I must trouble you to pay it 
when you settle with him for your boots. 

We began our China tea three days ago, and I 
find it very good. My companions know nothing 
of the matter. As to Fanny and her twelve pounds 


in a twelvemonth, she may talk till she is as black 
in the face as her own tea, but I cannot believe 
her — more likely twelve pounds to a quarter. 

I have a message to you from Mrs. Cooke. The 
substance of it is that she hopes you will take 
Bookham in your way home and stay there as long 
as you can, and that when you must leave them 
they will convey you to Guildford. You may be 
sure that it is very kindly worded, and that there 
is no want of attendant compliments to my brother 
and his family. 

I am very sorry for Mary, but I have some 
comfort in there beino- two curates now lodorino- in 


Bookham, besides their own Mr. Waineford from 
Dorking, so that I think she must fall in love ^^^tli 
one or the other. 

How horrible it is to have so many people 
killed ! And what a blessing that one cares for 
none of them ! 

I return to my letter-writing from calling on 
Miss Harriot Webb, who is short and not quite 
straight, and cannot pronounce an K any better 
than her sisters ; but she has dark hair, a com- 
plexion to suit, and, I think, has the pleasantest 
countenance and manner of the three — the most 
natural. She appears very well pleased with her 


new home, and tliey are all reading with delight 
Mrs. H. More*s recent publication. 

You cannot imagine — it is not in human nature 
to imagine — what a nice walk we have round the 
orchard. The row of beech look very well indeed, 
and so does the young quickset hedge in the 
garden. I hear to-day that an apricot has been 
detected on one of the trees. My mother is per- 
fectly convinced now that she shall not be over- 
powered by her cleftwood, and I believe would 
rather have more than less. 

Strange to tell, Mr. Prowting was not at Miss 
Lee'& wedding, but his daughters had some cake, 
and Anna had her share of it. 

I continue to like our old cook quite as well 
as ever, and, but that I am afraid to write in 
her j^raise, I could say that she seems just the 
servant for us. Her cookery is at least tolerable ; 
her pastry is the only deficiency. 

God bless you, and I hope June will find you 
well, and bring us together. 

Yours ever, Jane. 

I hope you understand that I do not expect you 
to write on Sunday if you like my plan. I shall 
consider silence as consent. 

Miss Austen, Ed^var(l Austen's, Esq. 
Godmersbam Park, Faversliam. 



Cliawton: Thursday (June 6). 

By this time, my dearest Cassandra, you know 
Martha's plans. I was rather disappointed, I 
confess, to find that she could not leave town till 
after ye 24th, as I had hoped to see you here the 
week before. The delay, however, is not great, 
and everything seems generally arranging itself for 
your return very comfortably. 

I found Henry perfectly pre-disposed to bring 
you to London if agreeable to yourself; he has 
not fixed his day for going into Kent, but he must 
be back again before ye 20th. You may, there- 
fore, think with something like certainty of the 
close of your Godmersham visit, and will liave, I 
suppose, about a week for Sloane Street. He 
travels in his gig, and should the weather be 
tolerable I think you must have a delightful 

I have given up all idea of ]\£ss Sharpens 
travelling with you and Martha, for though you 
are both all compliance with my scheme, yet as 
you knock off a week from the end of her visit, and 
Martha T2ii\\eY more from the beginning, the thing 
is out of the question. 


I have written to her to say that after the 
middle of July we shall be happy to receive her, 
and I have added a welcome if she could make 
her way hither directly^ but I do not expect 
that she will. I have also sent our invitation to 

We are very sorry for the disappointment you 
have all had in Lady B.'s illness ; but a division of 
the proposed party is with you by this time, and 
I hope may have brought you a better account of 
the rest. 

Give my love and thanks to Harriot, who has 
written me charming things of your looks, and 
diverted me very much by poor Mrs. C. Milles's 
continued perplexity. 

I had a few lines from Henry on Tuesday to 
prepare us for himself and his friend, and by the 
time that I had made the sumptuous provision of 
a neck of nmtton on the occasion, they drove into 
the court ; but lest you should not immediately 
recollect in liow many hours a neck of mutton 
may be certainly procured, I add that they came 
a little after twelve — both tall and well, and in 
their different degrees agreeable. 

It was a visit of only twenty-four hours, but 
very pleasant while it lasted. Mr. Tilson took a 


sketch of the Great House before dinner, and 
after dinner we all three walked to Chawton Park/ 
meaning to go into it, but it was too dirty, and we 
were obliged to keep on the outside. Mr. Tilson 
admired the trees very much, but grieved that 
they should not be turned into money. 

My mother's cold is better, and I believe she 
only wants dry weather to be very well. It was a 
great distress to her that Anna should be absent 
during her uncle's visit, a distress which I could 
not share. She does not return from Faringdon 
till this evening, and I doubt not has had jDlenty 
of the miscellaneous, unsettled-sort of happiness 
which seems to suit her l^est. We hear from ]\Iiss 
Benn, who was on the Common with the 
Prowtings, that she was very much admired by 
the gentlemen in general. 

I like your new bonnets exceedingly ; yours is 
a shape which always looks well, and I think 
Fanny's particularly becoming to her. 

On Monday I had the pleasure of receiving, 
unpacking, and approving our Wedgwood ware. 
It all came very safely, and upon the whole is a 

^ A large beech wood extending- for a long distance upon a liill 
about a mile from Cliawtou : the trees are maguiticent. 



good match, though I think tliey might have 
allowed us rather larger leaves, especially in such 
a year of fine foliage as this. One is apt to suppose 
that the woods about Birmingham must be blighted. 
There was no bill with the goods, but that shall 
not screen them from being paid. I mean to ask 
Martha to settle the account. It will be quite in 
her way, for she is just now sending my mother a 
breakfast set from the same place. 

I hope it Avill come by the waggon to-morrow ; 
it is certainly what we Avant, and I long to 
know what it is like, and as I am sure Martha has 
great pleasure in making the present, I will not 
have any regret. We have considerable dealings 
with the w^aggons at present : a hamper of port 
and brandy from Southampton is now in tlie 

Your answer about the Miss Plumbtrees proves 
you as fine a Daniel as ever Portia was ; for I 
maintained Emma to be the eldest. 

We began pease on Sunday, but our gatlierings 
are very small, not at all like the gathering in the 
' Lady of the Lake.' Yesterday I had the agreeable 
surprise of finding several scarlet strawberries 
quite ripe ; had you been at liome, this would 
have been a pleasure lost. There are more 


gooseberries and fewer currants than I tlioucrlit 
at first. We must buy currants for our wine. 

Tlie Digweecls are gone clown to see the Stephen 
Terrys at Southampton, and catch the King's 
birthday at Portsmouth. Miss Papillon called on 
us yesterday, looking handsomer than ever. Maria 
Middleton and Miss Benn dine here to-morrow. 

We are not to enclose any more letters to 
Abingdon Street, as perhaps Martha has told 

I had just left off writing and put on my things 
for walking to Alton, when Anna and her friend 
Harriot called in their way thither, so we went 
together. Their business was to provide mourning 
against the King's death, and my mother has had 
a bombasin bought for her. I am not sorry to 
be back again, for the young ladies liad a great 
deal to do, and without much metliod in doing it. 

Anna does not come home till to-morrow 
morning. She has written I find to Fanny, but _ 
there does not seem to be a great deal to relate 
of Tuesday. I had hoped there might be dancing. 

Mrs. Budd died on Sunday evening. I saw 
her two days before her death, and thought it 
must happen soon. She suffered much from 
weakness and restlessness almost to tlie last. 


Poor little Harriot seems truly grieved. You have 
never mentioned Harry ; how is he ? 
With love to you all, 

Yours affectionately, J. A. 

Miss Austen, Edward Austen's, Esq. 
Godmersham Park, Faversliam. 


The eleventh division of the letters includes those 
written durincr that which I believe to have been 
Jane Austen's last visit to Godmersham^ With 
regard to most of these later letters, I have de- 
Tived much assistance from my mother's old 
pocket-books, in which she regularly kept her 
•diary from the time she was eleven years old until 
she was unable to write. During the earlier years 
there are only casual entries relating to Annt Jane. 
As, for instance: 'June 18, 1807. — Papa brought 
me a packet from Southampton containing a letter 
from Aunt Cassandra, and a note and long strip of 
beautiful work as a present from Aunt Jane.' Then 
in September of the same year the visit of ' grand- 
mamma and Aunts Cassandra and Jane Austen ' to 
€hawton House is duly chronicled, and in 1808 


' Aunt Jane's ' stay at Godmersham for a week, 
accompanied by her brother James and his wife. 
Tliere is also an interesting entry of the date of 
September 28, 1811 : ' Letter from At. Cass, to 
beo- we would not mention that Aunt Jane wrote 
Sense and Sensibility.' But, although many pas- 
sages both in our letters and the pocket-books 
evince the affection which from a very early period 
existed between the aunt and the niece, the time 
when that affection seems to have ripened into 
more intimate friendship was in 1812, during a. 
visit which my mother, in company with .her 
father and cousin, ' Fanny Cage ' (afterwards Lady 
Bridges), paid to Chawton Great House in that 
year. They arrived there on April 14, and 
stayed until Ma}^ 7, when they returned to 
Kent, paying Oxford a visit on their way. My 
mother had at this time just completed her nine- 
teenth year, and she and her aunt seem to have 
been much together during this visit. Unfortu- 
nately I have no letters bearing the date of this 
particular year ; probably because the sisters were 
more than usually together at Chawton Cottage ; but 
during the next three years I am able, by a com- 
parison of the letters and the pocket-books, to 


trace Jane's movements with greater ease, and in 
somewhat more of cletaiL 

And liere there comes to me a great source of 
grief — namely, that although I have five letters 
addressed by ' Aunt Jane ' to my mother during 
the years 1814-16, the pocket-books show the re- 
ceipt in those same years of upwards of tliirty 
letters from the same aunt, which would be in- 
valuable for our present purpose, but which I 
fear must liave been destroyed, with the excep- 
tion of those which I have already found, and 
now publish. 

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

' Your dear mother, being so many years older 
than the rest of us, was a friend and companion of 
the two aunts, Cassandra and Jane, particularly oi 
the latter, and they had all sorts of secrets toge- 
ther, whilst we were only children.' That this was 


the case is abundantly shown by the five letters 
above mentioned, from which we shall see that the 
aunt and niece opened their hearts to each other, 
and wrote in the most unreserved manner. The 
pocket-books of 1812 chronicle many ' walks with 
Aunt Jane' during that month at Chawton, but 
none of the ' secrets ' are told, nor is there any- 
thing which illustrates tlie life of our heroine, if 
I may apply such a term to one who would have 
been amused beyond measure at the idea of its 
application to herself. 

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

June 6th. — ' Aunt Jane and I had a very inte- 
resting conversation.' 


June 22nd. — ' Aunt Jane and I had a delicious 
morning together.' 

June 23rd. — ' Aunt Jane and I walked to Alton 

July — . — ' Had leeches on for headache. Aunt 
Jane came and sat with me.' 

August 1st. — ' Spent the evening with Aunt 

But, in fact, the whole diary is a continuous 
record of meetings between the relations ; every 
day it is either ' the Cottage dined here ' or ' we 
dined at the Cottage,' ' Aunt Jane drank tea witli 
us,' &c. &c. The first letter of this series was 
written whilst Jane was on a visit to her brother 
Henry, with whom she returned to Chawton on 
June 1. It contains some interesting allusions 
to * Pride and Prejudice,' from which we may 
gather that the authoress had an ideal ' Jane ' 
(Mrs. Bingley) and ' EHzabeth ' (Mrs. Darcy), and 
that she succeeded in finding a satisfactory likeness 
of the first, but not of the second, in the picture 
galleries which she visited. I am not much sur- 
prised at this circumstance, for witli all her beauty 
and sweetness, Jane Bingley is a less uncommon 
character than her sister EHzabeth, upon whom 


the authoress had exerted all her power, and was 
proportionately attached to this most successful 
creation of her brain. The special message to 
' Fanny ' upon this point reminds me of anotlier 
entry in this year's diary : ' We finished " Pride and 
Prejudice." ' I have often heard my mother speak 
of ' Aunt Jane's ' reading some of her own works 
aloud to her ; perhaps this refers to one of the 
occasions on which she did so. How delightful it 
must have been to hear those life-like characters 
described by the lips of the very person who had 
called them into existence ! 

It will be seen from another paragraph in this 
letter that my mother had written her aunt a 
letter in the character of ' Miss Darcy,' v\diich made 
her ' laugh heartily.' It was their habit to talk 
over the characters of Aunt Jane's books together, 
and if I only had it in my power to add some of 
their conversations to these letters I have no doubt 
that they would prove highly interesting to my 
readers. Jane returned with the Godmersham 
family to Kent early in September, and her letters 
from Henrietta Street were written during the 
short stay Avhich the party made with Henry 
Austen on their homeward journey. I am able to 


fix the dates by the pocket-books. On Tuesday, 
September 14, my mother writes : ' Papa and 
Aunt Jane, Lizzie, Marianne, and I left Chawton 
at nine, and got to Uncle Henry Austen's house in 
Henrietta Street in good time.' The letters of the 
14th and IGth tell the story of their dohigs, which 
the diary summarises pretty accurately : ' We 
shopped all day ; a complete bustle' on the 15th ; 
and on the 16th : ' We called on Mrs. Tilson, and 
were all Sjjenced,' Spence being the individual who 
was apparently entrusted with the superintendence 
of the teeth of the Godmersham family. The 
allusions in the letter to the visit to Covent Garden 
are also corroborated by entries in the pocket- 
book, which prove the amusement Avhich was de- 
rived by the younger members of the party as well 
as by their aunt. The Mr. Tilson mentioned in 
the London letters was one of Henry Austen's 
partners in the bank. 

' Miss Clewes,' after whom Jane inquires, was 
governess at Godmersham, whom my mother had 
engaged for her younger sisters, and whom slie 
describes in her diary as ' a treasure.' She luxd 
been preceded by Miss Sliarpe, who was my 
mother's own ooverness, and is often mentioned in 


these letters. Miss Clewes lived nearly eigiit 
years at Godmersham. The diary continues, under 
date of Friday, the 17th : ' We left town at eight, 
and reached dear Godmersham before six.' 

During the next two months Jane remained in 
Kent, and here again the comparison witli the 
pocket-books enables me to make out the allusions 
in the letters 'Her sister in Lucina, Mrs. H. 
Gipps ' (Letter 61), was, before her marriage, 
' Emma Plumptre,' whose sister, ' Mary P.,' was a 
great friend of my mother's ; her other two chief 
friends being ' Mary Oxenden,' daughter of Sir 
Henry Oxenden, of Broome, afterwards Mrs. Ham- 
mond, and ' Fanny Cage,' of all three of whom we 
find frequent mention in the letters. The ' Mr. 
K.s ' who ' came a little before dinner on Monday ' 
were Messrs. \Yyndham and Charles Knatchbull, 
the first and second sons of my grandfather. Sir 
Edward Knatchbull, by his second wife, Frances 
Graham, and ' their lovely Wadham ' was their 
cousin, son of Wyndham Knatchbull, of London, 
and afterwards the owner (on his brother William's 
death) of Babington, in Somersetshire. Wyndham 
Knatchbull was twenty-seven in 1813, as he was 
born in 178G. He was afterwards the Eev. Dr. 


Knatchl^all, Eector of Smeetli-cum-Aldington, and 
died in 1868, at the age of eighty-two. 

' We hear a great deal about George Hatton's 
wretchedness.' I remember hearing from my 
mother that the gentleman here referred to had 
' a great disappointment ' in early life, but who the 
lady was or whether this was the ' wretchedness ' 
I cannot say. Perhaps it had nothing to do with 
love, and was only caused by the death of his great- 
aunt, Lady Charlotte Finch ( 7iee Fermor), who 
died in June 1813. But I am bound to say that I 
have a letter before me which says, ' all the young 
ladies were in love with George Hatton — he was 
very handsome and agreeable, danced very well, 
and flirted famously.' At any rate. Aunt Jane 
rightly surmised that his ' quick feelings ' would not 
kill him, for he lived to be Earl of Winchilsea, 
and to marry three times, his last wife being Fanny 
Margaretta, eldest daughter of Mr. Eice, of Dane 
Court, and the ' Lizzie ' of our letters. He died in 
1858, and those who in later life knew the warm- 
hearted generosity of his nature, the sterling worth 
of his character and excellence of his disposition, 
will not be surprised to hear of that general popu- 
larity in youth which he undoubtedly enjoyed. I 


may mention with regard to the letter now before 
us, that he got over his ' wretchedness ' in due 
time, for early in the following June my mother's 
diary records : ' The intended marriage of George 
Hatton and Lady Charlotte Graham announced,' 
which duly took place on July 26, and on the 
30th the entry occurs ' saw the bride and bride- 
groom pass to Eastwell in proper state ! ' I ought 
perhaps to add the entry of August 7, which is to 
this effect : ' George Hatton and bride called ; Lady 
Charlotte is a sweet little perfection.' 

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

Evington, where ' the gentlemen ' all dined one 
night, was and is the seat of the Hony wood family, 
in the parish of Elmsted, some miles the other 
side of Wye from Godmersham. The Lady Hony- 
wood mentioned in these letters was tlie wife of 
Sir John Courtenay Hony wood, and daughter of 
the Eev. Sir William Henry Cooper, Bart. The 
commendations which Jane bestows upon her in a 
later letter (No. 70) were well deserved, for even 
within my memory she was a graceful and cliarm- 


ing woman, and must have been beautiful in her 
youth. I have always heard her spoken of as one 
of the most delightful people, and beheve that she 
fully deserved the description. 

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

The ' Sackree ' of whom such frequent mention 
is made in tlie letters from Godmersliam was. the 
old nurse of my grandfather's children, an excel- 
lent woman and a G^reat fixvourite. I remember 


some of her stories to this clay, especially one of a 
country girl who, on being engaged by the house- 
keeper of a certain family, inquired if she might 
' sleep round.' ' Sleep round ? ' was the reply. 
' Yes, of course ; you may sleep round or square, 
whichever you please, for what I care ! ' How- 
ever, after the lapse of a few days, the girl having 
been kept up for some work or other till ten 
o'clock, did not appear in the morning. After 
some delay, the housekeeper, fancying she must 
be ill, went up to her room about nine o'clock, 
and finding her fast asleep and snoring soundly, 
promptly woke her up, and began to scold her for 
an idle baggage. On this, the girl with an injured 
air, began to remonstrate, ' Why ma'am, you told 
me yourself I might sleep round, and as I wasn't 
in bed till ten o'clock last night, I a'nt a coming 
down till ten this mornincj.' Mrs. Sackree went by 
the familiar name of ' Caky,' the origin of which 
I have been unable to trace, but which was per- 
haps given to her in the Godmersham nursery by 
the little ones, who were doing their best to pro- 
nounce her real name. She lived on at God- 
mersham, saw and played with many of the chil- 
dren of her nurslings, and died in March 1851 in 


her ninetieth year. Mrs. Sayce was her niece, and 
my mother's lady's-maid, of wliom I know no 
more than that she occupied that honourable 
position for twelve years, married a German 
in 1822, and died at Stuttgard in 1844. Sackree 
succeeded her as housekeeper when she left God- 

I have no further record of Jane's proceedings 
in September, save an entry of my mother's that 
' Aunt Jane and I paid poor visits together,' and 
another that they ' called on the Eeynolds' at 
Bilting,' which was a house belonging to the 
Godmersham property, about a mile from God- 
mersham, of which I suppose a family of that name 
were the tenants in 1813. I do not know who the 
Dr. Isham was who Avas so good as to say that he 
was ' sure that he should not like Madame D'Arblay's 
new novel half so well ' as ' Pride and Prejudice,' but 
1 imagine that the vast majority of the readers of 
both books would have agreed witli liim ; for the 
new novel referred to was ' Tlie Wanderer,' of 
w^hich I have already hinted my opinion that the 
falling off from tlie previous works of tlie fair 
authoress is so very manifest tliat it is difficult to 
suppose tliat it was written by tlie same liaud to 


wliich we are indebted for ' Evelina,' ' Cecilia ' and 
' Camilla.' 

^Mr. J. P. is ]\Ir. John Pemberton Plnmptre, 
grandson of the John Plnmptre who married 
Margaretta Bridges in 1750. His father married 
a Pemberton, whence his second Christian name, 
and he himself married in 1818 Catherine Matilda 
Methnen, daughter of Paul Cobb Methnen, of 
Corsham House, Wilts ; but, liaving only three 
daughters, Fredville came, on his decease in 1864, 
to Charles John, the son of his brother Charles. 
Mr. Plnmptre represented East Kent for twenty 
years, from 1832 to 1852, having been returned as 
' an unflinching Pieformer,' but afterwards seeing 
reason to ally himself with the Conservative party. 
This caused much anger among his former political 
friends, and was the occasion of some amusinf^ 
election squibs, one of which 1 remember. It was 
written in 1837, when ]\ii\ Pdder, wliose property 
was in AVest Kent, contested Mr. Plumptre's seat 
in the Liberal interest. Tlie squib was a parody 
on the song, ' Oh wliere, and oh wliere, is your 
Highland Laddie gone ?' tlie words ' Jockey Eider ' 
being substituted tliroughout for ' Hio-]iland 
Laddie ' ; and the verse, ' In what clotlies, in 



what clotlies, is your Highland Laddie clad ?' was 
thus transformed — blue, it should be observed, 
being the Liberal colour in East Kent : — 

In what clothes, in what clothes, is your Jockey Rider clad 1 

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

' Norton Court ' was the residence of the Mr. 
Lushington who came to Godmersliam during this 
visit of Jane's, and who was afterwards, as the Eight 
Hon. Stephen Eumbold Lushington, for some years 
Patronage Secretary of the Treasury, sat in several 
Pailiaments for Canterbury, afterwards served as 
Governor of Madras, married the daughter of 
Lord Harris, and died at Norton Court in 1868, 
in liis ninety-fourth year. He was a pleasant and 
agreeable man of the world, and I am not sur- 
prised to find tliat he made a favourable impression 
upon Jane. The most amusing thing I remember 
to tell about him is in connection with the cele- 
brated East Kent election in 1852, when Sir E. 
Dering and Sir B. Bridges did battle for the seat 
vacated by Mr. Plumptre, and tlie latter won. 
Soon after tlie contest I had a long talk with Mr. 
Lushington, who had very warmly espoused Sir E. 


Dering's cause, and who loudly declared that his 
defeat had been in a oTeat measure owino- to illeo^al 
expenditure on the part of Sir Brook, which he 
vehemently denounced, and expressed himself very 
strongly in favour of purity of election and as a 
hater of bribery of any sort. Presently, however, 
our conversation drifted into a talk about old 
times, and the days when he was Secretary of the 
Treasury before the Eeform Bill of 1832. We 
talked of the Dering family, of their Borough of 
New Eomney, which used to return two members, 
and of the present Sir Edward Dering's uncle, 
who managed the Surrenden estates durino- his 
long minority. Upon this subject our lover of 
purity of election waxed wroth. ' A confounded 
old screw he was !' he exclaimed. ' I was ahvays 
ready, on the part of the Government, to give him 
a thousand for the seats, but the old fellow always 
insisted upon two thousand guineas, and I had to 
give him his price ! ' Whatever his views, how- 
ever, upon such matters, he was certainl}' a 
favourite with the ladies, his musical talents being 
one of his recommendations, for I find an entry 
in my mother's pocket-book of one 3'ear : ' Mr. 
Lushington sang. He has a lovely voice, and 



is quite deliglitfuL' I gather from a similar 
source that he was generous with his ' franks,' 
anotlier way to ladies' hearts of which unfortunate 
]\r.P.'s have been deprived by the progress of 
modern improvements. My stole, to which allusion 
is made in the sixty-fifth and sixty-sixth letters, 
was, and is, the seat of the old Kentisli family of 
Fagge. At the present moment it is let to Colonel 
Laurie, lately M.P. for Canterbury, but at the date 
of our letters it was occupied by the Eev. Sir 
John Fagge, rector of Chartham (in which parish 
Mystole is situate), who had, as the letters show, a 
wife (Miss Newman, of Canterbury, who survived 
]ier husband thirty-five years, and died in 1857), 
four sons and five daughters, all of the latter of 
whom Jane seems to have been lucky enough to 
find at home upon the occasion of her visit. 

The Mr. Wigram who is introduced as the 
friend of Edward Bridges would have been men- 
tioned more favourably by Jane if she had known 
him longer and better. I only knew liim as a 
man somewhat advanced in years, wlio lived in 
Grosvenor Square, wliere I have liad the honour 
of dining with him more than once. But, un- 
doubtedly, he was a most kind-liearted and good 


man, a vrann friend, of a generous and benevolent 
disposition, and quite agreeable enough to justify 
his parents in having called him Henry (see Letter 

' The good old original Brett and Toke ' (Letter 
66) refers to the heads of t^vo very old Kent- 
ish families. ' Spring Grove ' is about half-a-mile 
from ' Wye,' and was bidlt in 1674, although 
Bretts had been buried in Wye some 150 years 
before. Mr. Toke was the owner of Godinton, 
near Ashford, which was and is a beautiful and 
interesting old house, standing in a pleasant and 
well-timbered park, wliich lies between the town 
of Ashford and the adjoining property of Hothfield 
Park, tlie seat of the Tuft on family, the head of 
which is now Lord Hothfield. Hasted gives a 
somewdiat lengthy description of tlie house at 
Godinton, and tells us that ' in the hall there is a 
series of fine family portraits, several of which are 
by Cornelius Johnson. The staircase is of very 
ancient carved-w^ork, in the windows of which are 
collected all the arms, quarterings, and matches 
— in painted glass — of tlie family. The drawing- 
room upstairs is curiously wainscotted with oak 
and carved ; particularly along the upper part of 


it, all round the room, is a representation of the 
exercise and manoeuvres of the ancient militia, 
with the men habited and accoutred Avith their 
arms, in every attitude of marching, exercise, &c., 
which makes a very droll exhibition of them. 
There are several handsome chimney-pieces through 
the house, of Bethersden marble, well carved and 
ornamented with the arms of the family.' This 
was the house in which ' the Charles Cages ' were 
staying, which brings me to an account of the 
two brothers of that name, who were both very 
cheery and popular visitors at many other houses 
besides hospitable Godinton. 

Edward and Charles Cage were tlie younger 
brothers of LcAvis, the husband of Fanny Bridges. 
They were both clergymen and both great sports- 
men. Edward married a Welsh lady, who was 
very worthy but extremely small. My satirical 
relatives at Godmersham nicknamed lier ' Penny 
Piece,' though I do not exactly know why, and all 
I can remember of her is that she liated butter- 
flies and was terribly afraid of guns. Her husband 
was Rector of Eastling and kept harriers. I have 
been told that lie had the names of his hounds 
upon his spoons and forks, and once observed to a 


visitor, ' If the Archbishop of Canterbur}- were to 
come here he would think it ratlier odd to see the 
names of my hounds upon my spoons and forks,' 
which was probably true, though in those days 
bishops might have sometimes seen even more 
extraordinary things in the houses of their clergy. 
Mr. E. Cage died in 1835, and his widow in 1848. 
Charles Cage had the livings of Bensted and 
Bredgar, and hved at Chrismili, near Milgate, but 
afterwards removed to Leybourne. He married 
Miss Graliam, sister of Lady Knatchbull and Lady 
Oxenden, and of Charles Graham, rector of Barham, 
also referred to in our letters. She was much liked 
by the Godmersham family. She died in 1847, 
and lie survived her httle more than a year. There 
are many anecdotes of the two Cages, but I only 
recollect one of Charles — namely, that Avhen one of 
his nieces was reading to him the 2nd Chapter of 
the Acts, he stopped her witli a sigh at the men- 
tion of the ' Elamites,' and on being asked wliy, 
replied, ' It does so put me in mind of Brockman 
and liis hounds in Elham Park !' (a noted fox 
covert in East Kent). I remember that he came to 
grief in a disagreeable manner during a visit to 
Hatcli, which occurred in my boyish days. In one 


of the passages tliere are two doors precisely- 
alike, one of which opens into a room and the 
other on to a back staircase. The worthy old 
gentleman, going along this passage, opened the 
latter under the impression that it was the former, 
marched boldly forward as if on level ground, and 
naturally enougli tumbled downstairs. How he 
escaped serious injury I cannot imagine, but I 
believe he suffered no material inconvenience 
from the shock, unpleasant though it must have 

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

Millgate, mentioned in the sixty-ninth letter, 
w^as bought by Mr. U. Cage, a barrister, in 1024, 
and lias been in tlie Cage family ever since ; its 


present possessor being General (Lewis) Knight, 
only son of Henry Kuiglit and Sophia Cage. 

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

The seventieth letter is the last from God- 
mersham, and begins by describing a dinner party 
at Chilham Castle. ' The Bretons ' were Dr. 
Breton and his wife. He was a gentleman little in 
stature, somewhat odd in appearance, and eccentric 
in character. He married Mrs. Billington, and had 
the rectory of Kennington, between Godmersham 
and Ashford, Avliere he lived and died. My mother 
chi'onicles this gathering as ' a better party than 
usual,' and by ' bits and scraps ' of it Jane herself 
was ' very well entertained.' Then comes an 


amusing account of a concert at Canterbury, to 
which she went, with my motlier and Miss Clewes, 
and where tlie races of Bridges and Plumptre seem 
to have come in force from Goodnestone and 
Fredville, and to liave had a pleasant time of it. 
My mother says of this concert that slie had ' an 
enjoyable cose with sweet Mary Plumptre,' which 
corresponds with the account in the letter. The 
next letter — for I do not doubt there was a ' next ' 
from Godmersham — would probably have given 
us an account of the Canterbury ball, which was 
to take place on the following Thursday, but 
unfortunately it is not forthcoming. All the same, 
however, the ball did take place, for the pocket- 
book informs me : ' We went to the Canty. 
Ball ; good company, but no dancing ; officers idle 
and scarcity of county Beaux. Sophia (Deedes) 
and I onlj" danced the 2nd, and her partner was 
an officer, mine Wm. Hammond ; white sarsnet 
and silver, silver in my hair.' 

On Saturday, November 13, Jane left God- 
mersham, accompanying my grandfather and 
mother to Wrotham Eectory, on a visit to Mr. 
and Mrs. Moore, and on tlie loth slie went on to 
lier brother Henry's liouse in Henrietta Street. 



Sloane St. : Monday (May 24). 

My deakest Cassandra, 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

I Jiave been interrupted by Mrs. Tilson. Poor 


woman ! Slie is in danger of not being able to 
attend Lady Drummond Smith's party to-niglit. 
^iiss Bnrdett was to have taken her, and now Miss 
Burdett has a cough and will not go. My cousin 
Caroline is her sole dependence. 

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

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

There is no cliange in our plan of leaving 
London, but we shall not be with you before 
Tuesda3\ Henry thinks Monday would appear 
too early a day. There is no danger of our being 
induced to stay longer. 


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

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

There is a gentleman in treaty for this house. 
Gentleman liimself is in the country, but gentle- 
man's friend came to see it tlie other day, and 
seemed pleased on the whole. Gentleman would 
rather prefer an increased rent to parting witli live 
hundred guineas at once, and if tluat is the only 
difficulty it will not be minded. Henry is in- 
different as to the Avhich. 

Get us the best weather you can for Wednes- 
day, Thursday, and Friday. We are to go to 


Windsor in our way to Henley, which will be a 
great deliirht. We shall be leaving^ Sloane Street 
about 12, two or three hours after Charles's 
party have begun their journey. You will miss 
them, but the comfort of getting back into your 
own room will be great. And then the tea and 
sugar ! 

I fear Miss Clewes is not better, or you would 
have mentioned it. I shall not write a^ain unless 


I have any unexpected communication or oppor- 
tunity to tempt me. I enclose Mr. Herington's 
bill and receipt. 

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

Monday Evening. — We have been both to 
the exhibition and Sir J. Eeynolds's, and I am 
disappointed, for there was nothing like Mrs. D. 
at either. I can only imagine that Mr. D. prizes 
any picture of her too much to like it should be 
exposed to the public eye. I can imagine lie 

* Miss Darcy. 


would have that sort of feehng — that mixture of 
love, pride, and delicacy. 

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

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

I should not wonder if w^e got no farther than 
Reading on Thursday evening, and so reach 
Steventon only to a reasonable dinner hour the 
next day ; but wliatever I may write or you may 
imagine we know it will be sometliing different. 
I sliall l)c quiet to-morrow morning ; all my busi- 
ness is done, and I shall only call again upon Mrs. 
Hoblyn, Sec. 

Love to your much . . . party. 

Yours affectionately, J. Austen. 

May 2, 1813. From Sloane St. 
Miss 7Vusten, Chawton. 

By favour of Messrs. Gray v^ Vincent. 



Henrietta St. : Wednesday (Sept. 15, ^ past 8). 

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

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

We arrived at a quarter-past four, and were 
kindly welcomed by the coachman, and then by 
his master, and then by William, and then by Mrs. 
Pengird, who all met us before we reached the 
foot of the stairs. Mde. Bigion was below dressing 
us a most comfortable dinner of soup, fish, bouillee, 
partridges, and an apple tart, which we sat down 
to soon after five, after cleaning and dressino- our- 
selves and feeling that we were most commodiously 



disposed of. The little adjoining dressing-room to 
our apartment makes Fanny and myself very well 
off indeed, and as we have poor Eliza's^ bed our 
space is ample every way. 

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

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

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

Henry has been suffering from the pain in tlie 

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


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

Lady Eobert is delighted with P. and P.,^ and 
really was so, as I understand, before she knew who 
wa'ote it, for, of course, she knows now. He told 
her with as much satisfaction as if it were my 
w4sh. He did not tell me this, but he told Fanny. 
And Mr. Hastings ! I am quite dehghted with 
wdiat such a man writes about it. Henry sent him 
the books after his return fro qi Daylesford, but you 
will hear the letter too. 

Let me be rational, and return to my tAvo full 

I talked to Henry at the play last night. We 
were in a private box — Mr. Spencer's — which made 
it much more pleasant. The box is directly on 
the stage. One is infinitely less fatigued than 
in the common way. But Henry's plans are not 
what one could wish. He does not mean to be at 
Chawton till tlie 29th. He must be in town 
again by Oct. 5. His plan is to get a couj^le of 

^ ' Pride and Prejudice.' 

L 2 


days of pheasant shooting and then return directly. 
His wish was to bring you back with him. I have 
told him your scruples. He wishes you to suit 
yourself as to time, and if you cannot come till 
later, will send for you at any time as far as Bag- 
shot. He presumed you would not find difiiculty 
in getting so far. I could not say 3^011 would. He 
proposed your going with him into Oxfordshire, 
[t was his own thought at first. I could not but 
catch at it for you. 

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

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


Oh, dear me ! when I shall ever have clone. 
We did go to Layton and Shear's before break- 
fast. Very pretty English poplms at is. M. ; Irish, 
ditto at 6-5?. ; more pretty, certainly — beautiful. 

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

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

Four o'clocJc. — We are just come back from 
doing Mrs. Tickars, Miss Hare, and Mr. Spence. 

^ l^izzie and Marianne. 

150 lettp:rs of jaxe austex. ihv^ 

Mr. Hall is here, and, while Fanny is under his 
hands, I will try to write a little more. 

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

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

Going to Mr. Spence's was a sad business and 
cost us many tears ; unluckily we were obliged to 
go a second time before lie could do more than 
just look. We went lirst at half-past twelve and 
afterwards at three ; papa with us each time ; 
and, alas ! we are to go again to-morrow. Lizzy 
is not finished yet. Tliere have ])een no teeth 
taken out, however, nor will be, I believe, but he 

1813 LETTERS OF J.l^'E AUSTEX. 151 

finds Iters in a very bad state, and seems to think 
particularly ill of tlieir durableness. They have 
been all cleaned, hers filed, and are to be filed 
again. There is a very sad hole between two of 
her front teeth. 

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

Mr. Hall w^as very punctual yesterday, and 
curled me out at a great rate. I thouglit it looked 
hideous, and longed for a snug cap instead, but my 
companions silenced me by their admiration. I 
had only a bit of velvet round my head. I did not 
catch cold however. The weather is all in my 
favour. 1 have had no pain in my face since I 
left you. 

We liad very good places in the box next the 
stage-box, front and second row ; the three old ones 


behind of course. I was particularly disappointed 
at seeing nothing of Mr. Crabbe. I felt sure of him 
w]ien I saw that the boxes were fitted up with 
crimson velvet. Tlie new Mr. Terry was Lord 
Ogleby, and Henry thinks he may do ; but there 
was no acting more than moderate, and I was as 
much amused by the remembrances connected with 
' Midas ' as with any part of it. The girls were very 
much delighted, but still prefer ' Don Juan ; ' and 
I must say that I have seen nobody on the stage 
who lias been a more interesting character than 
that compound of cruelty and lust. 

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

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

^ * Sense and Sensibilitv.' 


son of the luckless Williarases of Grosvenor 

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

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

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


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

Charming weather for you and us, and the tra- 
vellers, and everybody. You will take your walk 
til is afternoon, and . . . 

Henrietta St., the autumn of 1818. 
Miss Austeu, Cliawton. 

By favour of Mr. Gray. 


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

Thank you, my dearest Cassandra, for tlie nice 
long letter I sent off this morning. 1 hope you 
have liad it by this time, and that it has found you 
all well, and my mother no more in need of 
leeches. Whether this will be delivered to you by 
Henry on Saturday evening, or by the postman 
on Sunday morning, I know not, as he lias lately 
recollected something of an engagement for Satur- 


day, wliicli perhaps may delay his visit. 'He seems 
determined to come to you soon however. 

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

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

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


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

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

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

After oui' return Mr. Tilson w^alked up from 


the Compting House and called upon us, and these 
liave been all our visitino-s. 

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

I enclose the eighteen-pence due to my mother. 
The rose colour was 6.S'. and the other 4-9. per 3'ard. 
There was but two yards and a quarter of the 
dark slate in the sliop, but the man promised to 
match it and send it off correctly. 

Fanny bought her Irish at Newton's in Leicester 
Square, and I took the opportunity of thinking 
about your Irish, and seeing one piece of the yard 
wide at 4<s-., and it seemed to me very ofood ; oood 
enough for your purpose. It might at least be 
wortli your while to go there, if you have no other 
engagements. Fanny is veiy much pleased mth 
the stockings she has bought of Eemmington, silk 
at 12^'., cotton at 4^. 3</. She thinks them great 
bargains, but I liave not seen them yet, as my hair 
was dressincr when the man and the stockino-s 

The poor girls and their teeth ! I have not 
mentioned them yet, but we were a whole hour at 
Spence's, and Lizzy's were filed and lamented over 
again, and poor Marianne had two taken out after 


all, tlie two just beyond the eye teeth, to make 
room for those in front. When lier doom was fixed, 
Fanny, Lizzy, and I walked into the next room, 
where we heard each of the two sharp and hasty 

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

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

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

Fanny desires me to tell Martha, with her kind 
love, that Bircliall assured her there w^as no second 
set of Hook's Lessons for Beginners, and tliat, by 
my advice, she has therefore chosen lier a set by 


another composer. I thought she would rather 
have something than not. It costs six shiUings. 

With love to you all, including Triggs, I 

Yours very affectionately, J. Austex. 

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


Godniersham Park: Thursday (Sept. 23). 

]\Iy dearest Cassaxdra, 

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

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


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

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

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

I wrote to Charles yesterday, and Fanny luis 
had a letter from him to-day, j)rin('ipally to make 
inquiries about tlie time of tlieir visit liere, to 


which mine was an answer beforehand ; so he will 
probably write again soon to fix his week. I am 
best pleased that Cassy does not go to you. 

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

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

On Tuesday the carriage was taken to the 

^ KnatcLbulls. 


painter's ; at one time Fanny and I were to have 
gone in it, c]iie% to call on Mrs. C. — Milles and 
Moy ^ — but we found tliat they were going for a 
few days to Sandhng, and would not be at home ; 
therefore my brother and Fanny went to Eastwell 
in the chair instead. While they were gone the 
Nackington Milles's called and left their cards. 
Nobody at home at Eastwell. 

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

' 'Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no 

1 Mrs. C. Milles was tlie mother of Mr. R. Milles of Nacldngton 
and Elmliara, Norfolk. ' Moy ' means ' Molly ' Milles— probably an 
imitation of ber mother's way of pronouncing her name. She was 
sister to Mr. R. Milles, and ' the Nackington ]Milles' ' refers to his 
widow who lived there after his death. 


more,' but to make amends for that, our visit to 
the Tyldens is over. ]\Iy brother, Fanny, Edwd., 
and I went ; Geo. stayed at home with W. K. 
There was nothing entertaining, or out of the 
common way. We met only Tyldens and double 
Tyldens. A whist-table for the gentlemen, a grown- 
up musical young lady to play backgammon with 
Fanny, and engravings of the Colleges at Cambridge 
for me. In the morning we returned Mrs. Sherer's 
visit. I like Mr. S. very much. 

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

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

I read him the chief of 3'our letter ; he was 
mterested and pleased, as he ought, and will be 
happy to hear fi-om you himself Your finding 
so much comfort from his cows gave him evident 

M 2 


pleasure. I wonder Henry did not go down on 
Saturday : lie does not in general fall icitliiii a 
doubtful intention. 

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

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

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

Oh ! the churcli must have looked very forlorn. 
We all thought of the empty pew. How Bentigli 
is grown ! and the Canty. Hill Plantation ! And 


tlie improvements icithin are very great. I admire 
the chintz room very much. We live in the 
hbrary except at meals, and have a fire every 
evening. The weather is set about changing ; we 
shall have a settled wet season soon. I must go 
to bed. 

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

Great doings again to-day. Fanny, Lizzy, and 
Mar""^ are going to Goodnestone for the fair, which 
is to-morrow, and sta}^ till Monday, and the 
gentlemen are all to dine at Evington. Edwd. 
has been repenting ever since he promised to go, 
and was hoping last night for a wet day, but the 
morning is fair. I shall dine with Miss Clewes, 
and I dare say find her ver}^ agreeable. The 
invitation to the fair was general. Edwd. posi- 
tively declined his share of that, and I was very 
glad to do the same. It is likely to be a baddish 
fair — not much upon the stall, and neither Mary 0.^ 
nor Mary P.'^^ 

It is hoped that the portfolio may be in Canty, 
this morning. Sackree's sister found it at Croj^lon 
and took it to town with lier, but unluckily did 

^ Mary Oxenden. - Mary Plumptre. 


not send it down till slie had directions. Fanny 

C's. screens can be done notliinir with, but there 

are parts of w^orkbags in the parcel, very important 

in their way. Three of the Deedes girls are to 

be at Goodnestone. 

We shall not be much settled till this visit is 

over, settled as to employment I mean. Fami)' 

and I are to go on with Modern Europe together, 

but hitherto have advanced only twenty-five pages. 

Something or other has always happened to delay 

or curtail tlie reading; hour. 

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

Apples are scarce in this country — 1/. os. a 
sack. Miss Hinton shoidd take Hannah Knio'ht. 
Mrs. Driver has not yet appeared. J. Littleworth 
and the grey pony reached Bath safely. 

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


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

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

I told Mrs. C. of my mother's late oppressions 
in her head. She says on that subject : ' Dear Mrs. 
Austen's is, I believe, an attack frequent at her 
age and mine. Last year I had for some time 

^ * Pride and Prejudice.' 


the sensation of a peck loaf resting on my liead, 
and they talked of cuppmg me, but I came off 
with a dose or two of calomel, and liave never 
heard of it since.' 

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

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

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

I liave tins moment seen Mrs. Driver driven up 
to tlie kitchen door. I cannot close witli a grander 
circumstance or greater wit. 

Yours affectionately, J. A. 

I am going to write to Steven ton, so you need 
not send any news of nie tliere. 


Louisa's best love and a liimdred tliousand 
million kisses. 

Miss Austen, Chawton, Alton, Hants. 


Godmersham Park: Monday (Oct. 11). 

[My deakest Auxt Cass., 

I have just asked Aunt Jane to let me write a 
little in her letter, but she does not like it, so I 
won't. Good-bye !] 

You will have Edward's letter to-morrow. He 
tells me that he did not send you any news to 
interfere with mine, but I do not think there is 
much for anybody to send at present. 

We had our dinner party on Wednesday, with 
the addition of Mrs. and Miss Milles, who were 
under a promise of dining here in their return from 
Eastwell, whenever they paid their visit of duty 
there, and it happened to be paid on that day. Both 
mother and daughter are much as I have always 
found them. I hke the mother — first, because she 
reminds me of ]\Ii's. Bii'ch ; and, secondly, because 
she is cheerful and grateful for what she is at the 
age of ninety and upwards. Tlie day was pleasant 
enough. I sat by Mr. Chisholme, and ^ye talked 


away at a great rate about nothing worth hear- 

It was a mistake as to the clay of the Sherers 
going being fixed ; they are ready, but are waiting 
for Mr. Paget's answer. 

I inquired of Mrs. Milles after Jemima Brydges, 
and was quite grieved to hear that she was obhged 
to leave Canterbury some months ago on account 
of her debts, and is nobody knows where. What 
an unprosperous family ! 

On Saturday, soon after breakfast, Mr. J. P. left 
us for Norton Court. I like him very much. He 
gives- me the idea of a very amiable young man, 
only too diffident to be so agreeable as he might 
be. He was out the chief of each morning with 
the other two, shooting and getting wet through. 
To-morrow we are to know whether he and a 
hundred young ladies will come here for the ball. 
I do not much expect any. 

The Deedes cannot meet us ; they have engage- 
ments at home. I will finish the Deedes by saying 
that they are not likely to come here till quite late 
in my stay — the very last week perhaps ; and I do 
not expect to see the Moores at all. They are not 
solicited till after Edward's return from Hamp- 


Monday, Xovember 15, is the day now fixed for 
onr setting out. 

Poor Basingstoke races ! There seem to have 
been two particularly wretched days on purpose 
for them ; and Weyliill week does not begin much 

We were quite surprised by a letter from Anna 
at ToUard Eoyal, last Saturday ; but perfectly ap- 
prove her going, and only regret they should all 
go so far to stay so few days. 

We had thunder and lightning here on Thurs- 
day morning, between five and seven ; no very bad 
thunder, but a great deal of hghtning. It lias given 
the commencement of a season of wind and rain, 
and perhaps for the next six Aveeks we shall not 
have two dry days together. 

Lizzy is very much obliged to 5^011 for your 
letter and will answer it soon, but has so many 
uhings to do that it may be four or five days before 
she can. This is quite her own message, spoken 
in rather a desponding tone. Your letter gave 
pleasure to all of us ; we had all the reading of it 
of course, I three times, as I undertook, to the great 
rehef of Lizzy, to read it to Sackree, and afterwards 
CO Louisa. 

Sackree does not at all approve of Mary Doe 


and lier nuts — on the score of propriety rather 
til an liealth. She saw some signs of going after her 
in George and Henry, and thinks if you could give 
tlie girl a check, by ratlier reproving her for taking 
anything seriously about nuts which they said to 
her, it might be of use. This, of course, is between 
our three discreet selves, a scene of triennial bliss. 

Mrs. Breton called liere on Saturday. I never 
saw her before. She is a large, ungenteel woman, 
with self-satisfied and would-be elegant manners. 

We are certain of some visitors to-morrow. 
Edward Bridges comes for two nights in his way 
from Lenham to Eamsgate, and brings a friend- 
name unknown — but supposed to be a Mr. Harpur, 
a neighbouring clergyman ; and Mr. E. Mascall is 
to shoot with the young men, which it is to be 
supposed will end in his staying dinner. 

On Thursday, Mr. Lushington, M.P. for Canter- 
bury, and manager of the Lodge Hounds, dines 
liere, and stays the night. He is chiefly young 
Edward's acquaintance. If I can I will get a frank 
from him, and write to you all the sooner. I sup- 
pose the Ashford ball will furnish something. 

As I wrote of my nephcAvs witli a little bitter- 
ness in my last, I think it particidarly incumbent 
on me to do tliem justice now, and I have great 


pleasure in saying that they were both at the 
Sacrament yesterday. After having much praised 
or much blamed anybody, one is generally sensible 
of something just the reverse soon afterwards. Now 
these two boys who are out with the foxhounds 
will come home and disgust me again by some 
habit of luxury or some proof of sporting mania, 
unless I keep it off by this prediction. They amuse 
themselves very comfortably in the evening by 
netting ; they are each about a rabbit net, and sit as 
deedily to it, side by side, as any two Uncle Franks 
could do. 

I am looking over ' Self Control ' again, and my 
opinion is confirmed of its being an excellently- 
meant, elegantly- written work, witliout anything 
of nature or probability in it. I declare I do not 
know whether Laura's passage down the American 
river is not the most natural, possible, everyday 
thing she ever does. 

Tuesday — Dear me ! what is to become of me ? 
Such a long letter ! Two-and-forty lines in the 
second page. Like Harriot Byron, I ask, what am 
I to do with my gratitude ? I can do nothing but 
thank you and go on. A few of your inquiries, I 
think, are replied to en avance. 

Tlie name of F. Cao-e's drawing;-master is O'Xeil. 


We are exceedingly amused witli your Slialden 
news, and your self reproach on the subject of Mrs. 
Stockwell made me laugh heartily. I rather won- 
dered that Johncock,^ the only person in the room, 
could help laughing too. I ]iad not lieard before 
of her having the measles. Mrs. H. and Alethea's 
staying till Friday was quite new to me ; a good 
plan liowever. I coidd not have settled it better 
myself, and am glad they found so mucli in the 
house to approve, and I hope tliey will ask Martha 
to visit them. I admire the sagacity and taste of 
Charlotte Williams. Those large dark eyes always 
judge well. I will compliment her by naming a 
heroine after her. 

Edward has had all the particulars of the build- 
ing, &c., read to him twice over, and seems very 
well satisfied. A narrow door to the pantry is the 
only subject of solicitude ; it is certainly just the 
door which should not be narrow, on account of 
the trays ; but, if a case of necessit}^ it must be 

I knew there was sugar in tlic tin, but liad no 
idea of there being enougli to last tlirough 3'our 
company. All the better. You ought not to think 
this ncAv loaf better than tlic otlier, because that 

' The butler at Godmersliam. 


was the first of five which all came together. 
Something of fancy, perhaps, and something of 

Dear Mrs. Digweed ! I cannot bear that she 
should not be foolishly happy after a ball. I hope 
]\iiss Yates and her companions were all well the 
day after their arrival. I am thoroughly rejoiced 
that ]\Iiss Benn has placed herself in lodgings, 
though I hope they may not be long necessary. 

No letter from Charles yet. 

Southey's ' Life of Nelson :' I am tired of ' Lives 
of Nelson,' being that I never read any. I will 
read this, however, if Frank is mentioned in it. 

Here am I in Kent, with one brother in the 
same county and another brother's ^vife, and see 
nothing of them, which seems unnatural. It will 
not last so for ever, I trust. I should like to have 
Mrs. F. A. and her children here for a week, but 
not a syllable of that nature is ever breathed. I 
wish her last visit had not been so long a one. 

I wonder whether Mrs. Tilson has ever lain-in. 
Mention it if it ever comes to your knowledge, and 
we shall hear of it by the same post from Henry, 

Mr. Eob. Mascall breakfasted here ; he eats a 
great deal of butter. I dined upon goose yester- 
day, which, I hope, will secure a good sale of my 


second edition. Have you any toniatas ? Fanny 
and I regale on them every day. 

Disastroii-s letters from the Plumptres and Ox- 
endens. Eefusals everywhere — a blank partoiit — 
and it is not quite certain whether we go or not ; 
something may depend upon the disposition of 
Uncle Edward when he comes, and upon what Ave 
hear at Chilham Castle this morning, for we are 
going to pay visits. We are going to each house 
at Chilham and to Mystole. 1 shall like seeing the 
Faggs. I shall like it all, except that w^e are to set 
out so early that I have not time to write as I 
would wish. 

Edwd. Bridges's friend is a Mr. Hawker, I find, 
not Harpur. I would not have you sleep in such 
an error for the world. 

My brother desires his best love and thanks for 
all your information. He hopes the roots of the 
old beech have l)een dug away enough to allow a 
proper covering of mould and turf. He is sorry 
for the necessity of building tlie ncAv coin, but 
hopes they will contrive that the doorway should 
be of the usual widtli — if it must be contracted on 
one side, by widening it on the other. The ap- 
pearance need not signify. And lie desires me to 
say that your being at Chawton when he is will 


be quite necessary. You cannot think it more in- 
dispensable than he does. He is very much obliged 
to you for your attention to everything. Have you 
any idea of returning with him to Henrietta Street 
and finishing your visit then ? Tell me your sweet 
little innocent ideas. 

Everything of love and kindness, proper and 
imjjroper, must now suffice. 

Yours very affectionately, J. Austen. 

Miss Austen^ Chawton, Alton, Hants. 


Godmersliam Park : Thursday (Oct. 14). 

My DEAREST Cassandra, 

l!^ow I will prepare for Mr. Lushington, and as 
it will be wisest also to prej^are for his not coming, 
or my not getting a frank, I shall write very close 
from the first, and even leave room for the seal 
in the jDroper place. When I have followed up my 
last with this I shall feel somewhat less unworthy 
of you than the state of our correspondence now 

I left off in a great hurry to prepare for our 
morning visits. Of course was ready a good deal 

VOL. 11. N 


tlie first, and need not liave hurried so much. 
Fanny wore lier new gown and cap. I was sur- 
prised to find Mystole so pretty. 

The ladies were at home. I was in luck, and 
saw Lady Fagg and all her five daughters, Avith an 
old Mrs. Hamilton, from Canterbury, and Mrs. and 
Miss Chapman, from Margate, into the bargain. 
I never saw so plain a family — five sisters so very 
plain ! They are as plain as the Foresters, or the 
Franfraddops, or the Seagraves, or the Rivers, 
excluding Sophy. Miss Sally Fagg has a pretty 
figure, and that comprises all the good looks of 
the family. 

It was stupidish ; Fanny did lier part very 
well, but there was a lack of talk altogether, and 
the three friends in the house only sat by and looked 
at us. However, Miss Chapman's name is Laura, 
and she had a double flounce to lier gown. You 
really must get some flounces. Are not some of 
your large stock of white morning gowns just in a 
haj^py state for a flounce — too short ? Xobody at 
home at either house in Chilham. 

Edward Bridges and his friend did not forget 
to arrive. Tlie friend is a Mr. Wigram, one of the 
three-and-twenty children of a great rich mercan- 
tile, Sir liobert Wigram, an old acquaintance of 


the Footes, but very recently known to Edward B. 
The history of his coming here is, that, intending 
to go from Eamsgate to Brighton, Edw. B. per- 
suaded him to take Lenham on his way, which 
gave him the convenience of ]\Ii\ W.'s o'isf, and the 
comfort of not being alone there ; but, probably 
thinking a few days of Gm. would be the cheapest 
and pleasantest way of entertaining his friend and 
himself, offered a visit here, and here they stay 
till to-morrow. 

Mr. W. is about five or six-and-twenty, not 
ill-looking, and not agreeable. He is certainly no 
addition. A sort of cool, gentlemanlike manner, 
but very silent. They say his name is Henry, a 
proof how unequally the gifts of fortune are 
bestowed. I have seen many a John and Tliomas 
much more agreeable. 

We have got rid of Mr. E. Mascall, liowever. 
I did not like him either. He talks too much, and 
is conceited, besides having a vulgarly shaped 
mouth. He slept here on Tuesday, so that yester- 
day Fanny and I sat down to breakfast with six 
gentlemen to admire us. 

We did not go to the ball. It was left to her 
to decide, and at last she determined against it. 
She knew that it would be a sacrifice on the part 



of lier father and brothers if tliey went, and I hope 
it will prove that she has not sacrificed much. It 
is not likely that there should have been anybody 
there whom she would care for. / was very glad 
to be spared the trouble of dressing and going, and 
being weary before it was half over, so my gown 
and my cap are still unworn. It will appear at 
last, perhaps, that I might have done without 
either. I produced my brown bombazine yester- 
day, and it was very much admired indeed, and 
I like it better than ever. 

You have given many particulars of the state 
of Chawton House, but still we want more. 
Edward wants to be expressly told tliat all the 
round tower, &c., is entirely down, and the door 
from the best room stopped up ; he does not know 
enough of the appearance of things in that 

He heard from Bath yesterday. Lady B. con- 
tinues very well, and Dr. Parry's opinion is, that 
while the water agrees with her she ought to 
remain there, which throws their coming away at 
a greater uncertainty than we had supposed. It 
will end, perhaps, in a fit of the gout, which may 
prevent her coming away. Louisa thinks her 
mother's being so well may be quite as much 


owing to her being so mncli out of doors as to the 
water. Lady B. is going to try the liot j)ump, tlie 
Cross bath being about to be painted. Louisa is 
particularly well herself, and thinks the water has 
been of use to her. She mentioned our enquiries, 
&c., to Mr. and Mrs. Alex. Evelyn, and had their 
best compliments and thanks to give in return. Dr. 
Parry does not expect Mi\ E. to last much longer. 

Only think of Mrs, Holder's being dead ! Poor 
woman, she has done the only thing in the world 
she could possibly do to make one cease to abuse 
her. Now, if you please. Hooper must have it in 
his power to do more by his uncle. Lucky for the 
little girl. An Anne Ekins can hardly be so unfit 
for the care of a child as a Mrs. Holder. 

A letter from Wrotham yesterday offering an 
early visit here, and Mr. and Mrs. Moore and one 
child are to come on Monday for ten days. I hope 
Charles and Fanny may not fix the same time, but 
if they come at all in October they must. What is 
the use of hoping? The two parties of children 
is the cliief evil. 

To be sure, here we are ; the very thing has 
happened, or rather worse — a letter from Charles 
this very morning, which gives us reason to 
suppose they may come here to-day. It depends 


upon the weather, and the weather now is very 
fine. No difficulties are made, however, and, 
indeed, there will .be no want of room ; but I wish 
there were no Wigrams and Lushingtons in the way 
to fill up the table and make us such a motley set. 
I cannot spare Mr. Lushington either, because of 
his frank, but Mr. Wigram does no good to any- 
body. I cannot imagine how a man can have the 
impudence to come into a family party for three 
days, where he is quite a stranger, unless he 
knows himself to be agreeable on undoubted 
authority. He and Edw. B. are going to ride to 
EastWell, and as the boys are hunting, and my 
brother is gone to Canty., Fanny and I have a 
quiet morning before us. 

Edward has driven ofi* poor Mrs. Salkeld. It 
was thought a good opportunity of doing some- 
thing towards clearing the house. By lier own 
desire Mrs. Fanny ^ is to be put in the room next 
tlie nursery, her baby in a little bed by her ; and 
as Oassy is to have tlie closet within, and Betsey 
William's little hole, they will be all very snug 
together. I shall be most happy to see dear 
Charles, and he will be as happy as he can with 
a cross child, or some such care, pressing on him 

^ Mrs. Charles Austen, nee Fannj' Palmer. 


at the time. I should be very happy in the idea 
of seeing httle Cassy again, too, did not I fear she 
would disappoint me by some immediate disagree- 

We had tlie good old original Brett and Toke 
caUing here yesterday, separately. ]\Ir. Toke I am 
always very fond of He inquired after you and 
my motlier,' which adds esteem to passion. The 
Charles Cages are staying at Godington. I knew 
they must be staying somewhere soon. Ed. 
Hussey is warned out of Pett, and talks of fixing 
at Eamsgate. Bad taste ! He is very fond of the 
sea, however. Some taste in that, and some 
judgment, too, in fixing on Eamsgate, as being by 
the sea. 

The comfort of the billiard-table here is very 
great ; it draws all the gentlemen to it whenever 
they are within, especially after dinner, so that my 
brother, Fanny, and I have the library to ourselves 
in delightful quiet. Tliere is no truth in the report 
of G. Hatton being to marry Miss Wemyss. He 
desires it may be contradicted. 

Have you done anything about our present to 
Lliss Benn ? I suppose she must have a bed at my 
mother's whenever she dines there. How will they 
manage as to inviting her when you are gone? 


and if they invite, liow will tliey continue to 
entertain her ? 

Let me know as many of your parting arrange- 
ments as you can, as to wine, &c. I wonder 
whether the ink-bottle has been filled. Does 
butcher's meat keep up at the same price, and is 
not bread lower than 2^. 6rZ. ? Mary's blue gown ! 
My mother must be in agonies. I have a great 
mind to have my blue gown dyed some time or 
other. I proposed it once to you, and you made 
some objection, I forget what. It is the fashion of 
flounces that gives it particular expediency. 

Md^s. and Miss Wildman have just been here. 
Miss is very plain. I wish Lady B. may be re- 
turned before we leave Gm., that Fanny may 
spend the time of her father's absence at Good- 
nestone, which is what she would prefer. 

Friday. — They came last night at about seven. 
We had given them up, but / still expected them 
to come. Dessert was nearly over ; a better time 
for arriving tlian an hour and a-half earlier. They 
were late because tliey did not set out earlier, 
and did not allow time enough. Charles did not 
aim at more than reaching Sittingbourne by three, 
wliich could not have brought them here by dinner 
time. They had a very^ rough passage ; lie would 


not have ventured if lie had known how bad it 
would be. 

However, here they are, safe and well, just 
like their own nice selves, Fanny looking as neat 
and white this morning as possible, and dear 
Charles all affectionate, placid, quiet, cheerful, 
good humour. They are both looking very well, 
but poor little Cassy is grown extremely thin, and 
looks poorly. I hope a week's country air and 
exercise may do her good. I am sorry to say it 
can be but a week. The baby does not appear so 
large in proportion as she was, nor quite so pretty, 
but I have seen very little of her. Cassy was too 
tired and bewildered just at first to seem to know 
anybody. We met them in the hall — the women 
and girl part of us — but before we reached the 
library she kissed me very affectionately, and has 
since seemed to recollect me in the same way. 

It was quite an evening of confusion, as you 
may suppose. At first we were all walking about 
from one part of the house to the other ; then 
came a fresh dinner in the breakfast-room for 
Charles and his wife, which Fanny and I attended ; 
then we moved into the library, were joined by 
the dining-room people, were introduced, and so 
forth ; and tlien we had tea and coffee, which was 


not over till past 10. Billiards again drew all 
the odd ones away, and Edward, Charles, the two 
Fannies, and I sat snugly talking. I shall be glad 
to have our numbers a little reduced, and by the 
time you receive this we shall be only a family, 
though a large family, party. Mr. Lushington goes 

Now I must speak of him^ and I like him very 
much. I am sure he is clever, and a man of taste. 
He got a volume of Milton last night, and spoke 
of it with warmth. He is quite an M.P., very 
smiling, with an exceeding good address and 
readiness of language. I am rather in love with 
him. I dare say he is ambitious and insincere. 
He puts me in mind of Mr. Dundas. He has a 
wide smiling mouth, and very good teeth, and 
something the same complexion and nose. He is 
a much shorter man, with Martha's leave. Does 
Martha never hear from Mrs. Craven ? Is Mrs. 
Craven never at home ? 

We breakfasted in the dining-room to-day, and 
are now all pretty well dispersed and quiet. Charles 
and George are gone out shooting together, to 
Winnigates and Seaton Wood. I asked on purpose 
to tell Henry. Mr. Lushington and Edwd. are 
gone some other way. I wish Charles may kill 


something, but this high wind is against their 

Lady WiUiams is hving at the Rose at Sitting- 
bourne ; they called upon her yesterday ; she 
cannot live at Sheerness, and as soon as she gets 
to Sittingbourne is quite well. In return for all 
your matches, I announce that her brother William 
is going marry a Miss Austen, of a Wiltshire 
family, who say they are related to us. 

I talk to Gassy about Chawton ; she remembers 
much, but does not volunteer on the subject. 
Poor little love ! I wish she were not so very 
Palmery, but it seems stronger than ever. I never 
knew a wife's family features have such undue 

Papa and mamma have not yet made up their 
mind as to parting with her or not ; the chief, 
indeed the only, difliculty with mamma is a very 
reasonable one, the cliild's being very unwilling 
to leave tliem. When it was mentioned to her she 
did not like the idea of it at all. At the same 
time, she has been suffering so much lately from 
sea-sickness that her mamma cannot bear to have 
her much on board this winter. Charles is less 
inclined to part with her. I do not know how it 
will end, or what is to determine it. He desires 


]iis best love to you, and has not written because 
he lias not been able to decide. They are both 
very sensible of your kindness on the occasion. 

I have made Charles furnish me with some- 
thing to say about young Kendall. He is going 
on very well. When he first joined the ' Namur ' 
my brother did not find him forward enough to be 
what they call put in tlie office, and therefore 
placed him under the schoolmaster, but he is very 
much improved, and goes into the office now every 
afternoon, still attending school in the morning. 

This cold weather comes very fortunately for 
Edward's nerves, with such a house full ; it suits 
him exactly ; he is all alive and cheerful. Poor 
James, on the contrary, must be running his toes 
into the fire. I find that Mary Jane Fowle was 
very near returning with her brother and paying 
them a visit on board. I forget exactly what 
hindered her ; I believe the Cheltenham scheme. 
I am glad something did. They are to go to 
Cheltenham on Monday se'nnight. I don't voucli 
for their going, you know ; it only comes from one 
of the family. 

Now I tliink I liave written you a good-sized 
letter, and may deserve whatever I can get in 
reply. Infinities of love. I must distinguisli that 


of Fanii}^, senior, who particularly desires to be 
remembered to you all. 

Yours very affectionately, J. xiusiEX. 

Faversham, Oct. 15, 1813. 

31iss Aiisten, Cbawton, Alton, Hants. 
Per S. R. Litsbington. 


Godmersham Park (Oct. 18). 

My DEAR AuxT Cassaxdra, 

I am very much obliged to you for your long 
letter and for the nice account of Chawton. We 
are all very glad to hear that the Adams are gone, 
and hope Dame Libscombe will be more happy 
now with her deaffy child, as she calls it, but I am 
afraid there is not much chance of her remainino- 
long sole mistress of her house. 

I am sorry you had not any better news to 
send us of our hare, p.oor httle thing ! I thought 
it would not hve long in that Pondy House ; I don't 
wonder that Mary Doe is very sorry it is dead, 
because we promised her that if it was alive when 
we came back to Chawton, we would reward Iier 
for her trouble. 

Papa is much obliged to you for ordering the 
scrubby firs to be cut down ; I think he was rather 


frightened at first about the great oak. Fanny quite 
beheved it, for she exclaimed ' Dear me, what a 
pity, how could they be so stupid ! ' I hope by 
this time they have put up some hurdles for the 
sheep, or turned out the cart-horses from the 

Pray tell grandmamma that we have begun 
getting seeds for her ; I hope we shall be able to 
get her a nice collection, but I am afraid this wet 
weather is very much against them. How glad 
I am to hear she has had such good success with 
her chickens, but I wish there had been more 
bantams amongst them. I am very sorry to hear 
of poor Lizzie's fate. 

I must now tell you something about our poor 
people. I believe you know old Mary Croucher, 
she gets niaderer and maderer every day. Aunt 
Jane has been to see her, but it was on one of 
her rational days. Poor -Will Amos hopes your 
skewers are doing well ; he has left his house in 
the poor Plow, and lives in a barn at Builting. We 
asked him why he went away, and he said the fleas 
were so starved when lie came back from Chawton 
that they all flew upon him and eenermost eat 
him up. 

How unlucky it is tliat the weather is so wet ! 


Poor uncle Charles has come home half drowned 
every day. 

I don't think little Fanny is quite so pretty as 
she was ; one reason is because she wears short 
petticoats, T believe. I hope Cook is better ; she 
was very unwell the day we went away. Papa 
has given me half-a-dozen new pencils, which are 
very good ones indeed ; I draw every other daj'. 
I hope you go and whip Lucy Chalcraft every 

JVIiss Clewes begs me to give her very best 
respects to you ; she is very much obliged to you 
for your kind enquiries after her. Pray give my 
duty to grandmamma and love to Miss Floyd. I 
remain, my dear Aunt Cassandra, your very affec- 
tionate niece, Elizth. Kxight. 

Thursday. — I think Lizzy's letter will entertain 
you. Thank you for yours just received. To- 
morrow shall be fine if possible. You will be at 
Guildford before our party set off. They only 
go to Key Street, as Mr. Street the Purser lives 
there, and they have promised to dine and sleep 
with him. 

Cassy's looks are much mended. Slie agrees 
pretty well with her cousins, but is not quite 
happy among them ; they are too many and too 


boisterous for lier. I have given her your mes- 
sage, but she said nothing, and did not look as if 
the idea of going to Chawton again was a pleasant 
one. They have Edward's carriage to Ospringe. 

I think I have just done a good deed — ex- 
tracted Charles from his wife and children upstairs, 
and made him get ready to go out shooting, and 
not keep Mr. Moore waiting any longer. 

Mr. and Mrs. Sherer and Joseph dined here 
yesterday very prettily. Edw. and Geo. were 
absent — gone for a night to Eastling. The two 
Fannies went to Canty, in the morning, and took 
Lou. and Cass, to try on new stays. Harriot 
and I had a comfortable walk together. She de- 
sires her best love to you and kind remembrance 
to Henry. Fanny's best love also. I fancy there 
is to be another party to Canty, to-morrow — Mr. 
and Mrs. Moore and me. 

Edward thanks Henr}^ for his letter. We are 
most happy to hear he is so much better. I 
depend upon you for letting me know what he 
wishes as to my staying with him or not ; you will 
be able to find out, I dare say. I had intended to 
beg you would bring one of my nightcaps with 
you, in case of my staying, but forgot it when I 
wrote on Tuesday. EdAvard is much concerned 


about his pond : he cannot now doubt the fact of 
its running out, which he was resolved to do as 
long as possible. 

I suppose my motlier will like to have me write 
to her. I shall try at least. 

No ; I have never seen the death of Mrs Crabbe. 
I have only just been making out from one of his 
prefaces that he probably was married. It is 
almost ridiculous. Poor woman ! I will comfort 
liim as well as I can, but I do not undertake to be 
good to her children. She had better not leave 

Edw. and Geo. set off this day week for Ox- 
ford. Our party will then be very small, as the 
Moores will be going about the same time. To 
enliven us, Fanny proposes spending a few days 
soon afterwards at Fredville. It will really be a 
good opportunity, as her father will have a com- 
panion. We shall all three go to Wroth am, but 
Edwd. and I stay only a night perhaps. Love to 
Mr Tilson. 

Yours very affectionately, J. A. 

Miss Austen, 10 Henrietta St., 
Co vent Garden, London. 




Godmersliam Park: Tuesday (Oct. 26). 

My dearest Cassaxdra, 

You will have had such late accounts from this 
place as (I hope) to prevent your expecting a letter 
from me immediately, as I really do not tliink I 
have wherewithal to fabricate one to-da3\ I sus- 
pect this will be brought to you by our nephews , 
tell me if it is. It is a great pleasure to me to think 
of you with Henry. I am sure your time must 
pass most comfortably, and I trust you are seeing 
improvement in him every day. I sliall be most 
happy to hear from you again. Your Saturday's 
letter, however, was quite as long and as particular 
as I could expect. I am not at all in a humour 
for writing ; I must write on till I am. 

I congratulate Mr. Tilson, and liope everything 
is going on Avell. Fanny and I depend upon know- 
incf what tlie child's name is to be ; as soon as you 
can tell us. I guess Caroline. 

Our gentlemen are all gone to their Sittingbourne 
meeting. East and West Kent, in one barouche 
together — rather, West Kent driving East Kent. 
I believe that is not the usual way of the countj^ 
We breakfasted before nine, and do not dine till 


half-past six on the occasion, so I hope we tliree 
shall have a long morning enough. 

]Mi\ Deedes and Sir Brook — I do not care for 
Sir Brook's being a baronet ; I will put ]\Ir. Deedes 
first because I like him a great deal tlie best. They 
arrived together yesterday, for the Bridges' are 
staying at Sandling, just before dinner ; both 
gentlemen much as they used to be, only growing 
a little older. They leave us to-morrow. 

You were clear of Guildford by half-an-hour, 
and w^ere winding along the pleasant road to 
Eipley when the Charleses set off on Friday. I 
hope we shall have a visit from tliem at Chawton 
in the spring or early part of the summer. They 
seem well inclined. Cassy had recovered her looks 
almost entirely, and I find they do not consider tlie 
' Xamur ' as disagreeing with her in general, only 
when the Aveather is so rough as to make lier 

Our Canterbury scheme took place as pro- 
posed, and very pleasant it was — Harriot and I 
and little George within, my brother on tJie l)ox 
with the master coachman. I was most happy to 
find my brother included in the party. It was a 
great improvement, and he and Harriot and I 
walked about together very happily, while Mr. 



Moore took liis little boy with him to tailor's and 

Our chief business was to (^all on Mrs. Milles, 
and we had, indeed, so little else to do that we 
were obliged to saunter about anywhere and go 
backwards and forwards as much as possilile to 
make out the time and keep ourselves from having 
two hours to sit with the good lady — a most extra- 
ordinary circumstance in a Canterbury morning. 

Old Toke came in while we were paying our 
visit. I thought of Louisa. Miss Milles was queer 
as usual, and provided us with plenty to laugh at. 
She undertook in three ivords to give us the history 
of Mrs. Scudamore's reconciliation, and then talked 
on about it for half-an-hour, using such odd ex- 
pressions, and so foolishly minute, that I could 
hardly keep my countenance. The death of 
Wyndham Knatchbull's son will ratlier supersede 
the Scudamores. I told her that he was to be 
l)uried at Hatch. Slie had heard, with military 
lionours, at Portsmouth. We may guess liow that 
point will be discussed evening after evening. 

Owing to a difference of clocks the coachman 
did not bring the carriage so soon as he ought by 
half-an-hour ; anytliing like a breacli of punc- 
tuality was a great offence, and Mr. Moore was 


very angry, wliicli I was ratlier glad of. I wanted 
to see liim angry ; and, tliougli he spoke to liis 
servant in a very loud voice and with a good deal 
of heat, I was happy to perceive that he did not 
scold Harriot at all. Indeed, there is nothing to 
object to in his manners to her, and I do believe 
that he makes her — or she makes lierself — very 
happy. They do not spoil their boy. 

It seems now quite settled that we go to Wrot- 
hani on Saturday, the loth, spend Sunday there, 
and proceed to London on Monday, as before 
intended. I like the plan. I shall be glad to see 
Wrotham. Harriot is quite as pleasant as ever. 
We are very comfortable together, and talk over 
our nephews and nieces occasionally, as may be 
supposed, and with much unanimity ; and I really 
like Mr. M. better than I expected — see less in him 
to dislike. 

I begin to perceive that you will have this 
letter lo-morrow. It is throwing a letter away to 
send it by a visitor ; there is never convenient time 
for reading it, and visitor can tell most things as 
well. I liad thought with dehght of saving you 
the postage, but money is dirt. If you do not 
regret the loss of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire 
/ will not, though I certainly had wished for your 


going very much. ' Whatever is, is best.' There 
has been one infaUible Pope in the Avoiid. 

George Hatton called yesterday, and I saw him, 
saw him for ten minutes ; sat in the same room 
with him, heard him talk, saw him bow, and was 
not in raptures. I discerned nothing extraordinary. 
I should speak of liim as a gentlemanlike young 
man — eh ! Men tout est dit. We are expecting the 
ladies of the family this morning. 

How do you like your flounce ? We have seen 
only plain flounces. I hope you liave not cut off 
the train of your bombazin. I cannot reconcile 
myself to giving them up as morning gowns ; they 
are so very sweet by candlelight. I would rather 
sacrifice my blue one for that purpose ; in short, 
I do not know and I do not care. 

Thursday or Friday is now mentioned from 
Bath as the day of setting off. The Oxford scheme 
is given up. They will go directly to Harefield. 
Fanny does not go to Fredville, not yet at least. 

She lias liad a letter of excuse from Mary 
Plumptre to-day. The death of Mr. Pipley, their 
uncle by marriage, and Mr. P.'s very old friend, pre- 
vents tlieir receiving lier. Poor blind Mrs. Eipley 
must be felt for, if there is any feeling to be had 
for love or monev. 


We have liacl another of Edward Bridges' 
Sunday visits. I think the pleasantest part of his 
married hfe must be the dinners, and breakfasts, 
and hmclieons, and biUiards that he gets in this 
way at Gm. Poor wretch ! he is quite the dregs 
of the family as to luck. 

I long to know whether you are buying stock- 
ings or what you are doing. Eemember me most 
kindly to Mde. B. and Mrs. Perigord. You will 
get acquainted with my friend, Mr. Philips, and 
hear him talk from books, and be sure to have 
something odd haj^pen to you, see somebody that 
you do not expect, meet with some surprise or 
other, find some old friend sitting Avitli Henry when 
you come into the room. Do something clever in 
that way. Edward and I settled that you went to 
St. Paul's, Covent Garden, on Sunday. Mrs. Hill 
will come and see you, or else she won't come and 
see you and will write instead. 

I have liad a late account from Steventon, and 
a baddisli one, as far as Ben is concerned. He 
has declined a curacy (apparently highly eligible),, 
which he might have secured against his taking 
orders ; and, upon its being made rather a serious 
question, says he has not made up his mind as to 
taking orders so early, and that, if her father makes 


a point of it, he must give Anna np rather tlian 
do what he does not approve. They are going 
on again at present as before, but it cannot last. 
Mary says that Anna is very unwiUing to go to 
Chawton and will get home again as soon as she can. 
Good-bye. Accept this indifferent letter and 
think it long and good, ffiss Clewes is better for 
some prescription of Mr. Scudamore's, and, indeed, 
seems tolerably stout now. I find time in the 
midst of port and Madeira to think of the fourteen 
bottles of mead very often. 

Yours very affectionately, J. A. 

Lady Elizabeth, her second daughter, and the 
two ]\Irs. Finches have just left us ; the two latter 
friendly, and talking, and pleasant as usual. 

Harriot and Fanny's best love. 

Miss Austen, 10 Ileuiietta St., 
Covent Garden, London. 


Godmersliam Park : Wednesday (Nov. 3). 

My dearest Cassandra, 

I will keep this celebrated birthday by writing 
to you, and as my pen seems inclined to write 
large, I will ])ut my lines very close together. I 


liacl but just time to enjoy your letter yesterday 
before Edward and I set off in the chair for Canty., 
and I allowed him to hear the cliief of it as we 
went along. 

We rejoice sincerely in Henry's gaining ground 
as he does, and hope there will be weather for him 
to get out every day this week, as the likehest way 
of making him equal to what he plans for the 
next. If he is tolerably well, the going into 
Oxfordshire will make him better, by making him 

Can it be, that I have not given you the 
minutiae of Edward's plans ? See, here they are : 
To go to Wrotham on Saturday the loth, sj)end 
Sunday there, and be in town on Monday to dinner, 
and, if agreeable to Henry, spend one whole day 
with him, which day is likely to be Tuesday, and 
so go down to Chawton on Wednesday. 

But now I cannot be quite easy without staying 
a httle while with Henry, unless he wishes it 
otherwise ; his illness and the dull time of year 
to<zether make me feel that it would be horrible of 
me not to offer to remain with liim, and therefore 
unless you know of any objection, I wish you would 
tell him witli my best love that I sliall be most 
happy to spend teu days or a fortniglit in Henrietta 


St., if lie will accept me. I do not offer more than 
a fortnight, because I shall tlien liave been some 
time from home ; but it ^vill be a great pleasure to 
be with him, as it ahva^'s is. I have the less 
regret and scru])le on your account, because I shall 
see you for a day and a-half, and because you will 
have Edward for at least a week. My scheme is 
to take Bookham in my way home for a few days, 
and my hope that Henry will be so good as to 
send me some part of tlie way thitlier. I have a 
most kind repetition of Mrs. Cooke's two or three 
dozen invitations, with the offer of meeting me 
anywiiere in one of her airings. 

Fanny's cold is much better. By dosing and 
keeping her room on Sunday, she got rid of the 
worst of it, but I am rather afraid of what this day 
may do for her ; she is gone to Canty, with Miss 
Clewes, Liz., and Ma""'^, and it is but roughish 
weather for any one in a tender state. ]\Iiss 
Clewes has been going to Canty, ever since her 
return, and it is now just accom2:)lisliing. 

Edward and I had a delightful morning for 
our drive tltere^ I enjoyed it tlioroughly ; but the 
day turned off before we were ready, and we came 
home in some rain and the apprehension of a great 
deal. It has not done us any harm, however.. 


He went to inspect the gaol, as a visiting magis- 
trate, and took me with him. I was gratified, and 
went through all the feelings which people mnst 
go through, I think, in visiting such a building. 
We paid no other visits, only walked about snugly 
together arid shopped. I bought a concert ticket 
and a sprig of flowers for my old age. 

To vary the subject from gay to grave with 
inimitable address, I shall now tell 3^011 something 
of the Bath party — and still a Bath party they 
are, for a fit of the gout came on last week. The 
accounts of Lady B. are as good as can be under 
such a circumstance ; Dr. P. says it appears a good 
sort of gout, and her spirits are better than usual, 
but as to her coming away, it is of course all un- 
certainty. I have very little doubt of Edward's 
going down to Bath, if they have not left it when 
he is in Hampshire ; if he does, he will go on 
from Steventon, and then return direct to London, 
without coming back to Chawton. This detention 
does not suit his feelings. It may be rather a 
good thing, how^ever, that Dr. P. should see Lady 
B. with the gout on her. Harriot was quite wishing 
for it. 

The day seems to improve. I wish my pen 
w^ould, too. 


Sweet Mr. Ogle. I dare say he sees all the 
panoramas for nothhig, has free admittance every- 
where ; he is so delightful ! Xow, you need not 
see anybody else. 

I am glad to hear of our being likely to luive 
a peep at Charles and Fanny at Christmas, but do 
not force poor Cass, to stay if she hates it. You 
have done very right as to Mrs. F. A. Your 
tidings of S. and S. give me pleasure. I have 
never seen it advertised. 

Harriot, in a letter to Fanny to-day, enquires 
whether they sell cloths for pehsses at Bedford 
House, and, if they do, will be very much 
obliged to you to desire them to send her down 
patterns, with the width and prices ; tliey may go 
from Charing Cross almost any day in the week, 
but if it is a ready money house it will not do, for 
the bra of feu'^ the Archbishop says she cannot 
pay for it immediately. Fanny and I suspect they 
do not deal in the article. 

Tlie Sberei's, I believe, are now really going to 
go ; Joseph has had a bed here the two last nights, 
and I do not know whether this is not the day 

^ This expression completely .puzzles me. ft is clearly written 
* Brii of feu' or 'face,' and may have been some joke in connection 
with tlie fact that 'Harriot' was t.lie daughter-in-law of Archbishop 
^loore, but, if so, the joke is lost. 


of moving. Mrs. Slierer called yesterday to take 
leave. The weather looks worse again. 

We dine at Chilham Castle to-morrow, and I 
expect to find some amnsement, but more from the 
concert the next day, as I am sure of seeing 
several that I want to see. We are to meet a 
party from Goodnestone, Lady B., Miss Hawley, 
and Lucy Foote, and I am to meet Mrs. Harrison, 
and we are to talk about Ben and Anna. ' My 
dear Mrs. Harrison,' I shall say, ' I am afraid the 
young man has some of your family madness, and 
though there often appears to be something of 
madness in Anna too, I think she inherits more of 
it from her mother's family than from ours.' That 
is what I shall say, and I think she will find it 
difficult to answer me. 

I took up your letter again to refresh me, being 
somewhat tired, and was struck with the prettiness 
of the hand : it is i^eally a very pretty hand now and 
then — so small and so neat ! I wish I could get as 
much into a sheet of paper. ^ Another time I will 
take two days to make a letter in : it is fatiguing 
to write a whole long one at once. I hope to 

^ I cannot pass this paragraph over without remarkiuof that it is 
hardly possible to imagine anything neater or prettier than Jane's own 
hand. Most of her letters are beautifully wiitten, and the MS. of her 
' Ladv Susan ' remarkably so. 


hear from yoii again on Smiday and again on 
Friday, tlie day before we move. On Monday, I 
suppose, yon will be going to Streatham, to see 
quiet Mr. Hill and eat very bad baker's bread. 

A fall in bread by-tlie-bye. I hope my 
mother's bill next week will show it. I have had a 
very comfortable letter from her, one of her fools- 
cap sheets quite full of little home news. Anna 
was there the first of the two days. An Anna 
sent, away and an Anna fetclied are different things. 
This will be an excellent time for Ben to pay his 
visit, now that we, the formidables, are absent. 

I did not mean to eat, but Mr. Jolmcock has 
brought in the tray, so I must. I am all alone. 
Edward is gone mto his woods. At this present 
time I have five tables, eight-and-twenty chairs, 
and two fires all to myself. 

Miss Clewes is to be invited to go to the concert 
witli us ; tliere will be my brother's ])lace and 
ticket for her, as he cannot go. He and tlie otlier 
connections of tlie Cages are to meet at Milgate 
tliat very day, to consult about a proposed altera- 
tion of the Maidstone road, in whicli tlie Cages are 
very much interested. Sir Brook cc^mes here in 
the morning, and they are to be joined by Mr. 
Deedes at Ashford. The loss of the c^oncert Avill 


be no great evil to the Squire. We shall be a 
pcirty of three ladies therefore, and to meet three 

What a convenient (3arriage Henry's is, to his 
friends in general I Who has it next ? I am glad 
WiUiam's going is vohmtary, and on no worse 
grounds. An inclination for the country is a 
venial fault. He has more of Cowper than of 
Johnson in him — fonder of tame hares and blank 
verse than of the full tide of human existence at 
Charinc^ Cross. 

Oh ! I have more of such sweet flattery from 
]\Iiss Sharp. She is an excellent kind friend. I 
am read and admired in Ireland, too. There is a 
Mrs. Fletcher, the wife of a judge, an old lady, and 
very good and very clever, who isjall curiosity to 
know about me — what I am like, and so forth. 
I am not known to lier by nawe, however. This 
comes through Mrs. Carrick, not through Mrs. 
Gore. You are quite out there. 

I do not despair of having my picture in the 
Exhibition at last — all white and red, with my 
head on one side ; or perhaps I may marry young 
Mr. D'Arblay. I suppose in the meantime I shall 
owe dear Henry a great deal of money for jirint- 
infy, &c. 


I hope Mrs. Fletcher will indulge herself with 
S. and S. If I am to stay in H. S., and if you 
should be writing home soon, I wish you would be 
so good as to give a hint of it, for I am not likely 
to write tliere again these ten days, having written 

Fanny has set her heart upon its being a Mr. 
Brett who is going to marry a Miss Dora Best, of 
this country. I dare say Henry has no objection. 
Pray, where did the boys sleep ? 

The Deedes come here on Monday to stay till 
Friday, so that we shall end with a flourish the 
last canto. They bring Isabella and one of the 
arown-ups, and will come in for a Canty, ball on 
Thursday. I shall be glad to see them. Mrs. 
Deedes and I must talk rationally together, I 

Edward does not write to Henry, because of 
my writing so often. God bless you. I shall be 
so glad to see you again, and I wish you many 
happy returns of this day. Poor Lord Howard ! 
How he does cry about it ! 

Yours very truly, J. A. 

Miss Austen, 10 Henrietta St., 
Covent Garden, Lon<lon. 



Godmersliam Park : Saturday (Xov. 6). 

My deakest Cassaxdea, 

Having lialf-an-liour before breakfast (very 
snug, in my own room, lovely morning, excellent 
fire — fancy me I) I will give you some account of 
the last two days. And yet, what is there to be 
told ? I shall get foolishly minute unless I cut the 
matter short. 

We met only the Bretons at Chilham Castle, 
besides a Mr. and Mrs. Osborne and a ffiss Lee stay- 
ing in the house, and were only fourteen altogether. 
My brother and Fanny thought it the pleasantest 
]jarty they had ever known there, and I was very 
well entertained by bits and scraps. I had long 
wanted to see Dr. Breton, and his wife amuses me 
very much with her affected refinement and ele- 
gance. Miss Lee I found very conversable ; she 
admires Crabbe as she ought. She is at an age of 
reason, ten years older than myself at least. Slie 
was at the famous ball at Chilham Castle, so of 
course you remember her. 

By-the-bye, as I must leave off being young, I 
find many douceurs in being a sort of chajieron., 
for I am put on the sofa near the fire, and can 



drink as much wine as I like. We had music in 
the evening : Fanny and Miss Wildman played, and 
Mr. James Wildman sat close by and listened, or 
pretended to listen. 

Yesterday was a day of dissipation all through : 
first came Sir Brook to dissipate us before break- 
fast ; then there was a call from Mr. Sherer, then 
a regular morning visit from Lady Honeywood in 
her way home from Eastwell ; then Sir Brook and 
Edward set off; thcD we dined (five in number) at 
half-past four ; then we had coffee ; and at six Miss 
Clewes, Fanny, and I drove away. We had a beau- 
tiful night for our frisks. We were earlier than 
we need have been, but after a time Lady B. and 
her two companions appeared — we had kept places 
for them ; and there we sat, all six in a row, 
under a side wall, I between Lucy Foote and Mss 

Lady B. was mucli what I expected ; I could 
not determine whether she was rather handsome 
or very plain. I liked lier for being in a liurry 
to have the concert over and get away, and for 
getting away at last with a great deal of decision 
and promptness, not waiting to compliment and 
dawdle and fuss about seeing dear Fanny, wlio was 
lialf the evening in another part of the room witli 


her friends the Pkimptres. I am growmg too 
minute, so I will go to breakfast. 

When the concert was over, Mrs. Harrison and 
I found each other out, and had a very comfort- 
able little complimentary friendly chat. She is 
a sweet w^oman — still quite a sweet woman in 
herself, and so like her sister ! I could almost 
have thought I was speaking to Mrs. Lefroy. She 
introduced me to her daughter, whom I think 
pretty, but most dutifully inferior to la Mere 
Beaute. The Faggs and the Hammonds were there 
— ^Wm. Hammond the only young man of renown. 
Miss looked very handsome, but I ]3refer her little 
smiling flirting sister Julia. 

I w^as just introduced at last to Mary Plumptre, 
but should hardly know her again. She was de- 
lighted with me^ however, good enthusiastic soul ! 
And Lady B. found me handsomer than she ex- 
pected, so you see I am not so very bad as you 
might think for. 

It was 12 before we reached home. We were 
all dog-tired, but pretty well to-day : Miss Clewes 
says she has not caught cold, and Fanny's does not 
seem worse. I was so tired that I began to wonder 
how I should get through the ball next Thursday ; 
but there will be so much more variety then in 



walking about, and probably so miicli less heat, 
that perhaps I may not feel it more. My China 
crape is still kept for the ball. Enough of the 

I had a letter from Mary yesterday. They 
travelled down to Cheltenham last Monday very 
safely, and are certainly to be there a month. Bath 
is still Bath. The H. Bridges' must quit them 
early next week, and Louisa seems not quite to 
despair of their all moving together, but to those 
who see at a distance there appears no chance of 
it. Dr. Parry does not want to keep Lady B. at 
Bath when she can once move. That is lucky. 
You will see poor Mr. Evelyn's death. 

Since I wrote last, my 2nd edit, has stared me 
in the face. Mary tells me that Eliza means to 
buy it. I wish she may. It can hardly depend 
upon any more Fyfield Estates. I cannot help 
hoping that many mil feel themselves obhged to 
buy it. I shall not mind imagining it a disagree- 
able duty to them, so as they do it. Mary heard 
before she left home that it was very much ad- 
mired at Cheltenham, and that it was given to Miss 
Hamilton. It is pleasant to have such a respect- 
able writer named. I cannot tire yoii^ I am sure, 
on this subject, or I would apologise. 


What weather, and what news! We have 
enough to do to admire them both. I hope you 
derive your full share of enjoyment from each. 

I have extended my hglits and increased my 
acquaintance a good deal within these two days. 
Lady Honeywood you know ; I did not sit near 
enough to be a perfect judge, but I thought her 
extremely pretty, and her manners have all the 
recommendations of ease and good humour and 
unaifectedness ; and, going about with four horses 
and nicely dressed herself, she is altogether a 
perfect sort of woman. 

Oh, and I saw Mr. Gipps last night — the useful 
Mr. Gipps, whose attentions came in as acceptably 
to us in handino^ us to the carriage, for want of a 
better man, as they did to Emma Plumptre. I 
thought him rather a good-looking httle man. 

I long for your letter to-morrow, particularly 
that I may know my fate as to London. My first 
wish is that Henry should really choose what he 
likes best ; I shall certainly not be sorry if he does 
not want me. Morning church to-morrow ; I shall 
come back with impatient feelings. 

The Sherers are gone, but the Pagets are not 
come ; we shall therefore have Mr. S. again. Mr. 
Paget acts like an unsteady man. Dr. Mant, 


however, gives him a very good character ; what is 
wrong is to be imputed to the lady. I dare say the 
house hkes female government. 

I have a nice long black and 'red letter from 
Charles, but not communicating much that I did 
not know. 

There is some chance of a good ball next week, 
as far as females go. Lady Bridges may perhaps 
be there with some KnatchbuUs. Mrs. Harrison, 
perhaps, with Miss Oxenden and the Miss Papillons ; 
and if Mrs. Harrison, then Lady Fagg will come. 

The shades of evening are descending, and I 
resume my interesting narrative. Sir Brook and 
my brother came back about four, and Sir Brook 
almost immediately set forward again to Good- 
nestone. We are to have Edwd. B. to-morrow, to 
pay us another Sunday's visit — the last, for more 
reasons than one ; they all come liome on the same 
day tliat we go. The Deedes do not come till 
Tuesday ; Sophia is to be the comer. She is a 
disputable beauty that I want mucli to see. Lady 
Eliz. Hatton and Annamaria called here this morn- 
ing. Yes, they called ; but I do not think I can 
say anything more about them. They came, and 
they sat, and tliey went. 

Sunday. — Dearest Henry ! What a turn he has 


for beino' iU and what a tliino- bile is ! This attack 
has probably been brought on in part by his pre- 
vious confinement and anxiety ; but, however it 
came, I hope it is going fast, and that you will 
be able to send a very good account of him on 
Tuesday. As I hear on Wednesday, of course 
I shall not expect to hear again on Friday. 
Perhaps a letter to Wrotham would not have an 
ill effect. 

We are to be off on Saturday before the post 
comes in, as Edward takes his own horses all the 
way. He talks of 9 o'clock. We shall bait at 

Excellent sweetness of you to send me such a 
nice long letter ; it made its appearance, with one 
from my mother, soon after I and my impatient 
feehngs walked in. How glad I am that I did 
what I did ! I was only afraid that you might 
think the offer superfluous, but you have set my 
heart at ease. Tell Henry that I will stay with 
him, let it be ever so disagreeable to him. 

Oh, dear me ! I have not time on paper for 
half that I want to say. There have been two 
letters from Oxford — one from George yesterday. 
They got there very safely — Edwd. two hours 
behind the coach, having lost his way in leaving 


London. George writes cheerfully and quietly ; 
hopes to have Utterson's rooms soon ; went to 
lecture on Wednesday, states some of his expenses, 
and concludes with saying, ' I am afraid I shall be 
poor.' I am glad he thinks about it so soon. I 
beheve there is no private tutor yet chosen, but 
my brother is to hear from Edwd. on the subject 

You, and Mrs. H., and Catherine, and Alethea 
going about together in Henry's carriage seeing 
sights — I am not used to the idea of it yet. All 
that you are to see of Streatham, seen already ! 
Your Streatham and my Bookham may go hang. 
The prospect of being taken down to Chawton by 
Henry perfects the plan to me. I was in hopes of 
your seeing some illuminations, and you have seen 
them. *■ I thought you would come, and you did 
come.' I am sorry he is not to come from the Baltic 
sooner. Poor Mary ! 

My brother has a letter from Louisa to-day of 
an unw^elcome nature ; they are to spend the winter 
at Bath. It was just decided on. Dr. Parry 
wished it, not from thinking the water necessary 
to Lady B., but that he might be better able to 
judge how far his treatment of her, which is totally 
different from anything she had been used to, is 

1813 LETTERS OF J.l^'E AUSTEN. 217 

right ; and I suppose he will not mind having a 
few more of her Ladyship's guineas. His system 
is a lowering one. He took twelve ounces of blood 
from her wdien the gout appeared, and forbids 
wine, &c. Hitherto, the plan agrees ^yith. her. 
She is very well satisfied to stay, but it is a sore 
disappointment to Louisa and Fanny. 

The H. Bridges leave them on Tuesday, and 
they mean to move into a smaller house ; you may 
guess how Edward feels. There can be no doubt 
of his going to Bath now ; I should not wonder if 
he brought Fanny Cage back with him. 

You shall hear from me once more, some day 
or other. 

Yours very affectionately, J. A. 
We do not like ]\L\ Hampson's scheme. 

Miss Austen, 10 Hem-ietta Street, 
Covent Garden, London. 


I IMAGINE that the sisters were but seldom sepa- 
rated in 1814, since I have but five letters belong- 
ing to that year. The first two are from Henrietta 
Street, Henry Austen's house, and were written in 


March. My mother had accompanied my grand- 
father to Chawton and Bath in February, where 
her grandmother, Lady Bridges, was staying for 
the benefit of the waters, and on their return home 
they paid Henry Austen a visit, arriving on Satur- 
day, the 5th, and staying till Wednesday, the 9th 
of March. It was very cold weather, for in the 
winter and spring 1813-14 there were seventeen 
weeks of frost consecutively, and it was recorded 
as the hardest winter which had been known for 
twenty years. The weather, hoAvever, did not 
prevent the party in Henrietta Street from amusing 
themselves to the best of their ability. The visitors 
from Bath arrived shortly before five, and after 
dinner ' Aunt Jane ' and her niece were escorted by 
Henry Austen to Drury Lane, to see Mr. Kean in 
' Shylock.' Of this evening Aunt Jane says (Letter 
71), ' We Avere quite satisfied with Kean,' whilst 
her younger companion notes in her diary, 'We 
were delighted.' In this same letter is the remark, 
' Young Wyndham accepts the invitation. He is 
such a nice, gentleman-like, unaffected sort of 
young man that I think he may do for Fanny.' 
I think this must mean my uncle Dr. Knatchbull ; 
the description does not agree with that which 


Mrs. Kmght (Catherine Knatchbull) gives of her 
' nephew Wyndham ' in her letter to my father 
(see Appendix), and moreover, this son of ' old ' 
Wyndham Knatchbull wonld seem to liave died in 
1813 (see Letter 68), unless there were two sons 
besides those two given in the Baronetage who 
survived their father's death in 1833. 

This letter, continued on the two following 
days, tells us that on Sunday ' Fanny and I ' drove 
in the park. I am happy to be able to narrate 
the fact, gathered from the pocket-books, that they 
previously went to church at St. Paul's, Covent 
Garden. They ' could not stir in the carriage ' on 
account of the snow, but somehow or other 
managed to get to Covent Garden Theatre on 
Monday night, of which the letter duly informs 
us, corroborated by the pocket-book, which 
says in addition that ' Miss Stephens' voice was 

In this letter is an allusion to a law-suit in 
which my grandfather, Edw^ard Austen, was in- 
volved, in consequence of a claim made upon his 
Chawton estates by a person of the name of Baver- 
stoke. I do not know the exact circumstances, 
but believe the claim was founded upon the alleged 


insufficient barring of an entail. There is a curious 
story connected with this law-suit, to the effect that 
an old, long since deceased Mr. Knight appeared 
twice or thrice in a dream to the claimant, and 
informed him that he was the rightful owner of 
Chawton. Whether this was the cause of the law- 
suit or not, I cannot say, or whether the deceased 
gentleman took any further steps after the matter 
had been settled, but in any case it harassed Mr. 
Austen from 1814 (in the October of which year 
he was formally served with a writ of ejectment) 
to 1817, and he then compromised it by the pay- 
ment of a certain sum of money, so that the 
' opponent ' could hardly have ' knocked under ' 
in 1814, as ' Jane ' supposed. On Tuesday was 
another night of theatrical dissipation, into which 
the party appear to have been led by Mr. John 
Pemberton Plumptre, who seems to have been 
much with them, and between whom and his niece 
Panny Henry Austen thought he had discovered 
a ' decided attachment.' On Wednesday Edward 
Austen and his daughter betook themselves to 
Oodmersham, Und the next news I have of Jane is 
in my mother's diary for April, in which it appears 
that slie went with her father and two eldest 


brothers, accompanied by Miss Clewes and her 
pupils, Louisa and Marianne, to Chawton Great 
House, on the 22nd, and that ' Aunt Cass, and 
Jane walked up in the evening.' ' The Cottage ' 
and the 'Great House 'hved on their usual inti- 
mate terms until June 20, when the Godmers- 
ham party went home. Every day the diary duly 
informs us that ' the Cottage dined here,' or ' papa 
and I dined at the Cottage,' ' Aunt Jane drank tea 
here,' ' Aunt Jane and I spent a bustling hour or 
two shopping in Alton ; but I can collect no more 
than that, as usual, the aunt and niece were mucli 
together ; that the Bridges party, from Bath, came 
to spend a few days ; that the illuminations for the 
peace took place at that time, and that ' Aunt 
Jane ' seems to have taken part in all the proceed- 
ings of her relations. Her next letter (seventy- 
three) to her sister Cassandra was written during 
this visit of Godmersham to Chawton, under 
date June 13, Cassandra being with her brother 
Henry in Henrietta Street. There is nothing 
to require notice in this or the next letter, 
on June 20, and the last of 1814 is written on 
August 14, from Hans Place, when Jane had 
exchanged places with her sister. ' Tilson's Bank ' 


was in Henrietta Street, which accounts for visits 
thereto on the part of Henry Austen being men- 
tioned wliilst lie had a house elsewhere. But there 
must have been a dweUing-house attached to the 
bank, and it would seem as if he occupied this 
between his living in Sloane Street and moving to 
Hans Place. 


Henrietta Street : Saturday (March 5). 

My dear Cassandra, 

Do not be angry with me for beginning another 
letter to you. I have read the ' Corsair,' mended 
my petticoat, and have nothing else to do. Getting 
out is impossible It is a nasty day for everybody. 
Edward's spirits will be wanting sunshine, and here 
is nothing but thickness and sleet ; and though 
these two rooms are delightfully warm, I fancy it 
is very cold abroad. 

Young Wyndham accepts the invitation. He is 
such a nice, gentlemanlike, unaffected sort of young 
man, that I think he may do for Fanny ; lias a 
sensible, quiet look, which one likes. Our fate 
with Mrs. L. and Miss E. is fixed for this day 
se'nnight. A civil note is come from j\Iiss H. Moore, 


to apologise for not returDing my visit to-day, and 
ask us to join a small party this evening. Thank 
ye, but we shall be better engaged. 

I was speaking to Mde. B. this morning about 
a boiled loaf, when it appeared that her master 
lias no raspberry jam; she has some, which of 
course she is determined lie shall have ; but cannot 
you bring him a pot when you come ? 

Sunday. — I find a little time before breakfast 
for writing. It was considerably past four when 
they arrived yesterday, the roads were so very 
bad ! As it was, they had four horses from Cran- 
ford Bridge. Fanny was miserably cold at first, 
but they both seem well. 

No possibihty of Edwd.'s writing. His opinion, 
however, inclines against a second prosecution ; 
he thinks it would be a vindictive measure. He 
might think differently, perhaps, on the spot. 
But things must take their chance.^ 

We were quite satisfied with Kean. I cannot 
imagine better acting, but the part was too short ; 
and, excepting him and Miss Smith, and she did not 
quite answer my expectation, the parts were ill 
filled and the play heavy. We were too much tired 
to stay for the whole of ' Illusion ' (' Nour-jahad '), 

^ There is no clue to the matter to wliich this refers. 


Avhich has three acts ; there is a great deal of 
finery and dancmg in it, but I tliink httle merit. 
Elhston was ' Noiir-jahad,' but it is a solemn sort of 
part, not at all calculated for his powers. There 
was nothing of the best Elhston about him. I 
might not have known him but for his voice. 

A grand thought has struck me as to our 
gowns. This six weeks' mourning makes so great 
a difference that I shall not go to Miss Hare till 
you can come and help choose yourself, unless you 
particularly wish the contrary. It may be hardly 
worth while perhaps to have the gowns so expen- 
sively made up. We may buy a cap or a veil 
instead ; but we can talk more of this together. 

Henry is just come down ; he seems well, his 
cold does not increase. I expected to have found 
Edward seated at a table writing to Louisa, but I 
was first. Fanny I left fast asleep. She was doing 
about last night when / went to sleep, a little after 
one. I am most happy to find there were but jive 
shirts. She thanks you for your note, and re- 
proaches herself for not having written to you, but 
I assure her there was no occasion. 

The accounts are not capital of Lady B. Upon 
the wliole, I believe, Fanny liked Bath ver}^ well. 
They were only out three evenings, to one play 


and each of tlie rooms. Walked about a o-ood 
deal, and saw a good deal of tlie Harrisons and 
Wildmans. .A.11 the Bridgeses are likel}' to come 
away together, and Louisa will probabl}' turn off 
at Dartford to go to Harriot. Edward is quite 
(MS. torn). 

Now we are come from church, and all going 
to write. Almost everybody was in mourning last 
night, but my brown gown did veiy well. Genl. 
Chowne was introduced to me ; he has not much 
remains of Frederick. This young Wyndham does 
not come after all ; a very long and very civil note 
of excuse is arrived. It makes one moralise upon 
the ups and downs of this life. 

1 have determined to trim my lilac sarsenet 
with black satin ribbon just as my China crape is, 
%d. width at the bottom, 3J. or -id. at top. Eibbon 
trimmings are all the fashion at Batli, and I dare 
say the fashions of the two places are alike enough 
in that point to content rue. With this addition 
it Avill be a ver}^ useful gown, happy to go any- 

Henry has tliis moment said that he likes my 
M. P.^ better and better ; lie is in the tliird volume. 
I believe nov' lie Jias changed his mind as to 

' ^ Mansfield Park.' 


foreseeing the end ; he said yesterday, at least, 
that he defied anybody to say whether H. C.^ 
would be reformed, or would forget Fanny in a 

I shall like to see Kean again excessively, and 
to see him with you too. It appeared to me as if 
there were no fault in him anywhere ; and in his 
scene with ' Tubal ' there Avas exquisite acting. 

EdAvard has had a correspondence Avith Mr. 
Wickham on the Baigent business, and has been 
shoAving me some letters enclosed b)^ Mr. W. from 
a friend of his, a laAvyer, Avhom he had consulted 
about it, and Avhose opinion is for the prosecution 
for assault, supposing the boy is acquitted on the 
first, Avhich he rather expects. Excellent letters ; 
and I am sure he must be an excellent man. They 
are such thinking, clear, considerate letters as 
Frank might haA^e Avritten. I long to knoAV AAdio 
he is, but the name is ahvays torn off. He Avas 
consulted only as a friend. When Echvd. gaA^e 
me his opinions against the second prosecution he 
liad not read this letter, Avhich Avas Avaiting for 
him here. Mr. W. is to be on the grand jury. 
This business must hasten an intimacy betAveen liis 
family and my brothers. 

^ Hem'v Crawford. 


Fanny cannot answer your question about 
button-holes till slie gets home. 

I have never told you, but soon after Henry 
and I began our journey he said, talking of yours, 
that he should desire you to come post at his 
expense, and added something of the carriage 
meeting you at Kingston. He has said nothing 
about it since. 

Now I have just read ^Ir. Wickham's letter, 
by which it appears that the letters of his friend 
were sent to my brother quite confidentially, there- 
fore don't tell. By his expression, this friend must 
be one of the judges. 

A cold day, but bright and clear. I am afraid 
your planting can hardly have begun. I am sorry 
to hear that there has been a rise in tea. I do not 
mean to pay Twining till later in the day. when we 
may order a fresh supply. I long to know some- 
thing of the mead, and how you are off for a cook. 

Monday. — Here's a day ! The ground covered 
mth snow I What is to become of us ? We were 
to have walked out early to near shops, and had 
the carriage for the more distant. ]\ii\ Eichard 
Snow is dreadfully fond of us. I dare say he has 
stretched himself out at Chawton too. 

Fanny and I went into the park yesterday and 



drove about, and were very miicli entertained ; and 
our dinner and evening went off very well. Messrs. 
J. Plumptre and J. Wildman called wliile we were 
out, and we had a glimpse of them both, and of 
G. Hatton too, in the park. / could not produce a 
single acquaintance. 

By a little convenient listening, I now know that 
Henry Welshes to go to Gm. for a few days before 
Easter, and has indeed promised to do it. This 
being the case, there can be no time for your 
remaining in London after your return from 
Adlestrop. You must not put off your coming 
therefore ; and it occurs to me that, instead of my 
coming here again from Streatham, it will be better 
for you to join me there. It is a great comfort to 
have got at the truth. Henry finds he cannot set 
off for Oxfordshire before the Wednesday, vvhich 
will be the 23rd ; but we shall not have too many 
days together here previously. I shall write to 
Catherine very soon. 

Well, we have been out as far as Coventry St. ; 
Edwd. escorted us tliere and back to Newton's, 
where he left us, and I brought Fanny safe 
home. It was snowing the whole time. We 
have given up all idea of the carriage. Edward 
and Fanny stay anotlier day, and both seem very 


well pleased to do so. Our visit to the Spencers 
is, of course, put off. 

Edwd. heard from Louisa this morning. Her 
mother does not get better, and Dr. Parr}^ talks of 
her beginning the waters again ; this will be keeping 
them longer in Bath, and of course is not palatable 

You cannot think how much my ermine tippet 
is admired both by father and daughter. It was a 
noble gift. 

Perhaps you have not heard that Edward has 
a good chance of escaping his lawsuit. His op- 
ponent ' knocks under.' The terms of agreement 
are not quite settled. 

AVe are to see ' The Devil to Pay' to-night. 1 
expect to be very much amused. Excepting Miss 
Stephens, I daresay ' Artaxerxes' will be very tire- 

A great many pretty caps in the windows of 
Cranbourn Alley. I hope when you come we shall 
both be tempted. I have been ruining myself in 
black satin riljbon with a proper pearl edge, and 
now I am trying to draw it up into kind of roses 
instead of putting it in plain double plaits. 

Tuesday. — My dearest Cassandra, — In ever so 
many hurries I acknowledge the receipt of your 
letter last night, just before we set off for Covent 


Garden. I liave no mourning come, but it does 
not signify. This very moment has Eichd. put it 
on the table. I have torn it open and read your 
note. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Edwd. is amazed at the sixty-four trees. He 
desires his love, and gives you notice of the arrival 
of a study table for himself. It ought to be at 
Chawton this week. He begs you to be so good 
as to have it enquired for and fetched b}^ the cart, 
but wishes it not to be unpacked till he is on the 
spot himself. It may be put in the hall. 

Well, Mr. Hampson dined here, and all that. I 
was- very tired of ' Artaxerxes,' highly amused 
with the farce, and, in an inferior way, with the 
pantomime that followed. Mr. J. Plumptre joined 
in the latter part of the evening, walked home 
with us, ate some soup, and is very earnest for our 
going to Covent Garden again to-night to see Miss 
Stephens in the ' Farmer's Wife.' He is to try for 
a box. I do not particularly wish him to succeed. 
I have had enough for the present. Henry dines 
to-day with Mr. Spencer. 

Yours very affectionately, J. Austex. 

3Iiss Austen, Chawton. 
By favour of Mr. Gray. 



Henrietta St. : AVedEesday (Marcli 9). 

Well, we went to the play again last night, and 
as we were out a great part of the morning too, 
sliopping, and seeing the Indian jngglers, I am very 
glad to be quiet now till dressing time. We are to 
dine at the Tilsons', and to-morrow at Mr. Spencer's. 

We had not done breakfost yesterday when Mr. 
J. Plumptre appeared to say that he had secured a 
box. Henry asked him to dine here, which I fancy 
he was very happy to do, and so at fLve o'clock 
we four sat down to table together while the 
master of the house was preparing for going out 
himself. The ' Farmer's Wife ' is a musical thing 
in three acts, and, as Edward was steady in not 
staying for anything more, we were at home before 

Fanny and Mr. J. P. are dehghtedwith Miss S., 
and her merit in singing is, I dare say, very 
great ; that she gave me no pleasure is no reflection 
upon her, nor, I hope, upon myself, being what 
Nature made me on that article. All that I am 
sensible of in ^iiss S. is a pleasing person and no 
skill in acting. We had Mathews, Liston, and 
Emery ; of course, some amusement. 

Our friends were ofl' before half-2)ast eight this 


morning, and had the prospect of a heavy cold 
journey before them. I think they both liked their 
visit very mucli. I am sure Fanny did. Henry 
sees decided attachment between her and his new 

I have a cold, too, as well as my mother and 
Martha. Let it be a generous emulation between 
us which can get rid of it first. 

I wear my gauze gown to-day, long sleeves and 
all. I shall see how they succeed, but as yet I have 
no reason to s appose long sleeves are allowable. I 
have lowered the bosom, especially at the corners, 
and plaited black satin ribbon round the top. Such 
will be my costume of vine-leaves and paste. 

Prepare for a play the very first evening, I 
rather think Covent Garden, to see Young in 
'Eichard.' I have answered for your little com- 
panion's being conveyed to Keppel St. immedi- 
atelv. I have never yet been able to o-et there 
myself, but liope I shall soon. 

What cruel weather this is ! and here is Lord 
Portsmouth married, too, to Miss Hanson.^ 

Henry has finislied ' Mansfield Park,' and his 
approbation has not lessened. He found the last 
half of the last volume e.vtreinely interestiiuf. 

' His second wife. lie died in 1853, and wa:? succeeded by his 
brother, the father of the present earl. 


I suppose my mother recollects that she gave 
]ne no money for paying Brecknell and Twinmg, 
and my funds will not supply enough. 

We are home in such good time that I can 
finish my letter to-night, which yn\\ be better than 
getting up to do it to-morrow, especially as, on 
account of my cold, which has been very heavy in 
my head this evening, I rather think of lying in 
bed later tlian usual. I would not but be well 
enough to go to Hertford St. on any account. 

We met only Genl. Chowne to-day, who has 
not much to say for himself I was ready to laugh 
at the remembrance of Frederick, and such a 
different Frederick as we chose to fancy him to 
the real Christopher ! 

]\L's. Tilson had long sleeves, too, and she as- 
sured me that they are worn in the evenmg by 
many. I was glad to hear this. She dines here, 
I beheve, next Tuesday. 

On Friday we are to be snug with only Mr. Bar- 
lowe and an evening of business. I am so pleased 
that the mead is brewed. Love to all. I have 
written to Mrs. Hill, and care for nobody. 

Yours affectionately, J. Austex. 

Miss Austen, Cliawton. 
By favour of Mr. Grav. 



^Cliawton : Tuesday (June 13). 

My dearest Cassaxdra, 

Fanny takes my mother to Alton this niornmg, 
which gives me an opportunity of sending you a 
few hnes without any other trouble than tliat of 
writing them. 

This is a delightful day in the country, and I 
hope not much too hot for town. Well, you had 
a good journey, I trust, and all that, and not rain 
enough to spoil your bonnet. It appeared so likely 
to be a wet evening that I went up to the Gt. 
House between three and four, and dawdled away 
an hour very comfortably, though Edwd. was not 
very brisk. The air was clearer in the evening and 
he was better. We all five walked together into 
tlie kitchen garden and along the Gosport road, 
and tliey drank tea with us. 

You will be glad to hear that G. Turner has 
another situation, something in tlie cow line, near 
Eumsey, and lie wishes to move immediately, 
which is not likely to be inconvenient to anybody. 

The new nurseryman at Alton comes tliis morn- 
ing to value the crops in the garden. 

The only letter to-day is from Mrs. Cooke to me. 


They dc not leave liome till July, and want me to 
come to them, according to my promise. And, after 
considering everything, I have resolved on going. 
My companions promote it. I will not go, how- 
ever, till after Edward is gone, that he may feel he 
has a somebody to give memorandums to, to the 
last. I must give up all help from his carriage, of 
course. And, at any rate, it must be such an 
excess of expense that I have quite made up my 
mind to it and do not mean to care. 

I have been thinking of Triggs and the chair, 
you may be sure, but I knoAv it will end in post- 
ing. They will meet me at Guildford. 

In addition to their standing claims on me they 
admire ' Mansfield Park ' exceedingly. Mr. Cooke 
says ' it is the most sensible novel he ever read,' 
and the manner in which I treat the clergy delights 
them very much. Altogether, I must go, and I 
want you to join me there when your visit in Hen- 
rietta St. is over. Put this into your capacious head. 

Take care of yourself, and do not be trampled 
to death in running after the Emperor. The report 
in Alton yesterday was that they would certainly 
travel this road either to or from Portsmouth. I 
long to know what this bow of the Prince's will 


I saw Mrs. AnclrcAvs yesterday. Mrs. Browning 
had seen her before. She is ver}^ glad to send an 

Miss Benn continnes the same. Mr. Curtis, 
however, saw her yesterday and said her hand was 
going on as well as possible. Accept our best love. 
Yours very affectionately, J. Austen. 

Miss Austen, 10 Henrietta Street. 
By favour of Mr. Gray. 


Thursday (June 23). 

Deakest Cassandea, 

L received your pretty letter while the children 
were drinking tea with us, as Mr. Louch was so 
oblimio- as to walk over with it. Your o-ood 
account of everybody made us very happy. 

I heard yesterday from Frank. When he began 
his letter he hoped to be here on Monday, but 
before it was ended he had been told that the naval 
review would not take place till Friday, which 
would probably occasion him some delay, as he 
cannot get some necessary business of his own 
attended to while Portsmouth is in such a bustle. I 
hope Fanny has seen the Em])eror, and then I may 
fairly wisli them all away. I go to-morrow, and 
hope for some delays and adventures. 


My mother's wood is brought in, but, by some 
mistake, no bavins. She must therefore buy some. 

Henry at White's ! Oh, Avhat a Henry ! I do 
not know what to wish as to Miss B., so I will hold 
my tongue and my wishes. 

Sackree and the children set off yesterday, and 
have not been returned back upon us. They were 
all very well the evening before. We had handsome 
presents from the Gt. House yesterday — a ham 
and the four leeches. Sackree has left some shirts 
of her master's at the school, which, finished or 
unfinished, she begs to have sent by Henry and 
Wm. Mr. Hinton is expected home soon, which is 
a o'ood thinor for the shirts. 

We have called upon Miss Dusantoy and Miss 
Papillon, and been very pretty. Miss D. has a great 
idea of being Fanny Price — she and her youngest 
sister together, who is named Fanny. 

]^iiss Benn has drank tea Avith the Prowtings, 
and, I believe, comes to us this evening. She has 
still a swelling about the fore-finger and a little 
discharge, and does not seem to be on the point of 
a perfect cure, but her spirits are good, and she 
will be most happy, I believe, to accept any invita- 
tion. The Clements are gone to Petersfield to 


Oiil}^ think of the Marquis of Granby being dead. 
I liope, if it please Heaven there should be anotlier 
son, they will have better sponsors and less parade. 
I certainly do not ivisli tluit Henry should tliink 
ao'ain of o-ettin^ me to town. I would rather return 
straight from Bookham ; but, if he really does pro- 
pose it, I cannot say Xo to what will be so kindly 
intended. It could be but for a few days, however, 
as my mother would be quite disappointed by 
my exceeding the fortnight which I now talk of as 
the outside — at least, we could not both remain 
longer away comfortably. 

The middle of Jul}^ is Martha's time, as far as 
she has any time. Slie has left it to Mrs. Craven 
to fix the day. I wish she could get her money 
paid, for I fear her going at all depends upon that. 

Instead of Bath the Deans Dundases have taken 
a liouse at Clifton — Eiclimond Terrace — and slie is 
as glad of the change as even you and I should be, 
or almost. She will now be able to go on from 
Berks and visit them without any fears from heat. 

Tliis post has brought me a letter from Miss 
Sharpe. Poor tiling ! she as been suffering indeed, 
but is now in a comparative state of comfort. She 
is at Sir W. P.'s, in Yorkshire, with the children, 
and there is no appearance of her quitting tliem. 


Of course we lose tlie pleasure of seeing lier here. 
She writes highly of Sir Wm. I do so want him 
to marry her. There is a Dow. Lady P. pre- 
siding there to make it all right. The Man is the 
same ; but she does not mention what he is by pro- 
fession or trade. She does not think Lady P. was 
privy to his scheme on her, but, on being in liis 
power, yielded. Oh, Sir Wm. ! Sir Wm. ! how I 
will love you if you will love Miss Sharp ! 

Mrs. Driver, &c., are off by Colher, but so near 
being too late that she had not time to call and 
leave the keys herself I have them, however. I 
suppose one is the key of the linen-press, but I do 
not know what to guess the other. 

The coach was stopped at the blacksmith's, and 
they came running down with Triggs and Browning, 
and trunks, and birdcages. Quite amusing. 

My mother desires her love, and liopes to hear 
from you. 

Yours very affectionately, J. Austex. 

Frank and Mary are to have Mary Goodchild 
to help as Under till they can get a cook. She is 
delio'hted to a'o. 

Best love at Streatliam. 

Miss Austen, Henrietta St. 
By favour of Mr. Gray. 



23 Hans Place : Tuesday morning (August, 1814). 

My dear Cassandra, 

I had a very good journey, not crowded, two 
of the three taken up at Bentley bemg children, 
the others of a reasonable size ; and they were all 
very quiet and civil. We were late in London, 
from being a great load, and from changing coaches 
at Farnham ; it was nearly four, I believe, when 
we reached Sloane Street. Henry himself met me, 
and as soon as my trunk and basket could be 
routed out from all the other trunks and baskets 
in the world, we were on our way to Hans Place 
in the luxury of a nice, large, cool, dirty hackney 

Til ere were four in the kitchen part of Yalden, 
and I was told fifteen at top, among tliem Percy 
Bemi. We met in the same room at Egliam, but 
poor Percy was not in his usual spirits. He would 
be more chatty, I dare say, in his weij from Wool- 
wicli. We took up a young Gibson at Holybourn, 
and, in short, everybody either did come up by 
Yalden yesterday, or wanted to come up. It put 
me in mind of my own coach between Edinburgh 
and Stirling. 


Henry is very well, and lias given me an account 
of the Canterbury races, which seem to have been 
as j)leasant as one could wish. Everything went 
well. Fanny had good partners, Mr. — — Avas lier 
second on Thursday, but he did not dance with her 
any more. 

This will content you for the present. I must 
just add, however, that there were no Lad}^ Char- 
lottes, they were gone off to Kirby, and that Mary 
Oxenden, instead of dying, is going to marr}^ Wm. 

Xo James and Edward yet. Our evening yes- 
terday was perfectly quiet ; we only talked a little 
to Mr. Tilson across the intermediate gardens ; she 
was gone out airing with Miss Burdett. It is a 
dehghtful place — more than answers my expecta- 
tion. Having got rid of my unreasonable ideas, I 
find more space and comfort in the rooms than 
I had supposed, and the garden is quite a love. I 
am in the front attic, which is the bedchamber to 
be preferred. 

Henry wants you to see it all, and asked 
whether you would return with him from Hamp- 
shire ; I encouraged him to think you would. He 
breakfasts here early, and then rides to Henrietta 
St. If it continues fine John is to drive me 



there by-and-bye, and we shall take an airing to- 
o^ether ; and I do not mean to take any other exer- 
cise, for I feel a little tired after my long jumble. 
I live in his room downstairs ; it is particularly 
pleasant from opening upon the garden. I go and 
refresh myself every now and then, and then come 
back to solitary coolness. There is one maidservant 
only, a very creditable, clean-looking young woman. 
Kichard remains for the present. 

Wednesday morning. — My brother and Edwd. 
arrived last night. They could not get places the 
day before. Their business is about teeth and 
wigs, and they are going after breakfast to Scar- 
man's and Tavistock St., and they are to return 
to go with me afterwards in the barouche. I hope 
to do some of my errands to-day. 

I got tlie willow yesterday, as Henry was not 
quite ready when I reached Hena. St. I saw 
Mr. Hampson there for a moment. He dines 
here to-morrow and proposed bringing his son ; so- 
I must submit to seeing George Hampson, though 
I had hoped to go through life without it. It 
was one of my vanities, like your not reading 
' Patronage.' 

After leaving H. St. we drove to Mrs. La- 
touche's ; they are always at home, and they are 


to dine here on Friday. We could do no more, as 
it began to rain. 

We dine at lialf-past four to-day, that our 
visitors may go to the play, and Henry and I are 
to spend the evening with the Tilsons, to meet Miss 
Burdett, who leaves town to-morrow. Mrs. T. 
called on me yesterday. 

Is not this all that can have happened or been 
arranged ? Xot quite. Henry wants me to see 
more of his Hanwell favourite, and has written to 
invite her to spend a day or two here with me. 
His scheme is to fetch her on Saturday. I am 
more and more convinced that he will marry ao-ain 
soon, and hke the idea of her better than of any- 
body else, at hand. 

Now, I have breakfasted and have the room to 
myself again. It is likely to be a fine day. How 
do you all do ? 

Henry talks of being at Chawton about the 
1st. of Sept. He has once mentioned a scheme, 
which I should rather like — calhng on the Birches 
and the Crutchleys in our way. It may never come 
to anything, but I must provide for the possibility 
by troubhng you to send up my silk pelisse by 
Collier on Saturday. I feel it would be necessary 
on such an occasion ; and be so good as to put up 

K 2 


a clean dressing-gown whicli will come from the 
wash on Friday. You need not direct it to be left 
anywhere. It may take its chance. 

We are to call for Henry between three and 
four, and I must finish tliis and carry it with me, 
as he is not always there in the morning before the 
parcel is made up. And, before I set off, I must 
return Mrs. Tilson's visit. I hear nothing of the 
Hoblyns, and abstain from all enquiry. 

I hope Mary Jane and Frank's gardens go on 
well. Give my love to them all — Nunna Hat's 
love to George. A great many people wanted to 
ruur up in the Poach as well as me. The wheat 
looked very well all the way, and James says tlie 
same of his road. 

The same good account of Mrs. C.'s health con- 
tinues, and her circumstances mend. She izets 
farther and farther from poverty. What a com- 
fort ! Good-bye to you. 

Yours very truly and affectionately, J.\ne. 

All well at Steven ton. I hear nothing particular 
of Ben, except tliat Edward is to get liim some 

Miss Austen, Chawton. 
Bv favour of Mr. Grav. 



I GLEAX no information concerning ' Aunt Jane ' 
from my mother's pocket-books of the first nine 
months of the year 1815, save the record of 
various letters Avritten to and received from her. 
In October Henry Austen was seized with a severe 
iUness, in which Jane came to nurse him at his 
house in London, 23 Hans Place, and I find that 
on the 23rd of that month my mother writes : ' An 
express arrived from Aunt Jane Austen with a sad 
account of poor Uncle Henry. Papa set off for 
town directly.' Then follows a daily bulletin, and 
in about a week is chronicled the fact that the 
Godmersham household ' sent a basket of provi- 
sions to them, and wrote to Aunt Jane.' God- 
mersham provisions, aided possibly by London 
doctors, had their due effect. The patient rallied, 
gradually improved, was well enough for his bro- 
ther to return home again in a week's time, and 
got so much better as time went on that on 
November 15 occurs the entry, 'Papa and I set 
off early, and reached Hans Place to dinner. 
Aunts Cass and Jane are here.' On the 20tli Mr. 


Knight and Cassandra Austen went to Chawton, 
and on the 24th was written our first letter of this 
year (No. 76). Mr. Haden, I suppose, was one of 
Henry Austen's medical attendants, apparently an 
apothecary, by the playful manner in which Jane 
vehemently protests that he is no such thing. 
Whether apothecary or physician, however, the 
worthy man seems to have made a favourable im- 
pression upon both aunt and niece, for my motlier 
records (November 20) that ' Mr. Haden, a de- 
lightful, clever, musical Haden, comes every even- 
ing, and is agreeable,' and Jane, with the exception 
of a doubt as to the orthodoxy of the gentleman's 
opinion of tlie infallible wickedness of non-musical 
people, evidently shared this view of his character. 
During their stay in town my mother writes that 
' Aunt Jane and I walk every day in the garden, 
but get no further.' ' Aunt Jane and I drove 
about shopping,' and similar entries, varied one 
evening as follows, ' Aunt Jane and I very snug,' 
which shows how tlioroughly the two enjoyed and 
appreciated each other's society. Like all pleasant 
things, this visit came to an end, and the God- 
mersham party returned into Kent on December 8. 
Several letters are entered in the pocket-books as 


having been written and received before the end 
of the year, bnt none of these are to hand, and 
this is the more to be regretted because my mother 
was in the habit of keeping the letters of so many 
of her correspondents through hfe, that it is diffi- 
cult to imagine how these came to be destroyed. 
The visit to Keppel Street (Letter 77) must have 
been to her brother Charles, whose first wife, Fanny 
Palmer, had just died, which accounts for ' Fanny ' 
being ' very much affected by the sight of the 
children.' The celebrated Mr. Haden appears to 
have preferred ' Mansfield Park ' to ' Pride and 
Prejudice,' but perhaps he changed his opinion 
when he had read them both over again. The 
^ p. E.' mentioned in these 1815 letters must not be 
mistaken for the ' Prize Eing,' for which it some- 
times stands, but with which our Jane had cer- 
tainly nothing to do. The ' Prince Eegent ' is sig- 
nified, Avho had been graciously pleased to express 
his approval of ' Mansfield Park,' and directed his 
librarian, Mr. Clarke, to invite Jane to Carlton 
House, where she was informed that she mic^ht 
dedicate her forthcoming novel to His Eoyal High- 
ness. Mr. Austen Leigh gives us a short corre- 
spondence between Jane and Mr. Clarke, Avliich is 


SO cliaracteristic of lier, that I venture to insert it 
in my Appendix. The Countess of Morley had 
also written a letter, which perhaps ought to 
appear in the same place, as Jane alludes to its 
receipt in the concluding paragraph of the seventy- 
seventh letter. The letter of 1816 is the latest I 
have. It was written on September 8t]i, just ten 
months before her death, when Cassandra was stay- 
ing at Cheltenham. It will be observed that she 
refers to ' the pain in my back,' speaks of ' nursing 
myself into as beautiful a state as I can,' and shows 
som^ disinchnation to ' company ' in the house ; but 
the letter is otherwise written in her usual cheerful 
style, and there are several amusing passages. I 
imagine that after Cassandra's return from Chelten- 
ham the sisters were hardly separated again, so 
that this is in all probability one of the very last 
letters which passed between them. 

One, and only one, more meeting took place 
between the aunt and niece who loved each other so 
well. I find from the pocket-books that on May 2, 
1816, my motlier accompanied her father to 
Chawton and remained until the 21st, when tliey 
returned to Kent. The usual meetings occurred 
between the ' Great House ' and the ' Cottage,' but 


no special event is related, and one can only fancy 
how in after days my mother must have recalled 
this last time of confidential and loving intercourse 
with one who had become so very dear to her, 
and Avith whom she shared every secret of her 
heart. Jane was at this time in declining health, 
though no one anticipated that she was to be 
spared to her family only for one more short year. 
She wrote frequently to my mother after this visit, 
entered thoroughly into all her views and feelings, 
and in fact only ceased the correspondence when 
health and strength began rapidly to fail. 


Hans Place : Friday (Nov. 24). 

My dearest Cassandra, 

I have the pleasure of sending you a much 
better account of my afairs^ which I know will be 
a great delight to you. 

I Avrote to Mr. Murray yesterday myself, and 
Henry wrote at the same time to EoAvorth. Before 
the notes were out of the house, I received tliree 
sheets and an apology from E. We sent the notes, 
however, and I had a most civil one in reply from 


Mr. M. He is so very polite, indeed, that it is quite 
overcoming. The j)rinters have been waiting for 
paj)er — the blame is thrown upon the stationer ; 
but he gives his word that I shall have no farther 
cause for dissatisfaction. He has lent us Misf< 
Williams and Scott^ and says that any book of liis 
will always be at my service. In short, I am soothed 
and complimented into tolerable comfort. 

We had a visit yesterday from Edwd. Knight, 
and Mr. Mascall joined him here ; and this morning 
has brought Mr. Mascall's comphments and two 
pheasants. We have some hope of Edward's coming 
to dinner to-day ; he will, if he can, I believe. He 
is looking extremely well. 

To-morrow Mr. Haden is to dine with us. 
There is happiness ! We really grow so fond of 
Mr. Haden that I do not know what to expect. 
He, and Mr. Tilson, and Mr. Phihps made up our 
circle of wits last night ; Fanny played, and he 
sat and listened and suggested improvements, till 
Eichard came in to tell him that ' the doctor was 
waiting for him at Captn. Blake's ;' and tlien he 
was off with a speed that you can imagine. He 
never does appear in the least above his profession, 
or out of humour witli it, or I should think poor 
Captn. Blake, whoever lie is, in a very bad way. 


I must liave misunderstood Henry when I told 
you that you were to hear from hhn to-day. He 
read me what he wrote to Edward : part of it must 
have amused him, I am sure one part, alas ! cannot 
be very amusing to anybody. I wonder that with 
such business to worry him he can be getting 
better, but he certainly does gain strength, and 
if you and Edwd. were to see him now I feel 
sure that you would think him improved since 

He was out yesterday ; it was a fine sunshiny 
day here (in the country perhaps you might have 
clouds and fogs. Dare I say so ? I shall not de- 
ceive you^ if I do, as to my estimation of the climate 
of London), and he ventured first on the balcony 
and then as far as the greenhouse. He caught no 
cold, and therefore has done more to-day, with 
great dehght and self-persuasion of improvement. 

He has been to see Mrs. Tilson and the Malings. 
By-the-bye, you may talk to Mr. T. of his wife's 
being better ; I saw her yesterday, and was sen- 
sible of her having gained ground in the last two 

Evening. — We have had no Edward. Our circle 
is formed — only Mr. Tilson and Mr. Haden. We 
are not so happy as we were. A message came 


this afternoon frorii Mrs. Latouche and Miss East, 
ofiering themselves to drink tea with us to-morrow, 
and, as it was accepted, here is an end of our ex- 
treme fehcity in our dinner guest. I am heartily 
sorry they are coming ; it will be an evening spoilt 
to Fanny and me. 

Another little disappointment : Mr. H. advises 
Henry's not venturing with us in the carriage to- 
morrow ; if it were spring, he says, it would be a 
different thing. One would rather this had not 
been. He seems to think his going out to-day 
rather imprudent, though acknowledging at the 
same time that he is better than he was in the 

Fanny has had a letter full of commissions from 
Goodnestone ; we shall be busy about them and 
her own matters, I dare say, from 12 to 4. 
Nothing I trust will keep us from Keppel Street. 

This day has brought a most friendly letter 
from Mr. Fowle, with a brace of pheasants. I did 
not know before that Henry had written to liim a 
few days ago to ask for them. We shall live upon 
pheasants — no bad life ! 

I send you five one-pound notes, for fear j^ou 
should be distressed for little m.oney. Lizzy's work 
is charmingly done ; shall you put it to your 


climtz ? A sheet came in this moment ; 1st and 
3rd vols, are now at 144 ; 2nd at 48. I am snre 
you will like particulars. We are not to have the 
trouble of returning the sheets to Mr. Murray any 
longer, the printer's boys bring and carry. 

I hope Mary continues to get well fast, and 
I send my love to little Herbert. You will tell me 
Tiiore of Martha's plans, of course, when you write 
again. Eemember me most kindly to everybody, 
and Miss Benn besides. 

Yours very affectionately, J. Austen. 

I have been listening to dreadful insanity. It 
is Mr. Haden's firm belief that a person not musical 
is fit for every sort of wickedness. I ventured to 
assert a httle on the other side, but wished the 
cause in abler hands. 


Hans Place : Sunday (Nov, 26). 

The parcel arrived safely, and I am much 
obliged to you for your trouble. It cost 2^. IM., 
but, as there is a certain saving of 2s. ^\d. on tlie 
other side, I am sure it is well worth doing. I 


send four pair of silk stockings, but I do not want 
them washed at present. In the three neckhand- 
kerchiefs I inekide the one sent down before. 
These things, perliaps, Edwd. may be able to brings 
but even if he is not, I am extremely pleased with 
his returning to you from Steventon. It is much 
better ; far preferable. 

I did mention the P. E. in my note to Mr. 
Murray ; it brought me a fine compliment in 
return. Whether it has done any other good I do 
not know, but Henry thought it worth trying. 

The printers continue to supply me very well. 
I am advanced in Vol. III. to my arra-root, upon 
which peculiar st5de of spelling there is a modest 
query in the margin. I will not forget Anna's 
arrowroot. I hope you have told Martha of my 
first resolution of letting nobody know that I might 
dedicate, &c., for fear of being obliged to do it, 
and that she is thoroughly convinced of my being 
influenced now by nothing but the most mercenary 
motives. I have paid nine shilhngs on her account 
to Miss Palmer ; there was no more owing. 

Well, we were very busy all yesterday ; from 
half-past 11 till 4 in the streets, working almost 
entirely for othei- people, driving from place to 
place after a parcel for Sandling, which we could 


never find, and encountering the miseries of Grafton 
House to get a purple fi'ock for Eleanor Bridges. 
We got to Keppel St., however, whicli was all 
I cared for, and though we could stay only a 
quarter-of-an-hour, Fanny's calling gave great 
pleasure, and her sensibihty still greater, for she 
was very much affected at the sight of the cliildren. 
Poor little F. looked lieavy. We saw the whole 

Aunt Harriet hopes Cassy ^Yl[\ not forget to 
make a pincushion for Mrs. Kelly, as she has spoken 
of its being promised her several times. I hope 
we shall see Aunt H. and the dear little girls here 
on Thursday. 

So much for the morning. Then came the 
dinner and Mr. Haden, wdio brought good man- 
ners and clever conversation. From 7 to 8 the 
harp ; at 8 Mrs. L. and ^liss E. arrived, and 
for the rest of the evening the drawing-room was 
thus arranged : on the sofa side the two ladies. 
Henry, and myself, making the best of it ; on tlie 
opposite side Fanny and ]\Ir. Haden, in two chairs 
(I believe, at least, they had two chairs), talking- 
together uninterruptedly. Fancy the scene ! And 
what is to be fancied next ? Why, that Mr. H. 
dines here again to-morrow. To-day we are to 


have Mr. Barlow. Mr. H. is reading 'Mansfield 
Park ' for the first time, and prefers it to P. and P. 

A hare and four rabbits from Gm. yesterday, 
so that we are stocked for nearly a week. Poor 
Farmer Andrews ! I am very sorry for him, and 
sincerely wish his recovery. 

A better account of the sugar than I could 
have expected. I should like to help you break 
some more. I am glad you cannot Avake early ; 
I am sure you must have been under great arrears 
of rest. 

Fanny and I have been to B. Chapel, and 
w^alked back with Maria Cuthbert. We have been 
very little plagued with visitors this last week. 
I remember only Miss Herries, the aunt, but I am 
in terror for to-day, a fine bright Sunday ; plenty 
of mortar, and nothing to do. 

Henry gets out in his garden every da}', but at 
present his inclination for doing more seems over, 
nor has he now any plan for leaving London 
before Dec. 18, when lie tliinks of going to 
Oxford for a few days ; to-day, indeed, his feelings 
are for continuing where he is through the next 
two months. 

One knows tlie uncertainty of all tliis, but, 
should it be so, we must tliink tlie best, and hope 


the best, and do the best ; and my idea in that 
case is, that when he goes to Oxford / should go 
home, and have nearly a week of you before you 
take my place. This is only a silent project, you 
know, to be gladly given up if better things occur. 
Henry calls himself stronger every day, and Mr. H. 
keeps on approving his pulse, which seems gene- 
rally better than ever, but still they will not let 
him be well. Perhaps when Fanny is gone he will 
be allowed to recover faster. 

I am not disappointed : I never thought the 
little girl at Wyards very pretty, but she will have 
a fine complexion and curly hair, and j)ass for a 
beauty. We are glad the mamma's cold has not 
been worse, and send her our love and good 
wishes by every convenient opportunity. Sweet, 
amiable Frank ! why does he have a cold too ? 
Like Captain Mirvan to Mr. Duval,^ ' I wish it well 
over with him.' 

Fanny has heard all that I have said to you 
about herself and Mr. H. Thank you very much for 
the sight of dearest Charles's letter to yourself. How 
pleasantly and how naturally he writes ! and how 
perfect a picture of his disposition and feelings his 
style conveys ! Poor dear fellow ! Not a present I 

^ Characters in Miss Burney's ' Evelina.' 


I have a great mind to send him all the twelve 
copies which w^ere to have been dispersed among 
my near connections, beginning with the P. E. and 
ending with Countess Morley. Adieu. 

Yours affectionately, J. Austex. 

Give my love to Gassy and Mary Jane. Caroline 
will be gone when this reaches you. 

Miss Austen. 


Hans Place : Saturday (Dec. 2). 

My dear Cassaxt)ra, 

' Henry came back yesterday, and might have 
returned the day before if he had known as much 
in time. I had the pleasure of liearing from 
Mr. T. on Wednesday night that Mr. Seymour 
thought there was not the least occasion for liis 
absenting himself any longer. 

I had also the comfort of a few lines on 
Wednesday morning from Henry himself, just after 
your letter was gone, giving so good an account of 
his feelings as made me perfectly eas3\ He met 
Avitli the utmost care and attention at Hanwell, 
spent his two days there very quietly and pleasantly, 
and, being certainly in no respect the worse for 
going, we may believe that he must be better, as he 


is quite sure of beiug himself. To make his returu 
a complete gala Mr. Haden was secured for dinuer. 
I need not say that our evening was agreeable. 

But you seem to be under a mistake as to Mr. H. 
You call him an apothecary. He is no apotliecary ; 
he has never been an apothecary ; there is not an 
apothecary in this neighbourhood — the only incon- 
venience of the situation perhaps — but so it is ; we 
have not a medical man within reach. He is a 
Haden, nothing but a Haden, a sort of wonderful 
nondescript creature on two legs, something between 
a man and an angel, but without the least spice of 
an apothecary. He is, perhaps, the only person 
not an apothecary hereabouts. He has never sung 
to us. He will not sing without a pianoforte 

Mr. Meyers gives his three lessons a week, 
altering his days and his hours, however, just as 
he chooses, never very punctual, and never giving 
good measure. I have not Fanny's fondness for 
masters, and Mr. Meyers does not give me any 
longing after them. The truth is, I think, that they 
are all, at least music-masters, made of too much 
consequence and allowed to take too many liberties 
with their scholars' time. 

We shall be delighted to see EdAvard on 



Monday, only sorry tliat you must be losing liim. 
A turkey will be equally welcome with himself. 
He must prepare for his own proper bedchamber 
here, as Henry moved down to the one below last 
week ; lie found the other cold. 

I am sorry my mother has been suffering, and 
am afraid this exquisite weather is too good to 
agree with her. /enjoy it all over me, from top 
to toe, from right to left, longitudinally, perpen- 
dicularly, diagonally ; and I cannot but selfishly 
hope we are to have it last till Christmas — nice, un- 
wholesome, unseasonable, relaxing, close, muggy 

Oil, thank you very much for your long letter ; 
it did me a great deal of good. Henry accepts 
your offer of making his nine gallon of mead 
thankfully. The mistake of the dogs rather vexed 
him for a moment, but he has not thought of it 
since. To-day he makes a third attempt at his 
strengthening plaister, and, as I am sure he will 
now be getting out a great deal, it is to be wished 
that he may be able to keep it on. He sets off 
this morning by the Chelsea coach to sign bonds 
and visit Henrietta St., and I have no doubt will 
be going every day to Henrietta St. 

Fanny and I were very snug by ourselves as 


soon as we were satisfied about our invalid's being 
safe at Han well. By manoeuvring and good luck 
we foiled all the Malings' attempts upon us. Hap- 
pily I caught a little cold on Wednesday, the 
morning we were in town, wdiich we made very 
useful, and we saw nobody but our precious ^ and 
Ml-. Tilson. 

This evenincr the Malino-s are allowed to drink 
tea with us. We are in hopes — that is, we icwh — 
Mss Palmer and the little girls may come this 
morning. You know, of course, tliat she could 
not come on Thursday, and she will not attempt 
to name any other day. 

God bless you. Excuse the shortness of this, 
but I must finisli it now that I may save you 2d. 
Best love. 

Yours affectionately, J. A. 

It strikes me that I have no business to give 
the P. E. a binding, but we will take counsel upon 
the question. 

I am glad you have put the flounce on 3'our 
chintz ; I am sure it must look particularly well, 
and it is wdiat I had thought of. 

Miss Austen, Chawton, Alton, Hants. 

Probably a playful allusion to Mr. Haden. 




Cliawtou: Sunday (Sept. 8). 

My dearest Cassaxdra, 

I have borne the arrival of your letter to-day 
extremely well : anybody might have thought it 
was giving me pleasure. I am very glad you find 
so much to be satisfied with at Cheltenham. 
While the waters agree, everything else is trifling. 

A letter arrived for you from Charles last 
Thursday. They are all safe and pretty well in 
Keppel St., the children decidedly better for 
Broadstairs ; and he writes principally to ask when 
it Avill be convenient to us to receive Miss P., the 
little girls, and himself. They would be ready to 
set off in ten days from the time of his writing, ta 
pay their visits in Hampshire and Berkshire, and 
he would prefer coming to Chawton y/r.v^. 

I have answered him, and said that we hoped it 
might suit them to wait till the last week in Septr.,. 
as we could not ask them sooner, either on your 
account or the want of room. I mentioned the 
23rd as the probable day of your return. When 
you have once left Cheltenham I shall grudge 


every half-day wasted on the road. If there were 
but a coach from Hungerford to Chawton ! I have 
desired him to let me hear again soon. 

He does not include a maid in the list to be 
accommodated, but if they bring one, as I suppose 
they will, we shall have no bed in the house even 
then for Charles himself — let alone Henry. But 
what can we do ? 

We shall have the Gt. House quite at our 
command ; it is to be cleared of the Papillons' 
servants in a day or two. They themselves ha\e 
been hurried off into Essex to take possession — 
not of a large estate left them by an uncle — but 
to scrape together all they can, I suppose, of the 
effects of a Mrs. Eawstorn, a rich old friend and 
cousin, suddenly deceased, to whom they are joint 
executors. So there is a happy end of the Kentish 
Papillons coming here. 

No morning service to-day, wherefore I am 
writing between twelve and one o'clock. ]\Ir. 
Benn in the afternoon, and likewise more rain 
again, by the look and the sound of tilings. You 
left us in doubt of Mrs. Benn's situation, but she 
has bespoke lier nurse. Mrs. F. A. seldom either 
looks or appears quite well. Little Embryo is 
troublesome, I suppose. They dined witli us 


yesterday, and had fine weather both for coming 
and going home, which lias hardly ever liappened 
to them before. She is still unprovided with a 

Our day at Alton was very pleasant, venison 
quite right, children well-behaved, and Mr. and 
Mrs. Digweed taking kindly to our charades and 
other games. I must also observe, for his mother's 
satisfaction, that EdAvard at my suggestion devoted 
himself very properly to the entertainment of ]\iiss 
S. Gibson. Nothing was wanting except Mr. 
Sweeney, but he, alas I had been ordered away to 
London the day before. We had a beautiful walk 
home by moonlight. 

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

Evening. — Frank and Mary and the children 
visited us this morning. Mr. and Mrs. Gibson are 
to come on the 23rd, and there is too much reason 
to fear they will stay above a week. Little George 

1816 LETTERS OF J.l^'E AUSTEN. 265 

could tell me where you were gone to, as well as 
what you were to bring him, when I asked him 
the other day. 

Sir Tho. Miller is dead. I treat you with a 
dead baronet in almost every letter. 

So you have C. Craven among 3'ou, as well as 
the Duke of Orleans and Mr. Pocock. But it 
mortifies me that you have not added one to the 
stock of common acquaintance. Do pray meet 
with somebody belonging to yourself. I am quite 
weary of your knowing nobody. 

Mrs. Dig weed parts with both Hannah and old 
cook ; the former will not give up her lover, who 
is a man of bad character ; the latter is guilty 
only of being unequal to anything. 

Miss Terry was to have spent this week with 
her sister, but as usual it is put ofi*. My amiable 
friend knows the value of her company. I have 
not seen Anna since the day you left us ; her 
father and brother visited her most days. Edward 
and Ben called here on Thursday. Edward was 
in his way to Selborne. We found him very 
agreeable. He is come back from France, 
thinking of the French as one could wisli — dis- 
appointed in everything. He did not go beyond 


I have a letter from Mrs. Perigord ; she and 
her mother are in London again. She speaks of 
France as a scene of general poverty and misery: 
no money, no trade, nothing to be got but by the 
innkeepers, and as to her own present prospects 
she is not much less melancholy than before. 

I liave also a letter from Miss Sharp, quite one 
of her letters ; she has been again obliged to exert 
herself more than ever, in a more distressing, more 
harassed state, and has met with another excellent 
old physician and his wife, with every virtue under 
heaven, who takes to her and cures her from pure 
love and benevolence. Dr. and Mrs. Storer are their 
Mrs. and Miss Palmer — for they are at Bridlington. 
I am happy to say, however, that the sum of the 
account is better than usual. Sir William is 
returned ; from Bridlington they go to Chevet, 
and she is to have a young governess under her. 

I enjoyed Edward's company very much, as I 
said before, and yet I was not sorry when Friday 
came. It had been a busy week, and I wanted a 
few days quiet and exemption from tlie thought 
and contrivancy which any sort of company gives. 
I often wonder how you can find time for what 
you do, in addition to the care of the house ; and 
how irood Mrs. West could luive written such 


books and collected so many hard words, with all 
her family cares, is still more a matter of astonish- 
ment. Composition seems to me impossil)le with; a 
head fnll of joints of mutton and doses of rhubarb. 

Monday. — Here is a sad morning. I fear you 
may not have been able to get to the Pump. The 
two last days were very ])leasant. I enjoyed them 
the more for your sake. But to-day it is really 
bad enough to make you all cross. I hope Mary 
will change her lodgings at tlie fortnight's end ; 
I am sure, if you looked about well, you would 
find others in some odd corner to suit you better. 
Mrs. Potter charges for the name of tlie High St. 

Success to the pianoforte ! I trust it will drive 
you away. We hear now that there is to be no 
honey this year. Bad news for us. We must hus- 
band our present stock of mead, and I am sorry 
to perceive that our twenty gallons is very nearly 
out. I cannot comprehend how the fourteen 
gallons could last so long. 

We do not much like Mr. Cooper's new sermons. 
They are fuller of regeneration and conversion 
than ever, with the addition of his zeal in the 
cause of the Bible Society. 

Martha's love to Mary and Caroline, and she is 
extremely glad to find they like the pelisse. The 


Debarys are indeed odious ! We are to see my 
brother to-morrow, but for only one night. I 
had no idea that he would care for the races 
without Edward. Eemember me to all. 

Yours very affectionately, J. Austen. 

Miss Austeu, Post Office, Cheltenham. 


I CONFESS to having entertained some doubts as to 
the publication of the five letters addressed by 
'Aunt Jane' to my mother in 1814-16 — doubts 
not so much as to the propriety of their publica- 
tion as to the joossible dislike which some of my 
own family might feel at the dragging to light of 
items of private history which, seventy years ago, 
were no doubt secret and sacred to both the writer 
and tlie recij^ient of the letters which contain 
them. But two considerations have weighed with 
me above all otliers, and I trust they will be 
deemed sufficient, even if the la])se of time since 
the letters Avere written did not in itself remove 
every reasonable objection. The one consideration 
is that, as regards Jane herself, tliese five letters 
are pecuHarly interesting, not only because in 


every line they are vividly cliaracteristic of tlie 
writer, but because they differ from all the preceding 
letters in that they are written, not to an elder 
sister, but to a niece who constantly sought her 
advice and sympathy, and whom she addressed, of 
course, in a different manner, and from a different 
standpoint. The other and, naturally, to me a 
consideration even more important, is that, accord- 
ing to my humble judgment, these letters, whilst 
they illustrate the character of my great-aunt, 
cannot, when explained, do otherwise than reflect 
credit upon that of my beloved mother ; whilst they 
prove the great and affectionate intimacy which 
existed between her and her aunt, and incidentally 
demonstrate the truth of a remark in one of 
Cassandra's letters that there were many points of 
similitude in the characters of the two. If my 
mother had preserved more of the thirty or forty 
letters which she received from ' Aunt Jane ' 
during the years 1814-16, it might have been 
possible for me, if it seemed desirable, to eliminate 
the portions which related to her own ' love affairs,' 
and to still obtain the illustrations of Jane Austen's 
character which her letters to a niece specially 
afford Avhen compared with her letters to a sister. 


I am not sure, liowever, that such an elimination 
would not have, to a great extent, spoiled, or at 
least diminished, the interest of the letters ; and, 
when it became a question of omitting altogether 
these five letters, I thought that their interest was 
so great that I could not persuade myself to do so. 
After all the story is very simple, and one which 
can offend or injure nobody by its relation. My 
mother was a liandsome and agreeable young 
woman, fond of society, and endowed with a large 
portion of practical common sense. A friendship 
sprang up between her and a gentleman of about 
her own age, wliose name it is unnecessary for me 
to mention. He was a man of high character, 
the two saw much of each other, and the friend- 
ship ripened into an attachment which ver}^ nearly 
became an engagement. There Avas, liowever, one 
point of difference which stood in tlie way, and 
prevented this result. The gentleman was of a 
very serious disposition, and eventually liis religious 
views induced liim to tliink dancing and other 
social amusements of the same sort tilings which 
ought to be eschewed and avoided by Christian 
people. My mother was of a different opinion. I 
do not suppose there ever was a woman more 


profoundly and really religious ; tliroughout the 
whole of her life she attended assiduously to her 
religious duties, never a day passed that she did 
not devote some portion of it to the perusal of 
some pious author (which she called ' reading my 
goodness '), and no one ever strove more earnestly 
to do her duty and to follow the teaching of the 
Gospel. But she entertained a strong opinion 
that this might be done without a severance from 
the ordinary pursuits and amusements of otlier 
l^eople ; that a person might live ' in the world ' 
without being ' of the world,' and tliat to perform 
the duties which came before her in life, and set a 
practical example of a Christian life in her everv- 
day existence, was as likely to be acceptable to 
God as the withdrawal from pursuits in which 
everybody else indulged, as if a Christian's duty re- 
quired that he should live apart from other people, 
by which means his influence over them for good 
must of necessity be diminished. From the entries 
in her diary, as well as from the letters before me, 
it is evident that about this time a struggle went 
on in my mother's mind upon these points. 
^ Plagued myself about Methodists all day,' and 
^ had a nice conversation Avith Mr. Sherer about 


Methodists,' are entries in tlie autumn of 1814, 
which evidently bear upon the matter, while other 
entries throughout this and the early part of the 
following year testify to the fact that she enter- 
tained a strong regard for the gentleman, but that 
she was in the position which many young women 
liave been in before and since — namely, doubtful 
whether she cared enough for liim to become his 
wife. This doubt became a certainty in 1815, and 
I find at the end of her pocket-book for that year, 
hi her usual summary of the principal events of 
the year, that there were ' many serious discussions 
and vexatious circumstances on serious subjects 
tending nearly to dissolve the intimacy between 

and myself.' I cannot more aptly illustrate 

my mother's real feehngs upon these matters which 
she speaks of as ' serious ' tlian by a quotation 
from a letter to her from my father before they 
were married, which appears to me to speak, in 
the stronger language of a man, that which was 
in her woman's heart. It so happened that imme- 
diately after they became engaged my father was 
summoned to Lincolnshire upon affairs arising out 
of the death of Sir Joseph Banks, and obliged to be 
away for more than a fortnight, during which time 


he wrote daily to my mother, who preserved 
all these letters — mteresting mementoes to her 
children. In one of them, answering some remarks 
and enquiries of his correspondent, he writes as 
follows : — ' In all that I have had to undergo I 
have been supported by that Power from above 
without whose aid I must long ago liave sunk ; 
but, seriously as I have always regarded every 
occurrence of life, and attributing as I always do 
everything that liappens to a superintending Power, 
I have never suffered these considerations to inter- 
fere with the duties or even the amusements of 
life. I have never felt that it could become me 
to find fault with the conduct of others, and dog- 
matically prescribe what course it is best to pursue. 
To act upon a steady and uniform principle, to 
adhere to what is ric^ht and to abstain from what 
is wrong, to afford the best example in my power, 
never to obtrude my opinions, but never upon 
proper occasions to be ashamed or afraid of avowing 
them — these have been the rules upon which I 
have acted, and I believe they will bring peace at 
the last. I dislike everything that savours of levity 
in matters of religion, and much more do I dis- 
like that affected and presumptuous vanity which 



dares to censure the innocent amusements of life — 
wliicli secludes people from the common enjoy- 
ments necessary to the comfort of society, and 
which, clothed in puritanical hypocrisy, affects 
a superiority to which it has no claim what- 
ever. These are serious subjects ; you first men- 
tioned them to' me, and I love you too well not to 
tell you without hesitation what I think and feel. 
Your own principles as expressed to me are right 
— grounded on humility, admitting how unequal 
we are to perform our duties, but resolutely and 
constantly persevering to the utmost of our ability 
to discharge them properly — thinking seriously of 
everything that happens, constantly mixing with 
the world, but enjoying it more or less according 
as we meet with similar feelings and kindred 
spirits, and always liojDing that our example and 
principles will effect some good and receive the 
respect to which they are entitled.' It was neces- 
sary to the elucidation of these five letters that 
this insight into my mother's affairs should be 
given ; lier feelings may be gathered from ' Aunt 
Jane's ' remarks upon them, and I might close these 
prefatory observations by saying that this difference 
upon ' serious subjects ' did overcome my mother's 


regard for the gentleman in question, that the 
' intimacy ' ivas ' dissolved.' and within a couple 
of years he found his happiness elsewhere. I am 
unable, however, to avoid another quotation from 
one of my father's letters in 1820, Avhich evidences 
the frank, fearless, open nature which, in common 
with 'Aunt Jane,' my mother possessed. He 
writes : ' I will now reply to that part of your 

letter which relates to Mr. . Our meetino-, 

my dearest Fanny, in the library at Godmersham 
on Friday fortnight we can neither of us ever 
forget — within ten minutes you mentioned to me 
the circumstances of this attachment. Of course 
I felt surprised till you told me all, and then I felt 
still more surprised, and happy beyond what I 
can declare, at having, as it were at once, deve- 
loped to me a mind capable of expressing what I 
do not believe any other woman in the world 
would have had courage, or firmness, or candour, 
or sense enough to have mentioned. Let me say 
that my esteem for you is not of very recent 
date, but I hardly know of anything that has 
raised you higher in my opinion than your frank 
and sensible avowal in this instance. I would not say 
this if it were not true, and that you well know.' 



The meeting in the library at Godmersham was, 
of course, that at which my father and mother 
became engaged, and with the hatred of conceal- 
ment which was a part of her character, she 
evidently told him at once and fully of the past, 
and by so doing confirmed and strengthened his 
confidence in herself for the future. 

The first two of these letters were written in 
November 1814, one from Chawton and the other 
from Hans Place ; they speak for themselves, and 
comment would only weaken their effect. The 
visit to Hendon (mentioned in the second letter) 
was' to 'Anna Lefroy,' nee Austen, and the Mr. 
Hayter mentioned in the same letter was the same 
who was afterwards for many years Patronage 
Secretary of the Treasury in several Liberal 

The third letter, written in February 1816, 
may perhaps require a word of explanation. 
There are two gentlemen therein referred to, 
one whom Jane believes determined to marry 
her niece, the other (the hero of the former 
letters) for wliom she suspects that ' sAveet, per- 
verse Fanny ' has still some regard, which she no 
longer endeavours to rekindle and strengthen, but 


to lessen and extinguish. The first gentleman is 
again referred to in the next letter, before writing 
which Jane seems to have discovered that her 
niece's peril of matrimony was not so imminent as 
she had supposed : she considers upon the whole 
that Mr. ' cannot be in love with you, how- 
ever he may try at it,' and exhorts her niece not 
to be ' in a hurry ' — ' the right man is sure to come 
at last.' He did come, but unfortunately not 
until the grave had closed for three years over the 
aunt who took such a warm and lively interest in 
all that concerned her niece, and who would have 
sincerely and heartily rejoiced could she have seen 
her in the position which she so long and so 
worthily occupied. 


Chawton : Friday (Nov. 18, 1814). 

I feel quite as doubtful as you could be, my 
dearest Fanny, as to when my letter may be finished, 
for I can command very little quiet time at present ; 
but yet I must begin, for I know you will be glad 
to hear as soon as possible, and I really am 
impatient myself to be writing something on so 


very interesting a subject, though I have no hope 
of writing anything to the purpose. I shall do 
very little more, I dare say, than say over again 
what you have said before. 

I was certainly a good deal surprised at firsts 
as I had no suspicion of any change in 3^our feel- 
ings, and I have no scruple in saying that you 
cannot be in love. My dear Fanny, I am ready to 
laugh at the idea, and yet it is no laughing mat- 
ter to have had you so mistaken as to your own 
feelings. And ^Yi\h. all my heart I wish I liad 
cautioned you on that point wlien first you spoke 
to me ; but, though I did not think you then much 
in love, I did consider you as being attached in a 
degree quite sufficiently for happiness, as I had no 
doubt it would increase with opportunity, and from 
the time of our being in London together I thought 
you really very much in love. But you certainly 
are not at all — there is no concealing it. 

Wliat strange creatures we are ! It seems as if 
your being secure of liim had made you indifferent. 
There was a little disgust, I suspect, at the races, 
and I do not wonder at it. His expressions then 
would not do for one who had rather more acute- 
ness, penetration, and taste, than love, which was 
your case. And yet, after all, I am surprised that 


the change in your feehngs should be so great. 
He is just what he ever was, only more evidently 
and uniformly devoted to you. This is all the 
difference. How shall we account for it ? 

My dearest Fanny, I am writing what will not 
be of the smallest use to you. I am feehng 
differently every moment, and shall not be able to 
suof crest a sino^le thinor that can assist your mind. 

Co o O «/ 

I could lament in one sentence and laugh in the 
next, but as to opinion or counsel I am sure that 
none will be extracted worth having from this 

I read yours through the very evening I re- 
ceived it, gettmg away by myself. I could not 
bear to leave off when I had once begun. I w^as 
full of curiosity and concern. Luckily your At. 
C. dined at the other house ; therefore I had not 
to manoeuvre away from her, and as to anybody 
else, I do not care. 

Poor dear Mr. A. ! Oh, dear Fanny ! your mis- 
take has been one that thousands of women fall 
into. He was the first young man who at'tached 
himself to you. That was the charm, and most 
powerful it is. Among the multitudes, however, 
that make the same mistake with yourself, there 
can be few indeed who liave so little reason to 


regret it ; Ids character and his attachment leave 
you nothing to be ashamed of. 

Upon the whole, what is to be done ? You 
have no inclination for any other person. His 
situation in life, family, friends, and, above all, his 
character, his uncommonly amiable mind, strict 
principles, just notions, good habits, all that you 
know so well how to value, all that is really of 
the first importance, — everything of this nature 
pleads his cause most strongly. You have no 
doubt of his having superior abilities, he has proved 
it at the University ; he is, I dare say, such a 
scholar as your agreeable, idle brothers would ill 
bear a comparison with. 

Oh, my dear Fanny ! the more I write about 
him the warmer my feelings become — the more 
strongly I feel the sterling worth of such a young 
man and tlie desirableness of your growing in love 
with him again. I recommend this most thoroughly. 
There are such beings in the world, perhaps one in 
a thousand, as the creature you and I should think 
perfection, where grace and spirit are united to 
worth, where the manners are equal to the lieart 
and understanding, but such a person may not 
come in your way, or, if he does, he may not be 
the eldest son of a man of fortune, tlie near rela- 


tion of your particular friend and belonging to 
your own county. 

Think of all this, Fanny. Mr. X. has advan- 
tages which we do not often meet in one person. 
His only fault, indeed, seems modesty. If he were 
less modest he would be more agreeable, speak 
louder, and look impudenter ; and is not it a line 
character of which modesty is the only defect ? 
I have no doubt he will get more hvely and more 
like yourselves as he is more with you ; he will 
catch your ways if he belongs to you. And, as to 
there being any objection from his goodness, from 
the dano'er of his becominor even evangelical, I 
cannot admit that. I am by no means convinced 
that we ought not all to be evangelicals, and am 
at least persuaded that they who are so from 
reason and feeling must be happiest and safest. 
Do not be frightened from the connection by your 
brothers having most wit — wisdom is l^etter than 
wit, and in the long run will certainly have the 
laugh on her side ; and don't be frightened by the 
idea of his acting more strictly up to the precepts 
of the Xew Testament than others. 

And now, my dear Fanny, having written so 
much on one side of the question, I shall turn 
round and entreat you not to commit yourself 


farther, and not to think of accepting him unless 
you really do like him. Anything is to be pre- 
ferred or endured rather than marrying without 
affection ; and if his deficiencies of manner, &c. &c., 
strike you more than all his good qualities, if you 
continue to think strongly of them, give him up 
at once. Things are now in such a state that you 
must resolve upon one or the other — either to allow 
him to go on as he has done, or wlienever you are 
together behave with a coldness which may con- 
vince him that he has been deceiving himself. I 
have no doubt of his suffering a good deal for a 
time — a <^reat deal when he feels that he must ^ive 
you up ; but it is no creed of mine, as you must be 
well aware, that such sort of disappointments kill 

Your sendinsf the music was an admirable 
device, it made everything easy, and I do not 
knoAv hoAV I could have accounted for the parcel 
otherwise ; for though your dear jDapa most con- 
scientiously hunted about till he found me alone in 
the dining-parlour, your Aunt C. had seen that he 
had a j)arcel to deliver. As it was, however, I do 
not think anything was suspected. 

We have heard notliing fresh from Anna. I 
trust she is very comfortable in her new home. 


Her letters have been very sensible and satisfac- 
tory, with no ijarade of happiness, which I liked 
them the better for. I have often known young 
married women write in a way I did not like in that 

You will be glad to hear that the first edition 
of M. P.^ is all sold. Your uncle Henry is rather 
wanting me to come to town to settle about a 
second edition, but as I could not very conveniently 
leave home now, I have written him my will and 
pleasure, and, unless he still urges it, shall not go. 
I am very greedy and want to make the most of 
it, but as you are much above caring about money 
I shall not plague you with any particulars. The 
pleasures of vanity are more within your com- 
prehension, and you will enter into mine at receiving 
the praise which every now and then comes to me 
through some cliannel or other. 

Saturday. — ^h\ Palmer spent yesterday with 
us, and is gone off w4th Cass}^ this morning. We 
have been expecting ]\Iiss Lloyd the last two days, 
and feel sure of her to-day. Mr. Knight and Mr. 
Edwd. Knight are to dine with us, and on Monday 
they are to dine with us again, accompanied by 
their respectable host and hostess. 

1 ' Mansfield Park.' 


Sunday. — Your papa had given me messages to 
you, but tliey are unnecessary, as he writes by this 
post to Aunt Louisa. We had a pleasant party 
yesterday, at least we found it so. It is dehghtful 
to see him so cheerful and confident. Aunt Cass, 
and I dine at the Great House to-day. We shall be 
a snug half-dozen. Miss Lloyd came, as we ex- 
pected, yesterday, and desires her love. She is 
very happy to hear of your learning the harp. I 
do not mean to send you what I ow^e ]\Iiss Hare, 
because I think you would rather not be paid 

^ Yours very affectionately, Jane Austen. 

Miss Knight, Goodnestone Farm, 
Wingham, Kent. 

23 Hans Place : Wednesday (Nov. 30, 1814). 

I am very much obliged to you, my dear Fanny, 
for your letter, and I hope you will write again 
soon, that I may know you to be all safe and happy 
at home. 

Our visit to Hendon will interest you, I am sure, 
but I need not enter into the particulars of it, as 
your papa will be able to answer almost every 


question. I certainly could describe her bedroom, 
and her drawers, and her closet, better than he 
can, but I do not feel that I can stop to do it. I 
was rather sorry to hear that slie is to have an in- 
strument ; it seems throwing money away. They 
will wish the twenty-four guineas in the shape of 
sheets and towels six months hence ; and as to her 
plajdng, it never can be anything. 

Her purple pehsse rather surprised me. I 
thought we had known all paraphernalia of that 
sort. I do not mean to blame her ; it looked very 
well, and I dare say she wanted it. I suspect 
nothing worse than its being got in secret, and not 
owned to anybody. I received a very kind note 
from her yesterday, to ask me to come again and 
stay a night with them. I cannot do it, but I was 
pleased to find that she had the power of doing so 
right a thing. My going was to give them hotli 
pleasure very properly. 

I just saw Mr. Hayter at the play, and think 
his face would please me on acquaintance. I was 
sorry he did not dine here. It seemed rather odd 
to me to be in the theatre with nobody to watch 
for. I was quite composed myself, at leisure for 
all the agitated Isabella could raise. 

Now, my dearest Fanny, I will begin a subject 


which comes m very naturally. You frighten me 
out of my wits by your reference. Your affection 
gives me the highest pleasure, but indeed you must 
not let anything depend on my opinion ; your own 
feelings, and none but your own, should determine 
such an important point. So far, however, as an- 
swering your question, I have no scruple. I am 
perfectly convinced that your present feehngs, 
supposing you were to marry 7ioiij, would be 
sufficient for his happiness ; but when I think how 
very, very far it is from a ' now,' and take every- 
thing that may he into consideration, I dare not 
say^ ' Determine to accept him ; ' the risk is too great 
for you, unless your own sentiments prompt it. 

You will think me perverse perhaps ; in my last 
letter I was urging everything in his favour, and 
noAv I am inclining the other way, but I cannot 
help it ; I am at present more impressed with the 
possible evil that may arise to you from engaging 
yourself to liim — in word or inind — than with any- 
thing else. Wlien I consider how few young men 
you have yet seen much of ; how capable you are 
(yes, I do still think you very capable) of being 
really in love ; and how full of temptation the next 
six or seven years of your life will probably be 
(it is the very period of life for the strongest attach- 


ments to be formed), — I cannot wish you, with your 
present very cool feehngs, to devote yourself in 
lionour to him. It is very true that you never 
may attach another man his equal altogether ; but 
if that other man has the power of attaching you 
more, he will be in your eyes the most perfect. 

I shall be glad if you can revive past feehngs, 
and from vour unbiassed self resolve to o^o on as 
you have done, but this I do not expect ; and with- 
out it I cannot wish you to be fettered. I should 
not be afraid of your marrying him ; with all his 
worth you would soon love him enough for the 
happiness of both ; but I should dread the con- 
tinuance of this sort of tacit engagement, with such 
an uncertainty as there is of iclien it may be com- 
pleted. Years may pass before he is independent ; 
you like him well enough to marry, but not well 
enough to wait ; the unpleasantness of appearino' 
fickle is certainly great ; but if you think you want 
punishment for past illusions, there it is, and 
nothing can be compared to the miseiy of beino^ 
bound icithout love — bound to one, and j)referrino^ 
another ; that is a punishment which you do not 

I know you did not meet, or rather will not 
meet, to-day, as he called here yesterday ; and I am 


glad of it. It does not seem very likely, at least, 
til at he sliould be in time for a dinner visit sixty 
miles off. We did not see him, only found his 
card when we came home at four. Your Uncle H. 
merely observed that he was i^day after ' the fair' 
We asked your brother on Monday (when Mr. 
Hayter was talked of) why he did not invite liim 
too ; saying, ' I know he is in town, for I met him 
the other day in Bond St.' Edward answered 
that he did not know where he was to be found. 
' Don't you know his chambers ? ' 'No.' 

I shall be most glad to hear from you again, 
my dearest Fanny, but it must not be later than 
Saturday, as we shall be off on Monday long before 
the letters are delivered ; and write something that 
may do to be read or told. I am to take the Miss 
Moores back on Saturday, and when I return I 
shall hope to find your pleasant little flowing 
8 crawl on the table. It will be a relief to me after 
playing at ma'ams, for though I hke Miss H. M. 
8s much as one can at my time of life after a day's 
acquaintance, it is uphill work to be talking to 
those whom one knows so little. 

Only one comes back with ]ne to-morrow, 
probably Miss Eliza, and I rather dread it. We 
shall not have two ideas in common. She is young, 


pretty, chattering, and thinking chiefly, I presume, 
of dress, company, and admiration. Mr. Sanford 
is to join us at dinner, wliich will be a comfort, 
and in the evening, while your uncle and Miss 
Eliza play chess, he^hall tell me comical things and 
I will laugh at them, which will be a pleasure to 

I called in Keppel Street and saw them all, in- 
cluding dear Uncle Charles, Avho is to come and dine 
with us cpiietly to-day. Little Harriot sat in my 
lap, and seemed as gentle and affectionate as ever, 
and as pretty, except not being quite well. Fanny 
is a fine stout girl, talking incessantl}^ with an 
interesting degree of lisp and indistinctness, and 
very likely may be the handsomest in time. Cassy 
did not show more pleasure in seeing me than her 
sisters, but I expected no better. She does not 
shine in the tender feelings. She will never be a 
Miss O'Xeil, more in the Mrs. Siddons line. 

Thank 3^ou, but it is not settled yet whether I 
do hazard a second edition. We are to see Egerton 
to-day, when it will probably be determined. 
People are more ready to borrow and praise than 
to buy, which I cannot wonder at ; but though I 
like praise as well as anybody, I like what Edward 
calls ' Pewter^' too. I hope he continues careful of 



his eyes and finds the good effect of it. I cannot 
suppose we differ in our ideas of the Christian 
rehgion. You liave given an excellent description 
of it. We only affix a different meaning to the 
word evangelical. 

Yours most affectionately, J. Austex. 

Miss Knight, Godinersham Park, 
Faversham, Kent. 


Obawton : (Feb. 20, 1816). 

My dearest Faxxy, 

^You are inimitable, irresistible. You are the 
delight of my life. Such letters, such entertaining 
letters, as you have lately sent ! such a description 
of your queer little heart ! such a lovely display 
of what imagination does ! You are worth your 
weight in gold, or even in the new silver coinage. 
I cannot express to you what I have felt in reading 
your history of yourself — how full of pity and con- 
cern, and admiration and amusement, Uiave been! 
You are the paragon of all that is silly and sensible, 
common-place and eccentric, sad and lively, pro- 
vokin^^" and interesting. Who can keep pace with 
the fluctuations of your fancy, tlie capprizios of 
your taste, tlie contradictions of your feelings? 


You are so odd, and all the time so perfectly 
natural ! — so peculiar in yourself, and yet so like 
everybody else I 

It is very, ver}^ gratifying to me to know you 
so intimately. You can hardly think what a plea- 
sure it is to me to have such thorough pictures of 
your heart. Oh, what a loss it ^vill be when you 
are married ! You are too agreeable in your single 
state — too agreeable as a niece. I shall hate you 
when your dehcious play of mind is all settled 
down into conjugal and maternal affections. 

Mr. B frightens me. He will have you. I 

see you at the altar. I have some faith in Mrs. C. 
Cage's observation, and still more in Lizzy's ; and. 
besides, I know it must be so. He must be wishing 
to attach you. It would be too stupid and too 
shameful in him to be otherwise ; and aU the family 
are seeking your acquaintance. 

Do not imagine that I have any real objection ; 
I have rather taken a fancy to him than not, and I 
like the house for you. I only do not like you 
should marry anybody. And yet I do wish you 
to marry very much, because I know you will 
never be happy till you are ; but the loss of 
a Fanny Knight will be never made up to me. 

My ' affec. niece F. 0. B ' will be but a poor 

u 2 


substitute. I do not like your being nervous, and 
so apt to cry — it is a sign you are not quite well ; 
but I hope Mr. Scud — as you always write his name 
(your Mr. Scuds amuses me very much) — will do 
you good. 

What a comfort that Cassandra should be so 
recovered ! It was more than we had expected. 
I can easily beheve she was very patient and very 
good. I always loved Cassandra, for her fine dark 
eyes and sweet temper. I am almost entirely 
cured of my rheumatism — ^just a little pain in my 
knee now and then, to make me remember wliat it 
was', and keep on flannel. Aunt Cassandra nursed 
me so beautifully. 

I enjoy your visit to Goodnestone, it must be a 
great pleasure to you ; 3^ou have not seen Fanny 
Cage in comfort so long. I hope she represents 
and remonstrates and reasons with you properly. 
Why should you be living in dread of his marrying 
somebody else ? (Yet, how natural !) You did not 
choose to have him yourself, why not allow him to 
take comfort wliere he can ? In your conscience 
you know that he could not bear a companion with 
a more animated character. You cannot forizet 
how you felt under the idea of its having been pos- 
sible that he miizht have dined in Hans Place. 


My dearest Fanny, I cannot bear you sliould 
be unhappy about him. Thmk of his principles ; 
think of his father's objection, of want of money, 
&c. &c. But I am doing no good ; no, all that I 
urge against him will rather make you take his 
part more, sweet, perverse Fanny. 

And now I will tell you that we like your 
Henry to the utmost, to the very top of tlie glass, 
quite brimful. He is a very pleasing^ young man. 
I do not see how he could be mended. He does 
really bid fair to be everything his father and sister 
could wish ; and WiUiam I love very much indeed, 
and so we do all ; he is quite our own William. 
In short, we are very comfortable together ; that 
is, Ave can answer for ourselves. 

Mrs. Deedes is as welcome as May to all our 
benevolence to her son ; we only lamented that we 
could not do more, and that the 50/. note we slipped 
into his hand at parting was necessarily the limit of 
our offering. Good Mrs. Deedes ! Scandal and 
gossip ; yes, I dare say you are well stocked,. 

but I am very fond of Mrs. for reasons good.. 

Thank you for mentioning her praise of 'Emma,' &c. 

I have contributed the markino; to Uncle H.'s 
shirts, and now they are a complete memorial of 
the tender regard of many. 


Friday. — I had no idea Avhefi I began tliis yes- 
terday of sending it before yonr brotlier went back, 
but I have written away my foohsli tlioughts at 
such a rate that I Avill not keep tliem many hours 
longer to stare me in the face. 

Much obHged for the quadrilles, which I am 
grown to think pretty enough, though of course 
they are very inferior to the cotillions of my own 

Ben and Anna walked here last Sunday to hear 
Uncle Henr}^, and she looked so pretty, it was quite 
a pleasure to see her, so young and so blooming, 
and so innocent, as if she had never had a wicked 
thought in her life, which yet one has some reason 
to suppose she must have had, if we believe tlie 
doctrine of original sin. I hope Lizzy will have 
her play very kindly arranged for lier. Henry is 
generally tliought very good-looking, but not so 
handsome as Edward. I think I prefer his face. 
Wm. is in excellent looks, has a fine appetite, 
and seems perfectly well. You will have a great 
break up at Godmersham in the spring. You must 
feel their all going. It is very right, however ! 
Poor Miss C. ! I sliall pity her when slie begins to 
understand herself. 

Your objection to tlie quadrilles deliglited me 


exceedingly. Pretty well, foi' a lady irrecoverably 
attached to one person ! Sweet Fanny, believe no 
such thing of yourself, spread no such malicious 
slander upon your understanding, within the pre- 
cincts of your imagination. Do not speak ill of 
your sense merely for the gratification of your 
fancy ; yours is sense which deserves more honour- 
able treatment. You are not in love with him ; you 
never have been really in love with him. 

Yours very affectionately, J. Austex. 

Miss Knight, Godmersham Park, 
Faversliam, Kent. 


Ohawton: Thursday (March 13). 

As to making any adequate return for such a 
letter as yours, my dearest Fanny, it is absolutely 
impossible. If I were to labour at it all the rest 
of my life, and live to the age of Methuselah, 
I could never accomplish anything so long and so 
perfect ; but I cannot let William go without a few 
lines of acknowledgment and reply. 

I have pretty well done with Mr. . By 

your description, he cannot be in love with you, 
however he may try at it ; and I could not wish the 


liiatcli unless tliere were a great deal of love on his 
side. I do not know what to do about Jemima 
Branfill. What does her dancing away with so 
much spirit mean ? That she does not care for 
him^ or only wishes to a'pjyeav not to care for him ? 
Who can understand a young lady ? 

Poor Mrs. C. Milles, that she should die on the 
wrong day at last, after being about it so long ! 
It was unlucky that the Goodnestone party could 
not meet you, and I hope her friendly, obliging, 
social s^^irit, whicli delighted in drawing people 
together, was not conscious of the division and 
disappointment she was occasioning. I am sorry 
and surprised that you speak of her as having little 
to leave, and must feel for Miss Milles, though she 
is Molly, if a material loss of income is to attend 
her other loss. Single women have a dreadful 
propensity for being poor, which is one very strong 
argument in favour of matrimony, but I need not 
dwell on such arguments with you^ pretty dear. 

To you I shall say, as I have often said before. 
Do not be in a liurry, the right man will come at 
last ; you will in tlie course of the next two or three 
years meet with somebody more generally unex- 
ceptionable than anyone you have yet known, who 
will love you as warmly as possible, and wlio will 


SO completely attract 3"'oii that 3-011 will feel yoii 
never really loved before. 

Do none of the A.'s ever come to balls now ? 
Yoii have never mentioned them as being at any. 
And what do you hear of the Gipps, or of Fanny 
and her liiisband ? 

Aunt Cassandra walked to ^yya^ds ^^esterday 
with Mrs. Digweed. Anna has had a bad cold, 
and looks pale. She lias just weaned Julia. 

/ have also heard lately from your Aunt 
Harriot, and cannot understand their plans in 
parting with Mss S., whom she seems very much 
to value now that Harriot and Eleanor are both of 
an age for a governess to be so useful to, especially 
as, when Caroline w^as sent to school some years. 
Miss Bell was still retained, though the others even 
then were nursery children. They have some good 
reason, I dare say, though I cannot penetrate it, 
and till I know what it is I shall invent a bad one, 
and amuse mj^self with accounting for the differ- 
ence of measures by supposing Miss S. to be a 
superior sort of woman, Avho has never stooped to 
recommend herself to the master of the family by 
flattery, as Miss Bell did. 

I will answer your kind questions more than 
you ex])ect. ' Miss Catlierine ' is put upon the shelf 


for tlie present, and I do not know that she will 
ever come out ; but I liave a somethmg ready for 
publication, which may, perhaps, appear about a 
twelvemonth hence. It is short — about the length 
of ' Catherine.' This is for yourself alone. Neither 
Mr. Salusbury nor Mr. Wildman is to know 
of it. 

I am got tolerably w^ell again, quite equal to 
walking about and enjoying the air, and by sitting 
down and resting a good while between my walks 
I get exercise enough. I liave a scheme, however, 
for accomplishing more, as the weather grows 
spring-like. I mean to take to riding the donkey ; 
it will be more independent and less troublesome 
than the use of the carriage, and I shall be able to 
go about with Aunt Cassandra in her walks to 
Alton and Wyards. 

I hope you Avill tliink Wm. looking well ; 
he was bilious the other day, and At. Cass, 
supplied him with a dose at his own request. I 
am sure you would have approved it .Wm. and 
I are the best of friends. I love him very much. 
Everything is so natural about him — his affections, 
his manners, and his drollery. He entertains and 
interests us extremely. 

Mat. Hammond and A. M. Shaw are ])eo])le 


whom I cannot care for in tliemselves, but I enter 
into their situation, and am glad they are so happy. 
If I were the Duchess of Eichmond, I should be 
very miserable about my son's choice. 

Our fears increase for poor little Harriot ; the 
latest account is, that Sir Ev. Home is confirmed in 
his opinion of there being water on the brain. 
I hope Heaven, in its mercy, will take her soon. 
Her poor father will be quite worn out by his 
feelings for her ; he cannot spare Gassy at present, 
she is an occupation and a comfort to him. 


Chawton : Sunday (Marcli 23). 

I am very much obliged to you ; my dearest 
Panny, for sending me Mr. W.'s conversation ; I had 
great amusement in reading it, and I hope I am not 
affronted, and do not think the worse of him for 
having a brain so very different from mine ; but 
my strongest sensation of all is astonishment at your 
being able to press him on the subject so perse- 
veringly ; and I agree with your papa, that it was 
not fair. Wlien he knows the truth he will be 

You are the oddest creature ! Xervous enough 
in some respects, but in others perfectly without 



nerves ! Quite imrepiilsable, liardened, and im- 
2^udent. Do not oblige Inni to read any more. 
Have mercy on him, tell liim tlie triitli, and make 
liim an apology. He and I should not in the least 
agree, of course, in our ideas of novels and lieroines. 
Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick 
and wicked ; but there is some very good sense in 
what he says, and I particularly respect him for 
wishing to think well of all young ladies ; it shows- 
an amiable and a delicate mind. And he deserves 
better treatment than to be obliged to read any 
more of my works. 

Do not be surprised at finding Uncle Henry 
acquainted with my having another ready for pub- 
lication. I could not say No when lie asked me, 
but he knows nothing more of it. You will not 
like it, so you need not be impatient. You may 
perhaps like the heroine, as she is almost too good 
for me. 

Many thanks for your kind care for my health :. 
I certainly have not been well for many weeks,, 
and about a week ago I was very poorly. I have 
had a good deal of fever at times, and indifferent 
nights ; but I am considerably better now and am 
recovering my looks a little, wliich have been bad 
enough — black and white, and every wrong colour. 


I must not depend upon being ever ver}^ blooming 
again. Sickness is a dangerous indulgence at my 
time of life. Thank you for everything you tell 
me. I do not feel worthy of it by anything that 
I can say in return, but I assure you my pleasure 
in your letters is quite as great as ever, and I am 
interested and amused just as you could wish me. 
If there is a i\iiss Marsden^ I perceive whom she /T 
will marry. 

Evening. — I was languid and dull and very bad 
company when I wrote the above : I am better 
now, to my own feelings at least, and wish I ma}' 
be more agreeable. We are going to have rain, 
and after that very pleasant genial weather, which 
will exactly do for me, as my saddle will then be 
completed, and air and exercise is what I want. 
Indeed, I shall be very glad when the event at 
Scarlets is over, the exjDectation of it keeps us 
in a worry, your grandmamma especially ; she sits 
brooding over evils which cannot be remedied, and 
conduct impossible to be understood. 

Now the reports from Keppel St. are rather 
better; little Harriot's headaches are abated, and 
Sir Evd. is satisfied with the effect of the mercury, 
and does not despair of a cure. The complaint I 
find is not considered incurable nowadays, provided 


the patient be young enough not to liave the lieacl 
hardened. Tlie water in that case may be drawn 
off by mercury. But tliough this is a new idea to 
us, perhaps it may have been h^ng famihar to you 
through your friend Mr. Scud. I hope liis high re- 
nown is sustained by driving away Wilham's cough. 

Tell Wm. that TrisfE^s is as beautiful and con- 
descending as ever, and was so good as to dine rntli 
us to-day, and tell him that I often play at nines 
and think of him. 

The Papillons came back on Friday night, but 
I have not seen them yet, as I do not venture to 
church. I cannot hear, however, but that they 
are the same Mr. P. and his sister they used to be. 
She has engaged a new maidservant in Mrs. Calker's 
room, whom she means to make also housekeeper 
under herself. 

Old Philmore was buried yesterday, and I, by 
way of saying something to Triggs, observed that 
it had been a very handsome funeral ; but his 
manner of reply made me suppose tliat it was not 
generally esteemed so. I can only be sure of one 
part being very liandsome — Triggs himself, walking 
behind in his green coat. Mrs. Philmore attended 
as chief mourner, in boml)azine, made very short, 
and flounced with cra])e. 


Tuesday. — I have had various phiiis as to this 
letter, but at h^st I have determined that Uncle 
Henry shall fonvard it from London. I want to 
see how Canterbury looks in the direction. When 
once Uncle H. has left ?^s^I shall wish him with you. 
London has become a hateful place to him, ancL he 
is always depressed by the idea of it. I hope he 
will be in time for your sick. I am sure he must 
do that part of his duty as excellently as all the 
rest. He returned yesterday from Steventon, and 
Avas with us by breakfast, bringing Edward with 
him, only that Edwd. stayed to breakfast at 
Wyards. We had a pleasant family day, for tlie 
Altons dined with us, the last visit of the kind pro- 
bably which she will be able to pay us for many a 

I hope your own Henry is in France, and that 
you have heard from him ; the passage once over, 
he will feel all happiness. I took my first ride 
yesterday, and liked it very much. I went up 
Mounter's Lane and round by where the new 
cottages are to be, and found tlie exercise and 
everything very pleasant ; and I had the advantage 
of agreeable companions, as At. Cass, and Edward 
walked by my side. At. Cass, is sucli an excellent 


nurse, so assiduous and unwearied I ]3ut you know 
all that already. 

Very affectionately yours, J. Austex. 

Miss Knight, Godmersham Park, 

The following letters have been given me by one 
of Mrs. B. Lefroy's daughters, and are interesting 
as showing the sympathy whicli Jane had for a 
young authoress, and the care and minuteness witli 
which she looked into every detail of composition. 
' Anna Austen ' was engaged to Mr. Lefroy in 
1814, and was occupied at the same time in 
writing a novel which she submitted to the valu- 
able criticism of ' Aunt Jane.' The first letter has 
no date, but from the context must liave been 
written in May or June. 


My deak Axxa, 

I am very much obliged to you for sending 
your MS. It has entertained me extremely ; indeed 
all of us. I read it aloud to your Grandmama 
and Aunt Cass, and we were all very mucli pleased. 
The spirit does not droop at all. Sir Tlios., Lady 


Helen and St. Julian are very well done, and 
Cecilia continues to be interesting in spite of lier 
being so amiable. It was very fit you should 
advance her age. I hke the beginning of Devereux 
Forester very much, a great deal better than if he 
had been very good or very bad. A few verbal 
corrections are all that I felt tempted to make ; 
the principal of them is a speech of St. Julian to 
Lady Helen, which you see I have presumed to 
alter. As Lady H. is Cecilia's superior, it would 
not be correct to talk of her being introduced. It 
is Cecilia who must be introduced. And I do not 
like a lover speaking in the 3rd person ; it is too 
much hke the part of Lord Overtle}^ and / think 
it not natural. If you think differently, however^ 
you need not mind me. I am impatient for more, 
and only wait for a safe conveyance to return this. 

Yours affectionately, J. A. 


August 10, 1814. 

My dear Anna, 

I am quite ashamed to find that I have never 
answered some question of yours in a former note. 
I kept it on purpose to refer to it at a proper time 
and then forgot it. I like the name ' Which is the 
Heroine ' very well, and I daresay shall grow to 



like it very much in time ; but ' Enthusiasm ' was 
something so very superior that my common title 
must appear to disadvantage. I am not sensible 
of any blunders about Dawlish ; ^ the library was 
pitiful and wretched twelve years ago and not 
likely to have anybody's publications. There is 
no such title as Desborough either among dukes, 
marquises, earls, viscounts, or barons. These were 
your inquiries. I will now thank you for your 
envelope received this morning. Your Aunt Cass 
is as well pleased with St. Julian as ever, and I am 
delighted with the idea of seeing Progillian again. 
Wednesday 17. — We have now just finished the 
lirst of the three books I had the pleasure of re- 
ceiving yesterday. I read it aloud and we are all 
very much amused, and like the work quite as 
well as ever. I depend on getting through a 
another book before dinner, but there is really a 
good deal of respectable reading in your forty-eight 
pages. I have no doubt six would make a very good- 
sized volume. You must have been quite pleased to 
have accomplished so much. I like Lord Portman^ 
and his brotlier very much. I am only afraid tlu^t 

' It must be remembered that there was no * Lord Port man ' in 
1814, the creation of that title having been in 18.'i7. 


Lord P/s good nature will make most people like 
him better than lie deserves. The whole family 
are very good, and Lady Anne, who was your greai 
dread, you have succeeded particularly well with. 
Bell Griffin is just what she should be. My cor 
rections have not been more important than be- 
fore ; here and there we have thought the sense 
could be expressed in fewer words, and I have 
scratched out Sir Thos. from walking with the 
others to the stables, (fcc. the very day after breaking 
his arm ; for, though I find your papa did walk out 
immediately after his arm was set, I think it can be 
so little usual as to appear unnatural in a book. 
Lynn will not do. Lynn is towards forty miles 
from Dawlish and would not be talked of there. 
I have put Starcross instead. If you prefer Easton 
that must be always safe. 

I have also scratched out the introduction 
between Lord Portman and his brotlier and Mr. 
Griffin. A country surgeon (don't tellMr. C. Lyford^ 
would not be introduced to men of their rank, and 
when ]\Lr. P. is first broucfht in. he w^ould not be 
introduced as the Honourable. That distinction 
is never mentioned at such times, at least I beheve 
not. Now we have finished the second book, or 



rather the fifth. I do think yon liad better omit 
Lady Helena's postscript. To those that are ac- 
quainted with ' Pride and Prejudice ' it will seem 
an imitation. And your Aunt C. and I both 
recommend your making a little alteration in the 
last scene between Devereux F. and Lady Clan- 
murray and her daughter. We think they press 
him too much, more than sensible or well-bred 
women would do ; Lady C, at least, should have 
discretion enough to be sooner satisfied with his 
determination of not going with them. I am very 
much pleased with Egerton as yet. I did not ex- 
pect to like him, but I do, and Susan is a very 
nice little animated creature ; but St. Julian is 
the delight of our lives. He is quite interesting. 
The whole of his break off with Lady Helena is 
very well done. Yes ; Eussell Square is a very 
proper distance from Berkeley Square. We are 
reading the last book. They must be two days 
going from Dawlish to Bath. They are nearly 
100 miles apart. ^ 

^ Our modern race of travellers would hardly be satisfied with 
this rate of progress. We have somewhat accelerated our speed 
since Jane's days, and when inclined to grumble because a train is ten 
minutes late, should do well to remember what advantages we enjoy 
over our respected predecessors. 


Thursday. — We finished it last night after our 
return from drinking tea at the Great House. 
The last chapter does not please us quite so well ; we 
do not thoroughly like the play, perhaps from having 
had too much of plays in that way lately (vide 
' Mansfield Park '), and we think you had better not 
leave England. Let the Portmans go to Ireland ; 
but as you know nothing of the manners there, 
you had better not go with them. You will be 
in danger of giving false representations. Stick 
to Bath and the Foresters. There you will be 
quite at home. 

Your Aunt C. does not like desultory novels, 
and is rather afraid yours will be too much so, 
that there will be too frequently a change from 
one set of people to another, and that circum- 
stances will be introduced of apparent consequence 
which will lead to nothing. It will not be so great 
an objection to me if it does. I allow much more 
latitude than she does, and think nature and spirit 
cover many sins of a wandering story, and people 
in general do not care so much about it for your 

I should like to have had more of Devereux. 
I do not feel enough acquainted with liim. You 


were afraid of meddling witli him I dare say. I 
like your sketch of Lord Claiimurray, and your 
picture of the two young girls' enjoyment is very 
good. I have not noticed St. Julian's serious con- 
versation with Cecilia, but I like it exceedingly. 
What he says about the madness of otherwise 
sensible women on the subject of their daughters 
coming out is worth its weight in gold. 

I do not perceive that the language sinks. 

Pray go on. 


Chawton : (Sept. 9). 

We have been very much amused by your 
three books, but I have a good many criticisms 
to make, more than you will Hke. We are not 
satisfied with Mrs. Forester settling herself as 
tenant and near neighbour to such a man as Sir 
Thomas, without having some other inducement to 
go there. She ought to have some friend living 
thereabouts to tempt her. A woman going with 
two girls just growing up into a neighbourhood 
where she knows nobody but one man of not 
very good character, is an awkwardness wdiich so 
prudent a Avoman as Mrs. F. would not be likely 
to fall into. Eemember she is very prudent. You 


must not let her act inconsistently. Give her a 
friend, and let that friend be invited by Sir 
Thomas H. to meet her, and we shall have no 
objection to her dining at the Priory as she does ; 
but otherwise a woman in her situation would 
hardly go there before she had been visited by 
other families. I hke the scene itself, the Miss 
Leslie, Lady Anne, and the music very much. 
Leslie is a noble name. Sir Thomas H. you always 
do very well. 1 have only taken the hberty of 
expunging one phrase of his which would not be 
allowable — ' Bless my heart ! ' It is too famihar 
and inelegant. Your grandmother is more dis- 
turbed at Mrs. Forester's not returnino- the Eg;er- 
tons' visit sooner than by anything else. They 
ought to have called at the Parsonage before 
Sunday. You describe a sweet place, but your 
descriptions are often more minute than will be 
liked. You give too many particulars of right 
hand and left. Mrs. Forester is not careful enough 
of Susan's liealth. Susan ought not to be walkint? 
out SO soon after heavy rains, taking long walks in 
the dirt. An anxious mother would not suffer it. 
I like your Susan very much, she is a sweet crea- 
ture, her playfulness of fancy is very delightful. 


I like her as slie is now exceedingly, but I am 
not quite so Avell satisfied with her behaviour to 
George E. At first she seems all over attachment 
and feeling, and afterwards to have none at all ; 
she is so extremely confused at the ball and so 
well satisfied apparently with Mr. Morgan. She 
seems to have changed her character. 

You are now collecting your people delight- 
fully, getting them exactly into such a spot as is 
the delight of my life. Three or four families in a 
country village is the very thing to work on, and 
I hope you will do a great deal more, and make 
full use of them while they are so very favourably 

You are but now coming to the heart and 
beauty of your story. Until the heroine grows 
up the fun must be imperfect, but I expect a great 
deal of entertainment from the next tliree or four 
books, and I hope you will not resent these re- 
marks by sending me no more. We Hke the 
Egertons very well. We see no blue pantaloons 
or cocks or hens. There is nothing to enchant 
one certainly in Mr. L. L., but we make no objec- 
tion to him, and his inclination to like Susan is 
pleasing. The sister is a good contrast, but the name 


of Eacliel is as much I can bear. They are not so 
much hke the Papillons as I expected. Your last 
chapter is very entertaining, the conversation on 
genius, &c. ; Mr. St. Juhan and Susan both talk in 
character, and very well. In some former parts 
CeciHa is perhaps a little too solemn and good, but 
upon the whole her disposition is very well opposed 
to Susan's, her want of imagination is very natural. 
I wish you could make Mrs. Forester talk more ; 
but she must be difficult to manage and make en- 
tertaining, because there is so much good sense 
and propriety about her that nothing can be made 
very broad. Her economy and her ambition must 
not be staring. The papers left by Mrs. Fisher 
are very good. Of course one guesses something. 
I hope when you have written a great deal more, 
you will be equal to scratching out some of the 
past. The scene with Mrs. MelHsh I should con- 
demn ; it is prosy and nothing to the purpose ; and 
indeed the more you can find in your heart to 
curtail between DaAvlish and Newton Priors, the 
better I think it will be — one does not care for 
girls until they are grown up. Your Aunt C. 
quite understands the exquisiteness of that name — 
Newton Priors is really a nonpareil. Milton would 


have given his eyes to have thought of it. Is not 
the cottage taken from Tollard Eoyal ? ' [Thus far 
the letter was written on the ninth, but before it 
was finished news arrived at Chawton of the death 
of Mrs. Charles Austen. She died in her confine- 
ment and the baby died also. She left three little 
girls — Cassie, Harriet, and Fanny. It was not until 
the 18th that Jane resumed her letter as follows :] 

Sunday. — I am very glad, dear Anna, that I 
wrote as I did before this sad event occurred. I 
have only to add that your Grandmama does not 
seem the worse now for the shock. 

I shall be very happy to receive more of your 
work if more is ready ; and you write so fast that 
I have great hopes Mr. Digweed will come back 
freighted with such a cargo as not all his hops 
or his sheep could equal the value of. 

Your grandmama desires me to say that she 
will have finislied 3^our shoes to-morrow, and 
thinks they will look very well. And tliat she 
depends upon seeing you as you promise before 
you quit the country, and liopes you will give her 
more than a day. 

Yours aflectionately, J. Austen. 

Jane was quite right in her expectation of 


more. A considerable packet was transmitted by 

the next opportunity. In these days, a bride 

expectant has all the time she can spare from her 

lover occupied by Avriting innumerable notes of 

thanks for innumerable presents and good wishes, 

to say nothing of those concerning the expensive 

and enormous trousseau now thought necessary. 

Of such business Miss Anna Austen had very 

little, and therefore she had ample leisure for her 



Chawton: Wednesday (Sept. 28). 

My dear Anna, 

I hope you do not depend on having your book 
again immediately. I kept it that your grand- 
mama may hear it, for it has not been possible yet 
to have any public reading. I have read it to 
your Aunt Cassandra, however, in our own room 
at niglit, while we undressed, and with a great 
deal of pleasure. We like the first chapter ex- 
tremely, with only a little doubt whether Lady 
Helena is not almost too foohsh. The matri- 
monial dialogue is very good certainly. I like 
Susan as well as ever, and begin now not to care 
at all about Cecilia ; she may stay at Easton Court 
as long as she likes. Henry Mellish will be, I am 


afraid, too miicli in the common novel style — a 
handsome, amiable, unexceptionable young man 
(such as do not much abound in real life), desper- 
ately in love and all in vain. But I have no busi- 
ness to judge him so early. Jane Egerton is a 
very natural comprehensible girl, and the whole 
of her acquaintance with Susan and Susan's letter 
to Ceciha are very pleasing and quite in character. 
But Miss Egerton does not entirely satisfy us. She 
is too formal and solemn, we think, in her advice 
to her brother not to fall in love ; and it is hardly 
like a sensible woman — it is putting it into his 
head. We should hke a few hints from her better. 
We feel really obliged to you for introducing a 
Lady Kenrick ; it will remove the greatest fault in 
the work, and I give you credit for considerable 
forbearance as an author in adopting so much 
of our opinion. I expect high fun about Mrs. 
Fisher and Sir Thomas. You have been perfectly 
right in telling Ben. Lefroy of your w^ork, and I 
am very glad to hear how much he likes it. His 
encouragement and approbation must be ' quite 
beyond everything.' ^ I do not at all wonder at 

^ A phrase always in the mouth of one of the Chawton neigh- 
bours, Mrs. II. Diirweed. 


his not expecting to like anybody so well as 
Cecilia at first, but I shall be surprised if he does 
not become a Susanite in time. Devereux For- 
ester's being ruined by his vanity is extremely 
good, but I wish you would not let him plunge 
into a ' vortex of dissipation.' I do not object to 
the thing, but I cannot bear the expression ; it 
is such thorough novel slang, and so old that I 
daresay Adam met with it in the first novel he 
opened. Indeed, I did very much like to know 
Ben's opinion. I hope he will continue to be 
pleased with it, and I think he must, but I cannot 
flatter him with there being much incident. We 
have no great right to wonder at his not valueing 
the name of Progillian. That is a source of delight 
which even he can hardly be quite competent to. 

Walter Scott has no business to write novels, 
especially good ones. It is not fair. He has fame 
and profit enough as a poet, and should not be 
takino; the bread out of the mouths of other 

I do not like him, and do not mean to like 
' Waverley ' if I can help it, but fear I must. 

I am quite determined, however, not to be 
pleased with Mrs. West's ' Alicia De Lacy,' should 


I ever meet Avitli it, which I hope I sliall not. I 
think I can be stout against anything written by 
Mrs. West. I liave made up my mind to hke no 
novels really but Miss Edgeworth's, yours, and my 

What can you do with Egerton to increase 
tlie interest for him? I wish you could contrive 
something, some family occurrence to bring out 
his good qualities more. Some distress among 
brothers and sisters to relieve by the sale of his 
curacy ! Something to carry him mysteriously 
away, and then be heard of at York or Edinburgh 
in an old great coat. I would not seriously re- 
commend anything improbable, but if you could 
invent something spirited for him it would have 
a good effect. He might lend all his money to 
Captain Morris, but then he would be a great fool 
if he did. Cannot the Morrises quarrel and he 
reconcile them ? Excuse the liberty I take in these 

Your Aunt Frank's nursemaid has just given 
her warning, but whether she is worth your 
having, or would take your place, I know not. 
Slie was Mrs. Webb's maid before she went to the 
Great House. Slie leaves your aunt because slie 


cannot agree with the other servants. She is in 
love witli the man and her head seems rather 
tnrned. He returns her affection, but she fancies 
every one else is wanting him and envying her. 
Her previous service must have fitted her for such 
a place as yours, and she is very active and 
cleanly. The Webbs are really gone ! When I 
saw the wagons at the door, and thought of all 
the trouble they must have in moving, I began to 
reproach myself for not having liked them better, 
but since the wagons have disappeared my con- 
science has been closed again, and I am excessively 
glad they are gone. 

I am very fond of Sherlock's sermons and pre- 
fer them to almost any. 

Your affectionate Aunt, J. Austex. 

If you wish me to speak to the maid let me 

In October Jane's correspondent paid her last 
visit to Chawton as Anna Austen. Very soon 
after her return she wrote to tell them her wed- 
ding day was fixed. On November 8 she was 
married in the parish church of Steventon. Mr. 
B. Lefroy did not take holy orders until about 


tliree years after the marriage, and tlie first home 
of the young couple was at Henclon, to which place 
the following letter was addressed : 


Chawton : (Nov. 21, 1814). 

My deae Anna, 

I met Harriet Benn yesterday. She gave me 
her congratulations and desired they might be for- 
warded to you, and there they are. The chief 
news from this country is the death of old Mrs. 
Dormer. Mrs. Clement walks about in a new 
black velvet pelisse lined with yellow, and a white 
bobbin net veil, and looks remarkably well in 

I tliink I understand the country about Hendon 
from your description. It must be very pretty in 
summer. Sliould you know from the atmosphere 
that you were within a dozen miles of London ? 
Make everybody at Hendon admire ' Mansfield 
Park.' Your affectionate Aunt, J. A. 

The next letter is written from Hans Place, 
where Jane was staying with her brother Henry, 
and from which they had recently driven down 
to see tlie newly-married couple at Hendon. 



Hans Place (Xov. 28, 1814). 

I assure you we all came away very much 
pleased with our visit. We talked of you for 
about a mile aud a half with great satisfaction ; 
and I have been just sending a very good report 
of you to Miss Benn, with a full account of your 
dress for Susan and Maria. 

We were all at the play last night to see ^iiss 
O'Neil in ' Isabella.' I do not think she was quite 
equal to my expectations. I fancy I want some- 
thing more than can be. I took two pocket-hand- 
kerchiefs, but had very little occasion for either. 
She is an elegant creature, however, and hugs Mr. 
Young delightfully. I am going this morning to 
see the little girls in Keppel Street. Cassy was 
excessively interested about your marriage when 
she heard of it, which w^as not until she was to 
drink your health on the wedding day. 

She asked a thousand questions in her usual 
manner, what he said to you and what you said to 
him. If your uncle were at home he w^ould send his 
best love, but I will not impose any base fictitious 
remembrances on you, mine I can honestly give, and 
remain Your affectionate Aunt, J. Austex. 

A^OL. II. Y 



Marriage did not immediately stop Mrs. Lefroy'i=f 
story-writiDg, and early in December she sent her 
annt another packet, which elicited the following^ 

letter :— 


Hans Place ( Wednesday). 

My deak Axna, 

I have been very far from finding yonr book 
an evil, I assnre yon. I read it immediately, and 
with great pleasnre. I think yon are going on 
very well. The description of Dr. Griffin and 
Lady Helena's imhappiness is very good, and jnst 
what was hkely to be. I am cnrions to know 
what the end of them will be. The name of 
Newton Priors is really invalnable ; I never met 
mth anything snperior to it. It is delightfnl, and 
one conld live on the name of Newton Priors for 
a twelvemonth. Indeed, I think yon get on very 
fast. I only wish other people of my acqnaint- 
ance conld compose as rapidl}-. I am pleased 
with the dog scene and with the whole of George 
and Snsan's love, but am more particnlarly strnck 
with yonr serions conversations. They are very 
good thronghout. St. Jnlian's history was qnite a 
snrprise to me. Yon had not very long known it 
yourself I suspect ; but I have no objection to 


make to the circumstance, and it is very well told. 
His liaviiia" been in love with the aunt oives 
Cecilia an additional interest with him. I like the 
idea — a very proper compliment to an aunt ! I 
rather imagine indeed that nieces are seldom 
chosen but out of comphment to some aunt or 
another. I daresay Ben was in love with me once,, 
and would never have thought of you if he had 
not supposed me dead of scarlet fever. Yes, I was 
in a mistake as to the number of books. I thought 
I had read three before the three at Chawton, but 
fewer than six will not do. I want to see dear 
Bell Griffin again ; and had you not better give 
some hint of St. Julian's early history in the begin- 
ning of the story ? 

We sliall see nothing of Streatham while we 
are in town, as Mrs. Hill is to lye in of a daughter. 
Mrs. Blackstone is to be with her. Mrs. Heath- 
cote and Miss Bigg ^ are just leaving. The latter 
writes me w^ord that Miss Blackford is married, 
but I have never seen it in the papers, and one 
may as well be single if the wedding is not to be 
in print. 

Your affectionate Aunt, J. A. 

' Sisters to Mrs. Hall. 

Y 2 


In August 1815 Mr. and Mrs. B. Lefroy moved 

from Hendon, and took a small house called 

Wyards, near Alton and within a walk of Chawton. 

Wyards is more than once mentioned in our letters. 

In the autumn of 1815, Jane went up to Hans 

Place (as has been already stated) to visit her 

brother Henry, and to superintend the publishing 

of ' Emma,' and at that time the following letter 

was written : — 


Chawton : Friday (Sept. 29). 

My dear Anna, 

^We told Mr. B. Lefroy that if the weather did 
not prevent us we should certainly come and see 
you to-morrow and bring Cassy, trusting to your 
beins^ good enouo'h to ^ive her a dinner about one 
o'clock, that we might be able to be with joii the 
earlier and stay the longer. But on giving Cassy 
her choice between tlie Fair at Alton or Wyards, 
it must be confessed tliat she has preferred the 
former, which we trust will not greatly affront you ; 
if it does, you may liope that some little Anne 
hereafter may revenge the insult by a similar pre- 
ference of an Alton Fair to lier Cousin Cassy. In 
the meanwhile we have determined to put off our 
visit to you until Monday, which we hope will be 

1815 LETTERS OF J.1]N'E AUSTEN, 325 

not less convenient. I wish the weather may not 
resolve on another put off. I must come to you 
before Wednesday if it be possible, for on that day 
I am o'oinc^ to London for a week or two with your 
Uncle Henry, who is expected here on Sunday. If 
Monday should appear too dirty for walking, and 
Mr. Lefroy would be so kind as to come and fetch 
me, I should be much obliged to him. Cassy 
might be of the party, and your Aunt Cassandra 
will take another opportunity. 

Yours very affectionately, my dear Anna, 

J. Austen. 

But before the week or two to which she had 
limited her visit in Hans Place was at an end, her 
biiother fell ill, and on October 22 he was in such 
danger that she wrote to Steventon to summon 
her father to town. The letter was two days on 
the road, and reached him on Sunday the 24th. 
Even then he did not start immediately. In the 
evening he and his wife rode to Chawton, and it 
was not until the next day that he and Cassandra 
arrived in Hans Place. The malady from which 
Henry Austen was suffering was low fever, and 
he was for some days at death's door ; but lie 
ralhed soon after his brother and sisters arrived, 


and recovered so quickly that the former was able 
to leave him at the end of the week. Tlie great 
anxiety and fatigue which Jane underwent at this 
time Avas supposed by some of her family to have 
broken down her health. She was in a very feeble 
and exhausted condition when the bank in which 
her brother Henry was a partner broke, and he not 
only lost all that he possessed, but most of his 
relations suffered severely also. Jane was well 
•enough to pay several visits with her sister in the 
summer of 1816, including one to Steventon — the 
last- she ever paid to that home of her childhood. 
The last note which Mrs. Lefroy had preserved is 
dated : — 


June 23, 181G, 

My dear Axxa, 

Cassy desires her best thanks for the book. She 
was quite delighted to see it. I do not know when 
I have seen her so much struck by anj^body's kind- 
ness as on this occasion. Her sensibility seems to 
be opening to tlie perception of great actions. 
These gloves liaving appeared on tlie pianoforte 
ever since you were here on Friday, we imagine 
they must l3e yours. Mrs. Digweed returned 
yesterday through all tlie afternoon's rain, and 


^vas of course wet through, but iu speaking of it 
she never once said ' it was beyond everything/ 
Avliich I am sure it must have been. Your Mama 
means to ride to Speen Hill to-morrow^ to see the 
Mrs. Hulberts, who are both very indifferent. By 
^11 accounts they really are breaking now — not so 
stout as the old jackass. 

Yours affectionately, J. A. 

Cliawtou : Sunday, June 23. 

Uncle Charles's birthday. 

I insert here a letter of Jane Austen's written 
backwards^ addressed to her niece ' Cassy,' daughter 
of Captain Charles Austen (afterwards Admiral) 
Avhen a Httle girl. 


I hsiw uoy a yppah wen rdej. Euoy xis 
snisuoc emac ereli yadretsey, dna dah hcae a eceip 
fo ekac. Siht si elttil Yssac's yadhtrib, dna ehs si 
€erht sraey dlo. Knarf sah nugeb gninrael Xital 
•ew deef eht Xibor yreve gninrom. Yllas netfo 
seriuqne retfa uoy. Yllas Mahneb sah tog a Aven 
neerg nwog. Teirrah Thgink semoc yreve yad ot 
ilaer ot Tnua Ardnassac. Doog eyb ym raed Yssac. 


Tnua Ardnassac sdnes reli tseb evol, dna os ew 
od 11a. 

Eiioy etanoitceffa Tnua, Exaj Netsua. 

Notwahc: Xaj. 8. 

In January 1817 she wrote of herself as better 
and able to walk into Alton, and hoped in the 
summer she should be able to walk back. In 
April her father in a note to Mrs. Lefroy says, ' I 
was happy to have a good account of herself 
written by her own hand, in a letter from your 
Aunt Jane ; but all who love, and tliat is all who 
know her, must be anxious on her account.' We 
all know how well grounded that anxiety was, and 
how soon her relations had to lament over the loss 
of the dearest and brightest member of their family. 

And now I come to the saddest letters of all, 
those which tell us of the end of that bright life, 
cut short just at the time when the world might 
have hoped that unabated intellectual vigour, sup- 
plemented by the experience brought by maturer 
years, would have produced works if possible even 
more fascinating than those with which slie had 
already embellished the literature of her country. 
But it was not to be. The fiat had o-one forth — 


the ties which bound that sweet spirit to eartli 
were to be severed, and a blank left, never to be 
filled, in the family which her loved and loving 
presence had blessed, and wliere she had been so 
well and fondly appreciated. In the early spring 
of 1817 the unfavourable symptoms increased, and 
the failure of her health was too visible to be 
neglected. Still, no apprehensions of immediate 
danger were entertained, and it is probable that 
wlien she left Chawton for Winchester in ^lay, she 
did not recognize tlie fact that she was bidding 
a last farewell to ' Home.' Happy for her if it 
was so, for there are few things more melancholy 
than to look upon any beloved place or person 
with the knowledge that it is for ' tlie last time.' 
In all probabiUty this grief was spared to Jane, 
for even after her arrival at Winchester she spoke 
and wrote as if recovery was hopeful ; and I fancy 
that her relations were by no means aware that 
the end was so near. 

I find from my mother's pocket-books that she 
received at least four letters from ' Aunt Jane ' in 
1817, the date of the last being March 26, but 
of these I have found none. She wrote to her 
Aunt several times in June (as Cassandra's letters 


imply), and as late as July 9, 10, and 15, the 
last letter of which must either be the one specially 
alluded to in Letter 95, or must have arrived after 
]ier death. The entries in my motlier's pocket- 
books at this time show how much her heart was 
with her relations at Winchester. 

June 14. — ' A sad account of my poor dear 
Aunt Jane.' 

June 18. — 'Another hopeless account from 

June 29. — ' Much the same account of dear 
Aunt Jane.' 

Then comes (July 20) ' A letter from Papa 
announcing my poor dear Aunt Jane Austen's 
death at four on Friday morn,' and further on are 
allusions to the letters which follow. 

Jidy 22. — ' A long letter from dear Aunt 
Cass., with many affecting particulars.' ' Wrote 
great part of a letter to Aunt Cass, and was miser- 
able.' My mother always summarized the ' prin- 
cipal events of the year ' at the end of each 
pocket-book, and at the head of her summary of 
those in 1817 comes : 'I had the misery of losing 
my dear Aunt Jane after a lingering illness.' So 
terminated the friendship of two natures, which in 


many respects singularly liarmonized, and each 
of which, whilst on earth, contributed in a remark- 
able degree to the happiness of those among whom 
its lot was cast. 

Cassandra's letters tell the tale of the event in 
words that require no addition from me. They are 
simple and affecting — the words of one who had 
been stricken by a great grief, but whose religion 
stood her in good stead, and enabled her to bear 
it with fortitude. The firm and loving bond of 
union Avliich had ever united tlie Austen family, 
naturally intensified their sorrow at the loss of one 
of their number, and that the one of whom they 
had been so proud as well as so fond. They laid 
her within the walls of the old cathedral which 
she had loved so much, and went sorrowfully back 
to their homes, with the feeling that nothing could 
replace to them the treasure they had lost. And 
most heavily of all must the blow have fallen 
upon the only sister, the correspondent, the com- 
panion, the other self of Jane, who had to return 
alone to the desolate home, and to the mother to 
Avhose comforts the two had liitherto ministered 
together, but who would lienceforward have her 
alone on whom to rely. The return must have 


been sad indeed ; every moment the surrounding 
associations must have awakened old memories 
and kept alive her heart-grief, and nothing could 
have rendered tlie misery endurable save that hope 
so earnestly expressed in her letters, that she and 
her sister would be re-united hereafter. They are 
indeed sad letters, but they form the proper con- 
clusion to the series which I give to the world. 
The lock of Jane's hair, mentioned at the end of 
the last letter, was set in an oval brooch, bearing 
simply the inscription of her name and the date of 
her death. I have it now in my possession. 


Letters from Miss Cassandra Austen to her niece Miss 
Knight, after the death of her sister Jane, July is, 


VVincliester : Sunday. 

My deaeest Faxxy, 

Doubly dear to me now for her dear sake wliom 
we liave lost. She did love you most sincerely, 
and never shall I forget the proofs of love you 
gave her during her illness in writing those kind, 
amusing letters at a time when I know your 
feelings would have dictated so different a style. 
Take the only reward I can give you in the 
assurance that your benevolent purpose icas 
answered ; you did contribute to her enjoj^ment. 

Even your last letter afforded pleasure. I 
merely cut the seal and gave it to her ; she opened 
it and read it herself, afterwards she gave it me to 
read, and then talked to me a little and not un- 
cheerfully of its contents, but there was then a 
languor about her which prevented her taking the 
same interest in anything she had been used to do. 

Since Tuesda)^ evening, when her complaint 
returned, there was a visible change, she slept 
more and much more comfortably ; indeed, durino- 
the last eight-and-forty hours she was more asleeo 


tlian awake. Her looks altered and she fell away, 
but I perceived no material diminution of strength, 
and, though I was then hopeless of a recovery, I 
had no suspicion how rapidly my loss was ap- 

I have lost a treasure, such a sister, such a 
friend as never can have been surpassed. She was 
the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, 
the soother of every sorrow ; I had not a thought 
concealed from her, and it is as if I had lost a 
part of myself. I loved her only too well — not 
better than she deserved, but I am conscious that 
my affection for her made me sometimes unjust to 
and negligent of others ; and I can acknowledge, 
more than as a general principle, the justice of the 
Hand which has struck this blow. 

You know me too well to be at all afraid tliat 
I should suffer materially from my feelings ; I am 
perfectly conscious of the extent of my irreparable 
loss, but I am not at all overpowered and very 
little indisposed, nothing but wliat a short time, 
with rest and change of air, will remove. I thank 
God that I was enabled to attend lier to the last, 
and amongst my many causes of self-reproach I 
have not to add any Avilful neglect of her comfort. 

She felt herself to be dying about half-an-liour 


before she became tranquil and apparently uncon- 
scious. During that half-hour was her struo-gle, 
poor soul ! She said she could not tell us what 
she suffered, though she complained of little fixed 
pain. When I asked her if there was anything 
she wanted, her ansAver was she wanted nothing 
but death, and some of her words were : ' God 
grant me patience, pray for me, oh, pray for me ! ' 
Her voice was affected, but as long as she spoke 
she was intelligible. 

I hope I do not break your heart, my dearest 
Fanny, by these particulars ; I mean to afford you 
gratification wdiilst I am relieving my own feelings. 
I could not write so to an3'body else ; indeed 
you are the only person I have written to at all, 
excepting your grandmamma — it was to her, not 
your Uncle Charles, I wrote on Friday. 

Immediately after dinner on Thursday I went 
into the town to do an errand which your dear 
aunt was anxious about. I returned about a 
quarter before six and found her recovering from 
faintness and oppression ; she got so well as to 
be able to give me a minute account of her 
seizure, and when the clock struck six she was 
talking quietly to me. 

I cannot say how soon afterwards she was 


seized again with the same faintiiess, which was 
followed by tlie sufferings she could not describe ; 
but Mr. Lyford had been sent for, had apphed 
something to give her ease, and slie was in a 
state of quiet insensibility by seven o'clock at the 
latest. From that time till half-past four, wdien 
she ceased to breathe, she scarcely moved a limb, 
so that we have every reason to think, with 
gratitude to tlie Almighty, that her sufferings were 
over. A slight motion of the liead with every 
breath remained till almost the last. I sat close 
to her with a pillow in my lap to assist in sup- 
porting her head, which was almost off" the bed, 
for six hours ; fatigue made me tlien resign my 
place to Mrs. J. A. for two hours and a-half, when 
I took it again, and in about an hour more she 
breathed her last. 

I was able to close her eyes myself, and it was 
a great gratification to me to render her those last 
services. There was nothing convulsed which gave 
the idea of pain in her look ; on tlie contrary, but 
for tlie continual motion of the head she gave one 
the idea of a beautiful statue, and even now, in 
her coffin, there is such a sweet, serene air over liei* 
countenance as is quite pleasant to contemplate. 

This day, my dearest Fanny, you have had the 


melanclioly intelligence, and I know you suffer 
severely, but I likewise know that you will apply 
to tlie fountain-head for consolation, and that our 
merciful God is never deaf to such prayers as you 
will offer. 

The last sad ceremony is to take place on 
Thursday morning ; her dear remains are to be 
deposited in the cathedral. It is a satisfaction to 
me to think that they are to lie in a building she 
admired so much ; her precious soul, I presume 
to hope, reposes in a far superior mansion. May 
mine one day be re- united to it ! 

Your dear papa, your Uncle Henry, and Frank 
and Edwd. Austen, instead of his father, "will 
attend. I hope they will none of them suffer 
lastingly from their pious exertions. Tlie ceremony 
must be over before ten o'clock, as the cathedral 
service begins at that hour, so that we shall be at 
home early in the day, for there will be nothing to 
keep us here afterwards. 

Your Uncle James came to us yesterday, and is 
gone home to-day. Uncle H. goes to Chawton to- 
morrow morning ; he has given every necessary 
direction here, and I think his company there will 
do good. He returns to us again on Tuesday 



I did not think to have written a long letter 
when I began, but I have found the employment 
draw me on, and I hope I shall have been giving 
you more pleasure tlian pain. Eemember me 
"kindly to Mrs. J. Bridges (I am so glad she is with 
you now), and give my best love to Lizzie and all 
the others. 

I am, my dearest Fanny, 

Most affectionately yours, 

Cass. Eliz. Austex. 

I have said nothing about those at Chawton, 
because I am sure you hear from your papa. 


Chawton: Tuesday (July 29, 1817). 

My dearest Faxxy, 

I have just read your letter for tlie third time, 
and thank you most sincerely for every kind 
expression to myself, and still more warmly for 
your praises of her who I believe was better known 
to you than to any human being besides myself. 
Nothing of the sort could have been more gratify- 
ino' to me tlian the manner in wliich you write of 
lier, and if tlie dear angel is conscious of what passes 
liere, and is not above all earthly feelings, she 
may perhaps receive pleasure in being so mourned. 


Had she been the survivor I can fancy her speakmg 
of you in ahnost the same terms. There are 
certainly many points of >trong resemblance in 
your characters ; in 3'our intimate acquaintance 
with each other, and your mutual strong affection, 
you were counterparts. 

Thursday was not so dreadful a day to me as 
you imagined. There was so much necessary to 
be done that tliere was no time for additional 
misery. Everything was conducted with the 
greatest tranquillity, and but that I was deter- 
mined I would see the last, and therefore was 
upon the listen, I should not have known when 
they left the house. I watched the httle mournful 
procession the lengtli of the street ; and when it 
turned from my sight, and I had lost her for ever, 
even then I was not overpowered, nor so much 
agitated as I am now in writing of it. Xever was 
human being more sincerely mourned by those 
who attended lier remains than was this dear 
creature. ^lay the sorrow with which she is 
parted with on earth be a prognostic of tJie joy 
with which slie is hailed in heaven ! 

I continue very tolerably well— much better 
than any one could have supposed possible, because 
I certainly have had considerable fatigue of body 


as well as anguish of mind for months back ; but 
I really am well, and I hope I am properly grate- 
ful to the Almighty for having been so supported. 
Your grandmamma, too, is much better than when 
I came home. 

I did not think your dear papa appeared un- 
well, and I understand that he seemed much more 
comfortable after his return from Winchester than 
he had done before. I need not tell you that he 
was a great comfort to me ; indeed, I can never 
say enough of the kindness I have received from 
him^ and from every other friend. 

I get out of doors a good deal and am able to 
employ myself. Of course those employments suit 
me best which leave me most at leisure to think of 
her I have lost, and I do think of her in every 
variety of circumstance. In our happy hours of 
confidential intercourse, in the cheerful family 
party which she so ornamented, in her sick room, 
on her death-bed, and as (I hope) an inhabitant of 
heaven. Oh, if I may one day be re-united to her 
there ! I know the time must come when my mind 
will be less engrossed by her idea, but I do not 
like to think of it. If I think of her less as on 
earth, God grant that I may never cease to reflect 
on her as inhabiting^ heaven, and never cease my 


liiimble endeavours (when it shall please God) to 
jom her there. 

In looking at a few of the precious papers 
which are now my property I have found some 
memorandums, amongst which she desires that one 
of her gold chains may be given to her god- 
daughter Louisa, and a lock of her hair be set 
for you. You can need no assurance, my dearest 
Eanny, that every request of your beloved aunt 
will be sacred with me. Be so good as to say 
whether you prefer a brooch or ring. God bless 
you, my dearest Fanny. 

Believe me, most affectionately yours, 

Cass. Elizth. Austen. 

31iss Knight, Godmersham Park, 

Enclosed in one of the Letters of i 807, 
Verses to rhyme luith ' Rose.'' 

1. Mrs. Austex. 

This morning I woke from a quiet repose, 
I first rubb'd my eyes, and I next blew my nose ; 
With my stockings and shoes I then covered my toes, 
And proceeded to put on the rest of my clothes. 
This was finished in less than an hour, I suppose. 
I employ'd myself next in repairing my hose. 


'Twas a work of necessity, not what I chose ; 

Of my sock I'd much rather have knit twenty rows. 

My work being done, I look'd through the windows, 

And with pleasure beheld all the bucks and the does, 

The cows and the bullocks, the wethers and ewes. 

To the library each morning the family goes. 

So I went with the rest, though I felt rather froze. 

My flesh is much warmer, my blood freer flows. 

When I work in the garden with rakes and with hoes. 

And now^ I believe I must come to a close, 

For I find I grow stupid e'en while I compose. 

If I write any longer my verse will be prose. 

2. Miss Austen (Cassaxdra). 

Love, they say, is like a rose ; 

I'm sure 'tis like the wind that blows. 

For not a human creature knows 

How it comes or where it goes. 

It is the cause of many woes : 

It swells the eyes and reds the nose. 

And very often changes those 

Who once were friends to bitter foes. 

But let us now the scene trans[)Ose 

And think no more of tears and throes. 

Why may we not as well suppose 

A smiling face the urchin shows ? 

And when with joy the bosom glows, 

And when the heart has full repose, 

'Tis mutual love the gift bestows. 


3. Miss Jaxe Austex. 

Happy the lab'rer in his Sunday clothes ! 

In Hght-drab coat, smart waistcoat, well-darn'd hose, 

And hat upon his head, to church he goes ; 

As oft, with conscious pride, he downward throws 

A glance upon the ample cabbage rose 

Which, stuck in button-hole, regales his nose. 

He envies not the gayest London beaux. 

In church he takes his seat among the rows, 

Pays to the place the reverence he owes. 

Likes best the prayers whose meaning least he knows, 

Lists to the sermon in a softening doze. 

And rouses joyous at the welcome close. 

4. Mrs. Elizabeth Austex. 

Xever before did I quarrel with a rose. 

Till now, that I am told some lines to compose. 

Of which I have little idea, God knows ; 

But since that the task is assigned me by those 

To whom love, affection, and gratitude owes 

A ready compliance, I feign would dispose 

And call to befriend me the muse who bestows 

The gift of poetry both on friends and foes. 

My warmest acknowledgments are due to those 

Who watched near my bed and soothed me to repose, 

Who pitied my sufferings and shared in my woes, 

And, by their sympathy, relieved my sorroivs. 

May I as long as the blood in my veins flows 

Feel the warmth of love which now in my breast glows. 

And may I sink into a refreshing doze 

When I lie my head on my welcome pillows. 


In Jane Austen^s handwriting^ enclosed in the same 

Letter of i807. 

On Sir Home Popham's Sentence, April 1807. 

Of a ]Ministry pitiful, angry, mean, 

A gallant commander the victim is seen. 

For promptitude, vigour, success, does he stand 

Condemn'd to receive a severe reprimand ! 

To his foes I could wish a resemblance in fate : 

That they, too, may suffer themselves, soon or late. 

The injustice they warrant. But vain is my spite. 

They cannot so suffer who never do right. 

To Miss Bigg, previous to her Marriage, with some 


Cambrick ! With grateful blessings would I pay 
The pleasure given me in sweet employ. 
Long may'st thou serve my friend without decay, 
And have no tears to wipe but tears of joy. 

On THE SAME Occasion, but not sent. 

Cambrick ! thou'st been to me a good. 
And I would bless thee if I could. 
Go, serve thy mistress with delight, 
Be small in compass, soft and white ; 
Enjoy thy fortune, honour'd much 
To bear her name and feel her touch ; 
And that thy worth may last for years, 
Slight be her colds, and few her tears. 


The notice taken by the Prince Eegent of Jane xlusten's 
novels cannot be better described than in the words of 
Mr. Austen Leigh in the following passage, which I 
venture to transcribe from his book : — 

' It was not till towards the close of her life, when the 
last of the works that she saw published was in the press, 
that she received the only mark of distinction ever 
bestowed upon her ; and that was remarkable for the high 
quarter whence it emanated rather than for any actual 
increase of fame that it conferred. It happened thus. 
In the autumn of 1815 she nursed her brother Henry 
through a dangerous fever and slow convalescence at his 
house in Hans Place. He was attended by one of the 
Prince Regent's physicians. All attempts to keep her 
name secret had at this time ceased, and though it had 
never appeared on a title-page, all who cared to know 
might easily leai'n it : and the friendly .physician was 
aware that his patient's nurse was the author of " Pride 
and Prejudice." Accordingly he informed her one day 
that the Prince was a great admirer of her novels ; that 
he read them often, and kept a set in every one of his 
residences ; that he himself therefore had thought it right 


to inform his Koyal Highness that ]Miss Austen was stay- 
ing in London, and that the Prince had desired Mr. 
Clarke, the Hbrarian of Carlton House, to wait upon her. 
The next day Mr. Clarke made his appearance, and invited 
her to Carlton House, saying that he had the Prince's 
instructions to show her the library and other apartments, 
and to pay her every possible attention. The invitation 
was of course accepted, and during the visit to Carlton 
House Mr. Clarke declared himself commissioned to say 
that if Miss Austen had any other novel forthcoming she 
was at liberty to dedicate it to the Prince. Accordingly 
such a dedication was immediately prefixed to " Emma,'' 
which was at that time in the press. 

' Mr. Clarke was the brother of Dr. Clarke, the traveller 
and mineralogist, whose life has been written by Bishop 
Otter; Jane found in him not only a very courteous 
gentleman, but also a warm admirer of her talents ; 
though it will be seen by his letters that he did not 
clearly apprehend the limits of her powers, or the proper 
field for their exercise. The following correspondence 
took place between them. 

' Feeling some apprehension lest she should make a 
mistake in acting on the verbal permission which she had 
received from the Prince, Jane addressed the following 
letter to Mr. Clarke :— 

*'Nov. 15, 1815. 

" Sir, — I must take the liberty of asking you a ques- 
tion. Among .the many flattering attentions which I re- 
ceived from you at Carlton House on ^londay last was the 
information of my being at liberty to dedicate any future 
work to His Royal Highness the Prince Kegent, without 
the necessity of any solicitation on my part. Such, at 
least, I believed to be your words ; but as I am very 


anxious to be quite certain of what was intended, I 
entreat you to have the goodness to inform me how such 
a permission is to be understood, and whether it is 
incumbent on me to show my sense of the honour by 
inscribing the work now in the press to His Eoyal High- 
ness ; I should be equally concerned to appear either pre- 
sumptuous or ungrateful.'' 

* The following gracious answer was returned by Mr. 
Clarke, together with a suggestion which must have been 
received with some sm*prise : — 

" Carlton House : (Nov. 16, 1815). 

" Dear Madam, — It is certainly not incurahent on 
you to dedicate your work now in the press to His Royal 
Highness ; but if you wish to do the Regent that honour 
either now or at any future period I am happy to send 
you that permission, which need not require any more 
trouble or solicitation on your part. 

" Your late works. Madam, and in particular ' Mans- 
field Park,' reflect the highest honour on yom* genius and 
your principles. In every new work your mind seems to 
increase its energy and power of discrimination. The 
Regent has read and admired all your publications. 

" Accept my best thanks for the pleasure your volumes 
have given me. In the perusal of them I felt a great 
inclination to write and say so. And I also, dear Madam, 
wished to be allowed to ask you to delineate in some 
future work the habits of life, and character, and enthu- 
siasm of a clergyman, who should pass his time between 
the metropolis and the country, who should be something 
like Beattie's Minstrel — 

Silent when glad, aftectionate the' shy, 

And in his looks Avas most demurely sad ; 
And now he laughed aloud, yet none knew why. 


Neither G-oldsmith, nor La Fontaine in his ' Tableau de 
Famille,' have in my mind quite delineated an English 
clergyman, at least of the present day, fond of and entirely 
engaged in literature, no man's enemy but his own. Pray, 
dear Madam, think of these things. 

" Believe me at all times with sincerity and 
respect, your faithful and obliged servant, 
"J. S. Clarke, Librarian." 

' The following letter, written in reply, will show how 
unequal the author of " Pride and Prejudice " felt herself 
to delineating an enthusiastic clergyman of the present 
day, who should resemble Beattie's Minstrel: — 

''Dec. 11. 

" Dear Sir, — My ' Emma ' is now so near publication 
that I 'feel it right to assure you of my not having forgot- 
ten your kind recommendation of an early copy for Carlton 
House, and that I have Mr. Murray's promise of its being 
sent to His Eoyal Highness, under cover to you, three 
days previous to the work being really out. I must make 
use of this opportunity to thank you, dear Sii', for the 
very high praise you bestow on my other novels. I am too 
vain to wish to convince you that you have praised them 
beyond their merits. My greatest anxiety at present is 
that this fourth work should not disgrace what w^as good in 
the others. But on this point I will do myself the justice 
to declare that, whatever may be my wishes for its success, 
I am strongly haunted with the idea that to those readers 
w^ho have preferred ' Pride and Prej udice ' it will appear 
inferior in wit, and to those who have preferred ' ]\Lins- 
field Park ' inferior in good sense. Such as it is, however, 
I hope you will do me the favour of accepting a copy. 
Mr. Murray will have directions for sending one. I am 

App. I. APPENDICES. 349 

quite honoured by your thinking me capable of drawing 
such a clergyman as you gave the sketch of in your note 
of Nov. 16th. But I assure you I am not. The comic 
part of the character I might be equal to, but not the 
good, the enthusiastic, the literary. Such a man's con- 
versation must at times be on subjects of science and 
philosophy, of which I know nothing ; or at least be 
occasionally abundant in quotations and allusions which a 
woman who, like me, knows only her own mother-tongue, 
and has read little in that, would be totally without the 
power of giving. A classical education, or at any rate a 
very extensive acquaintance with English literature, 
ancient and modern, appears to me quite indispensable 
for the person who would do any justice to your clergy- 
man ; and I think I may boast myself to be, with all 
possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed 
female who ever dared to be an authoress. 
" Believe me, dear 8ir, 
" Your obliged and faithful hum^^ ser*. 
"Jane Austex."^ 

' ]Mr. Clarke, however, was not to be discouraged from 
proposing another subject. He had recently been appointed 
chaplain and private Enghsh secretary to Prince Leopold, 
who was then about to be united to the Princess Charlotte ; 
and when he again wrote to express the gracious thanks 
of the Prince Kegent for the copy of " Emma " which had 
been presented, he suggests that " an historical romance 
illustrative of the august House of Cobourg would just 
now be very interesting," and might very properly be 

^ It was her pleasure to boast of greater ignorance than she had 
any just claim to. She knew more than her mother-tongue, for she 
knew a good deal of French and a little of Italian. 


dedicated to Prince Leopold. This was much as if 8ir 
William Ross had been set to paint a great battle-piece ; 
and it is amusing to see with what grave civility she 
declined a proposal which must have struck her as ludicrous, 
in the following letter : — 

"My dear Sir, — I am honoured by the Prince's 
thanks and very much obliged to yourself for the kind 
manner in which you mention the work. I have also to 
acknowledge a former letter forwarded to me from Hans 
Place. I assure you I felt very grateful for the friendly 
tenor of it, and hope my silence will have been considered, 
as it was truly meant, to proceed only from an unwilling- 
ness to tax your time with idle thanks. Under every 
interesting circumstance which your own talents and 
literacy labours have placed you in, or the favour of the 
Regent bestowed, you have my best wishes. Your recent 
appointments I hope are a step to something still better. 
In my opinion, the service of a court can hardly be too-, 
well paid, for immense must be the sacrifice of time and 
feeling required by it. 

' You are very kind in your hints as to the sort of 
composition which might recommend me at present, and 
I am fully sensible that an historical romance, founded on 
the House of Saxe-Cobourg, might be much more to the 
purpose of profit or popularity than such pictures of 
domestic life in country villages as I deal in. But I 
could no more write a romance than an epic poem. I 
could not sit seriously down to write a serious romance 
under any other motive than to save my life ; and if it 
were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax 
into "laughing at myself or at other })eople, I am sure I 
sliould be hung before I had finished the first chapter. 
No, I must keep to my own style and go on in my own 


way ; and though I may never succeed again in that, I 
am convinced that I should totally fail in any other. 
" I remain, my dear Sir, 
" Your very much obliged, and sincere friend, 

"J. Austen." 

"Chawton, near Alton, April 1, 1816." 

' I append, also, Lady Morley's letter to which Jane 
refers in one of her own, and also her reply : — 

" Saltram : (December 27, 1815). 

" Madam, — I have been most anxiously waiting for an 
introduction to ' Emma,' and am infinitely obliged to you 
for your kind recollection of me, which will procure me 
the pleasure of her acquaintance some|days sooner than 
I should otherwise have had it. I am already become 
intimate with the Woodhouse family, and feel that they 
will not amuse and interest, me less than the Bennetts, 
Bertrams, Norrises, and all their admirable predecessors. 
I can give them no higher praise. 

" I am. Madam, your much obliged 

" F. MORLEY." 

3Iiss J, Austen to the Countess of Morley. 
" Madam, — Accept my thanks for the honour of your 
note, and for your kind disposition in favour of ' Emma.' 
In my present state of doubt as to her reception in the 
world, it is particularly gratifying to me to receive so 
early an assurance of your Ladyship's approbation. It 
encourages me to depend on the same share of general 
good opinion which ' Emma's ' predecessors have experi- 
enced, and to believe that I have not yet, as almost every 
writer of fancy does sooner or later, overwritten myself. 

"I am, ]Madam, 
" Your obliged and faithful serv*. 

" J. AUSTEX." 
"December 31, 1815." 



APr. II. 


Copied from an old Accouxt-Book in the Haxd- 

^ Tlie Account of the Kvj^ences for Cloaths, Linen, cbc. for ray 3 

Bed Linen given to Mrs. Cage and 

1791. £ s. d. 

July 27. Ee''' of Sir Brook for several Bills. . . . 29 13 6 
Dec. 2.5. Ke'^'^ of the Ex<" | interest on the Fortunes of 

Fannv, Sophia, and Elizabeth 52 10 

June 2. Pie<=^ of the Ex""^ for wedding cloaths and other 

expences 400 

June 19. Advanced by me on the above account by desire 

of Lady Waltham ^ . . 300 

Ee<='' of Mrs. Fielding at different times . . . . 36 
August 16. Advanced by me to make up deficiencies, and 

to clear the whole account 49 12 6 

£867 16 a 


£867 16 0- 

App. n. 


o r o 

WRITING OF Lady Bridges (Fanny Fowler). 

Dmighters Weddings in Deer 1791, and subsequent 
purcMsed foi' Mrs. Austen, 1792. 



July 16. 



25. do. 

27. do. 
Sept. 19. Pd. 

24. „ 
Oct. 31. 

Shaw, Linen Draper, Bath . 
Pd. Faulding, do. Coventry St. 
do. do. do. 
Cnmerford do. Bond St. 
"Winter for black Taffeta 
Percival for a black chintz 
Mrs. Lilly for plain work 
Mrs. Mercer do. 

Smallwood for threads, &c. 
Emery for Body Lining . 
Dec. 14 and 27. Presents to Jeffrey and the servants 

Gave to each of the dear girls for Pocket 
money £21 
April 24. Pd. Ratcliffe for plain work 
Briggs for Minionet 
Calloway's bill for ribbons 
April 30. Lilly for plain work 

„ Hookham for Bills, &c. . 

June 19. Pd. Warriner as per bill 
„ Jacquin do 
„ M. Lachrie do. 
„ Cooper do. 

„ Hatsell do. 

„ Fletcher do. 
„ Schneider do. 
20. „ Nours & Co. 
„ Falconer 
„ Webb 
„ Ludlam 
„ Cierlars & Co. 
„ Coup 
„ Toussaint 

„ Winter for edgings, &c. 
„ Weindley for fans . 
„ Seniors as per bill . 
„ Jones do, 

„ Collins do. 

Aug. 15. Pd. Percival & Condell 


it Acct of 



8. d. 



. - 3 

12 6 






11 6 




12 6 



8 6 


13 4 

. 19 



. 63 


2 11 




18 2 


13 6 


17 6 

. 199 

12 11 



. 15 


. 20 

16 6 

. 14 


. 16 


. 20 

14 6 



. 83 


. 14 


. 31 





3 4 








7 6 




3 6 




3 4 








Inventory of Linen and Clothes made up for Fanny, lohen she 
married and went to Combe, Dec. lAth, 1791. N.B. Sojyhia 
and EUzaheth had the same Dec. 27. 

24 Day shifts. 
14 night do. 
.36 Pocket Hfs. 
54 Napkins. 

3 Powdering Gowns. 
8 p"- of Pockets. 

12 p' of Drawers. 

4 Bedgowns. 
12 night caps. 
12 under caps. 

14 p' silk stockings. 
14 p'' cotton do. 
6 p"" gauze worsted. 

6 Flannel Petticoats. 
8 under Dimity do. 

4 Callico upper do. 

2 Corded Dimity do. 

2 India Dimity do. 

7 Muslin Petticoats. 

1 white Sattin do. 

3 Dimity Muslin Pierrots. 

2 Plain muslin do. 

3 Ptound gowns flounced. 
1 ditto scoUop'd. 

1 Black chintz night gown. 

1 Black silk ditto and petticoat. 

2 Color'd chintz gowns. 

5 muslin cloaks. 
1 Lawn do. 

1 Black silk do. 

1 White satin do. 
3 Habits. 

2 striped and 2 plain white 

15 pr of shoes. 

3 riding-Hats. 

2 Bonnets. 

3 caps. 

1 MuiF and Tippet, sable. 

2 great coats. 

4 dozen of gloves. 
2 pr of stays. 

Muslin, &c., &c. 

4 chemise Handkerchiefs. 

6 worked ditto 
24 striped Bordered do. 

6 plain muslin do. 
12 worked cravats. 

4 plain do. 
12 pr white laced ruffles. 

6 pr black ditto 

6 pr plain mushn do. 

8 plain Tuckers. 

4 worked do. 

1 worked Lavni Pierrot. 

1 Japan flowered Mus" do. 

1 fine worked Mus" do. 

Immediately after the preceding inventory there ap- 
pears in the same book three separate accounts, headed 
^Child-bed Linen given to Mrs. Cage, May 23, 1792,' 
* Child Bed Linen given by Mrs. Deedes to Sophia,' with 
sundry articles 'Bought in addition,' and ' Child -bed 



Linen Bought for Mrs. Austen, Sept. 14tli, 1792,' together 
with a separate list headed ' Things for the Child.' As 
these lists are pretty much the same, and would probably 
not be interesting to the general public, I should not 
have alluded to them but for the fact that a fourth list 
informs those who care to compare present with past 
prices, with the cost of many articles a hundred years ago, 
and this information may, perhaps, interest those upon 
whom a similar expense has already fallen, or may possibly 
fall in the future. This list is headed : — 

The Quality and Price of each of the Articles 2Jrecedi7ig, 
for Mrs. Austen. 

30 Ti'ds of Diaper for 2 shirts at 22^ . 
„ do for 4 single at do . 
4 yrds | Irish — for 4 Dble Binders ] 
.2 yrds do for 2 single at 2/8 f 

18 yrds tine Irish |- for 6 short shifts at 3/6 
18 yrds India Dimity for 6 waistcoats 3/6 . 
13 yrds CaUico for lining 2 shirts at IS*^ . 
8 yrds f Dimity for a %vrapping-gown 3/3 
3 yrds fine checked muslin for Limming /5 

2 yrds ^ long cloth for a Mantle o|6 

3 yrds coarse flannel 16^^/ 

3 yrds fine do 2'/ 

5 yrds Green Persian Coyer for the Horse 22^1 
71 yards fine India Dimity for 2 cloaks . 

5| yrds Callico to line Ellwide do 2 2 

2 yrds corded Dimity for 2 hnings for the Basket at 3 
10 yrds f do for 6 child's Bed goAyns 3/3 
12 yrds check'd muslin for 6 robes 3'/ 

2 Pr of clouting at 25' 

1 do 28 


1 do 36 

1 do 25 

10 yrds fine Diaper 3/6 

£ s. 


2 15 

2 15 


3 3 

3 3 



1 8 









1 12 






1 16 

2 10 

1 8 

1 16 

1 5 

3 3 

Carried forward 

'^2 7 7| 

A A 'A 




The Quality and PHce of each of the Articles preceding, honfjld for 
Mrs. Austen -cont. 

Broiiglit forward 
10 yrds fine Diaper 21** 

1 pr Damask 35* . 

^ of a yd wide Irish for under stays 
Buckles, Tape, Leather Bones for do 
A Basket for the child's things 

1 doz Damask clouts 38/ 

1 do 34/ . 

1 cotton swaith 

4 Best Blankets 3/9 . 


£ s. 


32 7 


1 11 


1 15 





1 18 

1 14 



£40 13 7| 

I do not think it necessary to give in detail the 
' things for the child,' especially as no prices are men- 
tioned^ but in order that my great-grandmother may not 
be suspected of having robbed an infant of its due^ 
I would respectfully mention that six shirts, six robes, six 
bedgowns of ' corded dimity,' &c. &c., were supplemented 
by ' 3 cockades of Lace,' ' a suit of Xtning Linen con- 
sisting of a muslin Kobe, fine cambrick cap and shirt,' and 
sundry other articles of quality and quantity sufficient to 
make any nurse proud, and to secure the comfort and 
happiness of any reasonable infant. 


Letters from Fanny Foivler, Lady Bridges, announcinrj 
the engagement of her three daughters, Elizabeth, 
Fanny, and Sophia, 

Goodnestone : (March 2, 1791). 

3Iy dear Mrs. Fielding, 

I cannot leave to my Dail^'^ the pleasure of in- 
forming you of an Event that gives us the greatest 
satisfaction. We had for some time observed a great 
attachment between Mr. Austin (Mr. Knight's Eelation) 
and our dear Eliz"^ ; and Mr. Knight has, in the hand- 
somest manner, declared his entire approbation of it ; 
but as they are both very young, he wish'd it not to take 
place immediately, and as it will not suit him to give up 
TQUch at present, their Income will be small, and they 
must be contented to live in the Country, which I think 
will be no hardship to either party, as they have no high 
Ideas, and it is a greater satisfaction to us than if she was 
to be thrown upon the world in a higher sphere, young 
and inexperienced as she is. He is a very sensible, 
amiable young man, and I trust and hope there is every 
prospect of Happiness to all parties in their union. This 
Affair has very much agitated Sir B., and he has not been 
quite so well for some days past as he had been for a 
month before ; but now it is decided he will, I make no 
doubt, be better again in a few days, but I have long 
observed that when his mind has been agitated he has 
had a return of cough and oppression. He has sent his 
-case to Bath, and if he is encouraged to go there, we shall 
set out according to the time pointed out from thence, as 


he has desired to know when the Waters have most efficacy.^ 
Fatty is so good (as) to stay with my Grirls during our 
absence, or I should be much distress'd at leaving them 
so long. She has been pretty well, upon the whole, ever 
since she has been here, and in remarkable good Looks 
and Spirits. 

Adieu, my dearest Mrs. Fielding. All here unite with 
me in kindest love and compts : as due. My Dau""* 
desire their duty to you. Believe me ever yours affec- 
tionately, F. B. 

To Mrs. Fielding, St. James's Palace, London. 

Goodnestone: (March 28, 1791). 

My dear Mrs. Fielding, 

I flatter myself you are so truly interested in the 
welfare of my dearest children, that I am not afraid of 
being troublesome in writing again so soon, but must 
inform you that my dearest Fanny has received an offer 
of Marriage from Mr. Lewis Cage, a Gentleman of this 
County of an unexceptionable good character. His pro- 
posal has our entire approbation. As you was so kind to 
express a wish to be acquainted with JNIr. Austin, I 
inform'd him of it, in consequence of which he call'd at 
St. James's, and was very much disappointed he was not 

^ Sir Brook died before his daughters were married. ' Fatty ' 
was Isabella, sister of Mrs. C. Fielding's husband, and daughter of 
* Anne Palmer,' by her second husband Col. Fielding. She seems to 
have been a popular person, known all her life as ' Fatty Fielding,' 
and often at Goodnestone and Godmersham. She was godmother to 
one of Mr. E. Knight's children (^Marianne), and died unmarried in 


so fortunate to find you at home, as his Time would not 
permit him to make a Second Attempt ; indeed, I should 
be quite happy that your two future Nephews should be 
known to you, and I hope it will not be long before they 
have an opportunity of being introduced. My Daughters 
are going to-morrow to Godmersham for a Week ; I do not 
accompany them, as Mr. Bridges is here. Sir Brook con- 
tinues charmingly well, and is in very good spirits. I 
hope we shall get a glimpse of you as we pass through 
town to Bath the middle of next month, tho' our stay 
will be very short. How is ^liss Finch ? ^ I hope much 
recovered since she left Margate. I am quite delighted 
to hear such good accounts of Augusta,^ and hope she 
feels no remains of her severe Illness, but that she and all 
the rest of your Family are well. All here unite with me 
in kindest Love to you all. 

Believe me, ever yours affectionately, F. B. 

Brock St., Bath : (July 10, 1791). 

My dear ]\Ies. Fielding, 

After having wrote to you so lately you will be no 
doubt surprized at hearing again so soon, and not less so 
to find that the Cause of my addressing myself to you is 
to inform you that we have received proposals of Marriage 
from Mr. William Deedes for your God-daughter, our dear 
Sophia. He is a young Man of a very Amiable Disposition 
and universally beloved, and his Father has been so kind 

^ ^ Miss Finch ' must mean one of Mrs. C. Fielding-'s three sisters^ 
who all died unmarried. 

^ ' Augusta Sophia ' was the youngest daughter of Mrs. 0. Fielding ; 
she married Mr. Geo. Hicks in 1813, and lived to a good old age. 


to approve his Choice. I hope it will meet with your 
approbation, and think she bids as fair to be happy with 
her Connection as her sisters with theirs. It is certainly 
a very singular instance of good fortune in One Family, 
that 3 Grirls, almost unknown, should have attach'd to 
themselves three Young Men of such unexceptionable 
Characters, and I pray to God that their future conduct 
will ever do Credit to their Choice. Mr. William Deedes 
is gone with Mr. Knight on the Scotch Tour ; he had been 
long engaged to accompany them, but did not choose to 
set out on so long an excursion till he had explain'd him- 
self. As I have many letters to write I will not obtain 
you longer than to beg our best Love and good wishes to 
you and all your dear Family, and kind Compliments to 
Lady XDharlotte and Miss Finch. 

Believe me, ever affectionately yours, F. E. 

Mrs, Knight to Mr. KnatchbulL 

Indeed, my dear Edward, I am very glad your wife 
gave you a scold : as I did not know that another sore 
finger prevented her holding a Pen, I was quite surprised 
at not hearing from her — her constant attention has 
spoiled me and made me unreasonable. Yesterday, how- 
ever, a kind present from Col. Knatchbull satisfied me 


that you were alive, whatever might have happened to 
jour wife and children. It was very good of you to think 
of me ; I am very fond of smelts, and enjoyed them 
exceedingly, but you should not have sent half the 
number, for I was obliged to let a neighbour help me to 
consume them. I was soon awakened from the dream of 
happiness in which Lady Honywood found me, for the 
next day, which was not cold, I was almost as ill as at any 
time, and I have since that had many painful Days, and 
am quite desponding again. People talk of the fine 
weather — the hot sun I do not feel, but the cold N.E. 
wind penetrates to my fireside, and I am always starved. 

I am glad I shall get a peep at dear Belle on the loth. 
I hope you will both contrive to dine here with Chailie 
and his wife. The first day of their arrival I always pro- 
vide for them. I do not much like the accounts they 
send me of my nephew Wyndham ; he seems a most 
indolent young man, and I heartily wish he had gone into 
a Regiment of the Line. The sight of the Installations he 
pronounced a bore, and rejected a ticket. His father then 
kindly sent a chaise for Wadham, but Dr. Butler had 
refused permission to some other boys to go, and therefore 
could not grant it to him. I wonder whether you have 
seen your new neighbours yet. What an elegant way 
they fixed on to pass part of their wedding Day ! An 
Ostler and Housemaid at an Inn, who had a chay lent them 
by their master for the Day, would probably have spent it 
in the same manner. Indeed, my dear Edward, I hope 
Lord Burleigh will not make his appearance in my Room 
at the same time with his son again ; I have hardly 


recovered it yet. As the christening is to be on Tuesday, 
I suppose the whole Party will soon adjourn to Hatch ; by 
that time, perhaps, he will be obliged to begin his canvass, 
and some puzzling questions he will have to answer in the 
course of it. 

Miss Toke is much the same. Their sea Plan is now 
fixed, and a good House in Nelson's Crescent is engaged 
for them, from the 1st of July for 2 months, at 80 guineas^ 
The expense seems to be a dreadful burthen upon aJl 
their minds ; but as it will only cause Mr. T.'s putting a 
100^. instead of a IfiOOl. in the stocks, I cannot pity 
them. You will be glad to resign the correspondence to 
your wife, if you are to be plagued with such long letters^ 
I expect you will put this into her hand before you have 
got half through it. 

Adieu, dear Edward. My best love to Belle, and 
believe me, affectionately yours, C. K.* 

1 This letter must have been written in 1808 or 1809. ' Dear 
Belle ' was ]Mrs. KnatchbuU, my father's first wife, Annabella-Chris- 
tiana Honywood, who married in 1806, and died in 1814. ' My 
nephew Wyndham ' must mean a son of her brother Wyndham, who 
died during his father's lifetime, although I cannot find his name in 
any family pedigree. ' Lord Burleigh ' was her nickname for her 
cousin, my grandfather, Sir Edward Knatchbull. 3Iy father, by the 
kindness of Sir Joseph and Lady Banks (his aunt), had been placed 
in a position not so dependent upon his father as would otherwise 
have been the case, and was eventually very greatly benefited from 
the same sources. My grandfather, having married three times, and 
having many younger children, some differences upon pecuniary 
matters occurred between him and his son, during whicli they seem 
to have accidentally met at ' Whitefriars,' to which Mrs, Knight 
here alludes. I do not know what were ^ the puzzling questions' 
which my grandfather would have to answer ; the fact of his third 
wife being a lloman Catholic had given great offence to the hot 


Protestants of Kent ; but they had had their revenge in 1802, when he 
was defeated at the general election, and the reference to my father's 
first wife shows that this letter was wi'itten several years later. 

Talking of elections, the three famous contests of 1796, 1802, and 
1806 furnished the text for some verses which I may as well insert 
here, although they have no more to do with Jane Austen than with 
the man in the moon, but may amuse those who take an interest m 
matters of the sort. The facts are briefly these — Knatchbull and 
Honywood — Tory and Whig — were the great contending powers, 
whilst Geary was the moderate politician of neutral tint, who was 
happy to receive support from both, and had, moreover, as a popidar 
and good man of business, a number of personal friends. In 1796, 
Knatchbull, by throwing his second votes to Geary, brought him in 
at Ilonywood's expense. In 1802, when he tried to do the same 
thing, various causes had contributed to strengthen Honywood, who 
was able to turn the tables and throw KuatchbuU out by splitting 
his votes witli Geary. In 1806 both had grown wary, each polled 
aH the ' plumpers ' he coidd, and Geary, getting scarcely any second 
votes from the other two, had to retire discomfited. Hence the 
following verses in 1806 : — 

Some ten years ago, three men of great fame, 

Filmer Honywood, Knatchbull, and Geary by name, 

To the County of Kent did their service propose 

As Parliament men, with a view to be chose. 

The Freeholders then did most wisely decree 

That Knatchbull and Geary were the best of the three. 

Six years had elapsed when the very same men 

To the County did offer their service again ; 

The Freeholders then did as wisely decide 

To take t'other two and set Knatchbull aside ; 

Four years after this caDie another election, 

When Geary in turn underwent his rejection. 

Let no one from hence most rashly insist on't 

That the County of Kent is not truly consistent — 

Most consistent to all she appears, without doubt, 

By putting all ' in ' and by turning all ' out ' ! 



Mrs. Knight to Miss Knight, afterwards Lady 

Oct. 26, 1809. 
I was quite delighted with your letter, my dearest 
Fanny, but you have got yourself into a scrape by your 
kind attention to my wishes, for you sent me just such an 
account as I like to receive, and I shall therefore be the 
more desirous of hearing from you again. I have also 
heard from your imcle Henry, so that I believe I am 
almost as much acquainted with all your proceedings as if 
I had been one of your Party. As I now do nothing, or 
go anywhere, it will not be in my Power to reward you for 
your trouble by an amusing letter in return, but as you 
are a reasonable, good girl, I know you will be satisfied 
with what I can tell you. Our Jubilee went off with 
great eclat ; above 6001, were subscribed, and about as 
many persons were regaled with meat. Bread and Beer, 
and every private House, I believe, presented a scene of 
festivity and happiness. Mary Fox and Daniel assisted 
at a Bowl of Punch, &c. &c., at the Friars, and I was glad to 
hear from them a good account of the little ones at God- 
mersham. Mr. Honywood sent a Jubilee donation of 
100^. to the Hospital, with a very handsome letter to Mr. 
Toke. Of the grand Ball I hope to give you an account 
which my Friends promised to bring me this morning. I 
hear the gowns &c. for the Groodnestone Party were got 
ready, but to be sure it was a little in the usual dilatory style 
of the Bridges's to put off all preparations till the preceding 


Monday. Pray tell me whether you ever saw your in- 
tended Aunt. It is a pity she cannot change her Christian, 
with her other name, for Dolly, Tny dear, will not sound 
well. I know something of her and have heard more, and 
as Sir Brook makes a second match I think the Family 
are very lucky in the Person he has fixed upon. I had a 
letter from dear Harriet, but she did not then know what 
was going forward. I am sorry to hear from herself, as 
well as others, that she is very thin, without any cause for 
it. vShe tells me she has had her hair cut off, and there 
are various opinions as to the effect. Her Husband, how- 
ever, thinks it an improvement, and that is sufficient for 
a good wife. I heard of the Chawton Party looking very 
comfortable at Breakfast, from a gentleman who was 
travelling by their door in a Post-chaise about ten days 
ago. Your account of the whole family gives me the 
sincerest Pleasure, and I beg you will assure them all how 
much I feel interested in their happiness. I think, my 
dearest Fanny, that your poor little watch always seemed 
in an uncomfortable state. If you like to have a new one, 
I shall have great pleasure in providing you with one, and 
as I suppose you will be in Sloane Street a day or two in 
your return, it would be a good opportunity to make your 
choice. A watch and chain will certainly not cost less 
than 20 guineas, and you may be assured I shall not 
grudge 5 or 10 more to please my dear God-daughter. 
Draw upon your Uncle Hemy, therefore, for what you 
require. By a letter from Miss Cuthbert, I find I am in 
your Papa's debt. 

The Ball was full, but the harmony of the evening was 


destroyed by the folly of Lady C. Nelson, who made a 
select Supper Party, and disobliged all the rest. When 
she and her Pai*ty returned to the Ball-room, the other set 
would not join her dance, the music was stopped, and in 
short there was a grand Row, The Dinner had passed off 
better. No Toast was drank with more enthusiasm than 
^Ix. Milles, who represented Canterbury at the time of 
the King's accession. He bow'd and bow'd again, and 
was cheer'd and cheer'd again. Mrs. Palmer was at the 

Adieu, my dear. Affectionately yours, C. K.' 

^ The * intended aunt ' — ' Dolly, my dear ' — was Dorothy Hawley, 
Sir Brook's second wife. 


S &H 





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