I IMAGINE that the sisters were but seldom separated in 1814, since I have but five letters belonging to that year. The first two are from Henrietta Street, Henry Austen's house, and were written in March. My mother had accompanied my grandfather 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 Saturday, 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, however, 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 were 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. Knight (Catherine Knatchbull) gives of her "nephew Wyndham" in her letter to my father (see Appendix), and moreover, this son of "old" Wyndham Knatchbull would seem to have 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 pocketbooks, 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 delightful."
In this letter is an allusion to a lawsuit in which my grandfather, Edward Austen, was involved, in consequence of a claim made upon his Chawton estates by a person of the name of Baverstoke. 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 lawsuit, 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 lawsuit 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 payment 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. Pemberton Plumptre, who seems to have been much with them, and between whom and his niece Fanny Henry Austen thought he had discovered a "decided attachment." On Wednesday Edward Austen and his daughter betook themselves to Godmersham, and the next news I have of Jane is in my mother's diary for April, in which it appears that she 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" lived on their usual intimate terms until June 20, when the Godmersham 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 much 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 proceedings 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 mentioned whilst he had a house elsewhere. But there must have been a dwelling-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; has 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 Miss H. Moore, to apologise for not returning 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 has no raspberry jam; she has some, which of course she is determined he shall have; but cannot you bring 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 Cranford Bridge. Fanny was miserably cold at first, but they both seem well.
No possibility 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"), which has three acts; there is a great deal of finery and dancing in it, but I think little merit. Elliston was "Nour-jahad," but it is a solemn sort of part, not at all calculated for his powers. There was nothing of the best Elliston 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 expensively 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 I went to sleep, a little after one. I am most happy to find there were but five shirts. She thanks you for your note, and reproaches 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 whole, I believe, Fanny liked Bath very well. They were only out three evenings, to one play and each of the rooms. Walked about a good deal, and saw a good deal of the Harrisons and Wildmans. All the Bridges are likely to come away together, and Louisa will probably 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 very 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.
I have determined to trim my lilac sarsenet with black satin ribbon just as my China crape is, 6d. width at the bottom, 3d. or 4d., at top. Ribbon trimmings are all the fashion at Bath, and I dare say the fashions of the two places are alike enough in that point to content me. With this addition it will be a very useful gown, happy to go anywhere.
Henry has this moment said that he likes my M. P. better and better; he is in the third volume. I believe now he has changed his mind as to 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 fortnight.
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 was exquisite acting.
Edward has had a correspondence with Mr. Wickham on the Baigent business, and has been showing me some letters enclosed by Mr. W. from a friend of his, a lawyer, whom he had consulted about it, and whose opinion is for the prosecution for assault, supposing the boy is acquitted on the first, which 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 have written. I long to know who he is, but the name is always torn off. He was consulted only as a friend. When Edwd. gave me his opinions against the second prosecution he had not read this letter, which was waiting for him here. Mr. W. is to be on the grand jury. This business must hasten an intimacy between his family and my brothers.
Fanny cannot answer your question about button-holes till she 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 Mr. Wickham's letter, by which it appears that the letters of his friend were sent to my brother quite confidentially, therefore 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 something of the mead, and how you are off for a cook.
Monday. -- Here's a day! The ground covered with snow! What is to become of us? We were to have walked out early to near shops, and had the carriage for the more distant. Mr. Richard 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 much entertained; and our dinner and evening went off very well. Messrs. J. Plumptre and J. Wildman called while we were out, and we had a glimpse of them both, and of G. Hatton too, in the park. I could not produce a single acquaintance.
By a little convenient listening, I now know that Henry wishes 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, which 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 there 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 another 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. Parry 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 opponent "knocks under." The terms of agreement are not quite settled.
We are to see "The Devil to Pay" to-night. I expect to be very much amused. Excepting Miss Stephens, I daresay "Artaxerxes" will be very tiresome.
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 ribbon 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 have no mourning come, but it does not signify. This very moment has Richd. 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 inquired for and fetched by 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,
Miss Austen, Chawton.
By favour of Mr. Gray.
 There is no clue to the matter to which this refers.
 "Mansfield Park."
 Henry Crawford.
Henrietta St.: Wednesday (March 9).
Well, we went to the play again last night, and as we were out a great part of the morning too, shopping, and seeing the Indian jugglers, 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 breakfast 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 five 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 ten.
Fanny and Mr. J. P. are delighted with 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 Miss S. is a pleasing person and no skill in acting. We had Mathews, Liston, and Emery; of course, some amusement.
Our friends were off before half-past eight this morning, and had the prospect of a heavy cold journey before them. I think they both liked their visit very much. I am sure Fanny did. Henry sees decided attachment between her and his new acquaintance.
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 suppose 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 "Richard." I have answered for your little companion's being conveyed to Keppel St. immediately. I have never yet been able to get there myself, but hope I shall soon.
What cruel weather this is! and here is Lord Portsmouth married, too, to Miss Hanson.
Henry has finished "Mansfield Park," and his approbation has not lessened. He found the last half of the last volume extremely interesting.
I suppose my mother recollects that she gave me no money for paying Brecknell and Twining, and my funds will not supply enough.
We are home in such good time that I can finish my letter to-night, which will 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 than 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!
Mrs. Tilson had long sleeves, too, and she assured me that they are worn in the evening by many. I was glad to hear this. She dines here, I believe, next Tuesday.
On Friday we are to be snug with only Mr. Barlowe and an evening of business. I am so pleased that the mead is brewed. Love to all. [Words omitted in Brabourne edition: "If Cassandra has filled my Bed with fleas, I am sure they must bite herself."] I have written to Mrs. Hill, and care for nobody.
Miss Austen, Chawton.
By favour of Mr. Gray.
 His second wife. He died in 1853, and was succeeded by his brother, the father of the present earl.
Chawton: Tuesday (June 13).
MY DEAREST CASSANDRA,
Fanny takes my mother to Alton this morning, which gives me an opportunity of sending you a few lines without any other trouble than that 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 the kitchen garden and along the Gosport road, and they drank tea with us.
You will be glad to hear that G. Turner has another situation, something in the cow line, near Rumsey, and he wishes to move immediately, which is not likely to be inconvenient to anybody.
The new nurseryman at Alton comes this morning to value the crops in the garden.
The only letter to-day is from Mrs. Cooke to me. They do not leave home 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, however, 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 know it will end in posting. 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 Henrietta 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 produce.
I saw Mrs. Andrews yesterday. Mrs. Browning had seen her before. She is very glad to send an Elizabeth.
Miss Benn continues 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,
Miss Austen, 10 Henrietta Street,
By favour of Mr. Gray.
Thursday (June 23).
I received your pretty letter while the children were drinking tea with us, as Mr. Louch was so obliging as to walk over with it. Your good 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 Emperor, and then I may fairly wish 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, what 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 good thing 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.
Miss Benn has drank tea with 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 invitation. The Clements are gone to Petersfield to look.
Only think of the Marquis of Granby being dead. I hope, if it please Heaven there should be another son, they will have better sponsors and less parade.
I certainly do not wish that Henry should think again of getting me to town. I would rather return straight from Bookham; but, if he really does propose it, I cannot say No 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 July is Martha's time, as far as she has any time. She 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 house at Clifton -- Richmond Terrace -- and she 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.
This post has brought me a letter from Miss Sharpe. Poor thing! she has 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 them. Of course we lose the pleasure of seeing her here. She writes highly of Sir Wm. I do so want him to marry her. There is a Dow. Lady P. presiding there to make it all right. The Man is the same; but she does not mention what he is by profession or trade. She does not think Lady P. was privy to his scheme on her, but, on being in his power, yielded. Oh, Sir Wm.! Sir Wm.! how I will love you if you will love Miss Sharp!
Mrs. Driver, &c., are off by Collier, 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 hopes to hear from you.
Yours very affectionately,
Frank and Mary are to have Mary Goodchild to help as Under till they can get a cook. She is delighted to go.
Best love at Streatham.
Miss Austin, 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 being 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 coach.
There were four in the kitchen part of Yalden, and I was told fifteen at top, among them Percy Benn. We met in the same room at Egham, but poor Percy was not in his usual spirits. He would be more chatty, I dare say, in his way from Woolwich. 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 has given me an account of the Canterbury races, which seem to have been as pleasant as one could wish. Everything went well. Fanny had good partners, Mr. --- was her 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 Lady Charlottes, they were gone off to Kirby, and that Mary Oxenden, instead of dying, is going to marry Wm. Hammond.
No James and Edward yet. Our evening yesterday 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 delightful place -- more than answers my expectation. 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 Hampshire; 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 together; and I do not mean to take any other exercise, 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. Richard 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 to breakfast to Scarman'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 the 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. Latouche'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 half-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? Not 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 again soon, and like the idea of her better than of anybody 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 -- calling on the Birches and the Crutchleys in our way. It may never come to anything, but I must provide for the possibility by troubling 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 a clean dressing-gown which 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 this 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 inquiry.
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 run up in the Poach as well as me. The wheat looked very well all the way, and James says the same of his road.
The same good account of Mrs. C.'s health continues, and her circumstances mend. She gets farther and farther from poverty. What a comfort! Good-bye to you.
Yours very truly and affectionately,
All well at Steventon. I hear nothing particular of Ben, except that Edward is to get him some pencils.
Miss Austen, Chawton.
By favour of Mr. Gray.