Thursday 14–Friday 15 October 1813

Godmersham Park Thursday Oct. 14

My dearest Cassandra

….When I have followed up my last with this, I shall feel somewhat less unworthy of you than the state of our Correspondence now requires. I left off in a great hurry to prepare for our morng visits—of course was ready a good deal the first, & need not have hurried so much—Fanny wore her new gown & cap.—I was surprised to find my stole so pretty. The Ladies were at home; I was in luck, & saw Lady Fagg & all her five Daughters, with an old Mrs Hamilton from Canty & Mrs & 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, & that comprises all the good Looks of the family—It was stupidish; Fanny did her part very well, but there was a lack of Talk altogether, & the three friends in the House only sat by & looked at us.—However Miss Chapman's name is Laura & she had a double flounce to her gown. —You really must get some flounces. Are not some of your large stock of white morng gowns just in a happy state for a flounce, too short?….

 

We did not go to the Ball.—It was left to [Fanny] to decide, & at last she determined against it. She knew that it would be a sacrifice on the part of her Father & Brothers if they went—& 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.—I was very glad to be spared the trouble of dressing & going & being weary before it was half over, so my gown & my cap are still unworn.—It will appear at last perhaps that I might have done without either.—I produced my Brown Bombasin yesterday & it was very much admired indeed—& I like it better than ever:—You have given many particulars of the state of Chawton House, but still we want more….

 

Have you done anything about our Present to Miss 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?—& if they invite how they will contrive to entertain her?—Let me know as many of your parting arrangements 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? & is not Bread lower than 2/6.—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 & you made some objection, I forget what.—It is the fashion of flounces that gives it particular Expediency….

 

Now I think I have written you a good sized Letter & may deserve whatever I can get in reply.—Infinities of Love. I must distinguish that of Fanny Sen:r—who particularly desires to be remembered to you all.—Yours very affecly J. Austen

 

Austen, Jane. Jane Austen's Letters. 4th ed. Ed. Deidre Le Faye. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Oxford Scholarly Editions Online, 21 May 2015. web. 3 Jul. 2020.

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