October 18 1815: Jane Writes to Cassandra

On Tuesday, October 17 1815, Jane Austen writes to her elder sister Cassandra , a letter that he continues onto the next day.

Hans Place, Tuesday Oct: 17.

My dear Cassandra – Thank you for your two Letters. I am very glad the new Cook begins so well. Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness. – Mr Murray’s Letter is come; he is a Rogue of course, but a civil one. He offers £450- but wants to have the Copyright of MP & S&S included. It will end in my publishing for myself I dare say. – He sends more praise however than I expected. It is an amusing Letter. You shall see it. – Henry came home on Sunday & we dined the same day with the Herrieses – a large family party – clever & accomplished. – I had a pleasant visit the day before. Mr Jackson is fond of eating & does not much like Mr or Miss P. – What weather we have! – What shall we do about it? – The 17th of Octr & summer still! Henry is not quite well – a bilious attack with fever – he came back early from H.St yesterday & went to bed – the comical consequence of which was that Mr Seymour & I dined together tète-a-tète. – He is calomeling & therefore in a way to be better & I hope may be well tomorrow. The Creeds of Hendon dine here today, which is rather unlucky – for he will hardly be able to shew himself – & they are all Strangers to me. He has asked Mr Tilson to come & take his place. I doubt our being a very agreeable pair. – We are engaged tomorrow to Cleveland Row. – I was there yesterday morning. – There seems no idea now of Mr Gordon’s going to Chawton – nor of any of the family coming here at present. Many of them are sick.

 Wednesday. [October 18]  – Henry’s illness is more serious than I expected. He has been in bed since three o’clock on Monday. It is a fever – something bilious, but chiefly Inflammatory. I am not alarmed – but I have determined to send this Letter today by the post, that you may know how things are going on. There is no chance of his being able to leave Town on Saturday. I asked Mr Haydon that question today. – Mr H. is the apothecary from the corner of Sloane St – successor to Mr Smith, a young Man said to be clever, & he is certainly very attentive & appears hitherto to have understood the complaint. There is a little pain in the Chest, but it is not considered of any consequence. Mr H. calls it a general Inflammation. – He took twenty ounces of Blood from Henry last night – & nearly as much more this morng – & expects to have to bleed him again tomorrow, but he assures me that he found him quite as much better today as he expected. Henry is an excellent Patient, lies quietly in bed & is ready to swallow anything. He lives upon Medicine, Tea & Barley water. – He has had a great deal of fever, but not much pain of any sort – & sleeps pretty well. – His going to Chawton will probably end in nothing, as his Oxfordshire Business is so near; – as for myself, You may be sure I shall return as soon as I can. Tuesday is in my brain, but you will feel the Uncertainty of it. – I want to get rid of some of my Things & therefore shall send down a parcel by Collier on Saturday. Let it be paid for on my own account. – It will be mostly dirty Cloathes – but I shall add Martha’s Lambswool, your Muslin Handks. – (India at 3/6) your Pens, 3s – & some articles for Mary, if I receive them in time from Mrs Hore. – Cleveland Row of course is given up. Mr Tilson took a note there this morng. Till yesterday afternoon I was hoping that the Medicine he had taken, with a good night’s rest would set him quite to rights. I fancied it only Bile – but they say, the disorder must have originated in a Cold. You must fancy Henry in the back room upstairs – & I am generally there also, working or writing. – I wrote to Edwd yesterday, to put off our Nephews till friday. I have a strong idea of their Uncle’s being well enough to like seeing them [by] that time. – I shall write to you next by my parcel – two days hence – unless there is anything particular to be communicated before, always excepted. – The post has this moment brought me a letter from Edward. He is likely to come here on Tuesday next, for a day or two’s necessary business in his Cause. –
Mrs Hore wishes to observe to Frank & Mary that she doubts their finding it answer to have Chests of Drawers bought in London, when the expense of carriage is considered. The two Miss Gibsons called here on Sunday, & brought a Letter for Mary, which shall also be put into the parcel. Miss G. looked particularly well. – I have not been able to return their call. – I want to get to Keppel St again if I can, but it must be doubtful. – The Creeds are agreeable People themselves, but I fear must have had a very dull visit. – I long to know how Martha’s plans go on. If you have not written before, write by Sunday’s post to Hans Place. – I shall be more than ready for news of you by that time. – A change of weather at last! – Wind & Rain. – Mrs Tilson has just called. Poor Woman, she is quite a wretch, always ill. – God bless you. –
Yrs affec:ly J. A.
Uncle Henry was very much amused with Cassy’s message, but if she were here now with the red shawl she wd make him laugh more than wd do him good. –
Miss Austen

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