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12 July 1814
Your letter was a very agreeable surprise to me today, and I have taken a long sheet of paper to show my gratitude. We so enjoyed our visit with you and John in London. It was lovely to see the children. They have grown so, and are terribly clever! Everything was so very gay in Town, dining at the Watsons, and everything in such style, not to mention our evenings at Almack’s and strolling in Vauxhall Gardens, but it is a joy to be settled comfortably back home at Hartfield. We had a dreadful storm of wind during our absence, which has done a great deal of mischief among our roses. And that is not all ~ our summer house has also blown down. George assures me it will be put to rights before our ball in a fortnight. The evenings have been so warm that I am certain it will be wanted. I look forward with great impatience to our ball. I will wear my new green muslin, which I bought in Town and am having made up this week. It will have the style of sleeves I admired in one of the shops on High Street, which you may remember, with the pleats and small buttons. Mrs. Weston called on Wednesday, and we drank tea together for the first time since I returned home. I was able to hear all that was interesting of Frank and Jane Churchill. They are expecting another addition to their family this winter ~ at this rate they will soon catch up to you and John! Mrs. Cole called this morning and left invitations to join them at a card party on Thursday evening. We will be a small and rather quiet group as Miss Bates is unable to attend. I am already looking forward to your visit at Michaelmas; and indeed I am now laying in a stock of intelligence to pour out on you as my share of conversation. When next you make a trip to Twinings please let me know.
I want to try a new tea I have heard about from Mrs. Elton with jasmine blossoms in it. I hope you will bring a packet to me when you visit. George sends his love to all, and father wishes to remind you to be sure to wear your shawl when you go out of an evening. There is a sore-throat very much about this summer. I cannot write any more now, but trust I have written enough to make you very happy, and therefore may safely conclude.
Yours very affectionately,