Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend

Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend by Cora Harrison Read Free Book Online

Book: Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend by Cora Harrison Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cora Harrison
wondering what else to put into my journal from this dull day, I was thinking about Cassandra. I feel sorry for her. After all, I am not as badly off as she is. At the worst
I only have to wait another four years till I am twenty-one and can be married. Tom Fowle won’t be able to support Cassandra for another five or six years at least.

Monday, 18 April 1791
    And now it is all settled. As Eliza had guessed, Mrs Austen was not keen to let us go to Bath under her niece’s care. However, she decided that she would have a short
rest from all the housekeeping and dairy making and spend a couple of weeks with her brother, James Leigh-Perrot, and his wife at Bath. And that she would take us with her. Poor Cassandra is going
to stay to look after the household affairs. Now we are busy washing and ironing and getting everything ready for a three-week stay in Bath, and we are leaving in two days’ time!
    I asked Jane what was going to happen about my letters from Thomas, and she said that we would ask Harry to send them to Eliza at her Bath address.
    I wish I could see Thomas before he sets out for the East Indies. It seems very unfair that I should not be able to.
    I asked Jane, jokingly of course, whether she thought I could ride as far as Southampton on my donkey and Jane was full of wild ideas.
    ‘Let us borrow the fare from Bath to Bristol from Eliza,’ she said in her usual dramatic way. ‘When we get to Bristol we will hide until Augusta goes out and then steal into
the house and take some banknotes from her desk drawer. You could use these to buy a seat on the stagecoach to Southampton. If you took plenty of banknotes, you could put up in a respectable
inn.’
    I asked her what we would do if Augusta returned and discovered us, and Jane had a prompt answer for that. She quickly produced her novel Love and Freindship (Jane never could spell
‘friend’) and read aloud from it and then gave me the rough copy to stick in my journal as an example of how I could behave in Edward-John and Augusta’s house in Bristol.

    This cheered me up a little, and I thought about what Eliza had said of speaking to the lawyer (who was so in love with her) at Bath.
    We went to find Eliza, who was out in the garden. James had brought out so many cushions that he had almost made a bed for her and she was reclining on them, propped up against an elm tree, her
little pug on her lap, as James read aloud from the magazine called The Loiterer which he and Henry edited and tried to sell to the students at Oxford.

    Eliza, I think, was bored, because her eyes lit up at the sight of us, and in her usual dramatic manner she said, ‘Dearest James, how lovely of you to entertain me. But I must not keep you
any longer. You are like all men; you want to be out hunting and shooting. Sit down, mes petites , sit and keep me company. Here, Jenny dear, you hold Pug. Why the sad face?’ she
enquired after James had bowed and strode back across the lawn. Even his back expressed acute annoyance with us. He had been enjoying himself, reading to Eliza.
    Still, Mrs Austen will be obliged to us. She was hinting to James this morning that he should go and call upon Anne Mathew, the daughter of the wealthy General Mathew. She would be a good match
for him, and Mrs Austen is very keen on the idea (according to Cassandra) and doesn’t think it matters that Anne is six years older than James. His mother wouldn’t want him to waste his
time flirting with a married cousin.
    I stroked Pug and didn’t reply, and Jane said, ‘She’s upset at not having heard from Thomas.’
    ‘But, chérie , it is only a few days, you are not raisonnable .’ Eliza rolled each letter r in the back of her throat in the French style. I wish that I
could speak French – it seems such a romantic language.
    ‘Aunt Leigh-Perrot had time to reply,’ I said dolefully. I had gone three times to the hollow tree, but there had been nothing there. And then Jane had gone over to the

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