The Basingstoke Ball - a poem by Mrs Cassandra Austen
Fellow Janeite, Jennifer Banks, shares with us a poem written by Jane’s mother, Cassandra, while on a Jane Austen tour of Basingstoke. The poem gives a sense of the occasion and all those who attended.
I Send You Here
by Mrs Cassandra Austen
I send you here a list of all
The company who graced the Ball
Last Thursday night at Basingstoke;
There were but six & thirty folk,
Although the evening was so fine;
First then, the couple from the Vine,—
Next Squire Hicks, & his fair spouse;
They came from Mr Bramston's house,
With Madam, & her maiden Sister;
(Had she been absent who'd have missed her?)
And fair Miss Woodward, that sweet singer,
For Mrs Bramston liked to bring her.
With Alethea too, & Harriet;
They came in Mrs Hicks's chariot;
Perhaps they did, I am not certain.
Then there were 4 good folk from Worting:
For with the Clerks there came two more;
Some friends of their's, their name was Hoare.
With Mr Mrs , Miss Lefroy
Came Henry Rice, that pleasant Boy.
And least a title they should want,
There came Sir Colebrook, & Sir Grant
Miss Eyre of Sherfield, & her Mother;
One Miss from Dummer, & her Brother.
Her Mother too, as Chaperon.
Mr & Mrs Williamson.
Charles Powlett, & his Pupils twain:
Small Parson Hasker, great Squire Lane.
And Bentworth's Rector, with his hat,
Unwillingly he parts from that.
Two Misses Davies, with two friends;
And thus my information ends.
It would have been a better dance
But for the following circumstance;
The Dorchesters, so high in station,
Dined out that day, by invitation,
At Heckfield Heath, with Squire Le Fevre;
Methinks it was not quite so clever
For one Subscriber to invite
Another, on the assembly night;
But 'twas to meet a General Donne
His Lordship's old companion;
And as the General would not stay
They could not fix another day—
Source quoted from Le Faye, Deidre, ' Jane Austen: A Family Record', Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp.115-116
Why Jane Austen's eleventh letter was a milestone in her lifeNext Article
A new twist on Jane Austen's Illness
Blog TagsBooks, Theatre Reviews, Films, Interviews, Book Reviews, Theatre Shows, Latest News, History, Food and Beverages, Writers, Tours, The Knight family cookbook, Jane Austen Video, An Experimental Cook