R. W. Chapman (ed.), The Works of Jane Austen, Vol. 6: Minor Works (Revised Edition)
LETTER 28.Mrs Johnson to Lady Susan.
My dearest Friend,
I write in the greatest distress; the most unfortunate event has just taken place. Mr Johnson has hit on the most pg 298effectual manner of plaguing us all. He had heard I imagine by some means or other, that you were soon to be in London, & immediately contrived to have such an attack of the Gout, as must at least delay his journey to Bath, if not wholly prevent it. I am persuaded the Gout is brought on, or kept off at pleasure; it was the same, when I wanted to join the Hamiltons to the Lakes; & three years ago when I had a fancy for Bath, nothing could induce him to have a Gouty symptom.
I have received yours, & have engaged the Lodgings in consequence. I am pleased to find that my Letter had so much effect on you, & that De Courcy is certainly your own. Let me hear from you as soon as you arrive, & in particular tell me what you mean to do with Manwaring. It is impossible to say when I shall be able to see you. My confinement must be great. It is such an abominable trick, to be ill here, instead of at Bath, that I can scarcely command myself at all. At Bath, his old Aunts would have nursed him, but here it all falls upon me—& he bears pain with such patience that I have not the common excuse for losing my temper.