Joseph Coolidge to Nicholas P. Trist

[de]ar Nicholas

I have received yours from the White Sulphur Springs; & am glad that you are better for your journey to them; indeed this is evident without your [. . .]ing me so in set phrase; for the tenor of your letter is cheerful and [s]hews improved health of body and mind. Ellen and myself often speak of [. . .], not merely to wish your presence, but of your future prospects: these, I [. . .]nfess, seem fair enough to me:—One thing you will be able to avoid in Virginia [w]h. would be difficult in a city like this.—I mean the almost necessary [ex]penditure of more money than you wish to spend: here, moving in a [cer]tain sphere, you are compelled to conform, in certain respects, to the habits of [t]hose you associate with; your house, and furniture, and style of living, is now [. . .] matter of general concern here than with you, where the influence of family, [a]nd political distinction is greater: of course, I do not mean thus a man [. . .] to obliged to injure, much less ruin, himself by aiming at the luxuries of richer men than himself—; but that, supposing him in the receipt of a [cer]tain income, he cannot so well reserve a large portion of it here, as he [c]an with you—that is, a man in a city has more artificial wants than [. . .] the country—: but all this prevents my saying what, in truth, I began [. . .] letter—to tell you—viz, that last evening brought me on yr. acct. a check from Col. Peyton for $ 250, which has been cashed this morning—: and that the object of it, the purchase of a piano, shall be immediately attended to: indeed, you may tell our dear Virginia that Ellen and myself have already [m]ade inquiry respecting an instrument, and have heard of a grand-piano, made by Broadwood, wh. may to be procured for this sum, & we are going with a musical friend to examine it this morning; and if we determine upon taking it, shall have it immediately packed in the box wh. brought mine from London, and forward it to you: at same time shall send your two books, upon latin prosody & Syntax, and [. . .] pieces of carpeting for mother to judge of the effect of the Brussels upon our parlours!—In a letter to Mr Jefferson lately, I asked him to permit Virginia to copy for me his mode of arranging a library—, I mean his system of classifying books—; and I wish you, if any mention is made of this request of mine, to hasten—if you can, delicately—the compliance with it:—another thing, you send sent me only a portion of yr. ‘essay in the Central ,’ & it came at a time when we were engaged in removing from my Father’s to our own house. of course all was confusion, and hurry; and, on the day after its arrival, the day of the “Gazette” was missing—, taken I suppose by some of the servants to wrapt up books or Spoons—: I wish you, therefore, to send me all the no's you have written; and if you have no better use for [. . .] them send always yr. gazette when you have read it, and in return I will send one of our Boston journals; or, if you file the Central , subscribe for it for me, for one year, and forward it as it appears;—’tis for Ellen that I wish it!Our hurry has subsided, and we are at length quietly established in our own home: did I say quietly? I was wrong:—not a day passes without calls innumerable, wh. are all to be returned, and not an evening without finding us in a crowd! balls, and tea-parties, allow us no respite; I believe that we have spent but one evening at home during the last 4 weeks—: all this is wearisome; and, when the hour comes to dress, we sigh that again we are compelled to leave our quiet fireside: yet tis necessary;—acquaintance with persons must be made, houses must be seen, manners criticised, all in fact which goes to constitu[te] the word Society, which embraces places as well as individuals;—Boston Soci[ety] of which E. has heard so much, and with wh. she is so disappointed, but wh. I am sure when she becomes interested, as she will, in some of those who constitute it, will assume its just value in her eyes!—The theatre, too, has commenced, and to night we go to see Cooper in “Damon” his great character,—and to a party afterward: of course, this is fatiguing; and, as I said, makes us complain sadly; but Ellen, tho. she gets tired, never looked better; and, as I wrote you in a postscript to dear mother, is growing quite fleshy—: There are many sources of amusement in the winter wh. will reconcile her to the cold of that season, I should think: to wit, Concerts, public lectures, and shews of all sorts: I do not mean to make her to forget virginia—this would be impossible, but I hope to make her satisfied with New England; for, & by, I shall propose little journies of 100 or 200 miles wh. will shew her a beautiful country, and so thickly settled, and well cultivated, that as to present the appearance of a continuous village;—one circumstance lends beauty to our scenery—it is very diversified, and ‘well watered”, there are lakes in every direction, and the roads are very good—almost like the gravel walks of a garden.My dear Nicholas—I repeat, I wish that you could be with us—! I know that the industry, and temperance, and competency, every where visible,—our churches and schools,—and a universal air of comfort would attach you warmly to us: I wish that you could make one at our own pleasant meals—; revel among my [. . .] listen, upon our beautiful couch, to her grandpiano—; sleep in our french bed; and do an hundred things wh. I could name: but wishing will not bring you, if it would could you would have been here long ago!Remember me, then, affectionately to all—; I have many things to say but no time, nor patience now: Mr Adams is here incognito, and I must go and call upon him, besides Ellen waits for me to inquire respecting the piano—Adieu, then, my dear friend—and once again remember me to all,

J. C Jr

I had forgotten to write about yr. books—: my impression is that Hilliard has recd them, and sold a part: I will inquire again.

RC (DLC: NPT); edge trimmed; torn at seal; addressed: “To Nicholas Philip Trist Esqre Monticello, Charlottesville; Albemarle County. Virginia”; stamped; postmarked Boston 5 Oct.; endorsed by Trist: “Coolidge (J). Boston, Oct. 5—25–.”