Thomas Mann Randolph to Mary J. Randolph

My dear Mary,

I send you two Albions Nos. 23 & 25: Nov. 18. & Dec. 2[d.] of that intervening I know nothing. I was quite unwell from a most distressing jaw ache the early part of last week. I had been compelled to extract a very large jaw tooth myself, on acct of toothache, & it unluckily broke & left one root, which with cold taken in the place caused several nights of very severe pain. I begin to feel somewhat as usual again, but the affection was general & greatly depressing for many days. I shall set out certainly in a day or two from this. I beg of you to give me the la[st] intelligence from Boston. I shall write to your Mama & to one of yourselves at least every fortnight while gone and thank God will have it in my power to send my letters to all paid beforehand. Heaven favor you my dear, but take care not to let your own efforts slacken: low spirits are fatal to a young woman, and why should those who have health and all life before them ever be discouraged. Above all never be idle alltogether, but divide your time between reading, working and walking for health which can never be robust without exercise. In reading, allways make notes, that is put down in your own words the most striking ideas of the author. vary your reading so as to keep the imagination from being over much occupied with Romantic images and excessive sentiment, which injure the intellectual powers by taking from the mind its natural full command over its own feelings. Chemistry & Botany are appropriate to the sex & much more usefull than History, which after all unless it be that of Great & Good Women is of very little value to them. Two ordinary employments ought to be pursued with uninterrupted constancy: writing a fair hand & reading well aloud, both very important to Women. adieu my dear assure Cornelia & Ellen of my constant affection.

RC (NcU: NPT); ink stained.