Ellen W. Randolph (Coolidge) to Jane H. Nicholas Randolph
|Richmond March 4th|
We arrived safe with your little Pat my dearest Jane, yesterday evening, in time for her grandfather to see [. . .] her with all the advantage of day-light although she made a most ungracious return for his civilities—[. . .] We were detained at Carysbrook on monday [. . .] by the snow, & we were almost afraid to venture with Patsy on tuesday, but as there was danger of the roads becoming even worse than they were; Margaret determined to pursue her journey on that day.
Patsy has I think, been getting better ever since she left home & was not half as troublesome on the road as we expected she would be. the only way in which she annoyed me was by shewing a most mortifying prefererence to Margaret. the first day I did not carry her more than two or three hours—during the rest of the journey I had her in my arms half of each day but, she would never permit me to dress, undress, or perform any little office for her. she frequently boxed my ears & left half of one of her nails in my cheek, for attempting to take her out of Margaret’s arms, at a time when she chose to remain where she was. She has been almost equally ungracious to every member of your family, scouted at Sarah’s offers to assist in nursing her, and drives Wilson from her with the greatest ingdignation. now and then she graciously permits him to carry her about in his arms, but this favor is rare & she returns with the greatest eagerness to Mama, as she call[s] Margaret, whom she seems to mistake for you.
I am in hopes that the trip will be of real service to her health, we kept her wrapped up very warm during the whole journey & you will be surprized to hear that she played us no disagreable tricks. she amused herself sometimes with a pack of cards which we got at Carysbrook & sometimes in looking out of the window at her uncle Wilson whom she calls Wil in the sweetest manner. Sarah is in raptures with her beauty—Mrs Nicholas says she always told you she did not think her any thing more than a sweet healthy looking child, I have not heard Col. Nicholas’s opinion, but every body seemed equally glad to see her. We cannot [. . .] tell as yet what success she may have in the fashionable world, your sisters will probably inform you [. . .] in a mail or two. Margaret complained of a bad cold but is well enough to talk of going to the Museum to night which is to be lighted up in a very magnificent manner, and to a great party to morrow night. dinner is almost ready and I have not time to tell you, how beautifull I found Sarah, how much Sidney is like Mrs Patterson and above all how much I am in love with your Sister Margaret—all these matters of moment must be [. . .] deferred untill another time, I can only wish now that Sarah kept better pens, and assure Jefferson and yourself of my constant and unalterable love. write to me soon my dear Jane and let me know how he is, and whether he continues to recover the use of his arm. I hope this letter will find you at Monticello, where you had much better remain untill you move to Tufton.