Hore Browse Trist to Nicholas P. Trist
|Dear Nic||Bentivar 22 March 1819—|
When I received the1 letters from home, containing our remittances I wrote you two or three lines from charlottesville, at Leitch’s request, inclosing your check, that you might endorse it payable to James Leitch and send it on to remit it again to charlottesville. I beleive I told you that if you were in want of money I could let you have what was necessary. there was no necessity of my telling you that for you know that part, of whatever I possess is at your disposal. I hope the check arrived safe, as it would be ruination if it miscarried. Father told me in his letter that you desired him to send your allowance, to me; I am ignorant of your purpose in having it conveyed to me, as you were well acquainted that I could not negotiate it unless endorsed by you,. this debt which you have left gives me great anxiety; I dont think that I can depart hence until it is paid, be moderate in your expences therefore until it is cleared, beware of contracting new ones. I am now laid up with a bad cold, and have been kept from school this week by it. I think it is decreasing, I dont much relish a bad cold. for fear of its engendering some breast complaint—I hope when you mount guard, that you take care to protect your own weak frame ab impetu aquilonis, tell me whether you can go through the exercises tolerably well, how far you have got in mathematics, and if you have an opportunity or not of learning the sword [exercise] exercise. improve your time my Dear Nic, & dont disappoint the expectations which all your friends have formed of seeing in you a well informed and respectable member of society. the family of which you desire to form one, would not respect you, if you were not at least that. you are bordering upon 19 & you must feel how precious every minute is to you, proceed then, and do not suffer one hour to escape unprofitable unprofitably. if you have any leisure to read, peruse Herodotus and Thucydides those are the first books of Grecian History, a course of which mr Jefferson had the goodness to mark out for me. however I expect you have no time to take from your studies. My bad cold was the cause of my not going to Montco the last time they sent for me, I therefore missed an opportunity of seeing your “chère amie, but I learnt from James that all the family well enjoyed good health. Miss V— intended to make a trip to Richd for the purpose of having her teeth arranged. I expect some fortunate rival will make an impression on her heart and cut you out by that means. but do not despair your superior merit will I hope entitle you to preference. Jefferson, I hear, is recovering bravely, it remains however, doubtful whether the wound in his arm will not deprive him of the use of that limb, I fear it will Bankhead conscious of his malice, and the infamy of his character, [. . .] fearing the punishment due to this His villainy, did not make his appearance at court, he is now I beleive at his father’s residence, where it is hoped he will remain; as Mrs Randolph says, that Mrs B. is a favorite with his family & will be better protected there even, than here. there was a report in circulation that he intended moving to Kentucky, but the colonel said, that he would oppose it strenuously, as he could not suffer his daughter to go into a distant country, in the power of such a scoundrel, he therefore threatened him with a renewal of prosecution should he leave the state. it was expected that the C. that would play the devil with him, when he heard that his son was wounded, but he acted quite coolly & di[. . .] dispassionately.
The last leaf of your Houselick was dying the last time I was at Monticello, I hope you have left some more lasting pledge, which will not wither so soon. mead is not in Richmond, he writes tolerably often to Mrs Randolph, & he said in one of his letters that he had been negligent enough not to write to you since he had left the mountn poor unfortunate young man, no situation is more to be commiserated than his, without any means to support him, his Father a worthless character, his mother obliged to exert herself to procure a subsistence for her old age, he himself a rendered by his deformity and disease a disgusting object to every one; I dont see how he is to make his way through life—I feel some delicacy about writing to him, for fear of making it inconvenient to him to pay the postage, but I would advise you to correspond with him—little george is the finest child you can form any conception of, he cannot yet talk, but James tells me he can call my name.
Your letter breathes a spirit of opposition to your teachers. which, although I am sorry to see, yet if exercised against oppression is your duty, I am sure you will always act according to principle and honour, yet it is your interest if possible to gain the good will of your masters, which, however if not gained by attention to your duties, & by honourable conduct, is not worth having—I am pleased to hear that you have acquired the friendship of Fairfax. the esteem of such a character must be precious to every one who possesses it.
I am now (the 22) at Mr Divers, he has narrowly escaped a journey to the next world, which a pleurisy and floating gout were near effecting. he is now out of danger and mending, the rest of the family are well. Grandmother is in tolerable, good health she complains of a headache, which I hope will only be momentary. she sends her best love to you. be assured that your prosperity and happiness is the sincere wish of your affectionate Brother
I have learnt here that Col. R. has offered for the assembly the election is to take place the first monday in april. my next will inform you how he succeeded as there is no chance for my going to this college make all enquiries [. . .] Princeton that you can. what is the entrance course &c