Bridget Hawkins Roper-Curzon to Martha Jefferson Randolph

I have expected a letter from My Dear Jefferson, for several months, with the most anxious impatience, but I am resolved to render my conviction subservient to my wishes, and to believe that anything rather than loss of health, or want of affection to your friend, have occasioned your long silence; take care my dear girl, you do not justify my former apprehensions, remember how much you laughed at them & assured me our friendship was reciprocal & wou’d be of long duration! I must now repeat my usual apology of having no news to entertain you with, as I am again in a situation that requires too much quiet to allow me to mix with the Gay world & here am I enserclée in the country, with out a soul to speak to, hormis un vieux Prêtre qui vient quelquefois me rendre ses hommages, et m’assurer qu’il est enchanté de me1 voir, que le temp cest est superbe, ou tres mauvais et mille autres choses semblable,2 les uns plus interessants3 que les autres, tu vois qu’avec une semblable societé, il est impossible dêtre au fait des nouvelles du jour. I am waiting with the most anxious impatience for the birds I begg’d you to send me, the safest mode of conveying them here, is to beg one of the Sailors aboard the ship you put them [. . .] to feed them, & bring them the instant he lands to Gray’s Coffee House, Portland St, Portland Chapel London, where my direction is known, & he shall there receive a guinea for his trouble—if you should know the Capt. of the Vessel, it would be best to put the birds under his care—if, my dear Girl shou’d be unwilling to give herself so much trouble, beg she will have the goodness to inform me of it, as I can then apply else where, as my passion for them is so great, that I cannot rest without a fine collection—I have only mentioned two sorts to you as I am not certain if you can get any others easier than I can. I hear frequently from Botidoux, who is not to come to England this year, as my health will not permit me to show her any of the Curiosities or introduce her into any Society of any consequence. We have a most agreeable neighborhood about Waterperry consisting of some of the best families in England, but as they are gone to London at present to partake of the amusements that are now going forward, I do not find much benefit from them. I suppose you have heard, all our great balls & Assemblies are given in Spring, that the pleasure of being suffocated, may be added to those of dancing &c &c.—we have a French Theatre established here something like Les Italiens at Paris, which is much resorted to, as the Opera House was burned last year—there is another going to be built. I have had a long letter from Mde Du Cherÿ concerning Sr Catherine’s elopement, she seems quite hurt at having seen her name mentioned in the Public prints in so disrespectful a manner. Pray don’t forget to let me know, how I can convey any thing to you? Mr Carson will be very happy to execute any commissions for your Father, in short if some of your family do not employ me, I shall feel still more ashamed than at present for the trouble I have given you. My best love to Polly, I am quite shock’d at never having wrote, but if she promises to forgive my laziness, I promise myself that pleasure very soon. Pray tell me if you take our English Papers, the Oracle is the most fashionable, I hope you are as partial to it as myself, if you take it—would verses be acceptable to you? I shall be happy to send you a very fine collection called the Poetry of the World, if you wish it. I am sorry to tell you, poor Dashwood is gone to very ill—Not to trouble you any longer with my foolish prating: & wishing you most sincerely every happiness this world can afford & only beg to trespass on your precious time just to assure you, I remain unalterably—

Your affectionate and faithful friend
B. Carson
Tr (ViU: ER); in an unidentified hand; with possible transcription errors.

Encerclée (enserclée): “besieged.”

hormis un vieux Prêtre ... nouvelles du jour: “except an old priest who sometimes comes to pay his respects, to assure me that he is delighted to see me, to tell me that the weather is wonderful, or very bad, and a thousand other similar things, some more interesting than others, so you see that with such a society it is impossible to be on top of the daily news.”

1Manuscript: “ma.”
2Manuscript: “semlable.”
3Manuscript: “interessante.”
Bridget Hawkins Roper-Curzon
Date Range
April 14, 1790