Marie Jacinthe de Botidoux to Martha Jefferson (Randolph)

ne trouvant rien de si maussade que de se facher quand on plaisante, je ne puis te dire Combien je suis desesperée d’avoir en eu Cet air hier soir quoique en verité je ne La fusse pas du tout, seulement, L’idée que Le duc devoit me trouver extremement Libre, d’après La plaisanterie sur Les billets, m’a si fort deconcertée que j’en ai eu envie de pleurer toute La soirée. Celle d’applaudir quand je dancois, n’eut fait, dans un autre moment, que me faire [. . .] rire, dans Celui La elle a achevé de me faire perdre toute Contenance, je suis bien fachée de n’avoir pas su me retenir un peu mais en verité je ne Le pouvois guerre n’y ayant pas de reputation que je n’aimerois mieux que Celle d’être si Libre

dis bien a Ces dames que je ne suis point du tout fachée qu’au Contraire C’est a moi a Leur faire des excuses de La mauvaise mine que je Leur [. . .] ai faite Car enfin C’est moi qui ai donné sujet à Ces plaisanteries et elles devoient Croire que je ne serois pas plus deconcertée de parler que d’ecrire

dis moi un jour ou tu se[ras] [. . .] seule pour que j’aille te v[oir]

renvoyes mon paquet [. . .] et L’op[. . .] mais pas Les fleurs qui se gâteroient

editors’ translation

Since nothing is so tedious as getting angry when someone is joking, I cannot tell you how sorry I am to have looked that way last night. However, in truth, I was not angry at all. I was just that the thought that the Duc must have found me extremely bold, judging by the joke about the notes, disconcerted me so much that I felt like crying all evening long. At another time applauding when I was dancing would only have made me laugh. This time it ended by making me lose all countenance. I am quite angry to have been unable to restrain myself, but, in truth, I could hardly do it, since the reputation I would most desire is that of being so bold

Please tell those ladies that I am not angry at all. On the contrary, I should apologize for showing them an ugly face. After all, I let myself be the butt of the jokes, and they must have thought that I would be no more embarrassed to speak than to write

Tell me a day when you are [. . .] alone, so that I can go see you

Send my package and the [. . .] back, but not the flowers, which would get spoiled

RC (privately owned, 2015); undated; edge of third torn; addressed: “Mademoiselle Jefferson à La grille Chaillot”; endorsed by Martha J. Trist Burke: “Marie J. Botidoux.” Translation by Dr. Roland H. Simon.
Author
Marie Jacinthe de Botidoux
Date Range
Date
January 1, 1789 to December 31, 1789
Collection
Repository
Privately owned