Meriwether Lewis Randolph to Septimia A. Randolph Meikleham
|Dear Tim||Edgehill July 31. 1832.|
Mr. Deveaux & Myself reached here safe & sound. He feeling better than he has done for the last three months. I not so well. Since my arrival I have been quite unwell; to day, however, much better. This indisposition has not deterred me from going a abroad, the morning after my arrival I rode up to Monticello and repented of having done so. The prospect sicked sickened me to the heart. Every thing so changed. Corn growing tow to the verge of the Lawn & front yard. The aspin grove prostrated entirely, with the exception of a few miserable looking, ghostlike trees, where the beautiful Scoth Scotch broom delighted the eye with his sempeternal green, red gullies & black, ded dead trees are seen. t The savage burnt them. At each turn you are insulted by a monument of the destroying hand of the Gothic barbarian. I [. . .] the visited the grave yard and was somewhat surprised to find that sacred spot s untouched, that had been spared, it was protected, most fortunately, by the arm of the Law, otherwise, I cannot say, that the plough share would not have visited its walls & violated the sanctity of that soil which alone on this earth calls forth my adoration. I did not go to the house, as for showing Barclay the any mark of respect by calling on him, I assure you, I felt very little disposed to do so. I most sincerely pray that before I leave the [. . .] neighbourhood my eyes may be gladdened with the sight of the House wrapped in flames, and that every vestige of building may be swept from the top of the Mountain. I entertain the hope that his own folly may yet cause his ruin, & wrest the plantation from his hands. But these are sad reflections.—Just here Lawrence Carr & A. Cary came in [. . .] and put a stop to my pen. I resume it again with very little time to complete my letter. I found the President at Mrs. Clark’s [. . .] where we changed horses, Mrs. Poindexter was there also. I shook hands with the former and went in to see the latter having first sent in my card. I dined with Mr. Clay two days after in Charlottesville. Brother J. [. . .] & Sister Jane are absent, at this time, on a visit to Mrs. Poins. To morrow morning we set out, a party of us, Mag, Pat, Miss Stearns, Cla. Garland &c escorted by some of the youngsters about town, on a visit to the Weyer’s Cave, which will be illuminated on the 2d of Aug. From the Cave we propose to go to Staunton, Lexington, the Natural Bridge, Ly Peaks of Otto, Lynchburg & where ever else we may see fit, we expect a good deal of pleasure and I I hope to be much benefitted in health. The girls will ri travel alternately in the a carriage and on horse back. I wish very much that you were here to join us. I dined at the U.V. a few days after my arrival, with Mr. Davis, Martha looked as pretty as usual, she was a great belle last session, kicked Dr. Soc. jilted Hugh Nelson & is now being courted by Charles Minor, in after what manner she will treat him conjecture is undecided. Dr. D. has been quite sick but is now much better, Mrs. D. did not make her appearance, but according to the Dr’s account she was as well as could be expected for one in her situation, what this situation is, I was left to guess, and you may do the same. Harriet is as mad as a hare, night before last the whole house was alarmed by her shrieks in the yard. She is now kept in solitary confinement.—Every acquaintance who met me cried Matilda after first salutation. Pat is certainly very like her & to make her more so I have prevailed on her to wear her hair in the same style; there is another point of resemblance, Pat has become a great Punster. Remember me to Alexdra & herself with sentiments of great esteem & friendship. Tell Nannie M. on sight, I shall not forget the remark she made on taking leave. My respects to all enquiring friends.