Ellen W. Randolph (Coolidge) to Martha Jefferson Randolph
|Richmond April 24th 1814|
After a fortnights silence my dear [mo]ther I have taken up my pen to address you & my letter [. . .] go by the very stage in which I expected to have gone up [m]yself; I am beginning to get weary of Richmond, or rather of the dissipated life I lead at present, I have never a moment to employ in devote to reading writing or any other usefull employment, my time is divided between the business of dressing & the care of entertaining company; I have been visited by almost every lady in Town; Mrs Wickham has called on me several times and given me a splendid party, I have also had parties given me by Mrs Mayo, Mrs Barber, Mrs Marx, Mrs Price, Mrs Page, Mrs Nicholas, Mrs Rutherford, Mrs Hancock & others. to Aunt Randolph has generally ac[c]ompanied me to these parties which were all of them large & brilliant [(ex]cept one or two), I have occasionly gone with Miss Riddle & sometimes [wi]th no lady but under a strong guard of gentlemen; I must not forget to mention that I have been frequently attended by the elegant Barksdale, and as that is a honour which he has never yet [. . .] paid to any other Lady, the Town has decided that my charms have thawed his icy heart, since these reports have been in circulation he has withdrawn himself almost wholly from my society this does not distress me greatly for although a young man in possessi[on] of fine talents, excellent education & one of the most gracefull persons & regularly beautifull faces I have ever seen, yet [. . .] so inanimate & so perfectly the victim of ennui that it [. . .]ly destroys every attraction he might otherwise have, there are no[t] many young men in Town with whom I had not rather associate than with Barksdale, I never look on his beautifull but inanimate features that look as if they had been carved out of marble without remembering those lines in the Giaour
|So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,|
|We start—for soul is wanting there.|
I have [. . .] become completely disgusted with William Rives, Charles Hay, Frederick Gibbon & John Bernard are [. . .] coxcombs Francis Gilmer & Mr Upshur are the first young men in Richm[ond] & perhaps in the state.
There are [. . .] is at present in the house, a family from Philadelp[hia] of the name of Ridgeway consisting of Mr & Mrs Ridgeway & two daug[hters] & a little son, the eldest Miss Ridgway is pretty, that is “coldly swee[t] & deadly fair.”—I hope to leave this place on Thursday & oh how delighted I shall be to see you my dearest mother once more, I never will leave you for as long a time again, for I cannot be happy without you. I have written in a great hurry & in some trepidation for Meade has stolen my inkstand & I have stolen Mr Barksdales which must be replaced before he returns or the theft will be discovered.