Cornelia J. Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist)

I have either been sick or in an ill humour, or stupefied or more truly all three together ever since I have been here, my Dear Virginia, which must be my excuse for not having written to you before & for the following letter being il entirely illegible & unintelligible, I have [. . .] besides another excuse, which is that I have nothing to writ[e] about, I have gone out very little, am acquainted with nobody & have seen nothing curious, after this [. . .] you will think perhaps that I have been very studious with Mr Baldwin’s architectural books, but I have scarcely look’d into them, I have no time to do any thing useful or agreable, you no doubt feel some curiosity to know how I pass my time I can tell you in a very few words, we get up evry morning just in time to dress for breakfast, & after that is over we come up & dress again to recieve company, we set in the drawing1 room from this time untill [. . .] it is time to adjust our dress for dinner, we cannot [. . .] work in the drawing room because [. . .] there is almost constantly some visitor there; after dinner it is too dark to do any thing & from that time untill ten oclock, bed time is are the most tiresome [. . .] of all tiresome hours, we all set round the fire except the gentlemen who choose to play cards, & some talk nonsense, & some yawn & stretch, & pull out their watches & wonder at its being so early & would all fairly go to sleep at last if they did not seem to be afraid of this & do every thing in their power to keep themselves awake each exerts himself by turns to make a noise but enough of this nonsense, I am sorry I have complain’d so much & would not send this letter if I had time to write another.Dec 15. to To day is was such a rainy day that [. . .] no one has visited us & I should have written a great many letters but that I had a ruff to make as it is I have scarcely time to write to you. We went yesterday to the ‘monmental church’ & I admir’d the pillars fine marble pillars as I thought, very much indeed but I found afterwards that they were only wood painted in imitation of marble, they are certainly very well done tho’ they have there a superb organ, I should very much have lik’d to have gone all over the church to have look’d at it; & I should like also to go to the capitol, & to the museum & above all to see the steam boat, but it seems decreed that I am to see nothing here that is worth seeing.—Sister Ellen told you all about Mr Baldwin I suppose & he is the only person that I have seen that is worth writing about; Mr Mordicai is such an insensible creature that he takes no notice of any one & can not see that in comparison with the others he shines in our eyes, our eyes I say for tho’ I have nothing to say to any one I like to look at intelligent people & to hear them talk, & as sister Ellen says, I feel the want of some agreable object to rest my eyes upon now Mr Baldwin is gone. you are quite wrong in your conjectures that I shall descend from the antelopes horns, for I never felt less inclination to do so in my life, to do so I am losing I hope my awkward bashfulness, but I still have intirely too much of it, and as to being able to enter into conversation wi[th] any one, it is a thing I find more difficult than ever I really am afraid I shall be a stupe all my life.

Dec 18.I reciev’d my Dear Virginias last letter while in the midst of preparations for a cotillon party, the only party of any sort—I was going to say that I had gone to, I forgot that I had not been yet, & although all is confusion round me I must finish this letter to send by Mr Trist who leaves us tomorrow. of all the people that we have visited I liked the Marx’s most tho’ I am not in the least acquainted with them, Miss Judy Marx I only saw for an instant in her carriage; Miss Braddick call’d on us & I think I should like her very much; Miss Foushee ask’d after Mama & yourself; your friends the Gambles have taken no notice of us.Miss Margaret Nicolas has just called to tell us that she can not go with us to the ball because one of Mrs Norborne Nicolas’s children is very ill indeed. I have chang’d my opinion of Mr Mordicai I do not think he is insensible at all, from the manner in which he behav’d ye a day or two ago at some reflection cast on the Jews in his presence, he smiled but was evidently hurt much hurt, sister Ellen has got very much better acquainted with him, & says she does not know what on earth to do when he is gone as he is the only creature who is not stupid or a puppy in the house.[. . .] I have seen Elizabeths beau Mr Marshall, & tho’ he supported his character of “prince of puppies” admirably I was kindly inclin’d towards because Aunt Randolph introduc’d him to me as my cousin & I thought he perhaps might one day have a stronger claim to that title. he is remarkably handsome. he enquir’d if Miss Elizabeth was as timid as ever, this is intended for Elizabeth’s ear, as I suppose there is no truth in it. Adieu my dear Virginia I must now dress for dinner, kiss my Dear Mama for me & believe me yours affectionately

C. J. R.
RC (NcU: NPT); torn at seal; addressed: “Miss Virginia Randolph Monticello.
1Manuscript: “drawin.”