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

True to my promise, My Dear sister, of writing to you as soon as I had been to the first party, I take advantage of Mr Gilmer’s going to Albemarle & write you a letter by him, although it is very late & he sets off1 tomorrow morning.—To begin at the beginning then, I was drest & sister Ellen said I would do but I soon found I would not do for I was laced too tight & after deliberating a little while I prefer’d comfort to good looks, & had all my cloths loosen’d & went down stairs in my own opinion a right dowdy figure, I forgot to tell you, that sister Ellen found it impossible to make my head look like a lady’s head & after two hours of vexation to herself and [. . .] torment to me, she finish’d, declaring that she dress’d had dress’d my head as she could & not as she would, you may suppose I had a very humble opinion of my own attractions, but I very philosophically thought to myself, that it was to please myself and not others that I went to the ball, & when a thousand compliments were paid to sister Ellen on her appearance and a great many witty speeches made, I was as much diverted as any body, & was even well pleas’d that they were not made to me because I could not bring have turned them off so well. We went to the ball full of curiosity about a young lady who was to appear there under these circumstances; the day before while we were at the mantua makers we overheard her telling some ladies who were looking at a very handsome trimming that it was for a young lady who was to make her appearance that the next evening for the first time, that she was perfectly beautiful & had determin’d that no one should see her untill, with all the the advantages of dress she should shine out & dazzle every beholder like a bright light, I went therefore prepar’d to be struck dumb, & was quite disapointed when I saw the trimming to the dress of a very dowdy girl, with regula[r] features & a white neck to be sure, but just such a pert little face as might be expected to a girl who could form such a plan; before we went aunt Randolph had found out that it was Miss Henrietta Henningham Codrington Corrington Venerble Watkins, adieu My Dear sister Aunt Randolph has promis’d to keep Mr Gilmer just as long as it will take me to fold & direct my letter & no longer, kiss Peg & Pat for me & believe yours ever

C. R.
RC (NcU: NPT); mutilated at fold; stained; endorsed by recipient: “Cornelia.”
1Manuscript: “of.”