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

We have spent so much of our time in visiting that I really am afraid I shall do very little with my books after all, for besides the time taken up by the act of dressing and visiting I really am so stupid and so much fatigued when I return that I find the bed the most proper place for me for hours after.

We have been out three days of almost every week, & besides the three of this week we are engaged for two others; We have found Mrs Walker such an excellent kind hearted woman, that we like her better than any body else and she seems to be a general favorite every body visits her, and it must be from her goodness. Mrs Clark is in wretched health I never saw such a cadaverous complexion in my life, & she is a perfect skeleton, she is going to the springs immediately.Tell Francis that I have seen Miss Betsy Clark, that she is grown up, which I suppose he knew before, and quite pretty, which he has known long ago; to be sure as an elegant poet most elegantly expresses it.

“All the brains”
“That little squashy head contains,”
“Wouldent fill a musqueto’s eye sir.”

and she not only says “nimini pimini” before her glass every day, but in company also, or what comes to the same thing, she says nothing better. her beauty is certainly not of the same order, with her sisters, she has not that head of Mary queen of Scotts that Mrs Scott has, who to my great regret is not in the neighbourhood, We visited the Wards also and Miss Ann Ward (whom Francis would have prefered to Miss Clark if he had been of my taste, but I believe poor fellow it was not left to his choice) is really beautiful, she has quite a Greek face, a beautiful mouth, and hair which if it would not have been remarkable dressed in the common way, was from the style in which she wore it, it was of a dark brown & very glossy, com’d smooth, & parted on the forehead [. . .] without a single curl, it just reach’d her shoulders, & there did not “fall in a thousand ringlets” as the heroines of novels generally have theirs, but set full about her throat and neck, in a very becoming manner, to her perhaps it would not have been so to anyone else, than to make her still more unlike the common run of girls, there was a stillness a seriousness and dignity in her countenance & manners, ([. . .] besides a languor which is not uncommon.) that very few of them have. There are several remarkably pretty girls growing up in this neighbourhood.

Oh tis sweet to think that where ever we rove.
We are certain to find something blissful and dear.

There is very little blissful tho’ in this neighbourhood, at least to me and of course nothing dear out of this house; and indeed my principal objection to visiting is its giveing me so much time to think of home & you all for I am quite a child in that respect. I have seen many more people among whom were major Reed the father of Gen. Jacksons aid de Camp, who has the mildest best countenance2 in the world, a gentleman, really a gentleman that we met at Mr Walkers, that both of us particularly sister Ellen was were very much pleas’d with tho’ we were only half an hour in his company, & I did not see him at last, I only heard him, his name is something [. . .] between Cato & Clayton, but what I do not know.I have quite fallen in love with Francis’s old friend Mr Ward’s [. . .] singular uglyness & uncouth manners, he said he used to know mama & asked me if she began to look old yet—but I reckon you are almost as tired of all these people as I am—

We [. . .] are all in excelent health here but my Dear grandpapa, who is yet suffering under a violent attack of the rheumatism, but he has got flannel & is going to apply it to every part that is affected which I hope will carry it away & I must make haste & finish my letter, that I may make a pair of sleeves for him. his hands & feet are very much swell’d indeed.I am sorry to hear of Browses ill health, but hope he is not going to be seriously ill. I wish we could send you a little of Sister Ellen’s & my health, she looks better & is fatter than I ever saw her.Mr Burwell is with us at present and we expect captain Peyton every day.I am glad to hear sister Ann is going to be settled in a home of her own, particularly as she will have protection from that brute, for I am sure she must always be miserable [. . .] she has [. . .] one, & I do not think that his returning to his old habits [. . .]to be regretted, indeed what could be happier for [. . .] being found out by every body & [. . .] forc’d to go [. . .] state; away some where where we never shall hear of him again.

Adieu my Dear Virginia remember me to all the girls & boys at Ashton & Monticello & to my aunts & Mrs Trist. kiss my Dear mama for me. and dear little Geordie & Tim. & believe ever yours with the sincerest affection.

C. J. R.

Sister Ellen got your letter, & I believe we get all that you write very regularly & quickly. I wish mama would send me word when to plant the flower roots.

RC (NcU: NPT); mutilated at seal; addressed: “Miss Virginia Randolph Monticello near Charlottesville”; stamped; postmarked New London, 12 Aug.
1Manuscript: “Polarr.”
2Manuscript: “countenane.”