Hore Browse Trist to Nicholas Philip Trist
|Dr Brother||Philadelphia April 23d 1821|
I received a letter from mother the other day wherein she expressed the same opinion, thinking it would be more preferable to go with you to Virginia, than to spend the sultry season opposite West Point; and she seems moreover suspicious that I do not keep my sensual desires within bounds; she feels great uneasiness that I should not have some mentor here to temper me with good advice, and calm those evil propensities by sage counsel. but I could inform her those are but poor safeguards, when not aided by strength of mind and firm resolution. her suspicions however are groundless not that I am too good to commit these follies, but that opportunities do not throw themselves in my way, and I do not seek them, I have no licentious companion to allure me into the temples of venus and from some cause or other I am not bold enough to introduce myself. This much I can say for myself that I have never been in a brothel in my life. I have no Idea of going to Virginia this year it would be time lost. As for West Point there are some circumstances to oppose that plan, in the first place I shall want all the money I have, to settle my debts, to pay Mr Guillou Mr Nulty &c I do not mean accts for I do not keep any I might borrow money from Mr Brejue, who has treated me with great cordiality and kindness since I presented Fathers letter to him. he told me to apply to him whenever I might be in want of cash, but I feel some repugnance to this method, and would rather not. the opportunity for studying would be much greater at West Point for I must confess I trifle away my time here shamefully but, Mathematics would not thrive so well I’m afraid when under no obligation of studying them, I would be apt to serve them as I do Greek & latin now. taking every thing into consideration it would be however the most eligible step but I see no probability of taking it so soon.
I am sorry your books amounted to so much more than you had calculated they would come to. remember we have 120$ to pay leitch and how to do it I can’t conceive unless be when we leave the country.
Mr Johnson had left philadelphia before your letter reached me I sent some little books to Julian but nothing to Grandmother or Father; The absentee would not have been appropriate. good bye for I must go presently to see the Esquimaux Indians perform their feats on the river, & I feel in no very good humour to write
send me a list of your books that may know what to take with me.