Hore Browse Trist to Nicholas P. Trist
|Dearest Brother||July 27th |
Every thing that contributes to your happiness must affect mine sensibly, & I feel very much gratified that you have succeeded on a point which you deemed almost essential to your future welfare. when I read your letter, I was from various causes thrown into a kind of melancholy reverie, in the first place this circumstance seems forms a great epocha in your life, for on it depends in a great measure your future happiness or misery. I felt how hard it would be for that two beings whose [. . .] lifes have passed as yours have in affluence, I may say, & ease, should, as it were begin the world anew resting entirely on your [. . .] exertions for a support. There was I dare say a little selfishness mingled with my feelings for you know in the situation you are placed in, or rather will shortly be, the affection is concentrated on one object, others ties are soon relaxed & weakened ’till at last a Brother [. . .] becomes a mere acquaintance. such ideas are apt to intrude themselves at first & my mind was in a state well adapted to encourage them. I was also sorry that you had given up the idea of returning to W. Point as you told me you expected to derive more advantage from the next years course than from those you had already passed through. you must place all these feelings in their true light; they were the natural consequences of the deep interest I take in all that concerns you. Your plans are not I am afraid so hopeful as you suppose. In the first place should Father purchase a sugar plantation he would necessarily involve himself in debt, & he is already too much involved this would prevent him from affording you any material assistance for many years. If you study law I would advise you to practice any where but in Albemarle, It offers little encouragement to a young practitioner & besides you would be in the sphere of the observation of certain persons, all eyes would be directed upon you, and how mortified you’d be if your success was not very great. If you study law you must practice somewhere else, if you wish to be a farmer your former plan was preferable, de cultiver l’habitation Sur les terres hautes. Il me semble qu’elle (u)
As for the proposition you make of going to Louisi in the fall, I feel greatly disposed to accede to it, because it would be the means of saving father the sum of $ 800 at least, for I could not remain In Philadelphia for less & I doubt if I would lose much by taking the step. If the climate of Louisiana should disagree with me, nothing would be more to my interest, than to go & study under mr Wirt in Washington, où étant à la cour quelques nouvelles vues peut’ètre s’offriraient. when I receive my remittance perhaps I may join you in Virginia
Washington writes me word, that he finds it impossible to comply with his engagement to return & spend the summer with me; but the state of his health, would make it little less than madness to renew his studies for he consulted a physician who told him his life would be endangered if he took that step & advised him to travel in the south, which he says he will do the secretary of war has promised him a furlough for the greater part of the winter. he desires me to tell you that he has given up all hopes of the Engineer corps & has made up his mind to be sent to green Bay or Council Bluffs. he wishes you to take care of his “effèts” at the Point untill his return & to get a french dictionary of his from Cadet Holmes & keep it for him. Poor fellow I am afraid he is not long for this world. I hardly expected him to return when he took leave of me. If it were not for the nature of his disease, I would have invited him to repair to Louisiana & pass the winter with us, but the house is not larg[e] & perhaps Mother would not like it. Good bye to Descriptive Geometry & to much of the “agrément” of my stay here. It has been my lot for this last year to be tossed about without much pleasure or satisfaction. Mead has also written to inform me that he had the1 dysentary on the 4th which prevented his coming & to offer his excuses to the corps. I am ignorant of his place of abode or I would answer his letter. I will pack up your articles but how to send them I dont know. you must let me know what you mean by sockets. you said nothing about Grandmother & when & how you are to take her to Liberty. since your departure I have received a letter from Mother in which she says that all the family are well, & fathers sickly month has gone by. You must write to washington. I enclosed you a letter the other day from your friend williams. Give my love to Grandmother & the family I wish I was there.
de cultiver l’habitation ... et on peut eviter ce fléau lá: to cultivate the property on the mountain. It seems to me that she (author footnote: you are wrong about my sagacity; not only I but also Eppes knew it. He amused himself shewing her his emotions, something I never allowed myself to do.) could at least try out the weather there, one doesn’t die the first year except of yellow fever, and one can avoid that plague.