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

Mann brought up your letter to day dearest Virginia & if my energies could do anything to get you back now I know that you are really anxious to return there was no need of bespeaking them to have them already enlisted on the side of your interests which are as much ours as yours but the present difficulty about which mama distress is in distress & despair is to procure a second pair of horses which Mann says from the state of the roads when he travelled them will be absolutely necessary to carry the carriage down my anxiety about the decision of this point is very great, for to borrow from Grand papa is what Mama can not resolve upon and the stopping the ploughs at Edgehill might do an irreparable injury to the plantation affairs there, every thing therefore depends upon the answer that the overseer may give to our message for which we are in breathless expectation till Israel who has been despatched for that purpose returns if [. . .] we are almost in despair at the prospect there is of a failure in his embassy & do not know how we should bear a disappointment for which there would be no redress at hand. we are I am all impatience to see you once more & am ready to answer all obstacles to your being sent for immediately as the frenchman did the queen of France “if it is possible it shall be done & if it is impossible it must be done” however if the worst comes to the worst “I can do nothing but submit” which I certainly shall do with a very ill grace in this case however I know not what may be [. . .] aunt Jane’s determination who is doubtless as anxious to have you back again as we are are the roads must particularly the one that Mann did not come up must certainly be much better than they were then & will improve every day & I can not help hoping that this difficulty will somehow be surmounted without the delay of sending to Richmond to get horses which would put off your journey at least a week & perhaps be the means of your losing this delightful weather and that is a circumstance not to be overlooked in our calculations at this season when our climate is so very changeable but with the exception of some cold spells I think we may look for spring now & I have already been enjoying the prospect of it & exhilirating in the first warm beams of the lovely sun we have had for some days past & I never do so with out thinking of you & thinking that I may wish you back again with out much compunction of conscience when the country begins to wear so [. . .] charming an aspect—Mama & myself were in great distress about the bundle made up to send you which tho it did not contain a great many of the things you wanted would still in your the straitened state of your finances have been of some use to you & if it had not been for the snow & Lilburnes neglect and carelessness would have reached you in time for the 22nd as we intended but that object being defeated your near return, the uncertainty of the stage, & more than all, your having it to pay for if it went by that way has prevented our sending it since. I am glad to hear that you are going to the concert, an amusement that you have never participated in before & which I expect would be peculiarly suited to your tastes & I shall be au desespoir if you neglect any of the balls considering how long it may be before your next visit to town & that you are now going to take a long rustication in the country out of hearing, even of those intoxicating scenes. Grand papa has great dificulty in believing that you can be anxious to come home again he thinks at least that your desire to return must be very languid but I assured him that you were distracted about it & I can assure you that we are no less so. what pleasure will it give me to see you all & my dear sister Ellen again but she does not talk of returning yet & I will not now or at any time in any circumstances complain of the seperation from either of you if it is for your happiness that it should be so—we had heard that the students at Columbia & Wayles among the number which I could scarcely believe were [. . .] suspended for not attending school, I am glad to hear that the religious zeal of the professors was in part the cause of it. have you got a letter from Francis lately? Grand papa got one the other day with an account of the affair already mentioned from which he seemed to understand the thing as I have [. . .] told it but I was sure that the professors must have been to blame as well as the young men which is pretty generally the case in these disputes, in this instance the [whole?] college has been threatened with suspension which was still h[anging?] over the heads of some when Francis wrote—mama has not [. . .]ling bag of any description & I expect you will be obliged to submit to the disgrace of carrying about my shabby old kid one which I shall mend & try to make as smart as possible but [. . .] with all my pains I am afraid it will be but an “aundecent” affair at last or what you would call “on handy” “there’s no making a velvet purse out of a sows ear”—aunt M. sends her love & desires me to tell you that if you do not make haste back Mrs Marks will be no more and in her place you will find the gay bride Mrs Coffee & her bridegroom “Giles Jollop the grave” whom she means to introduce as your uncle—give a great deal of love to Aunt Hackley papa Cousin Jane & all the girls I intended to have written to Elizabeth but if the carriage goes down to morrow as I hope I am afraid I shall not have time it was not to have gone till the day after or I should have had my letters ready adieu my dearest assure yourself always of the unchanging affection of your sister

27 28th

the carriage is going to day thank heaven! Mann said he would put in his riding horse & Mama has sent the overseer word to send one of the horses there [. . .] from Edgehill they are a shabby set there by all accounts but you will not be obliged to come up with the same. Mama says I must tell you that Martha’s stockings got a little inked by the soaking of the ink through the covering of the first bundle when she directed it she has sent Lucia [. . .] scissors—tell my dear Elizabeth how sorry I am not to have time to write to her & my love Harriet that she must notbe jealous” that I have not written to her oftener (tho she knows she does not deserve it) & that I would not have been [. . .] ceremonious if I had not had always had so many letters to write to those who had written to me. give my love & a kiss to Martha when you take leave of her Cornelia has got my letter I suppose

once more adieu ’Cushla ma chree*

*pulse of my beating heart

RC (NcU: NPT); unsigned; in the hand of Mary J. Randolph; torn at seal; addressed: “To Miss Virginia J. Randolph. Richmond