Nicholas P. Trist to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist)

It is well, my dearest Virginia, you did not wait for a sight of the sun’s “blessed face” before writing, for my indignation had been gathering for three or four weeks, and I had fixed on to-day for pouring it forth—

Don’t infer from this that my disposition is an exacting one, in general; it is so in this instance because I love too dearly not to feel a little ruffled when several posts arrive without bringing me an evidence of what I know very well, but nevertheless like (what a cold word!) to see confirmed as often as possible, was it only to read a fresh “your own VJR”—my own! it is the last word I read before closing my eyes, and receives many a kiss before your letter is deposited under my pillow, to summon the writer before me in my sleep.—“What a blockheadto”—whoever you may be, you are not a Lover.—

Before I forget it, let me give you an extract from a novel I have lately read; the subject may appear an eternal one with me, but we cannot be too perfect in the practice, and therefore, cannot bestow too much study on the theory. They are the words of a mother to her daughter and Son-in-Law, who though both very fine characters, and devoted to one another have been on the brink of the gulf of endless misery. “Croyez moi, mes enfans, si jamais vous croyez avoir à vous plaindre l’un de l’autre, dites-vous tout, hâtez-vous de tout vous dire. Une confiance absolue assure seule la paix des ménages.” Substitute a promise to conform to this advice, for the word “obey”; and I will add it to every all I have to pledge my faith for.

With your letter, that I have had by me only since the day before yesterday, came our dear mother’s, (though there was a difference of several days in the post-marks as well as dates). What genuine affection breathes throughout it: besides your inestimable self, what blessings has the gifto f your heart and hand conferred on me!—Your Grandfather’s letter has no doubt past me some distance, for a servant has just returned without it, from the next office below: I have however taken measures which will bring it back next week.—I took my first ride this morning and feel a great deal better for it, though my legs still tremble under me a little: three or four weeks spent on the Sea shore would be of great service, but I might just as well go to New-Orleans as to any of the Summer resorts, which are now as crowded as its streets,—and consequently not a much more safe residence.—The climate appears to agree much better with Colo Nicholas, whom I had the pleasure of seeing last week, apparently in perfect health, at a public Sale that took place a short distance from hence: it was is the first time we have met, and the distance between [. . .] us is too great to admit of visiting.—

With my love to herself and her Sister, give to Harriet the enclosed piece of poetry, in return for her heraldric researches: it is one of some late poems by Moore, which I suppose none of you have Seen, said to be the severest things that were ever written, and mostly directed against the British government and ministry.—Browse joins me in affectionate souvenirs to all around you, accept his brotherly Love, continue, dearest, to be my own, and believe that I shall ever be yours

Nicho Ph: Trist

Our Love to Francis if he is with you.—[. . .]when is he to attain the summit of his wishes? were I not a Lover, I might tell him to wait my return.

RC (NcU: NPT); addressed: “Mrs M. Randolph of Monticello Near Charlottesville Albemarle County Virginia”; stamped; postmarked Donaldsonville, 28 July.

croyez-moi paix des mÉnages (“Believe me, my children, if ever you think you have complaints of one another, tell each other everything, hasten to tell each other everything. Absolute confidence alone ensures the peace of households”) quotes from Charles Antoine Guillaume Pigault-Lebrun, Angelique et Jeanneton de la place Maubert (1799).

By summit of his wishes Trist alludes to the 28 Nov. 1822 marriage of Francis Eppes and Mary Elizabeth Cleland Randolph.