Bridget Hawkins (Roper-Curzon) to Martha Jefferson (Randolph)

Il mia cara sorella spero1 che portate béne—surprised really astonished at my own cleverness, you must give me credit my Dr Jef for half a hundred good things I could have said, or more properly speaking wrote in this letter, had I not treasured up all the wit I am mistress of, in one corner of my brain, to be delivered with a proper grace on demand at a brilliant assembly I am to honor with all my presence as tomorrow; so child you must content yourself with a very stupid epistle, by the bye, you may say that you will have the more patience in the perusing of it, as are so frequently indulged with them. Apropos, I was lolling in a Lethargic state, in the carriage the other day & was roused by Miss Devayner, who screech’d out in her usual vulgar manner, How d’ye do—now I would have you to know, as how nothing is reckoned so very inconsistent with good breeding, as hollering & shouting with such vulgarity, I was really quite shock’d for her—she appeared aussi folle que jamais, her Mother I heard yesterday, was her Father’s misstress, therefore totally unfit to educate a young woman—I should imagine so at least, this entre nous, je vous en prie2—no one visits her in England, no people of fashion. I am much obliged to my dear, ever dear friend for the trouble she has taken to execute the commissions I charged her with—I will send you by the first opportunity some prints, a seal & some books, now if you should want any thing else which it would be in my power to procure you, I trust you will make no compliments, no ceremony but instantly write to your friend for them, on whom believe me, you will confer a singular pleasure as it will enable her to oblige her Dr Patsy—I have likewise sent my little Polly some Story books, I flatter myself the sweet girl has not forgot me, how happy should I be to embrace her (& my other friends at Panthemont); I frequently wish to be with you again, but that will never be ainsi n’y [. . .] pensions plus. I was yesterday in company with a Mrs Butler, who mention’d, that her nephew, Captain Fremantle was over head & ears in love with Miss Annesley who he had met had the pleasure of dancing with at the Ham Ball, (one of the best in England)—Il ne sais nullement3 si Lord A est mort ou en vie, je n’ai pas entendu parler de lui, the rapports are all false I assure concerning him & my ladyship believe me. Tell Dashwood that I was introduced to her handsome cousin, (Mr Dashwood), who, (after what I have said above, I should omit this part of the story), is reckon’d extremely like me, “what vanity”, my Dr Girl will say, nevertheless ’tis so, I assure you—Miss Elizabeth, his charming sister, is by all accounts my very counterpart, she is just married to I believe a very wild young man—’tis un mariage4 d’inclination, by which she has incur’d the displeasure of all her friends, this intelligence I heard from the Honble Mr Dymoke, the Champion of England, if I had omitted his titles, I should have never been forgiven, his sister, a sweet girl & a great friend of mine, is going shortly to be married to an Uncle of mine, I believe I shall live a great deal with them, which will contribute much to my happiness as my Uncle & I perfectly doat on each other: I am to be brides-maid, my dress you shall have a discription of, t’will be extremely elegant, as likewise of the wedding in general—’tis my favorite uncle we are as intimate as brother & sister can possibly be—Miss Dymoke has just sent me, une [pensée?] comme celle de bellecour, she says there are but [. . .] they will meet your approbation; the rest of the box you will receive, open & deliver them to Mde De Villiers, the Girdle cost 2ƒ.15s & the Buckles 9.S. per Buckle, beg her to send the money to Mr Cowley Prieur des benedictions anglois rue fB St Jaques—how frequently have I wrote this direction, the veracity of that, you will ascertain—the rest of the things I have purchased for you, will be sent by the first opportunity—quite tired Jef—weary of scribbling—je veux actuellement avoir une meche de vos cheveux d’importance, vous conviendresz que je l’ai bien merité adio ti amo molto bène

Most affectionately Yours

Tell me who are friends now at the class, who [do] Bellecour, Botidoux D’Harcourt & your ladyship associate with? & who are my rivals aupres de Crofton et Du Cherÿ—answer me the day you have received this—& tell all my correspondants at P— that if they dont all write by the same Post, I shall not be able to receive them safe, being out of town—my love to them all, particularily BellecourLis soi des romans actuellement excuse this wretched scrawl. Si tu veux me le laisser payer pas autrement, je te5 serai infinitement obligé de m’acheter—en cachet—le Diable emporte l’amour—& a white seal if you please—whatever size you think proper, as many are worn at present & I have only four for both watches, I should be obliged to you to let me have it as soon as possible—

Tr (ViU: ER); undated; in an unidentified hand; with possible transcription errors.

il mia cara sorella spero che portate béne: “my dear sister, I hope you are doing well.”

aussi folle que jamais: “crazier than ever.”

ainsi n’y pensions plus: “so let us not think more about it.”

entre nous, je vous en prie: “only between you and me, please.”

il ne sais nullement . . . de lui: “he does not know at all whether Lord A is dead or alive, I have not heard from him.”

un mariage d’inclination: “a love marriage.”

une pensée comme celle de bellecour: “a pansy like the one Bellecour has.”

prieur des benedictions anglois rue fb st jaques: “Prior of the English Benedictines, rue Faubourg St. Jacques.”

je veux . . . bien merité: “I really want a sizable lock of your hair, you must admit I have deserved it.”

adio ti amo molto bène: “goodbye, I love you greatly.”

aupres de crofton et du cherÿ: “by Crofton and Cherÿ.”

si tu veux me laisser . . . le diable emporte l’amour: “if you let me pay, but not otherwise, I would be infinitely grateful if you bought me The Devil Brings Love.”

lis soi des romans actuellement: the author may have intended “I read novels this evening.”

1Manuscript: “sporo.”
2Manuscript: “prié.”
3Manuscript: “sullement.”
4Manuscript: “marriage.”
5Manuscript: “tu.”
Bridget Hawkins Roper-Curzon
Date Range
January 1, 1788 to December 31, 1788