Bridget Hawkins Roper-Curzon to Martha Jefferson (Randolph)

Botidoux informs me My Dear Girl, that you have left Panthemont, I do not remember whether your partiality for the Convent was too great to admit of congratulatory, compts or not, there fore shall conceive your sentiments to be similar to my own & wish you joy de bien bon coeur. I hope the amusements you are now going to partake of will not eradicate your former sentiments, nor your new acquaintances banish from your recollection your old friends of Panthemont, amongst whom I beg leave to rank myself, I suppose you have heard of the addition I have lately had to my family as a fond mother is too partial to be allow’d to paint her own child, I shall not attempt to describe my little darling, unless you particularly desire it. Anneseley will soon be united to the man of her choice, so hope she will be as happy as she deserves, the gentleman is eldest son to a nobleman of great property; I saw her name in the paper some months since, as having been on a Masquerade in the character of a Nun, her having been dressed in the habit at Panthemont, woul’d enable her to support it properly. Lady Sophia is married to a poor nigardBeikers lives in a very splendid manner & is generally admired & liked—Devognes I have neither heard of nor seen, I find Dashwood is to remain at Panthemont till she attains the age of 25—I hear Mde de Perieux governs the Nuns with an iron rod, they repent their obedience I dare say—I am very to see the wretched company they have got out there, Lady Musgrove, Lady Murray &etc wou’d not be visited in England & if once it is found out that the Nuns admit of such a collection, they will loose all their English Pensioners—Do you recollect the train j’ai essayer de la part de mon Pité? Pray write to me often & in French. I will answer you punctually. You must forgive my writing a short letter, but if you will accept of a few Stanzas instead of a third page, you will much oblige

B. C.

Should you aske me, what female desert I require

To relish the conjugal life:

Nor beauty, nor titles, nor wealth I desire

To bias my choice in a wife:

The charms of a face may occasion a sigh:

The costly allurements of art

May yield a short moment of joy to ye eye,

But give no delight to the heart.

Would equipage, splendor, or noble descent

Bring comfort where ever they fall,

Could these add a drop to the cup of content,

I’d gladly partake of them all;

But vain the assistance proud riches bestow,

The raptures that Beauty impart,

To soften the painful reflections of woe,

Or banish distress from the heart,

Then give me the temper unclouded & gay,

The countenance ever serene,

To cheer with sweet converse as youth wears away.

And disepate anger & spleen,

Whose smiles may endear & enliven the house

Retirement shall oft set apart:

Whose virtues may sooth when disquietude sours,

And tenderness cherish the heart.

For fortune, be Honour her portion assigned,

For Beauty, bright healths rosy bloom,

Let justice and candour ennoble her mind,

And cheerfulness sorrow consume;

Thus form’d, would she share with me life’s little store,

Its mixture of pleasure and smart,

She’d ever continue, till both were no more,

The constant delight of my heart:

Poetry of the World

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

de bien bon coeur: “with all my heart.” should you aske me ... begins “Song, Addressed to a young lady,” attributed to “Arley” and published in Poetry of the World (1788), 2:43–4.

Bridget Hawkins Roper-Curzon
Date Range
January 1, 1789 to December 31, 1789