Jane H. Nicholas Randolph to Sarah E. Nicholas
|My dear Sarah,||Tufton March 12th, 1821.|
I have been intending, and intending, to write to you every sunday ever since I got your letter, but something has always prevented me, for which, I am very sory sorry, and will promise that I will never neglect you again, if you answer this letter with one of your delightful long letters, that have been such treats to us all this winter.– but I must stipulate, that you shall not make it long, by any more extracts from “niles Register”; I assure you I should most unquestionably have beaten you, if I had been near you, when I found, that instead of a good dish of scandal, it was nothing but an extract that I had seen before. you must not be affronted at this from me; as your letter [. . .] was a s source of great comfort to our dear [. . .] Mama.
Aunt Carr came here on friday from James Carrs, she has been in that neighbourhood for some time, and has come away [. . .] extremely affronted with that demon, of demons, martha Minor, who has behaved in the most abominble manner to our dear Aunt.– she went up to James Carrs to press Aunt C. to go and spend sometime with them, which she, at last agreed to do, and went accordingly, to spend a week, when she got there, she found that the madam had just had a mishap, (which is the third since Aunt C. came to Virginia) and that Mrs J Carr was staying to nurse her and keep house for her; ([. . .] as she [. . .] will not let Mary minor keep house for her) Martha was carried up into the little room up stairs, and Aunt C, and Mrs C., put in the “big room”, after being there two days, and submitting to a variety of slights, (such, as having no candle to light her to bed; and when she would be talking to Martha, she would turn her back to her and begin to talk to Mrs C. upon another subject, and a thousand other things of this sort.) Mr S Carr came over, and as Aunt C was undressing herself, (not knowing that he was in the house,) she sent to her, to desire that Aunt C would go and sleep in the room, over the chamber, with all the children in the house, in the room with her. well, (as you will readily suppose,) the old lady was not a little moved by this outrageous conduct, but she went, determining to leave the house very early the next morning; when she got into the room there was no fire, and sheets that had, (without any exaggeration) been slept in for six weeks!!! Aunt C. says she spread her clothes over the bed and went to bed, and but not to sleep as she was in such a rage she could not sleep; and in the morning when she could sleep, the children and maid made such a noise, she was obliged to get up, when to her great mortification, she found it was raining most furiously, and she could not get away, so she took occasion to mention to M. that she had not slept all night and that when she might have slept in the morning the children, and Betsy the maid, made such a noise that it was impossible.– C she answered, that [. . .] Betsy had to work out after she had cleaned the chambers and could not wait for people that laid abed after day, and that Aunt C. might “thank God” that Betsy had not pulled her out of bed, for that was the way she made her serve her Aunt Polly, poor old miss Polly!– now did you ever here of any thing like this in your life; Aunt C says she will never go to the house again as long as she lives unless it upon some urgent business with Mr M. and [. . .] that then, unless, he is not able to come to her, he is in dreadful health and it is thought by his physicians,1 docts, Minor & Carr, that he will not live a year.– I could not give you an idea of the shocking way she treats his children, all his friends think it is killing him, and are very anxious that he should take them from her; you may guess she must be very bad, and outrageous, when her own uncle – Mr S Carr has spoken to Mr M. and entreated him to take his children from her, and has generously offered to take some of them, but he cant’ summon up resolution enough.– Oh! I never heard of such a [. . .] as she is, she is lost to all sense of decency and feeling; my heart bleeds for those poor little innocent victims, but as to him, I think he almost deserves all that he has to bear from her; I must tell you one thing more of her and then I will stop; she has only had washing done in her house twice since X-mass!!–
I think it is time for you to say something about when you are coming? this is March, and you have not [. . .] said one word [. . .] about the time when you and sister [P] will be here, we are all crazy to see you both. I hope our [. . .] sister will be able to stay until the dreadful time when our poor mother is to quit Warren for ever, my heart sinks with in me, when I think of that time, and if it was only a well over I should feel so much better satisfied.– I hope, and pray, that my dear sister C. will be able to come in, in the fall. Margaret is wretched too, about Mama quiting Warren, and is always trying to contrive some plan of getting her away before the time, but Mama insists2 on staying there to take care of every thing. What is the reason that sister [. . .] P. and sister Cary Anne have never written to Mama but once? I really think it is a great shame for them not to have written oftener; I know that I have more to do than either of them and I write whenever I have an opportunity; and I know, that it is an attention that she expects and is a gratification to her. I dare say they will think it great impudence in me to write of them in this way, but I know they will not be affronted with me, as they know very well, that theirs there is nobody no one who loves them more than I do.
I am going on this spring just as I did last; staying out all day, and doing nothing all the time; the times are so hard, that we have put Johnny out, and James in the stable, and Anderson in the dining room and you may suppose, I have trouble enough, however I dont’ complain, but would make any sacrifice whatever, to releive Jefferson from his difficulties; he is making great exertions and if he has good luck I think he must succeed in getting out of debt. He sends a great-deal of love to you all; and we were both very much gratified by your regret at leaving us, and “Old Virginia.” I beleive mama is still not determined to go to B. for [. . .] two or three years as she does not think it will be prudent to go for some time; however she is not, and cannot, be, determined, until she can form some idea of what she may expect, and we are all as much in the dark about it as ever. I had a great deal to write to you about, but have filled my letter with that hussy so that I have not room now; but will write again soon.
What could I get a decent silk bonnet for, and could you and sister [. . .] P. bring it in for me? I am entirely without one, and would be glad to get one and as cheap as possible. my love to sister P3 and [Ross?].
your ever dear