Marie Jacinthe de Botidoux to Martha Jefferson (Randolph)

je nai pas pue te voir ma chere jefferson il ma même été impossible de t’ecrire avant aujourd’hui ta lettre de dimanche ma fort inquiéttee je ne peut mimaginer quelle est cet evenement [. . .] terrible que tu m’annonces1 ecris le moi je tempris je j’ai manque de te voir hiere parceque jetois engagèe et maman [. . .] na pas voulu absolument que j’y aille je tenvois ma très chere ce billet par arkw arkright à cause de la musique de tarrare et du poeme que je tenvois aussi il y á trois exemplaires2 de calpisy comme c’est la chanson la plus a la mode que tu puisses3 endonner ma lettre est bien courte mais ce c’est un petit billet de matins

dis bien des choses4 a annesley et quelle a une maniere de repondre a mes lettres qui me charme et que je suis enverité très faché d’etre5 si loing d’elle et de ne pouvoir lui dire tout ce que je pense sur son conte

mille choses6 a toute la maison

editors’ translation

My dear Jefferson, I have been unable to see you. Even writing to you was impossible until today. Your letter from Sunday greatly worried me. I cannot imagine what this terrible event is that you announce to me. Please write to me about it. I missed seeing you yesterday because I was busy, and mother absolutely did not want me to go there. My very dear one, I am forwarding you this note through Arkright because of the music of Tarare and the poem that I am also sending. There are three copies of Calpisy, the song most in fashion, so that you may give some away. My letter is very short, but it merely is a little morning note

Give my regards to Annesley and tell her that her way of answering my letters is charming and that I am really very upset to be so far from her and unable to tell her what I think of her

A thousand regards to the whole house

RC (ViCMRL, on deposit, ViU: Botidoux Letters, #5385-aa); partially dated; addressed: “A Mademoiselle Mademoiselle De [. . .] Jefferson.” Translation by Dr. Roland H. Simon.

tarare, an opera composed by Antonio Salieri to a French libretto by Pierre Caron de Beaumarchais, was first performed at the Théatre de l’Académie-Royale de Musique in Paris on 8 June 1787. In Act 4 the character Calpigy (calpisy), angrily condemns King Atar’s abuse of power with the aria, “Va! l’abus du pouvoir suprême” (John A. Rice, Antonio Salieri and Viennese Opera [1998], 392–400).

1Manuscript: “m’anonce.”
2Manuscript: “exemplaire.”
3Manuscript: “puisse.”
4Manuscript: “chose.”
5Manuscript: “d’etres.”
6Manuscript: “chose.”