Martha Jefferson Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist)

I am afraid My dear Virginia that not only the 14th but the 21 will catch me still at Monticello, nor should I be very much surprised were the 28th to [. . .] find me in My flower borders admiring the beauty of My crocus’s persian1 Iris’s & &. you know my going depends upon circumstances that I can not controul but if I can you know also that I shall require no persuasion. in the mean time amusez vous bien, try and get fat and handsome before I see you. your present bad looks which you give Mary such a melancholy account of, proceeds from exposure to Cold on the journey, suppressed perspiration; I am sure you did not wear the spencer or tie up your head, or you would not have had an erruption on the face however Richmond is so much milder than it is here and the walking downtown is so good that I hope you will soon recover your looks, health and spirits and some of these days the Carriage with Mama & Geordie may drive up to the door yet. I regret much that I am not with you on every account. I believe I am a little like Silvia in the double gallant “mighty good for low spirits” sometimes. I answered the letter I sent you some time ago and did not recollect untill after I had sent it to ask for the name that was torn off. in fact I thought you had done it. I got a letter from Ellen by the last mail she is still the gayest of the gay, she seems to be so much from home that she has not time for the blues. but between our selves I am afraid she is doing a useless piece of mischief in a quarter where there is no pen of gold to write [. . .] the name on the fair blank paper which has by no means the repellant quality to less precious metals that she seems to suppose; witness poor D.C.T. Mary is fretting over her preparations. she has literally noting nothing to trim with, neither work, lace, nor any thing else. as badly off as you were, she is still worse. it is too a melancholy truth that “you cannot make a velvet purse out of a sow’s ear.” pray let us hear some thing more of Mr N. N. and if Jane’s prediction was right of it’s being Harriet that had captivated him. I promised for Jane that she should not [. . .] laugh at him out of her bed room, beyond that I could not take upon me to engage. George has been told that perhaps C. and her self will bring home an aligator apiece. Mary asked him how he would like such a brother or cousin he said he would be afraid they would bite him. he is the most literal creature child I ever saw, his questions and the terror excited by Mary’s answer, diverted me very much. tell the girls they will be poor creatures if they do not in the number get a Sir “OrangOranHaut Ton.” with regard to your part of My letter I informed him that it had frozen by the way and been translated2 to the northern Northern regions along side of the Comæ Berrenice [. . .] where he might see it pursuing its silent path through the heavens if he was well enough acquainted in those regiond regions to distinguish the glittering stranger. I have at last succeeded in having My alcove turned into a closet and you have no idea how much it has added to My comfort I laid regular siege to Papa who bore it in [. . .] dignified silence for some time, but I gave it to him [. . .] for breakfast, dinner, and supper, and breakfast again till he gave up in dispair at last. and when it is painted it will not disfigure the room at all, and untill I can procure drawers for your room I will send the press up [. . .] after having good locks put upon it. I think you will find a convennience convenience in it. adieu dearest daughter my blessing to the house hold and tenderest love to yourself & My dearest C.

your ever affectionate Mother
RC (NcU: NPT); dateline repeated at foot of text.

double gallant: Colley Cibber was the author of The Double Gallant; or, the Sick Lady’s Cure (1792).

1Manuscript: “pesian.”
2Manuscript: “trranslated.”
Date Range
January 10, 1822