The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson
I will talk about Monticello, then, and my own country, as is the
wish expressed in your letter. My daughter [Martha Jefferson]
Randolph, whom you knew in Paris a young girl, is now the mother of
eleven living children, the grandmother of about half a dozen others,
enjoys health and good spirits, and sees the worth of her husband
attested by his being at present Governor of the State in which we
live. Among these, I live like a patriarch of old. Our friend Trumbull
is well, and profitably and honorably employed by his country in
commemorating with his pencil some of its revolutionary honors. Of
Mrs. Cruger I hear nothing, nor for a long time of Madame de Corny.
Such is the present state of our former coterie: dead, diseased, and
dispersed. But "tout ce qui est differe' n'est pas perdu,"
says the French proverb, and the religion you so sincerely profess
tells us we shall meet again; and we have all so lived as to be
assured it will be in happiness. Mine is the next turn, and I shall
meet it with good will, for after one's friends are all gone before
them, and our faculties leaving us, too, one by one, why wish to
linger in mere vegetation, as a solitary trunk in a desolate field,
from which all its former companions have disappeared?
to Maria Cosway, 27 December 1820