The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


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