Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Maria Cosway, [1 December? 1787]

From Maria Cosway

Saturday Evening [1 Dec.? 1787]

My dear sir

Why will you Make such a great dinner? I had told the Princess of the pleasure I intended My self tomorrow and she seemd very glad to go with me, but had not thought of any body else; to begin by Mr: d’Hancarville he is very sorry not to be able to wait on you as he has been particularly engaged for some time past. Mr: St: Andre I shall see this Evening. Monr: Nimscevik accepts with pleasure your kind invitation, Count Btorki is not here, but I shall deliver to him also your invitation. If my inclination had been your law I should have had the pleasure of seeing you More then I have. I have felt the loss with displeasure, but on My return to England when I calculate the time I have been in Paris, I shall not beleave it possible. At least if that could soften My regret, I shall encourage My immagination to favor Me. Addieu My dear friend, let me beg of you to preserve Me that name, I shall endeavour to deserve it: & all the Gods will bless us.

I hope Mr. Short will not be out as his usual when I have the pleasure to come to you.

RC (ViU); undated and unsigned; endorsed by TJ: “Cosway Maria.” This letter, written toward the end of Maria Cosway’s stay in Paris in 1787, has been assigned to this date because 1 Dec. was the Saturday preceding her departure for London (see Mrs. Cosway to TJ, 7, 10 Dec. 1787). It may be noted in this connection that the expenses recorded in TJ’s Account Book under the heading “cuisine” for the week ending 24 Nov. and the week ending 1 Dec. totalled respectively 542livre tournois-17 and 382livre tournois-10, amounts which were greatly in excess of those for any other week during Mrs. Cosway’s stay in Paris in 1787 and which would seem to confirm the supposition that it was around this date that TJ gave a great dinner. The princess: Princess Lubomirska, mentioned by TJ in his letters to Mrs. Cosway, 24 Apr. 1788 and 14 Jan. 1789. Monr. Nimscevik: Julian Niemcewicz, Polish patriot and writer who later emigrated to the United States. Count Btorki: Count Potocki.

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