My dear Emily

I recd yr letter a long time ago – but do not judge my affection by my pen – you know how little dependence is to be placed on that; the habit seems to grow worse with age. Not hearing from you, I have lost all knowledge of Lexington – for Custis deals in no news or gossip; so I have no idea of what you are all about. Do write & enlighten me. I hope you are better, & have found some things or person congenial & pleasant.

How are those wretched boys? How hard you should waste your life in feeding them! Away from there – the fact of a college, or a student never dawns upon our brain wheras in Lexington, it is the sum of life! Mr Harrison? How is he – & what is he doing? John Campbell told you he saw me in Washington! I have had one wantful winter on the whole, am just learning the possibilities of life – if I had only known them sooner! I can’t begin at the beginning – You shall hear of my various adventures from my own lips.

Now I am here, in the blessed calm of green fields & apple blossoms! I am devouring all Rob’s new books, & glorying in fire – made of logs! For like Miss Mary D – I was born a “fire-worshiper”! Of course it is often lonely, always monotonous, but pleasures preponderate. I have no society – at least I am not bored to death, by commonplace inanities! We have just finished tea – I am seated by the table, engaged in scratching with my quill – Rob has settled himself in his arm chair – preparatory to a doze. The firelight throws a glow on my Mothers picture over the mantlepiece – taken when she was younger than either of us. At nine we both go to bed – rise at six – breakfast at seven! Every afternoon I ride or drive. The woods are beginning to look lovely – with the dogwood blossoms & yellow jasmine. Of course there is not a hole or corner of the house that has not been swept – & garnished! Oh the trash these hands have burned! Fresh shad caught from the river, form our frugal repasts & even some baked in the ashes. I shall be with you before long. For God’s sake get me a cook. Is Sandford alive?


Robert E. Lee Papers (064 collection), Leyburn Library