The Life and Letters of John Paul Jones - Vol. 2

By Anna De Koven | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIII
THE TWO MADAME T-----S

BEFORE his return to Paris Paul Jones addressed a letter to Jefferson from New York which very fully explained the nature of a serious connection he had formed during his three years' residence in France, and informing him of his intention of formally presenting the lady to him. Jones's inclination toward feminine society, natural to his ardent and sensitive nature and greatly aided by his engaging personality, had hitherto been interrupted by the demands of his public career. But during his second long residence in Paris it had been fully indulged. His relation to the Countess of Nicolson not being renewed upon his return in 1783, he was free to form other ties. No letters from the lady who was now destined to inspire the deepest devotion of his life are preserved, but those which he addressed to her prove that the relation bore the character of a serious and, according to the custom of Parisian society at that period, a recognized liaison, which he intended to legitimize by making the lady his wife. In none of the letters which Jones deposited in the custody of his friend John Ross, in Philadelphia, is her name mentioned in full. Three letters in autograph drafts are addressed to "Madame T.," and two others, to Jefferson, also autograph drafts, contain references to a lady thus designa

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