February 29

Four years ago I had not the amusing pleasure to celebrate Leap Day, surrounded by people though I was in the height of my coming into society, I cannot imagine any one of those gentlemen forced into my acquaintance who would have understood of my cynical humor on such ‘romantic’ holidays.  I suppose four years ago I was certainly not as jaded as I am presently, but I do not imagine myself so much personally altered in that regard that I cannot recall my own temperament.   

This year, however, I sent the Doctor a silly poem ‘professing my affection’, in hopes of lightening his day, if such a service was at all required in the first place (which I am certain, in his profession, is often the case.) As much as I wanted to absolutely state my true unswerving devotion and affections for him, I am sadly not sure of his own feelings regarding the subject, so any declarations made were masked in a sarcastic wit.  If he feels as I do, I can only hope that he will read between the lines, as it were, and understand me better.  I confess, my confidence remains rather low.

The poem read as follows:

 My Dearest Doctor, for dearest it is true,
It is a miracle you do not bore me,
For most around me do.
We could sit and converse for hours,
If you refrain from talking of flowers.
You bear my censures, and indulge my sharp wit,
I suppose I could not find for myself a better fit.
I do hope that we may continue as we are,
Anyone else tolerable I wager is too far,
And to confess, of you I am quite fond,
Something like a frog is to a pond.
Do not let my poetry ill of you reflect,
In you I find not a single defect,
Humor is all I intend to project ,
And through it a sincere affection I wish to protect.

Domestically, we have survived the setting our property for our new equine additions, and just two days previous Mr. Hegwood returned from his travels with two working horses in which he will put to use in preparing the north fields for Tobacco, a crop which he assures will bring us even more comfort in the way of funds.  Mr. Covey has convinced my dear guardian that in growing Tobacco,he cannot possibly go wrong.  Morally, I have to vehemently disagree with him, for whilst the employment of Negro slaves for the breeding of horses and the tending of our land in the general way was unavoidable, employing more for the addition of growing a crop which will then fuel his first ideas of income and pass-time strikes me as careless with the life of our fellow man.     It is a subject in which I feel most strongly, yet must remain as ignorant and oblivious outwardly as a babe.  In America, nothing is to be gained with nay-saying of slavery.

Gladly, though, I shall abandon thought upon troublesome topics, and keep it on things that bring me joy.  The two new horses are both shires, one who has a face almost completely white, and the other a more refined head, though their coats and mains were in the most wretched condition from the long voyage from Kentucky territory and the wet winter we have had.  They are in a desperate way of needing to be groomed, and I hope once settled they can be attended to.  I was allowed the pleasure of naming them, as they are both lovely strong mares, they have been dubbed Hera and Diana, goddesses of their own right, the beautiful creatures.  They paid great attention to me as I greeted them and were quite fond of me, as I think they knew I was fond of them.  I shall take the best care of them, I think, in way of treats and affection, and shall question Mr. Hegwood if either would be willing to carry me, since I have yet to attain a suitable mount, Jack having not survived his voyage from Albany, and every other brute being too wild and dangerous.  I feel sitting atop either Hera or Diana would be similar to sitting in our drawing room sofa, and the image invoked by such thoughts has caused great mirth between myself and Abigail.