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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. V. 1783-1794
Samuel Parr to William Godwin, 10 November 1794

Contents Vol. I
Ch. I. 1756-1785
Ch. II. 1785-1788
Ch. III. 1788-1792
Ch. IV. 1793
Ch. V. 1783-1794
Ch. VI. 1794-1796
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Ch. VII. 1791-1796
Ch. IX. 1797
Ch. X. 1797
Ch. XI. 1798
Ch. XII. 1799
Ch. XIII. 1800
Contents Vol. II
Ch. I. 1800
Ch. II. 1800
Ch. III. 1800
Ch. IV. 1801-1803
Ch. V. 1802-1803
Ch. VI. 1804-1806
Ch. VII. 1806-1811
Ch. VIII. 1811-1814
Ch. IX. 1812-1819
Ch. X. 1819-1824
Ch. XI. 1824-1832
Ch. XII. 1832-1836
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Nov. 10, 1794.

“Your anxiety, dear Mr Godwin, during Hardy’s trial could not be more intense than mine, your joy at the close of it was not more rapturous, your approbation of the jury is not more warm, and your indignation against the judge seems to be less fierce. Is it possible, my friend, that any baseness can be more foul, any injustice more
pernicious, any treason more atrocious, than the deliberate, technical, systematic perversion of law? My bosom glowed with honest rage when I saw the snares that were laid for men’s lives in that odious address to the Grand Jury; but I doubt whether the dagger of an assassin, reeking with blood, would have given a more violent shock to my feelings than the close of
Eyre’s speech at the Old Bailey. I can make great allowances for the projects of statesmen, the errors and prejudices of princes, and even the outrages of conquerors; but when I see the ministers of public justice thirsting with canine fury for the blood of a fellow-creature, my soul is all on fire . . . I very strongly disapproved of the Convention; I would oppose the doctrine of universal suffrage; I look with a watchful, and perhaps with an unfriendly, eye upon all political associations; I wish to see the people enlightened, but not inflamed; I would resist with my pen, and perhaps with my sword, any attempts to subvert the constitution of this country, but I am filled with agony when laws, intended for our protection, arc stretched and distorted for our destruction . . . I am glad the charge was published, because it has been answered; and as I think the answer luminous in style, powerful in matter, and solid in principle, I am extremely desirous of knowing who is the author. He is entitled to my praise as a critic, and my thanks as an Englishman. I shall not be satisfied till Mr Fox takes up, in Parliament, the subject of constructive treason; and I trust that, by perseverance, he will be no less successful than we have already seen him in vindicating the rights of juries. He is a sound and sober statesman, a real lover of his country, and a friend to the collective interests of social man . . . Remember me kindly to Mr Holcroft. Come again to see me at my parsonage, when the weather is finer, the days longer, the roads cleaner, and the aspect of public affairs less gloomy.—Believe me, dear sir, with great respect, your well-wisher and obedient servant,

T. Parr.”