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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Mary Wollstonecraft to Everina Wollstonecraft, [December 1783]

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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“[December 1783].

“I don’t know what to do. Poor Eliza’s situation almost turns my brain. I can’t stay and see this continual misery, and to leave her to bear it by herself without any one to comfort her, is still more distressing. I would do anything to rescue her from her present situation. My head is quite confused with thus being to so little purpose. In this case something desperate must be determined on. Do you think Edward will receive her? Do speak to him; or if you imagine that I should have more influence on his mind, I will contrive to see you, but you must caution him against expostulating with or even mentioning the affair to Bishop, for it would only put him on his guard, and we should have a storm to encounter that I tremble to think of. I am convinced that this is the only expedient to save Bess, and she declares she had rather be a teacher than stay here. I must again repeat it, you must be secret; nothing can be done till she leaves the house. For his friend Wood very justly said that he was ‘either a lion or a spaniel.’ I have been some time deliberating on this, for I can’t help pitying B., but misery must be his portion at any rate till he alters himself, and that would be a miracle.

“To be at Edward’s is not desirable, but of the two evils she must choose the least. Write a line by the bearer, or by the post to-morrow—don’t fail. I need not urge you to use your endeavours; if I did not see it was absolutely necessary, I should not have fixed on it. I tell you she will soon be deprived of reason.
B. cannot behave properly, and those who would attempt to reason with him must be mad, or have very little observation. Those who would save Bess must act and not talk.”