LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. V. 1802-1803
Thomas Holcroft to William Godwin, 1 January 1802

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
Paris, Rue De Lille, Jan. 1, 1802.

“I cannot write a word of business till I have first spoken of the information in your letter, which excited infinitely the most emotion. You are by this time married. I would say something that should convey my feelings: but what are common-place expressions of wishing you joy, hoping you may be happy, or pretending to moralize on a subject which depends so almost entirely on the feelings of the parties. There is not anything on earth so requisite, as well to the every-day, as to the exquisite, happiness of man, as the love and friendship of woman. I know you deserve
the love and friendship of the whole earth, and I think you better calculated to find it in a married life than perhaps any man with whom I am acquainted. With the same ardent desire to practice and to create virtue, which I attribute to myself, you have more forbearance. I do not know
Mrs Godwin, but I have great reliance on your discrimination. As the beginning of future friendship, speak of me, Louisa and Fanny, to her as kindly as your conscience will permit. The time, I hope, will come for us to realize the promises you shall make in our name.

“I have received the bill for £266, 6s. Would you were a man of business as well as a poet. I requested you not to send me the money, but a letter of credit. It might have saved me £8 or £10. I lose now on the whole £16, 8s. 0d. This is a trifle. . . .

“I shall do my utmost to procure books. I begin to have doubts of my securing the work of Madam de Stael. . . . I would by no means libel a nation: but the habits and manners of the people are such, that a promise is frequently here nothing better than warm breath. I have had a quarrel on the subject, still I am not without hopes. When I say a quarrel, you know with what caution and desire of doing right I conduct my quarrels. . . . I think I understand, permit me the expression, the whole history of Le Voyageur. You shall have it with the first parcel, but I think, for Madam de Genlis, it is sad trash. This lady lives at Versailles: distance and bad weather prevented a visit; and Lady Mountcashel gave the letter to me, which has been duly sent. Mr Marshal has not answered my question concerning books of science, agriculture, the fine arts, &c.

“You enquired of S. concerning Fanny’s marriage. The young man is not what his letters appeared to paint him. I forbear to say more, except that Fanny behaves like an angel, I give you this under my own hand, and, as I can well perceive, feels no regret. She is strongly invited to assist Lady Mountcashel in the education of her daughters: and we sincerely wish you were here to help us to consider the question and to decide. Nothing but the utmost independence will be suffered, nor, I believe, will anything else be offered. Lady M. is a woman of uncommon powers of
mind, and with respect to little failings, charity to ourselves will teach us toleration: those I have hitherto discovered certainly are not great. If
Tuthil be not in London, I request you will write to him to say how earnestly we desire to show that our feelings and affections are still the same.

T. Holcroft.”