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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VII. 1806-1811
William Godwin to Mary Jane Godwin, 30 May 1811

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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Produced by CATH
May 30, 1811.

“I am delighted with the cheerfulness that pervades your letter of yesterday. Fanny conducts herself delightfully, and I am what you call comfortable. But I cannot look with the sanguine temper I could wish on the prospect before us. N’importe!
“’Tis not in mortals to command success:
But we’ll do more—we’ll deserve it.’
No effort, no invention of mine shall be left untried. I will never give in, while I have strength to wield a pen or tell a tale. . . .

“I went last night to the Haymarket to see a new two-act piece, called ‘Trial by Jury.’ But my chief entertainment arose from two persons in the next box to me. They had for sometime the whole box to themselves, and sat in the front row—a man and, as
it seemed, his daughter. The man was sixty, a long, lank, colourless face, with deep furrows and half-shut eyes, something, I thought, between primitive simplicity and cunning. His face was overshadowed on all sides with thick, bushy, lank, dark-brown hair. He was precisely such a figure as they would make up on the stage for a saint; indeed he seemed escaped from the stage, and seated for a joke in the side box. His dress was like that of a farmer in Westmoreland, and under his arm he had all night a chapeau de bras. The daughter was thirty, dressed like the daughter of a substantial farmer, where, as
Lamb describes it, they have twelve long miles to the nearest church—nothing could be more unfashionable. She looked a great deal about her, stared me and others full in the face, burst into roars of laughter at the jokes on the stage. I looked often on these very singular neighbours. I had difficulty to confine my observations within the bounds of decorum. Once or twice I said to myself, Is it possible this should be a man to lend me money? At last I could no longer sit still, but went out of the box to ask the box-keeper who he was. Earl Stanhope—I said to myself; this box-keeper dares not attempt to hoax me. I went and examined the box book—Earl Stanhope.

Fanny is quite ferocious and impassioned against the journey to Margate. Her motive is a kind one. She says, This cook is very silly, but very willing; you cannot imagine how many things I have to do. She adds, Mamma talks of going to Ramsgate in the autumn; why cannot I go then?”