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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VII. 1806-1811
Proctor Patrickson to William Godwin, 9 August 1814

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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. . . ” My spirits have for some time been subject to fits of extreme depression, in which I have invariably felt myself compelled to put an end to my existence. I leave this letter to account to you for my conduct, in the event of my obeying one of these. I have endeavoured to the utmost of my power to combat these fits of low spirits, but my efforts have been in vain. Nothing, I believe, could relieve me but change of scene and agreeable company: and you know it is at present quite out of my power to try the effect of either. . . . I know not whether to ascribe it to an unhappy natural disposition, or to the joyless life that I have led, marked only with misfortune and misery, wanting the cheering kindness of friends and relations, and unenlivened by the amusements and pleasures which other young men have enjoyed in passing through the same stages of existence. But I certainly have not the same perceptions of enjoyment that others have: from the earliest of my recollections, life has been a thing of no value to me, and I have been accustomed in times of sorrow to envy even the ground I trod on, for its insensibility to the evils that vexed and tormented me. . . . My past expectations have been so continually disappointed, that I am unable to place any dependence upon what at present appears favourable in my future prospects. Indeed, the more I think of the future, the more I am inclined to
despair: I believe I can never enjoy any kind of happiness or comfort until I shall have some kind of respectable settlement in life, and to obtain this requires exertions which, broken-spirited and broken-hearted as I am, are perfectly impracticable.”