LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. X. 1797
Archibald Hamilton Rowan to Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, 15 September 1797

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
Brandywine, near Wilmington, Delaware, “Septr. 15, 1797.

Dear Madam,—I rejoice most sincerely that you have such a companion, protector, and friend as I believe him to be, whose name the papers inform me you now bear. I have been much to blame. In the more than two years that I have been in America I have written only thrice to you. You were not happy. I had no right to trouble you with my dark reveries. I was displeased with my past and my present conduct and undecided as to my future; how could I speak comfort to so wounded a mind as yours? Now I may be allowed to croak. You know it was my fashion in Paris. Through my wife’s prudent conduct she has been permitted to remain in possession of my property, and I have thus become a pensioner of the Irish Government. That I have spent only what was necessary for my subsistence does not satisfy me. Every letter which I receive from Mrs H. R., though couched in the most affectionate terms, yet shows me that what I called acting from principle was in her idea wild ambition or foolish vanity. A mode has been pointed out to me by which I might possibly rejoin my family, but it is a renunciation of principle. I cannot accede to the proposition. I should be for ever unhappy, and, I think, should disgrace my children even as long as it was remembered that I was their ancestor. As my growling, however, signified little, I set about procuring an independence, and with this view have commenced calico printer, &c., on the banks of the Brandywine. I have connected myself with a good sans culottes dyer from Manchester, who had two great faults which forced him to quit that place—he could read and he
could speak. I rent the place where we are.
Aldred, my partner, has the stone mansion, and I have in a most romantic corner built, upon a surface of 18 ft. square, a house in the second stage of civilization, viz., a log house, where I and Charles, who has a daughter, live and cook, &c., just as you saw in the Rue Mousseaux.

Nov. 17.—This has been lying by me, and the last papers announce a melancholy event—and have you so shortly enjoyed the calm repose I hoped you were in possession of. I hope the report is false; if true, let this convey my condolence to Mr G.

Archd. Hamilton Rowan.”