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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. XI. 1798
William Godwin to Harriet Lee, 2 June 1798

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
[London], “Saturday June 2, 1798.

Dear Madam.—I have been extremely mortified at receiving no answer from you, to the letter I wrote soon after my late excursion to Bath. I am not sure indeed whether, in perfect strictness I was entitled to an answer. But silence is so ambiguous a thing, and admits of so many interpretations, that with the admiration I had conceived for you, I could not sit down tranquilly under its discipline. It might mean simply that I had not been long enough your knight, to entitle me to such a distinction. But it might mean disapprobation, displeasure, or offence, when my heart prompted me to demand cordiality and friendship. My mortification has since been increased, by finding that you have been in town lately, and had left town before I knew of your presence: though having a kind of suspicion that the ‘Two Emilys’ would bring either Miss Lee or yourself to London, I had made some enquiries on the subject.


“I am obliged to be at Bristol next week. I remember as my greatest good fortune and pleasure in my last excursion the repeated and long conversations I enjoyed at Belvidere House. May I hope that now, having a right to call myself an acquaintance, I have not without intention or consciousness on my part forfeited the kindness I then experienced as a stranger. Whether next week shall be a week of pride or humiliation to my feelings will depend on the solution it will afford to this question.

“Present my best remembrances to your sisters, and believe me, with the highest regard and esteem, yours,

W. Godwin.”