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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. XI. 1798
William Godwin to Thomas Wedgwood, 10 January 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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[London], “Jan. 10, 1798.

“. . . I am pleased with the style of writing you have lately employed. I have more taste, though I have sometimes suspected and often been told that it is a vicious taste, for letters and conversations of feeling than of discussion.

“Allow me to recommend to you a very cautious admission of the moral apophthegms of Doctor Johnson. He had an unprecedented tendency to dwell on the dark and unamiable part of our nature. I love him less than most other men of equal talents and intentions, because I cannot reasonably doubt that when he drew so odious a picture of man he found some of the traits in his own bosom. I have seen more persons than one or two, whom sickness has neither converted into scoundrels, nor stripped of a sympathetic disposition.

“Your paying the postage of your letters to me is contrary to established etiquette. It is scarcely worth while to enter into an argument about it, but I think I could prove to you that it is wrong.

W. Godwin.”