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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. IV. 1793
Thomas Abthorpe Cooper to William Godwin, 18 October 1793

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
Southampton, Oct. 18, 1793.

“Glory be to Thee, O God, for all the manifold goods which day after day Thou bestowest upon me! Would you believe it? I have had a benefit—such a benefit—a kind of Irish one, by which I have lost upwards of six pounds—at least I remain that much indebted to our managers. How strange, how despicable are the dispositions of tyrants! The morning after my night, this Davies came to me to do something for him in a pantomime which is performed to-night for his benefit. I readily consented. Things have turned out that I am not of much consequence to him to-night, and this morning, instead of the smiling, smirking face of yesterday, he addressed me with a stiff Hibernian frown—‘Mr Cooper, I want some money—I must have money. I’ll not pay the salaries, sir, till you have paid me. Blood, sir, why am I to pay money out of my own pocket?’ The absent politician, too, has attempted to speak to me. ‘Mr Tyler, have you heard any news to-day? Oh, Mr Cooper, about your night (a pause). I have not seen the Star
to-day. Sir, walk this way, if you please.’ I was going to follow but Mrs Somebody met him, and he immediately began to settle the business of the nation. He dared imagine that it was for me to wait his pleasure. About half-an-hour afterwards he repeated his request, and I told him I was engaged.

“The usual method of payment in cases of deficiency of the changes is by stopping 3s. or 4s. per week out of the salary; but on account of my great deficiency, he says he will stop the whole week’s salary until it is paid. In case he attempts it, it is my present intention to leave him immediately, not secretly. No; what I dare do, I dare do openly. If he pursues other steps, I have arrived at such a happy disregard of my personal affairs, that it will scarcely give me a moment’s concern.

“You will wonder, perhaps, how I came to fail so much. There are three or four sufficient reasons. The first is, that the interest of a man of long standing and unusual acquaintance carries everything before it; next, that though the other weak interests are supremely blessed with the happy gifts of fawning servility, yet I have not so much of the spaniel about me; I cannot take my hat off to the great man’s servant. If I were to lose £50 and fifty benefits, I cannot bow to flatter the man I despise. The third was that I was between two fires—one manager’s daughter before, the other manager’s wife after me.

“I now want you or Mrs Holcroft to inform me whether Mr H. himself spoke to Mrs Wood relative to an engagement for me with her husband; or if not, who was it.

T. Cooper.”