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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. V. 1783-1794
Maria Reveley [Gisborne] to William Godwin, 27 October 1794

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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Southampton Row, Edgware Road,
Monday Morng., 27 October.

“I was very much surprised last night, to hear your statements of Mr Holcroft’s determination concerning me, as it differed materially from what had been represented to me before; hitherto I have had no opportunity of conversing with you on the subject, and it is necessary that I should inform you of the exact state of my mind. Should it appear that Mr Holcroft’s life is at all in
danger, and that my evidence would tend in the least to avert that misfortune, far from repining, I profess myself, without hesitation, ready calmly to encounter every odium, every public or private resentment—in a word, ruin—to save him.

“But if, on the other hand, he means to sacrifice me, with scarcely a possibility of advantage to himself, and the evidence I am able to give should have nothing singular and particular, or out of the power of any other person to produce; from what could such conduct arise, but wanton cruelty or insanity?

“If this should be his determination, I declare to you, as I did last night, that I will not expose myself to the evils which this puerile conceit is thus preparing for me.

“What could be more tyrannical than Mr Holcroft’s assertion, that whatever might be my dislike, he would force me to do my duty? As if he were to be the judge of it. The Despots say no more! His treatment of Mr Reveley excites in me the most unpleasant feelings; I believe I shall ever think of it with detestation.

“I feel a doubt that, from many circumstances which have lately occurred, you should imagine that any change has taken place in my opinion of you. Be assured that the high esteem and veneration which your virtues and genius entitle you to, have not suffered the smallest diminution in the sentiments of

Maria Reveley.”