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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VI. 1794-1796
Thomas Abthorpe Cooper to William Godwin, 12 January 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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Produced by CATH
Chichester, January 12, 1794.

“On inquiring into the causes that guide our actions, I am greatly puzzled to discover the reason why I have not written before to London. Can it be indolence? I have been in other respects very industrious. It cannot be indifference or inattention, for a day has never passed over without my thinking on the subject. Whatever was the cause, such is the fact, which cannot be removed by an inquiry, however long. I will therefore dismiss it at once, and proceed to my purpose.

“I left Hyde Park Corner at five o’clock on the Sunday. I left you at two. I proceeded some twenty or thirty miles when I was overtaken by the Southampton mail. I got a four shilling cast on the outside, and arrived at Southampton, gloriously wet, at ten o’clock on Monday night. I set off to Cowes the next morning at seven by the mail packet, which was opposed both by wind and tide, and could make no way. The mail was obliged to shift to an open boat, and as I could row, I got into the boat, leaving the rest of the passengers on board. I now pulled against wind and tide for upwards of twelve miles, without one minute’s rest, and I do not recollect ever to have undergone so great fatigue before. I arrived at Newport, however, by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, according to my promise, when, contrary to my expectation, I had nothing to do in the evening’s entertainment. I have since been on a salary of 10s. a week, and we have had one idle week between Newport and this place, where we have been three weeks, and are likely to continue four more. Hence we go immediately to Portsmouth. . . . I have pursued the plan Mr Holcroft mentioned as much as possible, consistently with almost continual moving,
but that will for about a month receive a considerable check. On account of some of the company taking benefits here, and the manager’s great impatience to open the Portsmouth Theatre, the company is obliged to divide. I am ordered to Portsmouth, and have a great deal of study on my hands. Mr Collins, in addition to other things, told me yesterday to study George Barnwell and Irwin. Of a morning, since I have been here, from about seven to nine, I have amused myself by shooting, and have in utter defiance of the laws of the constitution under which I exist, dined twice or thrice on partridges.

“I beg you will make a point of showing this to my mother immediately, as I have not written to her since I left town. My love to her and Betty and Miss Godwin. Is Nat at Spithead?

Thomas Cooper