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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Eliza Wollstonecraft Bishop to Everina Wollstonecraft, [30] May 1791

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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“[Laugharne], Tuesday Night, May [30], 1791.

My dearest Everina,—Here I am at Laugharne, without being recollected by anybody. Neither Miss Brown nor her mother have condescended to call on me. Many of the inhabitants have left it, others are dead, or else have quite forgotten Miss Betsy. Mrs Larne is the only one who wished to recollect
me, but the old face she, sighing, says is quite gone. In fact, the town is now full of decayed people of fashion. Not one eye have I met that glistened with pleasure at meeting me unexpectedly, and I revisit our old walks with a degree of sadness I never felt before. The cliff-side, the churchyard, &c., &c., are all truly romantic and beautiful—a thousand times more so than I imagined; yet all creates a sadness I cannot banish.

“The sight of my father’s ghastly visage haunts me night and day; for he is really worn to a mere skeleton, and has a dreadful cough that makes my blood run cold whenever I listen to it, and that is the greater part of the night, or else he groans most dreadfully; yet he declares he has good nights. There cannot be a more melancholy sight than to see him, not able to walk ten yards without panting for breath, and continually falling; still he is able to ride ten miles every day, and eat and drink very hearty. His neighbours think, as he has had such a wonderful escape, he will quite recover, though his death-like countenance tells me it is impossible. I am harassed to the last degree how to advise him to act; if he gives up his horse now, he is a dead man in a very short time. When I beg of him to be more careful in money matters, he declares he will go to London, and force Ned; or when I tell him how Mary has been distressed, in order to make him save in trifles, he is in a passion, and exhausts himself. He is mad to be in London. I represented matters as they are, that he might abridge himself of some unnecessary expenses; but now he is too weak in mind and body to act with prudence. She is truly a well-meaning woman, and willing to do the little she can to lessen the debts.

Charles is half naked, and is treated by my father in the way that he deserves, for he is at him perpetually; he never even tried to get him into the Excise, or anywhere else. He is actually altered rather for the better, drinks never anything but water, and is much thinner, and all submission. . . . He now talks of listing for a soldier; if he does, there is an end of him. . . . I am very cool to Charles, and have said all I can to rouse him; but where can he go in his present plight? Thanky, my dear, for your kind
letter. I am afraid this will not raise your spirits. Pray tell
M. my father received the note. I have many things to chat over with you when I get to my Haven. Shall I find peace when I get to the end of my journey? Good night.”