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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. X. 1819-1824
William Godwin to Lady Caroline Lamb, 20 September 1823

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
Sep. 20, 1823.

My Dear Madam,—Do you remember that it was contrary to my inclination that you were acquainted with the story of the judicial avalanche that threatened to fall on my head in the month of November next? How wrong I was. Yet I wished that all the communication that occurred between us should be an interchange of thoughts and sentiments. There is a conventional equality be-
tween the gentle and the simple as long as the one are not benefactors, the others the receivers of benefits. Can that equality and reciprocity of sentiment exist afterwards? It is too late now to ask this question in relation to you and me. The Rubicon is past.

Cæsar passed the banks of that river and came to other impediments. In this respect I am like Cæsar. He had his Ides of November, and so have I. November is now fast approaching, and my adversary is inexorable. In how brutal a manner he is capable of proceeding he showed in Skinner St., and when November arrives he will show here, unless he is prevented.

“My subscription has gone on unfortunately, or rather has stood still. Mr Murray, unluckily for me, undertook to be my Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State, and has slept in his offices. He has issued a very small number of letters. I have always been of opinion that a bare circular letter was of little efficacy: persons even well-disposed are inclined to wait till some special messenger comes to rouse their attention. Mr Murray has, however, baffled me there: he has no list, and cannot even guess who are the persons to whom his letters have been sent.

“This is all unlucky enough, but, your Ladyship will ask, what is in your power to do for me? That is the point for me to come to. The Earl of Bessborough and Mr William Blake were names which you particularly did me the favour to point out: and you were so good as to add that you were persuaded they would have a pleasure in being brought into the business. Circular letters have therefore been dispatched to them in the present week, and would it be impertinent in me to add that a single word in any shape coming from your Ladyship might turn the index to a yes, instead of a no?

“I would have addressed this letter to Mr Lamb, as being perhaps more properly the business of man and man, but you have so much accustomed me to present my trifles to you that my thoughts, whether I will or no, when I take up the pen with the idea of Brocket Hall, sets the image of your Ladyship before me.

“May I hope soon to hear from you, to tell me you forgive this fresh act of impertinence?”