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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. XI. 1824-1832
William Godwin to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 22 July 1830

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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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
July 22, 1830.

“——As you mean to quit Southend this day seven-night, I do not think it likely that I shall avail myself of your kind invitation, though I am deeply sensible of the obligation I owe you in it, since by giving it you shew your indulgence to a decrepit, superannuated old fellow, while you are good enough to praise things to yourself in false colours, and convert what would really be a pain into the image and superscription of a pleasure.

“I called yesterday on Bentley, and found him, as usual, not at home. I left a note, saying that I will call again on Saturday, whether to see him or not I know not. I am miserable under the weight of this uncertainty, feeling myself able and willing to do everything, and do it well, and nobody disposed to give me the requisite encouragement. If I can agree with these tyrants in Burlington Street for £300, £400, or £500 for a novel, and to be subsisted by them while I write it, I probably shall not starve for a
fortnight to come. But they will take no step to bring the thing to a point, and I may go thither one, two, or three times, and catch them if I can. I have no contention with them which is the nobler party, they or I; but this dancing attendance wears my spirits and destroys my tranquillity. ‘Hands have I, but I handle not: I have feet, but I walk not: neither is there any breath in my nostrils.’ Meanwhile my life wears away, and ‘there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither I go.” But indeed I am wrong in talking of that; for I write now, not for marble to be placed on my remains, but for bread to put into my mouth. In that sense, therefore, every day of which they rob me is of moment, since every day brings its cravings to be supplied.’”