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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. IV. 1801-1803
Ann Hull Godwin to William Godwin, 27 April 1803

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
Ap. 27, 1803.

My dear William,—Doubtless I should be glad to see you and your wife, as she is part of yourself, or any of your children, but the distance is so great, and the expence of the journey, that we cannot expect it. The youngest of us cannot assure ourselves of a day, especialy I, that am advanced so far beyond the common age of life. Each of us ought to prepare for the approach of death, as this is the only time we shall ever have. When death comes, it will be two late. Now is the accepted time, now is the day of Salvation. The Lord affect our hearts with solemn truth. May we be washed and made accepted of god through the sacrifice which Christ has wrought out for such guilty depraved siners as we all are.

“I hearwith send a doll for one of your daughters and a testement that was yours for yours. I hope you will promote the knowledge of the undoubted truths in it. Your sister loves you two well to speak slighting of you or yours. I put in a Shirt you can put on and off at pleasure: it is made of old [linen], and will therefore last but a little while. I fear Harriet is thro pride and indulgence going the high way to ruin herself, if not her father two. She had learned a business by which many young people get their living, Mr Sam Lewel’s daughter for one. You woud be kind to talk to them and see if you can perswade them to brake of the acquantance and apply to work, till she gets the offer of an honest man to marry. I hope Mary Bailey follows it. I have never heard of her since she was at her father’s last Autumn, but think to write to her very soon by post, and send her a guinea by Hannah, as I did this time twelvemonth. I hope she will never leave her husband so long again: it is the way to make a good husband bad. If he is bad, she may thank herself.

“If you do come into Norfolk, perswade yourself to hear the worthy Mr Sykes on Lord’s Day. Present my kind respects to your wife, whom I wish to be a helpmeet to you in spiritual things, and instruct your dear children in the same. It’s a duty incumbent on parants: we may see every day their proneness to evil and
backwardness to that which is good. You cannot be insencable of that. I cannot write otherwise, so you must not be offended.

“I am as well as most old people, can just creep about the house, had pain about me, and a cold in my head for a fortnight, but am better now. My maid a poor weak constitution, could not go through hard work; the children well, except colds and coughs. It is a very sickly time, very few houses escape the Influensy. Mr Sykes have had it six weeks, is very much Shrunk, but hope he will recover. Wish to hear of you as often as you can, or your wife, if she has more time. You did not say she suckled. That is the likeliest way to its thriving.

“Conclude, your ever affectionate mother,

A. Godwin.

“Your brothers and Mrs G. send their kind respects to you and Mrs Godwin. I wish to know what Joe’s son is doing, whether industerous or lazy, and sucking the blood of others. That trick of going to Plays is the ruin of young people.”