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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. IV. 1801-1803
William Godwin to Mary Jane Godwin, 28 October 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
October 28, 1803.

“In our conversation this morning you expressed a wish to separate. All I have to say on the subject is, that I have no obstacle to oppose to it, and that if it is to take place I hope it will not be long in hand. It is not my wish; because I know that here you have every ingredient of happiness in your possession, and that in order to be happy, you have nothing to do but to suppress in part the excesses of that baby-sullenness for every trifle, and to be brought out every day (the attribute of the mother of Jane), which I saw you suppress with great ease, and in repeated instances, in the months of July and August last. The separation will be a source of great misery to me; but I can make up my resolution to encounter it, and I cannot but wish that you should have the opportunity of comparing it with the happiness which is completely within your reach, but which you are eager to throw away.

“As to the ground of your resentment, I owe it to myself to re-state it, with all the additions with which you in your remarks have furnished me. Mr Curran promised to dine with me on Tuesday, the 18th inst., and again on Wednesday the 26th. Yesterday he promised to come to me at twelve o’clock and spend the day with me. On each of the two first days I provided a dinner for him and was disappointed. Yesterday you provided a
dinner, contrary to my order to the servant, since his promise, which I gave you in writing, showed that if I did not see him by twelve or one (coming from breakfast at
Lord Hutchinson’s), I had no right to expect him at four. A woman of any humanity would have endeavoured to console me under these repeated disappointments. If we part, you will have the consolation to reflect that we part ‘because I did not exact from a friend (who till within these ten days never disappointed me) something more than a promise that he would keep his engagements.

“I earnestly wish, however, though I cannot say I hope, that wherever you go, you may find reason to be satisfied with the choice you have made.

“You part from the best of husbands, the most anxious to console you, the best qualified to bear and be patient towards one of the worst of tempers. I have every qualification and every wish to make you happy, but cannot without your own” [incomplete].