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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. IX. 1812-1819
William Godwin to Hull Godwin, 21 February 1817

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
Skinner St., Feb. 21, 1817.

Dear Brother,—I have not written to you for a great while, but now I have a piece of news to tell you that will give you pleasure, I will not refuse myself the satisfaction of being the vehicle of that pleasure.

“I do not know whether you recollect the miscellaneous way in which my family is composed, but at least you perhaps remember that I have but two children of my own: a daughter by my late wife and a son by my present. Were it not that you have a family of your own, and can see by them how little shrubs grow up into tall trees, you would hardly imagine that my boy, born the other day, is now fourteen, and that my daughter is between nineteen and twenty. The piece of news I have to tell, however, is that I went to church with this tall girl some little time ago to be married. Her husband is the eldest son of Sir Timothy Shelley, of Field Place, in the county of Sussex, Baronet. So that, according to the vulgar ideas of the world, she is well married, and I have great hopes the young man will make her a good husband. You will wonder, I daresay, how a girl without a penny of fortune should meet with so good a match. But such are the ups and downs of this world. For my part I care but little, comparatively, about wealth, so that it should be her destiny in life to be respectable, virtuous, and contented.

“It will always give me the greatest pleasure to hear how you and your family are going on. We have been in the habit of sending you little presents of books, but Mrs Godwin says that she feels a little puzzled on the subject, and doubtful, now that your children are grown up, whether books are acceptable. We will therefore endeavour to think of something else. I have to thank you this Christmas for a ham and a turkey, which, exclusive of their intrinsic value, gave me much satisfaction as marks of your remembrance.—Very affectionately yours,

William Godwin.”