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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. IX. 1812-1819
William Godwin to Mary Jane Godwin, 9 July 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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Skinner Street, July 9, 1817.

“——You arrived at St. Etienne on the 11th of June, and on the 3rd inst., only three weeks after, according to your last letter, you have the resolution to leave it, and they allow you to depart. I cannot but feel some compunction from the fear that by abridging, you have poisoned all the pleasure you went so far to seek.

“Then, what a contrast will your sober and sombre home afford! No adulation, no worship, no multitudes waiting on your steps! I can send out no procession on horse and foot to meet you at Streatham and Croydon. It is all prose here: life stripped of its romance, its fringe and its gilding, and not unmixed with sad realities. Examine yourself, how far you shall be able to bear it

William, I think, is decidedly improved. Mr Burney writes this concerning him, ‘My pupil left me in good looks, and with an excellent character. I am not, I believe, extremely prone to bestowing praise, and shall therefore deserve to be believed when I assure you, with real pleasure, that I think your boy very essentially improved. This amendment you cannot, I think, but see yourself, and you will, I know, on such a point not be very unwilling to trust my judgment.’”