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can, that strangers may know nothing of my sorrows. . . Answer by a line whether you will come to Baker St., and if we shall be friends.
The Same to the Same.
“ Aug. 30, 1811. “Your dear balmy letter, brought stump-a-stump upstairs at 3-past 9, has set my heart at ease. . . . I almost doubt if you can read this scrawl. My neck aches, my head aches. We are at a cleaning upstairs. Charles smiled in a most heavenly manner at your kiss and a half. Fanny stood quite still ; Jane capered. She looks very poorly, but her spirits are good. Jane and Willy have been reading in the Temple Gardens, and brought the umbrella from Lamb's. God bless you.
M. J. G.
“I write from the shop, so the children are not by to send love."
William Godwin to Mrs Godwin.
“CHICHESTER, Aug. 31, 1811. “MY BEST LOVE, ...-I have passed few pleasanter days in my life than I passed yesterday. After some debate with myself, and finding that there was no means of public conveyance, I resolved to walk to Felpham (between seven and eight miles). The weather was very hot (the 'literary hermit' (Hayley) insisted on receiving me at noon), yet, to my astonishment, I was not at all fatigued. The literary hermit I dismiss in one word-- I do not like him. His wife, however, seems a pleasant, unaffected, animated girl (he swears he himself is only sixty-five); and his house is quite
toy. He has erected a turret on the top, with a corridor over that, for the sake of the prospect, and to this corridor he climbs at least once every day by a ladder, which can only be descended by crawling backwards, and which, being on the top of the house in the open air, looked to me frightful, but I escaped without breaking either my neck or my leg. Pictures, drawings, splendid books, and splendid bindings adorn every room in the house,
everything that cannot be consumed or worn out. He does not go out of his little domain, prison in that sense, I should call it, four times in a year, and he told me he made it a rule never to invite anybody to dinner. His bookseller (with whom I have been negociating) tells me he was in the habit of dining with him every Sunday, but with a Chichester shopkeeper he could dispense with display. Thus he has everything for the eye, and nothing for the heart. Damn him.
"I say this in the sobriety of my deliberate judgment, and with. out a spice of resentment, for the moment I quitted his babyhouse my happiness began. I went to Bognor, I inhaled the lifegiving breezes of the sea, which I think, were I expiring with the imbecility of old age, would make me young again. Bognor is a sweet place. Why is it so ? Merely because it is on the open beach of the sea, and is scattered over with neat little houses for the opulent, built for the purposes of health and recreation. Sarah Pink, the generous landlady of the hotel, gave me that dinner which the frozen-hearted Hayley refused. . . . She completed all her other kindnesses by refusing me a chaise to bring me back to Chichester last night, so that I was compelled to spend till eleven at night—the beautiful, serene, moonlight evening of one of the most beautiful days I ever saw, on the open shore, and only quitted the beach to repair to my bed. ... I have got my pencil
It was in the coat pocket where Betsey swore it was not. Ever and ever yours,
The Same to the Same.
“NEWPORT, I. OF Wight, Sep. 2. "I have not passed a pleasant day since I left Bognor till today. Portsmouth is detestable, and Ryde to me insipid. Dr Stoddart showed me a pretty park, and a pretty garden, and two pretty villas, dearly looked upon by gaping strangers, but this to me is nothing. I except, however, the voyage from Portsmouth to Ryde, six miles in length, and one hour in duration. This was delicious. But to-day I am this moment come from Carisbrooke Castle, a beautiful ruin in the first place, and in the second, the prison in which Charles I. was imprisoned for some months, and from which, with a short interval, he was conducted to his trial. They show a window through which he is said to have attempted his escape. I have just passed by the school-house where he is said to have met the Commissioners of Parliament, and made his last experiment for re-ascending the throne. There a monarch was arraigned, and now a school boy. It is with great regret that I refrain from risking a visit to the schoolmaster, and trying to make him talk over old times, and show me old walls. ... The whole of this letter has been written in coffee rooms, where it is difficult to preserve the thread of narrative, but impossible to write sentiment From Southampton I will endeavour to mix both; but I cannot help wishing briefly to put down my feelings in situations which I have just visited, and which I suppose certainly I shall never visit again. —Ever and ever yours, W. GODWIN.”
“GUILDFORD, Sep. 5, 1811. “Be assured, as I think I said in a letter of last week, that I admire you not less than I love you. We are both of us, depend upon it, persons of no common stamp, and we should accustom ourselves perpetually so to regard each other, and to persuade ourselves, without hesitation, without jealousy, and with undoubted confidence, that we are so regarded by each other. God bless you! Good night.
William Godwin to Mr Fairley.
“SKINNER ST., Oct. 5, 1811. “DEAR FAIRLEY,- Would you have any objections to call on my part on Mr Constable the bookseller, to inquire of him personally the answer to a letter I addressed to him last week, on the subject of which I feel the greatest impatience? This letter, if you think you want one, may serve you as a passport. “ The purpose
my letter above mentioned, was to solicit Mr Constable to receive into his house for a short time, as the best possible introduction to the world of business, Charles Clairmont, the son of Mrs Godwin. I gave my young man a high charCHARLES CLAIRMONT'S APPRENTICESHIP.
acter in my letter to Mr Constable for prepossessing manners, and a diligent and accommodating temper. I observed that I had kept him for six years at the Charter House, one of our most celebrated schools, not without proportionable profit, and that he has once been several months under one of our most celebrated arithmeticians. You may think how interesting it is to us, at our time of life, and with our infirmities, to look forward to introducing into our concern a short time hence, a young man perfectly accomplished, who has been initiated in one of the first houses, and whose interests would, by the circumstance of his relationship, be almost necessarily coincident with our own. . . . Believe me, etc.,
From the Same to the Same.
“Oct. 15, 1811. "DEAR FAIRLEY,- I have received a second letter from Constable, and the affair of Charles Clairmont is closed agreeably to our wishes. He will be with you in the first week of November. Will you accept him for a friend, and endeavour to keep the lyre of his mind in tune? He is going 400 miles from his home, and the connections of his youth. I rely much on you to endeavour to bend his pliant years to sobriety, to honour and to good. The only question between us and Constable was the period of his absence. Constable proposed four years; this appeared to us an eternity. But Constable has appeared willing, in that and everything else, to accommodate himself in the handsomest manner to our desires. ... Mrs Godwin says what I have above written about Charles is too poetical, and that you will be apprehensive that it means that I wish him to live with you. Nothing can be further from my thoughts. I think his living expressly and solely under the direction of Mr Constable essential to the purpose for which he goes, and all I desire from you is the offices of friendship on his behalf.-Yours, etc.,
From the Same to the Same.
“ SKINNER ST., Nov. 3, 1811. “ DEAR FAIRLEY,— With this letter in his hand, presents himself before you a poor, forlorn, sea-sick minstrel, worn out with toils and watching, and scarcely able to open his eyes—an unhappy vagrant, now sent for the first time from the parental roof, and cast on the ocean of the world—whom we, to whom the care of the said vagrant appertains, cast with all confidence upon the professed kindness of Archibald Constable, and the kind friendship of John Fairley. Impart to him the charities of your hospital roof; give him a basin of water to refresh his skin ; give him a dish of tea to moisten his burning lips, and accommodate him with an elbow-chair, where he may slumber for an hour or so unfuddled and unturmoiled by the rocking of the elements. . . . Mr Constable's proposition is, that he will pay to the youth for his services a salary of £15 per annum, and that if we add £30 to that, the whole will be sufficient for his subsistence, upon the same footing as the other young men whom Mr Constable is in the habit of receiving. ...
“Where art thou, my friend, my genius, my philosopher, the cultivator of Beaufort ?--Your entire friend, W. GODWIN.”
The attraction which Godwin's society always possessed for young men has often been noticed, nor did it decrease as years passed on. Two young men were drawn to him in the year 1811, fired with zeal for intellectual pursuits and desiring help from Godwin. They were different in their circumstances, but were both unhappy, and both died young. The first was a lad named Patrickson, the second Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Patrickson had determined to go to College in spite of hindrances from want of means, and from the opposition of his family, who wished that he should enter into trade; and to this end he asked Godwin's influence to gain for him