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certain exhibitions in the gift of various city companies Such an ambition was one which appealed to Godwin's sympathy, and, finding that Patrickson's own home-life was thoroughly unhappy, without any hope of improvement, he did his best, and with success, to collect means to send the lad as sizar to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. This was done, in the first place, by subscription among friends, (Basil Montagu, Dr Raine, Master of Charter House, and others); it was hoped that the exhibitions might come afterwards.

All Godwin's correspondence with Patrickson shows him in his most wise, amiable, and attractive mood. Some extracts from his letters may follow :

William Godwin to P. Patrickson.


You will inevitably meet with some young men whose academical pursuits are a lien and burthensome to them ; they will tempt you to dissipation, and the only security you can have against infection is a severe frugality of your time, and, in subordination to that, of your money : count your hours; be not prone to pity yourself, and say, Well, for this day I have done enough for my strength. Give me a sketch of what acquaintance you make, and how you spend your time.

“Let me have, as soon as possible, the proper certificates and documents, to enable me to apply to the city companies for their exhibitions. I foresee we shall have considerable difficulty in meeting the expenses of the university, let us be as frugal and active as we will. I have heard of college exhibitions by which somehow or other the receiver is ultimately out of pocket : you will, of course, be on your guard against such. “I have been told of 300 books or volumes of which your

father made you a present, previous to your going to Cambridge. I think I should have heard of this from you. Having undertaken the superintendence of your affairs, I had a right to be acquainted with all

their advantages and disadvantages. This is the only instance which has occurred to me of your practising any sort of concealment.

“I enclose two pounds as a small supplement to your finances. If you have any necessary demands against you, more than I am aware of, you must not scruple to let me know.”

The Same to the Same.


I wish the letters I receive from you were, as somebody calls it, a thought less dry. I wish you would tell me something of your feelings, your reflections, and your meditations. It is impossible, at your age, and under your peculiar circumstances, but that some other abstractions should pass through your mind besides the abstractions of the mathematics. Tell me how far you are gratified with the occupations and impressions of a college life. Tell me how much and in what respects you regard the present, with pleasure or pain. Tell me how much and in what respects you regard the future-I mean that scene of life upon which you are to enter hereafter, with ardent hope or with unimpassioned indifference. Tell me what you love and what you hate. At present you

lock up your reflections in your own breast, with the same niggardliness that a miser locks up his treasure, and communicate with no one the wealth of your bosom, or at least impart no shred of the wealth to me. King Solomon, the great Jewish philosopher, says, “The heart knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger intermeddleth not with his joy. I wish I could prevail upon you not to make me altogether this stranger.

“It is of great advantage to a human being in this way to open himself. It takes away the savageness of our nature; it smooths down the ruggedness of our intellectual surface, and makes man the confederate and coadjutor of man. It also tends, in the most eminent degree, to expand and mature the best faculties of the human mind. It is scarcely possible for a man to reason well, or understand his own heart, upon a subject which he has not copiously and minutely unfolded, either by speech or in writing. “All happiness attend you.—Your true friend,




“ Mr Blackall's (the College Tutor] bill is £9, 6s. ud; Lady Day quarter. It seems a most generous action on his part to have given you the £5 you mention; and generosity in this case is, I suppose, the index of a thing more to be prized-esteem.”

Letters running through the three next years show constant affection and aid on Godwin's part, ever increasing morbid moroseness on that of poor Patrickson. He felt his poverty keenly, and the want of a home, on which two subsequent extracts throw some light. He dignified the petty annoyances, which the free outspoken habits of companions scarce more than boys brought upon him, with the name of persecution, those who were not his chosen friends -he chose but few—were called by him his enemies. Soon his brooding mind created words as spoken by passers-by, and the ill-defined boundary was passed which divides extreme sensitiveness from madness.


William Godwin to P. Patrickson.

“ SKINNER STREET, Feb. 4. 1812. "DEAR PATRICKSON,—I take the earliest opportunity to answer your letter, because it requires an answer. I am shocked with the passage in it, where you say you will write to your mother, and tell her you do not wish to hear from her any more.

‘Surely a mother is a thing of more worth than this. The being that watched over you indefatigably in infancy, that had a thousand anxieties for you, and that reared you with care, and perhaps with difficulty, is not to be so treated. Your mother is a wrong-headed, not an abandoned woman. This is the great difference, at least with few exceptions, between one human creature and another. We all of us endeavour to square our actions by our conscience, or our conscience by our actions : we examine what we do by the rule, and pronounce sentence of acquittal or approbation on ourselves : but some of us are in error, and some enlightened. You and I, who are of course among the enlightened, should pity those

that are less fortunate than ourselves, and not abhor them : even an erroneous conscience, by which he who bears it in his bosom tries and examines his actions, is still a thing to be respected.

“I think that you should write to your mother as little as possible, and perhaps for the present ask no favours of her. . . . But to go out of your way to insult her is horrible. .

“ The ties between one human creature and another are so few in number, and so scanty, as society is at present constituted, that I would not wantonly break any of those that nature has made, and least of all that to a mother. Human creatures are left so much alone, hardly sufficiently aided in the giddiness of youth, and the infirmities of age, that I am sure it is not the part of a wise or a good man to increase this crying evil under the sun. I still hope the time will come when you shall relieve the sorrows of a mother, and when she shall look up to her son with pride and with pleasure. . . :-Your sincere friend, W. GODWIN."

William Godwin to P. Patrickson.

"April 1, 1812. “I perceive that you set up the present state of your understanding as the criterion of reason and justice, and have no notion that anything can be right which you do not understand, or, in other words, that any other person can see, or that you may hereafter see, what at present you do not. This tone of mind is a perfect leveller, and a leveller of the worst sort, bringing down to your own standard everything that may happen to be above you, but certainly not equally anxious about raising those that may happen to be below you.

“The opposite tone of mind cannot be designated by any name more properly than that of the religious feeling. It is the feeling which pious men cultivate towards the Author of the world. It consists in the acknowledgement that there may be something right which we do not comprehend, and something good that we do not perfectly see to be such. It is built upon a sober and perfect conviction of our weakness, our ignorance, and the errors to which we are perpetually liable. It therefore cherishes in us THE RELIGIOUS FEELING.


sentiments of honour, admiration, and affection, for those whom we apprehend to be in any way wiser and better than ourselves. I do not very distinctly see how love can grow up in the mind, or there can be anything exquisitely amiable in the character, where the religious feeling, in this explanation of the term, is wanting. This feeling, however, is perfectly consistent with the highest and purest notions of erectness and independence : nay, it strengthens and corrects them, because it converts what was before a cold decision of the judgment into a noble and generous sentiment.”

The Same to the Same.

July 10, 1812. “You do not care if the result of what you do shall be to show the worst side of yourself to those you have intercourse with. This is very wrong. I know many persons in the world who, like you, are afraid that frankness, if they practised it, would become cant, or something similar to cant. It is true that he is the son of an opulent father, and therefore may say to me in the words of Hamlet,

• “But what revenue can I hope from thee?' A full heart, however, scorns the difference between riches and poverty, and will not whisper itself to hold its tongue, and not vent its emotions, because it has no revenue.”

The Same to the Same.

Jan. 4, 1813. “My objection to your coming is on a point of prudence, and I earnestly entreat you, as you have any regard for your future peace and prosperity, to weigh well what I am going to say. Poverty, I assure you, is a very wretched thing. The prayer of Agur in the Bible is excellent, 'Give me neither poverty nor riches, lest I be full and deny Thee, and say, who is the Lord ? or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.' I should not of course express the reasons of my wish in my own behalf, or in behalf of any one in whom I was interested, in so

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