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conscious integrity cannot be safely expected either to forget or forgive. I could only judge of your sentiments by your actions, and your never having taken the least notice of my little loan in the course of two years, until you had occasion to apply for further assistance, was in itself, in my mind, a very suspicious circumstance. You had no reason to conclude me affluent, though i am willing to put myself to some inconvenience in order to oblige a friend; nor does it seem either prudent or considerate that you should, in such circumstances, put yourself to the expense of a journey to Ireland, when those, perhaps, who had enabled you to perform it were on that very account obliged to stay at home. The style of your former letter also seemed too easy and flippant for the occasion; and, in fact, the irritation of my mind had been provoked or increased about the very same time by a swindling trick of the editor of the Albion, who obtained 5 guineas from me on a false pretence and promise of punctual payment, but of which i have been able by threats to extort no more than a couple of pounds, which i presume is the whole i shal ever get.

These transactions, hapening together, brooded in my mind, and made me regard every one as a confederated conspirator, being, peradventure, like Iago

vicious in my guess,
As i confess it is my nature's plague
To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not.'

I am much obliged by the handsome and friendly manner in which you profess yourself to have regarded me: though i confess i had no idea of standing so fair in your good graces. This is all i can bring myself to say, except that i am

“ An admirer of your talents, and
A sincere wel-wisher of your success.

"J. RITSON."

CORRESPONDENCE WITH RITSON.

63

The Same to the Same.

“Gray's INN, Aug. 25 (1801.] “I flatter myself the publication of your book will enable you to repay me the ten pounds that remains due, and which I should not have mentioned, if a considerable loss i have lately sustained in the funds (which i was obliged, for the most part, to defray with borrow'd money, and which makes the whole much more than a thousand pounds) had not been peculiarly embarrassing and distressful.--Yours sincerely,

J. RITSON.

"P.S.-My book is begun; and i am happy to have become acquainted with so affable and intelligent a printer as mister Taylor, whom you doubtless know: we, in conjunction, ejected the dangerous passages to mister Philipses satisfaction."

William Godwin to Joseph Ritson.

(POLYGON, roth March 1801.]? "DEAR RITSON,-I should be sorry to interrupt your business or occupations one moment unnecessarily by this correspondence. Give me leave, however, to say,

“'I can easily and entirely forgive the acrimony (if that is what you allude to) of your note of the date of Saturday. We have all of us too many frailties not to make it the duty of every man to forgive the precipitation of his neighbour; and the unfortunate state of your health and spirits which often painfully recurs to my mind, gives this duty a double portion of obligation in the present

I think a person of conscious integrity may be expected more easily to forget a reflection cast on his character than one of a different description.

“But I am still further incited to forgive your misconstruction in this instance, because I am conscious of the blameableness of my conduct. I have, perhaps, a peculiar sentiment in this case : I feel as if it would be a sort of insult to ask the patience of a friend to whom I was in debt, unless I came to him with the

case.

will prove good. What do you think of the war? O what scarcit 'read and all kinds of provision. Malt 44s. per coom the poor, some starving, some stealing, though wages increus u, and parish allowance. Sin is certainly the cause of calamity. We have every need to look into our own hearts and repent and turn unto the Lord with Supplication and prayer that he would avert his Judgments. I'm not justifieing myself.

I am full of sin, and need forgiveness and acceptance through Christ. — Yr. ever affectionate mother,

A. GODWIN.

Do you think a smal matter would do your sister good? I have sent her about £2, 10s. Do you think that as much more would enable her to go on?

“ I hope I can send the £25 I mentioned above without expence by Mr Munton's order to Messrs Wood, Bishopgate St. If you call too soon, it's but little to call again, for letters cost something. But it will be necessary to live a memorandum or acknolegement of it with Mr Wood, with a date on plain paper, no stamp, for Mr Munton's and my sattisfaction. Likewise give me a proper acknowledgement of it by a post letter when you have received it.

“ Your brother Hully is going to send you a turkey. I am, through mercy, better.

“I have enclosed the money above mentioned, to save expences and trouble.”

The correspondence with Ritson is preserved as a specimen of similar letters which took place in this year with #him, and with others, especially Wedgwood, whose patience and purse were alike exhausted in regard to Godwin. It is satisfactory to know that the anger expressed on both sides was often merely amantium ire. Those who know the character of Ritson the Antiquary and Vegetarian will easily understand that his mode of spelling the personal pronoun proceeds from whim, and not from want of education, or from humility.

CORRESPONDENCE WITH RITSON.

61

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7. Ritson to William Godwin.
“Gray's INN, 34

şor. “ DEAR GODWIN,—I wish you would make it coi... return me the thirty pounds i lent you. My circumstances are by no means what they were at the time i advanced it :-nor did i, in fact, imagine you would have detained it for so long. The readyness with which i assisted you may serve as a proof that I should not have had recourse to the present application without a real necessity.--I am very sincerely yours,

J. RITSON."

The Same to the Same.

“GRAY'S INN, March 7, 1801. “Though you have not ability to repay the money i lent, you might have integrity enough to return the books you borrowed. I do not wish to bring against you a railing accusation, but am compelled, nevertheless, to feel that you have not acted the part of an honest man, and, consequently, to decline all further communication.

“I never received a copy of your unfortunate tragedy: nor, from the fate it experienced, and the character i have red and heard of it, can i profess myself very anxious for its perusal.

“The offer you make of a security, with interest, seems merely a piece of pleasantry, but, however serious, i have no desire to accept it; for, though you have urged me to it, and my temper is somewhat irritable, i do not mean to persecute you : but shall, nevertheless, reserve to myself the liberty of speaking to your conduct according to its merit.--Yours,

J. Ritson." +

The Same to the Same.

“ Gray's INN, March 10, 1801. “A very slight degree of candour and confidence could not have misbecome you, and would have prevented these disagreeable consequences. The business, however, has proceeded so far, and i have already spoken of it with such acrimony, as a person of

conscious integrity cannot be safely expected either t fornie. I could only judge of your sentiments by y and your never having taken the least notice of my li the course of two years, until you had occasion to appl assistance, was in itself, in my mind, a very suspicious ci You had no reason to conclude me affluent, though to put myself to some inconvenience in order to oblig nor does it seem either prudent or considerate that you such circumstances, put yourself to the expense of a Ireland, when those, perhaps, who had enabled you to were on that very account obliged to stay at home. I your former letter also seemed too easy and flippant fo sion; and, in fact, the irritation of my mind had been or increased about the very same time by a swindling t editor of the Albion, who obtained 5 guineas from me pretence and promise of punctual payment, but of wł been able by threats to extort no more than a couple which i presume is the whole i shal ever get. These ti hapening together, brooded in my mind, and made every one as a confederated conspirator, being, peradv Iago

vicious in my guess,
As i confess it is my nature's plague
To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not.'

I am much obliged by the handsome and friendly manne you profess yourself to have regarded me: though i cor no idea of standing so fair in your good graces. This i bring myself to say, except that i am

“An admirer of your talents, and
A sincere wel-wisher of

your success.

"J. R

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