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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VI. 1794-1796
Thomas Abthorpe Cooper to William Godwin, 28 October 1794

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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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
Stockport, Oct. 28, 1794.

“All the devils in hell seem to conspire against me. When success seemed placed within my reach, and I had nothing left to do but to nod my head and become a hero, some damned untoward accident prevents it. Barnwell could not be played, as I informed you it would. But last night, to forward the manager’s business,
I undertook to play Holdam, in
Columbus, at a short notice, and to give up an appearance part. The consequence of which was, that the manager, relying upon a continued obligingness in doing his dirty work, this morning gave me a list of parts, and grinning, told me I promised very well, but that I must do all the parts there specified. There were, to be sure, a great many good parts, and most of them respectable; but he told me that in my turn I must also deliver messages. I told him that the parts expressed in his list would satisfy me very well indeed; but that as to the delivering of messages, I would not do it in heaven.

“If it were a respectable company, I would gladly accept the good parts he gave me, though a few messages were thrown in with them, because it was really a good line; but in that situation I hardly think it would be right to stay, even if I did nothing else but the good parts. They are such a wretched set of mummers. Perhaps you will say that I can do my business properly, though they did not. I say no. They seldom speak a word of the author. The business is a jest, and likewise the man who attempts to treat it seriously.

“I shall leave this place before you can possibly return an answer. I am now 170 miles from town. I shall start from hence with 5s. in my pocket. I shall see you shortly. I will black shoes at the corner of Goodge Street for 1s. a-day sooner than be anything but the leader among a set of wretches I despise.

“Io Triumphe,
Thos. Cooper.”