LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. XIII. 1800
William Godwin to James Marshal, 2 August 1800

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
[Dublin, Aug. 2, 1800.]

Mrs Elwes tells me in her letter that I shall be at home on the 3d of August. Probably she had the intelligence from you. From what premisses the conclusion was drawn I know not, but I am apprehensive it will prove in some measure erroneous. My original purpose was to have quitted Dublin the 27th of July, last Saturday, and exactly four weeks from the day I quitted London. I am now writing on Saturday, the 2d of August, one week later, and am seated quietly in Mr Curran’s bookroom, in his rural retreat he visits from Dublin. It was originally proposed between him and me that the week now concluding should be spent in an excursion to Wexford, whither he expected to be called for the assizes. That expectation has been frustrated, and he has now prevailed on me to attend him to the assizes at Carlow, and has promised that I shall be on board the packet for England on Thursday evening, the 7th inst. That Thursday, however, will probably be Friday. I then propose, as I believe I have told you
already, to walk three days amidst the natural and almost unrivalled beauties of N. Wales, and have a letter of introduction from
Mr Grattan to Lady Harriet Butler and Miss Di Ponsonby, two old maids in the vale of Llangollen, with whom I propose to spend a couple of hours. I shall, however, certainly endeavour to give you precise notice of the time of my arrival at the trunks of the trees, which I can at any time by despatching a line from any part of N. Wales, twenty-four hours before I quit it in person. . . .

“I wish also that you would write to Arnot immediately, poste-restante, at Fünfkirchen, if there is any chance of your letter reaching its destination in time to cheer the beloved wanderer. Tell him of my absence from London, tell him of my increasing affection and anxiety for his welfare, tell him of my increasing admiration and respect for his narrative. Beg him to give me under his hand an explicit permission to publish his journal in case of any unhappy accident to himself, and an approbation beforehand of my conduct, whatever it shall happen to be. Keep a copy of your letter.

“I have kept pretty good company here. Last Wednesday I dined with three countesses—Countess-dowager Moira (it was at her house), Earl and Countess Granard, and Countess Mountcashel, and on Sunday I am to dine at Lady Mountcashel’s. I mean to call on Lady Moira the moment I have quitted this letter. But I have not yet seen either Grattan or Ponsonby. They are however, I believe, to dine with us at Mr Curran’s barn (as he calls it) to-morrow. He wishes me to go with him to the assizes at Wexford, but that I believe I must decline. They are in the beginning of August. Hitherto there have been daily sittings of the courts of law, and I see nothing of him from breakfast till five o’clock. This will last ten days longer, and I wish much to spend one week with this charming creature when he is at full leisure. On that computation I shall not cross the channel till about the 28th inst.

“I am fully sensible to your care of my children and my establishment. Every minute particular that you will be so good as to write to me respecting them will be highly gratifying. . . . .


“I depute to Fanny and Mr Collins, the gardener, the care of the garden. Tell her I wish to find it spruce, cropped, weeded, and mowed at my return; and if she can save me a few strawberries and a few beans without spoiling, I will give her six kisses for them. But then Mary must have six kisses too, because Fanny has six.

“It would be highly gratifying if on my return I could find the elaborate repairs and papering of my house finished, the garden-door erected, and the household linen ready for use. Do not forget the directions of this or my preceding letter, though they should not be repeated in any of my subsequent ones. . . .