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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. II. 1785-1788
Thomas Holcroft to William Godwin, 24 July 1788

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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Produced by CATH
London, July 24th, 1788.

Dear Sir,—I am greatly obliged by your kind attention, but Trenck”—‘The Life of Baron F. von der Trenck,’ translated from the German by T. Holcroft—“I find, must not go to press yet; there are 250 copies overlooked, so that when you return to town it will be time enough to marginate—yes, marginate. It needs
little philosophy to prove that if no man had ever made innovations, we should all have been dumb.

“The tide is turned, instead of Townshend. The whole Town, great and small, old and young, the little vulgar and the great, seem all to be bawling, ‘Hood for ever!’ ‘The beast with two horns (blue and orange) appears to have pushed westward and northward and southward, till behold an he-goat came from the West.’ Despatches from Cheltenham, Pitt and Treasury runners, canvassing, Military interference, the potent Magistrate Sir Sampson Wright collared by Sheridan, Bayonets pointed at patriot throats, James Parry, Esq., become a leader from the breakfasting-houses in company with Lord William Russell, &c. Oh, here is the devil to pay! A mad world, my masters! Women murdered, Men with their skulls fractured, sailors with broken arms, Bullies committed, Freedom maintained by battle-array, soldiers polling by hundreds and sent to the house of correction by (oh! no, I had forgotten—bailed by their officers, who commanded them to present, and if occasion were to fire), the Foxites disagreeing and disunited, Liberty Hall in an Uproar, Pitt and prerogative triumphant, &c., &c., &c. For I am quite out of breath. Observe, however, I will not vouch for the truth of a single syllable of all this; but I will cite you most grave and respectable authorities, viz., Herald and Post. This, however, you may, if so it you shall please, affirm from me, sir, namely, that scandal (and, I believe, falsehood), pitiful, mean, mutual scandal, never was more plentifully dispersed; and that electioneering is a trade so despicably degrading, so eternally incompatible with moral and mental dignity, that I can scarcely believe a truly great, mind capable of the dirty drudgery of such vice. I am at least certain no mind is great while thus employed. It is the periodical reign of the evil nature or Demon. A most paltry apology, but the best I can make.

“Since writing the above, having the advantage of an exquisitely dizzy headache, I strolled, in company with this delightful associate, to the hustings, and thence into Westminster. ‘’Fore heaven, they are all in a tune.’ I must indeed except three
unities, whom in my traverse sailing progress I encountered between the Garden and the Horse Guards, i.e., a Barber’s boy, a Lamplighter’s Do., and a young Chimneysweeper, who all had the singularity to wear ‘
Townshend for ever’ pinned in front. No: two of them were in Hedge Lane. One thing amazes me: the walls abound in squibs and pasquinades, many of them keen and excellently adapted to the capacity of their serene worships the worthy Electors of Westminster, all for Lord Hood, and no sign of any such in behalf of Townshend. This is the very reverse of what might have been expected. Tis plain the Hoodites have been most remarkably active, and I suspect the adverse party has been very foolishly lulled to sleep by Mrs Security. To afford you some small comfort, however, let me tell you an active Foxite has laid 10 Guineas to five that Townshend is 100 ahead at the poll, and affirms that he shall himself go up to the Hustings to-morrow (Friday) at the head of 400 voters. In the meantime the state of the poll yesterday was—
“July 23d.—Hood,2892
and according to the account I have just received, for I sent expressly to afford you as much of that information which your aunt Abigail desires as possible—
“July 24th, 5 p.m.—Hood,3380

“The Lord knows when I wrote so long a letter before, or when I shall again.—I am, dear sir, very sincerely,

T. Holcroft.”