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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VI. 1794-1796
Thomas Abthorpe Cooper to William Godwin, 20 January 1795

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
January 20, 1795.

“The die is, I believe, now finally cast, and if it be, the result is insignificance, nonentity, death to the hopes my ambition has oftentimes formed, and on which my mind has continually brooded with enthusiasm. The little portion of mind I (perhaps) have hitherto retained has now yielded. It receives its fetters, not indeed without murmuring, but the curses it pours forth and the tortures it endures are equally unavailing. The love of fame, which you consider a bad motive for praiseworthy conduct, has been with me the only spur to intellectual exertion. Perhaps it is for want of the better motive for action that my mind has now given up the contest, and that I consent to become totally an everyday man. Your last words to me on Sunday night were, ‘And thou become a mere vegetable.’ The damned idea has harassed me ever since. . . . . But why do I complain? Have I not given my consent to become a slave? Have I not even sought for the means of becoming so? What right then have I to assume the phraseology or to pretend to the feelings of a man? They are the last faint struggles of an expiring mind, and to you therefore I address them, as being the first cause of producing
that mind. . . . . I feel half inclined to go and quarrel with
Mr Holcroft. I do not know, and have not inquired, why I feel that inclination (I state facts: of causes I am ignorant), though at the same time I have the utmost veneration and love for him. . . . . The purport of my present letter is to tell you that I am under treaty with Mr Dorset (fiends!) to become a clerk in his house, and by this means I intend to advance towards riches. . . . . . .

Thomas Cooper.”