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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. VII. 1759-1791
Mary Wollstonecraft to Everina Wollstonecraft, January 1784

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
Sunday Afternoon January 1784].

“Your welcome letter arrived just now, and we thank you for sending it so soon. Your account of B. does not surprise me, as I am convinced that, to gratify the ruling passion, he could command all the rest. The plea of the child occurred to me, and it
was the most rational thing he could complain of. I know he will tell a plausible tale, and the generality will pity him and blame me; but, however, if we can snatch
Bess from extreme wretchedness, what reason shall we have to rejoice. It was, indeed, a very disagreeable affair; and if we had stayed a day or two longer, I believe it would never have been effected. For Bess’s mind was so harassed with the fear of being discovered, and the thought of leaving the child, that she could not have stood it long. I suppose B. told you how we escaped; there was full as much good luck as good management in it As to Bess, she was so terrified, that she lost all presence of mind, and would have done anything. I took a second coach, to prevent his tracing us. Well, all this may serve to talk about and laugh at when we meet, but it was no laughing matter at the time. Bess is tolerably well; she cannot help sighing about little Mary, whom she tenderly loved; and on this score I both love and pity her. The poor brat! it had got a little hold on my affections; some time or other I hope we shall get it. Yesterday we were two languid ladies; and even now we have pains in all our limbs, and are as jaded as if we had taken a long journey . . . All these disorders will give way to time, if it brings a little tranquillity with it; and the thought of having assisted to bring about so desirable an event, will ever give me pleasure to think of. I hope you sent the letters I enclosed to you, as Bess writ a few very proper lines to B. I am very glad you are in town, as I depend on you for keeping Ned firm. B. would make a more determined person flinch. This quiet portends no good; he will burst out at last, and the calm will end in the usual manner. Tell my brother that Bess is fixed in her resolution of never returning; but what will be the consequence? And if a separate maintenance is not to be obtained, she’ll try to earn her own bread. Write to us an account of everything; you cannot be too particular. She carried off almost all her clothes, but we have no linen. I wish you could contrive to send us a few changes at the first opportunity, it matters not whom they belong to. We have neither chemise, handkerchief, or apron, so our necessities are pressing.”