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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. IX. 1797
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin to William Godwin, 6 June 1797

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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Tuesday, June 6th.

“It was so kind and considerate in you to write sooner than I expected, that I cannot help hoping you would be disappointed at not receiving a greeting from me on your arrival at Etruria. If your heart was in your mouth, as I felt, just now, at the sight of your hand, you may kiss or shake hands with the letter, and imagine with what affection it was written. If not, stand off, profane one!

“I was not quite well the day after you left me; but it is past, and I am well and tranquil, excepting the disturbance produced by Master William’s joy, who took it into his head to frisk a little at being informed of your remembrance. I begin to love this little creature, and to anticipate his birth as a fresh twist to a knot which I do not wish to untie. Men are spoilt by frankness, I believe, yet I must tell you that I love you better than I supposed I did, when I promised to love you for ever. And I will add what will gratify your benevolence, if not your heart, that on the whole I may be termed happy. You are a kind, affectionate creature,
and I feel it thrilling through my frame, giving and promising pleasure.

Fanny wanted to know ‘what you are gone for,’ and endeavours to pronounce Etruria. Poor papa is her word of kindness. She has been turning your letter on all sides, and has promised to play with Bobby till I have finished my answer.

“I find you can write the kind of letter a friend ought to write, and give an account of your movements. I hailed the sunshine and moonlight, and travelled with you, scenting the fragrant gale. Enable me still to be your company, and I will allow you to peep over my shoulder, and see me under the shade of my green blind, thinking of you, and all I am to hear and feel when you return. You may read my heart, if you will.

“I have no information to give in return for yours. Holcroft is to dine with me on Saturday. So do not forget us when you drink your solitary glass, for nobody drinks wine at Etruria, I take it. Tell me what you think of Everina’s behaviour and situation, and treat her with as much kindness as you can—that is, a little more than her manner will probably call forth—and I will repay you.

“I am not fatigued with solitude, yet I have not relished my solitary dinner. A husband is a convenient part of the furniture of a house, unless he be a clumsy fixture. I wish you, from my soul, to be rivetted in my heart; but I do not desire to have you always at my elbow, although at this moment I should not care if you were. Yours truly and tenderly,


Fanny forgets not the mug.

“Miss Pinkerton seems content. I was amused by a letter she wrote home. She has more in her than comes out of her mouth. My dinner is ready, and it is washing-day. I am putting everything in order for your return. Adieu!”