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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. XII. 1832-1836
William Cooke to William Godwin, 5 December 1834

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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Lisson Grove, Dec. 5, 1834.

“I take up my pen to address this to you, sir, at the earnest, dying request of a dearly beloved, whose respect and admiration of you was as deep as it was lasting. I believe one of the last requests he made to Mrs Godwin before he left London was, should you be attacked with any dangerous illness, that she should be so kind as to inform him of it; for that wheresoever he was, or whatsoever might be his employ, he would most assuredly hasten to your bed-side, to render all the assistance in his power, and if it should be fatal, to observe how you would conduct yourself in such an extremity, and how you would die. These also are the very things he has requested me to inform you concerning himself, and to this I hasten.

“Rather more than three months ago, soon after his return from the Isle of Wight, he was attacked with an alarming illness. . . . Debility and emaciation still proceeded, and on the 23d ultimo he expired. He retained all his powers of mind unimpaired to the last.

“About two months before he died, he said he felt a great want of something to console him under his sufferings, and requested me to ask a particular friend of his (a Unitarian minister) to lend him some books. Amongst these was ‘Channing’s Sermons.’ . . . He soon after requested me to read him one of the Gospels. . . . After this, one morning early, he sent his wife for me, saying he had somewhat to communicate; when he said, ‘Father, I am fully convinced that Jesus Christ is very God: I can adore and worship him with all the powers and faculties of my soul.’ He said much more to the same purport, and at different times. . . . Perhaps a more surprising change from infidelity to
assured faith never occurred. . . . He ardently wished that all should be made acquainted with it who knew his former principles. . . . I hope, sir, that you will excuse the inadequate manner in which I have attempted to comply with the request of a dying son, and take it as a memorial of his respect, and the best wishes of “Sir, yours very respectfully,

William Cooke.

“The widow desires to be kindly remembered to Mrs Godwin.”