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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. XII. 1832-1836
William Godwin to W. Cross, 31 January 1831

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
Jan. 31, 1831.

. . . “I am extremely sorry that any silence on my part should have been the cause of giving you pain. . . . I have been all my life accustomed to regard man as everything, ‘the most excellent and noble creature of the world,’ and property as comparatively mere dross and dirt. I was sorry, therefore, to see you count the value of a man by pounds, shillings, and pence. I remember a plan of Mr H. Tooke on the subject of Parliamentary Reform, which was to give every man a right to as many votes for a representative as he was able and willing to purchase at a stipulated price. I do not know whether he was in jest or earnest, and I dare say you never saw his plan. Yours is better than his because yours does not depend so much on whim as his did. . . .

“I am a republican because I am a philanthropist. That form of society, perhaps, is the best which shall make individual man feel most generous and most noble. As poor Dr Watts says, ‘The mind’s the standard of the man.’

“With regard to the revolution which occurred in France in July last, it appears to me that the leaders did well in the points you specify. You say that your voluntary association would have proved strong enough to resist all the force that combined Europe could have brought against them. Be it so: yet the despots of Europe would not have thought so. And to prevent a war is much better than to finish a war with victory to the just cause. I am glad, therefore, that the leaders said to Europe, ‘We will have a king as we have had before. Be not alarmed: we will set no example of anarchy and the dissolution of government to the people over whom you reign.’ I moreover rejoice in the generous magnanimity and forbearance the leaders have displayed, so much the reverse of the Revolution of 1789. I finally rejoice in the energy that has saved the lives of the ministers of Charles X.”