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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. II. 1800
John Arnot to William Godwin, 16 February 1800

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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[Vienna] “February 16, 1800.

“I have not yet received an answer to two letters which I wrote to you about the end of November.

“My friends would write to me more frequently, if they knew what a gratification to me a letter from them affords. It rouses me from my indifference, revives my affection for them, and imprints afresh their image upon my mind: and this is not a little necessary in a mode of life which, as Dyson, in his only letter to me, well observes, is so unfavourable to the growth of amicable attachments. When I read his letter first, I thought he might possibly be in the right in this, but I did not then so strongly feel its truth as I have done since.

“When I received my portmanteau, I began to write my journal of last year. When I had brought it up to my arrival in Riga, I read over all I had written, and was so little satisfied with it, that I lost all courage to proceed. I now think I shall scarcely have time to finish it till I return to England. . . .

“In one or other of the two letters I have mentioned, I told you I would go next summer to Hungary. I shall set out pro-
bably about the beginning of May. My route I have not yet determined. Upon looking at the map, I have been thinking to go from Opa and Pesth straight to Belgrade, or at least to Semlin, which is over against it, and from thence going through the Bannat, to travel over Transylvania and the North of Hungary toward the Carpathian Mountains. I need scarcely tell you, that every one here who has heard of my design, has advised me against it, as a thing highly dangerous, if not impracticable.

“When I left England I had no thoughts of going to Hungary. I meant to have gone from Germany immediately to France, on the supposition that peace would, ere this, have been established. In going to Hungary, I deviate from my first project; though it is a deviation which I hope will be rather an improvement. But I will deviate from it no further. Upon returning from Hungary, I intend to go directly to France, peace or not. If I can do so with safety to myself, I do not suppose that any disadvantage will thereby arise to others, and the consciousness of this makes me hesitate the less in following my own inclinations, without regarding any edicts that may have been made to the contrary in England. To what part of the world can a man go to avoid the encroachments and tyranny of his fellows? I must not go to France, it seems, because, if I do, a man called William Pitt will not let me return to England without molestation, but will endeavour to punish me by a law of his own making. What an impudent fellow he is!. . .

“My love to all my friends. I hope the children are well, and that they still continue to be the sources of much happiness to you. Long may they be so. I am, with great esteem, yours,

John Arnot.”