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William Godwin: his Friends and Contemporaries
Ch. IV. 1801-1803
Joseph Ritson to William Godwin, 10 March 1801

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
Gray’s Inn, March 10, 1801.

“A very slight degree of candour and confidence could not have misbecome you, and would have prevented these disagreeable consequences. The business, however, has proceeded so far, and i have already spoken of it with such acrimony, as a person of
conscious integrity cannot be safely expected either to forget or forgive. I could only judge of your sentiments by your actions, and your never having taken the least notice of my little loan in the course of two years, until you had occasion to apply for further assistance, was in itself, in my mind, a very suspicious circumstance. You had no reason to conclude me affluent, though i am willing to put myself to some inconvenience in order to oblige a friend; nor does it seem either prudent or considerate that you should, in such circumstances, put yourself to the expense of a journey to Ireland, when those, perhaps, who had enabled you to perform it were on that very account obliged to stay at home. The style of your former letter also seemed too easy and flippant for the occasion; and, in fact, the irritation of my mind had been provoked or increased about the very same time by a swindling trick of the
editor of the Albion, who obtained 5 guineas from me on a false pretence and promise of punctual payment, but of which i have been able by threats to extort no more than a couple of pounds, which i presume is the whole i shal ever get. These transactions, hapening together, brooded in my mind, and made me regard every one as a confederated conspirator, being, peradventure, like Iago—
‘vicious in my guess,
As i confess it is my nature’s plague
To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not.’
I am much obliged by the handsome and friendly manner in which you profess yourself to have regarded me: though i confess i had no idea of standing so fair in your good graces. This is all i can bring myself to say, except that i am

“An admirer of your talents, and
A sincere wel-wisher of your success.
J. Ritson.”