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Memoirs of William Hazlitt
Ch. II: 1791-95
William Hazlitt to William Hazlitt sen.; [late Autumn 1793]

Chap. I 1778-1811
Ch. II: 1791-95
Ch. III 1795-98
Ch. IV 1798
Ch. V 1798
Ch. VI 1792-1803
Ch. VII 1803-05
Ch. VIII 1803-05
Ch. IX
Ch. X 1807
Ch. XI 1808
Ch. XII 1808
Ch. XII 1812
Ch. XIV 1814-15
Ch. XV 1814-17
Ch. XVI 1818
Ch. XVII 1820
Ch. XX 1821
Ch. I 1821
Ch. II 1821-22
Ch. III 1821-22
Ch. IV 1822
Ch. V 1822
Ch. VI 1822
Ch. VII 1822-23
Ch. VIII 1822
Ch. IX 1823
Ch. X 1824
Ch. XI 1825
Ch. XII 1825
Ch. XIII 1825
Ch. XIV 1825
Ch. XV 1825
Ch. XVI 1825-27
Ch. XVII 1826-28
Ch. XVIII 1829-30
Ch. XX
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“Dear Father,

“I was sorry to hear from your two last letters that you wish me to discontinue my essay, as I am very desirous of finishing it, and as I think it necessary to do so. For I have already completed the two first propositions, and the third I have planned, and, shall be able to finish in a very short time: the fourth proposition, which will be the last, will consist only of a few lines. The first section you know I have done for some time; and the first and fourth propositions are exactly similar to the first, second, and fourth of the second section, so
that I have little else to do than to alter a few words. The third will consist principally of observations on government, laws, &c., most of which will be the same with what I have written before in my ‘Essay on Laws.’ My chief reason for wishing to continue my observations is, that by having a particular system of politics, I shall be better able to judge of the truth or falsehood of any principle which I hear or read, and of the justice or the contrary of any political transactions. Moreover, by comparing my own system with those of others, and with particular facts, I shall have it in my power to correct and improve it continually. But I can have neither of these advantages unless I have some standard by which to judge of, and of which to judge by, any ideas or proceedings which I may meet with. Besides, so far is my studying this subject from making me gloomy or low-spirited, that I am never so perfectly easy as when I am or have been studying it.

With respect to themes, I really think them rather disserviceable than otherwise. I shall not be able to make a good oration from my essay. It is too abstruse and exact for that purpose. I shall endeavour to write one on Providence, which will, I think, be a very good subject. I shall certainly make it my study to acquire as much politeness as I can. However, this is not the best place possible for acquiring it. I do not at all say that the fellows who are here do not know how to behave extremely well, but the behaviour which suits a set of young fellows, or boys, does not suit any other society. This circumstance, however, is of very little
consequence, as little else is necessary to politeness than ease and a desire of pleasing.

“I forget to tell you that Corrie has not returned me the first part of my essay.

“I am, dear father,
“Your affectionate son,
“William Hazlitt.”