Thursday, August 9, 2007

Mrs Robinson to William Godwin

[To William Godwin]
Friday, 30th May 1800.

. . . The fact is simply this, were I to resist the action as a married woman, I might set it aside, and recover damages from my persecutor, because the arrest is for necessaries, and my husband is therefore by law obliged to pay the debt, there being no kind of legal separation between us. But then, I should involve that husband, and act, as I should feel, dishonestly towards my creditors. I therefore submit patiently. I have had various proposals from many friends to settle the business, but I am too proud to borrow, while the arrears now due on my annuity from the Prince of Wales would doubly pay the sum for which I am arrested. I have written to the Prince, and his answer is that there is no money at Carlton House-- that he is very sorry for my situation, but that his own is equally distressing!! You will smile at such paltry excuses, as I do. But I am determined to persist in my demand, half a year's annuity being really due, which is two hundred and fifty pounds, and I am in custody for sixty-three pounds only! So circumstanced I will neither borrow, beg, nor steal. I owe very little in the world, and still less to the world, and it is unimportant to me where I pass my days, if I possess the esteem and friendship of its best ornaments, among which I consider you,

Most sincerely, I am, dear Sir, your obliged and humble servant,
-from William Godwin: His Friends and Contemporaries (London: Henry S. King) vol. 2, p. 34-35.

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