1795 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Thelwall

Joseph Ritson to Sir Harris Nicolas, 23 March 1795; Letters of Joseph Ritson (1833) 2:68-69.



I transmitted your letters to citizen Thelwall, whom I have not since met with: perhaps he may write to you on the subject. For my part, I abominate mendicancy of every description, and think it much more honourable in a distressed man to hang than to beg. Besides, citizen Yorke well knows, though you may not, that the London Corresponding Society is chiefly composed of poor mechanics who find it a sufficiently hard matter to support themselves and their families, setting aside several of their members who are languishing in penury, sickness and confinement, and whose wives and children are literally perishing for want. I would therefore recommend it to you to make no more applications of this sort.... To confess the truth, the more I see of these modern patriots and philosophers the less I like them.... I really think that Thelwall is the best of them, and yet I find myself pretty singular in my good opinion of him.