15 September 1797

William Godwin to Mary Hays, 15 September 1797.1   


    I think the last respect due to the best of human beings ought not to be deserted by their friends. There is not perhaps an individual in my list, whose opinions are not as adverse to religious ceremonies as your own, & who might not with equal propriety shrink from & desert the remains of the first of women. I know your character, I respect your scruples. But I should have thought more highly of you, if, at such a moment, it had been impossible for so cold a reflection to have crossed your mind. Think of the subject again. Consult Holcroft. Act finally upon the genuine decision of your own judgment.

         Yours, in sincere friendship

                     W. Godwin

Sept 15 1797

1  Abinger Collection, dep. b. 227/28; Brooks, Correspondence 463-64; not included in Clemit, Collected Letters. The date of the letter is the day of Wollstonecraft's funeral in the St. Pancras Church, an Anglican service objected to Hays, a devout Dissenter.