Thoughts on Man - William Godwin - Страница 1 из 443


THOUGHTS ON MAN
HIS NATURE, PRODUCTIONS AND DISCOVERIES INTERSPERSED WITH SOME
PARTICULARS RESPECTING THE AUTHOR
By William Godwin
Oh, the blood more stirs
To rouse a lion, than to start a hare!
SHAKESPEARE
LONDON:
EFFINGHAM WILSON, ROYAL EXCHANGE.
1831.
PREFACE
In the ensuing volume I have attempted to give a defined and permanent
form to a variety of thoughts, which have occurred to my mind in the
course of thirty-four years, it being so long since I published a
volume, entitled, the Enquirer,--thoughts, which, if they have presented
themselves to other men, have, at least so far as I am aware, never been
given to the public through the medium of the press. During a part of
this period I had remained to a considerable degree unoccupied in my
character of an author, and had delivered little to the press that bore
my name.--And I beg the reader to believe, that, since I entered in
1791 upon that which may be considered as my vocation in life, I
have scarcely in any instance contributed a page to any periodical
miscellany.
My mind has been constitutionally meditative, and I should not have
felt satisfied, if I had not set in order for publication these special
fruits of my meditations. I had entered upon a certain career; and I
held it for my duty not to abandon it.
One thing further I feel prompted to say. I have always regarded it as
my office to address myself to plain men, and in clear and unambiguous


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