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WILLIAM GODWIN'S NOVELS
thousand copies is indeed a remarkable proof of the general excitement. A surprising number of the well-to-do must have been anxious to know what a Jacobin had to say for himself. Pitt, however, may have had other reasons. The Attorney-General could have no difficulty in quoting passages from Paine's Rights of Man, and inserting 'innuendoes' to show that they applied to our gracious sovereign. Godwin kept so much to the supernal regions of abstract argument that it was comparatively difficult to saddle his book with any definite or immediate political application. Moreover—in perfect consistency with his general doctrine—he had fully and explicitly denounced violent revolution. Force, he argues, is as bad on one side as on the other. Reason is so omnipotent that we may trust to its efficiency without any extraneous support. He condemned organised agitation even in support of his own principles. His friends were accused of belonging to seditious clubs; he held that all clubs implied some abnegation of individual liberty. Pitt might be right in holding that reason thus understood was a force of very little significance. True, Godwin's theories logically applied might tend to dissolve the very ties of all social and political