William Godwin's Diary


Deliquium: Two definitions are given in the OED: Failure of the vital powers; a swoon, fainting fit. (see also introduction to Godwin's Health); and for ‘deliquescence’, the dissolving of hard body into a liquor. Many medicines are described in this period ‘as deliquium.’ This raises the possibility that Godwin was using the term with reference to relief from constipation. Between 1809 – 1814 Godwin had about 20 attacks of this ‘deliquium’.