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Wearing away his time fruitlessly

The 1818 text at this point stipulates that "nearly a year had elapsed" since this journey had begun from Geneva, a period the 1831 text identifies as "the latter end of September." (There is a month's disparity between the two texts on this point -- see 3.1.5 in 1818 and 1831). In her revision of the novel Mary Shelley, desiring to underpin the professional engagement of Henry Clerval, quietly presses home the irony that he, who once indolently indulged himself in imitating eastern poetry (see 1.5.9) now has, in contrast to Victor, a firm sense of personal mission and a commitment to the future. Of course, in Ingolstadt at one point Victor was himself posssessed of both traits.