William Hone to John Childs, 8 January, 1819

[1780-1818] - [1818-1824] - [1825-1832] - [1832-1842] - Hone Correspondence

William Hone to John Childs, 8 January, 1819.1-TEI-

45 Ludgate Hill

8 Jan 1819
My dear Sir,

2On the 21st of last month, or so soon after as conveniently could be conveyed, I received from you what, in London, we call an Alderman in chains— This was reserved for our Christmas day dinner when we, that is, my wife and our seven young ones, played our many parts, and drank your health, and carrolled away till our eighth little one in my wife's lap crowed herself so hoarse that we were obliged to adjourn our mirth. It was not forgotten that the day of the date of your note was the Anniversary of the day after the trials which Ministers and their myrmidons designed should send me to keep Christmas in the custody of the Marshal of the Marshalsea of our Sovereign Lord the King. It was not forgotten either that this attempt brought me acquainted with some of the best of my Countrymen who with stout english [sic] hearts in their bodies are unsubduable by all the powers of Despotism, nor was it forgotten that to a contempt for Tyranny and a proud hate of it Britain is indebted for all her liberties and I for my Christmas dinner.

My [two words][?] my life, and I thank you heartily for your kindness — it was my duty to have done so before but—(now for a civil lie)—procrastination is the thief of time & I put off, & put off, even unto this day, when, finding my Conscience troublesome, that is, the burden of the reproach greater than I could bear, I mustered courage to say "thank ye" with my pen, my heart & mind having done so as often as I thought of you.

I have been, and am, ill—dying—but not dead. Blood at the head—apoplectic affection —cupping—bleeding—blistering—lowering—a fortnight at Bath &c.—vexation at home and habitual melancholy, which encreases upon me, all these are indications of that sure & certain event which happeneth to all and which may happen to me in an instant. I am in fact in a very bad way. The Trials have given me a physical shake which has compelled me to abandon what I intend upon with alacrity and & spirit, the sales by auction of libraries &c. for which I had made expensive & extensive arrangements & had neglected my other business to further—I have therefore now to begin the world afresh nearly.

From my bad health the Prospectus of the Trials has been delayed — of course the Trials themselves not much forwarded. When the prospectus is ready I will send you some down knowing they will be where they will be used.

Wishing you and yours health and happiness,
I am My dear Sir
Yours faithfully
W Hone

Mr. Childs, Bungay

British Library, Add. MS 40120, ff. 109-10.
For a detailed, contextual reading of this letter, see the "Conversation" on the early friendship of Hone and Childs. [return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-03-14