William Hone to John Childs, 25 December, 1819

William Hone to John Childs, 25 December, 1819.1-TEI-

45 Ludgate Hill

25 Decr. 1819
Dear Childs,

The alderman2 arrived with his honours thick about him and he now reposes in the stomachs of my Wife, Self, Eight young ones, a friend from Dorsetshire, old Joe Webb, & my wife's Brother: and we have this moment drunk the health of him who sent him—all the young ones are now about me cracking nuts & jokes and I am wishing you could see them and imagining that you are engaged in festivity of much the same kind. I drop you this line (omitting to do so yesterday by the gentleman who took charge of the books for you for I had friend Fry and another good fellow with me and I wished to know the day of the Fox dinner at Norwich before I wrote you, which I had not and opportunity of doing till I saw Richard Taylor, who tells me it is Monday the 26th January on which day, having consulted my pillow thereon, I purpose to have the gratification of seeing you, according to your very kind intimation—but as to the how & the "whereabout" I shall take your opinion. I wish to see some of your good fellows.


Oldham Inquest — out on Thursday next
Bentham's Panopticon — out of print
From J. E. Taylor I have had a satisfactory letter
The Trials—curse 'em I wish they were done—they shall be—see an Advt of mine (announcing the withdrawal of my letter to Copley) in the Chronicle [ye]sterday & on Monday next

End of business

One of the greatest pleasures I expect is from seeing Mr Edwards3—but on a full stomach & from a little strain of the head in writing a Carol this morning to go with the "moon"4 I am so miserably stupid that I cannot tell you more than that my wife desires her kindest respects to Mrs. C. as I do & she requests me to tell you that she will take care to remind Mr. Fry to remind &c. [one word illegible][?] it.

I am My dear Childs
Sincerely &, by & by, industriously,
Your friend
W Hone

Mr. John Childs

British Library, Add. MS 41071, ff. 1-2. For a detailed, contextual reading of this letter, see the "Conversation" on the early friendship of Hone and Childs. [return]
The "alderman" is the celebratory turkey which Childs gave to Hone annually on the anniversary of his 1817 trials. (See Hone's letter to Childs, 8 January, 1819.) [return]
Ann Bowden points out that this is a "shocker" for Mr. Edwards is likely George Edwards, a government agent and provocateur who was at this time agitating among the radical community. Edwards was one of the figures behind the Cato Street Conspiracy of February 1820. [return]
i.e. A Political Christmas Carol, a seven stanza satirical parody that can be sung to the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"; the Carol was, as Hone notes, published along with The Man in the Moon. [return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-03-17