William Hone to John Childs, 16 March, 1821

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

William Hone to John Childs, 16 March, 1821.1-TEI-

45 Ludgate Hill

16 March 1821
Dear Childs,

Here is the "Right Divine of Kings to Govern Wrong" and here is "The Spirit of Despotism."2 The first I will not degrade by my praise—and the other, for obvious reasons, I modestly leave to be praised by others.

Friend Filby3 was here a day or two ago—full of wool and good spirits. I am very very anxious about my boy William,4 and asked Mr Filby what business he thought he might be put to. He could give me very little idea for he had form'd none— Now my good fellow if your observation of him has enabled you to judge of likings and capabilities what sort of a trade do you suppose him inclined to, or fitted for? Sedentary or active? brainwork or handwork? either is hard work—but as to authorship or bookselling, I would rather he were a success for I don't want him a stultus or a knave. Mr Filby will tell you what I said about him—he drags at my heart poor fellow very greatly. If I did not know you for a prompt "man of business" (now I shall have a letter!) I might expect to wait your arrival in town before I learn your thoughts—however as my correspondence has been very active of late (this is the second letter you have had since we last met remember) perhaps you will drop a line about him.

Remember me to Edwards (I like a dog that carries his heart in his mouth) & to your brother, & tell Mrs Childs that my wife (who has been no better than she should be of late) and I (who am much as usual—up and down) thank her very greatly for her kindness to William. As to you, you will take silence from me as gratitude.

God bless you John Childs & Yours
W Hone

I suppose I shall see Donkin when you come to town. I [two words][?] him but at those times—he's "a man of business."

Mr. John Childs

British Library, Add. MS 41071, ff. 3-4. [return]
The Right Divine of Kings to Govern Wrong is Hone's much condensed and rewritten edition of Daniel Defoe's Jure Divino (1706). An annotated electronic edition with an extended introduction is available here. The Spirit of Despotism by Vicesimus Knox was an anti-monarchist essay originally published in 1795; Hone's republication caused some consternation among Knox's surviving family. [return]
Exactly who this refers to is unclear, though "Filby" was the maiden name of Childs's mother, and the Childs and Filby families were prominent in the region of Bungay. [return]
This is Hone's son William, b. 1807, who was apparently serving an informal apprenticeship in Childs's printing office. He would eventually settle on a career in the Navy that would be cut short when he died unexpectedly in his bunk in 1827. [return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-03-21