William Hone to William Upcott, 14 September, 1822 — An Electronic Edition

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William Hone to William Upcott, 14 September, 1822.1-TEI-

Ludgate hill

14 Sept. 1822
My dear Friend

I can pretty well imagine the vexation you will feel on reading Mr. Bray's letter in this day's Times,2 and lest you may be tempted with the thought of doing something, as it is quite natural you should, I pray you to dismiss the intruder as a foul fiend, and by no means do any thing—it is one of those subjects whereon scarcely anything can be said without injury, unless what is said be well said after calm and patient thinking. Unfortunately too the suffering party is least able to judge of the affair, while everybody else pretends to judge.

It appears to me that Mr. Bray has been precipitate, to say the least, and I know not whether because he was Lady Evelyn's Solicitor, that he is the conservator, therefore, of a fame, that I never heard she possessed, for knowledge or discretion in matters of that sort—besides, I think that the feelings and the honor of the living Mr. Upcott are not to be sported with, for the sake of writing up, as on a church monument, the pseudo-truth of dead Lady Evelyn's exceeding regard for everything belonging to her great ancestor.

For the fool who threw the paragraph into the papers which has occasioned this disturbance, you can have nothing but contempt—but Mr. Bray must be regarded in another light, though his conduct is equally silly. I pray you however, and this is the object of my early note, to do nothing yet — nor to send out any paragraph of any sort through any channel. If anything be done it must be done well, and I doubt whether anything can be done effectually through a Journal—or any how.

I hope you will look at my intrusion as that of a friend, at a moment when advice, and advice only, can be offered — and on a subject wherein that only can be serviceable.

I am, My dear Sir
Yours faithfully
W Hone
Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. Shelfmark: UP 263.[return]
Hone refers to a letter in The Times in which a dispute between the two editors of John Evelyn's diary, Upcott and William Bray, was made public. The letter discounts Upcott's contribution to the publication of Evelyn's Diary, though he was probably more energetically (and capably) engaged in the project than Bray. Hone—himself no stranger to controversy in print—writes to his friend with advice about how to respond. [return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-03-23