William Hone to Thomas Sharp, 22 April, 1823: An Electronic Edition

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William Hone to Thomas Sharp, 22 April, 1823.1-TEI-

Ludgate hill
22 April 1823

2Mr. Tayleure did not arrive in town so early as was expected, and I found Mrs. Tayleure disinclined, for his instructions, to let me have the plate or the use of it until after his arrival. I am sorry to say that his demand far exceeded what I thought reasonable—he refused to let 250 impressions be worked from it, at our expense and at his own printers, for less than Five Guineas in addition to the printers charges. This I declined acceding to until I took your opinion upon it, which I deferred, day after day, in expectation of forwarding you a copy of my volume when I wrote. The event proves that I ought not to have so delayed—for business has occasioned me such absences from it that it is not yet ready, and I keep it till the end of the month in order to include in it an etching from a picture of a Morris Dance. Now, Sir, there is only one awkward impression that I desire to remove from your mind, for I cannot help thinking after such a lapse of time that it must prevail with you a little, and that is a suspicion that I have a lurking wish that Hearne's plate should not come into your work because I have introduced it into mine, and hence perhaps you have supposed my silence to have arisen. But the fact is precisely as I have stated, and I desire to assure you that I am so far from entertaining dislikes of this kind as to feel much mortification in communicating to you Mr. Tayleure's ultimatum. Yet, although I gave you reason to expect the use of the plate for a guinea, I may be wrong in supposing that you are unwilling to comply with his terms and therefore, if you are so inclined, I will, on receiving an intimation from you to that effect, endeavor to remedy the delay by prompt attention to your wishes, and get the plate immediately worked and the impressions forwarded to you.

With this you will receive a Catalogue of a forthcoming Sale which may in some measure account for the occupation of my time, but it has been also engaged by my selling Messrs Sherwood & Co.'s Trade Sale, and in preparing to sell Mr. Newman's at the Albion Tavern tomorrow, besides other more minute but not less detaching avocations—added to which, I have had a house of sickness almost constantly since your last letter.

Whatever is your determination, I beg the favor of a note from you, and desire to repeat my anxious desire to serve you in this little affair if it be not too late. The working of the plate may be accomplished in two days from the receipt of an answer from you if I should then be at liberty to pay Mr. Tayleure a sum which I think him unreasonable in requiring even if you think it worth while to let me indulge him with it.

Mr. Richard Taylor has made no progress, I am sorry to say, in endeavoring to obtain a copy of the Judicium[?] for your remaining copy of the Shormean & Taylors' pageant. He has been ill and much from town besides, having had a great deal to do in securing and obtaining his brother Arthur's election as City printer, but he requests me to say, that he certainly will make an opportunity very soon of seeing Mr. Townsley, though he has not much expectation of succeeding according to his wishes.

I know not whether the Garrick Catalogue has got into your part of the Country. Here, in London, we are much disappointed by the collection, although it certainly contains many curious articles yet they are overwhelmed by others that have been subsequently added, and a notion prevails that it has been castrated of its noblest parts.

I am, Sir,
Most respectfully yours
W Hone

Thomas Sharp, Esq.

Thomas Sharp Esq.

British Library, Add MS 40120, ff. 191-92. [return]
A detailed analysis of this letter and its print-history contexts can be found in Freshwater (1983). [return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-03-25