William Hone to [James Mill?], 4 October, 1824

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

William Hone to [James Mill?], 4 October, 1824.1-TEI-

My Dear Sir

2I am just enabled by a clean proof of the last halfsheet to enclose you "Another Article for the Quarterly" in reply to its last foul attack upon me—a fouler was never made on any one. Its every statement either in defence of itself or in answer to my pamphlet is a vile perversion or a labored falsehood. All this however is represented in the tract & I assure you solemnly that I have not misrepresented or resorted to tricks to make my adversary appear in the wrong. He felt the blow & was fool enough not to discover that the hand he received it from could hit more hard. I said I would not contest further and it was a pitfall to the silly rogue. He is in and he dare not struggle again.

The sale of the former pamphlet3 & the letters of communication I have had from distinguished men who are utter strangers to me but by their rank & reputation convince me that the reviewer was goaded to frenzy & hence his new folly. Gifford4 must have been out of his senses to have suffered such a tissue of fallacy & abuse to go in unless indeed the subject was something 'out of his line' [to expect][?] that the opinion of some kind friend of the reviewer has persuaded him to defile the Quarterly by [suiciding?][?] in it. However that may be I see clearly that they determined to crush me & I hesitate not to confess to you that the thing has had no little influence on my mind. All the tribe of "Evangelical Magazine" gender who have hornetted about me I disdain to putting a finger towards but the Quarterly is a gladiator to a gigantic form and fame to be despised.

You will perceive that I have not published for profit—I must inevitably lose by it in a money view— Indeed were I to get one farthing by the thing it would be as the 'wedge of achan'5 in my eyes—an accursed thing. If the Times can further extend to me its long continued kindness in a matter so near my heart I shall feel as I have felt on former occasions that I have been greatly served & more obliged than I choose to say. No human being is more sensible of kindness than I am nor is any one less inclined to obey force. I am governed and only governable by the law of kindness — the affair of the Quarterly had died from my mind till its new assault aroused me once more to resist its unprincipled persecutions.

I have been Chol. Morb'd to death's door almost but have struggled through this pamphlet and my illness together.6 I am still so weak that I cannot get from my bedroom to meal with my family or you would see me tonight.

I am My dear Sir
Most sincerely & respectfully

4 Oct. 24
The pamphlet will not be out till Tomorrow afternoon.

British Library, Add. MS 41071, ff. 14-15. [return]
This draft letter, with its variations in tone from the familiar to the formal, appears to be a kind of composite document—sections of which appear in some of the other letters written at about the same time in response to the same circumstances. In Hone's tiny hand, written sideways across the top of the draft, is a note about an "enclosed medal," but the note is too tiny and too heavily edited to read very confidently. Indeed, much of the body of the letter is similarly marked up with crossings-out and interlineal insertions. One of the potential intended recipients may well have been James Mill of the Westminster Review. In a letter from Francis Place (Add. MS 40120 f. 215) also dated 4 october 1824, Place suggests that Hone send copies of both Aspersions Answered and Another Article for the Quarterly Review to James Mill and then to "look for satisfaction" in the next issue of the Westminster). [return]
Probably Hone's Aspersions Answered, his first reply to the scurrilous reviews in the Quarterly. [return]
William Gifford (1756-1826), influential editor of the Quarterly Review. [return]
from Joshua 7:24. [return]
Compare the opening paragraph of the letter to John Childs, 5 October, 1824. [return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-03-26