William Hone to John Childs, 5 October, 1824

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

William Hone to John Childs, 5 October, 1825.1-TEI-

45 Ludgate hill
5 Oct: 1824
Dear Childs

Cholera morbus is ailing and killing without mercy all people who have it, and don't know how to manage themselves. Six weeks ago the fiend 'sat heavy on my soul,' and made my pen merry — that I 'wrote him off'. Last Sunday fortnight, while in bed, he possessed me once more — I set to work again, and got him and 'Another Article for the Quarterly' out together — though I have not got out myself. In short I have not [one word] stirred from my [one word] bedroom since—but I stir said article to you, just to let you see at your [Seaport?][?], the report I give of the reviewer's importance, and to acquaint you of with my corporeal and mental convulsions, and that I am they are now 'over the Ills and far away'.

You tell me (I think) that you read what I write—read this John Childs for yoursoul's health—read it to your children and your children's children—or, if they have none, to their parents that ought to be, and doubtless in time will be— It's the story of a man who told lies, and was found out, and punished accordingly— and may you and yours be saved from the sin—and—if you commit the sin and repent not by confession and reparation— see John what may come of it. Not however to be, what you mean I suppose by your fine outlandish word, "jannock," you will gather from "32 pages in 8vo, price 6.d" that my old adversary is bound hand and foot, and incapable of "lying about" to my annoyance.

Do yourself the pleasure of handing the few that are directed to the respective persons—the undirected ones direct from yourself where you list.

The tract will not bear advertizing. In a money view I lose by it — "Ah the fool!" says John Childs. "Ah! I thought you'd think that, if you didn't say it," answers Mr. Hone. — But if I were to get a farthing by this controversy I should deem it, as the 'wedge of Achan' was to the Israelites, 'an accursed thing'.2 — Of course it must be made known, and if you can help to extend the information of its existence, do. — Two or three of your country papers would serve it mightily by extraction—and if they extract shun I shall think that you have forgotten to use your influence or don't choose to do it — for you are "a man of business" John, and can effect it if you set about it. Up and be doing!

My wife has been ill all the summer, my children have been, not successively but transversely, and all together ill—in short, I may say, that at this present writing, we are 'a bad family.' I beg you will present 'our' most kind regards to Mrs. Childs and with wishes that she and her family and her 'ain gude man' may be preserved in health 'an', if it please you' John, in wealth — Remember us too to Mr. Filby most kindly — his foster-son William is working hard at his business and I am Dear Childs

Yours sincerely, & hence yearly
as long as my lease lasts,
W Hone. 3

Ainsworth! Ainsworth!! Ainsworth!!!4
I told him he was a money-lover: He said it was very odd— for you had told him so too: he said, also, he had built a chapel — and I said 'ahem.'

Adelphi, William Hone Collection, Series 1A, Box 1, fol. 2. [return]
from Joshua 7:24. [return]
The sheet is folded and addressed to "Esqr. John Childs, Bungay" with the term "Private" underlined. [return]
This postscript appears as an afterthought in tiny handwriting at the bottom of the page. Exactly who "Ainsworth" might be is untraced, though there is a chance that Hone refers to the novelist William Harrison Ainsworth who, though quite young, was already active in London print and legal circles.[return]
William Hone. Date: 2012-03-21