William Hone to Francis Place, 6 October 1824

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

William Hone to Francis Place, 6 October, 1824.1-TEI-

P.S. The first 3 pages may be passed—the beginning is at the end.
45 Ludgate hill
6 Oct. 1824 night
Dear Place

Yes! Dear "Sir," is not the thing between us. plain "Place" is too much like "plain Place" himself, to be the language of William Hone, who is not less plain but a little more modish, and so it is to be as it stands at the top — thus I hump over the awkwardness I feel and always have felt, in answering any one of your notes. I must do things in my own way, and one of my ways is to be in some things like other people, and this is one of them. I dare to say that I am, on a few points, as prominently out of the way as you are in the commencement of a letter — and between us (you know its a secret to every body else) we are two queer fellows. However, this I do know that as regards myself, and joking aside, that if I cannot do a thing in my own way I never can do it at all. I do not aim to do things differently from other people, and yet they are different, and I sometimes think that I differ myself from others' selfs — that I am, as Sir F. Burdett said of the speaker's warrant, "a thing sui generis." I never metaphisicized about myself, to inquire how all this is, or why it is — the "causation" I have never tried to trace, and I think it quite likely that I shall die without having informed myself upon a point which others may be quite acquainted with — you, for instance, & in particular.

All this comes of not being able to get over plain "Place"—and I think I hear him saying "Why what is the fool about? did you ever hear such a fool? He's drunk!" "No, I am not drunk!" "Why then you are a great a fool as you were!" "Very likely" "Why, I say, what the L's the matter with you?" "Oh I'm only a little merry, or so." "So! go and sew below along with Frank's men—you're drunk!" I tell you what Mr. Place I've had nothing but broth, and gruel, and slops, since last Sunday fortnight, when I became "possessed" by the Cholera-morbus and notwithstanding all the exorcisms of the ministering apothecary he remained in me for fourteen days. As soon as I found myself incapable of moving, I "set to" upon "Another Article for the Quarterly," and I got that out as soon as I did my tormentor, whereupon I "disport me" before going to bed tonight; and I don't know why a man may not as well laugh upon paper, as in another man's face. I have been all that time shut up in my bedroom, without seeing one strange face (not even my own in a looking glass) except that worthy fellow John Evans's (of Tooks Court) and tomorrow I crawl down to meal with my family, in prospect of which I give you my last word—Good Night!

"Well, well" says Place "but you're not off without telling me what you've got to say." "Oh, aye! true!"

Turn over

I have sent Mr. Mill2 a copy of the "Aspersions Answered," which I think I did not send him before, and "Another Article." You will see from the bulk & price of the latter tract, that, though it was "made to sell," it was not published to get money by—in fact I shall lose by it. I cannot afford to advertize it, as I used to advertize pamphlets by the sale of which I profited and I need the aid of the press mightily. I imagine it is the greatest blow, in the shape of a separate publication, that the Quarterly has had. I do not know that I have made it clear to others, and therefore I assure you of the fact, that I have not in the slightest degree misrepresented the reviewer. There is not a trick or feint in any one instance. It is all heavy, hard, fair, stand-up fighting on my part. (Turn to the last Quarterly3 & you'll see I've not missed one of his points.) It will therefore be no discredit to the Morning Chronicle to lend its aid. The pamphlet furnishes materials for a thorough exposure of the rascally methods by which the Quarterly catches and macerates victims who have not courage to defend themselves by re-reviewing the Arch Enemy's articles. Do oblige me & further the interests of Truth and Justice by getting our friend Black to do his best at it. I am too ill to get out. I sent him one on Monday afternoon. I thank you sincerely for your intimation of "satisfaction" —

Yours truly
W Hone

[Hone identifies the brief statement at the beginning of the letter as a "P.S." postscript.]

British Library, Add. MS 37949, ff. 144-45. [return]
James Mill, the editor of the Westminster Review. See the letter, likely intended for Mill, dated 4 October, 1824. [return]
Hone refers Place to the review of Aspersions Answered that had appeared in the Quarterly Review (1824, vol. 30, pp. 373-81). [return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-02-20