William Hone to Robert Childs, 10 October, 1825

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

William Hone to Robert Childs, 10 October, 1825.1-TEI-

45 Ludgate Hill

10 Oct. 1825

I thank you my dear Sir for your answers to my queries respecting "Hannah Want"—2 I thank you too for your capitally characteristic etching of "Jack Baker" — I wish I could thank you for information concerning him. You tell me if I "chance to light on Edwards" to "ask him about 'Jack Baker' and it will make the old boy laugh." Now if you will be so good as to tell me about what given hour, at a given place in London, the "old boy" is likely to pass so that I by flinging myself from the first floor window of a house I may "light on Edwards," and assure me, that without such effort, I cannot hope to "make the 'old boy' laugh" and talk, I will then tell you whether I can "screw myself to the sticking place" of enlightenment. At present allow me to ask if Edwards is in London—for I find it as difficult to draw an inference to that effect from your letter as to draw Jack Baker on a woodblock— whether the "old boy" be in "Cockayne" or Bungay do tell me all you know as to "Jack Baker" — If Edwards is here, & you write me where, I will get from him all I can in addition. For the present, let so many of my queries concerning "Hannah" apply to "Jack," &, substituting "him" for "her", "tell me all you can respecting him, as you did of her, & particularly when "Jack" died—that is, the day of the month whereon I may kill him in the EDB. I shall kill Hannah on the [ ] instant, last past, and now to come, as last aforesaid, to wit, in the said EDB.

You completely tickle me by these graphic communications — Be explicit in written detail, and when you come to town I'll wring your fingers off, in token of kind acknowledgement.

Ah "Jack"! "Jack!" - Jack, that is to say John Childs. I am through with that brother of yours. Rambles all parts of the kingdom with organs of observation so prominent that he cannot fail to have seen lots of such things & other things too, he has not sent me one print or tract, or publication, of any sort whatever—wherefore I infer has "secretariness" to be superior to his "veneration" of such objects. Stir him up I pray you, to the formation of a new organ, & write me on what part of the head 3 I am to look for the bump if it be moderately clothed with decent Christianlike hair, or where I must feel for it, supposing that he retains the load of interlocutory bristle which his [costard?] hath heretofore put forth in full crop — I suspect he cultivates the growth thereof to conceal a mountain of "Jannock" — ah! he's a cannie lad. —— The purport of this is to say merely

My dear Sir
Please to send me a full true & particular account of Jack Baker and you will further oblige

Yours most sincerely
W Hone
British Library, Add. MS 40856, ff. 21-22. [return]
Hannah Want was the subject of an article in the Every-Day Book (2 October, 1825.). For more about her, see the previous letter to Robert Childs dated 5 October, 1825. [return]
The highlighted text here is circled in the original. Hone's playful language parodies the terminology of phrenology, a field that fascinated Robert Childs.[return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-02-27