William Hone to John Childs, 25 December, 1827 — An Electronic Edition

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

William Hone to John Childs, 25 December, 1827.1-TEI-

22 Belvedere Place
25 Dec. 1827.
Dear Childs,

I omitted acknowledging your very kind letter purposely, till after we should have received your annual contribution, and the latter having miscarried, I write on the instant, at Mr Besley's request, to acquaint you with the fact.2 First however I must thank you as I do most sincerely, for the consolatory sentiments you express towards us in our affliction, for the loss of our poor boy, respecting whom we have since learned that he was found dead in his hammock in Little Roads, and that he appeared to have expired three hours before, having gone to rest in apparent health. Alfred is recovered.3 My friend Lawrence has been gratuitously attentive to him, and the constant aid of Mr Moth, another friend's professional services, were constantly at hand, and by their united vigilance he is now well. The depression occassioned by the fracture has disappeared entirely.

As regards the turkey, Mr. Besley came over yesterday to inquire if we had received it—we had not. Alfred's first adventure out was in search of this lost animal. Last night he went to the Spread Eagle, whither our servant had gone before, but there were no tidings there. This morning he went to Mr Besley who with him proceeded to the Spread Eagle, the Bull (in Whitechapel whither a branch coach goes) and the Blue Boar in Whitechapel, and back again to the Spread Eagle—all in vain—there is no parcel of the kind at either place—no entry in the way bills—none in the books—so they say. The upshot is that we shall eat your health of a boiled leg of pork which was to have been an accompaniment to the bird. Your friend Besley deems the privation of so much importance as to insist on Alfred's enforcing me to write otherwise I really should not make a "buzzy-ness" of the affair. You wrote positively to him, it seems, that the hamper has gone off, and to that fact I have only to add another (which I imagine) viz. that its contents are at this moment undergoing confection for the solace of stomachs belonging to bodies whose good luck is bad luck to ours, and who will no doubt drink to the honor with more of laughter than we should. I assure you that we bear this loss with more philosophy than you may suppose, and that all is with the best regards to you and yours, wish you all all happiness, at this and every other season.

I am my dear friend
Yours most sincerely
W Hone

P.S. The next No. of the Table Book is the last—so wills the public.

Mr. John Childs
Bungay, Suffolk

British Library, Add. MS 40120, ff. 307-08. [return]
The "annual contribution" is the turkey that Childs had been giving to Hone annually at Christmastime since 1818. [return]
Hone's son William had joined the British Navy, but then died unexpectedly in his sleep. Alfred had recently suffered a broken skull due to an accident with a horse; he was only lately out of danger. [return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-04-11