William Hone to William Behnes, 21 May, 1829

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William Hone to William Behnes, 21 May, 1829. 1-TEI-

Newington Green
21 May 1829
My dear Behnes

Alfred came hither early on Tuesday morning and remained till last night — I was agreeably surprised by his consulting me concerning the consequences of war to his future welfare if he took the Sea, instead of the arts, for a profession — he had previously talked with Charles I found — you may guess what my wishes and advice suggested.2 He comes to Church again.

Today I suppose he will devote to acknowledgment of the kindness he was availing himself of with a view to the life of a Sailor, which, I now feel assured he has utterly relinquished — and probably he has some leave-takings & explanations that may unsettle him for the week. This, however, is mere surmise — but on his return I reckon on your finding him "a nail in a sure place."

I should come to you & say this — but after I parted with Alfred on his way towards Tower hill last night, I found, on my return home, that Mrs. Johnson, who is Mrs. Hone's mother, had become suddenly worse, and as she is far advanced in age & infirmity & fast hastening to the end of life, it would be imprudent in me to leave the house, & my wife, alone.

From what Alfred says, & from what passed between you and me, I think his veer from change to settled will be almost as pleasing to you as it is to us. We talked about modelling & drawing, instead of navigation & trade — and his yearnings for what you excel in and I admire, I shall encourage in him by kindly disposition, & earnest endeavour. You may imagine that his mother is not a little pleased with his [one word][?] to return.

With the kindest regard, I remain
My dear Behnes,
Yours most Sincerely
W Hone
William Behnes Esq..
Hone Collection, Adelphi University, Series 1A, Bx 1, f. 1. [return]
Hone's son William had died unexpectedly in 1827 while serving in the Navy. No doubt Hone was relieved that Alfred was now leaning toward the arts as a career rather than sailing. [return]
William Hone. Date: 2014-12-17