John Childs to William Hone, 28 December, 1829

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John Childs to William Hone, 28 December, 1829.1-TEI-

28 Decr. 1829
Dear Hone,

I made all the enquiry after you, thro' our friend Besley, which I could & he told me you were gone from your last place & he could not tell where. Then I turned to Edwards (he that upset Horsefall at the Green Dragon with his drawing from the antiques) who promised me faithfully that he would find you if you were upon earth & therefore on Tuesday Eveng. last, a Turkey, as usual was dispatched hence for you, directed for me, & with Edwards a ticket left to claim and convey it to you— when lo! on Thursday came a letter from the old fellow to say he had been every where & could not find you— he had been to [one word][?] Court, to Mr Behnes', to [one word][?], & Rushton, & none of these could tell him. I therefore wrote him by the same Mail & told him either to give it to some friend of his own or in imitation of [one word][?] Wife, cut it in two, and eat it himself.

Under all these awful disappointments I shall, as soon as I can find one suitable for the occasion, (but that does not happen every day) send you such an one as that which is already gone, of which you shall have timely notice.

What are you going to do with a Grasshopper Coffee Shop?—are you going to draw a character of the customers who shall pass thro' Gracechurch St. & have your friend George to etch them, or are you going in fact to sit down soberly and get an honest livelyhood by vending turkey and mocha? I shall come & see.

Before you go to D Turner with your autographs, you had better, if he is seeable, have a look at, and a talk with on Sr R Phillips Knight, who has I believe had some experience in the matter of such things with the said Banker. At any rate it can do you who have so much fine Business tact and custom to admonish you, not to part with a scrap out of your sight (out of your sight mind) until you have in your possession certain pieces of paper containing not only the autograph of the said Banker, but also those of his Partners, to wit, [torn][?] Georges & one Bright [one word][?]2

I have seen one of Mr W Cobbett's performances, & can therefore fully understand how you must have stood in pure astonishment to see & hear the people applaud him for taking care to keep his talk unalloyed by one single first principle concerning the subject on which he twaddles.

Age. that Ainsworth if it is not the best piece of typography that you ever saw (& I don't suppose it is, but as you are no great judge & think so, tis all the same) it is the completest plug in the gullet of that Gang calling themselves (itself) the Trade, that ever they have had, single handed.

When you go to Yarmouth make it you business to come here. This is the high road Mail from Belle Sauvage Ludgate Hill—Did Shuttleworth send you Strutting to Derby?

If you are really going to Gracechurch I shall sometimes get a sight of your face again.

Give our kind love to your good wife & believe me to be sincerely

John Childs

Mr. W. Hone
Traveller since 24 Oct. last Newington Green

Paid 28 Decr, London

Add. MS 40120, ff. 333-34. [return]
Hone, in his efforts to raise money to open his coffeehouse, was trying to sell his collection of autographs. The paper is torn here, but clearly Childs is joking about getting actual money in hand before giving up the autographs. [return]
John Childs. Date: 2014-04-15