button to main menu  Greenwood and Hodgson 6.9.1823

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Westmorland Gazette, 6 September 1823:-
  letter from C Greenwood
SIR, - You have publicly addressed a letter to me, in which you state, John, that you do not mean to enter into the controversy that is "carried on" betwixt Messrs. Hodgson and Co.and myself, nor do you intend to say which of the parties are the best Surveyors; but that you will confine yourself to a simple question at issue - as you term it, a school-boy's question. Now, John, I agree with you, that it is a mere school-boy's question, and, therefore, the better suited to your capacity. You being an entire stranger to me, John, I can only take your likeness from the features of your letter; and you are not, therefore, entitled to any personal feelings on the subject. Whether you are a large man, John, or a small one, a rich man or a poor one, there is one thing certain. that you are any thing but a prudent man, John. You say that I am in a labyrinth, and, that you, John, would be glad to extricate me. Now, John, from the apparently ill-natured tone of your letter, I aim inclined to doubt your sincerity. Can you really lay your hand upon your heart, generous and vibrating with honest disinterestedness, and say that 'tis me you consider in a labyrinth, and whom you wish to extricate? Now, John, it is necessary I should point out to you how differently you and I are circumstanced in the case before us. [I have a] large and valuable Interest to guard and protect [in] the Map of Westmorland I am preparing for publication. You, John, cannot deny that I commenced it at a time when it was fairly open for me to do so without interfering with the private interest of any man living; nor did any one appear to oppose me until I had gone so far, that I could not retract without incurring both loss and disgrace. And if you say, John, that by my commencing first, I had the first chance with the public, I must inform you, that my first step was, 'not to canvas,' but to survey the County. But the Opposition took advantage of me, John, and commenced, 'not by surveying,' but by canvassing the County. This is an important point, John; and surely you will agree with me, that if such practices are to become prevalent, and to [receive] the sanction of public approbation, the spirit of enterprise will be quashed. But for the [benefit of] your County, John, I have to inform you, that the proceedings of this Opposition has not either the sanction or the approbation of the people of Westmorland, as a body. Beyond the narrow limits of his immediate Friends, his speculation is [disappointed] because, John, it is an unfair one, and will [ ] be viewed by the Profession at large,as a [dishonour]able transaction, and which if he had the imp[ ] to go into without due consideration, he had [also the] opportunity of going out of without loss. [Now,] John, thus I am circumstanced.
We will now consider you. You cannot say, John, that you have confined yourself to the question that was submitted for solution. If you had, you would have omitted your reflections upon my Professional reputation. I do not mention them as having [ ] any feeling with me, John, but as a distinguishing characteristic of your disposition towards me; and therefore, excepting you can shew that you [have in] this case an interest to protect, John, or an [impar]tially moral good to promote, you will inevitably attach to yourself the character of a scurrilous old [ ] and that of busying yourself with other people's affairs. Why should you be out of temper with me, John? You see I am not singular in my opinion. You are the only one out of four who answered the question, that gave it against me!!! I will [just] cast a glance at your mode of demonstration, John, and then bid you good bye. You appear to [ ] that "after two weeks time for consideration, I [should] continue to have so confused a notion on so simple a question, as to say that a scale of an inch to a mile and one of an inch and a third, should only be a fourth part more." Now, John, you cannot [ ] upon it, that I or any one else shall understand the above paragraph; but I will be candid with you and say that I have some idea of what you intend to imply, and will, therefore, inform you that I have seen no reason for altering the opinion I have already given, that Mr. Hodgson's scale, being one inch and a third to a mile, is only larger, by one fourth, than ours, which is an inch. Because, John, when we talk of thirds, we must consider our inch scale as three-thirds, and another third of an inch added makes four-thirds, or an inch and a third which is Mr. Hodgson's scale. Then, John, I shall insist upon it that the one scale is only larger than the other by that fourth. Take it away, and they are equal. You say, John, you are ashamed of entering publicly so minutely into my assertion , [a] question you cannot call it. Pray, John, why do you come thus blushing before the public? [Would] you but confine yourself to your own business, you might save both your confusion and your credit. I have no doubt in my own mind, John, you [fancied] yourself correct, and could not deny yourself, [what] you considered so favourable an opportunity of [trying] for the Oracleship of the County; but, John, you should have looked a little closer before you leapt, and you would have avoided the quagmire that must for a time obscure your fame. You have tried your hand, John, at a school-boy's question, and you did it valourously; but you missed your aim, John, and every school-boy will point you out and laugh at you. Now, John, let us go a little farther. You say, if one man walk three miles and another four, does not the second person walk one-third further than the first? I answer no, John, excepting you can prove that one mile is a third of four. Now, John, as you have been so good as to give yourself much trouble in varying your illustrations to some familiar transactions in life, that they may be more level with my understanding, I will not be ungrateful or in arrear with you in acts of kindness. Let us give up such learned pretensions, John, and [bring] the matter home. Supposing you put upon your table seven dumplings, each equal in size and quantity, and you help your friend to three of them, and eat the other four yourself, John. Would not the quantity you had eaten, exceed that which you had given your friend, by one-fourth of itself, or a seventh of the whole? And you must not forget, John, that as your friend's original position could only be presumed to have furnished one quantity, in [that] quantity only could his proportion exist. [Thus], John, you say if to twelvepence I add fourpence [ ] I add one-third or one-fourth? You deal in [all] sorts of articles, John, and I must tell you that [it] is going quite out of the question. If you ask me by how much sixteenpence is more than twelvepence, I shall say a fourth. You ought to know, John, that we are treating on positive quantities. All your following illustrations are so vague a nature, and bear so little upon the question, that I shall take the liberty, John, of not considering them [entitled] to notice.
Now, John, in conclusion, you appear to have struggled hard as to whether you should give up your name or 10s 6d. Really, John, your's is a cheap name. - One might have three for the price of one of your Friend's Maps. Ah! John Swainson, [you had] better confine your correspondence to No.8 Regent Street, where you will, at any rate, insure some consideration for it. By the by, John, I happen to have a little acquaintance with one of the parties there, and you and I may be better acquainted - Why do you say you will conclude your letter by advising me to write no more, when you have already concluded it. You conclude your letter twice, John, and then you set to work with a postscript, directing all those to read the above, who cannot distinguish between a third and a fourth part. This is rather cunning of you, John, as you well know that said ABOVE must have been read before this notice could have been arrived at. Then, John, you have taken us all in.
Kendal, King's Arms Inn, 4th Sept. 1823.


from - C Greenwood
to - John Swainston (JS's original letter not found)
MAP SCALE I'm right, and you don't know what you're talking about
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