Westmorland Gazette, 13 September 1823:-
letter from J Swainston
TO MR. C. GREENWOOD.
SIR, - You last week favoured me with a long letter, which I ought to thank you for; but as a great portion of it refers to matter in this controversy I did not even allude to, it was therefore out of your way to notice in reply to me. I merely disputed the propriety of your expressions respecting the scale of the proposed maps - and further I did not go. You affect, Sir, to be very witty, address me in a familiar manner, and intimate that we may be better acquainted. You, Sir, pretend to the character of a gentleman; but how have you lessened yourself by adopting a style of buffoonery, and stooping to call names in the place of argument, merely on account of my denial of your arithmetical assertion! As you have set the example, permit me to use the same freedom, and I shall presume your name to be Charles. - Now, Charles, it appears rather astonishing that a person of your professed acquirements, extensive practice, and great pretensions, should fill a letter with vulgar derision. Take out a single word, Charles, and your wit vanishes, and will now not be remembered beyond the day of reading. In my letter to you I used no names, Charles, but what you assumed in your own celebrated productions. But this charge, Charles, is one of your unsupported assertions. You last week, Charles, informed us that you had begun at the wrong end of your work first. It was very kind of you, Charles; and you lament that while another person, wiser than yourself, first procured support for his undertaking; you set to work first, and then had to ask the county for support. Finding your mistake, Charles, you consistently enough proposed that Mr. Hodgson should transfer his subscribers to you, as if their patronage and his honour were a subject of barter, and could be conveyed with the same facility as a flock of sheep on the mountains you survey. Your failure in this scheme, Charles, has been a source of great perplexity, and you did wrong, Charles, to be so angry. - But we are not so surprised at it, (however, Charles, that we might be at the first,) for I assure you, Charles, that we get better and better acquainted with you every letter you write. When, Charles, will you gain wisdom and experience? After surveying twelve counties, how is it that you let a young man beat you in his first survey of a county? You charge Mr. Hodgson with a crime, Charles, because, forsooth, he canvassed the county before he ventured on the contest with your great House. Would not Lord Lowther have laughed at Lord Brougham, had he gone to the poll previous to the necessary preliminarY? And where is the difference in any matter where completion is in question? - You say, Charles, that you commenced the survey of the county first, and stoutly tell me, I cannot deny it. In this, Charles, you are quite mistaken; the contrary can easily be proved. You may remember, Charles, that Mr. Hodgson's List of Subscribers was seen by your unequalled establishment at a house near Lowther. At the time you first commenced, Mr Hodgson had begun his survey sometime before. This important question, as you, Charles, call it, falls to the ground, with all you have built upon it. Your Kendal Correspondent's letter was a hard pill to digest. You acted prudently, Charles, in passing over it so lightly. Dare you answer it, Charles? You have scarcely attempted to touch upon it yet. His was a long letter, Charles, and mine was but a short one; yet you have craftily endeavoured to divert the public attention from the main question to a minor point, Charles, by a little ridicule. How you are descending in reputation by such low conduct your readers will best judge. Where is the gentlemanly language? Where is the honour of the profession you lately boasted of?
Mr. Hodgson's List of Subscribers are upwards of 550, consisting of all the Noblemen and most of the Gentlemen residing or connected with the County. You feel sore, Charles, and unblushingly assert, "his friends are in narrow limits." What else will you next assert? - The profession of Surveyors, you, Charles, say, will view Hodgson's opposition to your great house with dissatisfaction. This is so strange an assertion, Charles, that I cannot persuade myself that the great body of respectable Yeomanry of Westmorland can swallow it. Their liberality will not sanction any foul monopoly, which would deprive talent and industry of due encouragement, and which would, Charles, be alike injurious to the progress of science, and to the interests of the community.
Had you, Charles, kept your talents secret, at least your excellent talent of scurrility and puff in the public newspapers, it is more than probable, Charles, that a simple advertisement of the Patronage of his Majesty and the Nobility, &c. of having completed 12 Maps of Counties, would have gained you more subscribers than you have a present. The public, Charles, would have been ignorant of your character, and given you credit, Charles, for your attempting to make a correct National Atlas. But you seem, Charles, fond of writing, and have descended into petty quarrels, which have added nothing either to your reputation or your pocket.
Respecting the accuracy of those Maps already published, I had no thought of referring to; but your extraneous letter leads me to say, you know, Charles, the opinion of a Gentleman near Kirkby-Lonsdale, on two of them. Enquire at the Lancaster Coffee Room, near where you are to set up your New Establishment, and above all, Charles, see the Preston Chronicle of the 6th September.
The school-boy's question, Charles, of 1/3 of an inch, that you have so often wrote about, was answered by the Kendal Subscriber, in a similar manner to myself; and I challenge you, Charles, to say, whether you have not privately (I will not say candidly) admitted, to several Gentlemen in this town, that the Kendal Subscriber's definition was correct. I, therefore, am also right. - I re-assert, Charles, that you were in a labyrinth; and, by the above-mentioned definition, I repeat that you, Charles, remain there. You quote my words thus, "if to twelve pence I add four pence, do I add one-third or one-fourth?" This, Charles, you say, is going quite out of the question. Now, Charles, I assert that this is the whole of the question, and that you want, Charles, to turn it into a mere quibble. - Neither Mr. Hodgson nor his friends ever contended that his scale was one-third of itself larger. You endeavour to pervert his meaning, and used a forced interpretation to blind the public; and in my former letter I said that one-fourth of Hodgson's is equal to one-third of Greenwood's; therefore I repeat it is one-third more of Greenwood's Scale than Greenwood's, and this, Charles, I defy you to deny. But this way of explaining it, Charles, does not seem to answer your purpose.
The four dumplings you are pleased to give me, Charles, are certainly one-third part more of my friend's, than his three. It is a very good simile, Charles, that you have hit on, and I dare say, Charles, you are quite at home amongst dumplings and such like things. You will have far less mortification, Charles, in talking about dumplings than about Westmorland Maps. It is a more graceful subject, Charles, and it would have been no bad thing, Charles, had you eaten your puddings and held your tongue.
You can, Charles, throw off high airs occasionally, you boasted over your cups at Lough's, that you could have been a Knight had you pleased. What great moderation, Charles, to refuse such an honour. I suppose, Charles, you may occasionally be a very great man when in company with Sir John Barleycorn. I have known men, Charles, assume great consequence, and announce themselves as very rich in such company. I think, Charles, you have missed the opportunity, for it assuredly would have added dignity to you, Charles, amongst us rustics in the North. You have frequently sported your wit, because you had something tangible to work upon, which might have been all well enough; but, Charles, you have gone further, - you have used insinuations amounting to a masked threat, and degraded your name by shewing a spirit of revenge. I have [ ] your [abor]tive threats before, but here you have entirely [ ] of the bare appearance of a Gentleman; I [ ] saw you so low. The public may [not un]derstand your allusions to Regent Street, London, but I understand you perfectly, Charles. I [despise] such base threats. You imagine, Charles [that you ] have some great influence in the Government Offices (you have risen rapidly, then, of late years: I will not enter into that) but I believe they are [ ho]nourable men at the Office than to take a part in your petty squabble in the country. I know [the] character of some of them; and I may have a friend at Court, Charles, as well as you. A little ], Charles, one might have excused; and on reading your letters I have sometimes thought of the [ ] of Dr. Solomon. But who shall I liken you to, [ ] Charles? - Iago durst not even insinuate his [ ] except by the slightest allusions, and, yet, Charles, what is said of him,? - they detest the assassin, and his attempts, and hold him up to public derision.
Amongst other pieces of burlesque, you remark, Charles, near the conclusion, on the two signatures in my letter. You are pleased to catch at every straw; even the incorrections of the press cannot escape your sagacious eye. This was a mistake of the printer's, and not mine.
In your's, of the 23rd August, you say, I hold and ever shall hold, in the utmost contempt, the man who will intrude his interference where he dare not shew his face.
I shall, therefore, sign,
Kendal, 11th Sept. 1823.
P.S. - As you condescended to notice my [last] postscript, and seemed rather pleased with it I, I shall give you another; and, instead of your celebrated dialogues, I would recommend you, Charles, to [get] the following popular song printed. It is taken from the celebrated Pretender; and may, if placed [over] your Office at Lancaster, celebrate your name also.
Oh, Charlie is my darling,
The ONLY true Surveyor.
Oh, Charlie, &c.
'Twas on a Monday morning,
In the middle of the year,
That Charlie came to our town,
The "bright and young" Surveyor.
Oh, Charlie, &c.
As he came riding up the street,
With his "DIAGRAMS" so clear,
All the folks came running out
To peep at this "Surveyor."
Oh, Charlie, &c.
Now ha'd away ye Northern Loon*,
And court no favour here,
The Yorkshire man's frae Lunnon come,
A very "prime" Surveyor.
Oh, Charlie, &c.
* Mr. Hodgson, the Lancaster Surveyor, in [com]petition for a Map of Westmorland.
from - John Swainston
to - C Greenwood
you're wrong, and a buffoon.
TH's list of subscribers is not small
your existing maps are not met with universal favour