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born again in good thoughts of his Maker I You know this place as famous of yore for sincerely believe. That it is expedient for fiddles. I don't see any here now, but there is every hound to say so in a certain snuffling a whole street of coppersmiths not far from form of words to which he attaches no good this inn, and they throb so dably and fit. meaning, I do not believe. I take it there is fully that I thought I had a palpitation of the no difference between us.*

heart just now, and seldom was more relieved The letters abound in playful allusions than when I found the noise to be none of

. to any peculiarities of manner or habits which he noted in his friends and acquaint- He then gives some Shakespearian ex

Thus, in a letter to Macready in periences. America he refers to some common friend unnamed as “elaborately explaining every

I was rather shocked yesterday (I am not thing in creation is a joint-stock company,” strong in geographical details) to find that and describes Macready himself “as un. That is the distance between Mantua and

Romeo was only banished twenty-five miles. winding something, slowly round and Verona. The latter is a quaint old place with round your chest which is so long that no great houses in it that are now solitary and man can see the end of it."

shut up- exactly the place it ought to be. From the same letter we take this The former has a great many apothecaries at pleasant and characteristic description of this moment who could play this part to the the relations between Dickens and Mac- life. For of all the stagnant ponds I ever beready and their families :

held it is the greenest and weediest. I went

to see the old palace of the Capulets, which is Oh, that you had been at Clarence Terrace still distinguished by their cognizance (a hat on Nina's birthday! Good God! bow we carved in stone on the courtyard wall). It is missed you, talked of you, drank your health, a miserable inn. The court was full of crazy and wondered what you were doing ! Perhaps coaches, carts, geese, and pigs, and was ankle you are Falkland enough (I swear I suspect deep in mud and dung. The garden is walled you of it) to feel rather sore - just a little bit, off and built on. There was nothing to con. you know, the merest trifle in the world - on nect it with its old inhabitants, and a very unhearing that Mrs. Macready looked brilliant, sentimental lady at the kitchen door. The blooming, young and handsome, and that she Montagues used to live some two or three, danced a country dance with the writer hereof miles off in the country. It does not appear (Acres to your Falkland) in a thorough spirit of quite clear whether they ever inhabited Ve. becoming good humor and enjoyment. Now, rona itself. . . . But there is a village bearing you don't like to be told that? Nor do you that name to this day, and traditions of the quite like to hear that Forster and I conjured quarrels of the two families are still as nearly bravely; that a plum pudding was produced alive as anything can be in such a drowsy from an empty saucepan held over a blazing fire neighborhood. kindled in Stanfield's hat without damage to the lining; that a box of bran was changed While in Italy he wrote one of his best into a live guinea-pig which ran between my Christmas books, “ The Chimes.” How godchild's feet, and was the cause of such a he threw himself into it appears from the shrill uproar and clapping of hands that you following extract: might have heard it (and I dare say did) in America ; that three half-crowns being taken

I have worn myself to death in the month I from Major Burns and put into a tumbler-glass have been at work. None of my usual reliefs before his eyes did then and there give jingling have been at hand. I have not been able to answers to the questions asked of them by me, divest myself of the story, have suffered very and knew where you were and what you were much in my sleep in consequence, and am so doing, to the unspeakable admiration of the shaken by such work in this trying climate that whole assembly. Neither do you quite like to I am as nervous as a man who is dying of be told that we are going to do it again next drink, and haggard as a murderer.* Saturday, with the addition of demoniacal

In this book he endeavored, he writes dresses from the masquerade shop; nor that

to Macready, Mrs. Macready for her gallant bearing always and her best sort of best affection is the best to plant an indignant right-hander on the eye creature I know. Never mind; no man shall of certain wicked cant that makes my blood gag me, and these are my opinions.f

boil which I hope will not only cloud that eye

with black and blue, but many a gentle one In a letter to Douglas Jerrold, written with crystal of the finest sort. God forgive from Cremona, during Dickens's resi

but I think there are good things in the dence in Italy, 1844, he writes - and it little story.t is an excellent example of his peculiar

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His hopes were realized. style: • Vol. i., pp. 88, 89.

* Vol. i., p. 122. † Ibid., pp. 96, 97.

+ Ibid., p. 130.

me,

for you. ::

Anybody [he writes to his wife) who has During a stay at Paris (1846), he thus heard it has been moved in the most extraor- writes Walter Savage Landor, the goddinary manner. Forster read it for dramatic father of one of his sons, who bore Lan. purposes to A'Beckett. He cried so much dor's name: and so painfully that Forster didn't know whether to go on or stop; and he called next YOUNG MAN, - I will not go there if I can day to say that any expression of his feeling help it; I have not the slightest confidence in was beyond his power, but that he believed it the value of your introduction to the devil. I and felt it to be — I won't say what. If [he can't help thinking that it would be of better adds in a postscript) you had seen Macready use the other way, the other way,” but I last night undisguisedly sobbing and crying on won't try there either at present if I can help the sofa as I read, you would have felt, as I it. Your godson says, is that your duty ? and did, what a thing it is to have power. * he begs me to enclose a blush newly blushed

I have been writing a little To how wonderful a degree Dickens Christmas book * besides expressly for you. I possessed this power of affecting his am not to be trifled with. I write from Paris hearers by his reading of his own writ- we are all well and happy, and they send ings, those who, like ourselves, are privi- loves to you by the bushel. We are in the leged to remember the effect produced agonies of house-hunting. The people are by his reading of the shipwreck scene in frightfully civil and grotesquely extortionate. “David Copperfield" can bear witness.

One man (with a house to let) told me yester.

day that he loved the Duke of Wellington like Like Mr. Bright, Dickens must sometimes have felt that if Sir Rowland Hill's hug me round the neck with one hand and

a brother. The same gentleman wanted to postal reforms had been postponed until pick my pocket with the other. . , . If you he was no longer connected with public were the man I took you for when I took you life, it would have been fortunate for him.t (as a godfather) for better or worse, you would Do look [he writes to his friend and col-house I haven't found yet with that steady

come to Paris and amaze the weak walls of the league on Household Words, Mr. Wills) at the enclosed from Mrs. What's-her-name. For a door of your bedroom in Devonshire Terrace,

snore of yours which I once heard piercing the surprising audacity it is remarkable even to me who am positively bullied and all but beaten reverberating along the bell-wires in the hall

, by these people. ... If I were the wealthiest so getting into the street, playing Eolian harps nobleman in England I could not keep pace New Road like the blast of a trumpet.

among the area railings, and going down the with one-twentieth part of the demands on me.

[He, notwithstanding, complied liberally From a letter to the Hon. R. Watson with many of these demands.] That purse (he we take Dickens's description of the writes to Mr. Wills) which I could never keep house he at length succeeded in finding. shut in my life makes mouths at me, saying, It is in his best descriptive style. “See how empty I am.” Then I fill it, and it looks very rich indeed.

I am proud to express my belief that we are

lodged at last in the most preposterous house Applications for employment seem to in the world t .. The like of it cannot, and have been as frequent as those for money. so far as my knowledge goes does not, exist in In the same letter he writes, “ As to em- any other part of the globe. The bedrooms ployment I do in my soul believe that if I are like opera-boxes. The dining-rooms, were lord chancellor of England I should staircases, and passages quite inexplicable. have been aground long ago for the pat. The dining-room is a sort of cavern, painted ronage of a messenger's place. • The ceiling and all) to represent a grove, with un. letter from Nelson Square (he writes to accountable bits of looking-glass sticking in

There is a the same friend on another occasion) is among the branches of the trees. a very manly and touching one. But I

gleam of reason in the drawing-room. But it

is approached through a series of small chamam more helpless in such a case as that bers, like the joints in a telescope, which are than in any other, having really fewer hung with inscrutable drapery. The maddest means of helping such a gentleman to man in Bedlam having the material given him employment than I have of firing off the would be likely to devise such a suite suppos. guns in the Tower. Such appeals come ing his case to be hopeless and quite incur. to me here in scores upon scores.” I

able. I

In another letter, written during his * Vol. i., p. 133. + " I venerate Sir Rowland Hill's memory as one of stay in Paris, he mentions a dramatized the most useful and honorable men I have known, but version of “Clarissa Harlowe” as being 1 must say I sometimes feel that if he had postponed the rage at one of the Parisian theatres. his discovery until I was no longer connected with public affairs, it would have been a most fortunate thing for me” - Mr. Bright's Speech at Birmingham, 20th

* The Battle of Life. January, 1880.

+ It was No. 48, Rue de Courcelles, St. Honoré. # Vol. i., pp. 148, 150, 151.

Vol. i,, pp. 159, 160.

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There are some things in it she says) rather dicate Boswell's character against the calculated to astonish the ghost of Richardson, severe, but strictly just, sentence of conbut Clarissa is very admirably played and dies demnation passed on it by Lord Macaubetter than the original, to my thinking ; but

lay. Richardson is no great favorite of mine, and never seems to take his top-boots off whatever

As a picture of the time I really think it he does. Several pieces are in course of rep- impossible to give it too much praise. It resentation involving rare portraits of the En: seems to me to be the very essence of all about glish. In one, a servant called “ Tom Bob,” the time that I have ever seen in biography or who wears a particularly English waistcoat, fiction presented in most wise and human trimmed with gold lace and concealing his lights, and in a thousand new and just aspects. ankles, does very good things indeed. "Sir I have never liked Johnson half so well. No. Fokson” is one of the characters in another body's contempt for Boswell ought to be capaplay, “ English to the Core;” and I saw a ble of increase; but I have never seen him in ford mayor of London at one of the small my mind's eye half so plainly. The introductheatres the other night, looking uncommonly tion of him is quite a masterpiece. I should well in a stage coachman's waistcoat, the point to that, if I did not know the author, as Order of the Garter, and a very low-crowned, being done by somebody with a remarkably broad-brimmed hat, not unlike a dustman's.

vivid conception of what he narrated, and a The same letter contains one of the few municating it to another. All about Reynolds

most admirable and fanciful power of com. political allusions or opinions contained is charming, and the first account of the Litin these letters. Dickens, though little if erary Club and of Boswell's introduction to it anything of a politician -- certainly none is as excellent a piece of description as ever I in the party sense was Liberal'in his read in my life. But to read the book is to be sympathies and tendencies.

in the time.

It lives again in as fresh and lively a manner I was at Geneva at the time of the Revolu- as if it were presented on an impossibly good tion (1846). The moderation and mildness of stage by the very best actors that ever' lived, the successful party were beyond all praise. only the real actors come out of their graves Their appeals to the people of all parties - on purpose. printed and pasted on the walls - have no I question very much whether it would have parallel that I know of in history for their real been a good thing for every great man to have good sterling Christianity and tendency to had his Boswell, as I think that two Boswells promote the happiness of mankind. My sym- - or three, at most - would have made great pathy is strongly with the Swiss Radicals. men extraordinarily false, and would have set They know what Catholicity is. They see in them on always playing a part, and would have some of their own valleys the poverty, igno- made distinguished people about them forever rance, misery, and bigotry it always brings in restless and distrustful. I can imagine a sucits train wherever it is triumphant, and they cession of Boswells bringing about a tremenwould root it out of their children's way at dous state of falsehood in society, and playing any price. I fear the end of the struggle will the very devil with confidence and friendship. be that some Catholic power will step in to I will never hear the biography compared crush the dangerously well-educated republic with Boswell's, except under vigorous protest. (very dangerous to such neighbors), but there For I do say that it is mere folly to put into is a spirit in the people, or I very much mis- opposite scales a book, however amusing and take them, that will trouble the Jesuits there curiously written by an unconscious coxcomb many years, and shake their altar steps for like that, and one which surveys and grandly

understands the characters of all the illustrious

company that move in it. In the early days of the French repub

My dear Forster, I cannot sufficiently say lic of 1848, he expressed a hope which how proud I am of what you have done, or was doomed to be disappointed --" I think how sensible I am of being so tenderly conLamartine so far one of the best fellows nected with it.* When I look over this note in the world, and I have great hopes of I feel as if I had said no part of what I think ; that great people establishing a noble re. and yet if I were to write another I should say public." +

no more, for I can't get it out.

I desire no On the publication of Forster's “Life better for my fame, when my personal destiof Oliver Goldsmith". Dickens wrote to order than such a biographer and such a critic.

nies shall be past the control of my love of his friend and future biographer a letter And again I say most solemnly that literature of strong commendation from which we in England has never had, and probably never make the following extracts, which we will have, such a champion as you are in right particularly commend to the attention of of this book.t those who have of late endeavored to vin

* It will be remembered that Forster “Life of Vol. i., pp. 174, 175.

Goldsmith" is dedicated to Charles Dickens. † Ibid., p. 187.

Vol. i., p. 188, et seq.

them.*

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In his letters Dickens not unfrequently, We have thought of you every day and every and always unreser

servedly, expresses his hour; we think of you now in the dear old religious feelings. He was brought up, house, and know how right it is for his dear we believe, under Unitarian influences, children's sake that you should have bravely and for some years, we think, was a mem- their father's memory, and within the same

set up your rest in the place consecrated by ber of an Unitarian Church. For many summer shadows that fall upon his grave. We years he had relinquished any formal con- try to look on through a few years and to see nection with the Unitarian body, and his the children brightening it, and George a com children apparently were not educated as fort and a pride and an honor to you, and Unitarians; but we think he himself | although it is hard to think of what we have never formally joined any other com- lost, we know how something of it will be munion or professed any orthodox creed. restored by your example and endeavors, and

We We have heard that difference of religious the blessing that will descend upon them. opinion was the origin of the unhappy know how the time will come when some redissensions which arose between him and flection of that cordial, unaffected, most affec. his wife, who held the orthodox creed. and never would forget if we could

tionate presence, which we can never forget,

such is It is abundantly clear from his letters that God's great mercy will shine out of your Dickens might have said as one said of boy's eyes, upon you, his best friend and his himself, but in Dickens's case it would last consoler, and áll the void there is now. have been said with far greater truth, May God, who has received into his rest " that he had not much religion, but that through this affliction as good a man as ever. I the little he had was of the best sort.” * can know and love and mourn for on this Nowhere does his religious faithfind earth, be good to you, dear friend, through stronger expression than in the singularly these coming years. May all those compassionbeautiful letters he wrote to his friends ate and hopeful lessons of the Great Teacher, on any occasion of a death in their fami- who shed divine tears for the dead, bring their lies. We give an extract from his letter full comfort to you! I have no fear of that,

my confidence is certainty. * to his friend, the Rev. James White, who had lately lost a child.

In the same year in which Dickens lost

his friend Watson, his friend Macready I reserve the more serious part of my letter lost his wife. We cannot refrain from until the last, my dear White, because it comes making this extract from Dickens's letter from the bottom of my heart. None of your on the sad event. friends have thought and spoken oftener of you and Mrs. White than we have these many My Dear FRIEND, — I have known her so weeks past. I should have written to you, but well, have been so happy in her regard, have was timid of intruding on your sorrow. What been so lighthearted with her, have interyou say, and the manner in which you tell me changed so many tender remembrances of you I am connected with your recollection of your with her when you were far away, and have dear child, now among the angels of Ġod, seen her ever so simply and truly anxious to be gives me courage to approach your grief to say worthy of you, that I cannot write as I would, what sympathy we have felt with it, and how and as I know I ought. As I would press your we have not been unimaginative of those deep hand in your distress I let this note go from sources of consolation to wbich you have bad me. I understand your grief, I deeply feel the

The traveller who travelled in fancy reason that there is for it, yet in that very feelfrom this world to the next was struck to the ing, find a softening consolation that must heart to find the child he had lost many years spring up a hundred thousandfold for you. before building him a tower in heaven. May Heaven prosper it in your breast, and

Our blessed Christian hopes do not shut out spirits that have gone before from the regions the belief of love and remembrance still en- of mercy to which they have been called smooth during there, but irradiate it and make it the path that you have to tread alone! Chil. sacred. Who should know that better than you dren are left you. Your good sister (God do ? Who more deeply feel the touching bless her) is by your side. You have devoted truths and comforts of that story in the older friends, and more reasons than most men to be Book when the bereaved mother is asked, “Is self-reliant and steadfast. Something is gone it well with the child ?” She answers, “It is that never in this world can be replaced, but well.”'t

inuch is left, and it is a part of her life, her

death, her immortality.t We also give an extract from a letter to his friend the Hon. Mrs. Watson on the

Even stronger evidence of Dickens's death of her husband.

real but unobtrusive religion is given by

recourse.

a

the letters written to his sons on their * This saying is attributed to the late Earl Fitz- passing from boyhood to active life. We hardinge on the authority of Lord Palmerston. Ashley's “Life of Palmerston," vol. ii.

* Vol. i., pp. 282, 283. Voli., pp. 193, 194.

† Ibid., pp. 284, 285.

Vide

66

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have space for only one illustration. To bug in all their diversified forms, which one of his sons, who had just entered at in his works is everywhere candidly and Cambridge, he writes :

unreservedly expressed. This brought As your brothers have gone away one by

on him the suspicion and dislike of brethone, I have written to each of them what I am ren of the straitest sect of our religion," now going to write to you. You know you

and from them many critical letters, have never been hampered with religious forms mostly of the anonymous sort. of restraint, and that with mere unmeaning forms I have no sympathy. But I most strongly nameless ones] on your attention with one

I venture to trespass (writes one of these and affectionately impress upon you the price, serious query touching a sentence in the last less value of the New Testament, and the study number of · Bleak House." Do the supportof that book as the one unfailing guide in life. Deeply respecting it, and bowing down before attack that is conveyed in the sentence about

ers of Christian missions really deserve the the character of our Saviour as separated from Joe seated in his anguish on the doorstep of the vain constructions and inventions of men, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel you cannot go very wrong, and will always in Foreign Parts? The allusion is severe, but preserve at heart a true spirit of veneration is it just? Are such boys as Joe neglected? and humility. Similarly, I impress upon you What are ragged school town missions and the habit of saying a Christian prayer every many of those societies, I regret to see, sneered night and morning.

These things have stood by me all through at in the last number of Household Words ? my life; and remember that I tried to ren. This drew from Dickens a reply, the der the New Testament intelligible to you, and opinion in which it is noteworthy had lovable by you when you were a mere baby.*

been formerly expressed by Dr. Arnold.* His tender, but wise and judicious,

There was a long time during which benevoaffection for all his children appears in lent societies were spending immense sums on every one of his letters to them. We can missions abroad, when there was no such thing give one example only. To his eldest as a ragged school in England, or any kind of daughter he writes :

associated endeavor to penetrate to those hore

rible domestic depths in which such schools I am not engaged in the evening of your are now to be found, and where they were, to birthday. But even if I had an engagement of my most certain knowledge, neither placed nor the most particular kind I should excuse my discovered by the Society for the Propagation self from keeping it so that I might have the of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. pleasure of celebrating at home, and among

If you think the balance between the home my children, the day that gave me such a dear mission and the foreign mission justly held at and good daughter as you.t

the present time, I do not. I abstain from From a letter to his friend Mr. Cergat, drawing the strange comparison that might be of Lansanne, we gain an intimation of the drawn between the sums even now expended

in endeavors to remove the darkest ignorance purpose he had in view in writing the and degradation from our very doors, because history of “ Little Emily” in “Copper- I have some respect for mistakes that may be field.”

founded in a sincere wish to do good. But

I I had previously observed much of what you

present a general suggestion of the still exsay. about the poor girls. In all you suggest isting state of things (in such a paragraph as with so much feeling about their return to that which offends you) in the hope of inducvirtue being cruelly cut off, I concur with a ing some people to reflection on this matter, sore heart. I have been turning it over in my am decidedly of the opinion that the two works,

and to adjust the balance more correctly. I mind for some time, and hope in the history the home and the foreign, are not conducted of Little Emily (who must fall, there is no hope for her) to put it before the thoughts of with an equal hand, and that the home claim

is by far the stronger and the more pressing people in a new and pathetic way, and perhaps to do some good. You will be glad to of the two. hear, I know, that “Copperfield” is a great

Indeed, I have very great doubts whether a I think it is better liked than any of great commercial country, holding communi.

cation with all parts of the world, can better my other books.f

Christianize the benighted portions of it than Coexistent with this deep and sincere by the bestowal of its wealth and energy in the religious feeling there was, it is to all his making of good Christians at home, and on readers - and who is not one of them? - the removal of neglected and untaught childalmost too trite an observation, an equally hood from its streets before it wanders elsedeep and sincere hatred of cant and hun- where. For if it steadily persist in this work,

working downwards to the lowest, the travel

lers of all grades whom it sends abroad will Vol. ii., p. 394, and see Ibid., p. 402. + Ibid. i., p. 205. # Ibid,, p. 211.

Stanley's Arnold, vol. ii., p. 66.

success.

*

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