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Title: Life of Charles Dickens
Author: Marzials, Frank
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life of Charles Dickens" ***

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Great Writers.

Edited by

Eric S. Robertson, M.A.,

Professor of English Literature and Philosophy in the University of
the Punjab, Lahore.

[Illustration: Portrait of Dickens]




Walter Scott
24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row



That I should have to acknowledge a fairly heavy debt to Forster's
"Life of Charles Dickens," and "The Letters of Charles Dickens,"
edited by his sister-in-law and his eldest daughter, is almost a
matter of course; for these are books from which every present and
future biographer of Dickens must perforce borrow in a more or less
degree. My work, too, has been much lightened by Mr. Kitton's
excellent "Dickensiana."



The lottery of education; Charles Dickens born February 7,
1812; his pathetic feeling towards his own childhood;
happy days at Chatham; family troubles; similarity between
little Charles and David Copperfield; John Dickens
taken to the Marshalsea; his character; Charles employed
in blacking business; over-sensitive in after years about
this episode in his career; isolation; is brought back into
family and prison circle; family in comparative comfort at
the Marshalsea; father released; Charles leaves the
blacking business; his mother; he is sent to Wellington
House Academy in 1824; character of that place of learning;
Dickens masters its humours thoroughly.                       11


Dickens becomes a solicitor's clerk in 1827; then a reporter;
his experiences in that capacity; first story published in
_The Old Monthly Magazine_ for January, 1834; writes more
"Sketches"; power of minute observation thus early
shown; masters the writer's art; is paid for his contributions
to the _Chronicle_; marries Miss Hogarth on April 2,
1836; appearance at that date; power of physical endurance;
admirable influence of his peculiar education;
and its drawbacks                                             27


Origin of "Pickwick"; Seymour's part therein; first number
published on April 1, 1836; early numbers not a success;
suddenly the book becomes the rage; English literature
just then in want of its novelist; Dickens' kingship
acknowledged; causes of the book's popularity; its admirable
humour, and other excellent qualities; Sam Weller;
Mr. Pickwick himself; book read by everybody                  40


Dickens works "double tides" from 1836 to 1839; appointed
editor of _Bentley's Miscellany_ at beginning of 1837, and
commences "Oliver Twist"; _Quarterly Review_ predicts
his speedy downfall; pecuniary position at this time;
moves from Furnival's Inn to Doughty Street; death of
his sister-in-law Mary Hogarth; his friendships; absence
of all jealousy in his character; habits of work; riding and
pedestrianizing; walking in London streets necessary to the
exercise of his art                                           49


"Oliver Twist"; analysis of the book; doubtful probability of
Oliver's character; "Nicholas Nickleby"; its wealth of
character; _Master Humphrey's Clock_ projected and begun
in April, 1840; the public disappointed in its expectations
of a novel; "Old Curiosity Shop" commenced, and miscellaneous
portion of _Master Humphrey's Clock_ dropped;
Dickens' fondness for taking a child as his hero or
heroine; Little Nell; tears shed over her sorrows; general
admiration for the pathos of her story; is such admiration
altogether deserved? Paul Dombey more natural; Little
Nell's death too declamatory as a piece of writing; Dickens
nevertheless a master of pathos; "Barnaby Rudge"; a
historical novel dealing with times of the Gordon riots       57


Dickens starts for United States in January, 1842; had been
splendidly received a little before at Edinburgh; why he
went to the United States; is enthusiastically welcomed;
at first he is enchanted; then expresses the greatest disappointment;
explanation of the change; what the
Americans thought of _him_; "American Notes"; his
views modified on his second visit to America in 1867-8;
takes to fierce private theatricals for rest; delight of the
children on his return to England; an admirable father        71


Dickens again at work and play; publication of "Martin
Chuzzlewit" begun in January, 1843; plot not Dickens'
strong point; this not of any vital consequence; a novel
not really remembered by its story; Dickens' books often
have a higher unity than that of plot; selfishness the
central idea of "Martin Chuzzlewit"; a great book, and
yet not at the time successful; Dickens foresees money embarrassments;
publishes the admirable "Christmas Carol"
at Christmas, 1843; and determines to go for a space to
Italy                                                         84


Journey through France; Genoa; the Italy of 1844; Dickens
charmed with its untidy picturesqueness; he is idle for a
few weeks; his palace at Genoa; he sets to work upon "The
Chimes"; gets passionately interested in the little book;
travels through Italy to read it to his friends in London;
reads it on December 2, 1844; is soon back again in Italy;
returns to London in the summer of 1845; on January 21,
1846, starts _The Daily News_; holds the post of editor three
weeks; "Pictures from Italy" first published in _Daily News_  93


Dickens as an amateur actor and stage-manager; he goes to
Lausanne in May, 1846, and begins "Dombey"; has
great difficulty in getting on without streets; the "Battle
of Life" written; "Dombey"; its pathos; pride the
subject of the book; reality of the characters; Dickens'
treatment of partial insanity; M. Taine's false criticism
thereon; Dickens in Paris in the winter of 1846-7; private
theatricals again; the "Haunted Man"; "David Copperfield"
begun in May, 1849; it marks the culminating point
in Dickens' career as a writer; _Household Words_ started
on March 30, 1850; character of that periodical and its
successor, _All the Year Round_; domestic sorrows cloud
the opening of the year 1851; Dickens moves in same year
from Devonshire Terrace to Tavistock House, and begins
"Bleak House"; story of the novel; its Chancery episodes;
Dickens is overworked and ill, and finds pleasant
quarters at Boulogne                                         102


Dickens gives his first public (not paid) readings in December,
1853; was it _infra dig._ that he should read for money? he
begins his paid readings in April, 1858; reasons for their
success; care bestowed on them by the reader; their
dramatic character; Carlyle's opinion of them; how the
tones of Dickens' voice linger in the memory of one who
heard him                                                    121


"Hard Times" commenced in _Household Words_ for April 1,
1854; it is an attack on the "hard fact" school of philosophers;
what Macaulay and Mr. Ruskin thought of it;
the Russian war of 1854-5, and the cry for "Administrative
Reform"; Dickens in the thick of the movement;
"Little Dorrit" and the "Circumlocution Office"; character
of Mr. Dorrit admirably drawn; Dickens is in Paris
from December, 1855, to May, 1856; he buys Gad's Hill
Place; it becomes his hobby; unfortunate relations with
his wife; and separation in May 1858; lying rumours; how
these stung Dickens through his honourable pride in the
love which the public bore him; he publishes an indignant
protest in _Household Words_; and writes an unjustifiable
letter                                                       126


"The Tale of Two Cities," a story of the great French Revolution;
Phiz's connection with Dickens' works comes to
an end; his art and that of Cruikshank; both too essentially
caricaturists of an old school to be permanently the
illustrators of Dickens; other illustrators; "Great Expectations";
its story and characters; "Our Mutual Friend"
begun in May, 1864; a complicated narrative; Dickens'
extraordinary sympathy for Eugene Wrayburn; generally
his sympathies are so entirely right; which explains why
his books are not vulgar; he himself a man of great real
refinement                                                   139


Dickens' health begins to fail; he is much shaken by an accident
in June, 1865; but bates no jot of his high courage,
and works on at his readings; sails for America on a
reading tour in November, 1867; is wretchedly ill, and yet
continues to read day after day; comes back to England,
and reads on; health failing more and more; reading has
to be abandoned for a time; begins to write his last and
unfinished book, "Edwin Drood"; except health all
seems well with him; on June 8, 1870, he works at his
book nearly all day; at dinner time is struck down; dies
on the following day, June the 9th; is buried in Westminster
Abbey among his peers; nor will his fame suffer
eclipse                                                      149

INDEX                                                        163



Education is a kind of lottery in which there are good and evil
chances, and some men draw blanks and other men draw prizes. And in
saying this I do not use the word education in any restricted sense,
as applying exclusively to the course of study in school or college;
nor certainly, when I speak of prizes, am I thinking of scholarships,
exhibitions, fellowships. By education I mean the whole set of
circumstances which go to mould a man's character during the
apprentice years of his life; and I call that a prize when those
circumstances have been such as to develop the man's powers to the
utmost, and to fit him to do best that of which he is best capable.
Looked at in this way, Charles Dickens' education, however untoward
and unpromising it may often have seemed while in the process, must
really be pronounced a prize of value quite inestimable.

His father, John Dickens, held a clerkship in the Navy Pay Office, and
was employed in the Portsmouth Dockyard when little Charles first came
into the world, at Landport, in Portsea, on February 7, 1812. Wealth
can never have been one of the familiar friends of the household, nor
plenty have always sat at its board. Charles had one elder sister, and
six other brothers and sisters were afterwards added to the family;
and with eight children, and successive removals from Portsmouth to
London, and London to Chatham, and no more than the pay of a
Government clerk[1]--pay which not long afterwards dwindled to a
pension,--even a better domestic financier than the elder Dickens
might have found some difficulty in facing his liabilities. It was
unquestionably into a tottering house that the child was born, and
among its ruins that he was nurtured.

But through all these early years I can do nothing better than take
him for my guide, and walk as it were in his companionship. Perhaps no
novelist ever had a keener feeling of the pathos of childhood than
Dickens, or understood more fully how real and overwhelming are its
sorrows. No one, too, has entered more sympathetically into its ways.
And of the child and boy that he himself had once been, he was wont to
think very tenderly and very often. Again and again in his writings he
reverts to the scenes and incidents and emotions of his earlier days.
Sometimes he goes back to his young life directly, speaking as of
himself. More often he goes back to it indirectly, placing imaginary
children and boys in the position he had once occupied. Thus it is
almost possible, by judiciously selecting from his works, and using
such keys as we possess, to construct as it were a kind of
autobiography. Nor, if we make due allowance for the great writer's
tendency to idealize the past, and intensify its humorous and pathetic
aspects, need we at all fear that the self-written story of his life
should convey a false impression.

He was but two years old when his father left Portsea for London, and
but four when a second migration took the family to Chatham. Here we
catch our first glimpse of him, in his own word-painting, as a "very
queer small boy," a small boy who was sickly and delicate, and could
take but little part in the rougher sports of his school companions,
but read much, as sickly boys will--read the novels of the older
novelists in a "blessed little room," a kind of palace of enchantment,
where "'Roderick Random,' 'Peregrine Pickle,' 'Humphrey Clinker,' 'Tom
Jones,' 'The Vicar of Wakefield,' 'Don Quixote, 'Gil Blas,' and
'Robinson Crusoe,' came out, a glorious host, to keep him company."
And the queer small boy had read Shakespeare's "Henry IV.," too, and
knew all about Falstaff's robbery of the travellers at Gad's Hill, on
the rising ground between Rochester and Gravesend, and all about mad
Prince Henry's pranks; and, what was more, he had determined that when
he came to be a man, and had made his way in the world, he should own
the house called Gad's Hill Place, with the old associations of its
site, and its pleasant outlook over Rochester and over the low-lying
levels by the Thames. Was that a child's dream? The man's tenacity and
steadfast strength of purpose turned it into fact. The house became
the home of his later life. It was there that he died.

But death was a long way forward in those old Chatham days; nor, as
the time slipped by, and his father's pecuniary embarrassments began
to thicken, and make the forward ways of life more dark and difficult,
could the purchase of Gad's Hill Place have seemed much less remote.
There is one of Dickens' works which was his own special favourite,
the most cherished, as he tells us, among the offspring of his brain.
That work is "David Copperfield." Nor can there be much difficulty in
discovering why it occupied such an exceptional position in "his heart
of hearts;" for in its pages he had enshrined the deepest memories of
his own childhood and youth. Like David Copperfield, he had known what
it was to be a poor, neglected lad, set to rough, uncongenial work,
with no more than a mechanic's surroundings and outlook, and having to
fend for himself in the miry ways of the great city. Like David
Copperfield, he had formed a very early acquaintance with debts and
duns, and been initiated into the mysteries and sad expedients of
shabby poverty. Like David Copperfield, he had been made free of the
interior of a debtor's prison. Poor lad, he was not much more than ten
or eleven years old when he left Chatham, with all the charms that
were ever after to live so brightly in his recollection,--the gay
military pageantry, the swarming dockyard, the shifting sailor life,
the delightful walks in the surrounding country, the enchanted room,
tenanted by the first fairy day-dreams of his genius, the day-school,
where the master had already formed a good opinion of his parts,
giving him Goldsmith's "Bee" as a keepsake. This pleasant land he left
for a dingy house in a dingy London suburb, with squalor for
companionship, no teaching but the teaching of the streets, and all
around and above him the depressing hideous atmosphere of debt. With
what inimitable humour and pathos has he told the story of these
darkest days! Substitute John Dickens for Mr. Micawber, and Mrs.
Dickens for Mrs. Micawber, and make David Copperfield a son of Mr.
Micawber, a kind of elder Wilkins, and let little Charles Dickens be
that son--and then you will have a record, true in every essential
respect, of the child's life at this period. "Poor Mrs. Micawber! she
said she had tried to exert herself; and so, I have no doubt, she had.
The centre of the street door was perfectly covered with a great
brass-plate, on which was engraved 'Mrs. Micawber's Boarding
Establishment for Young Ladies;' but I never found that any young lady
had ever been to school there; or that any young lady ever came, or
proposed to come; or that the least preparation was ever made to
receive any young lady. The only visitors I ever saw or heard of were
creditors. _They_ used to come at all hours, and some of them were
quite ferocious." Even such a plate, bearing the inscription, _Mrs.
Dickens's Establishment_, ornamented the door of a house in Gower
Street North, where the family had hoped, by some desperate effort, to
retrieve its ruined fortunes. Even so did the pupils refuse the
educational advantages offered to them, though little Charles went
from door to door in the neighbourhood, carrying hither and thither
the most alluring circulars. Even thus was the place besieged by
assiduous and angry duns. And when, in the ordinary course of such sad
stories, Mr. Dickens is arrested for debt, and carried off to the
Marshalsea prison,[2] he moralizes over the event in precisely the
same strain as Mr. Micawber, using, indeed, the very same words, and
calls on his son, with many tears, "to take warning by the Marshalsea,
and to observe that if a man had twenty pounds a year, and spent
nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence, he would be happy;
but that a shilling spent the other way would make him wretched."

The son was taking note of other things besides these moral apothegms,
and reproduced, in after days, with a quite marvellous detail and
fidelity, all the incidents of his father's incarceration. Probably,
too, he was beginning, as children will, almost unconsciously, to form
some estimate of his father's character. And a very queer study in
human nature _that_ must have been, giving Dickens, when once he had
mastered it, a most exceptional insight into the ways of
impecuniosity. Charles Lamb, as we all remember, divided mankind into
two races, the mighty race of the borrowers, and the mean race of the
lenders; and expatiated, with a whimsical and charming eloquence, upon
the greatness of one Bigod, who had been as a king among those who by
process of loan obtain possession of other people's money. Shift the
line of division a little, so that instead of separating borrowers and
lenders, it separates those who pay their debts from those who do not
pay them, and then Dickens the elder may succeed to something of
Bigod's kingship. He was of the great race of debtors, possessing
especially that _ideal_ quality of mind on which Lamb laid such
stress. Imagination played the very mischief with him. He had
evidently little grasp of fact, and moved in a kind of haze, through
which all clear outlines would show blurred and unreal.
Sometimes--most often, perhaps--that haze would be irradiated with
sanguine visionary hopes and expectations. Sometimes it would be
fitfully darkened with all the horrors of despair. But whether in
gloom or gleam, the realities of his position would be lost. He never,
certainly, contracted a debt which he did not mean honourably to pay.
But either he had never possessed the faculty of forming a just
estimate of future possibilities, or else, through the indulgence of
what may be called a vague habit of thought, he had lost the power of
seeing things as they are. Thus all his excellencies and good gifts
were neutralized at this time, so far as his family were concerned,
and went for practically nothing. He was, according to his son's
testimony, full of industry, most conscientious in the discharge of
any business, unwearying in loving patience and solicitude when those
bound to him by blood or friendship were ill or in trouble, "as
kind-hearted and generous a man as ever lived in the world." Yet as
debts accumulated, and accommodation bills shed their baleful shadow
on his life, and duns grew many and furious, he became altogether
immersed in mean money troubles, and suffered the son who was to shed
such lustre on his name to remain for a time without the means of
learning, and to sink first into a little household drudge, and then
into a mere warehouse boy.

So little Charles, aged from eleven to twelve, first blacked boots,
and minded the younger children, and ran messages, and effected the
family purchases--which can have been no pleasant task in the then
state of the family credit,--and made very close acquaintance with the
inside of the pawnbrokers' shops, and with the purchasers of
second-hand books, disposing, among other things, of the little store
of books he loved so well; and then, when his father was imprisoned,
ran more messages hither and thither, and shed many childish tears in
his father's company--the father doubtless regarding the tears as a
tribute to his eloquence, though, heaven knows, there were other
things to cry over besides his sonorous periods. After which a
connection, James Lamert by name, who had lived with the family before
they moved from Camden Town to Gower Street, and was manager of a
worm-eaten, rat-riddled blacking business, near old Hungerford Market,
offered to employ the lad, on a salary of some six shillings a week,
or thereabouts. The duties which commanded these high emoluments
consisted of the tying up and labelling of blacking pots. At first
Charles, in consideration probably of his relationship to the manager,
was allowed to do his tying, clipping, and pasting in the
counting-house. But soon this arrangement fell through, as it
naturally would, and he descended to the companionship of the other
lads, similarly employed, in the warehouse below. They were not bad
boys, and one of them, who bore the name of Bob Fagin, was very kind
to the poor little better-nurtured outcast, once, in a sudden attack
of illness, applying hot blacking-bottles to his side with much
tenderness. But, of course, they were rough and quite uncultured, and
the sensitive, bookish, imaginative child felt that there was
something uncongenial and degrading in being compelled to associate
with them. Nor, though he had already sufficient strength of character
to learn to do his work well, did he ever regard the work itself as
anything but unsuitable, and almost discreditable. Indeed it may be
doubted whether the iron of that time did not unduly rankle and fester
as it entered into his soul, and whether the scar caused by the wound
was altogether quite honourable. He seems to have felt, in connection
with his early employment in a warehouse, a sense of shame such as
would be more fittingly associated with the commission of an unworthy
act. That he should not have habitually referred to the subject in
after life, may readily be understood. But why he should have kept
unbroken silence about it for long years, even with his wife, even
with so very close a friend as Forster, is less clear. And in the
terms used, when the revelation was finally made to Forster, there has
always, I confess, appeared to me to be a tone of exaggeration. "My
whole nature," he says, "was so penetrated with grief and humiliation,
... that even now, famous and caressed and happy, I often forget in my
dreams that I have a dear wife and children; even that I am a man, and
wander desolately back to that time of my life." And again: "From that
hour until this, at which I write, no word of that part of my
childhood, which I have now gladly brought to a close, has passed my
lips to any human being.... I have never, until I now impart it to
this paper, in any burst of confidence with any one, my own wife not
excepted, raised the curtain I then dropped, thank God." Great part,
perhaps the greatest part, of Dickens' success as a writer, came from
the sympathy and power with which he showed how the lower walks of
life no less than the higher are often fringed with beauty. I have
never been able to entirely divest myself of a slight feeling of the
incongruous in reading what he wrote about the warehouse episode in
his career.

At first, when he began his daily toil at the blacking business, some
poor dregs of family life were left to the child. His father was at
the Marshalsea. But his mother and brothers and sisters were, to use
his own words, "still encamped, with a young servant girl from Chatham
workhouse, in the two parlours in the emptied house in Gower Street
North." And there he lived with them, in much "hugger-mugger," merely
taking his humble midday meal in nomadic fashion, on his own account.
Soon, however, his position became even more forlorn. The paternal
creditors proved insatiable. The gipsy home in Gower Street had to be
broken up. Mrs. Dickens and the children went to live at the
Marshalsea. Little Charles was placed under the roof--it cannot be
called under the care--of a "reduced old lady," dwelling in Camden
Town, who must have been a clever and prophetic old lady if she
anticipated that her diminutive lodger would one day give her a kind
of indirect unenviable immortality by making her figure, under the
name of "Mrs. Pipchin," in "Dombey and Son." Here the boy seems to
have been left almost entirely to his own devices. He spent his
Sundays in the prison, and, to the best of his recollection, his
lodgings at "Mrs. Pipchin's" were paid for. Otherwise, he "found
himself," in childish fashion, out of the six or seven weekly
shillings, breakfasting on two pennyworth of bread and milk, and
supping on a penny loaf and a bit of cheese, and dining hither and
thither, as his boy's appetite dictated--now, sensibly enough, on _à
la mode_ beef or a saveloy; then, less sensibly, on pudding; and anon
not dining at all, the wherewithal having been expended on some
morning treat of cheap stale pastry. But are not all these things, the
lad's shifts and expedients, his sorrows and despair, his visits to
the public-house, where the kindly publican's wife stoops down to kiss
the pathetic little face--are they not all written in "David
Copperfield"? And if so be that I have a reader unacquainted with that
peerless book, can I do better than recommend him, or her, to study
therein the story of Dickens' life at this particular time?

At last the child's solitude and sorrows seem to have grown
unbearable. His fortitude broke down. One Sunday night he appealed to
his father, with many tears, on the subject, not of his employment,
which he seems to have accepted at the time manfully, but of his
forlornness and isolation. The father's kind, thoughtless heart was
touched. A back attic was found for Charles near the Marshalsea, at
Lant Street, in the Borough--where Bob Sawyer, it will be remembered,
afterwards invited Mr. Pickwick to that disastrous party. The boy
moved into his new quarters with the same feeling of elation as if he
had been entering a palace.

The change naturally brought him more fully into the prison circle. He
used to breakfast there every morning, before going to the warehouse,
and would spend the larger portion of his spare time among the
inmates. Nor do Mr. Dickens and his family, and Charles, who is to us
the family's most important member, appear to have been relatively at
all uncomfortable while under the shadow of the Marshalsea. There is
in "David Copperfield" a passage of inimitable humour, where Mr.
Micawber, enlarging on the pleasures of imprisonment for debt,
apostrophizes the King's Bench Prison as being the place "where, for
the first time in many revolving years, the overwhelming pressure of
pecuniary liabilities was not proclaimed from day to day, by
importunate voices declining to vacate the passage; where there was no
knocker on the door for any creditor to appeal to; where personal
service of process was not required, and detainers were lodged merely
at the gate." There is a similar passage in "Little Dorrit," where the
tipsy medical practitioner of the Marshalsea comforts Mr. Dorrit in
his affliction by saying: "We are quiet here; we don't get badgered
here; there's no knocker here, sir, to be hammered at by creditors,
and bring a man's heart into his mouth. Nobody comes here to ask if a
man's at home, and to say he'll stand on the door-mat till he is.
Nobody writes threatening letters about money to this place. It's
freedom, sir, it's freedom!" One smiles as one reads; and it adds a
pathos, I think, to the smile, to find that these are records of
actual experience. The Marshalsea prison was to Mr. Dickens a haven of
peace, and to his household a place of plenty. Not only could he
pursue his career there untroubled by fears of arrest, but he
exercised among the other "gentlemen gaol-birds" a supremacy, a kind
of kingship, such as that to which Charles Lamb referred. They
recognized in him the superior spirit, ready of pen, and affluent of
speech, and with a certain grandeur in his conviviality. He it was
who drew up their memorial to George of England on an occasion no less
important than the royal birthday, when they, the monarch's
"unfortunate subjects,"--so they were described in the
memorial--besought the king's "gracious majesty," of his "well-known
munificence," to grant them a something towards the drinking of the
royal health. (Ah, with what keen eyes and penetrative genius did
little Charles, from his corner, watch the strange sad stream of
humanity that trickled through the room, and may be said to have
_smeared_ its approval of that petition!) And while Mr. Dickens was
enjoying his prison honours, he was also enjoying his Admiralty
pension,[3] which was not forfeited by his imprisonment; and his wife
and children were consequently enjoying a larger measure of the
necessaries of life than had been theirs for many a month. So all went
on merrily enough at the Marshalsea.

But even under the old law, imprisonment for debt did not always last
for ever. A legacy, and the Insolvent Debtors Act, enabled Mr. Dickens
to march out of durance, in some sort with the honours of war, after a
few months' incarceration--this would be early in 1824;--and he went
with his family, including Charles, to lodge with the "Mrs. Pipchin"
already mentioned. Charles meanwhile still toiled on in the blacking
warehouse, now removed to Chandos Street, Covent Garden; and had
reached such skill in the tying, pasting, and labelling of the
bottles, that small crowds used to collect at the window for the
purpose of watching his deft fingers. There was pride in this, no
doubt, but also humiliation; and release was at hand. His father and
Lamert quarrelled about something--about _what_, Dickens seems never
to have known--and he was sent home. Mrs. Dickens acted the part of
the peacemaker on the next day, probably feeling that amid the shadowy
expectations on which she and her husband had subsisted for so long,
even six or seven shillings a week was something tangible, and not to
be despised. Yet in spite of this, he did not return to the business.
His father decided that he should go to school. "I do not write
resentfully or angrily," said Dickens, in the confidential
communication made long afterwards to Forster, and to which reference
has already been made; "but I never afterwards forgot, I never shall
forget, I never can forget, that my mother was warm for my being sent

The mothers of great men is a subject that has been handled often, and
eloquently. How many of those who have achieved distinction can trace
their inherited gifts to a mother's character, and their acquired
gifts to a mother's teaching and influence. Mrs. Dickens seems not to
have been a mother of this stamp. She scarcely, I fear, possessed
those admirable qualities of mind and heart which one can clearly
recognize as having borne fruit in the greatness and goodness of her
famous son. So far as I can discover, she exercised no influence upon
him at all. Her name hardly appears in his biographies. He never, that
I can recollect, mentions her in his correspondence; only refers to
her on the rarest occasions. And perhaps, on the whole, this is not to
be wondered at, if we accept the constant tradition that she had,
unknown to herself, sat to her son for the portrait of Mrs. Nickleby,
and suggested to him the main traits in the character of that
inconsequent and not very wise old lady. Mrs. Nickleby, I take it, was
not the kind of person calculated to form the mind of a boy of genius.
As well might one expect some very domestic bird to teach an eaglet
how to fly.

The school to which our callow eaglet was sent (in the spring or early
summer of 1824), belonged emphatically to the old school of schools.
It bore the goodly name of _Wellington House Academy_, and was
situated in Mornington Place, near the Hampstead Road. A certain Mr.
Jones held chief rule there; and as more than fifty years have now
elapsed since Dickens' connection with the establishment ceased, I
trust there may be nothing libellous in giving further currency to his
statement, or rather, perhaps, to his recorded impression,[4] that the
head master's one qualification for his office was dexterity in the
use of the cane;--especially as another "old boy" corroborates that
impression, and declares Mr. Jones to have been "a most ignorant
fellow, and a mere tyrant." Dickens, however, escaped with
comparatively little beating, because he was a day-boy, and sound
policy dictated that day-boys, who had facilities for carrying home
their complaints, should be treated with some leniency. So he had to
get his learning without tears, which was not at all considered the
orthodox method in the good old days; and, indeed, I doubt if he
finally took away from Wellington House Academy very much of the book
knowledge that would tell in a modern competitive examination. For
though in his own account of the school it is implied that he resumed
his interrupted studies with Virgil, and was, before he left, head
boy, and the possessor of many prizes, yet this is not corroborated by
the evidence of his surviving fellow pupils; nor can we, of course, in
the face of their direct counter evidence, treat statements made in a
fictitious or half-fictitious narrative as if made in what professed
to be a sober autobiography. Dickens, I repeat, seems to have acquired
a very scant amount of classic lore while under the instruction of Mr.
Jones, and not too much lore of any kind. But if he learned little, he
observed much. He thoroughly mastered the humours of the place, just
as he had mastered the humours of the Marshalsea. He had got to know
all about the masters, and all about the boys, and all about the white
mice--of which there were many in various stages of civilization. He
acquired, in short, a fund of school knowledge that seemed
inexhaustible, and on which he drew again and again, with the most
excellent results, in "David Copperfield," in "Dombey," in such
inimitable short papers as "Old Cheeseman." And while thus, half
unconsciously perhaps, assimilating the very life of the school, he
was himself a thorough schoolboy, bright, alert, intelligent; taking
part in all fun and frolic; amply indemnifying himself for his
enforced abstinence from childish games during the dreary warehouse
days; good at recitations and mimic plays; and already possessed of a
reputation among his peers as a writer of tales.


[1] £200 a year "without extras" from 1815 to 1820, and then £350. See
"Childhood and Youth of Charles Dickens," by Robert Langton, a very
valuable monograph.

[2] Mr. Langton appears to doubt whether John Dickens was not
imprisoned in the King's Bench. But this seems scarcely a point on
which Dickens himself can have been mistaken.

[3] According to Mr. Langton's dates, he would still be drawing his

[4] See paper entitled "Our School."


Dickens cannot have been very long at Wellington House Academy, for
before May, 1827, he had been at another school near Brunswick Square,
and had also obtained, and quitted, some employment in the office of a
solicitor in New Square, Lincoln's Inn Fields. It seems clear,
therefore, that the whole of his school life might easily be computed
in months; and in May, 1827, it will be remembered, he was still but a
lad of fifteen. At that date he entered the office of a second
solicitor, in Gray's Inn this time, on a salary of thirteen shillings
and sixpence a week, afterwards increased to fifteen shillings. Here
he remained till November, 1828, again picking up a good deal of
information that cannot perhaps be regarded as strictly legal, but
such as he was afterwards able to turn to admirable account. He would
seem to have studied the profession exhaustively in all its branches,
from the topmost Tulkinghorns and Perkers, to the lowest pettifoggers
like Pell and Brass, and also to have given particular attention to
the parasites of the law--the Guppys and Chucksters; and altogether to
have stored his mind, as he had done at school, with a series of
invaluable notes and observations. All very well, no doubt, as we
look at the matter now. But then it must often have seemed to the
ambitious, energetic lad, that he was wasting his time. Was he to
remain for ever a lawyer's clerk who has not the means to be an
articled clerk, and who can never, therefore, aspire to become a
full-blown solicitor? Was he to spend the future obscurely in the
dingy purlieus of the law? His father, in whose career "something," as
Mr. Micawber would have said, had at last "turned up," was now a
reporter for the press. The son determined to be a reporter too.

He threw himself into this new career with characteristic energy. Of
course a reporter is not made in a day. It takes many months of
drudgery to obtain such skill in shorthand as shall enable the pen of
the ready-writer to keep up with the winged words of speech, and make
dots and lines that shall be readable. Dickens laboured hard to
acquire the art. In the intervals of his work he made it a kind of
holiday task to attend the Reading-room of the British Museum, and so
remedy the defects in the literary part of his education. But the best
powers of his mind were directed to "Gurney's system of shorthand."
And in time he had his reward. He earned and justified the reputation
of being one of the best reporters of his day.

I shall not quote the autobiographical passages in "David Copperfield"
which bear on the difficulties of stenography. The book is in
everybody's hands. But I cannot forego the pleasure of brightening my
pages with Dickens' own description of his experiences as a reporter,
a description contained in one of those charming felicitous speeches
of his which are almost as unique in kind as his novels. Speaking in
May, 1865, as chairman of a public dinner on behalf of the Newspaper
Press Fund, he said: "I have pursued the calling of a reporter under
circumstances of which many of my brethren at home in England here,
many of my modern successors, can form no adequate conception. I have
often transcribed for the printer, from my shorthand notes, important
public speeches, in which the strictest accuracy was required, and a
mistake in which would have been, to a young man, severely
compromising, writing on the palm of my hand, by the light of a dark
lantern, in a post-chaise and four, galloping through a wild country,
and through the dead of the night, at the then surprising rate of
fifteen miles an hour. The very last time I was at Exeter, I strolled
into the castle-yard there to identify, for the amusement of a friend,
the spot on which I once took, as we used to call it, an election
speech of my noble friend Lord Russell, in the midst of a lively fight
maintained by all the vagabonds in that division of the county, and
under such pelting rain, that I remember two good-natured colleagues,
who chanced to be at leisure, held a pocket-handkerchief over my
note-book, after the manner of a State canopy in an ecclesiastical
procession. I have worn my knees by writing on them on the old back
row of the old gallery in the old House of Commons; and I have worn my
feet by standing to write in a preposterous pen in the old House of
Lords, where we used to be huddled together like so many sheep, kept
in waiting, say, until the woolsack might want re-stuffing. Returning
home from excited political meetings in the country to the waiting
press in London, I do verily believe I have been upset in almost every
description of vehicle known in this country. I have been, in my
time, belated in miry by-roads, towards the small hours, forty or
fifty miles from London, in a wheel-less carriage, with exhausted
horses, and drunken postboys, and have got back in time for
publication, to be received with never-forgotten compliments by the
late Mr. Black, coming in the broadest of Scotch from the broadest of
hearts I ever knew."

What shall I add to this? That the papers on which he was engaged as a
reporter, were _The True Sun_, _The Mirror of Parliament_, and _The
Morning Chronicle_; that long afterwards, little more than two years
before his death, when addressing the journalists of New York, he gave
public expression to his "grateful remembrance of a calling that was
once his own," and declared, "to the wholesome training of severe
newspaper work, when I was a very young man, I constantly refer my
first success;" that his income as a reporter appears latterly to have
been some five guineas a week, of course in addition to expenses and
general breakages and damages; that there is independent testimony to
his exceptional quickness in reporting and transcribing, and to his
intelligence in condensing; that to an observer so keen and apt, the
experiences of his business journeys in those more picturesque and
eventful ante-railway days must have been invaluable; and, finally,
that his connection with journalism lasted far into 1836, and so did
not cease till some months after "Pickwick" had begun to add to the
world's store of merriment and laughter.

But I have not really reached "Pickwick" yet, nor anything like it.
That master-work was not also a first work. With all Dickens' genius,
he had to go through some apprenticeship in the writer's art before
coming upon the public as the most popular novelist of his time. Let
us go back for a little to the twilight before the full sunrise, nay,
to the earliest streak upon the greyness of night, to his first
original published composition. Dickens himself, and in his preface to
"Pickwick" too, has told us somewhat about that first paper of his;
how it was "dropped stealthily one evening at twilight, with fear and
trembling, into a dark letter-box, in a dark office, up a dark court
in Fleet Street;" how it was accepted, and "appeared in all the glory
of print;" and how he was so filled with pleasure and pride on
purchasing a copy of the magazine in which it was published, that he
went into Westminster Hall to hide the tears of joy that would come
into his eyes. The paper thus joyfully wept over was originally
entitled "A Dinner at Poplar Walk," and now bears, among the "Sketches
by Boz," the name of "Mr. Minns and his Cousin"; the periodical in
which it was published was _The Old Monthly Magazine_, and the date of
publication was January 1, 1834.

"A Dinner at Poplar Walk" may be pronounced a very fairly told tale.
It is, no doubt, always easy to be wise after the event, in criticism
particularly easy, and when once a writer has achieved success, there
is but too little difficulty in showing that his earlier productions
were prophetic of his future greatness. At the risk, however, of
incurring a charge of this kind, I repeat that Dickens' first story is
well told, and that the editor of _The Old Monthly Magazine_ showed
due discernment in accepting it and encouraging his unknown
contributor to further efforts. Quite apart from the fact that the
author was only a young fellow of some two or three and twenty, both
this first story and the stories that followed it in _The Old Monthly
Magazine_, during 1834 and the early part of 1835, possessed qualities
of a very remarkable kind. So also did the humorous descriptive papers
shortly afterwards published in _The Evening Chronicle_, papers that,
with the stories, now compose the book known as "Sketches by Boz." Sir
Arthur Helps, speaking of Dickens, just after Dickens' death,[5] said,
"His powers of observation were almost unrivalled.... Indeed, I have
said to myself when I have been with him, he sees and observes nine
facts for any two that I see and observe." This particular faculty is,
I think, almost as clearly discernible in the "Sketches" as in the
author's later and greater works. London--its sins and sorrows, its
gaieties and amusements, its suburban gentilities, and central
squalor, the aspects of its streets, and the humours of the dingier
classes among its inhabitants,--all this had certainly never been so
seen and described before. The power of exact minute delineation
lavished upon the picture is admirable. Again, the dialogue in the
dramatic parts is natural, well-conducted, characteristic, and so used
as to help, not impede, the narrative. The speech, for instance, of
Mr. Bung, the broker's man, is a piece of very good Dickens. Of course
there is humour, and very excellent fooling some of it is; and
equally, of course, there is pathos, and some of that is not bad. Do I
mean at all that this earlier work stands on the same level of
excellence as the masterpieces of the writer? Clearly not. It were
absurd to expect the stripling, half-furtively coming forward, first
without a name at all, and then under the pseudonym of Boz,[6] to
write with the superb practised ease and mastery of the Charles
Dickens who penned "David Copperfield." By dint of doing blacksmith's
work, says the French proverb, one becomes a blacksmith. The artist,
like the handicraftsman, must learn his art. Much in the "Sketches"
betrays inexperience; or, perhaps, it would be more just to say,
comparative clumsiness of hand. The descriptions, graphic as they
undoubtedly are, lack for the most part the final imaginative touch;
the kind of inbreathing of life which afterwards gave such individual
charm to Dickens' word-painting. The humour is more obvious, less
delicate, turns too readily on the claim of the elderly spinster to be
considered young, and the desire of all spinsters to get married. The
pathos is often spoilt by over-emphasis and declamation. It lacks

For the "Sketches" published in _The Old Monthly Magazine_, Dickens
got nothing, beyond the pleasure of seeing himself in print. The
_Chronicle_ treated him somewhat more liberally, and, on his
application, increased his salary, giving him, in view of his original
contributions, seven guineas a week, instead of the five guineas which
he had been drawing as a reporter. Not a particularly brilliant
augmentation, perhaps, and one at which he must often have smiled in
after years, when his pen was dropping gold as well as ink. Still, the
addition to his income was substantial, and the son of John Dickens
must always, I imagine, have been in special need of money. Moreover
the circumstances of the next few months would render any increased
earnings doubly pleasant. For Dickens was shortly after this engaged
to be married to Miss Catherine Hogarth, the daughter of one of his
fellow-workers on the _Chronicle_. There had been, so Forster tells
us, a previous very shadowy love affair in his career,--an affair so
visionary indeed, and boyish, as scarcely to be worthy of mention in
this history, save for three facts: first, that his devotion,
dreamlike as it was, seems to have had love's highest practical effect
in inducing him to throw his whole strength into the study of
shorthand; secondly, that the lady of his love appears to have had
some resemblance to Dora, the child-wife of David Copperfield; and
thirdly, that he met her again long years afterwards, when time had
worked its changes, and the glamour of love had left his eyes, and
that to that meeting we owe the passages in "Little Dorrit" relating
to poor Flora. This, however, is a parenthesis. The engagement to Miss
Hogarth was neither shadowy nor unreal--an engagement only in
dreamland. Better for both, perhaps--who knows?--if it had been. Ah
me, if one could peer into the future, how many weddings there are at
which tears would be more appropriate than smiles and laughter! Would
Charles Dickens and Catherine Hogarth have foreborne to plight their
troth, one wonders, if they could have foreseen how slowly and surely
the coming years were to sunder their hearts and lives?--They were
married on the 2nd of April, 1836.

This date again leads me to a time subsequent to the publication of
the first number of "Pickwick," which had appeared a day or two
before;--and again I refrain from dealing with that great book. For
before I do so, I wish to pause a brief space to consider what manner
of man Charles Dickens was when he suddenly broke on the world in his
full popularity; and also what were the influences, for good and evil,
which his early career had exercised upon his character and intellect.

What manner of man he was? In outward aspect all accounts agree that
he was singularly, noticeably prepossessing--bright, animated, eager,
with energy and talent written in every line of his face. Such he was
when Forster saw him, on the occasion of their first meeting, when
Dickens was acting as spokesman for the insurgent reporters engaged on
the _Mirror_. So Carlyle, who met him at dinner shortly after this,
and was no flatterer, sketches him for us with a pen of unwonted
kindliness. "He is a fine little fellow--Boz, I think. Clear, blue,
intelligent eyes, eyebrows that he arches amazingly, large protrusive
rather loose mouth, a face of most extreme _mobility_, which he
shuttles about--eyebrows, eyes, mouth and all--in a very singular
manner while speaking. Surmount this with a loose coil of
common-coloured hair, and set it on a small compact figure, very
small, and dressed _à la_ D'Orsay rather than well--this is Pickwick.
For the rest, a quiet, shrewd-looking little fellow, who seems to
guess pretty well what he is and what others are."[7] Is not this a
graphic little picture, and characteristic even to the touch about
D'Orsay, the dandy French Count? For Dickens, like the young men of
the time--Disraeli, Bulwer, and the rest--was a great fop. We, of
these degenerate days, shall never see again that antique magnificence
in coloured velvet waistcoats.

But to return. Dickens, it need scarcely be said, had by this
[time][8] long out-lived the sickliness of his earlier years. The
hardships and trials of his childhood and boyhood had served but to
brace his young manhood, knitting the frame and strengthening the
nerves. Light and small, as Carlyle describes him, he was wiry and
very active, and could bear without injury an amount of intellectual
work and bodily fatigue that would have killed many men of seemingly
stronger build. And as what might have seemed unfortunate in his youth
had helped perchance to develop his physical powers, so had it
assisted to strengthen his character and foster his genius. I go back
here to the point from which I started. No doubt a weaker man would
have been crushed by such a youth. He would have been indolently
content to remain a warehouse drudge, would have listlessly fallen
into his father's ways about money, would have had no ambition beyond
his desk and salary as a lawyer's clerk, would have never cared to
piece together and supplement the scattered scraps of his education,
would have rested on his oars when he had once shot into the waters of
ordinary journalism. With Dickens it was not so. The alchemy of a fine
nature had transmuted his disadvantages into gold. To him the lessons
of such a childhood and boyhood as he had had, were energy,
self-reliance, a determination to overcome all obstacles, to fight the
battles of life, in all honour and rectitude, so as to win. From the
muddle of his father's affairs he had taken away a lesson of method,
order, and punctuality in business and other arrangements. "What is
worth doing at all is worth doing well," was not only one of his
favourite maxims--it was the rule of his life.

And for what was to be his life work, what better preparation could
there have been than that which he received? I am far from
recommending warehouses, squalid solitary lodgings, pawnshops,
debtors' prisons,--if such could now be found,--ill-conducted private
schools,--which probably could be found,--attorneys' offices, and the
hand-to-mouth of journalism, as constituting generally the highest
ideal of a liberal education. I am equally far from asserting that the
majority of men do not require more training of a purely scholastic
kind than fell to Dickens' lot. But Dickens was not a bookish man. His
genius did not lie in that direction. To have forced him unduly into
the world of books would have made him, doubtless, an average scholar,
but might have weakened his hold on life. Such a risk was certainly
not worth the running. Fate arranged it otherwise. What he was above
all was a student of the world of men, a passionately keen observer of
the ways of humanity. Men were to be his books, his special branch of
knowledge; and in order to graduate and take high honours in that
school, I repeat, he could have had no better training. Not only had
he passed through a range of most unwonted experiences, experiences
calculated to quicken to the uttermost his superb faculties of
observation and insight; but he had been placed in sympathetic
communication with a strange assortment of characters, lying quite out
of the usual ken of the literary classes. Knowledge and sympathy, the
seeing eye and the feeling heart--were these nothing to have

That so abnormal an education can have been entirely without
drawbacks, it is no part of my purpose to affirm. Tossed, as one may
say, to sink or swim amid the waves of life, where those waves ran
turbid and brackish, Dickens had emerged strengthened, triumphant. But
that some little signs should not remain of the straining and effort
with which he had won the land, was scarcely to be expected. He
himself, in his more confidential communications with Forster, seems
to avow a consciousness that this was so; and Forster, though he
speaks guardedly, lovingly, appears to be of opinion that a certain
self-assertiveness and fierce intolerance of advice or control[9]
occasionally discernible in his friend, might justly be attributed to
the harsh influence of early struggles and privations. But what then?
That system of education has yet to be devised which shall mould this
poor human clay of ours into flawless shapes of use and beauty. A man
may be considered fortunate indeed, when his training has left in him
only what the French call the "defects of his virtues," that is, the
exaggeration of his good qualities till they turn into faults. Without
his immense strength of purpose and iron will, Dickens might never
have emerged from obscurity, and the world would have been very
distinctly the poorer. One cannot be very sorry that he possessed
these gifts in excess.

And now, at last, having slightly sketched the history of his earlier
years, and endeavoured to show, however perfectly, what influences had
gone to the formation of his character, I proceed to consider the book
that lifted him to fame and fortune. The years of apprenticeship are
over, and the master-workman brings forth his finished work in its
flower of perfection. Let us study "Pickwick."


[5] _Macmillan's Magazine_, July, 1870.

[6] It was the pet name of one of his brothers; that was why he took

[7] Froude's "Thomas Carlyle: A History of his Life in London."

[8] Transcriber's Note: The word "time" appears to be missing from the
original text.

[9] "I have heard Dickens described by those who knew him," says Mr.
Edmund Yates, in his "Recollections," "as aggressive, imperious, and
intolerant, and I can comprehend the accusation.... He was imperious
in the sense that his life was conducted on the _sic volo sic jubeo_
principle, and that everything gave way before him. The society in
which he mixed, the hours which he kept, the opinions which he held,
his likes and dislikes, his ideas of what should or should not be,
were all settled by himself, not merely for himself, but for all those
brought into connection with him, and it was never imagined they could
be called in question.... He had immense powers of will."


Dickens has told us, in his preface to the later editions, much of how
"Pickwick" came to be projected and published. It was in this wise:
Seymour, a caricaturist of very considerable merit, though not, as we
should now consider, in the first rank of the great caricaturists, had
proposed to Messrs. Chapman and Hall, then just starting on their
career as publishers, a "series of Cockney sporting plates." Messrs.
Chapman and Hall entertained the idea favourably, but opined that the
plates would require illustrative letter-press; and casting about for
some suitable author, bethought themselves of Dickens, whose tales and
sketches had been exciting some little sensation in the world of
journalism; and who had, indeed, already written for the firm a story,
the "Tuggs at Ramsgate," which may be read among the "Sketches."
Accordingly Mr. Hall called on Dickens for the purpose of proposing
the scheme. This would be in 1835, towards the latter end of the year;
and Dickens, who had apparently left the paternal roof for some little
time, was living bachelorwise, in Furnival's Inn. What was his
astonishment, when Mr. Hall came in, to find he was the same person
who had sold him the copy of the magazine containing his first
story--that memorable copy at which he had looked, in Westminster
Hall, through eyes bedimmed with joyful tears. Such coincidences
always had for Dickens a peculiar, almost a superstitious, interest.
The circumstance seemed of happy augury to both the "high contracting
parties." Publisher and author were for the nonce on the best of
terms. The latter, no doubt, saw his opening; was more than ready to
undertake the work, and had no quarrel with the remuneration offered.
But even then he was not the man to play second fiddle to anybody.
Before they parted, he had quite succeeded in turning the tables on
Seymour. The original proposal had been that the artist should produce
four caricatures on sporting subjects every month, and that the
letter-press should be in illustration of the caricatures. Dickens got
Mr. Hall to agree to reverse that position. _He_, Dickens, was to have
the command of the story, and the artist was to illustrate _him_. How
far these altered relations would have worked quite smoothly if
Seymour had lived, and if Dickens' story had not so soon assumed the
proportions of a colossal success, it is idle to speculate. Seymour
died by his own hand before the second number was published, and so
ceased to be in a position to assert himself. It was, however, in
deference to the peculiar bent of his art that Mr. Winkle, with his
disastrous sporting proclivities, made part of the first conception of
the book; and it is also very significant of the book's origin, that
the design on the green wrapper in which the monthly parts made their
appearance, should have had a purely sporting character, and exhibited
Mr. Pickwick sleepily fishing in a punt, and Mr. Winkle shooting at
what looks like a cock-sparrow, the whole surrounded by a chaste
arabesque of guns, rods, and landing-nets. To Seymour, too, we owe the
portrait of Mr. Pickwick, which has impressed that excellent old
gentleman's face and figure upon all our memories. But to return to
Dickens' interview with Mr. Hall. They seem to have parted in mutual
satisfaction. At least it is certain Dickens was satisfied, for in a
letter written, apparently on the same day, to "my dearest Kate," he
thus sums up the proposals of the publishers: "They have made me an
offer of fourteen pounds a month to write and edit a new publication
they contemplate, entirely by myself, to be published monthly, and
each number to contain four wood-cuts.... The work will be no joke,
but the emolument is too tempting to resist."[10]

So, little thinking how soon he would begin to regard the "emolument"
as ludicrously inadequate, he set to work on "Pickwick." The first
part was published on the 31st of March or 1st of April, 1836.

That part seems scarcely to have created any sensation. Mr James
Grant, the novelist, says indeed, that the first five parts were "a
dead failure," and that the publishers were even debating whether the
enterprise had not better be abandoned altogether, when suddenly Sam
Weller appeared upon the scene, and turned their gloom into laughter.
Be that as it may, certain it is that before many months had passed,
Messrs. Chapman and Hall must have been thoroughly confirmed in a
policy of perseverance. "The first order for Part I.," that is, the
first order for binding, "was," says the bookbinder who executed the
work, "for four hundred copies only." The order for Part XV. had
risen to forty thousand. All contemporary accounts agree that the
success was sudden, immense. The author, like Lord Byron, some
twenty-five years before, "awoke and found himself famous." Young as
he was, not having yet numbered more than twenty-four summers, he at
one stride reached the topmost height of popularity. Everybody read
his book. Everybody laughed over it. Everybody talked about it.
Everybody felt, confusedly perhaps, but very surely, that a new and
vital force had arisen in English literature.

And English literature just then was in one of its times of slackness,
rather than full flow. The great tide of the beginning of the century
had ebbed. The tide of the Victorian age had scarcely begun to do more
than ripple and flash on the horizon. Byron was dead, and Shelley and
Keats and Coleridge and Lamb; Southey's life was on the decline;
Wordsworth had long executed his best work; while of the coming men,
Carlyle, though in the plenitude of his power, having published
"Sartor Resartus," had not yet published his "French Revolution,"[11]
or delivered his lectures on the "Heroes," and was not yet in the
plenitude of his fame and influence; and Macaulay, then in India, was
known only as the essayist and politician; and Lord Tennyson and the
Brownings were more or less names of the future. Looking especially at
fiction, the time may be said to have been waiting for its
master-novelist. Five years had gone by since the good and great Sir
Walter Scott had been laid to rest in Dryburgh Abbey, there to sleep,
as is most fit, amid the ruins of that old Middle Age world he loved
so well, with the babble of the Tweed for lullaby. Nor had any one
shown himself of stature to step into his vacant place, albeit Bulwer,
more precocious even than Dickens, was already known as the author of
"Pelham," "Eugene Aram," and the "Last Days of Pompeii;" and Disraeli
had written "Vivian Grey," and his earlier books; while Thackeray,
Charlotte Brontë, Kingsley, George Eliot were all, of course, to come
later. No, there was a vacant throne among the novelists. Here was the
hour--and here, too, was the man. In virtue of natural kingship he
took up his sceptre unquestioned.

Still, it may not be superfluous to inquire into the why and wherefore
of his success. All effects have a cause. What was the cause of this
special phenomenon? In the first place, the admirable freshness of the
book won its way into every heart. There is a fervour of youth and
healthy good spirits about the whole thing. In a former generation,
Byron had uttered his wail of despair over a worthless world. We, in
our own time, have got back to the dreary point of considering whether
life be worth living. Here was a writer who had no such misgivings.
For him life was pleasant, useful, full of delight--to be not only
tolerated, but enjoyed. He liked its sights, its play of character,
its adventures--affected no superiority to its amusements and
convivialities--thoroughly laid himself out to please and to be
pleased. And his characters were in the same mood. Their fund of
animal spirits seemed inexhaustible. For life's jollities they were
never unprepared. No doubt there were "mighty mean moments" in their
existence, as there have been in the existence of most of us. It
cannot have been pleasant to Mr. Winkle to have his eye blackened by
the obstreperous cabman. Mr. Tracy Tupman probably felt a passing pang
when jilted by the maiden aunt in favour of the audacious Jingle. No
man would elect to occupy the position of defendant in an action for
breach of promise, or prefer to sojourn in a debtors' prison. But how
jauntily do Mr. Pickwick and his friends shake off such discomforts!
How buoyantly do they override the billows that beset their course!
And what excellent digestions they have, and how slightly do they seem
to suffer the next day from any little excesses in the matter of milk

Then besides the good spirits and good temper, there is Dickens' royal
gift of humour. As some actors have only to show their face and utter
a word or two, in order to convulse an audience with merriment, so
here does almost every sentence hold good and honest laughter. Not,
perhaps, objects the superfine and too dainty critic, humour of the
most delicate sort--not humour that for its rare and exquisite quality
can be placed beside the masterpieces in that kind of Lamb, or Sterne,
or Goldsmith, or Washington Irving. Granted freely; not humour of that
special character. But very good humour nevertheless, the thoroughly
popular humour of broad comedy and obvious farce--the humour that
finds its account where absurd characters are placed in ridiculous
situations, that delights in the oddities of the whimsical and
eccentric, that irradiates stupidity and makes dulness amusing. How
thoroughly wholesome it is too! To be at the same time merry and
wise, says the old adage, is a hard combination. Dickens was both.
With all his boisterous merriment, his volleys of inextinguishable
laughter, he never makes game of what is at all worthy of respect.
Here, as in his later books, right is right, and wrong wrong, and he
is never tempted to jingle his jester's bell out of season, and make
right look ridiculous. And if the humour of "Pickwick" be wholesome,
it is also most genial and kindly. We have here no acrid cynic
sneeringly pointing out the plague spots of humanity, and showing
pleasantly how even the good are tainted with evil. Rather does
Dickens delight in finding some touch of goodness, some lingering
memory of better things, some hopeful aspiration, some trace of
unselfish devotion in characters where all seems soddened and lost. In
brief, the laughter is the laughter of one who sees the foibles, and
even the vices of his fellow-men, and yet looks on them lovingly and

So much the first readers of "Pickwick" might note as the book
unfolded itself to them, part by part; and they might also note one or
two things besides. They might note--they could scarcely fail to do
so--that though there was a touch of caricature in nearly all the
characters, yet those characters were, one and all, wonderfully real,
and very much alive. It was no world of shadows to which the author
introduced them. Mr. Pickwick had a very distinct existence, and so
had his three friends, and Bob Sawyer, and Benjamin Allen, and Mr.
Jingle, and Tony Weller, and all the swarm of minor characters. While
as to Sam Weller, if it be really true that he averted impending ruin
from the book, and turned defeat into victory, one can only say that
it was like him. When did he ever "stint stroke" in "foughten field"?
By what array of adverse circumstances was he ever taken at a
disadvantage? To have created a character of this vitality, of this
individual force, would be a feather in the cap of any novelist who
ever lived. Something I think of Dickens' own blood passed into this
special progeniture of his. It has been irreverently said that
Falstaff might represent Shakespeare in his cups, just as Hamlet might
represent him in his more sober moments. So I have always had a kind
of fancy that Sam Weller might be regarded as Dickens himself seen in
a certain aspect--a sort of Dickens, shall I say?--in an humbler
sphere of life, and who had never devoted himself to literature. There
is in both the same energy, pluck, essential goodness of heart,
fertility of resource, abundance of animal spirits, and also an
imagination of a peculiar kind, in which wit enters as a main
ingredient. And having noted how highly vitalized were the characters
in "Pickwick," I think the first readers might also fairly be expected
to note,--and, in fact, it is clear from Dickens' preface that they
did note--how greatly the book increased in scope and power as it
proceeded. The beginning was conceived almost in a spirit of farce.
The incidents and adventures had scarcely any other object than to
create amusement. Mr. Pickwick himself appeared on the scene with
fantastic honours and the badge of absurdity, as "the man who had
traced to their source the mighty ponds of Hampstead, and agitated the
scientific world with the Theory of Tittlebats." But in all this there
is a gradual change. Mr. Pickwick is presented to us latterly as an
exceedingly sound-headed as well as sound-hearted old gentleman, whom
we should never think of associating with the sources of Hampstead
Ponds or any other folly. While in such scenes as those at the Fleet
Prison, the author is clearly endeavouring to do much more than raise
a laugh. He is sounding the deeper, more tragic chords in human

Ah, if we add to all this--to the freshness, the "go," the good
spirits, the keen observation, the graphic painting, the humour, the
vitality of the characters, the gradual development of power--if we
add to all this that something which is in all, and greater than all,
viz., genius, and genius of a highly popular kind, then we shall have
no difficulty in understanding why everybody read "Pickwick," and how
it came to pass that its publishers made some £20,000 by a work that
they had once thought of abandoning as worthless.[12]


[10] See the Letters published by Chapman and Hall.

[11] It was finished in January, 1837, and not published till six
months afterwards.

[12] They acknowledged to Dickens that they had made £14,000 by the
sale of the monthly parts alone.


Dickens was not at all the man to rest on his oars while "Pickwick"
was giving such a magnificent impetus to the boat that contained his
fortunes. The amount of work which he accomplished in the years 1836,
1837, 1838, and 1839 is, if we consider its quality, amazing.
"Pickwick," as we have seen, was begun with the first of these years,
and its publication continued till the November of 1837. Independently
of his work on "Pickwick," he was, in the year 1836, engaged in the
arduous profession of a reporter till the close of the parliamentary
session, and also wrote a pamphlet on Sabbatarianism, a farce in two
acts, "The Strange Gentleman," for the St. James's Theatre, and a
comic opera, "The Village Coquettes," which was set to music by
Hullah. With the very commencement of 1837--"Pickwick," it will be
remembered, going on all the while--he entered upon the duties of
editor of _Bentley's Miscellany_, and in the second number began the
publication of "Oliver Twist," which was continued into the early
months of 1839, when his connection with the magazine ceased. In the
April of 1838, and simultaneously, of course, with "Oliver Twist,"
appeared the first part of "Nicholas Nickleby"--the last part
appearing in the October of the following year. Three novels of more
than full size and of first-rate importance, in less than four years,
besides a good deal of other miscellaneous work--certainly that was
"good going." The pace was decidedly fast. Small wonder that _The
Quarterly Review_, even so early as October, 1837, was tempted to
croak about "Mr. Dickens" as writing "too often and too fast, and
putting forth in their crude, unfinished, undigested state, thoughts,
feelings, observations, and plans which it required time and study to
mature," and to warn him that as he had "risen like a rocket," so he
was in danger of "coming down like the stick." Small wonder, I say,
and yet to us now, how unjust the accusation appears, and how false
the prophecy. Rapidly as those books were executed, Dickens, like the
real artist that he was, had put into them his best work. There was no
scamping. The critics of the time judged superficially, not making
allowance for the ample fund of observations he had amassed, for the
genuine fecundity of his genius, and for the admirable industry of an
extremely industrious man. "The World's Workers"--there exists under
that general designation a series of short biographies, for which Miss
Dickens has written a sketch of her father's life. To no one could the
description more fittingly apply. Throughout his life he worked
desperately hard. He possessed, in a high degree, the "infinite
faculty for taking pains," which is so great an adjunct to genius,
though it is not, as the good Sir Joshua Reynolds held, genius itself.
Thus what he had done rapidly was done well; and, for the rest, the
writer, who had yet to give the world "Martin Chuzzlewit," "The
Christmas Carol," "David Copperfield," and "Dombey," was not "coming
down like a stick." There were many more stars, and of very brilliant
colours, to be showered out by that rocket; and the stick has not even
yet fallen to the ground.[13]

Naturally, with the success of "Pickwick," came a great change in
Dickens' pecuniary position. He had, as we have seen, been glad
enough, before he began the book, to close with the offer of £14 for
each monthly part. That sum was afterwards increased to £15, and the
two first payments seem to have been made in advance for the purpose
of helping him to defray the expenses of his marriage. But as the sale
leapt up, the publishers themselves felt that such a rate of
remuneration was altogether insufficient, and sent him, first and
last, a goodly number of supplementary cheques, for sums amounting in
the aggregate, as _they_ computed, to £3,000, and as Forster computes
to about £2,500. This Dickens, who, to use his own words, "never
undervalued his own work," considered a very inadequate percentage on
their gains--forgetting a little, perhaps, that the risks had been
wholly theirs, and that he had been more than content with the
original bargain. Similarly he was soon utterly dissatisfied with his
arrangements with Bentley about the editorship of the _Miscellany_ and
"Oliver Twist,"--arrangements which had been entered into in August,
1836, while "Pickwick" was in progress; and he utterly refused to let
that publisher have "Gabriel Varden, The Locksmith of London"
("Barnaby Rudge") on the terms originally agreed upon. With Macrone
also, who had made some £4,000 by the "Sketches," and given him about
£400, he was no better pleased, especially when that enterprising
gentleman threatened a re-issue in monthly parts, and so compelled him
to re-purchase the copyright for £2,000. But however much he might
consider himself ill-treated by the publishing fraternity, he was, of
course, rapidly getting far richer than he had been, and so able to
enlarge his mode of life. He had begun, modestly enough, by taking his
wife to live with him in his bachelor's quarters in Furnival's
Inn,--much as Tommy Traddles, in "David Copperfield," took _his_ wife
to live in chambers at Gray's Inn; and there, in Furnival's Inn, his
first child, a boy, was born on the 6th of January, 1837. But in the
March of that year he moved to a more commodious dwelling, at 48,
Doughty Street, where he remained till the end of 1839, when still
increasing means enabled him to move to a still better house at 1,
Devonshire Terrace, Regent's Park. But the house in Doughty Street
must have been endeared to him by many memories. It was there, on the
7th of May, 1837, that he lost, at the early age of seventeen, and
quite suddenly, a sister-in-law, Mary Hogarth, to whom he was greatly
attached. The blow fell so heavily at the time as to incapacitate him
from all work, and delayed the publication of one of the numbers of
"Pickwick." Nor was the sorrow only sharp and transient. He speaks of
her in the preface to the first edition of that book. Her spirit
seemed to be hovering near as he stood looking at Niagara. He felt her
hallowing influence when in danger of growing too much elated by his
first reception in America. She came back to him in dreams in Italy.
Her image remained in his heart, unchanged by time, as he declared, to
the very end. She represented to his mind all that was pure and lovely
in opening womanhood, and lives, in the world created by his art, as
the Little Nell of "The Old Curiosity Shop." It was in Doughty Street,
too, that he began to gather round him the circle of friends whose
names seem almost like a muster-roll of the famous men and women in
the first thirty years of Queen Victoria's reign. I shall not
enumerate them. The list of writers, artists, actors, would be too
long. But this at least it would be unjust not to note, that among his
friends were included nearly all those who by any stretch of fancy
could be regarded as his rivals in the fields of humour and fiction.
With Washington Irving, Hood, Douglas Jerrold, Lord Lytton, Harrison
Ainsworth, Mr. Wilkie Collins, Mrs. Gaskell, and, save for a passing
foolish quarrel, with Thackeray, the novelist who really was his peer,
he maintained the kindliest and most cordial relations. Nor when
George Eliot published her first books, "The Scenes of Clerical Life"
and "Adam Bede," did any one acknowledge their excellence more freely.
Petty jealousies found no place in the nature of this great writer.

It was also while living at Doughty Street that he seems, in great
measure, to have formed those habits of work and relaxation which
every artist fashions so as to suit his own special needs and
idiosyncrasies. His favourite time for work was the morning, between
the hours of breakfast and lunch; and though, at this particular
period, the enormous pressure of his engagements compelled him to work
"double tides," and often far into the night, yet he was essentially a
day-worker, not a night-worker. Like the great German poet Goethe, he
preferred to exercise his art in the fresh morning hours, when the
dewdrops, as it were, lay bright upon his imagination and fancy. And
for relaxation and sedative, when he had thoroughly worn himself out
with mental toil, he would have recourse to the hardest bodily
exercise. At first riding seems to have contented him--fifteen miles
out and fifteen miles in, with a halt at some road-side inn for
refreshment. But soon walking took the place of riding, and he became
an indefatigable pedestrian. He would think nothing of a walk of
twenty or thirty miles, and that not merely in the vigorous heyday of
youth, but afterwards, to the very last. He was always on those alert,
quick feet of his, perambulating London from end to end, and in every
direction; perambulating the suburbs, perambulating the "greater
London" that lies within a radius of twenty miles, round the central
core of metropolitan houses. In short, he was everywhere, in all
weathers, at all hours. Nor was London, smaller and greater, his only
walking field. He would walk wherever he was--walked through and
through Genoa, and all about Genoa, when he lived there; knew every
inch of the Kent country round Broadstairs and round Gad's Hill--was,
as I have said, always, always, always on his feet. But if he would
pedestrianize everywhere, London remained the walking ground of his
heart. As Dr. Johnson held that nothing equalled a stroll down Fleet
Street, so did Dickens, sitting in full view of Genoa's perfect bay,
and with the blue Mediterranean sparkling at his feet, turn in thought
for inspiration to his old haunts. "Never," he writes to Forster, when
about to begin "The Chimes," "never did I stagger so upon a threshold
before. I seem as if I had plucked myself out of my proper soil when I
left Devonshire Terrace, and could take root no more until I return to
it.... Did I tell you how many fountains we have here? No matter. If
they played nectar, they wouldn't please me half so well as the West
Middlesex Waterworks at Devonshire Terrace.... Put me down on Waterloo
Bridge at eight o'clock in the evening, with leave to roam about as
long as I like, and I would come home, as you know, panting to go on.
I am sadly strange as it is, and can't settle." "Eight o'clock in the
evening,"--that points to another of his peculiarities. As he liked
best to walk in London, so he liked best to walk at night. The
darkness of the great city had a strange fascination for him. He never
grew tired of it, would find pleasure and refreshment, when most weary
and jaded, in losing himself in it, in abandoning himself to its
mysteries. Looked at with this knowledge, the opening of the "Old
Curiosity Shop" becomes a passage of autobiography. And how all these
wanderings must have served him in his art! Remember what a keen
observer he was, perhaps one of the keenest that ever lived, and then
think what food for observation he would thus be constantly
collecting. To the eye that knows how to see, there is no stage where
so many scenes from the drama of life are being always enacted as the
streets of London. Dickens frequented that theatre very assiduously,
and of his power of sight there can be no question.


[13] I think critics, and perhaps I myself, have been a little hard on
this Quarterly Reviewer. He did not, after all, say that Dickens would
come down like a stick, only that he might do so if he wrote too fast
and furiously.


"Pickwick" had been a novel without any plot. The story, if story it
can be called, bore every trace of its hasty origin. Scene succeeded
scene, and incident incident, and Mr. Pickwick and his three friends
were hurried about from place to place, and through adventures of all
kinds, without any particularly defined purpose. In truth, many
people, and myself among the number, find some difficulty in reading
the book as a connected narrative, and prefer to take it piecemeal.
But in "Oliver Twist" there is a serious effort to work out a coherent
plot, and real unity of conception. Whether that conception be based
on probability, is another point. Oliver is the illegitimate son of a
young lady who has lapsed from virtue under circumstances of great
temptation, but still lapsed from virtue, and who dies in giving him
birth. He is brought up as a pauper child in a particularly
ill-managed workhouse, and apprenticed to a low undertaker. Thence he
escapes, and walks to London, where he falls in with a gang of
thieves. His legitimate brother, an unutterable scoundrel, happens to
see him in London, and recognizing him by a likeness to their common
father, bribes the thieves to recapture him when he has escaped from
their clutches. Now I would rather not say whether I consider it quite
likely that a boy of this birth and nurture would fly at a boy much
bigger than himself in vindication of the fair fame of a mother whom
he had never known, or would freely risk his life to warn a sleeping
household that they were being robbed, or would, on all occasions,
exhibit the most excellent manners and morals, and a delicacy of
feeling that is quite dainty. But this is the essence of the book. To
show purity and goodness of disposition as self-sufficient in
themselves to resist all adverse influences, is Dickens' main object.
Take Oliver's sweet uncontaminated character away, and the story
crumbles to pieces. With mere improbabilities of plot, I have no
quarrel. Of course it is not likely that the boy, on the occasion of
his first escape from the thieves, should be rescued by his father's
oldest friend, and, on the second occasion, come across his aunt. But
such coincidences must be accepted in any story; they violate no truth
of character. I am afraid I can't say as much of Master Oliver's
graces and virtues.

With this reservation, however, how much there is in the book to which
unstinted admiration can be given! As "Pickwick" first fully exhibited
the humorous side of Dickens' genius, so "Oliver Twist" first fully
exhibited its tragic side;--the pathetic side was to come somewhat
later. The scenes at the workhouse; at the thieves' dens in London;
the burglary; the murder of poor Nancy; the escape and death of the
horror-haunted Sikes,--all are painted with a master's hand. And the
book, like its predecessor, and like those that were to follow,
contains characters that have passed into common knowledge as
types,--characters of the keenest individuality, and that yet seem in
themselves to sum up a whole class. Such are Bill Sikes, whose
ruffianism has an almost epic grandeur; and black-hearted Fagin, the
Jew, receiver of stolen goods and trainer of youth in the way they
should _not_ go; and Master Dawkins, the Artful Dodger. Such, too, is
Mr. Bumble, greatest and most unhappy of beadles.

Comedy had predominated in "Pickwick," tragedy in "Oliver Twist." The
more complete fusion of the two was effected in "Nicholas Nickleby."
But as the mighty actor Garrick, in the well-known picture by Sir
Joshua Reynolds, is drawn towards the more mirthful of the two
sisters, so, here again, I think that comedy decidedly bears away the
palm,--though tragedy is not beaten altogether without a struggle
either. Here is the story as it unfolds itself. The two heroes are
Ralph Nickleby and his nephew Nicholas. They stand forth, almost from
the beginning, as antagonists, in battle array the one against the
other; and the story is, in the main, a history of the campaigns
between them--cunning and greed being mustered on the one side, and
young, generous courage on the other. At first Nicholas believes in
his uncle, who promises to befriend Nicholas's mother and sister, and
obtains for Nicholas himself a situation as usher in a Yorkshire
school kept by one Squeers. But the young fellow's gorge rises at the
sickening cruelty exercised in the school, and he leaves it, having
first beaten Mr. Squeers,--leaves it followed by a poor shattered
creature called Smike. Meanwhile Ralph, the usurer, befriends his
sister-in-law and niece after his own fashion, and tries to use the
latter's beauty in furtherance of his trade as a money-lender.
Nicholas discovers his plots, frustrates all his schemes, rescues, and
ultimately marries, a young lady who had been immeshed in one of them;
and Ralph, at last, utterly beaten, commits suicide on finding that
Smike, through whom he had been endeavouring all through to injure
Nicholas, and who is now dead, was his own son. Such are the book's
dry bones, its skeleton, which one is almost ashamed to expose thus
nakedly. For the beauty of these novels lies not at all in the plot;
it is in the incidents, situations, characters. And with beauty of
this kind how richly dowered is "Nicholas Nickleby"! Take the
characters alone. What lavish profusion of humour in the theatrical
group that clusters round Mr. Vincent Crummles, the country manager;
and in the Squeers family too; and in the little shop-world of Mrs.
Mantalini, the fashionable dressmaker; and in Cheeryble Brothers, the
golden-hearted old merchants who take Nicholas into their
counting-house. Then for single characters commend me to Mrs.
Nickleby, whose logic, which some cynics would call feminine, is
positively sublime in its want of coherence; and to John Browdie, the
honest Yorkshire cornfactor, as good a fellow almost as Dandie
Dinmont, the Border yeoman whom Scott made immortal. The high-life
personages are far less successful. Dickens had small gift that way,
and seldom succeeded in his society pictures. Nor, if the truth must
be told, do I greatly care for the description of the duel between Sir
Mulberry Hawk and Lord Verisopht, though it was evidently very much
admired at the time, and is quoted, as a favourable specimen of
Dickens' style, in Charles Knight's "Half-hours with the Best
Authors." The writing is a little too _tall_. It lacks simplicity, as
is sometimes the case with Dickens, when he wants to be particularly

And this leads me, by a kind of natural sequence, to what I have to
say about his next book, "The Old Curiosity Shop;" for here, again,
though in a very much more marked degree, I fear I shall have to run
counter to a popular opinion.

But first a word as to the circumstances under which the book was
published. Casting about, after the conclusion of "Nicholas Nickleby,"
for further literary ventures, Dickens came to the conclusion that the
public must be getting tired of his stories in monthly parts. It
occurred to him that a weekly periodical, somewhat after the manner of
Addison's _Spectator_ or Goldsmith's _Bee_, and containing essays,
stories, and miscellaneous papers,--to be written mainly, but not
entirely, by himself,--would be just the thing to revive interest, and
give his popularity a spur. Accordingly an arrangement was entered
into with Messrs. Chapman and Hall, by which they covenanted to give
him £50 for each weekly number of such a periodical, and half
profits;--and the first number of _Master Humphrey's Clock_ made its
appearance in the April of 1840. Unfortunately Dickens had reckoned
altogether without his host. The public were not to be cajoled. What
they expected from their favourite was novels, not essays, short
stories, or sketches, however admirable. The orders for the first
number had amounted to seventy thousand; but they fell off as soon as
it was discovered that Master Humphrey, sitting by his clock, had no
intention of beguiling the world with a continuous narrative,--that
the title, in short, did not stand for the title of a novel. Either
the times were not ripe for the _Household Words_, which, ten years
afterwards, proved to be such a great and permanent success, or
Dickens had laid his plans badly. Vainly did he put forth all his
powers, vainly did he bring back upon the stage those old popular
favourites, Mr. Pickwick, Sam Weller, and Tony Weller. All was of no
avail. Clearly, in order to avoid defeat, a change of front had become
necessary. The novel of "The Old Curiosity Shop" was accordingly
commenced in the fourth number of the _Clock_, and very soon acted the
cuckoo's part of thrusting Master Humphrey and all that belonged to
him out of the nest. He disappeared pretty well from the periodical,
and when the novel was republished, the whole machinery of the _Clock_
had gone;--and with it I may add, some very characteristic and
admirable writing. Dickens himself confessed that he "winced a
little," when the "opening paper, ... in which Master Humphrey
described himself and his manner of life," "became the property of the
trunkmaker and the butterman;" and most Dickens lovers will agree with
me in rejoicing that the omitted parts have now at last been tardily
rescued from unmerited neglect, and finds [Transcriber's Note: sic] a
place in the recently issued "Charles Dickens" edition of the works.

There is no hero in "The Old Curiosity Shop,"--unless Mr. Richard
Swiveller, "perpetual grand-master of the Glorious Apollos," be the
questionable hero; and the heroine is Little Nell, a child. Of
Dickens' singular feeling for the pathos and humour of childhood, I
have already spoken. Many novelists, perhaps one might even say, most
novelists, have no freedom of utterance when they come to speak about
children, do not know what to do with a child if it chances to stray
into their pages. But how different with Dickens! He is never more
thoroughly at home than with the little folk. Perhaps his best speech,
and they all are good, is the one uttered at the dinner given on
behalf of the Children's Hospital. Certainly there is no figure in
"Dombey and Son" on which more loving care has been lavished than the
figure of little Paul, and when the lad dies one quite feels that the
light has gone out of the book. "David Copperfield" shorn of David's
childhood and youth would be a far less admirable performance. The
hero of "Oliver Twist" is a boy. Pip is a boy through a fair portion
of "Great Expectations." The heroine of "The Old Curiosity Shop" is,
as I have just said, a girl. And of all these children, the one who
seems, from the first, to have stood highest in popular favour, and
won most hearts, is Little Nell. Ay me, what tears have been shed over
her weary wanderings with that absurd old gambling grandfather of
hers; how many persons have sorrowed over her untimely end as if she
had been a daughter or a sister. High and low, literate and
illiterate, over nearly all has she cast her spell. Hood, he who sang
the "Song of the Shirt," paid her the tribute of his admiration, and
Jeffrey, the hard-headed old judge and editor of _The Edinburgh
Review_, the tribute of his tears. Landor volleyed forth his
thunderous praises over her grave, likening her to Juliet and
Desdemona. Nay, Dickens himself sadly bewailed her fate, described
himself as being the "wretchedest of the wretched" when it drew near,
and shut himself from all society as if he had suffered a real
bereavement. While as to the feeling which she has excited in the
breasts of the illiterate, we may take Mr. Bret Harte's account of the
haggard golddiggers by the roaring Californian camp fire, who throw
down their cards to listen to her story, and, for the nonce, are
softened and humanized.[14]--Such is the sympathy she has created. And
for the description of her death and burial, as a superb piece of
pathetic writing, there has been a perfect chorus of praise broken
here and there no doubt by a discordant voice, but still of the
loudest and most heartfelt. Did not Horne, a poet better known to the
last generation than to this, point out that though printed as prose,
these passages were, perhaps as "the result of harmonious accident,"
essentially poetry, and "written in blank verse of irregular metres
and rhythms, which Southey and Shelley and some other poets have
occasionally adopted"? Did he not print part of the passages in this
form, substituting only, as a concession to the conventionalities of
verse, the word "grandames" for "grandmothers"; and did he not declare
of one of the extracts so printed that it was "worthy of the best
passages in Wordsworth"?

If it "argues an insensibility" to stand somewhat unmoved among all
these tears and admiration, I am afraid I must be rather
pebble-hearted. To tell the whole damaging truth, I am, and always
have been, only slightly affected by the story of Little Nell; have
never felt any particular inclination to shed a tear over it, and
consider the closing chapters as failing of their due effect, on me at
least, because they are pitched in a key that is altogether too high
and unnatural. Of course one makes a confession of this kind with
diffidence. It is no light thing to stem the current of a popular
opinion. But one can only go with the stream when one thinks the
stream is flowing in a right channel. And here I think the stream is
meandering out of its course. For me, Little Nell is scarcely more
than a figure in cloudland. Possibly part of the reason why I do not
feel as much sympathy with her as I ought, is because I do not seem to
know her very well. With Paul Dombey I am intimately acquainted. I
should recognize the child anywhere, should be on the best of terms
with him in five minutes. Few things would give me greater pleasure
than an hour's saunter by the side of his little invalid's carriage
along the Parade at Brighton. How we should laugh, to be sure, if we
happened to come across Mr. Toots, and smile, too, if we met Feeder,
B.A., and give a furtive glance of recognition at Glubb, the discarded
charioteer. Then the classic Cornelia Blimber would pass, on her
constitutional, and we should quail a little--at least I am certain
_I_ should--as she bent upon us her scholastic spectacles; and a
glimpse of Dr. Blimber would chill us even more; till--ah! what's
this? Why does a flush of happiness mantle over my little friend's
pale face? Why does he utter a faint cry of pleasure? Yes, there she
is--he has caught sight of Floy running forward to meet him.--So am
I led, almost instinctively, whenever the figure of Paul flashes into
my mind, to think of him as a child I have actually known. But
Nell--she has no such reality of existence. She has been etherealized,
vapourized, rhapsodized about, till the flesh and blood have gone out
of her. I recognize her attributes, unselfishness, sweetness of
disposition, gentleness. But these don't constitute a human being.
They don't make up a recognizable individuality. If I met her in the
street, I am afraid I should not know her; and if I did, I am sure we
should both find it difficult to keep up a conversation.

Do the passages describing her death and burial really possess the
rhythm of poetry? That would seem to me, I confess, to be as ill a
compliment as to say of a piece of poetry that it was really prose.
The music of prose and of poetry are essentially different. They do
not affect the ear in the same way. The one is akin to song, the other
to speech. Give to prose the recurring cadences, the measure, and the
rhythmic march of verse, and it becomes bad prose without becoming
good poetry.[15] So, in fairness to Dickens, one is bound, as far as
one can, to forget Horne's misapplied praise. But even thus, and
looking upon it as prose alone, can we say that the account of Nell's
funeral is, in the high artistic sense, a piece of good work. Here is
an extract: "And now the bell--the bell she had so often heard, by
night and day, and listened to with solemn pleasure almost as a
living voice--rang its remorseless toll, for her, so young, so
beautiful, so good. Decrepit age, and vigorous life, and blooming
youth, and helpless infancy, poured forth--on crutches, in the pride
of strength and health, in the full blush of promise, in the mere dawn
of life--to gather round her tomb. Old men were there, whose eyes were
dim and senses failing--grandmothers, who might have died ten years
ago, and still been old,--the deaf, the blind, the lame, the palsied,
the living dead in many shapes and forms, to see the closing of that
earthly grave. What was the death it would shut in, to that which
still could crawl and creep above it?" Such is the tone throughout,
and one feels inclined to ask whether it is quite the appropriate tone
in which to speak of the funeral of a child in a country churchyard?
All this pomp of rhetoric seems to me--shall I say it?--as much out of
place as if Nell had been buried like some great soldier or minister
of state--with a hearse, all sable velvet and nodding plumes, drawn by
a long train of sable steeds, and a final discharge of artillery over
the grave. The verbal honours paid here to the deceased are really not
much less incongruous and out of keeping. Surely in such a subject,
above all others, the pathos of simplicity would have been most

There are some, indeed, who deny to Dickens the gift of pathos
altogether. Such persons acknowledge, for the most part a little
unwillingly, that he was a master of humour of the broader, more
obvious kind. But they assert that all his sentiment is mawkish and
overstrained, and that his efforts to compel our tears are so obvious
as to defeat their own purpose. Now it will be clear, from what I
have said about Little Nell, that I am capable of appreciating the
force of any criticism of this kind; nay, that I go so far as to
acknowledge that Dickens occasionally lays himself open to it. But go
one inch beyond this I cannot. Of course we may, if we like, take up a
position of pure stoicism, and deny pathos altogether, in life as in
art. We may regard all human affairs but as a mere struggle for
existence, and say that might makes right, and that the weak is only
treated according to his deserts when he goes to the wall. We may hold
that neither sorrow nor suffering call for any meed of sympathy. Such
is mainly the attitude which the French novelist adopts towards the
world of his creation.[16] But once admit that feeling is legitimate;
once allow that tears are due to those who have been crushed and left
bleeding by this great world of ours as it crashes blundering on its
way; once grant that the writer's art can properly embrace what
Shakespeare calls "the pity of it," the sorrows inwoven in all our
human relationships; once acknowledge all this, and then I affirm,
most confidently, that Dickens, working at his best, was one of the
greatest masters of pathos who ever lived. I can myself see scarce a
strained discordant note in the account of the short life and early
death of Paul Dombey, and none in the description of the death of Paul
Dombey's mother, or in the story of Tiny Tim, or in the record of
David Copperfield's childhood and boyhood. I consider the passage in
"American Notes" describing the traits of gentle kindliness among the
emigrants as being nobly, pathetically eloquent. Did space allow, I
could support my position by quotations and example to any extent. And
my conclusion is that, though he failed with Little Nell, yet he
succeeded elsewhere, and superbly.

The number of _Master Humphrey's Clock_, containing the conclusion of
"The Old Curiosity Shop," appeared on the 17th of January, 1841, and
"Barnaby Rudge" began its course in the ensuing week. The first had
been essentially a tale of modern life. All the characters that made a
kind of background, mostly grotesque or hideous, for the figure of
Little Nell, were characters of to-day, or at least of the day when
the book was written; for I must not forget that that day ran into the
past some six and forty years ago. Quilp, the dwarf,--and a far finer
specimen of a scoundrel by the by, in every respect, than that poor
stage villain Monks; Sampson Brass and his legal sister Sally, a
goodly pair; Kit, golden-hearted and plain of body, who so barely
escapes from the plot laid by the afore-mentioned worthies to prove
him a thief; Chuckster, most lady-killing of notaries' clerks; Mrs.
Jarley, the good-natured waxwork woman, in whose soul there would be
naught save kindliness, only she cannot bring herself to tolerate
Punch and Judy; Short and Codlin, the Punch and Judy men; the little
misused servant, whom Dick Swiveller in his grandeur creates a
marchioness; and the magnificent Swiveller himself, prince among the
idle and impecunious, justifying by his snatches of song, and flowery
rhetoric, his high position as "perpetual grand-master" among the
"Glorious Apollers,"--all these, making allowance perhaps for some
idealization, were personages of Dickens' own time. But in "Barnaby
Rudge," Dickens threw himself back into the last century. The book is
a historical novel, one of the two which he wrote, the other being the
"Tale of Two Cities," and its scenes are many of them laid among the
No Popery Riots of 1780.

A ghastly time, a time of aimless, brutal incendiarism and mad
turbulence on the part of the mob; a time of weakness and ineptitude
on the part of the Government; a time of wickedness, folly, and
misrule. Dickens describes it admirably. His picture of the riots
themselves seems painted in pigments of blood and fire; and yet,
through all the hurry and confusion, he retains the clearness of
arrangement and lucidity which characterize the pictures of such
subjects when executed by the great masters of the art--as Carlyle,
for example. His portrait of the poor, crazy-brained creature, Lord
George Gordon, who sowed the wind which the country was to reap in
whirlwind, is excellent. Nor is what may be called the private part of
the story unskilfully woven with the historical part. The plot, though
not good, rises perhaps above the average of Dickens' plots; for even
we, his admirers, are scarcely bound to maintain that plot was his
strong point. Beyond this, I think I may say that the book is, on the
whole, the least characteristic of his books. It is the one which
those who are most out of sympathy with his peculiar vein of humour
and pathos will probably think the best, and the one which the true
Dickens lovers will generally regard as bearing the greatest
resemblance to an ordinary novel.


[14] "Dickens in Camp."

[15] Dickens himself knew that he had a tendency to fall into blank
verse in moments of excitement, and tried to guard against it.

[16] M. Daudet, in many respects a follower of Dickens, is a fine and
notable exception.


The last number of "Barnaby Rudge" appeared in November, 1841, and, on
the 4th of the following January Dickens sailed with his wife for a
six months' tour in the United States. What induced him to undertake
this journey, more formidable then, of course, than now?

Mainly, I think, that restless desire to see the world which is strong
in a great many men, and was specially strong in Dickens. Ride as he
might, and walk as he might, his abounding energies remained
unsatisfied. In 1837 there had been trips to Belgium, Broadstairs,
Brighton; in 1838 to Yorkshire, Broadstairs, North Wales, and a fairly
long stay at Twickenham; in 1839 a similar stay at Petersham--where,
as at Twickenham, frolic, gaiety and athletics had prevailed,--and
trips to Broadstairs and Devonshire; in 1840 trips again to Bath,
Birmingham, Shakespeare's country, Broadstairs, Devonshire; in 1841
more trips, and a very notable visit to Edinburgh, with which Little
Nell had a great deal to do. For Lord Jeffrey was enamoured of that
young lady, declaring to whomsoever would hear that there had been
"nothing so good ... since Cordelia;" and inoculating the citizens of
the northern capital with his enthusiasm, he had induced them to offer
to Dickens a right royal banquet, and the freedom of their city.
Accordingly to Edinburgh he repaired, and the dinner took place on the
26th of June, with three hundred of the chief notabilities for
entertainers, and a reception such as kings might have envied. Jeffrey
himself was ill and unable to take the chair, but Wilson, the leonine
"Christopher North," editor of _Blackwood_, and author of those
"Noctes Ambrosianæ" which were read so eagerly as they came out, and
which some of us find so difficult to read now--Wilson presided most
worthily. Of speechifying there was of course much, and compliments
abounded. But the banquet itself, the whole reception at Edinburgh was
the most magnificent of compliments. Never, I imagine, can such
efforts have been made to turn any young man's brain, as were made,
during this and the following year, to turn the head of Dickens, who
was still, be it remembered, under thirty. Nevertheless he came
unscathed through the ordeal. A kind of manly genuineness bore him
through. Amid all the adulation and excitement, the public and private
hospitalities, the semi-regal state appearance at the theatre, he
could write, and write truly, to his friend Forster: "The moral of
this is, that there is no place like home; and that I thank God most
heartily for having given me a quiet spirit and a heart that won't
hold many people. I sigh for Devonshire Terrace and Broadstairs, for
battledore and shuttlecock; I want to dine in a blouse with you and
Mac (Maclise).... On Sunday evening, the 17th July, I shall revisit
my household gods, please heaven. I wish the day were here."

Yes, except during the few years when he and his wife lived unhappily
together, he was greatly attached to his home, with its friendships
and simple pleasures; but yet, as I have said, a desire to see more of
the world, and to garner new experiences, was strong upon him. The two
conflicting influences often warred in his life, so that it almost
seemed sometimes as if he were being driven by relentless furies.
Those furies pointed now with stern fingers towards America, though
"how" he was "to get on" "for seven or eight months without" his
friends, he could not upon his "soul conceive;" though he dreaded "to
think of breaking up all" his "old happy habits for so long a time;"
though "Kate," remembering doubtless her four little children, wept
whenever the subject was "spoken of." Something made him feel that the
going was "a matter of imperative necessity." Washington Irving
beckoned from across the Atlantic, speaking, as Jeffrey had spoken
from Edinburgh, of Little Nell and her far-extended influence. There
was a great reception foreshadowed, and a new world to be seen, and a
book to be written about it. While as to the strongest of the home
ties--the children that brought the tears into Mrs. Dickens'
eyes,--the separation, after all, would not be eternal, and the good
Macready, tragic actor and true friend, would take charge of the
little folk while their parents were away. So Dickens, who had some
time before "begun counting the days between this and coming home
again," set sail, as I have said, for America on the 4th of January,

And a very rough experience he, and Mrs. Dickens, and Mrs. Dickens'
maid seem to have had during that January passage from Liverpool to
Halifax and Boston. Most of the time it blew horribly, and they were
direfully ill. Then a storm supervened, which swept away the
paddle-boxes and stove in the life-boats, and they seem to have been
in real peril. Next the ship struck on a mud-bank. But dangers and
discomforts must have been forgotten, at any rate to begin with, in
the glories of the reception that awaited the "inimitable,"--as
Dickens whimsically called himself in those days,--when he landed in
the New World. If he had been received with princely honours in
Edinburgh, he was treated now as an emperor in some triumphant
progress. Halifax sounded the first note of welcome, gave, as it were,
the preliminary trumpet flourish. From that town he writes: "I wish
you could have seen the crowds cheering the inimitable in the streets.
I wish you could have seen judges, law-officers, bishops, and
law-makers welcoming the inimitable. I wish you could have seen the
inimitable shown to a great elbow-chair by the Speaker's throne, and
sitting alone in the middle of the floor of the House of Commons, the
observed of all observers, listening with exemplary gravity to the
queerest speaking possible, and breaking, in spite of himself, into a
smile as he thought of this commencement to the thousand and one
stories in reserve for home." At Boston the enthusiasm had swelled to
even greater proportions. "How can I give you," he writes, "the
faintest notion of my reception here; of the crowds that pour in and
out the whole day; of the people that line the streets when I go out;
of the cheering when I went to the theatre; of the copies of verses,
letters of congratulation, welcomes of all kinds, balls, dinners,
assemblies without end?... There is to be a dinner in New York, ... to
which I have had an invitation with every known name in America
appended to it.... I have had deputations from the Far West, who have
come from more than two thousand miles' distance; from the lakes, the
rivers, the backwoods, the log-houses, the cities, factories,
villages, and towns. Authorities from nearly all the states have
written to me. I have heard from the universities, congress, senate,
and bodies, public and private, of every sort and kind." All was
indeed going happy as a marriage bell. Did I not rightly say that the
world was conspiring to spoil this young man of thirty, whose youth
had certainly not been passed in the splendour of opulence or power?
What wonder if in the dawn of his American experiences, and of such a
reception, everything assumed a roseate hue? Is it matter for surprise
if he found the women "very beautiful," the "general breeding neither
stiff nor forward," "the good nature universal"; if he expatiated, not
without a backward look at unprogressive Old England, on the
comparative comfort among the working classes, and the absence of
beggars in the streets? But, alas, that rosy dawn ended, as rosy dawns
sometimes will, in sleet and mist and very dirty weather. Before many
weeks, before many days had flown, Dickens was writing in a very
different spirit. On the 24th of February, in the midst of a perfect
ovation of balls and dinners, he writes "with reluctance,
disappointment, and sorrow," that "there is no country on the face of
the earth, where there is less freedom of opinion on any subject in
reference to which there is a broad difference of opinion, than in"
the United States. On the 22nd of March he writes again, to Macready,
who seems to have remonstrated with him on his growing discontent: "It
is of no use, I _am_ disappointed. This is not the republic I came to
see; this is not the republic of my imagination. I infinitely prefer a
liberal monarchy--even with its sickening accompaniment of Court
circulars--to such a government as this. The more I think of its youth
and strength, the poorer and more trifling in a thousand aspects it
appears in my eyes. In everything of which it has made a boast,
excepting its education of the people, and its care for poor children,
it sinks immeasurably below the level I had placed it upon, and
England, even England, bad and faulty as the old land is, and
miserable as millions of her people are, rises in the comparison....
Freedom of opinion; where is it? I see a press more mean and paltry
and silly and disgraceful than any country I ever knew.... In the
respects of not being left alone, and of being horribly disgusted by
tobacco chewing and tobacco spittle, I have suffered considerably."

Extracts like these could be multiplied to any extent, and the
question arises, why did such a change come over the spirit of
Dickens? Washington Irving, at the great New York dinner, had called
him "the guest of the nation." Why was the guest so quickly
dissatisfied with his host, and quarrelling with the character of his
entertainment? Sheer physical fatigue, I think, had a good deal to do
with it. Even at Boston, before he had begun to travel over the
unending railways, water-courses, and chaotic coach-roads of the great
Republic, that key-note had been sounded. "We are already," he had
written, "weary at times, past all expression." Few men can wander
with impunity out of their own professional sphere, and undertake
duties for which they have neither the training nor acquired tastes.
Dickens was a writer, not a king; and here he was expected to hold a
king's state, and live in a king's publicity, but without the formal
etiquette that hedge a king from intruders, and make his position
tolerable. He was hemmed in by curious eyes, mobbed in the streets,
stared at in his own private rooms, interviewed by the hour, shaken by
the hand till his arm must often have been ready to drop off, waylaid
at every turn with formal addresses. If he went to church the people
crowded into the adjacent pews, and the preacher preached at him. If
he got into a public conveyance, every one inside insisted on an
introduction, and the people outside--say before the train
started--would pull down the windows and comment freely on his nose
and eyes and personal appearance generally, some even touching him as
if to see if he were real. He was safe from intrusion nowhere--no, not
when he was washing and his wife in bed. Such attentions must have
been exhausting to a degree that can scarcely be imagined. But there
was more than mere physical weariness in his growing distaste for the
United States. Perfectly outspoken at all times, and eager for the
strife of tongues in any cause which he had at heart, it horrified him
to find that he was expected not to express himself freely on such
subjects as International Copyright, and that even in private, or
semi-private intercourse, slavery was a topic to be avoided. Then I
fear, too, that as he left cultured Boston behind, he was brought into
close and habitual contact with natives whom he did not appreciate.
Rightly or wrongly, he took a strong dislike for Brother Jonathan as
Brother Jonathan existed, in the rough, five and forty years ago. He
was angered by that young gentleman's brag, offended by the rough
familiarity of his manners, indignant at his determination by all
means to acquire dollars, incensed by his utter want of care for
literature and art, sickened by his tobacco-chewing and
expectorations. So when Dickens gets to "Niagara Falls, upon the
_English_ side," he puts ten dashes under the word English; and,
meeting two English officers, contrasts them in thought with the men
whom he has just left, and seems, by note of exclamation and italics,
to call upon the world to witness, "what _gentlemen_, what noblemen of
nature they seemed!"

And Brother Jonathan, how did _he_ regard his young guest? Well,
Jonathan, great as he was, and greater as he was destined to be, did
not possess the gift of prophecy, and could not of course foresee the
scathing satire of "American Notes" and "Martin Chuzzlewit." But
still, amid all his enthusiasm, I think there must have been a feeling
of uneasiness and disappointment. Part, as there is no doubt, of the
fervour with which he greeted Dickens, was due to his regarding
Dickens as the representative of democratic feeling in aristocratic
England, as the advocate of the poor and down-trodden against the
wealthy and the strong; "and"--thus argued Jonathan--"because we are
a democracy, therefore Dickens will admire and love us, and see how
immeasurably superior we are to the retrograde Britishers of his
native land." But unfortunately Dickens showed no signs of being
impressed in that particular way. On the contrary, as we have seen,
such comparison as he made in his own mind was infinitely to the
disadvantage of the United States. "We must be cracked up," says
Hannibal Chollop, in "Martin Chuzzlewit," speaking of his fellow
countrymen. And Dickens, even while fêted and honoured, would not
"crack up" the Americans. He lectured them almost with truculence on
their sins in the matter of copyright; he could scarcely be restrained
from testifying against slavery; he was not the man to say he liked
manners and customs which he loathed. Jonathan must have been very
doubtfully satisfied with his guest.

It is no part of my purpose to follow Dickens lingeringly, and step by
step, from the day when he landed at Halifax, to the 7th of June, when
he re-embarked at New York for England. From Boston he went to New
York, where the great dinner was given with Washington Irving in the
chair, and thence to Philadelphia and Washington,--which was still the
empty "city of magnificent distances," that Mr. Goldwin Smith declares
it has now ceased to be;--and thence again westward, and by Niagara
and Canada back to New York. And if any persons want to know what he
thought about these and other places, and the railway travelling, and
the coach travelling, and the steamboat travelling, and the prisons
and other public institutions--aye, and many other things besides,
they cannot do better than read the "American Notes for general
circulation," which he wrote and published within the year after his
return. Nor need such persons be deterred by the fact that Macaulay
thought meanly of the book; for Macaulay, with all his great gifts,
did not, as he himself knew full well, excel in purely literary
criticism. So when he pronounces, that "what is meant to be easy and
sprightly is vulgar and flippant," and "what is meant to be fine is a
great deal too fine for me, as the description of the Falls of
Niagara," one can venture to differ without too great a pang. The
book, though not assuredly one of Dickens' best, contains admirable
passages which none but he could have written, and the description of
Niagara is noticeably fine, the sublimity of the subject being
remembered, as a piece of impassioned prose. Whether satire so bitter
and unfriendly as that in which he indulged, both here and in "Martin
Chuzzlewit," was justifiable from what may be called an international
point of view, is another question. Publicists do not always remember
that a cut which would smart for a moment, and then be forgotten, if
aimed at a countryman, rankles and festers if administered to a
foreigner. And if this be true as regards the English publicist's
comment on the foreigner who does not understand our language, it is,
of course, true with tenfold force as regards the foreigner whose
language is our own. _He_ understands only too well the jibe and the
sneer, and the tone of superiority, more offensive perhaps than
either. Looked at in this way, it can, I think, but be accounted a
misfortune that the most popular of English writers penned two books
containing so much calculated to wound American feeling, as the
"Notes" and "Martin Chuzzlewit." Nor are signs entirely wanting that,
as the years went by, the mind of Dickens himself was haunted by some
such suspicion. A quarter of a century later, he visited the United
States a second time; and speaking at a public dinner given in his
honour by the journalists of New York, he took occasion to comment on
the enormous strides which the country had made in the interval, and
then said, "Nor am I, believe me, so arrogant as to suppose that in
five and twenty years there have been no changes in me, and that I had
nothing to learn, and no extreme impressions to correct when I was
here first." And he added that, in all future editions of the two
books just named, he would cause to be recorded, that, "wherever he
had been, in the smallest place equally with the largest, he had been
received with unsurpassable politeness, delicacy, sweet temper,
hospitality, consideration, and with unsurpassable respect for the
privacy daily enforced upon him by the nature of his avocation there"
(as a public reader), "and the state of his health."

And now, with three observations, I will conclude what I have to say
about the visit to America in 1842. The first is that the "Notes" are
entirely void of all vulgarity of reference to the private life of the
notable Americans whom Dickens had met. He seems to have known, more
or less intimately, the chief writers of the time--Washington Irving,
Channing, Dana, Bryant, Longfellow, Bancroft; but his intercourse with
them he held sacred, and he made no literary capital out of it.
Secondly, it is pleasant to note that there was, so far, no great
"incompatibility of temper" between him and his wife. He speaks of
her enthusiastically, in his correspondence, as a "most admirable
traveller," and expatiates on the good temper and equanimity with
which she had borne the fatigues and jars of a most trying journey.
And the third point to which I will call attention is the thoroughly
characteristic form of rest to which he had recourse in the midst of
all his toil and travel. Most men would have sought relaxation in
being quiet. He found it in vigorously getting up private theatricals
with the officers of the Coldstream Guards, at Montreal. Besides
acting in all the three pieces played, he also accepted the part of
stage manager; and "I am not," he says, "placarded as stage manager
for nothing. Everybody was told that they would have to submit to the
most iron despotism, and didn't I come Macready over them? Oh no, by
no means; certainly not. The pains I have taken with them, and the
perspiration I have expended, during the last ten days, exceed in
amount anything you can imagine." What bright vitality, and what a
singular charm of exuberant animal spirits!

And who was glad one evening--which would be about the last evening in
June, or the first of July--when a hackney coach rattled up to the
door of the house in Devonshire Terrace, and four little folk, two
girls and two boys, were hurried down, and kissed through the bars of
the gate, because their father was too eager to wait till it was
opened? Who were glad but the little folk aforementioned--I say
nothing of the joy of father and mother; for children as they were, a
sense of sorrowful loss had been theirs while their parents were away,
and greater strictness seems to have reigned in the good Macready's
household than in their own joyous home. It is Miss Dickens herself
who tells us this, and in whose memory has lingered that pretty scene
of the kiss through the bars in the summer gloaming. And she has much
to tell us too of her father's tenderness and care,--of his sympathy
with the children's terrors, so that, for instance, he would sit
beside the cot of one of the little girls who had been startled, and
hold her hand in his till she fell asleep; of his having them on his
knees, and singing to them the merriest of comic songs; of his
interest in all their small concerns; of the many pet names with which
he invested them.[17] Then, as they grew older, there were Twelfth
Night parties and magic lanterns. "Never such magic lanterns as those
shown by him," she says. "Never such conjuring as his." There was
dancing, too, and the little ones taught him his steps, which he
practised with much assiduity, once even jumping out of bed in terror,
lest he had forgotten the polka, and indulging in a solitary midnight
rehearsal. Then, as the children grew older still, there were private
theatricals. "He never," she says again, "was too busy to interest
himself in his children's occupations, lessons, amusements, and
general welfare." Clearly not one of those brilliant men, a numerous
race, who when away from their homes, in general society, sparkle and
scintillate, flash out their wit, and irradiate all with their humour,
but who, when at home, are dull as rusted steel. Among the many
tributes to his greatness, that of his own child has a place at once
touching and beautiful.


[17] Miss Dickens evidently bears proudly still her pet name of
"Mamie," and signs it to her book.


With the return from America began the old life of hard work and hard
play. There was much industrious writing of "American Notes," at
Broadstairs and elsewhere; and there were many dinners of welcome
home, and strolls, doubtless, with Forster and Maclise, and other
intimates, to old haunts, as Jack Straw's Castle on Hampstead Heath,
and similar houses of public entertainment. And then in the autumn
there was "such a trip ... into Cornwall," with Forster, and the
painters Stanfield and Maclise for travelling companions. How they
enjoyed themselves to be sure, and with what bubbling, bursting
merriment. "I never laughed in my life as I did on this journey,"
writes Dickens, "... I was choking and gasping ... all the way. And
Stanfield got into such apoplectic entanglements that we were often
obliged to beat him on the back with portmanteaus before we could
recover him." Immediately on their return, refreshed and invigorated
by this wholesome hilarity and enjoyment, he threw himself into the
composition of his next book, and the first number of "Martin
Chuzzlewit" appeared in January, 1843.

"Martin Chuzzlewit" is unquestionably one of Dickens' great works. He
himself held it to be "in a hundred points" and "immeasurably"
superior to anything he had before written, and that verdict may, I
think, be accepted freely. The plot, as plot is usually understood,
can scarcely indeed be commended. But then plot was never his strong
point. Later in life, and acting, as I have always surmised, under the
influence of his friend, Mr. Wilkie Collins, he endeavoured to
construct ingenious stories that turned on mysterious disappearances,
and the substitution of one person for another, and murders real or
suspected. All this was, to my mind, a mistake. Dickens had no real
gift for the manufacture of these ingenious pieces of mechanism. He
did not even many times succeed in disposing the events and
marshalling the characters in his narratives so as to work, by
seemingly unforced and natural means, to a final situation and climax.
Too often, in order to hold his story together and make it move
forward at all, he was compelled to make his personages pursue a line
of conduct preposterous and improbable, and even antagonistic to their
nature. Take this very book. Old Martin Chuzzlewit is a man who has
been accustomed, all through a long life, to have his own way, and to
take it with a high hand. Yet he so far sets aside, during a course of
months, every habit of his life, as to simulate the weakest
subservience to Pecksniff--and that not for the purpose of unmasking
Pecksniff, who wanted no unmasking, but only in order to disappoint
him. Is it believable that old Martin should have thought Pecksniff
worth so much trouble, personal inconvenience, and humiliation? Or
take again Mr. Boffin in "Our Mutual Friend." Mr. Boffin is a simple,
guileless, open-hearted, open-handed old man. Yet, in order to prove
to Miss Bella Wilfer that it is not well to be mercenary, he, again,
goes through a long course of dissimulation, and does some admirable
comic business in the character of a miser. I say it boldly, I do not
believe Mr. Boffin possessed that amount of histrionic talent. Plots
requiring to be worked out by such means are ill-constructed plots;
or, to put it in another way, a man who had any gift for the
construction of plots would never have had recourse to such means. Nor
would he, I think, have adopted, as Dickens did habitually and for all
his stories, a mode of publication so destructive of unity of effect,
as the publication in monthly or weekly parts. How could the reader
see as a whole that which was presented to him at intervals of time
more or less distant? How, and this is of infinitely greater
importance, how could the writer produce it as a whole? For Dickens,
it must be remembered, never finished a book before the commencement
of publication. At first he scarcely did more than complete each
monthly instalment as required; and though afterwards he was generally
some little way in advance, yet always he wrote by parts, having the
interest of each separate part in his mind, as well as the general
interest of the whole novel. Thus, however desirable in the
development of the story, he dared not risk a comparatively tame and
uneventful number. Moreover, any portion once issued was unalterable
and irrevocable. If, as sometimes happened, any modification seemed
desirable as the book progressed, there was no possibility of
changing anything in the chapters already in the hands of the public,
and so making them harmonize better with the new.

But of course, with all this, the question still remains how far
Dickens' comparative failure as a constructor of plots really detracts
from his fame and standing as a novelist. To my mind, I confess, not
very much. Plot I regard as the least essential element in the
novelist's art. A novel can take the very highest rank without it.
There is not any plot to speak of in Lesage's "Gil Blas," and just as
little in Thackeray's "Vanity Fair," and only a very bad one in
Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield." Coleridge admired the plot of "Tom
Jones," but though one naturally hesitates to differ from a critic of
such superb mastery and power, I confess I have never been struck by
that plot, any more than by the plots, such as they are, in "Joseph
Andrews," or in Smollett's works. Nor, if I can judge of other
people's memories by my own, is it by the mechanism of the story, or
by the intrigue, however admirably woven and unravelled, that one
remembers a work of fiction. These may exercise an intense passing
interest of curiosity, especially during a first perusal. But
afterwards they fade from the mind, while the characters, if highly
vitalized and strong, will stand out in our thoughts, fresh and full
coloured, for an indefinite time. Scott's "Guy Mannering" is a
well-constructed story. The plot is deftly laid, the events are
prepared for with a cunning hand; the coincidences are so arranged as
to be made to look as probable as may be. Yet we remember and love the
book, not for such excellences as these, but for Dandie Dinmont, the
Border farmer, and Pleydell, the Edinburgh advocate, and Meg
Merrilies, the gipsy. The book's life is in its flesh and blood, not
in its plot. And the same is true of Dickens' novels. He crowds them
so full of human creatures, each with its own individuality and
character, that we have no care for more than just as much story as
may serve to show them struggling, joying, sorrowing, loving. If the
incidents will do this for us we are satisfied. It is not necessary
that those incidents should be made to go through cunning evolutions
to a definite end. Each is admirable in itself, and admirably adapted
to its immediate purpose. That should more than suffice.

And Dickens sometimes succeeds in reaching a higher unity than that of
mere plot. He takes one central idea, and makes of it the soul of his
novel, animating and vivifying every part. That central idea in
"Martin Chuzzlewit" is the influence of selfishness. The Chuzzlewits
are a selfish race. Old Martin is selfish; and so, with many good
qualities and possibilities of better things, is his grandson, young
Martin. The other branch of the family, Anthony Chuzzlewit and his son
Jonas, are much worse. The latter especially is a horrible creature.
Brought up to think of nothing except his own interests and the main
chance, he is only saved by an accident from the crime of parricide,
and afterwards commits a murder and poisons himself. As his career is
one of terrible descent, so young Martin's is one of gradual
regeneration from his besetting weakness. He falls in love with his
cousin Mary--the only unselfish member of the family, by the bye--and
quarrels about this love affair with his grandfather, and so passes
into the hard school of adversity. There he learns much. Specially
valuable is the teaching which he gets as a settler in the swampy
backwoods of the United States in company with Mark Tapley, jolliest
and most helpful of men. On his return, he finds his grandfather
seemingly under the influence of Pecksniff, the hypocrite, the English
Tartuffe. But that, as I have already mentioned, is only a ruse. Old
Martin is deceiving Pecksniff, who in due time receives the reward of
his deeds, and all ends happily for those who deserve happiness. Such
is something like a bare outline of the story, with the beauty
eliminated. For what makes its interest, we must go further, to the
household of Pecksniff with his two daughters, Charity and Mercy, and
Tom Pinch, whose beautiful, unselfish character stands so in contrast
to that of the grasping self-seekers by whom he is surrounded; we must
study young Martin himself, whose character is admirably drawn, and
without Dickens' usual tendency to caricature; we must laugh in
sympathy with Mark Tapley; we must follow them both through the
American scenes, which, intensely amusing as they are, must have
bitterly envenomed the wounds inflicted on the national vanity by
"American Notes," and, according to Dickens' own expression, "sent
them all stark staring raving mad across the water;" we must frequent
the boarding establishment for single gentlemen kept by lean Mrs.
Todgers, and sit with Sarah Gamp and Betsy Prig as they hideously
discuss their avocations, or quarrel over the shadowy Mrs. Harris; we
must follow Jonas Chuzzlewit on his errand of murder, and note how
even his felon nature is appalled by the blackness and horror of his
guilt, and how the ghastly terror of it haunts and cows him. A great
book, I say again, a very great book.

Yet not at the time a successful book. Why Fortune, the fickle jade,
should have taken it into her freakish head to frown, or half frown,
on Dickens at this particular juncture, who shall tell? He was wooing
her with his very best work, and she turned from him. The sale of
"Pickwick" and "Nicholas Nickleby" had been from forty to fifty
thousand copies of each part; the sale of _Master Humphrey's Clock_
had risen still higher; the sale of even the most popular parts of
"Martin Chuzzlewit" fell to twenty-three thousand. This was, as may be
supposed, a grievous disappointment. Dickens' personal expenditure had
not perhaps been lavish in view of what he thought he could calculate
on earning; but it had been freely based on that calculation. Demands,
too, were being made upon his purse by relations,--probably by his
father, and certainly by his brother Frederic, which were frequent,
embarrassing, and made in a way which one may call worse than
indelicate. Any permanent loss of popularity would have meant serious
money entanglements. With his father's career in full view, such a
prospect must have been anything but pleasant. He cast about what he
should do, and determined to leave England for a space, live more
economically on the Continent, and gather materials in Italy or
Switzerland for a new travel book. But before carrying out this
project, he would woo fortune once again, and in a different form.
During the months of October and November, 1843, in the intervals of
"Chuzzlewit," he wrote a short story that has taken its place, by
almost universal consent, among his masterpieces, nay, among the
masterpieces of English literature: "The Christmas Carol."

All Dickens' great gifts seem reflected, sharp and distinct, in this
little book, as in a convex mirror. His humour, his best pathos, which
is not that of grandiloquence, but of simplicity, his bright poetic
fancy, his kindliness, all here find a place. It is great painting in
miniature, genius in its quintessence, a gem of perfect water. We may
apply to it any simile that implies excellence in the smallest
compass. None but a fine imagination would have conceived the
supernatural agency that works old Scrooge's moral regeneration--the
ghosts of Christmas past, present, and to come, that each in turn
speaks to the wizened heart of the old miser, so that, almost
unwittingly, he is softened by the tender memories of childhood,
warmed by sympathy for those who struggle and suffer, and appalled by
the prospect of his own ultimate desolation and black solitude. Then
the episodes: the scenes to which these ghostly visitants convey
Scrooge; the story of his earlier years as shown in vision; the
household of the Cratchits, and poor little crippled Tiny Tim; the
party given by Scrooge's nephew; nay, before all these, the terrible
interview with Marley's Ghost. All are admirably executed. Sacrilege
would it be to suggest the alteration of a word. First of the
Christmas books in the order of time, it is also the best of its own
kind; it is in its own order perfect.

Nor did the public of Christmas, 1843, fail to appreciate that
something of very excellent quality had been brought forth for their
benefit. "The first edition of six thousand copies," says Forster,
"was sold" on the day of publication, and about as many more would
seem to have been disposed of before the end of February, 1844. But,
alas, Dickens had set his heart on a profit of £1,000, whereas in
February he did not see his way to much more than £460,[18] and his
unpaid bills for the previous year he described as "terrific." So
something, as I have said, had to be done. A change of front became
imperative. Messrs. Bradbury and Evans advanced him £2,800 "for a
fourth share in whatever he might write during the ensuing eight
years,"--he purchased at the Pantechnicon "a good old shabby devil of
a coach," also described as "an English travelling carriage of
considerable proportions"; engaged a courier who turned out to be the
courier of couriers, a very conjurer among couriers; let his house in
Devonshire Terrace; and so started off for Italy, as I calculate the
dates, on the 1st of July, 1844.


[18] The profit at the end of 1844 was £726.


Ah, those eventful, picturesque, uncomfortable old travelling days,
when railways were unborn, or in their infancy; those interminable old
dusty drives, in diligence or private carriage, along miles and miles
of roads running straight to the low horizon, through a line of tall
poplars, across the plains of France! What an old-world memory it
seems, and yet, as the years go, not so very long since after all. The
party that rumbled from Boulogne to Marseilles in the old "devil of a
coach" aforesaid, "and another conveyance for luggage," and I know not
what other conveyances besides, consisted of Dickens himself; Mrs.
Dickens; her sister, Miss Georgina Hogarth, who had come to live with
them on their return from America; five children, for another boy had
been born some six months before; Roche, the prince of couriers;
"Anne," apparently the same maid who had accompanied them across the
Atlantic; and other dependents: a somewhat formidable troupe and
cavalcade. Of their mode of travel, and what they saw on the way, or
perhaps, more accurately, of what Dickens saw, with those specially
keen eyes of his, at Lyons, Avignon, Marseilles, and other
places--one may read the master's own account in the "Pictures from
Italy." Marseilles was reached on the 14th of July, and thence a
steamer took them, coasting the fairy Mediterranean shores, to Genoa,
their ultimate destination, where they landed on the 16th.

The Italy of 1844 was like, and yet unlike the Italy of to-day. It was
the old disunited Italy of several small kingdoms and principalities,
the Italy over which lowered the shadow of despotic Austria, and of
the Pope's temporal power, not the Italy which the genius of Cavour
has welded into a nation. It was a land whose interest came altogether
from the past, and that lay as it were in the beauty of time's sunset.
How unlike the United States! The contrast has always, I confess,
seemed to me a piquant one. It has often struck me with a feeling of
quaintness that the two countries which Dickens specially visited and
described, were, the one this lovely land of age and hoar antiquity,
and the other that young giant land of the West, which is still in the
garish strong light of morning, and whose great day is in the future.
Nor, I think, before he had seen both, would Dickens himself have been
able to tell on which side his sympathies would lie. Thoroughly
popular in his convictions, thoroughly satisfied that to-day was in
all respects better than yesterday, it is clear that he expected to
find more pleasure in the brand new Republic than his actual
experience warranted. The roughness of the strong, uncultured young
life grated upon him. It jarred upon his sensibilities. But of Italy
he wrote with very different feeling. What though the places were
dirty, the people shiftless, idle, unpunctual, unbusinesslike, and
the fleas as the sand which is upon the sea-shore for multitude? It
mattered not while life was so picturesque and varied, and manners
were so full of amenity. Your inn might be, and probably was,
ill-appointed, untidy, the floors of brick, the doors agape, the
windows banging--a contrast in every way to the palatial hotel in New
York or Washington. But then how cheerful and amusing were mine host
and hostess, and how smilingly determined all concerned to make things
pleasant. So the artist in Dickens turned from the new to the old, and
Italy, as she is wont, cast upon him her spell.

First impressions, however, were not altogether satisfactory. Dickens
owns to a pang when he was "set down" at Albaro, a suburb of Genoa,
"in a rank, dull, weedy courtyard, attached to a kind of pink jail,
and told he lived there." But he immediately adds: "I little thought
that day that I should ever come to have an attachment for the very
stones in the streets of Genoa, and to look back upon the city with
affection, as connected with many hours of happiness and quiet." In
sooth, he enjoyed the place thoroughly. "Martin Chuzzlewit" had left
his hands. He was fairly entitled for a few weeks to the luxury of
idleness, and he threw himself into doing nothing, as he was
accustomed to throw himself into his work, with all energy. And there
was much to do, much especially to see. So Dickens bathed and walked;
and strolled about the city hither and thither, and about the suburbs
and about the surrounding country; and visited public buildings and
private palaces; and noted the ways of the inhabitants; and saw
Genoese life in its varied forms; and wrote light glancing letters
about it all to friends at home; and learnt Italian; and, in the end
of September, left his "pink jail," which had been taken for him at a
disproportionate rent, and moved into the Palazzo Peschiere, in Genoa
itself: a wonderful palace, with an entrance-hall fifty feet high, and
larger than "the dining-room of the Academy," and bedrooms "in size
and shape like those at Windsor Castle, but greatly higher," and a
view from the windows over gardens where the many fountains sparkled,
and the gold fish glinted, and into Genoa itself, with its "many
churches, monasteries, and convents pointing to the sunny sky," and
into the harbour, and over the sapphire sea, and up again to the
encircling hills--a view, as Dickens declared, that "no custom could
impair, and no description enhance."

But with the beginning of October came again the time for work; and
beautiful beyond all beauty as were his surroundings, the child of
London turned to the home of his heart, and pined for the London
streets. For some little space he seemed to be thinking in vain, and
cudgelling his brains for naught, when suddenly the chimes of Genoa's
many churches, that seemed to have been clashing and clanging nothing
but distraction and madness, rang harmony into his mind. The subject
and title of his new Christmas book were found. He threw himself into
the composition of "The Chimes."

Earnest at all times in what he wrote, living ever in intense and
passionate sympathy with the world of his imagination, he seems
specially to have put his whole heart into this book. "All my
affections and passions got twined and knotted up in it, and I became
as haggard as a murderer long before I wrote 'the end,'"--so he told
Lady Blessington on the 20th of November; and to Forster he expressed
the yearning that was in him to "leave" his "hand upon the time,
lastingly upon the time, with one tender touch for the mass of toiling
people that nothing could obliterate." This was the keynote of "The
Chimes." He intended in it to strike a great and memorable blow on
behalf of the poor and down-trodden. His purpose, so far as I can make
it out, was to show how much excuse there is for their shortcomings,
and how in their errors, nay even in their crimes, there linger traces
of goodness and kindly feeling. On this I shall have something to say
when discussing "Hard Times," which is somewhat akin to "The Chimes"
in scope and purpose. Meanwhile it cannot honestly be affirmed that
the story justifies the passion that Dickens threw into its
composition. The supernatural machinery is weak as compared with that
of the "Carol." Little Trotty Veck, dreaming to the sound of the bells
in the old church tower, is a bad substitute for Scrooge on his
midnight rambles. Nor are his dreams at all equal, for humour or
pathos, to Scrooge's visions and experiences. And the moral itself is
not clearly brought out. I confess to being a little doubtful as to
what it exactly is, and how it follows from the premises furnished. I
wish, too, that it had been carried home to some one with more power
than little Trotty to give it effect. What was the good of convincing
that kindly old soul that the people of his own class had warm hearts?
He knew it very well. Take from the book the fine imaginative
description of the goblin music that leaps into life with the ringing
of the bells, and there remain the most excellent intentions--and not
much more.

Such, however, was very far from being Dickens' view. He had
"undergone," he said, "as much sorrow and agitation" in the writing
"as if the thing were real," and on the 3rd of November, when the last
page was written, had indulged "in what women call a good cry;" and,
as usually happens, the child that had cost much sorrow was a child of
special love.[19] So, when all was over, nothing would do but he must
come to London to read his book to the choice literary spirits whom he
specially loved. Accordingly he started from Genoa on the 6th of
November, travelled by Parma, Modena, Bologna, Ferrara, Venice--where,
such was the enchantment of the place, that he felt it "cruel not to
have brought Kate and Georgy, positively cruel and base";--and thence
again by Verona, Mantua, Milan, the Simplon Pass, Strasbourg, Paris,
and Calais, to Dover, and wintry England. Sharp work, considering all
he had seen by the way, and how effectually he had seen it, for he was
in London on the evening of the 30th of November, and, on the 2nd of
December, reading his little book to the choice spirits aforesaid, all
assembled for the purpose at Forster's house. There they are: they
live for us still in Maclise's drawing, though Time has plied his
scythe among them so effectually, during the forty-two years since
flown, that each has passed into the silent land. There they sit:
Carlyle, not the shaggy Scotch terrier with the melancholy eyes that
we were wont to see in his later days, but close shaven and alert; and
swift-witted Douglas Jerrold; and Laman Blanchard, whose name goes
darkling in the literature of the last generation; and Forster
himself, journalist and author of many books; and the painters Dyce,
Maclise, and Stanfield; and Byron's friend and school companion, the
clergyman Harness, who, like Dyce, pays to the story the tribute of
his tears.

Dickens can have been in London but the fewest of few days, for on the
13th of December he was leaving Paris for Genoa, and that after going
to the theatre more than once. From Genoa he started again, on the
20th of January, 1845, with Mrs. Dickens, to see the Carnival at Rome.
Thence he went to Naples, returning to Rome for the Holy Week; and
thence again by Florence to Genoa. He finally left Italy in the
beginning of June, and was back with his family in Devonshire Terrace
at the end of that month.

To what use of a literary kind should he turn his Italian observations
and experiences? In what form should he publish the notes made by the
way? Events soon answered that question. The year 1845 stands in the
history of Queen Victoria's reign as a time of intense political
excitement. The Corn Law agitation raged somewhat furiously. Dickens
felt strongly impelled to throw himself into the strife. Why should he
not influence his fellow-men, and "battle for the true, the just," as
the able editor of a daily newspaper? Accordingly, after all the
negotiations which enterprises of this kind necessitate, he made the
due arrangements for starting a new paper, _The Daily News_. It was to
be edited by himself, to "be kept free," the prospectus said, "from
personal influence or party bias," and to be "devoted to the advocacy
of all rational and honest means by which wrong may be redressed, just
rights maintained, and the happiness and welfare of society promoted."
His salary, so I have seen it stated, was to be £2,000 a year; and the
first number came out on the morning of the 21st of January, 1846. He
held the post of editor three weeks.

The world may, I think, on the whole, be congratulated that he did not
hold it longer. Able editors are more easily found than such writers
as Dickens. There were higher claims upon his time. But to return to
the Italian Notes: it was in the columns of _The Daily News_ that they
first saw the light. They were among the baby attractions and charms,
if I may so speak, of the nascent paper, which is now, as I need not
remind my readers, enjoying a hale and vigorous manhood. And admirable
sketches they are. Much, very much has been written about Italy. The
subject has been done to death by every variety of pen, and in every
civilized tongue. But amid all this writing, Dickens' "Pictures from
Italy" still holds a high and distinctive position. That the
descriptions, whether of places and works of art, or of life's
pageantry, and what may be called the social picturesque, should be
graphic, vivid, animated, was almost a matter of course. But _à
priori_, I think one might have feared lest he should "chaff" the
place and its inhabitants overmuch, and yield to the temptation of
making merriment over matters which hoar age and old associations had
hallowed. We can all imagine the kind of observation that would occur
to Sam Weller in strolling through St. Mark's at Venice, or the
Vatican; and, guessing beforehand, guessing before the "Pictures"
were produced, one might, I repeat, have been afraid lest Dickens
should go through Italy as a kind of educated Sam Weller. Such
prophecies would have been falsified by the event. The book as a whole
is very free from banter or _persiflage_. Once and again the comic
side of some situation strikes him, of course. Thus, after the
ceremony of the Pope washing the feet of thirteen poor men, in memory
of our Lord washing the feet of the Apostles, Dickens says: "The whole
thirteen sat down to dinner; grace said by the Pope; Peter in the
chair." But these humorous touches are rare, and not in bad taste;
while for the historic and artistic grandeurs of Italy he shows an
enthusiasm which is _individual_ and discriminating. We feel, in what
he says about painting, that we are getting the fresh impressions of a
man not specially trained in the study of the old masters, but who yet
succeeds, by sheer intuitive sympathy; in appreciating much of their
greatness. His criticism of the paintings at Venice, for instance, is
very decidedly superior to that of Macaulay. In brief the "Pictures,"
to give to the book the name which Dickens gave it, are painted with a
brush at once kindly and brilliant.


[19] He read "The Chimes" at his first reading as a paid reader.


The publication of the "Pictures," though I have dealt with it as a
sort of complement to Dickens' sojourn in Italy, carries us to the
year 1846. But before going on with the history of that year, there
are one or two points to be taken up in the history of 1845. The first
is the performance, on the 21st of September, of Ben Jonson's play of
"Every Man in his Humour," by a select company of amateur actors,
among whom Dickens held chief place. "He was the life and soul of the
entire affair," says Forster. "I never seem till then to have known
his business capabilities. He took everything on himself, and did the
whole of it without an effort. He was stage director, very often stage
carpenter, scene arranger, property man, prompter, and band-master.
Without offending any one, he kept every one in order. For all he had
useful suggestions.... He adjusted scenes, assisted carpenters,
invented costumes, devised playbills, wrote out calls, and enforced,
as well as exhibited in his own proper person, everything of which he
urged the necessity on others." Dickens had once thought of the stage
as a profession, and was, according to all accounts, an amateur actor
of very unusual power. But of course he only acted for his amusement,
and I don't know that I should have dwelt upon this performance, which
was followed by others of a similar kind, if it did not, in Forster's
description, afford such a signal instance of his efficiency as a
practical man. The second event to be mentioned as happening in 1845,
is the publication of another very pretty Christmas story, "The
Cricket on the Hearth."

Though Dickens had ceased to edit _The Daily News_ on the 9th of
February, 1846, he contributed to the paper for some few weeks longer.
But by the month of May his connection with it had entirely ceased;
and on the 31st of that month, he started, by Belgium and the Rhine,
for Lausanne in Switzerland, where he had determined to spend some
time, and commence his next great book, and write his next Christmas

A beautiful place is Lausanne, as many of my readers will know; and a
beautiful house the house called Rosemont, situated on a hill that
rises from the Lake of Geneva, with the lake's blue waters stretching
below, and across, on the other side, a magnificent panorama of snowy
mountains, the Simplon, St. Gothard, Mont Blanc, towering to the sky.
This delightful place Dickens took at a rent of some £10 a month. Then
he re-arranged all the furniture, as was his energetic wont. Then he
spent a fortnight or so in looking about him, and writing a good deal
for Lord John Russell on Ragged Schools, and for Miss Coutts about her
various charities; and finally, on the 28th of June, as he announced
to Forster in capital letters, BEGAN DOMBEY.

But as the Swiss pine with home-sickness when away from their own
dear land, so did this Londoner, amid all the glories of the Alps,
pine for the London streets. It seemed almost as if they were
essential to the exercise of his genius. The same strange mental
phenomenon which he had observed in himself at Genoa was reproduced
here. Everything else in his surroundings smiled most congenially. The
place was fair beyond speech. The shifting, changing beauty of the
mountains entranced him. The walks offered an endless variety of
enjoyment. He liked the people. He liked the English colony. He had
made several dear friends among them and among the natives. He was
interested in the politics of the country, which happened, just then,
to be in a state of peculiar excitement and revolution. Everything was
charming;--"but," he writes, "the toil and labour of writing, day
after day, without that magic-lantern (of the London streets) is
IMMENSE!" It literally knocked him up. He had "bad nights," was "sick
and giddy," desponding over his book, more than half inclined to
abandon the Christmas story altogether for that year. However, a short
trip to Geneva, and the dissipation of a stroll or so in its
thoroughfares, to remind him, as it were, of what streets were like,
and a week of "idleness" "rusting and devouring," "complete and
unbroken," set him comparatively on his legs again, and before he left
Lausanne for Paris on the 16th of November, he had finished three
parts of "Dombey," and the "Battle of Life."

Of the latter I don't know that I need say anything. It is decidedly
the weakest of his Christmas books. But "Dombey" is very different
work, and the first five numbers especially, which carry the story to
the death of little Paul, contain passages of humour and pathos, and
of humour and pathos mingled together and shot in warp and woof, like
some daintiest silken fabric, that are scarcely to be matched in the
language. As I go in my mind through the motherless child's short
history--his birth, his christening, the engagement of the wet-nurse,
the time when he is consigned to the loveless care of Mrs. Pipchin,
his education in Dr. Blimber's Academy under the classic Cornelia, and
his death--as I follow it all in thought, now smiling at each
well-remembered touch of humour, and now saddened and solemnized as
the shadow of death deepens over the frail little life, I confess to
something more than critical admiration for the writer as an artist. I
feel towards him as towards one who has touched my heart. Of course it
is the misfortune of the book, regarding it as a whole, that the
chapters relating to Paul, which are only an episode, should be of
such absorbing interest, and come so early. Dickens really wrote them
too well. They dwarf the rest of the story. We find a difficulty in
resuming the thread of it with the same zest when the child is gone.
But though the remainder of the book inevitably suffers in this way,
it ought not to suffer unduly. Even apart from little Paul the novel
is a fine one. Pride is its subject, as selfishness is that of "Martin
Chuzzlewit." Mr. Dombey, the city merchant, has as much of the
arrogance of caste and position as any blue-blooded hidalgo. He is as
proud of his name as if he had inherited it from a race of princes.
That he neglects and slights his daughter, and loves his son, is
mainly because the latter will add a sort of completeness to the
firm, and make it truly Dombey _and Son_, while the girl, for all
commercial purposes, can be nothing but a cipher. And through his
pride he is struck to the heart, and ruined. Mr. Carker, his
confidential agent and manager, trades upon it for all vile ends,
first to feather his own nest, and then to launch his patron into
large and unsound business ventures. The second wife, whom he marries,
certainly with no affection on either side, but purely because of her
birth and connections, and because her great beauty will add to his
social prestige--she, with ungovernable pride equal to his own,
revolts against his authority, and, in order to humiliate him the
more, pretends to elope with Carker, whom in turn she scorns and
crushes. Broken thus in fortune and honour, Mr. Dombey yet falls not
ignobly. His creditors he satisfies in full, reserving to himself
nothing; and with a softened heart turns to the daughter he had
slighted, and in her love finds comfort. Such is the main purport of
the story, and round it, in graceful arabesques, are embroidered,
after Dickens' manner, a whole world of subsidiary incidents thronged
with all sorts of characters. What might not one say about Dr.
Blimber's genteel academy at Brighton; and the Toodles family, so
humble in station and intellect and so large of heart; and the
contrast between Carker the manager and his brother, who for some
early dishonest act, long since repented of, remains always Carker the
junior; and about Captain Cuttle, and that poor, muddled nautical
philosopher, Captain Bunsby, and the Game Chicken, and Mrs. Pipchin,
and Miss Tox; and Cousin Feenix with wilful legs so little under
control, and yet to the core of him a gentleman; and the apoplectic
Major Bagstock, the Joey B. who claimed to be "rough and tough and
devilish sly;" and Susan Nipper, as swift of tongue as a rapier, and
as sharp? Reader, don't you know all these people? For myself, I have
jostled against them constantly any time the last twenty years. They
are as much part of my life as the people I meet every day.

But there is one person whom I have left out of my enumeration, not
certainly because I don't know him, for I know him very well, but
because I want to speak about him more particularly. That person is my
old friend, Mr. Toots; and the special point in his character which
induces me to linger is the slight touch of craziness that sits so
charmingly upon him. M. Taine, the French critic, in his chapters on
Dickens, repeats the old remark that genius and madness are near
akin.[20] He observes, and observes truly, that Dickens describes so
well because an imagination of singular intensity enables him to _see_
the object presented, and at the same time to impart to it a kind of
visionary life. "That imagination," says M. Taine, "is akin to the
imagination of the monomaniac." And, starting from this point, he
proceeds to show, here again quite truly, with what admirable
sympathetic power and insight Dickens has described certain cases of
madness, as in Mr. Dick. But here, having said some right things, M.
Taine goes all wrong. According to him, these portraits of persons who
have lost their wits, "however amusing they may seem at first sight,"
are "horrible." They could only have been painted by "an imagination
such as that of Dickens, excessive, disordered, and capable of
hallucination." He seems to be not far from thinking that only our
splenetic and melancholy race could have given birth to such literary
monsters. To speak like this, as I conceive, shows a singular
misconception of the instinct or set purpose that led Dickens to
introduce these characters into his novels at all. It is perfectly
true that he has done so several times. Barnaby Rudge, the hero of the
book of the same name, is half-witted. Mr. Dick, in "David
Copperfield," is decidedly crazy. Mr. Toots is at least simple. Little
Miss Flite, in "Bleak House," haunting the Law Courts in expectation
of a judgment on the Day of Judgment, is certainly not _compos
mentis_. And one may concede to M. Taine that some element of sadness
must always be present when we see a human creature imperfectly gifted
with man's noblest attribute of reason. But, granting this to the
full, is it possible to conceive of anything more kindly and gentle in
the delineation of partial insanity than the portraits which the
French critic finds horrible? Barnaby Rudge's lunatic symptoms are
compatible with the keenest enjoyment of nature's sights and sounds,
fresh air and free sunlight, and compatible with loyalty and high
courage. Many men might profitably change their reason for his
unreason. Mr. Dick's flightiness is allied to an intense devotion and
gratitude to the woman who had rescued him from confinement in an
asylum; there lives a world of kindly sentiments in his poor
bewildered brains. Of Mr. Toots, Susan Nipper says truly, "he may not
be a Solomon, nor do I say he is, but this I do say, a less selfish
human creature human nature never knew." And to this one may add that
he is entirely high-minded, generous, and honourable. Miss Flite's
crazes do not prevent her from being full of all womanly sympathies.
Here I think lies the charm these characters had for Dickens. As he
was fond of showing a soul of goodness in the ill-favoured and
uncouth, so he liked to make men feel that even in a disordered
intellect all kindly virtues might find a home, and a happy one. M.
Taine may call this "horrible" if he likes. I think myself it would be
possible to find a better adjective.

Dickens was at work on "Dombey and Son" during the latter part of the
year 1846, and the whole of 1847, and the early part of 1848. We left
him on the 16th of November, in the first of these years, starting
from Lausanne for Paris, which he reached on the evening of the 20th.
Here he took a house--a "preposterous" house, according to his own
account, with only gleams of reason in it; and visited many theatres;
and went very often to the Morgue, where lie the unowned dead; and had
pleasant friendly intercourse with the notable French authors of the
time, Alexandre Dumas the Great, most prolific of romance writers; and
Scribe of the innumerable plays; and the poets Lamartine and Victor
Hugo; and Chateaubriand, then in his sad and somewhat morose old age.
And in Paris too, with the help of streets and crowded ways, he
wrote the great number of Dombey, the number in which little Paul
dies. Three months did Dickens spend in the French capital, the
incomparable city, and then was back in London, at the old life of
hard work; but with even a stronger infusion than before of private
theatricals--private theatricals on a grandiose scale, that were
applauded by the Queen herself, and took him and his troupe starring
about during the next three or four years, hither and thither, and
here and there, in London and the provinces. "Splendid strolling"
Forster calls it; and a period of unmixed jollity and enjoyment it
seems to have been. Of course Dickens was the life and soul of it all.
Mrs. Cowden Clarke, one of the few survivors, looking back to that
happy time, says enthusiastically, "Charles Dickens, beaming in look,
alert in manner, radiant with good humour, genial-voiced, gay, the
very soul of enjoyment, fun, good taste, and good spirits, admirable
in organizing details and suggesting novelty of entertainment, was of
all beings the very man for a holiday season."[21] The proceeds of the
performances were devoted to various objects, but chiefly to an
impossible "Guild of Literature and Art," which, in the sanguine
confidence of its projectors, and especially of Dickens, was to
inaugurate a golden age for the author and the artist. But of all
this, and of Dickens' speeches at the Leeds Mechanics' Institute, and
Glasgow Athenæum, in the December of 1847, I don't know that I need
say very much. The interest of a great writer's life is, after all,
mainly in what he writes; and when I have said that "Dombey" proved to
be a pecuniary success, the first six numbers realizing as much as
£2,820, I think I may fairly pass on to Dickens' next book, the
"Haunted Man."

This was his Christmas story for 1848; the last, and not the worst of
his Christmas stories. Both conception and treatment are thoroughly
characteristic. Mr. Redlaw, a chemist, brooding over an ancient wrong,
comes to the conclusion that it would be better for himself, better
for all, if, in each of us, every memory of the past could be
cancelled. A ghostly visitant, born of his own resentment and gloom,
gives him the boon he seeks, and enables him to go about the world
freezing all recollection in those he meets. And lo the boon turns out
to be a curse. His presence blights those on whom it falls. For with
the memory of past wrongs, goes the memory of past benefits, of all
the mutual kindlinesses of life, and each unit of humanity becomes
self-centred and selfish. Two beings alone resist his influence--one,
a creature too selfishly nurtured for any of mankind's better
recollections; and the other a woman so good as to resist the spell,
and even, finally, to exorcise it in Mr. Redlaw's own breast.

"David Copperfield" was published between May, 1849, and the autumn of
1850, and marks, I think, the culminating point in Dickens' career as
a writer. So far there had been, not perhaps from book to book, but on
the whole, decided progress, the gradual attainment of greater ease,
and of the power of obtaining results of equal power by simpler means.
Beyond this there was, if not absolute declension, for he never wrote
anything that could properly be called careless and unworthy of
himself, yet at least no advance. Of the interest that attaches to the
book from the fact that so many portions are autobiographical, I have
already spoken; nor need I go over the ground again. But quite apart
from such adventitious attractions, the novel is an admirable one.
All the scenes of little David's childhood in the Norfolk home--the
Blunderstone rookery, where there were no rooks--are among the most
beautiful pictures of childhood in existence. In what sunshine of love
does the lad bask with his mother and Peggotty, till Mrs. Copperfield
contracts her disastrous second marriage with Mr. Murdstone! Then how
the scene changes. There come harshness and cruelty; banishment to Mr.
Creakle's villainous school; the poor mother's death; the worse
banishment to London, and descent into warehouse drudgery; the strange
shabby-genteel, happy-go-lucky life with the Micawbers; the flight
from intolerable ills in the forlorn hope that David's aunt will take
pity on him. Here the scene changes again. Miss Betsy Trotwood, a fine
old gnarled piece of womanhood, places the boy at school at
Canterbury, where he makes acquaintance with Agnes, the woman whom he
marries far, far on in the story; and with her father, Mr. Wickham, a
somewhat port wine-loving lawyer; and with Uriah Heep, the fawning
villain of the piece. How David is first articled to a proctor in
Doctors' Commons, and then becomes a reporter, and then a successful
author; and how he marries his first wife, the childish Dora, who
dies; and how, meanwhile, Uriah is effecting the general ruin, and
aspiring to the hand of Agnes, till his villanies are detected and his
machinations defeated by Micawber--how all this comes about, would be
a long story to tell. But, as is usual with Dickens, there are
subsidiary rills of story running into the main stream, and by one of
these I should like to linger a moment. The head-boy, and a kind of
parlour-boarder, at Mr. Creakles' establishment, is one Steerforth,
the spoilt only son of a widow. This Steerforth, David meets again
when both are young men, and they go down together to Yarmouth, and
there David is the means of making him known to a family of
fisherfolk. He is rich, handsome, with an indescribable charm,
according to his friends' testimony, and he induces the fisherman's
niece, the pretty Em'ly, to desert her home, and the young
boat-builder to whom she is engaged, and to fly to Italy. Now to this
story, as Dickens tells it, French criticism objects that he dwells
exclusively on the sin and sorrow, and sets aside that in which the
French novelist would delight, viz., the mad force and irresistible
sway of passion. To which English criticism may, I think, reply, that
the "pity of it," the wide-working desolation, are as essentially part
of such an event as the passion; and, therefore, even from an
exclusively artistic point of view, just as fit subjects for the

While "David Copperfield" was in progress, Dickens started on a new
venture. He had often before projected a periodical, and twice, as we
have seen,--once in _Master Humphrey's Clock_, and again as editor of
_The Daily News_,--had attempted quasi-journalism or its reality. But
now at last he had struck the right vein. He had discovered a means of
utilizing his popularity, and imparting it to a paper, without being
under the crushing necessity of writing the whole of that paper
himself. The first number of _Household Words_ appeared on the 30th of
March, 1850.

The "preliminary word" heralds the paper in thoroughly characteristic
fashion, and is, not unnaturally, far more personal in tone than the
first leading article of the first number of _The Daily News_, though
that, too, be it said in passing, bears traces, through all its
officialism, of having come from the same pen.[22] In introducing
_Household Words_ to his new readers, Dickens speaks feelingly,
eloquently, of his own position as a writer, and the responsibilities
attached to his popularity, and tells of his hope that a future of
instruction, and amusement, and kindly playful fancy may be in store
for the paper. Nor were his happy anticipations belied. All that he
had promised, he gave. _Household Words_ found an entrance into
innumerable homes, and was everywhere recognized as a friend. Never
did editor more strongly impress his own personality upon his staff.
The articles were sprightly, amusing, interesting, and instructive
too--often very instructive, but always in an interesting way. That
was one of the periodical's main features. The pill of knowledge was
always presented gilt. Taking _Household Words_ and _All the Year
Round_ together--and for this purpose they may properly be regarded as
one and the same paper, because the change of name and proprietorship
in 1859[23] brought no change in form or character,--taking them
together, I say, they contain a vast quantity of very pleasant, if not
very profound, reading. Even apart from the stories, one can do very
much worse than while away an hour, now and again, in gleaning here
and there among their pages. Among Dickens' own contributions may be
mentioned "The Child's History of England," and "Lazy Tour of Two Idle
Apprentices"--being the record of an excursion made by him in 1857,
with Mr. Wilkie Collins; and "The Uncommercial Traveller" papers.
While as to stories, "Hard Times" appeared in _Household Words_; and
"The Tale of Two Cities" and "Great Expectations," in _All the Year
Round_. And to the Christmas numbers he gave some of his best and
daintiest work. Nor were novels and tales by other competent hands
wanting. Here it was that Mrs. Gaskell gave to the world those papers
on "Cranford" that are so full of a dainty, delicate humour, and "My
Lady Ludlow," and "North and South," and "A Dark Night's Work." Here,
too, Mr. Wilkie Collins wove together his ingenious threads of plot
and mystery in "The Moonstone," "The Woman in White," and "No Name."
And here also Lord Lytton published "A Strange Story," and Charles
Reade his "Very Hard Cash."

The year 1851 opened sadly for Dickens. His wife, who had been
confined of a daughter in the preceding August, was so seriously
unwell that he had to take her to Malvern. His father, to whom,
notwithstanding the latter's peculiarities and eccentricities, he was
greatly attached, died on the 31st of March; and on the 14th of April
his infant daughter died also. In connection with this latter death
there occurred an incident of great pathos. Dickens had come up from
Malvern on the 14th, to take the chair at the dinner on behalf of the
Theatrical Fund, and looking in at Devonshire Terrace on his way,
played with the children, as was his wont, and fondled the baby, and
then went on to the London Tavern.[24] Shortly after he left the
house, the child died, suddenly. The news was communicated to Forster,
who was also at the dinner, and he decided that it would be better not
to tell the poor father till the speech of the evening had been made.
So Dickens made his speech, and a brilliant one it was--it is
brilliant even as one reads it now, in the coldness of print, without
the glamour of the speaker's voice, and presence, and yet brilliant
with an undertone of sadness, which the recent death of the speaker's
father would fully explain. And Forster, who knew of the yet later
blow impending on his friend, had to sit by and listen as that dear
friend, all unconscious of the dread application of the words, spoke
of "the actor" having "sometimes to come from scenes of sickness, of
suffering, ay, even of death itself, to play his part;" and then went
on to tell how "all of us, in our spheres, have as often to do
violence to our feelings, and to hide our hearts in fighting this
great battle of life, and in discharging our duties and

In this same year, 1851, Dickens left the house in Devonshire Terrace,
now grown too small for his enlarging household, and, after a long
sojourn at Broadstairs, moved into Tavistock House, in Tavistock
Square. Here "Bleak House" was begun at the end of November, the first
number being published in the ensuing March. It is a fine work of art
unquestionably, a very fine work of art--the canvas all crowded with
living figures, and yet the main lines of the composition
well-ordered and harmonious. Two threads of interest run through the
story, one following the career of Lady Dedlock, and the other tracing
the influence of a great Chancery suit on the victims immeshed in its
toils. From the first these two threads are distinct, and yet happily
interwoven. Let us take Lady Dedlock's thread first. She is the wife
of Sir Leicester Dedlock, whose "family is as old as the hills, and a
great deal more respectable," and she is still very beautiful, though
no longer in the bloom of youth, and she is cold and haughty of
manner, as a woman of highest fashion sometimes may be. But in her
past there is an ugly hidden secret; and a girl of sweetest
disposition walks her kindly course through the story, who might call
Lady Dedlock "mother." This secret, or perhaps rather the fact that
there is a secret at all, she reveals in a moment of surprise to the
family lawyer; and she lays herself still further open to his
suspicions by going, disguised in her maid's clothes, to the poor
graveyard where her former lover lies buried. The lawyer worms the
whole story out, and, just as he is going to reveal it, is murdered by
the French maid aforesaid. But the murder comes too late to save my
lady, nay, adds to her difficulties. She flies, in anticipation of the
disclosure of her secret, and is found dead at the graveyard gate. To
such end has the sin of her youth led her. So once again has Dickens
dwelt, not on the passionate side of wrongful love, but on its sorrow.
Now take the other thread--the Chancery suit--"Jarndyce _versus_
Jarndyce," a suit held in awful reverence by the profession as a
"monument of Chancery practice"--a suit seemingly interminable, till,
after long, long years of wrangling and litigation, the fortuitous
discovery of a will settles it all, with the result that the whole
estate has been swallowed up in the costs. And how about the
litigants? How about poor Richard Carstone and his wife, whom we see,
in the opening of the story, in all the heyday and happiness of their
youth, strolling down to the court--they are its wards,--and wondering
sadly over the "headache and heartache" of it all, and then saying,
gleefully, "at all events Chancery will work none of its bad influence
on _us_"? "None of its bad influence on _us_!" poor lad, whose life is
wasted and character impaired in following the mirage of the suit, and
who is killed by the mockery of its end. Thus do the two intertwined
stories run; but apart from these, though all in place and keeping,
and helping on the general development, there is a whole profusion of
noticeable characters. In enumerating them, however baldly, one
scarcely knows where to begin. The lawyer group--clerks and all--is
excellent. Dickens' early experiences stood him in good stead here.
Excellent too are those studies in the ways of impecuniosity and
practical shiftlessness, Harold Skimpole, the airy, irresponsible,
light-hearted epicurean, with his pretty tastes and dilettante
accomplishments, and Mrs. Jellyby, the philanthropist, whose eyes "see
nothing nearer" than Borrioboola-Gha, on the banks of the far Niger,
and never dwell to any purpose on the utter discomfort of the home of
her husband and children. Characters of this kind no one ever
delineated better than Dickens. That Leigh Hunt, the poet and
essayist, who had sat for the portrait of Skimpole, was not altogether
flattered by the likeness, is comprehensible enough; and in truth it
is unfair, both to painter and model, that we should take such
portraits too seriously. Landor, who sat for the thunderous and kindly
Boythorn, had more reason to be satisfied. Besides these one may
mention Joe, the outcast; and Mr. Turveydrop, the beau of the school
of the Regency--how horrified he would have been at the
juxtaposition--and George, the keeper of the rifle gallery, a fine
soldierly figure; and Mr. Bucket, the detective--though Dickens had a
tendency to idealize the abilities of the police force. As to Sir
Leicester Dedlock, I think he is, on the whole, "mine author's" best
study of the aristocracy, a direction in which Dickens' forte did not
lie, for Sir Leicester _is_ a gentleman, and receives the terrible
blow that falls upon him in a spirit at once chivalrous and human.

What between "Bleak House," _Household Words_, and "The Child's
History of England," Dickens, in the spring of 1853, was overworked
and ill. Brighton failed to restore him; and he took his family over
to Boulogne in June, occupying there a house belonging to a certain M.
de Beaucourt. Town, dwelling, and landlord, all suited him exactly.
Boulogne he declared to be admirable for its picturesqueness in
buildings and life, and equal in some respects to Naples itself. The
dwelling, "a doll's house of many rooms," embowered in roses, and with
a terraced garden, was a place after his own heart. While as to the
landlord--he was "wonderful." Dickens never tires of extolling his
virtues, his generosity, his kindness, his anxiety to please, his
pride in "the property." All the pleasant delicate quaint traits in
the man's character are irradiated as if with French sunshine in his
tenant's description. It is a dainty little picture and painted with
the kindliest of brushes. Poor Beaucourt, he was "inconsolable" when
he and Dickens finally parted three years afterwards--for twice again
did the latter occupy a house, but not this same house, on "the
property." Many were the tears that he shed, and even the garden, the
loved garden, went forlorn and unweeded. But that was in 1856. The
parting was not so final and terrible in the October of 1853, when
Dickens, having finished "Bleak House," started with Mr. Wilkie
Collins, and Augustus Egg, the artist, for a holiday tour in
Switzerland and Italy.


[20] "History of English Literature," vol. v.

[21] "Recollections of Writers," by Charles and Mary Cowden Clarke.

[22] As, for instance, in such expressions as this: "The stamp on
newspapers is not like the stamp on universal medicine bottles, which
licenses anything, however false and monstrous."

[23] The last number of _Household Words_ appeared on the 28th of May,
1859, and the first of _All the Year Round_ on the 30th of April,

[24] There are one or two slight discrepancies between Forster's
narrative and that of Miss Dickens and Miss Hogarth. The latter are
clearly more likely to be right on such a matter.


On his return to England, just after the Christmas of 1853, Dickens
gave his first public readings. He had, as we have seen, read "The
Chimes" some nine years before, to a select few among his literary
friends; and at Lausanne he had similarly read portions of "Dombey and
Son." But the three readings given at Birmingham, on the 27th, 29th,
and 30th December, 1853, were, in every sense, public entertainments,
and, except that the proceeds were devoted entirely to the local
Institute, differed in no way from the famous readings by which he
afterwards realized what may almost be called a fortune. The idea of
coming before the world in this new character had long been in his
mind. As early as 1846, after the private reading at Lausanne, he had
written to Forster: "I was thinking the other day that in these days
of lecturings and readings, a great deal of money might possibly be
made (if it were not _infra dig._) by one's having readings of one's
own books. I think it would take immensely. What do you say?" Forster
said then, and said consistently throughout, that he held the thing to
_be_ "_infra dig._," and unworthy of Dickens' position; and in this I
think one may venture to assert that Forster was wrong. There can
surely be no reason why a popular writer, who happens also to be an
excellent elocutionist, should not afford general pleasure by giving
sound to his prose, and a voice to his imaginary characters. Nor is it
opposed to the fitness of things that he should be paid for his skill.
If, however, one goes further in Dickens' case, and asks whether the
readings did not involve too great an expenditure of time, energy,
and, as we shall see, ultimately of life, and whether he would not, in
the highest sense, have been better employed over his books,--why then
the question becomes more difficult of solution. But, after all, each
man must answer such questions for himself. Dickens may have felt, as
the years began to tell, that he required the excitement of the
readings for mental stimulus, and that he would not even have written
as much as he did without them. Be that as it may, the success at
Birmingham, where a sum of from £400 to £500 was realized, the
requests that poured in upon him to read at other places, the
invariably renewed success whenever he did so, the clear evidence that
a large sum was to be realized if he determined to come forward on his
own account, all must have contributed to scatter Forster's objections
to the winds. On the 29th of April, 1858, at St. Martin's Hall, in
London, he started his career as a paid public reader, and he
continued to read, with shorter or longer periods of intermission,
till his death. But into the story of his professional tours it is not
my intention just now to enter. I shall only stay to say a few words
about the character and quality of his readings.

That they were a success can readily be accounted for. The mere desire
to see and hear Dickens, the great Dickens, the novelist who was more
than popular, who was the object of real personal affection on the
part of the English-speaking race,--this would have drawn a crowd at
any time. But Dickens was not the man to rely upon such sources of
attraction, any more than an actress who is really an actress will
consent to rely exclusively on her good looks. "Whatever is worth
doing at all is worth doing well," such as we have seen was one of the
governing principles of his life; and he read very well. Of
nervousness there was no trace in his composition. To some one who
asked him whether he ever felt any shyness as a speaker, he answered,
"Not in the least; the first time I took the chair (at a public
dinner) I felt as much confidence as if I had done the thing a hundred
times." This of course helped him much as a reader, and gave him full
command over all his gifts. But the gifts were also assiduously
cultivated. He laboured, one might almost say, agonized, to make
himself a master of the art. Mr. Dolby, who acted as his "manager,"
during the tours undertaken from 1866 to 1870, tells us that before
producing "Dr. Marigold," he not only gave a kind of semi-public
rehearsal, but had rehearsed it to himself considerably over two
hundred times. Writing to Forster Dickens says: "You have no idea how
I have worked at them [the readings].... I have tested all the serious
passion in them by everything I know, made the humorous points much
more humorous; corrected my utterance of certain words; ... I learnt
'Dombey' like the rest, and did it to myself often twice a day, with
exactly the same pains as at night, over, and over, and over again."

The results justified the care and effort bestowed. There are,
speaking generally, two schools of readers: those who dramatize what
they read, and those who read simply, audibly, with every attention to
emphasis and point, but with no effort to do more than slightly
indicate differences of personage or character. To the latter school
Thackeray belonged. He read so as to be perfectly heard, and perfectly
understood, and so that the innate beauty of his literary style might
have full effect. Dickens read quite differently. He read not as a
writer to whom style is everything, but as an actor throwing himself
into the world he wished to bring before his hearers. He was so
careless indeed of pure literature, in this particular matter, that he
altered his books for the readings, eliminating much of the narrative,
and emphasizing the dialogue. He was pre-eminently the dramatic
reader. Carlyle, who had been dragged to "Hanover Rooms," to "the
complete upsetting," as he says, "of my evening habitudes, and
spiritual composure," was yet constrained to declare: "Dickens does it
capitally, such as _it_ is; acts better than any Macready in the
world; a whole tragic, comic, heroic, _theatre_ visible, performing
under one _hat_, and keeping us laughing--in a sorry way, some of us
thought--the whole night. He is a good creature, too, and makes fifty
or sixty pounds by each of these readings." "A whole theatre"--that is
just the right expression minted for us by the great coiner of
phrases. Dickens, by mere play of voice, for the gestures were
comparatively sober, placed before you, on his imaginary stage, the
men and women he had created. There Dr. Marigold pattered his
cheap-jack phrases; and Mrs. Gamp and Betsy Prig, with throats
rendered husky by much gin, had their memorable quarrel; and Sergeant
Buzfuz bamboozled that stupid jury; and Boots at the Swan told his
pretty tale of child-elopement; and Fagin, in his hoarse Jew whisper,
urged Bill Sikes to his last foul deed of murder. Ay me, in the great
hush of the past there are tones of the reader's voice that still
linger in my ears! I seem to hear once more the agonized quick
utterance of poor Nancy, as she pleads for life, and the dread
stillness after the ruffian's cruel blows have fallen on her upturned
face. Again comes back to me the break in Bob Cratchit's voice, as he
speaks of the death of Tiny Tim. As of old I listen to poor little
Chops, the dwarf, declaring, very piteously, that his "fashionable
friends" don't use him well, and put him on the mantel-piece when he
refuses to "have in more champagne-wine," and lock him in the
sideboard when he "won't give up his property." And I _see_--yes, I
declare I _see_, as I saw when Dickens was reading, such was the
illusion of voice and gesture--that dying flame of Scrooge's fire,
which leaped up when Marley's ghost came in, and then fell again. Nor
can I forbear to mention, among these reminiscences, that there is
also a passage in one of Thackeray's lectures that is still in my ears
as on the evening when I heard it. It is a passage in which he spoke
of the love that children had for the works of his more popular rival,
and told how his own children would come to him and ask, "Why don't
you write books like Mr. Dickens?"


Chancery had occupied a prominent place in "Bleak House."
Philosophical radicalism occupied the same kind of position in "Hard
Times," which was commenced in the number of _Household Words_ for the
1st of April, 1854. The book, when afterwards published in a complete
form, bore a dedication to Carlyle; and very fittingly so, for much of
its philosophy is his. Dickens, like Kingsley, and like Mr. Ruskin and
Mr. Froude, and so many other men of genius and ability, had come
under the influence of the old Chelsea sage.[25] And what are the
ideas which "Hard Times" is thus intended to popularize? These: that
men are not merely intellectual calculating machines, with reason and
self-interest for motive power, but creatures possessing also
affections, feelings, fancy--a whole world of emotions that lie
outside the ken of the older school of political economists.
Therefore, to imagine that they can live and flourish on facts alone
is a fallacy and pernicious; as is also the notion that any human
relations can be permanently established on a basis of pure supply
and demand. If we add to this an unlimited contempt for Parliament, as
a place where the national dustmen are continually stirring the
national dust to no purpose at all, why then we are pretty well
advanced in the philosophy of Carlyle. And how does Dickens illustrate
these points? We are at Coketown, a place, as its name implies, of
smoke and manufacture. Here lives and flourishes Thomas Gradgrind, "a
man of realities; a man of facts and calculations;" not essentially a
bad man, but bound in an iron system as in a vice. He brings up his
children on knowledge, and enlightened self-interest exclusively; and
the boy becomes a cub and a mean thief, and the girl marries, quite
without love, a certain blustering Mr. Bounderby, and is as nearly as
possible led astray by the first person who approaches her with the
language of gallantry and sentiment. Mr. Bounderby, her husband, is,
one may add, a man who, in mere lying bounce, makes out his humble
origin to be more humble than it is. On the other side of the picture
are Mr. Sleary and his circus troupe; and Cissy Jupe, the daughter of
the clown; and the almost saintly figures of Stephen Blackpool, and
Rachel, a working man and a working woman. With these people facts are
as naught, and self-interest as dust in the balance. Mr. Sleary has a
heart which no brandy-and-water can harden, and he enables Mr.
Gradgrind to send off the wretched cub to America, refusing any
guerdon but a glass of his favourite beverage. The circus troupe are
kindly, simple, loving folk. Cissy Jupe proves the angel of the
Gradgrind household. Stephen is the victim of unjust persecution on
the part of his own class, is suspected, by young Gradgrind's
machinations, of the theft committed by that young scoundrel, falls
into a disused pit as he is coming to vindicate his character, and
only lives long enough to forgive his wrongs, and clasp in death the
hand of Rachel--a hand which in life could not be his, as he had a
wife alive who was a drunkard and worse. A marked contrast, is it not?
On one side all darkness, and on the other all light. The demons of
fact and self-interest opposed to the angels of fancy and
unselfishness. A contrast too violent unquestionably. Exaggeration is
the fault of the novel. One may at once allow, for instance, that
Rachel and Stephen, though human nature in its infinite capacity may
include such characters, are scarcely a typical working woman and
working man. But then neither, heaven be praised, are Coupeau the sot,
and Gervaise the drab, in M. Zola's "Drink"--and, for my part, I think
Rachel and Stephen the better company.

"Sullen socialism"--such is Macaulay's view of the political
philosophy of "Hard Times." "Entirely right in main drift and
purpose"--such is the verdict of Mr. Ruskin. Who shall decide between
the two? or, if a decision be necessary, then I would venture to say,
yes, entirely right in feeling. Dickens is right in sympathy for those
who toil and suffer, right in desire to make their lives more human
and beautiful, right in belief that the same human heart beats below
all class distinctions. But, beyond this, a novelist only, not a
philosopher, not fitted to grapple effectively with complex social and
political problems, and to solve them to right conclusions. There are
some things unfortunately which even the best and kindest instincts
cannot accomplish.

The last chapter of "Hard Times" appeared in the number of _Household
Words_ for the 12th of August, 1854, and the first number of "Little
Dorrit" came out at Christmas, 1855. Between those dates a great war
had waxed and waned. The heart of England had been terribly moved by
the story of the sufferings and privations which the army had had to
undergo amid the snows of a Russian winter. From the trenches before
Sebastopol the newspaper correspondents had sent terrible accounts of
death and disease, and of ills which, as there seemed room for
suspicion, might have been prevented by better management. Through
long disuse the army had rusted in its scabbard, and everything seemed
to go wrong but the courage of officers and men. A great demand arose
for reform in the whole administration of the country. A movement, now
much forgotten, though not fruitless at the time, was started for the
purpose of making the civil service more efficient, and putting John
Bull's house in order. "Administrative Reform," such was the cry of
the moment, and Dickens uttered it with the full strength of his
lungs. He attended a great meeting held at Drury Lane Theatre on the
27th of June, in furtherance of the cause, and made what he declared
to be his first political speech. He spoke on the subject again at the
dinner of the Theatrical Fund. He urged on his friends in the press to
the attack. He was in the forefront of the battle. And when his next
novel, "Little Dorrit," appeared, there was the Civil Service, like a
sort of gibbeted Punch, executing the strangest antics.

But the "Circumlocution Office," where the clerks sit lazily devising
all day long "how _not_ to do" the business of the country, and devote
their energies alternately to marmalade and general insolence,--the
"Circumlocution Office" occupies after all only a secondary position
in the book. The main interest of it circles round the place that had
at one time been almost a home to Dickens. Again he drew upon his
earlier experiences. We are once more introduced into a debtors'
prison. Little Dorrit is the child of the Marshalsea, born and bred
within its walls, the sole living thing about the place on which its
taint does not fall. Her worthless brother, her sister, her
father--who is not only her father, but the "father of the
Marshalsea"--the prison blight is on all three. Her father especially
is a piece of admirable character-drawing. Dickens has often been
accused of only catching the surface peculiarities of his personages,
their outward tricks, and obvious habits of speech and of mind. Such a
study as Mr. Dorrit would alone be sufficient to rebut the charge. No
novelist specially famed for dissecting character to its innermost
recesses could exhibit a finer piece of mental analysis. We follow the
poor weak creature's deterioration from the time when the helpless
muddle in his affairs brings him into durance. We note how his
sneaking pride seems to feed even on the garbage of his degradation.
We see how little inward change there is in the man himself when there
comes a transformation scene in his fortunes, and he leaves the
Marshalsea wealthy and prosperous. It is all thoroughly worked out,
perfect, a piece of really great art. No wonder that Mr. Clennam
pities the child of such a father; indeed, considering what a really
admirable woman she is, one only wonders that his pity does not sooner
turn to love.

"Little Dorrit" ran its course from December, 1855, to June, 1857, and
within that space of time there occurred two or three incidents in
Dickens' career which should not pass unnoticed. At the first of these
dates he was in Paris, where he remained till the middle of May, 1856,
greatly fêted by the French world of letters and art; dining hither
and thither; now enjoying an Arabian Nights sort of banquet given by
Emile de Girardin, the popular journalist; now meeting George Sand,
the great novelist, whom he describes as "just the sort of woman in
appearance whom you might suppose to be the queen's monthly
nurse--chubby, matronly, swarthy, black-eyed;" then studying French
art, and contrasting it with English art, somewhat to the disadvantage
of the latter; anon superintending the translation of his works into
French, and working hard at "Little Dorrit;" and all the while
frequenting the Paris theatres with great assiduity and admiration.
Meanwhile, too, on the 14th of March, 1856, a Friday, his lucky day as
he considered it, he had written a cheque for the purchase of Gad's
Hill Place, at which he had so often looked when a little lad, living
penuriously at Chatham--the house which it had been the object of his
childish ambition to win for his own.

So had merit proved to be not without its visible prize, literally a
prize for good conduct. He took possession of the house in the
following February, and turned workmen into it, and finished "Little
Dorrit" there. At first the purchase was intended mainly as an
investment, and he only purposed to spend some portion of his time at
Gad's Hill, letting it at other periods, and so recouping himself for
the interest on the £1,790 which it had cost, and for the further sums
which he expended on improvements. But as time went on it became his
hobby, the love of his advancing years. He beautified here and
beautified there, built a new drawing-room, added bedrooms,
constructed a tunnel under the road, erected in the "wilderness" on
the other side of the road a Swiss châlet, which had been presented to
him by Fechter, the French-English actor, and in short indulged in all
the thousand and one vagaries of a proprietor who is enamoured of his
property. The matter seems to have been one of the family jokes; and
when, on the Sunday before his death, he showed the conservatory to
his younger daughter, and said, "Well, Katey, now you see _positively_
the last improvement at Gad's Hill," there was a general laugh. But
this is far on in the story; and very long before the building of the
conservatory, long indeed before the main other changes had been made,
the idea of an investment had been abandoned. In 1860 he sold
Tavistock House, in London, and made Gad's Hill Place his final home.

Even here, however, I am anticipating; for before getting to 1860
there is in Dickens' history a page which one would willingly turn
over, if that were possible, in silence and sadness. But it is not
possible. No account of his life would be complete, and what is of
more importance, true, if it made no mention of his relations with his

For some time before 1858 Dickens had been in an over-excited,
nervous, morbid state. During earlier manhood his animal spirits and
fresh energy had been superb. Now, as the years advanced, and
especially at this particular time, the energy was the same; but it
was accompanied by something of feverishness and disease. He could not
be quiet. In the autumn of 1857 he wrote to Forster, "I have now no
relief but in action. I am become incapable of rest. I am quite
confident I should rust, break, and die if I spared myself. Much
better to die doing." And again, a little later, "If I couldn't walk
fast and far, I should just explode and perish." It was the
foreshadowing of such utterances as these, and the constant wanderings
to and fro for readings and theatricals and what not, that led Harriet
Martineau, who had known and greatly liked Dickens, to say after
perusing the second volume of his life, "I am much struck by his
hysterical restlessness. It must have been terribly wearing to his
wife." On the other hand, there can be no manner of doubt that his
wife wore _him_. "Why is it," he had said to Forster in one of the
letters from which I have just quoted, "that, as with poor David
(Copperfield), a sense comes always crushing on me now, when I fall
into low spirits, as of one happiness I have missed in life, and one
friend and companion I have never made?" And again: "I find that the
skeleton in my domestic closet is becoming a pretty big one." Then
come even sadder confidences: "Poor Catherine and I are not made for
each other, and there is no help for it. It is not only that she makes
me uneasy and unhappy, but that I make her so too, and much more so.
She is exactly what you know in the way of being amiable and
complying; but we are strangely ill-assorted for the bond there is
between us.... Her temperament will not go with mine." And at last, in
March, 1858, two months before the end: "It is not with me a matter of
will, or trial, or sufferance, or good humour, or making the best of
it, or making the worst of it, any longer. It is all despairingly
over." So, after living together for twenty years, these two went
their several ways in May, 1858. Dickens allowed to his wife an income
of £600 a year, and the eldest son went to live with her. The other
children and their aunt, Miss Hogarth, remained with Dickens himself.

Scandal has not only a poisonous, but a busy tongue, and when a
well-known public man and his wife agree to live apart, the beldame
seldom neglects to give her special version of the affair. So it
happened here. Some miserable rumour was whispered about to the
detriment of Dickens' morals. He was at the time, as we have seen, in
an utterly morbid, excited state, sore doubtless with himself, and
altogether out of mental condition, and the lie stung him almost to
madness. He published an article branding it as it deserved in the
number of _Household Words_ for the 12th of June, 1858.

So far his course of action was justifiable. Granted that it was
judicious to notice the rumour at all, and to make his private affairs
the matter of public comment, then there was nothing in the terms of
the article to which objection could be taken. It contained no
reflection of any kind on Mrs. Dickens. It was merely an honest man's
indignant protest against an anonymous libel which implicated others
as well as himself. Whether the publication, however, was judicious
is a different matter. Forster thinks not. He holds that Dickens had
altogether exaggerated the public importance of the rumour, and the
extent of its circulation. And this, according to my own recollection,
is entirely true. I was a lad at the time, but a great lover of
Dickens' works, as most lads then were, and I well remember the
feeling of surprise and regret which that article created among us of
the general public. At the same time, it is only fair to Dickens to
recollect that the lying story was, at least, so far fraught with
danger to his reputation, that Mrs. Dickens would seem for a time to
have believed it; and further, that Dickens occupied a very peculiar
position towards the public, and a position that might well in his own
estimation, and even in ours, give singular importance to the general
belief in his personal character.

This point will bear dwelling upon. Dickens claimed, and claimed
truly, that the relation between himself and the public was one of
exceptional sympathy and affection. Perhaps an illustration will best
show what that kind of relationship was. Thackeray tells of two ladies
with whom he had, at different times, discussed "The Christmas Carol,"
and how each had concluded by saying of the author, "God bless him!"
God bless him!--that was the sort of feeling towards himself which
Dickens had succeeded in producing in most English hearts. He had
appealed from the first and so constantly to every kind and gentle
emotion, had illustrated so often what is good and true in human
character, had pleaded the cause of the weak and suffering with such
assiduity, had been so scathingly indignant at all wrong; and he had
moreover shown such a manly and chivalrous purity in all his utterance
with regard to women, that his readers felt for him a kind of personal
tenderness, quite distinct from their mere admiration for his genius
as a writer. Nor was that feeling based on his books alone. So far as
one could learn at the time, no great dissimilarity existed between
the author and the man. We all remember Byron's corrosive remark on
the sentimentalist Sterne, that he "whined over a dead ass, and
allowed his mother to die of hunger." But Dickens' feelings were by no
means confined to his pen. He was known to be a good father and a good
friend, and of perfect truth and honesty. The kindly tolerance for the
frailties of a father or brother which he admired in Little Dorrit, he
was ready to extend to his own father and his own brother. He was most
assiduous in the prosecution of his craft as a writer, and yet had
time and leisure of heart at command for all kinds of good and
charitable work. His private character had so far stood above all
floating cloud of suspicion.

That Dickens felt an honourable pride in the general affection he
inspired, can readily be understood. He also felt, even more
honourably, its great responsibility. He knew that his books and he
himself were a power for good, and he foresaw how greatly his
influence would suffer if a suspicion of hypocrisy--the vice at which
he had always girded--were to taint his reputation. Here, for
instance, in "Little Dorrit," the work written in the thick of his
home troubles, he had written of Clennam as "a man who had,
deep-rooted in his nature, a belief in all the gentle and good things
his life had been without," and had shown how this belief had "saved
Clennam still from the whimpering weakness and cruel selfishness of
holding that because such a happiness or such a virtue had not come
into his little path, or worked well for him, therefore it was not in
the great scheme, but was reducible, when found in appearance, to the
basest elements." A touching utterance if it expressed the real
feeling of a writer sorely disappointed and in great trouble; but an
utterance moving rather to contempt if it came from a writer who had
transferred his affections from his wife to some other woman. I do not
wonder, therefore, that Dickens, excited and exasperated, spoke out,
though I think it would have been better if he had kept silence.

But he did other things that were not justifiable. He quarrelled with
Messrs. Bradbury and Evans, his publishers, because they did not use
their influence to get _Punch_, a periodical in which Dickens had no
interest, to publish the personal statement that had appeared in
_Household Words_; and worse, much worse, he wrote a letter, which
ought never to have been written, detailing the grounds on which he
and his wife had separated. This letter, dated the 28th of May, 1858,
was addressed to his secretary, Arthur Smith, and was to be shown to
any one interested. Arthur Smith showed it to the London correspondent
of _The New York Tribune_, who naturally caused it to be published in
that paper. Then Dickens was horrified. He was a man of far too high
and chivalrous feeling not to know that the letter contained
statements with regard to his wife's failings which ought never to
have been made public. He knew as well as any one, that a literary man
ought not to take the world into his confidence on such a subject.
Ever afterwards he referred to the letter as his "violated letter."
But, in truth, the wrong went deeper than the publication. The letter
should never have been written, certainly never sent to Arthur Smith
for general perusal. Dickens' only excuse is the fact that he was
clearly not himself at the time, and that he never fell into a like
error again. It is, however, sad to notice how entirely his wife seems
to have passed out of his affection. The reference to her in his will
is almost unkind; and when death was on him she seems not to have been
summoned to his bedside.


[25] Dickens did not accept the whole Carlyle creed. He retained a
sort of belief in the collective wisdom of the people, which Carlyle
certainly did not share.


Dickens' career as a reader reading for money commenced on the 29th of
April, 1858, while the trouble about his wife was at the thickest;
and, after reading in London on sixteen nights, he made a reading tour
in the provinces, and in Scotland and Ireland. In the following year
he read likewise. But meanwhile, which is more important to us than
his readings, he was writing another book. On the 30th of April, 1859,
in the first number of _All the Year Round_,[26] was begun "The Tale
of Two Cities," a simultaneous publication in monthly parts being also

"The Tale of Two Cities" is a tale of the great French Revolution of
1793, and the two cities in question are London and Paris,--London as
it lay comparatively at peace in the days when George III. was king,
and Paris running blood and writhing in the fierce fire of anarchy and
mob rule. A powerful book, unquestionably. No doubt there is in its
heat and glare a reflection from Carlyle's "French Revolution," a book
for which Dickens had the greatest admiration. But that need not be
regarded as a demerit. Dickens is no pale copyist, and adds fervour
to what he borrows. His pictures of Paris in revolution are as fine as
the London scenes in "Barnaby Rudge;" and the interweaving of the
story with public events is even better managed in the later book than
in the earlier story of the Gordon riots. And the story, what does it
tell? It tells of a certain Dr. Manette, who, after long years of
imprisonment in the Bastille, is restored to his daughter in London;
and of a young French noble, who has assumed the name of Darnay, and
left France in horror of the doings of his order, and who marries Dr.
Manette's daughter; and of a young English barrister, able enough in
his profession, but careless of personal success, and much addicted to
port wine, and bearing a striking personal resemblance to the young
French noble. These persons, and others, being drawn to Paris by
various strong inducements, Darnay is condemned to death as a
_ci-devant_ noble, and the ne'er-do-well barrister, out of the great
pure love he bears to Darnay's wife, succeeds in dying for him. That
is the tale's bare outline; and if any one says of the book that it is
in parts melodramatic, one may fitly answer that never was any portion
of the world's history such a thorough piece of melodrama as the
French Revolution.

With "The Tale of Two Cities" Hablôt K. Browne's connection with
Dickens, as the illustrator of his books, came to an end. The
"Sketches" had been illustrated by Cruikshank, who was the great
popular illustrator of the time, and it is amusing to read, in the
preface to the first edition of the first series, published in 1836,
how the trembling young author placed himself, as it were, under the
protection of the "well-known individual who had frequently
contributed to the success of similar undertakings." Cruikshank also
illustrated "Oliver Twist;" and indeed, with an arrogance which
unfortunately is not incompatible with genius, afterwards set up a
rather preposterous claim to have been the real originator of that
book, declaring that he had worked out the story in a series of
etchings, and that Dickens had illustrated _him_, and not he
Dickens.[27] But apart from the drawings for the "Sketches" and
"Oliver Twist," and the first few drawings by Seymour, and two
drawings by Buss,[28] in "Pickwick," and some drawings by Cattermole
in _Master Humphrey's Clock_, and by Samuel Palmer in the "Pictures
from Italy," and by various hands in the Christmas stories--apart from
these, Browne, or "Phiz," had executed the illustrations to Dickens'
novels. Nor, with all my admiration for certain excellent qualities
which his work undeniably possessed, do I think that this was
altogether a good thing. Such, I know, is not a popular opinion. But I
confess I am unable to agree with those critics who, from their
remarks on the recent jubilee edition of "Pickwick," seem to think his
illustrations so pre-eminently fine that they should be permanently
associated with Dickens' stories. The editor of that edition was, in
my view, quite right in treating Browne's illustrations as practically
obsolete. The value of Dickens' works is perennial, and Browne's
illustrations represent the art fashion of a time only. So, too, I am
unable to see any great cause to regret that Cruikshank's artistic
connection with Dickens came to an end so soon.[29] For both Browne
and Cruikshank were pre-eminently caricaturists, and caricaturists of
an old school. The latter had no idea of beauty. His art, very great
art in its way, was that of grotesqueness and exaggeration. He never
drew a lady or gentleman in his life. And though Browne, in my view
much the lesser artist, was superior in these respects to Cruikshank,
yet he too drew the most hideous Pecksniffs, and Tom Pinches, and Joey
B.'s, and a whole host of characters quite unreal and absurd. The
mischief of it is, too, that Dickens' humour will not bear
caricaturing. The defect of his own art as a writer is that it verges
itself too often on caricature. Exaggeration is its bane. When, for
instance, he makes the rich alderman in "The Chimes" eat up poor
Trotty Veck's little last tit-bit of tripe, we are clearly in the
region of broad farce. When Mr. Pancks, in "Little Dorrit," so far
abandons the ordinary ways of mature rent collectors as to ask a
respectable old accountant to "give him a back," in the Marshalsea
court, and leaps over his head, we are obviously in a world of
pantomime. Dickens' comic effects are generally quite forced enough,
and should never be further forced when translated into the sister art
of drawing. Rather, if anything, should they be attenuated. But
unfortunately exaggeration happened to be inherent in the
draftsmanship of both Cruikshank and Browne. And, having said this, I
may as well finish with the subject of the illustrations to Dickens'
books. "Our Mutual Friend" was illustrated by Mr. Marcus Stone, R.A.,
then a rising young artist, and the son of Dickens' old friend, Frank
Stone. Here the designs fall into the opposite defect. They are, some
of them, pretty enough, but they want character. Mr. Fildes' pictures
for "Edwin Drood" are a decided improvement. As to the illustrations
for the later _Household Edition_, they are very inferior. The designs
for a great many are clearly bad, and the mechanical execution almost
uniformly so. Even Mr. Barnard's skill has had no fair chance against
poor woodcutting, careless engraving, and inferior paper. And this is
the more to be regretted, in that Mr. Barnard, by natural affinity of
talent, has, to my thinking, done some of the best art work that has
been done at all in connection with Dickens. His _Character Sketches_,
especially the lithographed series, are admirable. The Jingle is a
masterpiece; but all are good, and he even succeeds in making
something pictorially acceptable of Little Nell and Little Dorrit.

Just a year, almost to a day, elapsed between the conclusion of "The
Tale of Two Cities," and the commencement of "Great Expectations." The
last chapter of the former appeared in the number of _All the Year
Round_ for the 26th of November, 1859, and the first chapter of the
latter in the number of the same periodical for the 1st of December,
1860. Poor Pip--for such is the name of the hero of the book--poor
Pip, I think he is to be pitied. Certainly he lays himself open to the
charge of snobbishness, and is unduly ashamed of his connections. But
then circumstances were decidedly against him. Through some occult
means he is removed from his natural sphere, from the care of his
"rampageous" sister and of her husband, the good, kind, honest Joe,
and taken up to London, and brought up as a gentleman, and started in
chambers in Barnard's Inn. All this is done through the
instrumentality of Mr. Jaggers, a barrister in highest repute among
the criminal brotherhood. But Pip not unnaturally thinks that his
unknown benefactress is a certain Miss Havisham, who, having been
bitterly wronged in her love affairs, lives in eccentric fashion near
his native place, amid the mouldering mementoes of her wedding day.
What is his horror when he finds that his education, comfort, and
prospects have no more reputable foundation than the bounty of a
murderous criminal called Magwitch, who has showered all these
benefits upon him from the antipodes, in return for the gift of food
and a file when he, Magwitch, was trying to escape from the hulks, and
Pip was a little lad. Magwitch, the transported convict, comes back to
England, at the peril of his life, to make himself known to Pip, and
to have the pleasure of looking at that young gentleman. He is again
tracked by the police, and caught, notwithstanding Pip's efforts to
get him off, and dies in prison. Pip ultimately, very ultimately,
marries a young lady oddly brought up by the queer Miss Havisham, and
who turns out to be Magwitch's daughter.

Such, as I have had occasion to say before in speaking of similar
analyses, such are the dry bones of the story. Pip's character is well
drawn. So is that of Joe. And Mr. Jaggers, the criminal's friend, and
his clerk, Wemmick, are striking and full of a grim humour. Miss
Havisham and her _protégée_, Estella, whom she educates to be the
scourge of men, belong to what may be called the melodramatic side of
Dickens' art. They take their place with Mrs. Dombey and with Miss
Dartle in "David Copperfield," and Miss Wade in "Little
Dorrit"--female characters of a fantastic and haughty type, and quite
devoid, Miss Dartle and Miss Wade especially, of either verisimilitude
or the milk of human kindness.

"Great Expectations" was completed in August, 1861, and the first
number of "Our Mutual Friend" appeared in May, 1864. This was an
unusual interval, but the great writer's faculty of invention was
beginning to lose its fresh spring and spontaneity. And besides he had
not been idle. Though writing no novel, he had been busy enough with
readings, and his work on _All the Year Round_. He had also written a
short, but very graceful paper[30] on Thackeray, whose death, on the
Christmas Eve of 1863, had greatly affected him. Now, however, he
again braced himself for one of his greater efforts.

Scarcely, I think, as all will agree, with the old success. In "Our
Mutual Friend" he is not at his best. It is a strange complicated
story that seems to have some difficulty in unravelling itself: the
story of a man who pretends to be dead in order that he may, under a
changed name, investigate the character and eligibility of the young
woman whom an erratic father has destined to be his bride. A
golden-hearted old dust contractor, who hides a will that will give
him all that erratic father's property, and disinherit the man
aforesaid, and who, to crown his virtues, pretends to be a miser in
order to teach the young woman, also aforesaid, how bad it is to be
mercenary, and to induce her to marry the unrecognized and seemingly
penniless son; their marriage accordingly, with ultimate result that
the bridegroom turns out to be no poor clerk, but the original heir,
who, of course, is not dead, and is the inheritor of thousands;
subsidiary groups of characters, of course, one which I think rather
uninteresting, of some brand-new people called the Veneerings and
their acquaintances, for they have no friends; and some fine sketches
of the river-side population; striking and amusing characters
too--Silas Wegg, the scoundrelly vendor of songs, who ferrets among
the dust for wills in order to confound the good dustman, his
benefactor; and the little deformed dolls' dressmaker, with her sot of
a father; and Betty Higden, the sturdy old woman who has determined
neither in life nor death to suffer the pollution of the workhouse;
such, with more added, are the ingredients of the story.

One episode, however, deserves longer comment. It is briefly this:
Eugene Wrayburn is a young barrister of good family and education, and
of excellent abilities and address, all gifts that he has turned to no
creditable purpose whatever. He falls in with a girl, Lizzie Hexham,
of more than humble rank, but of great beauty and good character. She
interests him, and in mere wanton carelessness, for he certainly has
no idea of offering marriage, he gains her affection, neither meaning,
in any definite way, to do anything good nor anything bad with it.
There is another man who loves Lizzie, a schoolmaster, who, in his
dull, plodding way, has made the best of his intellect, and risen in
life. He naturally, and we may say properly, for no good can come of
them, resents Wrayburn's attentions, as does the girl's brother.
Wrayburn uses the superior advantages of his position to insult them
in the most offensive and brutal manner, and to torture the
schoolmaster, just as he has used those advantages to win the girl's
heart. Whereupon, after being goaded to heart's desire for a
considerable time, the schoolmaster as nearly as possible beats out
Wrayburn's life, and commits suicide. Wrayburn is rescued by Lizzie as
he lies by the river bank sweltering in blood, and tended by her, and
they are married and live happy ever afterwards.

Now the amazing part of this story is, that Dickens' sympathies
throughout are with Wrayburn. How this comes to be so I confess I do
not know. To me Wrayburn's conduct appears to be heartless, cruel,
unmanly, and the use of his superior social position against the
schoolmaster to be like a foul blow, and quite unworthy of a
gentleman. Schoolmasters ought not to beat people about the head,
decidedly. But if Wrayburn's thoughts took a right course during
convalescence, I think he may have reflected that he deserved his
beating, and also that the woman whose affection he had won was a
great deal too good for him.

Dickens' misplaced sympathy in this particular story has, I repeat,
always struck me with amazement. Usually his sympathies are so
entirely right. Nothing is more common than to hear the accusation of
vulgarity made against his books. A certain class of people seem to
think, most mistakenly, that because he so often wrote about vulgar
people, uneducated people, people in the lower ranks of society,
therefore his writing was vulgar, nay more, he himself vulgar too.
Such an opinion can only be based on a strange confusion between
subject and treatment. There is scarcely any subject not tainted by
impurity, that cannot be treated with entire refinement. Washington
Irving wrote to Dickens, most justly, of "that exquisite tact that
enabled him to carry his reader through the veriest dens of vice and
villainy without a breath to shock the ear or a stain to sully the
robe of the most shrinking delicacy;" and added: "It is a rare gift to
be able to paint low life without being low, and to be comic without
the least taint of vulgarity." This is well said; and if we look for
the main secret of the inherent refinement of Dickens' books, we shall
find it, I think, in this: that he never intentionally paltered with
right and wrong. He would make allowance for evil, would take pleasure
in showing that there were streaks of lingering good in its blackness,
would treat it kindly, gently, humanly. But it always stood for evil,
and nothing else. He made no attempt by cunning jugglery to change its
seeming. He had no sneaking affection for it. And therefore, I say
again, his attachment to Eugene Wrayburn has always struck me with
surprise. As regards Dickens' own refinement, I cannot perhaps do
better than quote the words of Sir Arthur Helps, an excellent judge.
"He was very refined in his conversation--at least, what I call
refined--for he was one of those persons in whose society one is
comfortable from the certainty that they will never say anything which
can shock other people, or hurt their feelings, be they ever so
fastidious or sensitive."


[26] His foolish quarrel with Bradbury and Evans had necessitated the
abandonment of _Household Words_.

[27] See his pamphlet, "The Artist and the Author." The matter is
fully discussed in his life by Mr. Blanchard Jerrold.

[28] Buss's illustrations were executed under great disadvantages, and
are bad. Those of Seymour are excellent.

[29] I am always sorry, however, that Cruikshank did not illustrate
the Christmas stories.

[30] See _Cornhill Magazine_ for February, 1864.


But we are now, alas, nearing the point where the "rapid" of Dickens'
life began to "shoot to its fall." The year 1865, during which he
partly wrote "Our Mutual Friend," was a fatal one in his career. In
the month of February he had been very ill, with an affection of the
left foot, at first thought to be merely local, but which really
pointed to serious mischief, and never afterwards wholly left him.
Then, on June 9th, when returning from France, where he had gone to
recruit, he as nearly as possible lost his life in a railway accident
at Staplehurst. A bridge had broken in; some of the carriages fell
through, and were smashed; that in which Dickens was, hung down the
side of the chasm. Of courage and presence of mind he never showed any
lack. They were evinced, on one occasion, at the readings, when an
alarm of fire arose. They shone conspicuous here. He quieted two
ladies who were in the same compartment of the carriage; helped to
extricate them and others from their perilous position; gave such help
as he could to the wounded and dying; probably was the means of saving
the life of one man, whom he was the first to hear faintly groaning
under a heap of wreckage; and then, as he tells in the "postscript" to
the book, scrambled back into the carriage to find the crumpled MS.
of a portion of "Our Mutual Friend."[31] But even pluck is powerless
to prevent a ruinous shock to the nerves. Though Dickens had done so
manfully what he had to do at the time, he never fully recovered from
the blow. His daughter tells us how he would often, "when travelling
home from London, suddenly fall into a paroxysm of fear, tremble all
over, clutch the arms of the railway carriage, large beads of
perspiration standing on his face, and suffer agonies of terror.... He
had ... apparently no idea of our presence." And Mr. Dolby tells us
also how in travelling it was often necessary for him to ward off such
attacks by taking brandy. Dickens had been failing before only too
surely; and this accident, like a coward's blow, struck him heavily as
he fell.

But whether failing or stricken, he bated no jot of energy or courage;
nay, rather, as his health grew weaker, did he redouble the pressure
of his work. I think there is a grandeur in the story of the last five
years of his life, that dwarfs even the tale of his rapid and splendid
rise. It reads like some antique myth of the Titans defying Jove's
thunder. There is about the man something indomitable and heroic. He
had, as we have seen, given a series of readings in 1858-59; and he
gave another in the years 1861 to 1863--successful enough in a
pecuniary sense, but through failure of business capacity on the part
of the manager, entailing on the reader himself a great deal of
anxiety and worry.[32] Now, in the spring of 1866, with his left foot
giving him unceasing trouble, and his nerves shattered, and his heart
in an abnormal state, he accepted an offer from Messrs. Chappell to
read "in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Paris," for £1,500, and the
payment of all expenses, and then to give forty-two more readings for
£2,500. Mr. Dolby, who accompanied Dickens as business manager in this
and the remaining tours, has told their story in an interesting
volume.[33] Of course the wear was immense. The readings themselves
involved enormous fatigue to one who so identified himself with what
he read, and whose whole being seemed to vibrate not only with the
emotions of the characters in his stories, but of the audience. Then
there was the weariness of long railway journeys in all seasons and
weathers--journeys that at first must have been rendered doubly
tedious, as he could not bear to travel by express trains. Yet,
notwithstanding failure of strength, notwithstanding fatigue, his
native gaiety and good spirits smile like a gleam of winter sunlight
over the narrative. As he had been the brightest and most genial of
companions in the old holiday days when strolling about the country
with his actor-troupe, so now he was occasionally as frolic as a boy,
dancing a hornpipe in the train for the amusement of his companions,
compounding bowls of punch in which he shared but sparingly--for he
was really convivial only in idea--and always considerate and kindly
towards his companions and dependents. And mingled pathetically with
all this are confessions of pain, weariness, illness, faintness,
sleeplessness, internal bleeding,--all bravely borne, and never for an
instant suffered to interfere with any business arrangement.

But if the strain of the readings was too heavy here at home, what was
it likely to be during a winter in America? Nevertheless he
determined, against all remonstrances, to go thither. It would almost
seem as if he felt that the day of his life was waning, and that it
was his duty to gather in a golden harvest for those he loved ere the
night came on. So he sailed for Boston once more on the 9th of
November, 1867. The Americans, it must be said, behaved nobly. All the
old grudges connected with "The American Notes," and "Martin
Chuzzlewit," sank into oblivion. The reception was everywhere
enthusiastic, the success of the readings immense. Again and again
people waited all night, amid the rigours of an almost arctic winter,
in order to secure an opportunity of purchasing tickets as soon as the
ticket office opened. There were enormous and intelligent audiences at
Boston, New York, Washington, Philadelphia--everywhere. The sum which
Dickens realized by the tour, amounted to the splendid total of nearly
£19,000. Nor, in this money triumph, did he fail to excite his usual
charm of personal fascination, though the public affection and
admiration were manifested in forms less objectionable and offensive
than of old. On his birthday, the 7th of February, 1868, he says, "I
couldn't help laughing at myself ...; it was observed so much as
though I were a little boy." Flowers, garlands were set about his
room; there were presents on his dinner-table, and in the evening the
hall where he read was decorated by kindly unknown hands. Of public
and private entertainment he might have had just as much as he chose.

But to this medal there was a terrible reverse. Travelling from New
York to Boston just before Christmas, he took a most disastrous cold,
which never left him so long as he remained in the country. He was
constantly faint. He ate scarcely anything. He slept very little.
Latterly he was so lame, as scarcely to be able to walk. Again and
again it seemed impossible that he should fulfil his night's
engagement. He was constantly so exhausted at the conclusion of the
reading, that he had to lie down for twenty minutes or half an hour,
"before he could undergo the fatigue even of dressing." Mr. Dolby
lived in daily fear lest he should break down altogether. "I used to
steal into his room," he says, "at all hours of the night and early
morning, to see if he were awake, or in want of anything; always
though to find him wide awake, and as cheerful and jovial as
circumstances would admit--never in the least complaining, and only
reproaching me for not taking my night's rest." "Only a man of iron
will could have accomplished what he did," says Mr. Fields, who knew
him well, and saw him often during the tour.

In the first week of May, 1868, Dickens was back in England, and soon
again in the thick of his work and play. Mr. Wills, the sub-editor of
_All the Year Round_, had met with an accident. Dickens supplied his
place. Chauncy Hare Townshend had asked him to edit a chaotic mass of
religious lucubrations. He toilfully edited them. Then, with the
autumn, the readings began again;--for it marks the indomitable
energy of the man that, even amid the terrible physical trials
incident to his tour in America, he had agreed with Messrs. Chappell,
for a sum of £8,000, to give one hundred more readings after his
return. So in October the old work began again, and he was here,
there, and everywhere, now reading at Manchester and Liverpool, now at
Edinburgh and Glasgow, anon coming back to read fitfully in London,
then off again to Ireland, or the West of England. Nor is it necessary
to say that he spared himself not one whit. In order to give novelty
to these readings, which were to be positively the last, he had
laboriously got up the scene of Nancy's murder, in "Oliver Twist," and
persisted in giving it night after night, though of all his readings
it was the one that exhausted him most terribly.[34] But of course
this could not last. The pain in his foot "was always recurring at
inconvenient and unexpected moments," says Mr. Dolby, and occasionally
the American cold came back too. In February, in London, the foot was
worse than it had ever been, so bad that Sir Henry Thompson, and Mr.
Beard, his medical adviser, compelled him to postpone a reading. At
Edinburgh, a few days afterwards, Mr. Syme, the eminent surgeon,
strongly recommended perfect rest. Still he battled on, but "with
great personal suffering such as few men could have endured."
Sleeplessness was on him too. And still he fought on, determined, if
it were physically possible, to fulfil his engagement with Messrs.
Chappell, and complete the hundred nights. But it was not to be.
Symptoms set in that pointed alarmingly towards paralysis of the left
side. At Preston, on the 22nd of April, Mr. Beard, who had come
post-haste from London, put a stop to the readings, and afterwards
decided, in consultation with Sir Thomas Watson, that they ought to be
suspended entirely for the time, and never resumed in connection with
any railway travelling.

Even this, however, was not quite the end; for a summer of comparative
rest, or what Dickens considered rest, seemed so far to have set him
up that he gave a final series of twelve readings in London between
the 11th of January and 15th of March, 1870, thus bringing to its real
conclusion an enterprise by which, at whatever cost to himself, he had
made a sum of about £45,000.

Meanwhile, in the autumn of 1869, he had gone back to the old work,
and was writing a novel, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood." It is a good
novel unquestionably. Without going so far as Longfellow, who had
doubts whether it was not "the most beautiful of all" Dickens' works,
one may admit that there is about it a singular freshness, and no sign
at all of mental decay. As for the "mystery," I do not think _that_
need baffle us altogether. But then I see no particular reason to
believe that Dickens had wished to baffle us, or specially to rival
Edgar Allan Poe or Mr. Wilkie Collins in the construction of criminal
puzzles. Even though only half the case is presented to us, and the
book remains for ever unfinished, we need have, I think, no difficulty
in working out its conclusion. The course pursued by Mr. Jasper, Lay
Precentor of the Cathedral at Cloisterham, is really too suspicious.
No intelligent British jury, seeing the facts as they are presented to
us, the readers, could for a moment think of acquitting him of the
murder of his nephew, Edwin Drood. Take those facts seriatim. First,
we have the motive: he is passionately in love with the girl to whom
his nephew is engaged. Then we have a terrible coil of compromising
circumstances: his extravagant profession of devotion to his nephew,
his attempts to establish a hidden influence over the girl's mind to
his nephew's detriment and his own advantage, his gropings amid the
dark recesses of the Cathedral and inquiries into the action of
quicklime, his endeavours to foment a quarrel between Edwin Drood and
a fiery young gentleman from Ceylon, on the night of the murder, and
his undoubted doctoring of the latter's drink. Then, after the murder,
how damaging is his conduct. He falls into a kind of fit on
discovering that his nephew's engagement had been broken off, which he
might well do if his crime turned out to be not only a crime but also
a blunder. And his conduct to the girl is, to say the least of it,
strange. Nor will his character help him. He frequents the opium dens
of the East-end of London. Guilty, guilty, most certainly guilty.
There is nothing to be said in arrest of judgment. Let the judge put
on the black cap, and Jasper be devoted to his merited doom.

Such was the story that Dickens was unravelling in the spring and
early summer of 1870. And fortune smiled upon it. He had sold the
copyright for the large sum of £7,500, and a half share of the profits
after a sale of twenty-five thousand copies, plus £1,000 for the
advance sheets sent to America; and the sale was more than answering
his expectations. Nor did prosperity look favourably on the book
alone. It also, in one sense, showered benefits on the author. He was
worth, as the evidence of the Probate Court was to show only too soon,
a sum of over £80,000. He was happy in his children. He was
universally loved, honoured, courted. "Troops of friends," though,
alas! death had made havoc among the oldest, were still his. Never had
man exhibited less inclination to pay fawning court to greatness and
social rank. Yet when the Queen expressed a desire to see him, as she
did in March, 1870, he felt not only pride, but a gentleman's pleasure
in acceding to her wish, and came away charmed from a long chatting
interview. But, while prosperity was smiling thus, the shadows of his
day of life were lengthening, lengthening, and the night was at hand.

On Wednesday, June 8th, he seemed in excellent spirits; worked all the
morning in the Châlet[35] as was his wont, returned to the house for
lunch and a cigar, and then, being anxious to get on with "Edwin
Drood," went back to his desk once more. The weather was superb. All
round the landscape lay in fullest beauty of leafage and flower, and
the air rang musically with the song of birds. What were his thoughts
that summer day as he sat there at his work? Writing many years
before, he had asked whether the "subtle liquor of the blood" may not
"perceive, by properties within itself," when danger is imminent, and
so "run cold and dull"? Did any such monitor within, one wonders, warn
him at all that the hand of death was uplifted to strike, and that its
shadow lay upon him? Judging from the words that fell from his pen
that day we might almost think that it was so--we might almost go
further, and guess with what hopes and fears he looked into the
darkness beyond. Never at any time does he appear to have been greatly
troubled by speculative doubt. There is no evidence in his life, no
evidence in his letters, no evidence in his books, that he had ever
seen any cause to question the truth of the reply which Christianity
gives to the world-old problems of man's origin and destiny. For
abstract speculation he had not the slightest turn or taste. In no
single one of his characters does he exhibit any fierce mental
struggle as between truth and error. All that side of human
experience, with its anguish of battle, its despairs, and its
triumphs, seems to have been unknown to him. Perhaps he had the
stronger grasp of other matters in consequence--who knows? But the
fact remains. With a trust quite simple and untroubled, he held
through life to the faith of Christ. When his children were little, he
had written prayers for them, had put the Bible into simpler language
for their use. In his will, dated May 12, 1869, he had said, "I commit
my soul to the mercy of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
and I exhort my dear children humbly to try to guide themselves by the
broad teaching of the New Testament in its broad spirit, and to put
no faith in any man's narrow construction of its letter here or
there." And now, on this last day of his life, in probably the last
letter that left his pen, he wrote to one who had objected to some
passage in "Edwin Drood" as irreverent: "I have always striven in my
writings to express veneration for the life and lessons of our
Saviour--because I feel it." And with a significance, of which, as I
have said, he may himself have been dimly half-conscious, among the
last words of his unfinished story, written that very afternoon, are
words that tell of glorious summer sunshine transfiguring the city of
his imagination, and of the changing lights, and the song of birds,
and the incense from garden and meadow that "penetrate into the
cathedral" of Cloisterham, "subdue its earthy odour, and preach the
Resurrection and the Life."

For now the end had come. When he went in to dinner Miss Hogarth
noticed that he looked very ill, and wished at once to send for a
doctor. But he refused, struggled for a short space against the
impending fit, and tried to talk, at last very incoherently. Then,
when urged to go up to his bed, he rose, and, almost immediately, slid
from her supporting arm, and fell on the floor. Nor did consciousness
return. He passed from the unrest of life into the peace of eternity
on the following day, June 9, 1870, at ten minutes past six in the

And now he lies in Westminster Abbey, among the men who have most
helped, by deed or thought, to make this England of ours what it is.
Dean Stanley only gave effect to the national voice when he assigned
to him that place of sepulture. The most popular, and in most
respects the greatest novelist of his time; the lord over the laughter
and tears of a whole generation; the writer, in his own field of
fiction, whose like we shall probably not see again for many a long,
long year, if ever; where could he be laid more fittingly for his last
long sleep than in the hallowed resting-place which the country sets
apart for the most honoured of her children?

So he lies there among his peers in the Southern Transept. Close
beside him sleep Dr. Johnson, the puissant literary autocrat of his
own time; and Garrick, who was that time's greatest actor; and Handel,
who may fittingly claim to have been one of the mightiest musicians of
all time. There sleeps, too, after the fitful fever of his troubled
life, the witty, the eloquent Sheridan. In close proximity rests
Macaulay, the artist-historian and essayist. Within the radius of a
few yards lies all that will ever die of Chaucer, who five hundred
years ago sounded the spring note of English literature, and gave to
all after-time the best, brightest glimpse into mediæval England; and
all that is mortal also of Spenser of the honey'd verse; and of
Beaumont, who had caught an echo of Shakespeare's sweetness if not his
power; and of sturdy Ben Jonson, held in his own day a not unworthy
rival of Shakespeare's self; and of "glorious" and most masculine John
Dryden. From his monument Shakespeare looks upon the place with his
kindly eyes, and Addison too, and Goldsmith; and one can almost
imagine a smile of fellowship upon the marble faces of those later
dead--Burns, Coleridge, Southey, and Thackeray.

Nor in that great place of the dead does Dickens enjoy cold barren
honour alone. Nearly seventeen years have gone by since he was laid
there--yes, nearly seventeen years, though it seems only yesterday
that I was listening to the funeral sermon in which Dean Stanley spoke
of the simple and sufficient faith in which he had lived and died. But
though seventeen years have gone by, yet are outward signs not wanting
of the peculiar love that clings to him still. As I strolled through
the Abbey this last Christmas Eve I found his grave, and his grave
alone, made gay with the season's hollies. "Lord, keep my memory
green,"--in another sense than he used the words, that prayer is

And of the future what shall we say? His fame had a brilliant day
while he lived; it has a brilliant day now. Will it fade into
twilight, without even an after-glow; will it pass altogether into the
night of oblivion? I cannot think so. The vitality of Dickens' works
is singularly great. They are all a-throb, as it were, with hot human
blood. They are popular in the highest sense because their appeal is
universal, to the uneducated as well as the educated. The humour is
superb, and most of it, so far as one can judge, of no ephemeral kind.
The pathos is more questionable, but that too, at its simplest and
best; and especially when the humour is shot with it--is worthy of a
better epithet than excellent. It is supremely touching. Imagination,
fancy, wit, eloquence, the keenest observation, the most strenuous
endeavour to reach the highest artistic excellence, the largest
kindliness,--all these he brought to his life-work. And that work, as
I think, will live, I had almost dared to prophesy for ever. Of
course fashions change. Of course no writer of fiction, writing for
his own little day, can permanently meet the needs of all after times.
Some loss of immediate vital interest is inevitable. Nevertheless, in
Dickens' case, all will not die. Half a century, a century hence, he
will still be read; not perhaps as he was read when his words flashed
upon the world in their first glory and freshness, nor as he is read
now in the noon of his fame. But he will be read much more than we
read the novelists of the last century--be read as much, shall I say,
as we still read Scott. And so long as he _is_ read, there will be one
gentle and humanizing influence the more at work among men.



[31] For his own graphic account of the accident, see his "Letters."

[32] He computed that he had made £12,000 by the two first series of

[33] "Charles Dickens as I Knew Him." By George Dolby. Miss Dickens
considers this "the best and truest picture of her father yet

[34] Mr. Dolby remonstrated on this, and it was in connection with a
very slight show of temper on the occasion that he says: "In all my
experiences with the Chief that was the only time I ever heard him
address angry words to any one."

[35] The Châlet, since sold and removed, stood at the edge of a kind
of "wilderness," which is separated from Gad's Hill Place by the high
road. A tunnel, constructed by Dickens, connects the "wilderness" and
the garden of the house. Close to the road, in the "wilderness," and
fronting the house, are two fine cedars.



"Administrative Reform" agitation, 129

_All the Year Round_, 114, 115

America, Dickens' first visit to United States in 1842, 71, 74-82, 94,
  95; second visit in 1867-8, 152-153

"American Notes," 68, 79-81


"Barnaby Rudge," 52, 69-70, 108

Barnard, Mr., his illustrations to Dickens' works, 143

"Battle of Life," 104

_Bentley's Miscellany_ edited by Dickens, 49, 51

"Bleak House," 116-119

Boulogne, 119, 120

Bret Harte, Mr., on Little Nell, 64

Browne, or "Phiz," his illustrations to Dickens' works, 140-142


Carlyle, his description of Dickens quoted, 35;
  and of Dickens' reading, 124;
  his influence on Dickens, 126, 127;
  see also 98 and 139

Chapman and Hall, 40, 41, 42, 51, 61

Chatham, 13

Childhood, Dickens' feeling for its pathos, 12, 63

"Child's History of England," 115

"Chimes," 55, 96-99, 142

"Christmas Carol," 91-92, 125

"Christopher North," 72

Cowden Clarke, Mrs., quoted, 110

Cruikshank, his illustrations to "Sketches" and "Oliver Twist," 140-142


_Daily News_, started with Dickens as editor, 99, 100, 103, 114
"David Copperfield"--in many respects autobiographical, 14-16, 21, 133;
  analysis of, 63, 68, 111-113

Dick, Mr., 107, 108

Dickens, Charles, birth, 12;
  childhood and boyhood, 12-26;
  school experiences, 25, 26;
  law experiences, 27, 28;
  experiences as reporter for the press, 28-30;
  first attempts at authorship, 31-33;
  marriage, 34;
  his personal appearance in early manhood, 35, 36;
  influence of his early training, 36-39;
  pecuniary position after publication of "Pickwick," 51, 52;
  habits of work and relaxation, 54-56;
  reception at Edinburgh, 71, 72;
  American experiences, 74-81;
  affection for his children, 82, 83;
  Italian experiences, 93-99;
  appointed editor of _Daily News_, 99, 100;
  efficiency in practical matters, 102, 103;
  his charm as a holiday companion, 110;
  first public readings in 1853, 121;
  character of his reading, 124, 125;
  purchase of Gad's Hill Place, 131, 132;
  separation from his wife, 132-138;
  general love in which he was held, 135, 136;
  tendency to caricature in his art, 142;
  essential refinement in his writing and in himself, 147, 148;
  his presence of mind, 149;
  his brave battle against failing strength, 149-155;
  with what thoughts he faced death, 158, 159;
  his death, 159;
  resting-place in Westminster Abbey, 159-161;
  love that clings to his memory, 161;
  future of his fame, 161, 162

Dickens, John, his character, 16, 17;
  his imprisonment, 22, 23, 28;
  his death, 115

Dickens, Miss, biography of her father, quoted, 50, 83, 150

Dickens, Mrs. (Dickens' mother), 24, 25

Dickens, Mrs., 82;
  separated from her husband, 132-138

Dolby, Mr., manager for the readings, 150, 151, 153

"Dombey and Son," 63, 103-107, 110

Dombey, Paul, 63, 65-66, 68, 105


Edinburgh, Dickens' reception there, 71, 72

"Edwin Drood," 143, 155-157


Fildes, Mr. L., A.R.A., illustrates "Edwin Drood," 143

Flite, Miss, 108, 109

Forster, John, 19, 38, 99, 116;
  his opinion on the advisability of public readings, 121, 122


Gad's Hill Place, 13;
  purchase of, 131, 132

Genoa, 54, 55, 95-96, 98, 99

Grant, Mr. James, 42

"Great Expectations," 63, 143-145


"Hard Times," 126-129

"Haunted Man," The, 110-111

Helps, Sir Arthur, on Dickens' powers of observation, 32;
  on his essential refinement, 148

Hogarth, Mary, her death and character, 52-53

Horne, on description of Little Nell's death and burial, 64, 66-67

_Household Words_, 113-115, 134

Humour of Dickens, 32, 33, 45, 46, 142, 161


Italy in 1844, 94-95


Jeffrey, his opinion of Little Nell, 63, 71, 72


Landor, his admiration for Little Nell, 64;
  his likeness to Mr. Boythorn, 119

Lausanne, 103, 104

Leigh Hunt, 118

"Little Dorrit," 22, 129-131, 142-143

Little Nell, criticism on her character and story, 63-67, 71, 72, 73

London, Dickens' knowledge of, and walks in, 32, 54-56


Macaulay, 80, 128, 160

Macready, the tragic actor, 73, 76, 82, 83

Marshalsea Prison, Dickens' father imprisoned there, 16, 20, 21-23;
  made the chief scene of "Little Dorrit," 130

"Martin Chuzzlewit," 84, 85, 88-90

_Master Humphrey's Clock_, 61, 62, 90, 141

Micawber, Mr., 15, 16, 22


Nickleby, Mrs., 25

"Nicholas Nickleby," 50, 59-61, 90


"Old Curiosity Shop," 61, 62-69

"Oliver Twist," 49, 51, 57-59, 63, 141

"Our Mutual Friend," 86, 143, 145-147


Paris, 109, 131

Pathos of Dickens, 32, 33, 67-69, 161

"Pickwick," 40-48, 49, 51, 90, 141

"Pictures from Italy," 99, 100-101

Pipchin, Mrs., 20, 23

Plots, Dickens', 85-88


_Quarterly Review_ foretells Dickens' speedy downfall, 50, 51


Readings, Dickens', 121-125, 139, 150-155

Ruskin, Mr., his opinion of "Hard Times," 128


Sam Weller, 46, 47

Scott, Sir Walter, 43, 87, 162

Seymour, his connection with "Pickwick," 40-42, 141

"Sketches by Boz," 31-33, 52, 140, 141

Stanley, Dean, 159, 161

Stone, Mr. Marcus, R.A., illustrates "Our Mutual Friend," 143


Taine, M., his criticism criticised, 107-109

"Tale of Two Cities," 139-140

Thackeray, 53, 135, 145;
  as a reader, 124, 125

Tiny Tim, 68, 125

Toots, Mr., 107, 108, 109


Washington Irving, 73, 148

Westminster Abbey, Dickens place of burial, 159-161


Yates, Edmund, Mr., quoted, 38




_(British Museum)._

       *       *       *       *       *






         Biographical, Critical, etc.
         Parodies and Imitations.
         Magazine and Newspaper Articles.


       *       *       *       *       *


FIRST CHEAP EDITION. 19 vols. London, 1847-67, 8vo.

     This edition was in three series, the first and third being
     published by Messrs. Chapman and Hall, the second by Messrs.
     Bradbury and Evans. It was printed in double columns, with
     frontispieces by Leslie, Hablôt K. Browne, Cruikshank, etc.

LIBRARY EDITION. 22 vols. London, 1858-59, 8vo.

LIBRARY EDITION. Illustrated. 30 vols. London, 1861-1873.

     The original illustrations were added to the later issues of
     the Library Edition, and the series completed in 30 vols.

THE PEOPLE'S EDITION. 25 vols. London, 1865-1867, 8vo.

     A re-issue of the Cheap Edition.

THE CHARLES DICKENS EDITION. Illustrated. 21 vols. London,
1867-1873, 8vo.

THE HOUSEHOLD EDITION. Illustrated. 22 vols. London,
1871-1879, 4to.

ILLUSTRATED LIBRARY EDITION. 30 vols. London, 1873-1876, 8vo.

THE POPULAR LIBRARY EDITION. Illustrated. 30 vols. London,
1878-1880, 8vo.

THE POCKET EDITION. 30 vols. London, 1880, 16mo.

THE DIAMOND EDITION. Illustrated. 14 vols. London, 1880,

ÉDITION DE LUXE. Illustrated. 30 vols. London, 1881, 4to.

     One thousand copies only of this Édition de Luxe were
     printed for sale, each numbered, and it was dedicated to Her
     Majesty the Queen.

THE CABINET EDITION. Illustrated. London, 1885, etc., 16mo.

     A re-issue of the Pocket Edition.


The Beauties of Pickwick. Collected and arranged by Sam Weller.
London, 1838, 8vo.

The Story Teller. A collection of tales, stories, and novels. By
Walter Scott, Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, etc. Edited by
Hermann Schütz. Siegen, 1850, 8vo.

Immortelles from C.D. By Ich. London, 1856, 8vo.

Novels and Tales reprinted from Household Words. 11 vols. (_Tauchnitz
Edition_). Leipzig, 1856-59, 16mo.

Christmas Stories from the Household Words. Conducted by C.D. London
[1860], 8vo.

The Poor Traveller: Boots at the Holly-Tree Inn; and Mrs. Gamp, by
C.D. London, 1858, 8vo.

     Arranged by Dickens for his Readings.

Dialogues from Dickens. Arranged by W.E. Fette. Two Series. Boston,
1870-71, 8vo.

A Cyclopædia of the best thoughts of C.D. Compiled and alphabetically
arranged by F.G. De Fontaine. New York, 1873, 8vo.

A Series of Character Sketches from Dickens. Being fac-similes of
original drawings by F. Barnard [with extracts from some of D.'s
works]. 2 pts. London [1879]-85, folio.

----Another Edition. London, 1884, folio.

The Dickens Reader. Character Readings from the stories of Charles
Dickens. Selected, adapted, and arranged by Nathan Sheppard, with
numerous illustrations by F. Barnard, New York, 1881, 4to.

The Charles Dickens Birthday Book. Compiled and edited by his eldest
daughter (Mary Dickens). With illustrations by his youngest daughter
(Kate Perugini). London, 1882, 8vo.

Readings from the works of C.D. Condensed and adapted by J.A.
Jennings. Dublin [1882], 8vo.

The Readings of C.D. as arranged and read by himself. With
illustrations. London, 1883, 8vo.

Chips from Dickens selected by Thomas Mason. Glasgow [1884], 32mo.

Tales from Charles Dickens's Works. London [1884], 8vo.

The Humour and Pathos of Charles Dickens. Selected by Chas. Kent.
London, 1884, 8vo.

Child-Pictures from Dickens. [Illustrated.] London, 1885, 4to.

Wellerisms from "Pickwick" and "Master Humphrey's Clock." Selected by
Charles F. Rideal, and Edited, with an Introduction, by Charles Kent,
author of "The Humour and Pathos of Charles Dickens." London, 1886,


American Notes for general circulation. 2 vols. London, 1842, 8vo.

----[Other Editions. London, 1850, 8vo.; London, 1884, 8vo].

Bleak House. With illustrations, by H.K. Browne. London, 1853, 8vo.

Boots at the Holly-Tree Inn, by Charles Dickens, as condensed by
himself for his readings. Boston, 1868, 8vo.

     The Holly-Tree Inn was the Christmas Number of "Household
     Words" for 1855. Dickens contributed "The Guest," "The
     Boots," and "The Bill."

A Child's History of England. With a frontispiece by F.W. Topham. 3
vols. London, 1852-54, 16mo.

The Chimes: a Goblin Story of some bells that rang an old year out and
a new year in. By Charles Dickens. [Illustrated by Maclise, Doyle,
Leech, and Clarkson Stanfield.] London, 1845, 8vo.

     An edition with notes and elucidations by K. ten Bruggencate
     was published at Groningen in 1883.

Christmas Books. London, 1852, 8vo.

Christmas Books. With illustrations by Sir E. Landseer, Maclise,
Stanfield, F. Stone, Doyle, Leech, and Tenniel. London, 1869, 8vo.

A Christmas Carol in Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. By C.D.
With illustrations by John Leech. London, 1843, 8vo.

----Condensed by himself, for his readings. Boston [U.S.], 1868, 8vo.

The Cricket on the Hearth. A Fairy Tale of Home. By C.D. [Illustrated
by Maclise, Doyle, Clarkson Stanfield, Leech, and Landseer.] London,
1846, 16mo.

The Battle of Life: A Love Story. [Illustrated by Maclise, Stanfield,
Doyle, and Leech.] London, 1846, 16mo.

The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain. A Fancy for Christmas Time.
[Illustrated by Stanfield, John Tenniel, Frank Stone, and John Leech.]
London, 1848, 16mo.

Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son, wholesale, retail, and for
exportation. With illustrations by H.K. Browne. London, 1848, 8vo.

The Story of Little Dombey. By C.D. London, 1858, 8vo.

     Revised by Dickens for his Readings.

The Story of Little Dombey. By C.D., as condensed by himself for his
readings. Boston [U.S.], 1868, 8vo.

Doctor Marigold's Prescriptions. (_Tauchnitz Edition_, vol. 894.)
Leipzig, 1867, 16mo.

     The Christmas Number of "All the Year Round" for 1865.
     Dickens contributed chap. i., "To be Taken Immediately;"
     chap. vi., "To be Taken With a Grain of Salt;" and the
     concluding chapter, "To be Taken for Life."

Doctor Marigold. By C.D., as condensed by himself for his readings.
Boston [U.S.], 1868, 8vo.

Great Expectations. By C.D. In three volumes. London, 1861, 8vo.

     Appeared originally in _All the Year Round_, December 1,
     1860, to August 3, 1861. An American edition was published
     the same year with illustrations by J. McLenan.

Hard Times. For these Times. By C.D. London, 1854, 8vo.

     Appeared originally in Household Words, April 1 to August
     12, 1854.

Hunted Down. (_Tauchnitz Edition_, vol. 536.) Leipzig, 1860, 16mo.

     Appeared originally in the _New York Ledger_, August 20, 27,
     Sept. 3, 1859, and _All the Year Round_, Aug. 4 and 11,

Hunted Down. A Story. By C.D. With some account of T.G. Wainewright,
the poisoner [by John Camden Hotten]. London [1870], 8vo.

Is She his Wife? or, Something Singular. A comic burletta in one act.
Boston [U.S.], 1877, 16mo.

     First produced at the St. James's Theatre, March 6, 1837.
     Mr. Shepherd says that this was first printed in 1837, but
     no copy is known to exist.

The Lamplighter: A Farce. By C.D. (1838).

     Only 250 copies were privately printed in 1879 from the MS.
     copy in the Forster Collection at South Kensington; each
     copy numbered.

The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit. With illustrations by
Phiz [_i.e._, H.K. Browne]. London, 1844, 8vo.

Mrs. Gamp [extracted from "The Life and Adventures of Martin
Chuzzlewit"]. By C.D., as condensed by himself, for his readings.
Boston [U.S.], 1868, 8vo.

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. With illustrations by
Phiz. London, 1839, 8vo.

     Contains a portrait of Dickens, and 39 illustrations.

Nicholas Nickleby at the Yorkshire School [extracted from "The Life
and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby"]. By C.D., as condensed by
himself, for his readings. (Four Chapters). Boston [U.S.], 1868, 8vo.

     Another edition in three chapters was published at Boston
     the same year.

Little Dorrit. With illustrations, by H.K. Browne. London [1855]-57,

Master Humphrey's Clock. With illustrations by George Cattermole and
H.K. Browne. 3 vols. London, 1840-41, 8vo.

     Comprises two stories, "The Old Curiosity Shop" and "Barnaby
     Rudge," both subsequently issued as independent works, the
     first in 1848, and the second in 1849.

The Old Curiosity Shop. London, 1848, 8vo.

Barnaby Rudge. A Tale of the Riots of Eighty. London, 1849, 8vo.

Mr. Nightingale's Diary: a Farce, in one act. London, 1851, 8vo.

     Privately printed and extremely scarce. There is a copy in
     the Forster Collection at South Kensington.

----Another edition. Boston [U.S.], 1877, 16mo.

     This edition is now scarce.

The Mudfog Papers. Now first collected. London, 1880, 8vo.

     Reprinted from Bentley's Miscellany.

----Second edition. London, 1880, 8vo.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood. With twelve illustrations by S.L. Fildes,
and a portrait. London, 1870, 8vo.

Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress. By "Boz." In three
volumes. [With illustrations by George Cruikshank.] London, 1838, 8vo.

     The second edition, with the title-page reading "Oliver
     Twist, by Charles Dickens," appeared the following year; the
     third edition, with a new preface, was published in 1841.
     The edition of 1846, in one volume, bears the following
     title-page:--"The Adventures of Oliver Twist; or, The Parish
     Boy's Progress. By Charles Dickens. With twenty-four
     illustrations on Steel, by George Cruikshank."

Our Mutual Friend. With illustrations by Marcus Stone. 2 vols.
London, 1865, 8vo.

The Personal History of David Copperfield. With illustrations, by H.K.
Browne. London, 1850, 8vo.

David Copperfield. By C.D., as condensed by himself, for his readings.
Boston [U.S.], 1868, 8vo.

Pictures from Italy. By C.D. The vignette illustrations on wood, by
Samuel Palmer. London, 1846, 8vo.

     Appeared originally in the _Daily News_, from January to
     March 1846, with the title of "Travelling Letters written on
     the Road. By Charles Dickens."

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. Being a faithful record of
the Perambulations, Perils, Travels, Adventures, and Sporting
Transactions of the Corresponding Members. Edited by "Boz." With
forty-three illustrations by R. Seymour, R.W. Buss, and Phiz [H.K.
Browne], London, 1837, 8vo.

     In twenty monthly parts, commencing April 1836, and ending
     November 1837, no number being issued for June 1837.

----Another edition. V.D. Land, Launceston, 1838, 8vo.

     This edition of Pickwick is interesting from the fact that
     it was published in Van Dieman's Land, the illustrations
     being exact copies of the originals executed in lithography.
     There is an additional title-page, engraved, bearing date

----The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, with notes and
illustrations. Edited by C. Dickens the younger, (Jubilee Edition.) 2
vols. London, 1886, 8vo.

Mr. Bob. Sawyer's Party [extracted from "The Posthumous Papers of the
Pickwick Club"] by C.D., as condensed by himself, for his readings.
Boston [U.S.], 1868, 8vo.

Bardell and Pickwick [extracted from "The Posthumous Papers of the
Pickwick Club"] by C.D., as condensed by himself, for his readings.
Boston [U.S.], 1868, 8vo.

Sketches by "Boz," illustrative of every-day life and every-day
people. In two volumes. Illustrations by George Cruikshank. London,
1836, 12mo.

----Second edition. London, 1836, 12mo.

Sketches by "Boz." Third edition. London, 1837, 12mo.

----Second Series. London, 1837, 12mo.

----First complete edition of the two series. With forty illustrations
by George Cruikshank. London, 1839, 8vo.

----Sketches and Tales of London Life. [Selections from "Sketches by
Boz."] London [1877], 8vo.

----The Tuggs's at Ramsgate [from "Sketches by Boz"]. London [1870],

Sketches of Young Gentlemen. Dedicated to the Young Ladies. With six
illustrations by "Phiz" (H.K. Browne). London, 1838, 8vo.

Sketches of Young Couples; with an urgent Remonstrance to the
Gentlemen of England (being Bachelors or Widowers) on the present
alarming Crisis. With six illustrations by "Phiz" [H.K. Browne].
London, 1840, 8vo.

     An edition was published in 1869 with the title "Sketches of
     Young Couples, Young Ladies, Young Gentlemen. By Quiz.
     Illustrated by Phiz." Only the first and third of these
     sketches were written by Charles Dickens. "The Sketches of
     Young Ladies" were by an anonymous author, who also assumed
     the pseudonym of Quiz.

Somebody's Luggage. (_Tauchnitz Edition_, vol. 888.) Leipzig, 1867,

     The Christmas Number of _All the Year Round_ for 1862.
     Dickens contributed "His leaving it till called for"; "His
     Boots"; "His Brown-paper Parcel" and "His Wonderful End."

The Strange Gentleman: A Comic Burletta. In two acts. By "Boz." First
performed at the St. James's Theatre, on Thursday, September 29, 1836.
London, 1837, 8vo.

Sunday under Three Heads. As it is; as Sabbath bills would make it; as
it might be made. By Timothy Sparks. London, 1836, 12mo.

     Reproduced in fac-simile, London, 1884, and in Pearson's
     Manchester Series of Fac-simile Reprints, Manchester, same

A Tale of Two Cities. With illustrations by H.K. Browne. London, 1859,

     Originally issued in _All the Year Round_, between April 30
     and November 26, 1859.

The Uncommercial Traveller. By C.D. London, 1861, 8vo.

     Consists of seventeen papers which originally appeared in
     _All the Year Round_ with this title between January 28 and
     October 13, 1860. The impression which was issued in 1868 in
     the Charles Dickens Edition contains eleven fresh papers.

The Village Coquettes: A Comic Opera. In two acts. By C.D. The music
by John Hullah. London, 1836, 8vo.

----Songs, choruses, and concerted pieces in the Operatic Burletta of
The Village Coquettes as produced at St. James's Theatre. The drama
and words of the songs by "Boz." The music by John Hullah. London,
1837, 8vo.

     Editions of "The Village Coquettes" were published at
     Leipzig, 1845, and at Amsterdam, 1868, in English, and it
     was reprinted in 1878. _See_ also under _Music_.



All the Year Round. A weekly journal conducted by Charles Dickens.
London, 1859-1870, 8vo.

     Commenced on the 30th of April 1859.

Bentley's Miscellany. [Successively edited by Boz, Ainsworth, Albert
Smith, etc.] Vol. 1-64. London, 1837-68, 8vo.

Evenings of a Working Man, being the occupation of his scanty leisure.
By John Overs. With a preface relative to the author, by C.D. London,
1844, 16mo.

Household Words: a weekly journal. Conducted by C.D. 19 vols. London,
1850-59, 8vo.

     This Journal commenced on the 30th March 1850, and was
     continued to the 28th of May 1859, when it was incorporated
     with _All the Year Round_. A cheap edition of Household
     Words, in 19 vols. was published in 1868-73.

----Christmas Stories from Household Words (1850-58). Conducted by
C.D. London, [1860], 8vo.

Legends and Lyrics, by Adelaide Anne Procter. With an introduction by
C.D. New edition, illustrated by Dobson, Palmer, Tenniel, etc. London,
1866, 4to.

The Letters of C.D. Edited by his sister-in-law (G. Hogarth) and his
eldest daughter (M. Dickens). 3 vols. London, 1880-1882, 8vo.

----Another edition. 2 vols. London, 1882, 8vo.

The Library of Fiction; or Family Story-Teller. [Edited by C.D.]
London, 1836-37, 8vo.

The Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman. Illustrated by George Cruikshank.
London, 1839, 8vo.

     The notes and preface were written by Dickens.

Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi. Edited by "Boz." With illustrations by G.
Cruikshank. 2 vols. London, 1838, 12mo.

Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi. Another edition. Revised by C. Whitehead.
London, 1846, 8vo.

----Another edition. London, 1853, 8vo.

----Another edition. London, 1866, 8vo.

     Two other editions were published in 1884 by G. Routledge
     and Sons, and J. Dicks.

The Newsvendors' Benevolent and Provident Institution. Speeches on
behalf of the Institution by C.D. London, 1871, 8vo.

The Pic-Nic Papers by various hands. Edited by C.D. With illustrations
by George Cruikshank. 3 vols. London, 1841, 8vo.

     Dickens contributed a preface and the opening tale, "The
     Lamplighter's Story."

The Plays and Poems of Charles Dickens. With a few Miscellanies in
prose. Now first collected, edited, prefaced, and annotated by R.H.
Shepherd. 2 vols. London, 1882, 8vo.

     This work was almost immediately suppressed, as it contained
     copyright matter. A new edition appeared in 1885, without
     the copyright play of "No Thoroughfare."

Religious Opinions of Chauncy Hare Townshend. Published as directed in
his Will, by his literary executor [Charles Dickens]. London, 1869,

Royal Literary Fund. A summary of facts in answer to allegations
contained in "The Case of the Reformers of the Literary Fund," stated
by C.D., etc. [London, 1858], 8vo.

Speech delivered at the meeting of the Administrative Reform
Association. London, 1855, 8vo.

Speech of C.D. as Chairman of the Anniversary Festival Dinner of the
Royal Free Hospital, 1863. [London, 1870], 12mo.

The Speeches of C.D., 1841-1870, edited and prefaced by R.H. Shepherd.
With a new bibliography, revised and enlarged. London, 1884, 8vo.

Speeches, letters, and sayings of C.D. To which is added a Sketch of
the author by G.A. Sala, and Dean Stanley's sermon. New York, 1870,

Speeches: Literary and Social. London [1870], 8vo.

A Wonderful Ghost Story. With letters of C.D. to the author respecting
it. By Thomas Heaphy. London, 1882, 8vo.



Adshead, Joseph.--Prisons and Prisoners. London, 1845, 8vo.

     The Fictions of Dickens upon solitary confinement, pp.

Allbut, Robert.--London Rambles "En Zigzag," with Charles Dickens.
London [1886], 8vo.

Atlantic Almanac.--The Atlantic Almanac for 1871. Boston, 1871, 8vo.

     A short biographical notice of Dickens, with portrait and
     view of Gad's Hill, pp. 20-21.

Bagehot, Walter.--Literary Studies, by the late Walter Bagehot. 2
vols. London, 1879, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens (1858), vol. 2, pp. 184-220.

Bayne, Peter.--Essays in Biography and Criticism. By Peter Bayne.
First series. Boston, 1857, 8vo.

     The modern novel: Dickens, Bulwer, Thackeray, pp. 363-392.

Behn-Eschenburg, H.--Charles Dickens. Von H. Behn-Eschenburg. Basel,
1872, 8vo.

     Hft. 6, of "Oeffentliche Vorträge gehalten in der Schweiz."

Brimley, George.--Essays by the late George Brimley. Edited by William
George Clark. Cambridge, 1858, 8vo.

     "Bleak House," pp. 289-301. Reprinted from the _Spectator_,
     September 24th, 1853.

Browne, Hablôt K.--Dombey and Son. The four portraits of Edith,
Florence, Alice, and Little Paul. London, 1848, 8vo.

----Dombey and Son. Full-length portraits of Dombey and Carker, Miss
Tox, Mrs. Skewton, etc. London, 1848, 8vo.

----Six illustrations to The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.
Engraved from original drawings by Phiz. London [1854], 8vo.

Buchanan, Robert.--A Poet's Sketch-Book; selections from the prose
writings of Robert Buchanan. London, 1883, 8vo.

     The Good Genie of Fiction. Charles Dickens, pp. 119-140.
     (Reprinted from _St. Paul's Magazine_, 1872, pp. 130-148.)

Calverley, C.S.--Fly Leaves. Second Edition. By C.S. Calverley.
Cambridge, 1872, 8vo.

     An Examination Paper. "The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick
     Club," pp. 121-124.

Canning, S.G.--Philosophy of Charles Dickens. By the Hon. Albert S.G.
Canning. London, 1880, 8vo.

Cary, Thomas G.--Letter to a lady in France on the supposed failure of
a national bank ... with answers to enquiries concerning the books of
Captain Marryat and Mr. Dickens. [By Thomas G. Cary.] Boston [U.S.],
1843, 8vo.

----Second Edition. Boston, [U.S.], 1844, 8vo.

Chambers, Robert.--Cyclopædia of English Literature. Edited by Robert
Chambers. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1844, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, vol. ii., pp. 630-633.

----Another Edition. 2 vols. Edinburgh, 1860, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, with a portrait, vol. ii., pp. 644-650.

----Third Edition, 2 vols. London, 1876, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, with a portrait, vol. ii., pp. 515-521.

Chapman, T.J.--Schools and Schoolmasters; from the works of Charles
Dickens. New York, 1871, 8vo.

Clarke, Charles and Mary Cowden.--Recollections of Writers. By Charles
and Mary Cowden Clarke. With letters of Charles Lamb ... and Charles
Dickens, etc. London, 1878, 8vo.

Cleveland, Charles Dexter.--English Literature of the Nineteenth
Century. A new edition. Philadelphia, 1867, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, pp. 718-730.

Cochrane, Robert.--Risen by Perseverance; or, lives of self-made men.
By Robert Cochrane. Edinburgh, 1879, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, pp. 172-223.

Cook, James.--Bibliography of the writings of Charles Dickens, with
many curious and interesting particulars relating to his works. By
James Cook. London, 1879, 8vo.

Cruikshank, George.--George Cruikshank's Magazine. London, 1854, 8vo.

     February 1854, pp. 74-80, "A letter from Hop-o'-My-Thumb to
     Charles Dickens, Esq., upon 'Frauds on the Fairies,' 'Whole
     Hogs,' etc."

D., H.W.--Ward and Lock's Penny Books for the People. Biographical
series. The Life of Charles Dickens. By H.W.D. Pp. 513-528. London,
1882, 8vo.

Davey, Samuel.--Darwin, Carlyle and Dickens, with other essays. By
Samuel Davey. London, [1876], 8vo.

Denman, Lord.--Uncle Tom's Cabin, Bleak House, Slavery and Slave
Trade. Six articles by Lord Denman. London, 1853, 8vo.

----Second Edition. London, 1853, 8vo.

Dépret, Louis.--Chez les Anglais. Shakespeare, Charles Dickens,
Longfellow, etc. Paris, 1879.

     Charles Dickens, 1812-1870, occupies pp. 71-130.

Dickens, Charles.--Chas. Dickens. A critical biography. London, 1858,

     No. 1 of a series entitled "Our Contemporaries," etc.

----The Life and Times of Charles Dickens. With a portrait. (_Police
News_ edition.) London. [1870], 8vo.

----The Life of Charles Dickens. London [1881], 8vo.

----The Life of Charles Dickens. London [1882], 8vo.

     Part of Haughton's Popular Illustrated Biographies.

----Some Notes on America to be re-written, suggested with respect to
Charles Dickens. Philadelphia, 1868, 8vo.

----Catalogue of the beautiful collection of modern pictures, etc., of
Charles Dickens, which will be sold by auction by Messrs. Christie,
Manson and Woods ... July 9, 1870. London [1870], 4to.

----Dickens Memento, with introduction by F. Phillimore, and "Hints to
Dickens Collectors," by J.F. Dexter. Catalogue with purchasers' names,
etc. London [1884], 4to.

----Mary.--Charles Dickens. By his eldest daughter (Mary Dickens).
London, 1885, 8vo.

     Part of the series "The World's Workers," etc.

Dilke, Charles W.--The Papers of a Critic, etc. 2 vols. London, 1875,

     Reference to the Literary Fund Controversy, with a letter
     from C.D. to C.W. Dilke. Vol. i., pp. 79, 80.

Dolby, George.--Charles Dickens as I knew him. The story of the
Reading Tours in Great Britain and America (1866-1870). By George
Dolby. London, 1885, 8vo.

Drake, Samuel Adams.--Our Great Benefactors; short biographies, etc.
Boston, 1884, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, pp. 102-111, illustrated.

Dulcken, A.--Scenes from "The Pickwick Papers," designed by A.
Dulcken. London [1861], obl. fol.

----H.W.--Worthies of the World, a series of historical and critical
sketches, etc. Edited by H.W. Dulcken. London [1881], 8vo.

     Biography of Charles Dickens, with a portrait, pp. 513-528.

Essays.--English Essays. 4 vols. Hamburg, 1870, 8vo.

     Vol. iv. contains an article reprinted from the _Illustrated
     London News_, June 18, 1870, on Charles Dickens.

Field, Kate.--Pen Photographs of Charles Dickens's Readings. Taken
from life. By Kate Field. Boston, [U.S.], [1868], 8vo.

----Another edition. Illustrated. Boston (U.S.), 1871, 8vo.

Fields, James T.--In and out of doors with Charles Dickens. By James
T. Fields. Boston, (U.S.), 1876, 16mo.

----James T. Fields. Biographical Notes and Personal Sketches. Boston
[U.S.], 1881, 8vo.

     Pp. 152-160 relate to Dickens.

Fitzgerald, Percy.--Two English Essayists. C. Lamb and C. Dickens. By
Percy Fitzgerald. London, 1864, 8vo.

     Afternoon Lectures on Literature and Art, series 2.

----Recreations of a Literary Man. By Percy Fitzgerald. 2 vols.
London, 1882, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens as an editor, vol. i., pp. 48-96; Charles
     Dickens at Home, vol. i., pp. 97-171.

Forster, John.--The Life of Charles Dickens. (With portraits.) 3 vols.
London, 1872-4, 8vo.

     Numerous editions.

Friswell, J. Hain.--Modern Men of Letters honestly criticised. By J.
Hain Friswell. London, 1870, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, pp. 1-45.

Frost, Thomas.--In Kent with Charles Dickens. By Thomas Frost. London,
1880, 8vo.

Gill, T.--Report of the Dinner given to C.D. in Boston. Reported by T.
Gill and W. English. Boston [U.S.], 1842, 8vo.

Hall, Samuel Carter.--A Book of Memories of Great Men and Women of the
Age, etc. By S.C. Hall. London, 1871, 4to.

     Charles Dickens, pp. 449-452.

----Second edition. London, 1877, 4to.

     Charles Dickens, pp. 454-458.

Ham, James Panton.--Parables of Fiction: a memorial discourse on C.
Dickens. By James Panton Ham. London, 1870, 8vo.

Hanaford, P.A.--Life and Writings of C. Dickens. New York, 1882, 8vo.

Hassard, John R.G.--A Pickwickian Pilgrimage. (Letters on "the London
of Charles Dickens.") By John R.G. Hassard. Boston (U.S.), 1881, 8vo.

Heavisides, Edward Marsh.--The Poetical and Prose Remains of Edward
Marsh Heavisides. London, 1850, 8vo.

     The Essay on Dickens's writings, pp. 1-27.

Hollingshead, John.--To-Day; Essays and Miscellanies. 2 vols. London,
1865, 8vo.

     Mr. Dickens and his Critics, vol. ii., pp. 277-283; Mr.
     Dickens as a Reader, vol. ii., pp. 284-296.

Hollingshead, John.--Miscellanies. Stories and Essays by John
Hollingshead. 3 vols. London, 1874, 8vo.

     Mr. Dickens and his critics, vol. iii., pp. 270-274; Mr.
     Dickens as a Reader, vol. iii., pp. 275-283.

Horne, Richard H.--A New Spirit of the Age. Edited by R.H. Horne. 2
vols. London, 1844, 12mo.

     Charles Dickens, with portrait, vol. i., pp. 1-76.

Hotten, John Camden.--Charles Dickens, the Story of his Life. By the
Author of the Life of Thackeray (J.C. Hotten). With illustrations and
fac-similes. London (1870), 8vo.

----Popular edition. London (1873), 12mo.

Hume, A.B.--A Christmas Memorial of Charles Dickens. By A.B. Hume.
1870, 8vo.

     Contains a fac-simile of Charles Dickens's letter to Mr.
     J.W. Makeham, dated June 8, 1870, and an Ode to his memory.

Hutton, Laurence.--Literary Landmarks of London. By Laurence Hutton.
London [1885], 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, 1812-1870, pp. 79-86.

Irving, Walter.--Charles Dickens. [An essay.] By Walter Irving.
Edinburgh, 1874, 8vo.

Jeaffreson, J. Cordy.--Novels and Novelists from Elizabeth to
Victoria. By J. Cordy Jeaffreson. 2 vols. London, 1858, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, vol. ii., pp. 303-334.

Jerrold, Blanchard.--The Best of All Good Company. Edited by Blanchard
Jerrold. Pt. 1., A Day with Charles Dickens. London, 1871, 8vo.

     Reprinted in 1872, 8 vo.

Johnson, Charles Plumptre.--Hints to Collectors of original editions
of the works of Charles Dickens. By Charles Plumptre Johnson. London,
1885, 8vo.

Johnson, Joseph.--Clever Boys of our Time, and how they became famous
men. Edinburgh [1878], 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, pp. 40-63.

Jones, Charles H.--Appleton's New Handy-volume Series. A short life of
Charles Dickens, etc. By Charles H. Jones. New York, 1880, 8vo.

Joubert, André.--André Joubert. Charles Dickens, sa vie et ses
oeuvres. Paris, 1872, 8vo.

Kent, Charles.--The Charles Dickens Dinner. An authentic record of the
public banquet given to Mr Charles Dickens ... prior to his departure
for the United States. [With a preface signed C.K. _i.e._, Charles
Kent.] London, 1867, 8vo.

Kent, Charles.--Charles Dickens as a Reader. By Charles Kent. London,
1872, 8vo.

Kitton, Fred. G.--"Phiz" (Hablôt Knight Browne.) A Memoir. Including a
selection from his Correspondence and Notes on his principal works. By
Fred. G. Kitton. With a portrait and numerous illustrations. London,
1882, 8vo.

     An account is given of the relationship that existed between
     Dickens and Phiz.

----Dickensiana. A Bibliography of the literature relating to Charles
Dickens and his writings. Compiled by Fred. G. Kitton. London, 1880,

Langton, Robert.--Charles Dickens and Rochester, etc. By Robert
Langton. London, 1886, 8vo.

Langton, Robert.--The Childhood and Youth of Charles Dickens, etc. By
Robert Langton. Manchester, 1883, 8vo.

L'Estrange, A.G.--History of English Humour, etc. By the Rev. A.G.
L'Estrange. 2 vols. London, 1878, 8vo.

     Chapter 18 of vol. ii. is devoted to Dickens.

Lynch, Judge.--Judge Lynch (of America), his two letters to Charles
Dickens (of England) upon the subject of the Court of Chancery.
London, 1859, 8vo.

McCarthy, Justin.--A History of Our Own Times. A new edition. 4 vols.
London, 1882, 8vo.

     Dickens and Thackeray, vol. ii., pp. 255-259.

McKenzie, Charles H.--The Religious Sentiments of C.D., collected from
his writings. By Charles H. McKenzie. Newcastle, 1884, 8vo.

Mackenzie, R. Shelton.--Life of Charles Dickens, etc. By R. Shelton
Mackenzie. Philadelphia [1870], 8vo.

Macrae, David.--Home and Abroad; Sketches and Gleanings. By David
Macrae. Glasgow, 1871, 8vo.

     Carlyle and Dickens, pp. 122-128.

Masson, David.--British Novelists and their styles: being a critical
sketch of the history of British prose fiction. By David Masson.
Cambridge, 1859, 8vo.

     Dickens and Thackeray, pp. 233-253.

Mateaux, C.L.--Brave Lives and Noble. By Miss C.L. Mateaux. London,
1883, 8vo.

     The Boyhood of Dickens, pp. 313-320.

Mézières, L.--Histoire Critique de la Littérature Anglaise, etc.
Seconde édition. 3 tom. Paris, 1841, 8vo.

     Dickens, Le Club Pickwick, tom. iii., pp. 469-496.

Nicholson, Renton.--Nicholson's Sketches of Celebrated Characters.
London [1856], 8vo.

     Charles Dickens. By Renton Nicholson, p. 11.

Nicoll, Henry J.--Landmarks of English Literature. By Henry J. Nicoll.
London, 1883, 8vo.

     Dickens noticed, pp. 378-385.

Notes and Queries. General Index to Notes and Queries. Five Series.
London, 1856-80, 4to.

     Numerous references to C.D.

Parley.--Parley's Penny Library. London, [1841], 18mo.

     Charles Dickens, with a portrait, vol. i.

----Peter Parley's Annual for 1871, etc. London [1871], 8vo.

     Charles Dickens as Boy and Man, pp. 320-335.

Parton, James.--Illustrious Men and their achievements; or, the
people's book of biography. New York [1882], 8vo.

     Charles Dickens as a Citizen, pp. 831-841.

----Some noted Princes, Authors, and Statesmen of our time. By Canon
Farrar, James T. Fields, Archibald Forbes, etc. Edited by James
Parton. New York [1886], 4to.

     Dickens with his children, by Mamie Dickens, pp. 30-47,
     illustrated; Recollections of Dickens, by James T. Fields,
     pp. 48-51.

Payn, James.--The Youth and Middle Age of Charles Dickens. By James
Payn. Edinburgh, 1883, 8vo.

     Reprinted from _Chambers's Journal_, January 1872, February
     1873, March 1874.

----Some literary recollections. By James Payn. London, 1884, 8vo.

     Chapter vi., First meeting with Dickens. Reprinted from _The
     Cornhill Magazine_.

Pemberton, T. Edgar.--Dickens's London; or, London in the works of
Charles Dickens. By T. Edgar Pemberton. London, 1876, 8vo.

Perkins, F.B.--Charles Dickens: a sketch of his life and works. By
F.B. Perkins. New York, 1870, 12mo.

Pierce, Gilbert A.--The Dickens Dictionary. A key to the characters
and principal incidents in the tales of Charles Dickens. By Gilbert A.
Pierce. Illustrated. Boston [U.S.], 1872, 12mo.

----Another edition. London, 1878, 8vo.

Poe, Edgar A.--The Literati: some honest opinions about autorial
merits and demerits, etc. By Edgar A. Poe. New York, 1850, 8vo.

     Notice of "Barnaby Rudge," pp. 464-482.

----The works of E.A. Poe. 4 vols. Edinburgh, 1875, 8vo.

     Vol. 3, Marginalia, Dickens's "Old Curiosity Shop," and
     Dickens and Bulwer, pp. 373-375.

Powell, Thomas.--The Living Authors of England. By Thos. Powell. New
York, 1849, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, pp. 153-178.

----Pictures of the Living Authors of Britain. By Thos. Powell.
London, 1851, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, pp. 88-115.

Pryde, David.--The Genius and Writings of Charles Dickens. By David
Pryde. Edinburgh, 1869, 8vo.

Reeve, Lovell A.--Portraits of men of eminence in literature, science,
and art, with biographical memoirs. [Vols. iii.-vi. by E. Walford]. 6
vols. London, 1863-67, 8vo.

     Vol. iv., Charles Dickens, pp. 93-99.

Richardson, David Lester.--Literary Recreations, etc. By David Lester
Richardson. London, 1852, 8vo.

     Dickens's "David Copperfield," and Thackeray's "Pendennis,"
     pp. 238-243.

Rimmer, Alfred.--About England with Dickens. By Alfred Rimmer. With
fifty-eight illustrations. London, 1883, 8vo.

Sala, Geo. A.--Charles Dickens. [An Essay.] London [1870], 8vo.

Santvoord, C. Van.--Discourses on special occasions, and miscellaneous
papers. By C. Van Santvoord. New York, 1856, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens and his philosophy, pp. 333-359.

Schmidt, Julian.--Charles Dickens. Eine charakteristik. Leipzig 1852,

Seymour, Mrs.--An account of the Origin of the "Pickwick Papers." By
Mrs. Seymour, etc. London, n.d.

Shepard, William.--The Literary Life. Edited by William Shepard. Pen
Pictures of Modern Authors. New York, 1882, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, pp. 236-293.

Shepherd, Richard Herne.--The Bibliography of Dickens. A
bibliographical list, arranged in chronological order, of the
published writings in prose and verse of Charles Dickens. From 1834 to
1880. Manchester, [1880], 8vo.

Spedding, James.--Reviews and Discussions, literary, political, and
historical. By James Spedding. London, 1879, 8vo.

     Dickens's "American Notes," pp. 240-276. Reprinted from the
     _Edinburgh Review_, Jan. 1843.

Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn.--Sermon preached in Westminster Abbey, ...
the Sunday following the funeral of Dickens. London, 1870, 8vo.

Stoddard, Richard Henry.--Bric-a-Brac Series. Anecdote Biographies of
Thackeray and Dickens. Edited by Richard Henry Stoddard. New York,
1874, 8vo.

Taine, H.--Histoire de la Littérature Anglaise. Par H. Taine. 4 tom.
Paris, 1864, 8vo.

     Le Roman--Dickens, tom. iv., pp. 3-69.

----History of English Literature. 4 vols. Edinburgh, 1874, 8vo.

     The Novel--Dickens. Vol. iv., pp. 115-164.

Taylor, Theodore.--Charles Dickens: the story of his life. New York,
n.d., 8vo.

Thackeray, William Makepeace.--Early and late papers hitherto
uncollected. Boston, 1867, 8vo.

     Dickens in France (a description of a performance of
     Nicholas Nickleby in Paris), pp. 95-121. Appeared originally
     in _Fraser's Magazine_, March 1842.

Thomson, David Croal.--Life and Labours of Hablôt Knight Browne,
"Phiz." By David Croal Thomson. With one hundred and thirty
illustrations, etc. London, 1884, 8vo.

     Contains a series of illustrations to Dickens, printed from
     the original plates and blocks.

Timbs, John.--Anecdote Lives of the later wits and humourists. By John
Timbs. 2 vols. London, 1874, 8vo.

     Vol. ii., pp. 201-255, relate to Dickens.

Times, The.--A second series of Essays from _The Times_. London, 1854,

     Dickens and Thackeray, pp. 320-338.

----Eminent Persons: biographies reprinted from the _Times_, 1870-79.
London, 1880, 8vo.

     Mr. Charles Dickens--Leading Article, June 10, 1870;
     Obituary notice, June 11, 1870, pp. 8-12.

Tooley, Mrs. G.W.--Lives, Great and Simple. London, 1884, 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, pp. 183-197.

Ward, Adolphus W.--Charles Dickens. A lecture by Professor Ward.
[_Science Lectures_, series 2.] Manchester, 1871, 8vo.

----Dickens. By Adolphus William Ward. [_English Men of Letters_
Series.] London, 1882, 8vo.

Watkins, William.--Charles Dickens, with anecdotes and recollections
of his life. Written and compiled by William Watkins. London [1870],

Watt, James Crabb.--Great Novelists. Scott, Thackeray, Dickens,
Lytton. By James Crabb Watt. Edinburgh, 1880, 8vo.

----Another Edition. London [1885], 8vo.

Weizmann, Louis.--Dickens und Daudet in deutscher Uebersetzung. Von
Louis Weizmann. Berlin, 1880, 8vo.

Weller, Sam.--On the Origin of Sam Weller, and the real cause of the
success of the Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, etc. London,
1883, 8vo.

Welsh, Alfred H.--Development of English Literature and Language. 2
vols. Chicago, 1882, 8vo.

     Dickens, vol. ii., pp. 438-454.

World.--The World's Great Men: a Gallery of over a hundred portraits
and biographies, etc. London [1880], 8vo.

     Charles Dickens, with portrait, pp. 125-128.

Yates, Edmund.--Edmund Yates: his recollections and experiences. 2
vols. London, 1884, 8vo.

     A Dickens Chapter, vol. ii., pp. 91-128.


     Plays founded on Dickens's Works.

Yankee Notes for English Circulation: a farce, in one act. By E.
Stirling. London, n.d., 12mo.

     Duncombe's British Theatre, vol. 46.

The Battle of Life: a drama, in three acts. By Edward Stirling.
London, n.d., 12mo.

     Duncombe's British Theatre, vol. 57.

The drama founded on the Christmas Annual of Charles Dickens, called
The Battle of Life: dramatized by Albert Smith. In three acts and in
verse. London (1846), 12mo.

La Bataille de la Vie. Pièce en trois actes, etc. Par M.M. Mélesville
et André de Goy. Paris, 1853, 8vo.

Bleak House; or, Poor "Jo:" a drama, in four acts. Adapted from
Dickens's "Bleak House," by George Lander. (_Dicks' Standard Plays_,
No. 388.) London, n.d., 12mo.

Lady Dedlock's Secret: a drama, in four acts. Founded on an episode in
Dickens's "Bleak House." By J. Palgrave Simpson. London, n.d., 8vo.

"Move On;" or, Jo, the Outcast: a drama, in three acts. Adapted by
James Mortimer.

     Not published.

Poor "Jo:" a drama, in three acts. Adapted by Mr. Terry Hurst.

     Not published.

Jo: a drama, in three acts. Adapted from Charles Dickens's "Bleak
House." By J.P. Burnett.

     Not published.

The Chimes: a Goblin Story. A drama, in four quarters, dramatised by
Mark Lemon and Gilbert A. A'Beckett. London, n.d., 8vo.

     Webster's "Acting National Drama," vol. 11.

A Christmas Carol. By C.Z. Barnett. London (1872), 12mo.

     Lacy's Acting Edition of Plays, vol. 94.

The Cricket on the Hearth; or, a fairy tale of home: a drama, in three
acts. Dramatized by Albert Smith (_Dicks' Standard Plays_, No. 394).
London, n.d., 12mo.

The Cricket on the Hearth: a fairy tale of home. By Edward Stirling.
(_Webster's "Acting National Drama_," vol. 12.) London, n.d., 12mo.

The Cricket on the Hearth: a fairy tale of home in three chirps. By
W.T. Townsend. London (1860), 12mo.

     Lacy's Acting Edition of Plays, vol. 44.

Dot: a Fairy Tale of Home. A drama, in three acts. From the "Cricket
on the Hearth," by Charles Dickens. Dramatized by Dion Boucicault.

     Not published.

David Copperfield: a drama, in three acts. Adapted from Dickens's
popular work of the same name, by John Brougham. (_Dicks' Standard
Plays_, No. 474.) London, n.d., 12mo.

Little Em'ly: a drama, in four acts. Adapted from Dickens's "David
Copperfield," by Andrew Halliday. New York, n.d., 8vo.

Dombey and Son: in three acts. Dramatized by John Brougham. (_Dicks'
Standard Plays_, No. 373.) London, n.d., 12mo.

Captain Cuttle: a comic drama, in one act. By John Brougham. (_Dicks'
Standard Plays_, No. 572.) London, n.d., 12mo.

Great Expectations: a Drama, in three acts, and a prologue. Adapted by
W.S. Gilbert.

     Not published.

The Haunted Man: a drama. Adapted from Charles Dickens's Christmas

     Not published.

Tom Pinch: a Domestic Comedy, in three acts. Adapted by Messrs. Dilley
and Clifton, from "Martin Chuzzlewit." London, n.d.

Martin Chuzzlewit: or, his Wills and his Ways, etc. A drama, in three
acts. By Thomas Higgie. London [1872], 12mo.

     Lacy's Acting Edition, Supplement, vol. i.

Tartüffe Junior, von H.C.L. Klein. [Play in five acts, after "The Life
of Martin Chuzzlewit."] Neuwied, 1864, 16mo.

Martin Chuzzlewit: a drama, in three acts. By E. Stirling. London,
n.d., 12mo.

     Duncombe's British Theatre, vol. 50.

Mrs. Harris! a farce, in one act. By Edward Stirling. London, n.d.,

     Duncombe's British Theatre, vol. 57.

Mrs. Gamp's Party. (Adapted from "Martin Chuzzlewit.") In one act.
Manchester, n.d., 12mo.

Mrs. Sarah Gamp's Tea and Turn Out: a Bozzian Sketch, in one act. By
B. Webster. London, n.d., 12mo.

     Acting National Drama, vol. xiii.

Martin Chuzzlewit: a drama, in three acts. By Charles Webb. London,
n.d., 12mo.

Master Humphrey's Clock: a domestic drama, in two acts. By F.F.
Cooper. (_Duncombe's British Theatre_, vol. xli.) London, n.d., 12mo.

The Old Curiosity Shop: a drama, in four acts. Adapted by Mr. Charles
Dickens, Jun., from his father's novel.

     Not published.

Mrs. Jarley's Far-Famed Collection of Wax-Works, as arranged by G.B.
Bartlett. In two parts. London [1873], 8vo.

The Old Curiosity Shop: a drama, in four acts. Adapted from Charles
Dickens's novel of the same name, by George Lander. (_Dicks' Standard
Plays_, No. 398.) London, n.d., 12mo.

The Old Curiosity Shop: a drama, in two acts. By E. Stirling. London
[1868], 12mo.

     Lacy's Acting Edition of Plays, vol. lxxvii.

Barnaby Rudge: a drama, in three acts. Adapted from Dickens's work by
Thomas Higgie. London [1854], 12mo.

Barnaby Rudge: a domestic drama, in three acts. By Charles Selby and
Charles Melville. London [1875], 12mo.

     Lacy's Acting Edition of Plays, vol. ci.

A Message from the Sea: a drama, in four acts. Founded on Charles
Dickens's tale of that name. By John Brougham. (_Dicks' Standard
Plays_, No. 459.) London, n.d., 12mo.

A Message from the Sea: a drama, in three acts. By Charles Dickens and
William Wilkie Collins. London, 1861, 8vo.

The Infant Phenomenon, etc.: a domestic piece, in one act. Being an
episode in the adventures of "Nicholas Nickleby." Adapted by H.
Horncastle. London, n.d., 8vo.

Nicholas Nickleby: a drama, in four acts. Adapted by H. Simms.
(_Dicks' Standard Plays_, No. 469.) London, n.d., 12mo.

The Fortunes of Smike, or a Sequel to Nicholas Nickleby: a drama, in
two acts. By Edward Stirling. London, n.d., 12mo.

     Webster's "Acting National Drama," vol. ix.

Nicholas Nickleby: a farce, in two acts. By Edward Stirling. London,
n.d., 12mo.

     Webster's "Acting National Drama," vol. v.

Nicholas Nickleby: an Episodic Sketch, in three tableaux, based upon
an incident in "Nicholas Nickleby."

     Not published.

L'Abîme, drame en cinq actes. [Founded on the story of "No
Thoroughfare."] Paris, 1868, 8vo.

No Thorough Fare: a drama, in five acts, and a prologue. By Charles
Dickens and Wilkie Collins. New York, n.d., 8vo.

Identity; or, No Thoroughfare. A drama, in four acts. By Louis Lequêl.
New York, n.d., 8vo.

Bumble's Courtship. From Dickens's "Oliver Twist." A Comic Interlude,
in one act. By Frank E. Emson. London [1874], 12mo.

     Lacy's Acting Edition of Plays, vol. xcix.

Oliver Twist: a serio-comic burletta, in three acts. By George Almar.
London, n.d., 12mo.

     Webster's "Acting National Drama," vol. vi.

Oliver Twist, or the Parish Boy's Progress: a domestic drama, in three
acts. By C.Z. Barnett. London, n.d., 12mo.

     Duncombe's British Theatre, vol. xxix.

Oliver Twist: a serio-comic burletta, in four acts. By George Almar.
New York, n.d.

Sam Weller, or the Pickwickians: a drama, in three acts, etc. By W.T.
Moncrieff. London, 1837, 8vo.

The Pickwickians, or the Peregrinations of Sam Weller: a Comic Drama,
in three acts. Arranged from Moncrieff's adaptation of Charles
Dickens's work, by T.H. Lacy. London [1837], 8vo.

The Great Pickwick Case, arranged as a comic operetta. The words of
the songs by Robert Pollitt; the music arranged by Thomas Rawson.
Manchester [1884], 8vo.

The Pickwick Club ... a burletta, in three acts. By E. Stirling.
London [1837], 12mo.

     Duncombe's British Theatre, vol. xxvi.

The Peregrinations of Pickwick: an acting drama. By William Leman
Rede. London, 1837, 8vo.

Bardell _versus_ Pickwick; versified and diversified. Songs and
choruses. Words by T.H. Gem; music by Frank Spinney. Leamington
[1881], 12mo.

The Dead Witness; or Sin and its Shadow. A drama, in three acts,
founded on "The Widow's Story" of The Seven Poor Travellers, by
Charles Dickens. The drama written by Wybert Reeve. London [1874],

     Lacy's Acting Edition of Plays, vol. xcix.

A Tale of Two Cities: a drama, in two acts, etc. By Tom Taylor. London
[1860], 12mo.

     Lacy's Acting Edition of Plays, vol. xlv.

The Tale of Two Cities: a drama, in three acts. Adapted by H.J.
Rivers, etc. London [1862], 12mo.


All the Year Round; or, The Search for Happiness. A song. Words by
W.S. Passmore; music by John J. Blockley. London [1860], fol.

Yankee Notes for English Circulation; or, Boz in A-Merry-Key. Comic
song, by J. Briton. Music by Loder. [1842.]

Dolly Varden: a Ballad. Words and music by Cotsford Dick. London
[1880], fol.

Maypole Hugh: a song. Words by Charles Bradberry; music by George E.
Fox. London [1881], fol.

The Chimes Quadrille. (_Musical Bouquet_, No. 5.) London, n.d., fol.

The Cricket on the Hearth: Quadrille. By F. Lancelott. (_Musical
Bouquet_, No. 57.) London [1846], fol.

What are the Wild Waves Saying? A vocal duet. Written by Joseph E.
Carpenter; music by Stephen Glover. London [1850], fol.

A Voice from the Waves: a vocal duet, in answer to the above. Words by
R. Ryan; music by Stephen Glover. London [1850], fol.

Little Dorrit's Vigil. A Song. Written by John Barnes; composed by
George Linley. London [1856], fol.

Who Passes by this Road so Late? Blandois' song, from "Little Dorrit."
Words by Charles Dickens. Music by H.R.S. Dalton, London [1857], fol.

My Dear Old Home: a ballad. Words by J.E. Carpenter. Music by John J.
Blockley. [Founded on Dickens's "Little Dorrit."] London [1857], fol.

Floating Away: a ballad. Words by J.E. Carpenter. Music by John J.
Blockley. [Founded on a passage in "Little Dorrit."] London [1857],

The Nicholas Nickleby Quadrilles and Nickleby Galop. By Sydney Vernon.
London, 1839, fol.

Little Nell: a melody. Composed by George Linley, and arranged for the
pianoforte by Carlo Zotti. London [1865], fol.

The Ivy Green: a song. Music by Mrs. Henry Dale. London [1840], fol.

     The song is introduced in chap. vi. of the "Pickwick Papers"
     as a recitation by the clergyman of Dingley Dell.

The Ivy Green: a song. Music by A. De Belfour. London [1843], fol.

The Ivy Green. Arranged for the pianoforte by Ricardo Linter. London
[1844], fol.

The Ivy Green: a song. Music by Henry Russell. London [1844], fol.

The Ivy Green. Music by W. Lovell Phillips. London [1844], fol.

Gabriel Grub. Cantata Seria Buffa. Adapted from "Pickwick." Music by
George E. Fox. London [1881], 4to.

Sam Weller's Adventures: a song of the Pickwickians. (Reprinted in
_The Life and Times of James Catnach_, by Charles Hindley. London,

The Tuggs's at Ramsgate. Versified from "Boz's" sketch.

The Child and the Old Man: song in the Opera, "The Village Coquettes."
The words by Charles Dickens, the music by John Hullah. London [1836],

Love is not a feeling to pass away: a ballad in "The Village
Coquettes." Words by C. Dickens. Music by John Hullah. London [1836],

My Fair Home: air in "The Village Coquettes." Words by Charles
Dickens. Music by John Hullah. London [1836], fol.

No light bound of stag or timid hare. Quintett in the Opera, "The
Village Coquettes." The words by Charles Dickens, the music by John
Hullah. London [1836], fol.

Some Folks who have grown old. Song in "The Village Coquettes." Words
by Charles Dickens. Music by John Hullah. London [1836], fol.

There's a Charm in Spring: a ballad in "The Village Coquettes." Words
by Charles Dickens. Music by John Hullah. London [1836], fol.

The Cares of the Day: song with chorus, in the Opera, "The Village
Coquettes." The words by Charles Dickens, composed by John Hullah.
London [1858], fol.

In Rich and Lowly Station shine. Duet in the Opera, "The Village
Coquettes." The words by Charles Dickens, the music by John Hullah.
London [1858], fol.

Autumn Leaves: air from the Opera, "The Village Coquettes." The words
by Charles Dickens, the music by John Hullah. London [1871], fol.


Change for the American Notes; or, Letters from London to New York. By
an American Lady. London, 1843, 8vo.

Current American Notes. By "Buz." London, n.d.

The Battle of London Life; or, "Boz" and his Secretary. By Morna. With
a portrait and illustrations by G.A. Sala. London, 1849.

The Battle Won by the Wind. By Ch----s D*ck*ns, etc.

     Published in _The Puppet Showman's Album_. Illustrated by

Bleak House: a Narrative of Real Life, etc. London, 1856.

Characteristic Sketches of Young Gentlemen. By Quiz Junior. With
woodcut illustrations. London [1838].

A Child's History of Germany. By H.W. Friedlaender. A Pendant to a
Child's History of England, by Charles Dickens. Celle, 1861, 8vo.

"Christmas Eve" with the Spirits ... with some further tidings of the
Lives of Scrooge and Tiny Tim. London, 1870.

A Christmas Carol: being a few scattered staves, from a familiar
composition, re-arranged for performance, by a distinguished Musical
Amateur, during the holiday season, at H--rw--rd--n. With four
illustrations by Harry Furness.

     _Punch_, Dec. 1885, pp. 304, 305.

Micawber Redivivus; or, How to Make a Fortune as a Middleman, etc. By
Jonathan Coalfield [_i.e._ W. Graham Simpson?]. [London, 1883], 8vo.
[Transcriber's Note: The subtitle of this volume should be "How He
Made a Fortune as a Middleman, etc."]

Dombey and Son Finished: a burlesque. Illustrated by Albert Smith.

     _The Man in the Moon_, 1848, pp. 59-67.

Dombey and Daughter: a moral fiction. By Renton Nicholson. London
[1850], 8vo.

Dolby and Father, by Buz. [A satire on C. Dickens.] New York, 1868,

Hard Times (Refinished). By Charles Diggens.

     Parody on _Hard Times_, published in "Our Miscellany."
     Edited by H. Yates and R.B. Brough, pp. 142-156.

The Haunted Man. By CH--R--S D--C--K--N--S. New York, 1870, 12mo.

     _Condensed Novels, and Other Papers._ By F. Bret Harte.

Mister Humfries' Clock. "Bos," Maker. A miscellany of striking
interest. Illustrated. London, 1840, 8vo.

Master Timothy's Bookcase; or, the Magic Lanthorn of the World. By
G.W.M. Reynolds. London, 1842.

A Girl at a Railway Junction's Reply [to an article in the Christmas
number for 1866 of "All the Year Round," entitled "Mugby Junction."]
London [1867], 8vo.

The Cloven Foot: being an adaptation of the English novel, "The
Mystery of Edwin Drood" to American scenes, characters, customs, and
nomenclature. By Orpheus C. Kerr. New York, 1870, 8vo.

The Mystery of Mr. E. Drood. By Orpheus C. Kerr.

     _The Piccadilly Annual_, Dec. 1870, pp. 59-62.

The Mystery of Mr. E. Drood. An adaptation. By O.C. Kerr. London
[1871], 8vo.

John Jasper's Secret: a sequel to Charles Dickens's unfinished novel,
"The Mystery of Edwin Drood." Philadelphia [1871].

The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Part the Second, by the Spirit Pen of
Charles Dickens, etc. Brattleboro' [U.S.], 1873.

A Great Mystery Solved: being a sequel to "The Mystery of Edwin
Drood." By Gillian Vase. 3 vols. London, 1878, 8vo.

Nicholas Nickelbery. Containing the adventures of the family of
Nickelbery. By "Bos." With forty-three woodcut illustrations. London
[1838], 8vo.

Scenes from the Life of Nickleby Married ... being a sequel to the
"Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby." Edited by "Guess." With
twenty-one etched illustrations by "Quiz." London, 1840.

No Thoroughfare: the Book in Eight Acts, etc.

     _The Mask._ February 1868, pp. 14-18.

No Throughfare. [A Parody upon Dickens's "No Thoroughfare."] By C----s
D----s, B. Brownjohn, and Domby. Second Edition. Boston [U.S.], 1868,

The Life and Adventures of Oliver Twiss, the Workhouse Boy. [Edited by
Bos.] London [1839]. 8vo.

Posthumous Papers of the Cadger's Club. With sixteen engravings.
London [1837].

Posthumous Papers of the Wonderful Discovery Club, formerly of Camden
Town. Established by Sir Peter Patron. Edited by "Poz." With eleven
illustrations, designed by Squib, and engraved by Point. London, 1838.

The Post-humourous Notes of the Pickwickian Club. Edited by "Bos."
Illustrated with 120 engravings. 2 vols. London [1839], 8vo.

     There are, in fact, 332 engravings.

Pickwick in America! detailing all the ... adventures of taat [_sic._]
individual in the United States. Edited by "Bos." Illustrated with
forty-six engravings. London [1840], 8vo.

Pickwick Abroad; or, the Tour in France. By George W.M. Reynolds.
Illustrated with forty-one steel plates, by Alfred Crowquill, etc.
London, 1839, 8vo.

--Another edition. London, 1864, 8vo.

Lloyd's Pickwickian Songster, etc. London [1837].

Pickwick Songster. With portraits, designed by C.J. Grant, of "Mr.
Pickwick as Apollo," and "Sam Weller brushing boots." London, n.d.

The Pickwick Comic Almanac for 1838. With twelve comic woodcut
illustrations, drawn by R. Cruikshank. London, 1838.

Mr. Pickwick's Collection of Songs. Illustrated. London [1837], 12mo.

Pickwick Treasury of Wit; or, Joe Miller's Jest Book. Dublin, 1840.

Sam Weller's Favourite Song Book. London [1837], 12mo.

Sam Weller's Pickwick Jest-Book, etc. With illustrations by
Cruikshank, and portraits of all the "Pickwick" characters. London,

The Sam Weller Scrap Sheet. With forty woodcut portraits of "all the
Pickwick Characters," etc. London, n.d.

Facts and Figures from Italy. Addressed during the last two winters to
C. Dickens, being an appendix to his "Pictures." By Don Jeremy
Savonarola. London, 1847, 8vo.

The Sketch Book. By "Bos." Containing tales, sketches, etc. With
seventeen woodcut illustrations. London [1837], 8vo.


Impromptu. By C.J. Davids.

     _Bentley's Miscellany_, No. 2, March 1837, p. 297.

Poetical Epistle from Father Prout to "Boz." A poem of seven verses.

     _Bentley's Miscellany_, Jan. 1838, p. 71.

A Tribute to Charles Dickens. A poem of twelve lines. By the Hon. Mrs.

     _English Bijou Almanac_, 1842.

To Charles Dickens on his proposed voyage to America, 1842. By Thomas

     _New Monthly Magazine_, Feb. 1842, p. 217.

To Charles Dickens, on his "Christmas Carol." A poem of fifteen lines.
By W.W.G.

     _Illuminated Magazine_, Feb. 1844, p. 189.

To Charles Dickens on his "Oliver Twist." By T.N. Talfourd.

     _Tragedies; to which are added a few Sonnets and Verses_, by
     T.N. Talfourd, p. 244. London, 1844. 16mo.

The American's Apostrophe to "Boz." A poem.

     _The Book of Ballads_ [_by T. Martin and W.E. Aytoun_].
     _Edited by Bon Gaultier_, pp. 81-86. London, 1845, 16mo.

To Charles Dickens. A Sonnet.

     _Douglas Jerrold's Shilling Magazine_, March 1845, p. 250.

To Charles Dickens. A Dedicatory Sonnet. By John Forster.

     _The Life and Adventures of Oliver Goldsmith_, by John
     Forster. London, 1848, 8vo.

To Charles Dickens. A Dedicatory Poem of two verses. By James

     _Poems_, by James Ballantine. Edinburgh, 1856, 8vo.

Au Revoir. A poem of four verses.

     _Judy_, Oct. 30, 1867, p. 37.

A Welcome to Dickens. A poem of eighty-four lines. By F.J. Parmentier.

     _Harper's Weekly_, Nov. 30, 1867, pp. 757, 758.

Impromptu. A Humorous Verse of six lines.

     _Life of Charles Dickens_, by R. Shelton Mackenzie, p. 97.
     Philadelphia [1870], 8vo.

Charles Dickens reading to his daughters on the Lawn at Gadshill. A
poem of eight verses. By the Editor (C.W.).

     _Life_, Dec. 8, 1880, p. 1005.

Memorial Verses, June 9, 1870. Fifteen verses. By F.T.P.

     _Daily News_, June 18, 1870, p. 5.

Ode to the Memory of Charles Dickens. By A.B. Hume.

     _A Christmas Memorial of Charles Dickens_, by A.B. Hume.
     London, 1870, 8vo.

Charles Dickens. Born February 7, 1812. Died June 9, 1870. A memorial
poem of fourteen verses.

     _Punch_, June 18, 1870, p. 244.

In Memoriam. June 9, 1870. A poem of six verses.

     _Graphic_, June 18, 1870, p. 678.

Charles Dickens. Born 7th February 1812; died 9th June 1870. A
memorial sonnet.

     _Judy_, June 22, 1870, p. 91.

In Memory. A poem of ten verses, with an illustration by F. Barnard.

     _Fun_, June 25, 1870, p. 157.

In Memoriam. A poem of seventy lines. By H.M.C.

     _Gentleman's Magazine_, July 1, 1870, p. 22.

To His Memory. A poem of five verses.

     _Argosy_, August, 1870, p. 114.

A Man of the Crowd to Charles Dickens. A poem of a hundred-and-six
lines. By E.J. Milliken.

     _Gentleman's Magazine_, August 1870, pp. 277-279.

Dickens. A memorial poem of two verses. By O.C.K. (Orpheus C. Kerr).

     _Piccadilly Annual_, Dec. 1870, p. 72.

In Memoriam. Charles Dickens. _Obiit_, June 9, 1870. Five verses.

     _Charles Dickens, with anecdotes and recollections of his
     life._ By William Watkins. London [1870], 8vo.

Dickens in Camp. A poem of ten verses. By F. Bret Harte.

     _Poems_, by F. Bret Harte. Boston, 1871, 12mo.

Dickens at Gadshill. A poem of eighteen verses. By C.K. (Charles

     _Athenæum_, June 3, 1871, p. 687.

Death of Charles Dickens. A poem of seventeen verses.

     _The Circe and other Poems_, by John Appleby, 1873.

At Gad's Hill. An obituary poem of fourteen verses. By Richard Henry

     _Bric-a-Brac Series. Anecdote Biographies of Thackeray and
     Dickens_, p. 296. By Richard Henry Stoddard. New York, 1874,

At the Grave of Dickens. A sonnet. By Clelia R. Crespi.

     _Detroit Free Press_, July 1884.

In Memoriam: Charles Dickens. Died June 9, 1870. A sonnet. By C.K.

     _Graphic_, June 6, 1885, p. 586.


Charles Dickens. _Revue Britannique_, Avril 1843, pp.
340-376.--_People's Journal_ (portrait), by William Howitt, 1846, vol.
1, pp. 8-12.--_Revue des Deux Mondes_, by Arthur Dudley, March 1848,
pp. 901-922--_Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine_, April 1855, pp.
451-466; same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, June 1855, pp.
200-214.--_Die Gartenlaube_ (portrait), 1856, pp. 73-75.--_Saturday
Review_, May 1858, pp. 474, 475; same article, _Littell's Living Age_,
July 1858, pp. 263-265--_Town Talk_, June 1858, p. 76.--_National
Review_, vol. 7, 1858, pp. 458-486.--_Illustrated News of the World_,
Supplement, Oct. 9, 1858.--_National Review_ (by W. Bagehot), Oct.
1858, pp. 458-486; same article, _Littell's Living Age_, 1858, pp.
643-659; and in "Literary Studies by the late Walter
Bagehot."--_Critic_ (portrait), 1858, pp. 534-537.--_Harper's New
Monthly Magazine_, 1862, pp. 376-380.--_Every Saturday_, vol. 1, 1866,
p. 79; vol. 9, p. 225.--_Harper's Weekly_ (portrait), 1867, p. 757;
same article, _Littell's Living Age_, 1867, pp. 688-690.--_North
American Review_, by C.E. Norton, April, 1868, pp. 671-672.--_Court
Suburb Magazine_, by B., Dec. 1868, pp. 142, 143.--_Contemporary
Review_, by George Stott, Feb. 1869, pp. 203-225; same article,
_Littell's Living Age_, March 1869, pp. 707-720.--_L'Illustration_
(portrait), by Jules Claretie, 18 Juin, 1870--_Le Monde Illustré_
(portrait), by Léo de Bernard, 25 Juin, 1870.--_Annual Register_,
1870, pp. 151-153.--_Illustrated London News_ (portrait), June, 1870,
p. 639.--_Spectator_, 1870, pp. 716, 717.--_Ueber Land und Meer_
(portrait), No. 42, 1870, p. 19--_Fraser's Magazine_, July 1870, pp.
130-134.--_Putnam's Monthly Magazine_, by P. Godwin, vol. 16, 1870, p.
231.--_St. Paul's Magazine_, by Anthony Trollope, July 1870, pp.
370-375; same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, Sept. 1870, pp.
297-301.--_Illustrated Magazine_, by "Meteor," 1870, pp. 164,
165.--_Illustrated Review_, with portrait, vol. 1, 1870, pp.
1-4.--_Hours at Home_, by D.G. Mitchell, 1870, pp.
363-368.--_Gentleman's Magazine_ (portrait), July 1870, pp. 21,
22.--_Graphic_ (portrait), 1870, p. 687.--_Nation_ (by J.R. Dennett),
1870, pp. 380, 381.--_Temple Bar_, by Alfred Austin, July 1870, pp.
554-562.--_St. James's Magazine_ (portrait), 1870, pp.
696-699.--_Victoria Magazine_, by Edward Roscoe, vol. 15, 1870, pp.
357-363.--_Art Journal_, July, 1870, p. 224.--_Leisure Hour_
(portrait), by Miss E.J. Whately, Nov. 1870, pp. 728-732.--_New
Eclectic_, by B. Jerrold, vol. 7, 1871, p. 332.--_London Quarterly
Review_, Jan. 1871, pp. 265-286.--_Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine_,
June 1871, pp. 673-695; same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, Sept. 1871,
pp. 257, 274; _Littell's Living Age_, July 1871, pp.
29-44.--_Gentleman's Magazine_, by George Barnett Smith, 1874, pp.
301-316.--_Social Notes_, by Moy Thomas (portrait), etc., Oct. 1879,
pp. 114-117.--_Fortnightly Review_, by Mowbray Morris, Dec. 1882, pp.

----About England with. _Scribner's Monthly_, by B.E. Martin
[illustrated], Aug. 1880, pp. 494-503.

----Amateur Theatricals. _Macmillan's Magazine_, Jan. 1871, pp.
206-215; same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, March 1871, pp.
322-330.--_Every Saturday_, vol. 10, p. 70.

----As "Captain Bobadil" (portrait). _Every Saturday_, vol. 11, p.

----American Notes. _Fraser's Magazine_, Nov. 1842, pp.
617-629.--_Monthly Review_, Nov. 1842, pp. 392-403.--_Chambers's
Edinburgh Journal_, Nov. 1842, pp. 348, 349, 356, 357.--_New Monthly
Magazine_ (by Thomas Hood), Nov. 1842, pp. 396-406.--_Blackwood's
Edinburgh Magazine_, by Q.Q.Q., Dec. 1842, pp. 783-801.--_Tait's
Edinburgh Magazine_, vol. 9, 1842, pp. 737-746.--_Christian
Remembrancer_, Dec. 1842, pp. 679, 680.--_Edinburgh Review_, by James
Spedding, Jan. 1843, pp. 497-522. Reprinted in "Reviews and
Discussions," etc., by James Spedding; Note to the above, Feb. 1843,
p. 301.--_Eclectic Museum_, vol. 1, 1843, p. 230.--_North American
Review_, Jan. 1843, pp. 212-237.--_Quarterly Review_, March 1843, pp.
502-522.--_Westminster Review_, by H., 1843, pp. 146-160.--_New
Englander_, by J.P. Thompson, 1843, pp. 64-84.--_Southern Literary
Messenger_, 1843, pp. 58-62.--_Atlantic Monthly_, by Edwin P. Whipple,
April 1877, pp. 462-466.

----And Benjamin Disraeli. _Tailor and Cutter_, July 1870, pp.

----The Styles of Disraeli and. _Galaxy_, by Richard Grant White, Aug.
1870, pp. 253-263.

----And Thackeray. _Littell's Living Age_, vol. 21, p. 224.--_Dublin
Review_, April 1871, pp. 315-350.

----And Bulwer. A Contrast. _Temple Bar_, Jan. 1875, pp. 168-180.

----Living Literati; Sir E. Bulwer Lytton and Mr. Charles Dickens.
_Eginton's Literary Railway Miscellany_, 1854, pp. 19-25, 174-188.

----And Chauncy Hare Townshend. _London Society_, Aug. 1870, pp.

----And his Critics. _The Train_, by John Hollingshead, Aug. 1857, pp.
76-79; reprinted in "Essays and Miscellanies" by John Hollingshead.

----And his Debt of Honour. _Land We Love_, vol. 5, p. 414.

----And his Illustrators. With nine illustrations. _Christmas
Bookseller_, 1879, pp. 15-21.

----And his Letters. Part 1. By Mary Cowden Clarke. _Gentleman's
Magazine_, Dec. 1876, pp. 708-713.

----And his Works. _Fraser's Magazine_, April 1840, pp. 381-400.

----Another Gossip about.--_Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine_, vol.
12, 1872, pp. 78-83.

----As an Author and Reader. _Welcome_, with portrait, vol. 12, 1885,
pp. 166-170.

----As a Dramatic Critic. _Longman's Magazine_, by Dutton Cook, May
1883, pp. 29-42.

----As a Dramatist and a Poet. _Gentleman's Magazine_, by Percy
Fitzgerald, 1878, pp. 61-77.

----As a Humaniser. _St. James's Magazine_, by Arnold Quamoclit, 1879,
pp. 281-291.

----As a Journalist. _Journalist, A Monthly Phonographic Magazine_, by
Charles Kent, in Pitman's Shorthand, vol. 1, Dec. 1879, pp. 17-25.
Done into English--_Time_, July 1881, pp. 361-374.

----As a Literary Exemplar. _University Quarterly_, by F.A. Walker,
vol. 1, p. 91, etc.

----As a Moralist. _Old and New_, April 1871, pp. 480-483.

----As a Moral Teacher. _Monthly Religious Magazine_, by J.H. Morison,
vol. 44, p. 129, etc.

----As a Reader. _The Critic_, 1858, pp. 537, 538.

----Eine Vorlesung von Charles Dickens. _Die Gartenlaube_, by Corvin
(portrait), 1861, pp. 612-614.

----Readings by Charles Dickens. _Land We Love_, by T.C. De Leon, vol.
4, p. 421, etc.

----Farewell Reading in London. _Every Saturday_, vol. 9, pp. 242,

----Last Readings. _Graphic_, February 1870, p. 250.

----New Reading. Illustrated. _Tinsley's Magazine_, by Edmund Yates,
1869, pp. 60-64.

----At Home. _Every Saturday_, vol. 2, p. 396. _Gentleman's Magazine_
(by Percy Fitzgerald), November 1881, pp. 562-583.--_Cornhill
Magazine_ (by his eldest daughter), 1885, pp. 32-51.

----At Gadshill Place. _Life_, 1880, pp. 1005, 1006.

----Biographical Sketch of. _The Eclectic Magazine_ (portrait), 1864,
pp. 115-117.

----Bleak House. _Rambler_, vol. 1. N.S., 1854, pp. 41-45.

----Boyhood of. _Thistle_, by J.D.D., vol. 1, pp. 51-55.

----Childhood of. (Illustrated.) _Manchester Quarterly_, by Robert L.
Langton, vol. 1, 1882, pp. 178-180.

----Early Life of. _Every Saturday_, vol. 12, p. 60.

----Boz. _The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine_, by J.T., July 1870,
pp. 14-16.

----The "Boz" Ball. _Historical Magazine_, by P.M., pp. 110-113 and

----"Boz" in Paris.--_Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine_, vol. 10, pp.

----Boz _versus_ Dickens. _Parker's London Magazine_, February 1845,
pp. 122-128.

----Grip the Raven, in "Barnaby Rudge." _Every Saturday_, vol. 9, 542,
742, 749.

----The Battle of Life. _Tait's Edinburgh Magazine_, 1847, pp. 55-60.

----Bleak House. _Spectator_ (by George Brimley), Sep. 1853, pp.
923-925. Reprinted in "Essays by the late George Brimley."--_United
States Magazine and Democratic Review_, Sep. 1853, pp.
276-280.--_North American Review_ (by W. Sargent,) Oct. 1853, pp.
409-439.--_Eclectic Review_, Dec. 1853, pp. 665-679.

----Characters in. _Putnam's Monthly Magazine_ (by C.F. Riggs), 1853,
pp. 558-562.

----Characters from Dickens [Illustrated]. _Jack and Jill_, 1885-6.

----The Chimes. _Dublin Review_, Dec. 1844, pp. 560-568.--_Eclectic
Review_, 1845, pp. 70-88.--_Edinburgh Review_, Jan. 1845, pp. 181-189;
same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, May 1845, pp. 33-38.

----Christmas Books. _Union Magazine_, 1846, pp. 223-236.

----A Christmas Carol. _Dublin Review_, 1843, pp. 510-529.--_Fraser's
Magazine_, by M.A.T., Feb. 1844, pp. 167-169.--_Hood's Magazine_,
1844, pp. 68-75.--_Knickerbocker_, by S.G. Clark, March, 1844, pp.

----Controversy. _American Publishers' Circular_, June 1867, pp.

----Cricket on the Hearth. _Chambers's Edinburgh Journal_, 1846, pp.
44-48.--_Oxford and Cambridge Review_, vol. 2, 1846, pp. 43-50.

----David Copperfield. _Fraser's Magazine_, Dec. 1850, pp. 698-710;
same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, Feb. 1851, pp. 247-258.

----David Copperfield and Arthur Pendennis. _Southern Literary
Messenger_, 1851, pp. 499-504.--_Prospective Review_, July 1851, pp.
157-191.--_North British Review_ (by David Masson), May 1851, pp.
57-89; same article, _Littell's Living Age_, July 1851, pp. 97-110.

----Schools; or, Teachers and Taught. _Family Herald_, July 1849, pp.

----The Death of. Articles reprinted from the _Saturday Review_, the
_Spectator_, the _Daily News_, and the _Times_. _Eclectic Magazine_,
Aug. 1870, pp. 217-224.--_Saturday Review_, June 11, 1870, pp. 760,
761.--_Every Saturday_, vol. 9, 1870, p. 450.

----Devonshire House Theatricals. _Bentley's Miscellany_, 1851, pp.

----Dictionary of (Pierce and Wheeler's). _Every Saturday_, vol. 11,
p. 258.

----Dogs; or, the Landseer of Fiction. [Illustrated.] _London
Society_, July 1863, pp. 48-61.

----Dombey and Son. _Chambers's Edinburgh Journal_, Oct. 1846, pp.
269, 270.--_North British Review_, May 1847, pp. 110-136.--_Rambler_,
vol. 1, 1848, pp. 64, 66.--_Sun_ (by Charles Kent), April 13, 1848.

---- ----Humourists: Dickens and Thackeray (Dombey and Son and Vanity
Fair). _English Review_, Dec. 1848, pp. 257-275; same article,
_Eclectic Magazine_, March 1849, pp. 370-379.

---- ----The Wooden Midshipman (of "Dombey and Son"). (By Ashby
Sterry.) _All the Year Round_, Oct. 1881, pp. 173-179.

----English Magazines on, 1870. _Every Saturday_, vol. 9, p. 482.

----Farewell Banquet to, 1867. _Every Saturday_, vol. 4, p. 705.

----A Few Words on. _Town and Country_, by A.J.H. Crespi, N.S., vol.
1, 1873, pp. 265-273.

----Footprints of. _Harper's New Monthly Magazine_, by M.D. Conway.
1870, pp. 610-616.

----Forster's Life of (Vol. 1). _Examiner_, by Herbert Wilson, Dec.
1871, pp. 1217, 1218; same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, Feb. 1872,
pp. 237-240.--_Chambers's Journal_ (by James Payn), Jan. 1872, pp.
17-21 and 40-45.--_Quarterly Review_, Jan. 1872, pp.
125-147.--_Nation_, 1872, pp. 42, 43.--_Fortnightly Review_, by J.
Herbert Stack, Jan. 1872, pp. 117-120.--_Fraser's Magazine_, Jan.
1872, pp. 105-113; same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, March 1872, pp.
277-284.--_Canadian Monthly_, Feb. 1872, pp. 179-182.--_Lakeside
Monthly_, April 1872, pp. 336-340.--_Overland Monthly_, by George B.
Merrill, May 1872, pp. 443-451.

----Forster's Life of (vol. 2). _Examiner_, Nov. 1872, pp. 1132,
1133.--_Nation_, 1873, pp. 28, 29.--_Chambers's Journal_ (by James
Payn), Feb. 1873, pp. 74-79.--_Canadian Monthly_, Feb. 1873, pp.
171-173.--_Temple Bar_, May 1873, pp. 169-185.

----Forster's Life of (vol. 3). _Examiner_, 1874, pp. 161,
162.--_Nation_, 1874, pp. 175, 176.--_Chambers's Journal_ (by James
Payn), March 1874, pp. 177-180.--_Canadian Monthly_, April 1874, pp.

----Forster's Life of. _International Review_, May 1874, pp.
417-420.--_North American Review_, vol. 114, p. 413.--_Every
Saturday_, vol. 14, p. 608.--_Revue des Deux Mondes_, by Léon Boucher,
tom. 8, 1875, pp. 95-126.--_American Bibliopolist_, vol. 4, p.
125.--_Catholic World_, by J.R.G. Hassard, vol. 30, p. 692.

----Four months with. (1842.) _Atlantic Monthly_, by G.W. Putnam.
1870, pp. 476-482, 591-599.

----French Criticism of. _People's Journal_, vol. 5, p. 228.

----On the Genius of. _Knickerbocker_, by F.W. Shelton, May 1852, pp.
421-431.--_Putnam's Monthly Magazine_, by G.F. Talbot, 1855, pp.
263-272.--_Atlantic Monthly_, by E.P. Whipple, May 1867, pp.
546-554.--_Spectator_, 1870, pp. 749-751.--_New Eclectic_, vol. 7,
1871, p. 257

----The "Good Genie" of Fiction. _St. Paul's Magazine_, by Robert
Buchanan, 1872, pp. 130-148; reprinted in "A Poet's Sketch-Book,"
etc., by Robert Buchanan, 1883.

----Great Expectations. _Atlantic Monthly_, by Edwin P. Whipple, Sep.
1877, pp. 327-333.--_Eclectic Review_, Oct. 1861, pp.
458-477.--_Dublin University Magazine_, Dec. 1861, pp. 685-693.

----Bygone Celebrities: I. The Guild of Literature and Art.
_Gentleman's Magazine_, by R.H. Horne, Feb. 1871, pp. 247-262.

----Hard Times. _Westminster Review_, Oct. 1854, pp.
604-608.--_Atlantic Monthly_, by Edwin P. Whipple, March 1877, pp.

----The Home of. _Hours at Home_, by John D. Sherwood, July 1867, pp.
239-242.--_Every Saturday_, vol. 9, p. 228.

----In and Out of London with. _Scribner's Monthly_, by B.E. Martin.
[Illustrated.] May 1881, pp. 32-45.

----In London with. _Scribner's Monthly_, by B.E. Martin.
(Illustrated). March 1881, pp. 649-664.

----In the Editor's Chair. _Gentleman's Magazine_, by Percy
Fitzgerald, June 1881, pp. 725-742.

----In Memoriam. By A.H. (Arthur Helps). _Macmillan's Magazine_, July
1870, pp. 236-240.--_Gentleman's Magazine_, by Blanchard Jerrold, July
1870, pp. 228-241; reprinted, with additions, as "A Day with Charles
Dickens," in the "Best of all Good Company," by Blanchard Jerrold,

----In New York (by J.R. Dennett). _Nation_, 1867, pp. 482, 483.

----In Poet's Corner. _Illustrated London News_, June 1870, pp. 652
and 662, 663.

----In Relation to Christmas. _Graphic_ Christmas Number, 1870, p, 19.

----In Relation to Criticism. _Fortnightly Review_, by George Henry
Lewes, 1872, pp. 141-154; same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, 1872, pp.
445-453; _Every Saturday_, vol. 12., p. 246, etc.

----A Lost Work of (Is She His Wife? or, Something Singular). _The
Pen; a Journal of Literature_, by Richard Herne Shepherd, October
1880, pp. 311, 312.

----Least known writings of. _Every Saturday_, vol. 9, p. 471.

----Letters of. _Fortnightly Review_, by William Minto, Dec. 1879, pp.
845-862; same article, _Littell's Living Age_, 1880, pp. 3-13;
_Eclectic Magazine_, 1880, pp. 165-175.--_Nation_, by W.C. Brownell,
December 1879, pp. 388-390.--_Literary World_, December 1879, pp.
369-371.--_Scribner's Monthly_, Jan. 1880, pp. 470, 471.--_Appleton's
Journal of Literature_, 1880, pp. 72-81.--_Contemporary Review_, by
Matthew Browne, 1880, pp. 77-85.--_North American Review_, by Eugene
L. Didier, March 1880, pp. 302-306.--_Westminster Review_, April 1880,
pp. 423-448; same article, _Littell's Living Age_, June 1880, pp.
707-720.--_Dublin Review_, by Helen Atteridge, April 1880, pp.
409-438.--_Month_, by the Rev. G. Macleod, May 1880, pp.
81-97.--_International Review_, by J.S. Morse, Jnn., vol. 8, p. 271.

----Life and Letters of. _Catholic World_, vol. 30, pp. 692-701.

----Little Boys and Great Men. _Little Folks_, by C.L.M. Nos. 64, 65.

----Little Dorrit. _Edinburgh Review_, July 1857, pp.
124-156.--_Leader_, June 1857, pp. 616, 617.--_Sun_, by Charles Kent,
June 26, 1857.

----Lives of the Illustrious. _The Biographical Magazine_, by J.H.F.,
vol. 2, pp. 276-297.

----Manuscripts, _Chambers's Journal_, Nov. 1877, pp. 710-712; same
article, _Eclectic Magazine_, 1878, pp. 80-82; _Littell's Living Age_,
1878, pp. 252-254.--_Potter's American Monthly_, vol. 10, p. 156.

----Life and adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit. _Monthly Review_, Sept.
1844, pp. 137-146.--_National Review_, July 1861, pp. 134-150.

----Master Humphrey's Clock. _Monthly Review_, May 1840, pp.
35-43.--_Christian Examiner_, March 1842, pp. 1-19.

----Memories of Charles Dickens. _Atlantic Monthly_, by J.T. Fields,
Aug. 1870, pp. 235-245; same article, _Piccadilly Annual_, 1870, pp.

----Bygone Celebrities: II. Mr. Nightingale's Diary. _Gentleman's
Magazine_, by R.H. Horne. May 1871, pp. 660-672.

----Modern Novelists. _Westminster Review_, Oct. 1864, pp. 414-441;
same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, 1865, pp. 42-59.

----Modern Novels. Including the "Pickwick Papers," "Nicholas
Nickleby," and "Master Humphrey's Clock." _Christian Remembrancer_,
Dec. 1842, pp. 581-596.

----Moral Services to Literature. _Spectator_, April 1869, pp. 474,
475; same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, July 1869, pp. 103-106.

----Mystery of Edwin Drood. _Graphic_, April 1870, p. 438.--_Every
Saturday_, 1870, vol. 9, pp. 291, 594.--_Spectator_, 1870, pp. 1176,
1177.--_Old and New_, (by George B. Woods), Nov. 1870, pp.
530-533.--_Southern Magazine_, 1873, vol. 14, p. 219.--_Belgravia_ (by
Thomas Foster), June 1878, pp. 453-473.

----How "Edwin Drood" was Illustrated. [Illustrated.] _Century
Magazine_, by Alice Meynell, Feb. 1884, pp. 522-528.

----A Quasi-Scientific Inquiry into "The Mystery of Edwin Drood."
Illustrated. _Knowledge_, by Thomas Foster, Sep. 12, Nov. 14, 1884.

----Suggestions for a Conclusion to "Edwin Drood." _Cornhill
Magazine_, March 1884, pp. 308-317.

----Edwin Drood. Concluded by Charles Dickens, through a Medium.
_Transatlantic_, vol. 2, 1873, pp. 173-183.

----In France. (Acting of Nicholas Nickleby in Paris.) _Fraser's
Magazine_, March 1842, pp. 342-352.

----Nomenclature. _Belgravia_, by W.F. Peacock, 1873, pp. 267-276,

----Notes and Correspondence. _Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine_, vol.
11, 1871, pp. 91-95.

----Novel Reading: The works of. _Nineteenth Century_, by Anthony
Trollope, 1879, pp. 24-43.

----Novels and Novelists. _North American Review_, by E.P. Whipple,
October 1849, pp. 383-407; reprinted in "Literature and Life," etc.,
by E.P. Whipple.

----Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge. _Christian Remembrancer_, vol.
4, 1842, p. 581.--_Pall Mall Gazette_, January 1, 1884, pp. 11, 12.

----The Old Lady of Fetter Lane (Old Curiosity Shop). (Illustrated.)
_Pall Mall Gazette_, January 5, 1884, p.

----Oliver Twist. _Southern Literary Messenger_, May 1837, pp.
323-325.--_London and Westminster Review_, July 1837, pp.
194-215.--_Dublin University Magazine_, December 1838, pp.
699-723.--_Quarterly Review_, June 1839, pp. 83-102.--_Christian
Examiner_, by J.S.D., Nov. 1839, pp. 161-174.--_Atlantic Monthly_, by
Edwin P. Whipple, Oct. 1876, pp. 474-479.

----On Bells. _Belgravia_, by George Delamere Cowan, Jan. 1876, pp.

----Our Letter. _St. Nicholas_, by M.F. Armstrong, 1877, pp. 438-441.

----Our Mutual Friend. _Eclectic Review_, Nov. 1865, pp.
455-476.--_Nation_, Dec. 1865, pp. 786, 787.--_Westminster Review_,
April 1866, pp. 582-585.

----Our Mutual Friend in Manuscript. _Scribner's Monthly Magazine_, by
Kate Field, August 1874, pp. 472-475.

----Pickwick Club. _Southern Literary Messenger_, 1836, pp. 787, 788;
Sept. 1837, pp. 525-532.--_Littell's Museum of Foreign Literature_,
vol. 32, 1837, p. 195.--_Monthly Review_, Feb. 1837, pp.
153-163.--_Eclectic Review_, April 1837, pp. 339-355.--_Chambers's
Edinburgh Journal_, April 1837, pp. 109, 110.--_London and Westminster
Review_, July 1837, pp. 194-215.--_Quarterly Review_, Oct. 1837, pp.
484-518.--_Belgravia_, by W.S. (W. Sawyer), July 1870, pp.
33-36.--_Atlantic Monthly_, by Edwin P. Whipple, Aug. 1876, pp.

---- ----Mr. Pickwick and Nicholas Nickleby. [Illustrated.]
_Scribner's Monthly_, by B.E. Martin, Sept. 1880, pp. 641-656.

---- ----From Faust to Mr. Pickwick. _Contemporary Review_, by
Matthew Browne, July 1880, pp. 162-176.

---- ----German Translation of the "Pickwick Papers." _Dublin Review_,
Feb. 1840, pp. 160-188.

---- ----The Origin of the Pickwick Papers. _Society_, by R.H.
Shepherd, Oct. 4, 1884, pp. 18-20.

---- ----The Portrait of Mr. Pickwick. _Belgravia_, by George Augustus
Sala, Aug. 1870, pp. 165-171.

----Pictures from Italy. _Tait's Edinburgh Magazine_, vol. 13, 1846,
pp. 461-466.--_Chambers's Edinburgh Journal_, 1846, pp.
389-391.--_Dublin Review_, Sept. 1846, pp. 184-201.--_Sun_, by Charles
Kent, March 1846.

----Poetic Element in the Style of. _Every Saturday_, vol. 9, p. 811.

----The Pressmen of, and Thackeray. _Graphic_, by T.H. North, 1881, p.

----Reception of. _United States Magazine and Democratic Review_
(portrait), April 1842, pp. 315-320.

----Reminiscences of. _Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine_, by E.E.C.,
vol. 10, 1871, pp. 336-344.

----Remonstrance with. _Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine_, April 1857,
pp. 490-503; same article, _Littell's Living Age_, May 1857, pp.

----Sale of the Effects of. _Every Saturday_, vol. 9, p.
557.--_Chambers's Journal_, 1870, pp. 522-505.

----Seasonable Words about. _The Overland Monthly_, by N.S. Dodge,
1871, pp. 72-82.

----Secularistic Teaching. _Secular Chronicle_, by Harriet T. Law
(portrait). Dec. 1877, pp. 289-291.

----Shadow on Life of. _Atlantic Monthly_, by Edwin P. Whipple, Aug.
1877, pp. 227-233.

----Sketches by Boz. _Monthly Review_, March 1836, pp. 350-357; 1837,
pp. 153-163.--_Mirror_, April 1836, pp. 249-250--_London and
Westminster Review_, July 1837, pp. 194-215.--_Quarterly Review_, Oct.
1837, pp. 484-518.

---- ----The Boarding House (Sketches by Boz). _Chambers's Edinburgh
Journal_, April 1836, pp. 83, 84.

---- ----Watkins Tottle and other Sketches (Sketches by Boz).
_Southern Literary Messenger_, 1836, pp. 457-460.

----Son talent et ses oeuvres. _Revue des Deux Mondes_, by H. Taine.
Feb. 1856, pp. 618-647.

----Studien über Dickens und den Humor. _Westermann's Jahrbuch der
Illustrirten Deutschen Monatshefte_, Von Julian Schmidt (portrait),
April-July 1870.

----Studies of English Authors. No. V. Charles Dickens. In eleven
chapters. _Literary World_, by Peter Bayne, March 21 to May 30, 1879.

----Study. _Graphic_ Christmas Number, by C.C. 1870.

----A Tale of Two Cities. _Saturday Review_, Dec. 1859, pp. 741-743;
same article, _Littell's Living Age_, Feb. 1860, pp. 366-369. _Sun_,
by Charles Kent, Aug. 11, 1859.

----Tales. _Edinburgh Review_, Oct. 1838, pp. 75-97.

----The Tendency of Works of. _Argosy_, by A.D., 1885, pp. 282-292.

----The Tension in. _Every Saturday_, Dec. 1872, pp. 678-679.

----A Tramp with. Through London by Night with the Great Novelist.
_Detroit Free Press_, April 7, 1883.

----Tulrumble, and Oliver Twist. _Southern Literary Messenger_, May
1837, pp. 323-325.

----The "Two Green Leaves" (portrait). _Graphic_, March 26, 1870, pp.

----Unpublished Letters. _Times_, Oct. 27, 1883.

----Satire on. _Blackwood's Magazine_, by S. Warren, vol. 60, 1846,
pp. 590-605; same article, _Eclectic Magazine_, vol. 10, 1847, p. 65.

----Use of the Bible. _Temple Bar_, September 1869, pp. 225-234; same
article, _Appleton's Journal_, Oct. 16, 23, 1869, pp. 265-267, 294,
295; _Every Saturday_, vol. 8, p. 411.

----Verse. _Spectator_, 1877, pp. 1651-1653; same article, _Littell's
Living Age_, 1878, pp. 237-241.

----Visit to Charles Dickens by Hans Christian Andersen. _Bentley's
Miscellany_, 1860, pp. 181-185; same article, _Littell's Living Age_,
1860, pp. 692-695, _Eclectic Magazine_, 1864, pp. 110-114.

---- ----Andersen's. _Temple Bar_, December 1870, pp. 27-46; same
article, _Eclectic Magazine_, 1871, pp. 183-196, _Every Saturday_,
vol. 9, p. 874, etc.; Appendix to _Pictures of Travels in Sweden_,

---- ----Pilgrimage. [Visit to Gadshill.] _Lippincott's Magazine_, by
Barton Hill. Sept. 1870, pp. 288-293.

----Voice of Christmas Past. (Illustrated.) _Harper's New Monthly
Magazine_, by Mrs. Z.B. Buddington, January 1871, pp. 187-200.

----With the Newsvendors.--_Every Saturday_, vol. 9. p. 318.

----Works. _London University Magazine_, by J.S. (James Spedding),
vol. 1, 1842, pp. 378-398.--_North British Review_, by J. Cleghorn,
May 1845, pp. 65-87; same article, _Littell's Living Age_, June 1845,
pp. 601-610.--_National Quarterly Review_, by H. Dennison, 1860, vol.
1, p. 91.--_British Quarterly Review_, Jan. 1862, pp.
135-159.--_Scottish Review_, Dec. 1883, pp. 125-147.


Sketches by Boz                         1836-37
Sunday under Three Heads                   1836
The Village Coquettes                      1836
The Strange Gentleman                      1837
Pickwick Papers                            1837
Oliver Twist                               1838
Sketches of Young Gentlemen                1838
Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi                 1838
Nicholas Nickleby                          1839
Sketches of Young Couples                  1840
Master Humphrey's Clock
(The Old Curiosity Shop and
Barnaby Rudge)                           1840-1
American Notes                             1842
Christmas Carol                            1843
Martin Chuzzlewit                          1844
The Chimes                                 1845
Cricket on the Hearth                      1846
Pictures from Italy                        1846
Battle of Life                             1846
Dombey and Son                             1848
Haunted Man                                1848
David Copperfield                          1850
Mr. Nightingale's Diary                    1851
Child's History of England               1852-4
Bleak House                                1853
Hard Times                                 1854
Little Dorrit                              1857
Hunted Down                                1859
Tale of Two Cities                         1859
Great Expectations                         1861
Uncommercial Traveller                     1861
Our Mutual Friend                          1865
Mystery of Edwin Drood                     1870

_Printed by_ WALTER SCOTT, _Felling, Newcastle-on-Tyne_





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_Now Ready, Price Threepence Each._








The Seven Lectures may be had in One Vol., Cloth, Price 1/6.

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London: WALTER SCOTT, 24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row.


The Elswick Series is intended to supply Teachers and Students with
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LL.D., Author of "Steam," "Navigation," etc.

_The following Works may be expected to appear shortly--_

Author of "Steam," "Navigation," etc.

Huddersfield Technical College, M.A. Cantab., D.Sc. London.

Geometrical Drawing and Lecturer in Architecture at the Royal Indian
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_Uniform in size with the "Canterbury Poets,"

365 pages,

Cloth Gilt, price 1s. 4d._

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With an Introduction by WILLIAM SHARP.

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LONDON: WALTER SCOTT, 24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row.

The Canterbury Poets.

_In Crown Quarto, Printed on Antique Paper, Price 12s. 6d._

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_With an Exhaustive and Critical Essay on the Sonnet,_


This Edition has been thoroughly Revised, and several new Sonnets



_By the Late_



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London: WALTER SCOTT, 24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster Row.

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