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married to a charming lady, and will be far better in Spain than in the
House of Commons. The Ministry are now holding councils on the Irish
Land Tenure question, which is the next difficulty they have to deal
with, as you know. Last Sunday's meeting was a preposterous failure;
still, it brought together in the streets of London all the ruffian part
of the population of London, and that is a serious evil which any one of
a thousand accidents might render mischievous. There is no existing law,
however, to stop these assemblages, so that they keep moving while in
the streets.

The Government was undoubtedly wrong when it considered it had the right
to close Hyde Park; that is now universally conceded.

I write to Alfred and Plorn both by this mail. They can never say enough
of your kindness when they write to me.

[Sidenote: Mr. A. H. Layard.]

GAD'S HILL PLACE, _Monday, 8th November, 1869._


On Friday or Saturday next I can come to you at any time after twelve
that will suit your convenience. I had no idea of letting you go away
without my God-speed; but I knew how busy you must be; and kept in the
background, biding my time.

I am sure you know that there is no man living more attached to you than
I am. After considering the subject with the jealousy of a friend, I
have a strong conviction that your change[106] is a good one; ill as you
can be spared from the ranks of men who are in earnest here.

With kindest regards to Mrs. Layard.

Ever faithfully yours.


[99] Sir James Emerson Tennent.

[100] Some Venetian glass champagne tumblers.

[101] Miss Florence Olliffe, who wrote to announce the death of her
father, Sir Joseph Olliffe.

[102] The Readings.

[103] The "piece" here alluded to was called "Black and White." It was
presented at the Adelphi Theatre. The outline of the plot was suggested
by Mr. Fechter.

[104] The story was called "An Experience."

[105] "Boffin" and "Fascination Fledgeby," were nicknames given to his
children by Mr. Robert Lytton at this time.

[106] Mr. Layard's appointment as British Minister at Madrid.


[Sidenote: Mr. James T. Fields.]

_Friday, January 14th, 1870._


We live here (opposite the Marble Arch) in a charming house until the
1st of June, and then return to Gad's. The conservatory is completed,
and is a brilliant success; but an expensive one!

I should be quite ashamed of not having written to you and my dear Mrs.
Fields before now, if I didn't know that you will both understand how
occupied I am, and how naturally, when I put my papers away for the day,
I get up and fly. I have a large room here, with three fine windows,
overlooking the Park - unsurpassable for airiness and cheerfulness.

You saw the announcement of the death of poor dear Harness. The
circumstances are curious. He wrote to his old friend the Dean of Battle
saying he would come to visit him on that day (the day of his death).
The Dean wrote back: "Come next day, instead, as we are obliged to go
out to dinner, and you will be alone." Harness told his sister a little
impatiently that he _must_ go on the first-named day; that he had made
up his mind to go, and MUST. He had been getting himself ready for
dinner, and came to a part of the staircase whence two doors
opened - one, upon another level passage; one, upon a flight of stone
steps. He opened the wrong door, fell down the steps, injured himself
very severely, and died in a few hours.

You will know - _I_ don't - what Fechter's success is in America at the
time of this present writing. In his farewell performances at the
Princess's he acted very finely. I thought the three first acts of his
Hamlet very much better than I had ever thought them before - and I
always thought very highly of them. We gave him a foaming stirrup cup at
Gad's Hill.

Forster (who has been ill with his bronchitis again) thinks No. 2 of the
new book ("Edwin Drood") a clincher, - I mean that word (as his own
expression) for _Clincher_. There is a curious interest steadily working
up to No. 5, which requires a great deal of art and self-denial. I think
also, apart from character and picturesqueness, that the young people
are placed in a very novel situation. So I hope - at Nos. 5 and 6, the
story will turn upon an interest suspended until the end.

I can't believe it, and don't, and won't, but they say Harry's
twenty-first birthday is next Sunday. I have entered him at the Temple
just now; and if he don't get a fellowship at Trinity Hall when his time
comes, I shall be disappointed, if in the present disappointed state of

I hope you may have met with the little touch of Radicalism I gave them
at Birmingham in the words of Buckle? With pride I observe that it makes
the regular political traders, of all sorts, perfectly mad. Such was my
intentions, as a grateful acknowledgment of having been misrepresented.

I think Mrs. - - 's prose very admirable; but I don't believe it! No, I
do _not_. My conviction is that those islanders get frightfully bored by
the islands, and wish they had never set eyes upon them!

Charley Collins has done a charming cover for the monthly part of the
new book. At the very earnest representations of Millais (and after
having seen a great number of his drawings) I am going to engage with a
new man; retaining of course, C. C.'s cover aforesaid.[107] Katie has made
some more capital portraits, and is always improving.

My dear Mrs. Fields, if "He" (made proud by chairs and bloated by
pictures) does not give you my dear love, let us conspire against him
when you find him out, and exclude him from all future confidences.
Until then,

Ever affectionately yours and his.

[Sidenote: Lord Lytton.]

5, HYDE PARK PLACE, _Monday, 14th February, 1870._


I ought to have mentioned in my hurried note to you, that my knowledge
of the consultation[108] in question only preceded yours by certain hours;
and that Longman asked me if I would make the design known to you, as he
thought it might be a liberty to address you otherwise. This I did

The class of writers to whom you refer at the close of your note, have
no copyright, and do not come within my case at all. I quite agree with
you as to their propensities and deserts.

Indeed, I suppose in the main that there is very little difference
between our opinions. I do not think the present Government worse than
another, and I think it better than another by the presence of Mr.
Gladstone; but it appears to me that our system fails.

Ever yours.

[Sidenote: Mr. Frederic Chapman.]

5, HYDE PARK PLACE, _Monday, 14th March, 1870._


Mr. Fildes has been with me this morning, and without complaining of
- - or expressing himself otherwise than as being obliged to him for
his care in No. 1, represents that there is a brother-student of his, a
wood-engraver, perfectly acquainted with his style and well
understanding his meaning, who would render him better.

I have replied to him that there can be no doubt that he has a claim
beyond dispute to our employing whomsoever he knows will present him in
his best aspect. Therefore, we must make the change; the rather because
the fellow-student in question has engraved Mr. Fildes' most successful
drawings hitherto.

Faithfully yours.

[Sidenote: Mr. Charles Mackay.]

_Thursday, 21st April, 1870._


I have placed "God's Acre." The prose paper, "The False Friend," has
lingered, because it seems to me that the idea is to be found in an
introduced story of mine called "The Baron of Grogzwig" in "Pickwick."

Be pleasant with the Scottish people in handling Johnson, because I love

Ever faithfully.

[Sidenote: Sir John Bowring.]

GAD'S HILL, _Thursday, 5th May, 1870._


I send you many cordial thanks for your note, and the very curious
drawing accompanying it. I ought to tell you, perhaps, that the opium
smoking I have described, I saw (exactly as I have described it, penny
ink-bottle and all) down in Shadwell this last autumn. A couple of the
Inspectors of Lodging-Houses knew the woman and took me to her as I was
making a round with them to see for myself the working of Lord
Shaftesbury's Bill.

Believe me, always faithfully yours.

[Sidenote: Mr. J. B. Buckstone.]

[109]_Sunday, 15th May, 1870._


I send a duplicate of this note to the Haymarket, in case it should miss
you out of town. For a few years I have been liable, at wholly uncertain
and incalculable times, to a severe attack of neuralgia in the foot,
about once in the course of a year. It began in an injury to the finer
muscles or nerves, occasioned by over-walking in the deep snow. When it
comes on I cannot stand, and can bear no covering whatever on the
sensitive place. One of these seizures is upon me now. Until it leaves
me I could no more walk into St. James's Hall than I could fly in the
air. I hope you will present my duty to the Prince of Wales, and assure
his Royal Highness that nothing short of my being (most unfortunately)
disabled for the moment would have prevented my attending, as trustee of
the Fund,[110] at the dinner, and warmly expressing my poor sense of the
great and inestimable service his Royal Highness renders to a most
deserving institution by so kindly commending it to the public.

Faithfully yours always.

[Sidenote: Mr. Rusden.]

ATHENÆUM, _Friday Evening, 20th May, 1870._


I received your most interesting and clear-sighted letter about Plorn
just before the departure of the last mail from here to you. I did not
answer then because another incoming mail was nearly due, and I expected
(knowing Plorn so well) that some communication from him such as he made
to you would come to me. I was not mistaken. The same arguing of the
squatter question - vegetables and all - appeared. This gave me an
opportunity of touching on those points by this mail, without in the
least compromising you. I cannot too completely express my concurrence
with your excellent idea that his correspondence with you should be
regarded as confidential. Just as I could not possibly suggest a word
more neatly to the point, or more thoughtfully addressed, to such a
young man than your reply to his letter, I hope you will excuse my
saying that it is a perfect model of tact, good sense, and good feeling.
I had been struck by his persistently ignoring the possibility of his
holding any other position in Australasia than his present position, and
had inferred from it a homeward tendency. What is most curious to me is
that he is very sensible, and yet does not seem to understand that he
has qualified himself for no public examinations in the old country, and
could not possibly hold his own against any competition for anything to
which I could get him nominated.

But I must not trouble you about my boys as if they were yours. It is
enough that I can never thank you for your goodness to them in a
generous consideration of me.

I believe the truth as to France to be that a citizen Frenchman never
forgives, and that Napoleon will never live down the _coup d'état_. This
makes it enormously difficult for any well-advised English newspaper to
support him, and pretend not to know on what a volcano his throne is
set. Informed as to his designs on the one hand, and the perpetual
uneasiness of his police on the other (to say nothing of a doubtful
army), _The Times_ has a difficult game to play. My own impression is
that if it were played too boldly for him, the old deplorable national
antagonism would revive in his going down. That the wind will pass over
his Imperiality on the sands of France I have not the slightest doubt.
In no country on the earth, but least of all there, can you seize people
in their houses on political warrants, and kill in the streets, on no
warrant at all, without raising a gigantic Nemesis - not very reasonable
in detail, perhaps, but none the less terrible for that.

The commonest dog or man driven mad is a much more alarming creature
than the same individuality in a sober and commonplace condition.

Your friend - - - - is setting the world right generally all round
(including the flattened ends, the two poles), and, as a Minister said
to me the other day, "has the one little fault of omniscience."

You will probably have read before now that I am going to be everything
the Queen can make me.[111] If my authority be worth anything believe on
it that I am going to be nothing but what I am, and that that includes
my being as long as I live,

Your faithful and heartily obliged.

[Sidenote: Mr. Alfred Tennyson Dickens.]

ATHENÆUM CLUB, _Friday Night, 20th May, 1870._


I have just time to tell you under my own hand that I invited Mr. Bear
to a dinner of such guests as he would naturally like to see, and that
we took to him very much, and got on with him capitally.

I am doubtful whether Plorn is taking to Australia. Can you find out his
real mind? I notice that he always writes as if his present life were
the be-all and the end-all of his emigration, and as if I had no idea of
you two becoming proprietors, and aspiring to the first positions in the
colony, without casting off the old connection.

From Mr. Bear I had the best accounts of you. I told him that they did
not surprise me, for I had unbounded faith in you. For which take my
love and blessing.

They will have told you all the news here, and that I am hard at work.
This is not a letter so much as an assurance that I never think of you
without hope and comfort.

Ever, my dear Alfred,
Your affectionate Father.

* * * * *

This Letter did not reach Australia until after these two absent sons of
Charles Dickens had heard, by telegraph, the news of their father's



[107] Mr. Charles Collins was obliged to give up the illustrating of
"Edwin Drood," on account of his failing health.

[108] A meeting of Publishers and Authors to discuss the subject of
International Copyright.

[109] Printed in Mackenzie's "Life of Dickens."

[110] The General Theatrical Fund.

[111] An allusion to an unfounded rumour.

[112] Charles Dickens's son, Alfred Tennyson.


Acrobats, 213

Adams, Mr. H. G., letters to, 15, 208

Agreement, a sporting, 244

Ainsworth, Mr. W. H., 13

Air, Dickens's love of fresh, 169

Allston, Mr. Washington, 42

America, feeling for the "Curiosity Shop" in, 19;
projected visit to, 20;
description of life in, 24;
how Dickens was interviewed in, 26;
amateur theatricals in, 28;
friends in, 30, 238;
voyage home from, 34;
second visit of Dickens to, 234, 241, 244-249;
Dickens's feeling for the people of, 237;
the great walking-match in, 244;
second journey home from, 249-252;
desire on the part of Dickens to promote friendly relations between
England and, 259;
letters from, 24, 27, 28, 244-249

"American Notes, The," success of, 38;
criticisms on, 38, 43;
and see 34, 35, 237

Appleton, Mr., 260

Ashburton, Lord, 46

Austin, Mr. Henry, letter to, 130

Austin, Mrs., letter to, 214

Author, dreams of an, 55;
penalties of an, 168

Babbage, Mr. Charles, letter to, 69

Bairr, Mrs., 146

Bath, a, abroad, 144;
at Naples, 155

"Battle of Life, The," the drama of, 87;
Dickens on, 102

Baylis, Mr., letter to, 212

Bear, Mr., 299

Beard, Mr., 9

Begging-letter Writers, Dickens on, 267

"Bentley's Miscellany," Dickens's connection with, 12

Benzon, Mrs., 199

Biliousness, an effect of, 87

Birmingham, meeting of Polytechnic Institution at, 64;
the Institute at, 158

Birthday greeting, a, 226

"Black and White," Fechter in Wilkie Collins's play of, 277

"Bleak House," 140

Blessington, the Countess of, 68;
letters to, 17, 65, 70, 74, 75, 89

Blue-stockings, Dickens on, 18

Boulogne, Dickens at, 140, 141, 161

Bouncer, Mrs., Miss Dickens's dog, 216, 255

Bowring, Sir John, letters to, 193, 295

Boy, the Magnetic, 18

Boyle, Miss Mary, 113;
letter to, 220

Braham, Mr., 1-3

Braham, Mrs., 3

Breakfast, a, aboard ship, 251

Broadstairs, description of, 53;
life at, 54, 125;
a wreck at, 129, 131

Brougham, Lord, 46

Browning, Mr. Robert, letter to, 227

Buckstone, Mr., letter to, 296

Bulwer, Sir Edward Lytton, letter to, 62;
and see Lytton, Sir Edward Bulwer, and Lytton, Lord

Butler, Mrs., 85

Calculation, a long, 43

Captain, a sea, 47

"Captives, The," Dickens's criticism on Lord Lytton's play of, 241

Carlyle, Mr. Thomas, 28

Carlyle, Mrs., 179

Céleste, Madame, 168

Cerjat, M. de, 148

Chapman, Mr. Edward, letters to, 14, 91

Chapman, Mr. Frederic, letter to, 294

Chappell, Mr. T., 277;
letter to, 279

Charity, a vote for a, 108

Chéri, Rose, 90

Children, Dickens on the death of, 170

"Child's History of England, A," 237

"Chimes, The," Dickens at work on, 71;
his interest in, 71

Chorley, Mr. Henry F., letters to, 190, 213, 216, 222, 231

Christening, a boisterous, 261

"Christmas Carol, The," Dickens at work on, 59, 63;
success of, 60

Christmas keeping, 60

_Chronicle, The Evening_, Dickens's connection with, 5

Clark, Mr. L. Gaylord, letter to, 19

Clark, Mr. W. Gaylord, 19

Clarke, Mrs. Cowden, 264;
and see Letters

Clifford, Hon. Mrs., 271

Cobden, Mr. Richard, 84

Collins, Mr. Charles, 292

Collins, Mr. Wilkie, 142, 148, 198, 233, 244, 258;
letter to, 171

Conjurer, Dickens as a, 41

Conolly, Mr., 160

Cookesley, Mr., 109

Copyright, Dickens on international, 28, 33, 44, 102, 237, 263, 293

Corn Laws, the Repeal of the, 84

Cornwall, a trip to, 39

Costello, Mr., 101

Coutts, Miss, 128, 132, 148

Covent Garden Opera, commencement of the, 86

Criticism, on Dickens's opera, 1;
Dickens on American, 44;
on art, 77;
Dickens's appreciation of Thackeray's, 165;
by Chorley on Dickens, 223

Cruikshank, Mr. George, 101

Cullenford, Mr., 88

_Daily News, The_, first issue of, 84

"Dando," the oyster-eater, 32, 35

"David Copperfield," Dickens at work on, 113;
Dickens's feeling for, 114;
his liking for the reading of, 227, 234

Death, Dickens on the punishment of, 78

De Gex, Mr., 9

Derby, Lord, Dickens's opinion of, 288

Devonshire, the Duke of, 121, 128, 129

Diary, fragments of Dickens's, 8-12

Dickens, Alfred, 265, 278, 289;
letter to, 299

Dickens, Charles, his affection for Mary Hogarth, 6-9, 11, 50;
his diary, 8-12;
his relations with _The Chronicle_, 5;
his "Sketches of Young Gentlemen," 9;
his "Sunday in Three Parts," 9;
insures his life, 10;
his connection with "Bentley's Miscellany," 12;
is entered at the Middle Temple, 14;
his feeling for Kent, 15;
his religious views, 16, 17;
the purpose of his writing, 17;
his childhood, 22;
his first visit to America, 24-31;
as a stage-manager, 29, 100, 127;
dinner to, at Greenwich, 33;
takes a trip to Cornwall, 39;
as a conjuror, 41;
on American criticism, 44;
facetious description of himself, 53;
at Broadstairs, 54, 125;
his views on education, 58;
at work on "The Christmas Carol," 59;
in Italy, 70-78;
at work on "The Chimes," 71;
in Paris, 85, 89;
organises theatricals for the benefit of Leigh Hunt, 95, 97, 98,
100, 103;
organises theatricals to found a curatorship of Shakespeare's house,
acts in theatricals at Knebworth, 113, 114, 116;
theatricals in aid of the Guild of Literature and Art, 118-128,
as an editor, 137-140, 159, 162-164, 173-175, 181, 183, 202, 229,
239, 284, 286, 295;
at Boulogne, 140, 141, 161;
his expedition to Switzerland and Italy, 142-158;
his excitability when at work, 169;
his love of fresh air, 169;
on the death of children, 170;
on red tape, 176;
on Sunday bands, 177;
sits to Frith for his portrait, 188;
his readings, 208, 227, 230, 232, 238;
at work on "Our Mutual Friend," 218, 221;
readings in America, 234;
his love for the American people, 237;
his second visit to America, 241, 244, 252;
at Gad's Hill, 256;
farewell course of readings, 256, 278;
his reminiscences of the Staplehurst accident, 264;
his reading of the murder from "Oliver Twist," 268;
serious illness of, 280, 281;
great physical power of, 280

Dickens, Charles, jun., 9, 25, 41, 109, 154, 277;
at "All the Year Round" office, 283

Dickens, Mrs. Charles, 9, 51, 114, 115, 124, 125, 171;
and see Letters

Dickens, Dora, death of, 125

Dickens, Edward, nicknamed Plorn, 158, 265, 273, 281, 288, 289, 297

Dickens, Henry F., 157;
entered at the Temple, 292

Dickens, Kate, 153, 157, 293

Dickens, Miss, 157, 196, 205, 210, 215, 217, 222, 228, 255, 256, 258

Dickens, Sydney, 143, 157

Dickens, Walter, 25

Disease, a new form of, 129

Dissent, Dickens's views on, 16

"Doctor Marigold," reading of, 227

Dogs, Dickens's, 255, 262;
Don, the Newfoundland, rescues his son, 262

Dolby, Mr. George, 234, 238, 248, 256, 261, 270, 273, 276

"Dombey and Son," sale of, 87;
see also 89, 94

D'Orsay, Count, 18, 66, 68, 70, 73, 74, 78

Dream, an absurd, 56

Dufferin, Lord, 277

Dumas, Alexandre, 90

Earnestness, Dickens on, 176

Eden, the Hon. Miss, letter to, 128

Edinburgh, 270

Editor, Dickens as an, 137-140, 159, 162-164, 173-175, 181, 183,
202, 229, 239, 284-286, 295

Education, Dickens on, 58

Edward, the courier, 142-144, 148, 155

"Edwin Drood," Dickens on, 292;
the opium scene in, 295

Egg, Mr. A., 101, 118, 127, 142, 148, 156

Evans, Mr., 109

"Experience, An," 283

"Fatal Zero," by Percy Fitzgerald, 291

Fechter, Mr. Charles, in "The Lady of Lyons," 234, 240;
Dickens's admiration of, 240;
and see 253, 257, 277, 291;
letters to, 244, 254

Fechter, Madame, 254

Felton, Professor, 272;
and see Letters

Felton, Mrs., 33

Fenian Amnesty, meeting in favour of a, 287, 289

Fields, Mr. James T.; see Letters

Fields, Mrs., 252, 260, 291;
letter to, 255

Fildes, Mr., 294

Fitzgerald, Mr. Percy, 228, 271

Forster, Mr. John, 9, 10, 13, 30, 35, 36, 39, 41, 54, 60, 86, 89, 101,
113, 117, 127, 133, 154, 188, 207, 227, 260, 292;
letters to, 165, 225

Forster, Mrs., letter to, 273

Fox, Mr. W. J., letter to, 84

Frith, R.A., Mr. W. P., letter to, 188

Funeral, the comic side of a, 48

Gad's Hill, descriptions of, 252, 256;
Dickens's writing-room at, 256;
Longfellow's visit to, 260;
and see 276

Gallenga, Monsieur, 192

"Gamp, Mrs.," 56

Gaskell, Mrs., 271;
letter to, 159

General Theatrical Fund, the, 88, 102, 296

Gibson, Mrs. Milner, letter to, 205

"Girlhood of Shakespeare's heroines, The," 124

Gladstone, Mr., 258, 294

Glasgow, 270

Gordon, Mrs., 87

"Great Expectations," 198

Greenwich, Dinner to Dickens at, 33

Grew, Mr. Frederick, letter to, 158

Grisi, Madame, 86

Guide Books, 140

Guild of Literature and Art, the, 120, 180;
theatricals in aid of, 118-128, 133-135

Hardisty, Mr., 111

Harley, Mr. J. P., 3, 4;
letter to, 13

Harness, Rev. W., 269, 291;

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Online LibraryCharles DickensThe letters of Charles Dickens → online text (page 17 of 21)