« הקודםהמשך »
my heart and soul, and knowing what your disposi- lar levee every day, you know, which is duly heralded tion really is, I would not condemn you to a year's and proclaimed in the newspapers) than in that of residence on this side of the Atlantic for any money. the carmen of Hartford, who presented themselves Freedom of opinion! Where is it? I see a press in a body in their blue frocks, among a crowd of more mean, and paltry, and silly, and disgraceful well-dressed ladies and gentlemen, and bade me than any country I ever knew. If that is its stan- welcome through their spokesman. They had all dard, here it is. But I speak of Bancroft, and am read my books, and all perfectly understood them. advised to be silent on that subject, for he is “a It is not these things I have in my mind when I say black sheep-a Democrat." I speak of Bryant, and that the man who comes to this country a Radical am entreated to be more careful, for the same reason. and goes home again with his opinions unchanged, I speak of international copyright, and am implored must be a Radical on reason, sympathy, and reflecnot to ruin myself outright. I speak of Miss Mar- tion, and one who has so well considered the subtineau, and all parties-Slave Upholders and Abo- ject that he has no chance of wavering. litionists, Whigs, Tyler Whigs, and Democratsshower down upon me a perfect cataract of abuse. Shortly after his return from America, Dick“But what has she done ? Surely she praised ens was invited to take the chair on the opening America enough !” “Yes, but she told us of some of the Mechanics' Institution at Liverpool, and of our faults, and Americans can't bear to be told to make a speech on the subject of education. of their faults. Don't split on that rock, Mr. Dick. The following report of the proceedings on the ens, don't write about America ; we are so very sus
occasion was addressed to his wife : picious.”
Freedom of opinion ! Macready, if I had been OUT OF THE COMMON-PLEASE. born here, and had written my books in this country, producing them with no stamp of approval from
DICKENS against THE WORLD. any other land, it is my solemn belief that I should
CHARLES DICKENS, of No. 1 Devonshire Ter. have lived and died poor, unnoticed, and a “black race, York Gate, Regent's Park, in the county of sheep” to boot. I never was more convinced of Middlesex, gentleman, the successful plaintiff in the anything than I am of that.
above cause, maketh oath and saith : That on the The people are affectionate, generous, open- day and date hereof, to wit, at seven o'clock in the hearted, hospitable, enthusiastic, good-humored, po- evening, he, this deponent, took the chair at a large lite to women, frank and candid to all strangers, assembly of the Mechanics' Institution at Liveranxious to oblige, far less prejudiced than they have pool, and that having been received with tremendous been described to be, frequently polished and re- and enthusiastic plaudits, he, this deponent, did imfined, very seldom rude or disagreeable. I have mediately dash into a vigorous, brilliant, humorous, made a great many friends here, even in public con. pathetic, eloquent, fervid, and impassioned speech. veyances, whom I have been truly sorry to part from. That the said speech was enlivened by thirteen hunIn the towns I have formed perfect attachments. I dred persons, with frequent, vehement, uproarious, have seen none of that greediness and indecorous- and deafening cheers, and, to the best of this de. ness on which travelers have laid so much emphasis. ponent's knowledge and belief, he, this deponent, I have returned frankness with frankness; met ques. did speak up like a man, and did, to the best of his tions not intended to be rude with answers meant to knowledge and belief, considerably distinguish himbe satisfactory; and have not spoken to one man, self. That after the proceedings of the opening woman, or child of any degree, who has not grown were over, and a vote of thanks was proposed to this positively affectionate before we parted. In the re- deponent, he, this deponent, did again distinguish spects of not being left alone, and of being horribly himself, and that the cheering at that time, accomdisgusted by tobacco-chewing and tobacco-spittle, I panied with clapping of hands and stamping of feet, have suffered considerably. The sight of slavery in was in this deponent's case thundering and awful. Virginia, the hatred of British feeling upon the sub- And this deponent further saith, that his white-andject, and the miserable hints of the impotent indig- black, or magpie, waistcoat did create a strong sensanation of the South, have pained me very much; on tion, and that during the hours of promenading this the last head, of course, I have felt nothing but a deponent heard from persons surrounding him such mingled pity and amusement; on the other, sheer exclamations as, “What is it? Is it a waistcoat? distress. But however much I like the ingredients No, it's a shirt," and the like-all of which this deof this great dish, I can not but come back to the ponent believes to have been complimentary and point at which I started, and say that the dish it. gratifying ; but this deponent further saith that he is self goes against the grain with me, and that I don't
now going to supper, and wishes he may have an like it.
appetite to eat it.
CHARLES DICKENS. You know that I am truly a Liberal. I believe I have as little pride as most men, and I am conscious
Sworn before me, at the Adelphi Hotel, Liver. of not the smallest annoyance from being “hail fel. pool, on the 26th of February, 1844.
S. RADLEY. low well met” with everybody. I have not had greater pleasure in the company of any set of men The foregoing reference to the sensation among the thousands I have received (I hold a regu- created by the “magpie waistcoast ” may appro
priately introduce a characteristic note to Mac- with him, and his goodness and truth. I think what ready, in which Dickens's somewhat fantastic a dream we live in until it seems for the moment the taste in dress is amusingly illustrated :
saddest dream that ever was dreamed. Pray tell us
if you hear more of him. We really loved him. DEVONSHIRE TERRACE,
To go to the opposite side of life, let me tell you Friday Evening, October 17, 1845.
that a week or so ago I took Charley (Dickens's el. MY DEAR MACREADY : You once-only once- dest son) and three of his schoolsellows down the rivgave the world assurance of a waistcoat. You wore er gypsying. I secured the services of Charley's it, sir, I think, in “Money.” It was a remarkable godfather (an old friend of mine, and a noble fellow and precious waistcoat, wherein certain broad stripes with boys), and went down to Slough, accompanied of blue or purple disported themselves as by a com- by two immense hampers from Fortnum and Mason, bination of extraordinary circumstances, too happy to on (I believe) the wettest morning ever seen out of occur again. I have seen it on your manly chest in the tropics. private life. I saw it, sir, I think, the other day, in It cleared before we got to Slough; but the boys, the cold light of morning, with feelings easier to be im- who had got up at four (we being due at eleven), had agined than described. Mr. Macready, sir, are you a horrible misgivings that we might not come, in confather? If so, lend me that waistcoat for five minutes. sequence of which we saw them looking into the I am bidden to a wedding (where fathers are made), carriages before us, all face. They seemed to have and my artist can not, I find (how should he ?), im- no bodies whatever, but to be all face ; their counagine such a waistcoast. Let me show it to him as
tenances lengthened to that surprising extent. When a sample of my tastes and wishes, and—ha, ha, ha, they saw us, the faces shut up as if they were upon ha Keclipse the bridegroom!
strong springs, and their waistcoats developed themI will send a trusty messenger at half-past nine selves in the usual places. When the first hamper precisely in the morning. He is sworn to secrecy. came out of the luggage-van, I was conscious of their He durst not for his life betray us, or swells in am- dancing behind the guard ; when the second came buscade would have the waistcoat at the cost of his out with bottles in it, they all stood wildly on one heart's blood. Thine,
leg. We then got a couple of Ays to drive to the THE UNWAISTCOATED ONE.
boat-house. I put them in the first, but they couldn't To the letter already quoted as illustrating and down like the toy-figures in the sham snuff-box
sit still a moment, and were perpetually flying up Dickens's kindness to children we will add one
es. In this order we went on to “ Tom Brown's, more, which, though long, is worth reproducing the tailor's," where they all dressed in aquatic cosas further exemplifying this amiable characteris- tume, and then to the boat-house, where they all tic, and also as showing the frank and easy com- cried in shrill chorus for “ Mahogany"-a gentleman radeship which he maintained in all his relations so called by reason of his sunburned complexion, a with his own children. It was written to the waterman by profession. (He was likewise called Hon. Mrs. Watson, to whom some of the most during the day “Hog" and " Hogany," and seemed interesting and valuable letters in the collection to be unconscious of any proper name whatsoever.) are addressed :
We embarked, the sun shining now, in a galley with
a striped awning, which I had ordered for the pur. BROADSTAIRS, Kent, July 11, 1851.
pose, and, all rowing hard, went down the river. We MY DEAR Mrs. WATSON: I am so desperately dined in a field ; what I suffered for fear those boys indignant with you for writing me that short apology should get drunk, the struggles I underwent in a confor a note, and pretending to suppose that under any test of feeling between hospitality and prudence, circumstances I could fail to read with interest any. must ever remain untold. I feel, even now, old thing you wrote to me, that I have more than half a with the anxiety of that tremendous hour. They mind to inflict a regular letter upon you. If I were were very good, however. The speech of one benot the gentlest of men, I should do it !
came thick, and his eyes too like lobsters' to be com. Poor dear Haldimand, I have thought of him so fortable, but only temporarily. He recovered, and I often. That kind of decay is so inexpressibly af- suppose outlived the salad he took. I have heard fecting and piteous to me that I have no words to nothing to the contrary, and I imagine I should have express my compassion and sorrow. When I was at been implicated on the inquest if there had been one. Abbotsford, I saw in a vile glass case the last clothes We had tea and rashers of bacon at a public-house, Scott wore ; among them an old white hat, which and came home, the last five or six miles in a prodiseemed to be tumbled and bent and broken by the gious thunderstorm. This was the great success of the uneasy, purposeless wandering, hither and thither, day, which they certainly enjoyed more than anything of his heavy head. It so embodied Lockhart's pa- else. The dinner had been great, and Mahogany thetic description of him when he tried to write, and had informed them, after a bottle of light chamlaid down his pen and cried, that it associated itself pagne, that he never would come up the river "with in my mind with broken powers and mental weak- ginger company" any more. But the getting so ness from that hour. I fancy Haldimand in such completely wet through was the culminating part of another, going listlessly about that beautiful place, the entertainment. You never in your life saw such and remembering the happy hours we have passed objects as they were; and their perfect unconscious
ness that it was at all advisable to go home and itable action, and proved himself worthy of all confichange, or that there was anything to prevent their dence. standing at the station two mortal hours to see me With love to the boys and girls, off, was wonderful. As to getting them to their
Ever, dear Mrs. Watson, dames with any sort of sense that they were damp, I
Most sincerely yours. abandoned the idea. I thought it a success when
About the time the preceding letter was writthey went down the street as civilly as if they were just up and newly dressed, though they really looked ten, the author was preparing to move into Tavas if you could have rubbed them to rags with a
istock House, that one of his London residences touch, like saturated curl-paper. ..
with which his name is most intimately associI find I am “used up" by the Exhibition. I ated. One of the fancies with which he amused don't say “ there is nothing in it"—there's too much. himself while fitting up the library there is reI have only been twice ; so many things bewildered ferred to in the following epistle: me. I have a natural horror of sights, and the fusion
“HOUSEHOLD WORDS" OFFICE, of so many sights in one has not decreased it. I am
Wednesday Evening, October 22, 1851. not sure that I have seen anything but the fountain
DEAR MR. EELES : I send you the list I have and perhaps the Amazon. It is a dreadful thing to made for the book-backs. I should like the “ Hisbe obliged to be false, but when any one says, “ Have tory of a Short Chancery Suit" to come at the botyou seen -?" I say “ Yes," because, if I don't, I
tom of one recess, and the “Catalogue of Statues of know he'll explain it, and I can't bear that.
the Duke of Wellington" at the bottom of the other. took all the school one day. The school was com- If you should want more titles, and will let me know posed of a hundred "infants," who got among the how many, I will send them to you. horses' legs in coming to the main entrance from the
Faithfully yours. Kensington Gate, and came walking from between the wheels of coaches undisturbed in mind ; got LIST OF IMITATION BOOK-BACKS. among the horses' legs in crossing to the main en
Tavistock House, 1851. trance from the Kensington Gate, and came reeling Five Minutes in China. 3 vols. out from between the wheels of coaches undisturbed Forty Winks at the Pyramids. 2 vols. in mind. They were clinging to horses, I am told, Abernethy on the Constitution. 2 vols. all over the park. ...
Mr. Green's Overland Mail.
2 vols. When they were collected and added up by the Captain Cook's Life of Savage. 2 vols. frantic monitors, they were all right. They were
A Carpenter's Bench of Bishops.
Toot's Universal Letter-Writer. 2 vols. then regaled with cake, etc., and went tottering and Orson's Art of Etiquette. staring all over the place; the greater part wetting Downeaster's Complete Calculator. their forefingers and drawing a wavy pattern on History of the Middling Ages. 6 vols. every accessible object. One infant strayed. He Jonah's Account of the Whale. was not missed. Ninety-and-nine were taken home, Captain Parry's Virtues of Cold Tar. supposed to be the whole collection, but this particu. Kant's Ancient Humbugs.
10 vols. lar infant went to Hammersmith. He was found by
Bowwowdom. A Poem.
The Quarrelly Review. 4 vols. the police at night, going round and round the turnpike, which he still supposed to be a part of the Ex- Steele. By the Author of " Ion.”
The Gunpowder Magazine. 4 vols. hibition. He had the same opinion of the police, The Art of Cutting the Teeth. also of Hammersmith workhouse, where he passed Matthew's Nursery Songs. 2 vols. the night. When his mother came for him in the Paxton's Bloomers. 5 vols. morning, he asked when it would be over? It was On the Use of Mercury by the Ancient Poets. a great Exhibition, he said, but he thought it Drowsy's Recollections of Nothing. 3 vols. long.
Heavyside's Conversations with Nobody. 3 vols.
2 vols. As I begin to have a foreboding that you will Commonplace Book of the Oldest Inh think the same of this act of vengeance of mine, this
Growler's Gruffiology, with Appendix. 4 vols.
The Books of Moses and Sons. 2 vols. present letter, I shall make an end of it, with my Burke (of Edinburgh) on the Sublime and Beautiful. heartiest and most loving remembrances to Watson.
2 vols. I should have liked him of all things to have been in Teazer's Commentaries. the Eton expedition, tell him, and to have heard a King Henry the Eighth's Evidences of Christianity. song (by the by, I have forgotten that) sung in the thunderstorm, solos by Charley, chorus by the friends, Miss Biffin on Deportment. describing the career of a booby who was plucked at
Morrison's Pills Progress. 2 vols. college, every verse ending
Lady Godiva on the Horse.
Munchausen's Modern Miracles. 4 vols. “I don't care a fig what the people may think,
Richardson's Show of Dramatic Literature,
12 vols. But what will the Governor say !"
Hansard's Guide to Refreshing Sleep. As many volumes
as possible. which was shouted with a deferential jollity toward
In the midst of his own brilliant success, myself, as a governor who had that day done a cred- Dickens never failed in sympathy and generous
help for the weaker brethren in his craft, and Mary! But, when my breast is tortured by the penever tried in any way to separate himself from rusal of such a letter as yours, Falkland, Falkland, them. Here is an example of the gentle consid- madam, becomes my part in “The Rivals," and I erateness with which, as editor, he dealt with his play it with desperate earnestness.
As thus : younger contributors: DEVONSHIRE TERRACE,
Falkland (to Acres). Then you see her, sir, someFriday Night, late, February 21, 1851. times ? MY DEAR Miss BOYLE: I have devoted a couple
Acres. See her! Odds beams and sparkles, yes. of hours this evening to going very carefully over See her acting! Night after night.
Falkland (aside and furious). Death and the devil ! your paper (which I had read before) and to endeavoring to bring it closer, and to lighten it
, and to Acting, and I not there! Pray, sir (with constrained
calmness), what does she act ? give it that sort of compactness which a habit of
Acres. Odds monthly nurses and babbies ! Sairey composition, and of disciplining one's thoughts like Gamp and Betsey Prig, “which, wotever it is, my dear a regiment, and of studying the art of putting each (mimicking), I likes it brought reg'lar and draw'd mild !" soldier into his right place, may have gradually That's very like her. taught me to think necessary. I hope, when you see Falkland. Confusion ! Laceration ! Perhaps, sir, it in print, you will not be alarmed by my use of the perhaps she sometimes acts—ha, ha! perhaps she somepruning-knife. I have tried to exercise it with the times acts, I say-eh ! sir 2-a-ha, ha, ha! a fairy. utmost delicacy and discretion, and to suggest to you,
(With great bitterness.) especially toward the end, how this sort of writing should hear her sing as a fairy. You should see ber
Acres. Odds gauzy pinions and spangles, yes! You (regard being had to the size of the journal in which dance as a fairy. Tol de rol lol-la-lol—liddle diddle. it appears) requires to be compressed, and is made (Sings and dances.) That's very like her. pleasanter by compression.
This all reads very Falkland. Misery / while I, devoted to her image, solemnly, but only because I want you to read it (I can scarcely write a line now and then, or pensively read mean the article) with as loving an eye as I have aloud to the people of Birmingham. (To him.) And they truly tried to touch it with a loving and gentle hand. applaud her, no doubt they applaud her, sir. And she I propose to call it " My Mahogany Friend." The — I see her ! Courtesies and smiles ! And they-curses other name is too long, and I think not attractive.
on them ! they laugh and-ha, ha, ha !-and clap their Until I go to the office to-morrow and see what is hands-and say it's very good. Do they not say it's very actually in hand, I am not certain of the number in good, sir ? Tell me. Do they not?
Acres. Odds thunderings and pealings, of course which it will appear, but Georgy shall write on Mon. they do! and the third fiddler, little Tweaks, of the day and tell you. We are always a fortnight in ad- county town, goes into fits. Ho, ho, ho, I can't bear it vance of the public, or the mechanical work could (mimicking); take me out! Ha, ha, ha! Oh, what a not be done. I think there are many things in it one she is! She'll be the death of me. Ha, ha, ha, ha! that are very pretty. The Katie part is particularly
That's very like her ! well done. If I don't say more, it is because I have
Falkland. Damnation ! Heartless Mary! (Rushes a heavy sense, in all cases, of the responsibility of out.) encouraging any one to enter on that thorny track,
Scene opens and discloses coals of fire, heaped where the prizes are so few and the blanks so many; up into form of letters, representing the following where
inscription : But I won't write you a sermon.
With the fire going out, and the first shadows of a new story hov
When the praise thou meetest
To thine ear is sweetest, ering in a ghostly way about me (as they usually
Oh then begin to do, when I have finished an old one), I am
REMEMBER JOE ! in danger of doing the heavy business, and becoming
[Curtain falls.] a heavy guardian, or something of that sort, instead of the light and airy Joe.
Here is a specimen of what we may call his So good night, and believe that you may always humorous-friendly letters : trust me, and never find a grim expression (toward you) in any that I wear.
[To Mr. W. Wilkie Collins.]
Gad's Hill PLACE, HIGHAM BY ROCHESTER, KENT, With the Miss Boyle to whom the above let
Friday Night, September 16, 1859. ter was written, and who played with him in MY DEAR WILKIE: Just a word to say that I those amateur theatricals which furnished the have received yours, and that I look forward to the chief recreation of his middle life, he kept up for reunion on Thursday, when I hope to have the satmany years a sort of mock-lover-like corre
isfaction of recounting to you the plot of a play that spondence, of which the following is a charac- has been laid before me for commending advice. teristic specimen :
Ditto to what you say respecting the Great East.
ern. I went right up to London Bridge by the boat TAVISTOCK HOUSE, Monday, January 16, 1854. that day, on purpose that I might pass her. I thought MY DEAR MARY: It is all very well to pretend her the ugliest and most unshiplike thing these eyes to love me as you do. Ah! If you loved as I love, ever beheld. I wouldn't go to sea in her, shiver my
ould timbers and rouse me up with a monkey's tail
[To Miss Hogarth.] (man-of-war metaphor), not to chuck a biscuit into Davy Jones's weather-eye, and see double with my
MORRISON'S HOTEL, DUBLIN, own old toplights.
Sunday Night, August 29, 1858. Turk [a favorite dog] has been so good as to
I am so delighted to find your letter here to-night produce from his mouth, for the wholesome conster. (eleven o'clock), and so afraid that, in the wear and nation of the family, eighteen feet of worm. When
tear of this strange life, I have written to Gad's Hill he had brought it up, he seemed to think it might in the wrong order, and have not written to you, as be turned to account in the housekeeping, and was I should, that I resolve to write this before going to proud. Pony has kicked a shaft off the cart, and is bed. You will find it a wretchedly stupid letter ; to be sold. Why don't you buy her ? she'd never kick but you may imagine, my dearest girl, that I am
tired. Barber's opinion is that them fruit-trees, one and
The success at Belfast has been equal to the sucall, is touchwood, and not fit for burning at any
cess here. Enormous! We turned away half the gentleman's fire ; also, that the stocking of this here town. I think them a better audience, on the whole, garden is worth less than nothing, because you than Dublin ; and the personal affection there was wouldn't have to grub up nothing, and something something overwhelming. I wish you and the dear takes a man to do it at three-and-sixpence a day. girls could have seen the people look at me in the Was “left desponding ” by your reporter.
street; or heard them ask me, as I hurried to the I have had immense difficulty to find a man for hotel after reading last night, to "do me the honor the stable-yard here. Barber having at last engaged to shake hands, Misther Dickens, and God bless one this morning, I inquired if he had a decent hat you, sir ; not ounly for the light you've been to me for driving in, to which Barber returned this answer :
this night, but for the light you've been in mee “Why, sir, not to deceive you, that man flatly house, sir (and God love your face), this many a say that he never have wore that article since man year.” Every night, by the by, since I have been he was!"
in Ireland, the ladies have beguiled John out of the I am, consequently, fortified into my room, and bouquet from my coat. And yesterday morning, as am afraid to go out to look at him. Love from all.
I had showered the leaves from my geranium in Ever affectionately. reading “Little Dombey,” they mounted the plat
form, after I was gone, and picked them all up as And here is another, written to his friend
keepsakes! Clarkson Stanfield, famous as a painter of ma I have never seen men go in to cry so undisrine views. “ Dick Sparkler" is Dickens him- guisedly as they did at that reading yesterday afterself, and “ Mark Porpuss " is Mark Lemon: noon. They made no attempt whatever to hide it,
and certainly cried more than the women. As to H. M. S. TAVISTOCK, January 2, 1853. the “Boots" at night, and “Mrs. Gamp" too, it Yoho, old salt! Neptun' ahoy! You don't for was just one roar with me and them; for they made get, messmet, as you was to meet Dick Sparkler and me laugh so that sometimes I could not compose my Mark Porpuss on the fok’sle of the good ship Owssel face to go on. . Words, Wednesday next, half-past four ? Not you ; Tell the girls that Arthur and I have each orfor when did Stanfell ever pass his word to go any- dered at Belfast a trim, sparkling, slap-up Irish wheers and not come ! Well. Belay, my heart of jaunting-car !!! I fatter myself we shall åstonish oak, belay! Come alongside the Tavistock same the Kentish people. It is the oddest carriage in the day and hour, 'stead of Owssel Words. Hail your world, and you are always falling off. But it is gay shipmets, and they'll drop over the side and join and bright in the highest degree. Wonderfully Neayou, like two new shillings a-droppin' into the pur- politan. ser's pocket. Damn all lubberly boys and swabs, What with a sixteen-mile ride before we left Beland give me the lad with the tarry trousers, which fast, and a sea-beach walk, and a two o'clock dinner, shines to me like di'mings bright !
and a seven hours' railway ride since, I am-as we
say here—"a thrifle weary.” But I really am in In 1858 Dickens began those regular public wonderful force, considering the work. For which readings from his own works, which occupied a I am, as I ought to be, very thankful. large part of his time during the remaining years
Arthur [his business agent) was exceedingly unof his life ; and from that date his letters to
well last night-could not cheer up at all. He was members of his household constitute a nearly
so very unwell that he left the hall (!) and became
invisible after my five minutes' rest. I found him complete and consecutive autobiography. These letters are filled with most interesting accounts bath just ready. He was in the last stage of pros
at the hotel in a jacket and slippers, and with a hot of his experiences while traveling, and are
tration. The local agent was with me, and proposed among the best and most characteristic in the that he (the wretched Arthur) should go to his office collection ; but we can find room for only one and balance the accounts then and there. He went, of them, written from Ireland during his first in the jacket and slippers, and came back in twenty reading tour :
minutes, perfectly well, in consequence of the ad