« AnteriorContinuar »
the end that no meaner association should ever desecrate the birthplace of Nell. Then he would pause a little, become conscious of our sense of his absurdity, and break into a thundering peal of laughter."
In America, the admiration of the sketches drawn of children by Mr. Dickens reached so great a pitch of enthusiasm, that there was a demand for those pictures in separate form; and, accordingly, a neat little book, called “ Child-Pictures from Dickens," was issued by his Boston publishers, well illustrated; and of which he said himself,
* These chapters, as being especially associated with children, have been selected from my various books for separate publication, under the title appended to the volume. ... The compilation is made for American children, with my consent." They are the stories of “ Little Nell,” “ Paul and Florence," " The Fat Boy,” and others.
“ Master Humphrey's Clock” ticked on but a short time. In the introductory framework of the tales from which we have made extracts, Mr. Pickwick, with Sam Weller and his father, was brought in, but scarcely successfully. Several small contributions to “ Bentley's Miscellany are not to be found in Mr. Dickens's collected works, as too large a sum was required for permission to reprint them.
During Mr. Dickens's connection with Bentley, he
compiled “ Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi,” illustrated by Cruikshank, from a sort of autobiography which the great clown had written, at immense length, before his death. It is as good a theatrical biography as the average, which is not saying much, and was with the compiler mainly a labor of love. It was published in 1840, in two volumes, and shows, at least, that the rising author was not afraid of hard work.
“ It is said, that when Dickens saw a strange or odd name on a shop-board, or in walking through a village or country town, he entered it in his pocket-book, and added it to his reserve list. Then, runs the story, when he wanted a striking surname for a new character, he had but to take the first half of one real name, and to add to it the second half of another, to produce the exact effect upon the eye and ear of the reader he desired."
FIRST VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES.
Testimony of “The New-York Tribune." — American Notes for General Circula
tion. – Wholesome Truths for a Nation. - Slavery. - Bad Manners. - Alleghanies. – Niaga
“ There is no other land like thee,
No dearer shore;
“ God that made the world ... hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” - Acts xvii. 26.
JELL does " The New York Tribune" de
“ It will be the glory of Charles Dickens,
when his fame comes to be fairly weighed, not that he has created some of the most beautiful and by far the most humorous characters in English fiction, not that he has drawn scenes of real life with a vividness no artist ever attained before, but that he has acquired such an absolute mastery over the human heart, that we take his ideal men and women at once to
our bosoms, and make every one of his books a gallery of our personal friends. Little Nell is not the most beautiful creation in our literature by any means ; but is there any loved so well? Oliver Twist' is not remarkably good as a novel ; but ever since we read it, thirty years ago, — we have been crying for more.' Bob Cratchit and his lame child, Bob Sawyer and Mr. Benjamin Micawber, Pickwick, — dear old monarch of them all, – these are not for us the airy fictions of the brain, but flesh-and-blood friends, whom we love with all our hearts, and hope to meet some day in this very world. It is the greatness of Dickens, that he can inspire us with feelings like these ; and no other man has ever done it in an equal degree.
“ Ten or twenty millions of people keep a corner in their hearts for Dickens, because he has seen so perfectly the poetry, the beauty, the hundred lessons, which the life of the masses contains; and in all that he has done he has striven for their good. • I have always had, and always shall have,' said he on his first visit to this country, 'an earnest and true desire to contribute, as far as in me lies, to the common stock of healthful cheerfulness and enjoyment. I believe that Virtue shows quite as well in rags and patches as she does in purple and fine linen. I believe that she, and every beautiful object in external Nature, claims some sympathy in the breast of the poorest man who breaks his scanty loaf of daily bread.' So, in the faith that literature was not for the
rich alone, and the noblest work was the work done for
he bent himself bravely to his splendid task. Whether battling with the weapons of his wit for the release of poor prisoners or poor schoolboys. or humanity for almshouse paupers, or relief for befogged and plundered clients and a public ridden to death by aristocratic office-holders, or founding a great liberal newspaper in the interest of popular government and free education, or refusing with dignity an invitation to attend as an actor the court where he could not be received as a private man, Charles Dickens, without a suspicion of demagogism, without the affectation of condescending, without uttering one insincere or flattering word, made himself as truly the poet and prophet of the people in prose as Burns was their chosen 'singer in verse. It is for this reason, that, wherever the English language is spoken, Charles Dickens was cherished as a friend. It is for this reason, that his death awakens such universal sorrow, and that his name will be held in sincerely affectionate remembrance to the latest
According to Mr. Perkins, —
By the time that • Barnaby Rudge' was finished, during the year 1841, even the vigorous and enduring frame of the new novelist was sensibly fatigued. No wonder. In six years, he had fully established a new department of romance, erecting a reputation which