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Both novel and drama will make one bless the name of Charles Dickens, and write his name

“ Among the few, the immortal names

That were not born to die.”

CHAPTER XI.

RETURNS TO HIS EARLY PRACTICE.

Bleak House. — Death of Poor Jo. - Uncommercial Traveller.

Ayl idleness! The rich folks never fail

To find some reason why the poor deserve
Their miseries."

SOUTHEY.

“For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord: I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him." — Ps, xii. 5.

WO years after " David Copperfield" found a warm greeting from the public, Mr. Dickens gave " Bleak House" to the world; which novel met a cooler recep

tion. In this book, Mr. Dickens seemed to return to his early practice of writing with some definite purpose; and,“ though Skimpole and Boythorn were genial caricatures of the external peculiarities and individual mannerisms of Leigh Hunt and Walter Savage Landor, the purpose of the novel was to satirize the dilatory procedure of the court of chancery.” So says one writer; and another adds, “ It was thought by many that this work was of a second grade ; that it did

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not show so much force of thought, strength of representation, brilliancy of fancy and of style, in short, not so much of any of its author's great qualities, as the previous novels. Yet, if any distinction can be drawn between the two series of works, it is probably only in the quantity of gayety and humor in them. Whatever the power of the serious characters of the later novels, as compared with the earlier, the mirthful element is far less frequent in the later."

C. C. Terry, in “ The Christian Leader," thus refers to Mr. Dickens and to “ Bleak House."

“ The great secret of the success of Dickens was, that all of his characters were human and real. ...

“Dickens was the foe of all shams; but instead of using the keen blade of satire, like his great contemporary, Thackeray, he brought to bear the sunshine of his humor on the wrongs of his times. . . . Shakspeare, in the whole range of his delineation of character, has produced no creation like Little Nell or Paul Dombey; nor has Sir Walter Scott, with the splendor of kings and princes, and the pomp of tournaments, in all the pages of his productions written a scene like the death of Poor Jo, in . Bleak House.'

66 6 It's time for me to go to that there berryin'-ground, sir,' he returns, with a wild look.

" Lie down, and tell me. What burying-ground, Jo ?'

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666 Where they laid him as was wery good to me;

It's time for me to wery good to me indeed, he was. go down to that there berryin’-ground, sir, and ask to be put along with him.'

By and by, Jo, by and by.' 66. Ah! p'raps they wouldn't do it if I wos to go myself. But will you promise to have me took there, sir, and have me laid along with him ?'

“I will, indeed.'

66. Thankee, sir, thankee, sir! They'll have to get the key of the gate afore they can take me in; for it's allus locked. And there's a step there, as I used for to clean with my broom. It's turned wery dark, sir. Is there any light a-comin'?'

“It is coming fast, Jo.'

66. Fast! The cart is shaken all to pieces, and the rugged road is very near its end.'

“Jo, my poor fellow!'

66. I hear you, sir, in the dark; but I'm a-gropin', a-gropin’: let me catch hold of your hand.'

“Jo, can you say what I say?'

"I'll say any think as you say, sir; for I know it's good.'

666 Our Father.'
5. Our Father, - yes, that's wery good, sir.'
66. Which art in heaven.'
“ Art in heaven, - is the light a-comin', sir ? '
66. It is close at hand. Hallowed be thy name.”

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666 Hallowed be — - thy-— name.'

“ The light is come upon the dark benighted way. Dead !

“ • Dead, your Majesty ; dead, my lords and gentlemen; dead, right reverends and wrong reverends of every order ; dead, men and women born with heavenly compassion in your hearts.

hearts. And dying thus around us every day.'"

Well does Mr. Terry say, “ Two nations mourn for the loss of Charles Dickens ; but we cannot miss him now as much as we shall when Christmas comes. When the snow is on the ground, and through the naked branches of the trees the red light of Christmas Eve fades slowly away, and darkness settles down, and the great stars come out one by one, we shall ask for the enchantment of his genius ; and the only answer will be the gloom of the night that has gathered around his tomb in Westminster Abbey. But when the Christmas chimes are rung, and the glad notes of the bells peal out upon the frosty air, let us not forget the lessons of Christian charity that Charles Dickens has taught to the world.”

Very sensibly does “ The Boston Journal” remark, —

“ We trust, that, amid all the dispute which has raged as to the religious and other peculiarities of Charles

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