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suffered, at times, from a terrible sleeplessness, which often drove him forth at midnight to walk — his favorite remedy for all troubles - till dawn. Like Wordsworth, he belonged to the school of peripatetics. Much given myself to walking at all hours, I have come across him often in his rambles, always marching swiftly, with earnest, resolute air, as if bound to be at some given spot by the hour and minute ; his quick, glancing eye scanning every thing and everybody. In the story of · The Two Apprentices, which he wrote with Wilkie Collins, he described his own restless, impetuous activity, — laborious idleness he called it. All this wear and tear of writing, public readings, and perpetual movement, told even on his elastic and vigorous constitution in the end. The American trip brought him close upon thirty thousand pounds; but, otherwise, I doubt whether it did him much good. Altogether, the strain was too severe. Then came Edwin Drood' to put the finishing-stroke to the work.”
Last Letters of Mr. Dickens. – The Queen's Sorrow.- A Nation mourns. – The
Funeral of the Great Novelist.
“ There is no name so sweet on earth,
No name so sweet in heaven,
" A name which is above every name.” – PHIL. ii. 9.
N the day that Mr. Dickens was seized
with apoplexy, he wrote the following
GAD'S-HILL PLACE, HIGHAM BY ROCHESTER, KENT,
Wednesday, the 8th June, 1870. DEAR SIR, — It would be quite inconceivable to me, but for your letter, that any reasonable reader could possibly attach a scriptural reference to a passage in a book of mine, reproducing a much abused social figure of speech, impressed into all sorts of service, on all sorts of inappropriate occasions, without the faintest connection of it with its original source. I am truly
shocked to find that any reader can make the mistake. I have always striven in my writings to express veneration for the life and lessons of our Saviour, because I feel it, and because I re-wrote that history for my children,- every one of whom knew it, from having it repeated to them, long before they could read, and almost as soon as they could speak. But I have never made proclamation of this from the housetops.
He wrote that letter because a friend had written to him, calling attention to a passage in “Edwin Drood," which, to some readers, appeared to savor of irreverence.
Charles Dickens, it is said, was never formally connected with any religious sect; but his rule was to worship with the Unitarians. While living in London, he attended one of their places of worship regularly, and had a familý-pew there. He held similar views to those of Canon Kingsley, and believed most firmly in the final triumph of the Almighty Power and Goodness over all evil. He wrote his books, as he once told an American whom he met on the Ohio River, to show that there was not one beyond the reach of infinite mercy; that, to use his own expression, “God never made any thing too bad to be saved.”
Dean Stanley at the funeral read the following extract from his will, dated May 12, 1869:
“I direct that my name be inscribed in plain English letters on my tomb. . . . I enjoin my friends on no account to make me the subject of any monument, memorial, or testimonial whatever. ... I rest my claims to the remembrance of my country upon my published works, and the remembrance of my friends upon their experience of me in addition thereto. I commit my soul to the mercy of God, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and I exhort my dear children to try and guide themselves by the teaching of the New Testament in its broad spirit, and to put no faith in any man's narrow construction of its letter."
“ In that simple but sufficient faith,” said the dean, “Charles Dickens lived and died. In that faith, he would have you all live and die also; and if you
have learned from his words the eternal value of generosity, purity, kindness, and unselfishness, and to carry them out in action, those are the best monuments, memorials, and testimonials' which you, his fellow-countrymen, can raise to his memory."
Well says a writer in “ The Gospel Banner,'
66 When Uncle Tom shall lead some soul away from Christ, or little Eva lead a troop of children to perdi*tion, or Aunt Winnie shut the gates of heaven, which are now ajar, against some struggling spirit, it will be time enough for stupid pharisees to preach against all
fictitious literature (save what is sanctioned by the publishing committees of large religious book-concerns), and especially against such creations as Little Dorritt, Paul, and Little Nell. We cannot form the acquaintance of such characters, whether in real life or romance, without being elevated and enriched by the association. He has peopled the world of imagination with visions of immortal worth and beauty; and they will henceforth be a part of the heart-treasures of mankind. How could he cause his creations to move in the very atmosphere of Christianity, and to be moved by its most elevated motives, if he himself had not bathed in its light, and received its holy influences into his heart ? As well could artist bring forth finished photographs from the dark caverns of the earth, as any man incarnate the very principles and spirit of Christianity in his creations without himself having tasted of the word of life.”
His personal independence was illustrated by his relations with Victoria. The queen was among his admir
As an expression of her appreciation, she invited him to read to her. He declined with a manly spirit, saying that he would not enter any house professionally that he could not socially. Afterwards, the queen, waiving the etiquette of the court, received him as her friend. He could have had a title and high office; but he refused them.
An incident is mentioned as showing in how great re