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timately for any considerable period of time will linger over his tender regard for, and his engaging manner with, children ; his cheery Good-day!' to poor people whom he happened to be passing in the road ; his trustful and earnest. Please God !’ when he was promising himself any special pleasure, like rejoining an old friend, or returning again to scenes he loved. At such times, his voice had an irresistible pathos in it, and his smile diffused a sensation like music."
The beautiful tribute which Lydia Maria Child paid to Charles Dickens in her 6 Letters from New York,” so long ago as 1844, deserves a place here. Speaking of “ The Christmas Carol," she says, —
“ It is a most genial production, - one of the sunniest bubbles that ever floated on the stream of light literature. The ghost is nothing more nor less than memory.
« About this · Carol,' I will tell you a merry joy,' as Jeremy Taylor was wont to say. Two friends of mine proposed to give me a New-Year's present, and asked me to choose what it should be. I had certain projects
head for the benefit of another person; and I answered, that the most acceptable gift would be a donation to carry out my plans. One of the friends whom I addressed was ill pleased with my request. She either did not like the object, or she thought I had no right thus to change the appropriation of their intended
bounty. She at once said in a manner extremely laconic and decided, "I won't give one cent!' Her sister remonstrated, and represented that the person in question had been very unfortunate. - There is no use in talking to me,' she replied : ‘I won't give one cent!'
“ Soon after, a neighbor sent in Dickens's . Christmas Carol,' saying it was a new work, and perhaps the ladies would like to read it. When the story was carried home, the neighbor asked, “How did you like it?'--'I have not much reason to thank you for it,' said she ; ' for it has cost me three dollars.' — And pray, how is that?'-'I was called upon to contribute towards a charitable object which did not in all respects meet my approbation. I said I wouldn't give one cent. Sister tried to coax me; but I told her it was of no use, for I wouldn't give one cent.
But I have read - The Christmas Carol," and now I am obliged to give three dollars.'
66 It is indeed a blessed mission to write books which abate prejudices, unlock the human heart, and make the kindly sympathies flow freely."
Useless is it, and worse than useless is it, to attempt to gauge the character of Charles Dickens by his profession or non-profession of religion. His life and works attest that he believed in the golden rule. Well says a Chicago writer in “ The Liberal Christian,'
“ Wherever the English tongue is spoken, he has
gone, helping to make the world brighter and better by
66 To us who are left, there is only a memory and the priceless creations of his pen; for there can never be another to wear his mantle of genius, or to hold us captive as he has done.”
“ Let us do him no injustice,” adds “ The Independent."
“ We content ourselves with what he was, -a lover of his kind, a friend of the friendless, a champion
of the poor, the degraded, the outcast, the forlorn. His career was a prolonged beneficence to his fellow-beings.
may be said of his books that they made a circumnavigation of charity.'
66 We have a special love for each particular one. They form a library of remembrance that fills an inner niche in our heart of hearts. It is hard to realize that the world is to have no more droppings from the same pen, which are now ended in the dropping of the pen itself."
Of the many friends of Dickens, perhaps the most. intimate was Mr. John Forster, the biographer of Goldsmith and Landor, to whom Mr. Dickens dedicated the last editions of his works; and it seems likely that upon Mr. Forster will devolve the duty of writing the life of his friend. Meanwhile, this memorial volume, by an American woman, though but a compilation, will present him in a pleasant light to the homes of America into which it shall enter. It shall be closed with a few grand words from the eloquent discourse of Rev. William R. Alger, of Boston, as follows:
“Dickens has ever been pre-eminently distinguished for the democratic breadth of his affections, which irradiate all his works like a divine sunshine, revealing the most beautiful qualities in the lowliest places. He
spread his heart out to embrace all that was human, and to lift it up for the admiring recognition of the highest. His writings honor human nature, and will for ages be an influence to increase the sum of human kindness and enjoyment.
“His task is done. It is all peaceful and well with him. Advanced above pale envy's threatening reach, he recks not how they rave. His works will live; and his name and fame are safe. He who has done so much to unfreeze the hearts of the upper classes ; he who has written so many passages of tenderness which none can read without tears, and thousands have read with convulsive sobs, - will never fail to be remembered with affectionate honor. He did well to refuse to be baroneted. Kings take not rank from their inferiors : they bestow it.
“ I am glad they laid him in Westminster Abbey with such democratic simplicity, on that June day, when, as their reverential hands bore him through the low archway, the same English birds that sang to Chaucer, Shakspeare, and Milton were warbling from every branch and coigne of vantage. With instinctive fitness, they buried him in the corner of the poets ; for he, too, was a great poet, whose words will make millions enjoy nature more, and love men better. How sweet sleep was to the worn and sensitive worker! How unspeakably welcome was every soothing tone or touch of love!