Charles Dickens

Kathleen Mary Tillotson, Madeline House, and Graham Storey (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 3: 1842–1843

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To JOHN WILSON,3 13 MAY 1843

Text from N, i, 521.

  • 1 Devonshire Terrace, York Gate, Regents Park.
  • Thirteenth May 1843

Private.

My Dear Sir,

A few friends of Mr. Black (a countryman of yours) who has been Editor of the Morning Chronicle for nearly thirty years, are going to give him a Strictly pg 489Private dinner at the Trafalgar Tavern at Greenwich next Saturday the Twentieth, at a quarter before 6 for 6 exactly. The party is composed of a few influential and private gentlemen who are his personal friends; and will not exceed fifteen in number.

I am one of the circle ; and my object in writing to you is to ask you if you will allow me to carry you there, as my guest. You already know the majority of the Company—and would, I think, have pleasure in the Society of the remainder. On the other and more selfish hand, I must frankly tell you that I can think of nothing so appropriate and pleasant to all of us on such an occasion, as the presence of a National man like you who can carry an old Scotchman home again by one sound of your voice.

I will not offer any other apology to you for this request, than that very comprehensive one which lies in the assurance that I well know how valuable your time is, and how numerous your engagements are.

I should be happy to bring you home and to take you down. Oblige me with one line in answer at your early convenience.

  • Faithfully Yours
  •     [Charles Dickens]

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Editor’s Note
3 Clearly not Professor Wilson (as statedin N, i, 521n), but John Wilson (1800–49; DNB), the Scottish vocalist: see Vol. i, p. 418 and n. "Wilson's Scottish Entertainments" were given regularly in the season at the Music-hall, Store Street, and at the Hanover-square rooms; in Apr 43 he was also at the Castle Hotel, Richmond; he had several programmes, such as "Jacobite Relics", "The Adventures of Prince Charles", "Highland Songs" and "Another Nicht wi' Burns". He was a steward at the Anniversary Festival of the Caledonian Asylum on 27 May 43 and contributed songs to the entertainment.
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