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 SAMUEL WARD, 21 FEBRUARY 1842*

MS Berg Collection.

To Samuel Ward Esquire

Carlton House. | Twenty First February 1842

God forgive me! I was already engaged for Sunday.2 I thought it could scarcely be that I—I, the devoted one; the sacrifice—could have a morning to myself. Pity and pardon the miserable, but not impenitent

Boz.

Ask me to breakfast when I return here—do.3

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Notes

Editor’s Note
2 Sun 27th, the day on which CD, when visiting Ward at his office on the 21st, had promised to breakfast with him.
Editor’s Note
3 Ward wrote to Longfellow on the 22nd: "Flying images of Boz and rumors of his presence and sayings—the triumphant Boast of those who have seen him and the despairing sorrow of those to whom that pleasure has been denied and must remain so—all this has turned the head of our fashionables. Not on my own account but for the sake of my sisters … and several others who did not go to either Ball or Dinner, I regret he did not come to our home [see 16 Feb, fn]. Now, he is so persecuted that he will run into misanthropy or Americano-phobia. I saw a manifest wildness in his eye yesterday—when he was kind enough to pay me a visit at the office. … Yesterday he promised to breakfast with me next Sunday. I had hardly made the fact known … when I received a note from him written in a fit of desperation—He was already engaged for Sunday. I have done. He ought to have bestowed a month upon New York" (MS Harvard College Library). Ward followed this up with another letter to Longfellow, on 25 Feb: "I am not altogether delighted with Dickens. I know that the persecutions to which he is a martyr justify him in his defensive system. But there was infinitely more satisfaction in dealing with Morpeth than I find with Dickens. However, he is a lion"; and on 15 June, after CD's brief return to New York, he wrote to Longfellow: "he did not call on me, and if he were Emperor of Russia instead of Grub Street I should insist upon being civilly treated" (M. H. Elliott, Uncle Sam Ward and his Circle, New York, 1938, pp. 340, 352).
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