Charles Dickens

Kathleen Mary Tillotson (ed.), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 4: 1844–1846

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To CHARLES BODENHAM, [24 MARCH] 1845

Text from N, i, 667. Date: Easter Monday was 24 Mar in 1845.

Hotel Meloni | Easter Monday 1845

My Dear Sir,

In case I should not have the pleasure of finding you at home this morning when I call with the accompanying books, I write this note to thank you for the pleasure I have derived from them; and for the interest I have had in your own notes especially.

We have not seen the alabaster columns!4 The lady who is with us, being a sad invalid,5 has been ill three days and on every one of those days we had pg 287deliberately projected availing ourselves of your kindness. Once I had actually taken pen in hand to propose to call for you.

Believe me that I am not the less indebted to you for your good offices. I shall carry away with me from Rome tomorrow, a living recollection of the pleasant Sunday walk we had together towards the Metella Tomb:1 and shall deem myself fortunate if I have (as I hope I may) some future opportunity of renewing our acquaintance in England.

Mrs. Dickens and her sister beg to unite in compliments to yourself and Mrs. Bodenham. And I am My Dear Sir

  • Faithfully Yours
  •    [Charles Dickens]

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Notes

Editor’s Note
4 Possibly in the Villa Albani, beyond the Porta Salara, where the long gallery was "decorated with two columns of jasper and alabaster" (Murray, Handbook for … Central Italy).
Editor’s Note
5 See To Mme de la Rue, 17 Apr 46, where CD quotes his diary for 19 Mar 45: "Madame De la Rue very ill in the night, up till four". Many years later, in his retrospective account to Sheridan Le Fanu (24 Oct 69; N, iii, 752), CD described what is presumably the same occasion: "Her husband called me up to her, one night at Rome, when she was rolled into an apparently impossible ball, by tic in the brain". Although such attacks had previously continued for "at least 30 hours", under his treatment she was peacefullysleep after half an hour. In the same etter he wrote, "every day I magnetized her; sometimes under olive trees, sometimes in vineyards, sometimes in the travelling carriage, sometimes at wayside inns during the midday halt" (evidently referring to the weeks in Rome, and to the homeward journey).
Editor’s Note
1 The Tomb of Cecilia Metella on the Appian Way. In Pictures, p. 184, CD says he walked past it, "almost every day".
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