Charles Dickens

Graham Storey, Kathleen Mary Tillotson, and Angus Easson (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 7: 1853–1855

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Text from N, ii, 458–9.

Tavistock House, London. | 2nd May 1853

My Dear Miss Gotschalk,

I should have written you long ago, it was not because I have exhausted my stock of advice for one situated as you are, and having said all I can say to soothe and strengthen you. The chances and changes of the world deprive all of us of friends, rob all of us of many hopes and loves we have cherished, make breaks and gaps in all our lives, and strip away many leaves and boughs from every tree under which we have delighted to sit.

But the journey is ever onward and we must pursue it or we are worthy of no pg 74place here. Whether yours shall be happy or unhappy rests (as it seems to me) mainly with yourself.

I shall never forget you and will always be interested in you. But this is a world of action, where everyone has a duty to fulfill, a part to play. And, my dear girl, if you sit down by the wayside to think and grieve, those who are dearest to you will be swept on in their better course, until they are lost and gone. It will be a poor comfort to you when you grow old, to think how you might have borne them company and done them good. Many a child grows into a giant and acorns into oaks.

With the little figure of Hebe,1 which you sent me, standing on the table near me, I shall never forget you and will always be interested in you.

  • Always faithfully yours
  •       [Charles Dickens]

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
5 Emmely Gotschalk, a young Danish woman: see Vol. vi, p. xiii.
Editor’s Note
1 Not at Gad's Hill at CD's death (Catalogue of the … Pictures … of CD, ed. J. H. Stone-house, 1935).
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