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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To W. C. MACREADY, 24 [JULY] 1853

MS Morgan Library. Date: CD's Aug clearly an error for July: see To Miss Coutts, 20 July.

Chateau des Moulineaux, Boulogne | Sunday Twenty Fourth August 1853.

My Dearest Macready.

Some unaccountable delay in the transmission here of the parcel which contained your letter, caused me to come into the receipt of it, a whole week after its date. I immediately wrote to Miss Coutts, who has written to you, and I hope some good may come of it.3 I know it will not be her fault if none does. I was very much concerned to read your account of poor Mrs. Warner, and to read her own plain and unaffected account of herself. Pray assure her of my cordial sympathy and remembrance, and of my earnest desire to do anything in my power to help to put her mind at ease.

We are living in a beautiful little country place here, where I have been hard at work ever since I came, and am now (after an interval of a week's rest) going to work again, to finish Bleak House. Kate and Georgina send their kindest love to you and Miss Macready and all the rest. They look forward, I assure you, to their Sherborne visit,4 when I—a mere forlorn wanderer—shall be roaming over the Alps into Italy.

I saw the Midsummer Night's Dream of the Opéra Comique, done here (very well) last night. The way in which a poet named Willyim Shay Kes Peer, gets drunk in company with Sir John Foll Stayffe—fights with a noble hight Lor Lattimeer (who is in love with a maid of honor you may have read of in history, called Meees Oleevia), and promises not to do so any more, on observing symptoms of love for him in the Queen of England—is very remarkable. Queen Elizabeth too, in the profound and impenetrable disguise of a black velvet mask, two inches deep by three broad, following him into taverns and worse places, and enquiring of persons of doubtful reputation for "the sublime Williams", was inexpressibly ridiculous. And yet the nonsense was done with a sense quite admirable.

I have been very much struck by the book you sent me. It is one of the wisest, the manliest, and most serviceable, I ever read. I am reading it again with the greatest pleasure and admiration.5

  •                          Ever Most affectionately Yours | My Dear Macready,
  • W. C. Macready Esquire.                              Charles Dickens

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Editor’s Note
4 In Oct 53.
Editor’s Note
5 Not discovered.
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