Charles Dickens

Madeline House and Graham Storey (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 1: 1820–1839

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To RICHARD BENTLEY, [29 SEPTEMBER 1836]*

MS Berg Collection. Date: clearly Thurs 29 Sep, the day of the first performance of The Strange Gentleman. Address: Richard Bentley Esqre.

Furnivals Inn. | Thursday Morning

My Dear Sir—

"The Strange Gentleman" is my only apology for not having called. I assure you it is more than a sufficient one, for I have been superintending pg 178its preparation, morning, noon, and night. You mistake my promise. It is not the opera—merely a farce; and the only admission I have, is a private box, which Mrs. Dickens, and her father's family occupy for the evening. Had I received your note yesterday, I could have got you orders; were Braham in town, I could get them even now, but situated as we all are, at the moment, I am not able to lay my hand on one. I most sincerely regret it. I should like you to be there of all things, for I confidently expect it will go well.—Can't you sacrifice a pound out of the profits of the novel:1 realising them by anticipation?

When the opera comes out, you may depend on my promise: I can get you orders, another night for this, if you wait—but I hope you won't.

  •                                        In the utmost haste My dear Sir
  •                                             Believe me
  •                                                   Faithfully Yours
  • Richard Bentley Esqre.                               Charles Dickens

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