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 JOHN FORSTER, [?14 JUNE 1837]

MS Victoria & Albert Museum (FC). Date: Forster dates this "mid-summer 1837" (F, ii, i, 93); the reference to Macrone suggests the day before next.

48 Doughty Street | Wednesday Morning

My Dear Forster.

I suspect that Prout's sapient advice like his ditto muse, is slow in the pg 271Delivery, and hence Macrone's note. I think it will be advisable to give him till tomorrow—there is little doubt that you will hear to-night.

I inclose you my agreement with Bentley, with reference to the Miscellany.1 It is a very extraordinary fact (I forgot it on Sunday) that I have never had2 from him a copy of the agreement respecting the Novel3 which I never saw before or since I signed it at his house one morning long ago. Shall I ask him for a copy, or no? I have looked at some memoranda I made at the time, and I fear he has my second novel on the same terms, under the same agreement. This is a bad look-out, but n'importe—we will mend it.

You will tell me that you are very much surprised at my doing business in this way. So am I, for in most matters of labour and application I am punctuality itself. The truth is—and I need not explain the matter to you my dear fellow—that if I had allowed myself to be worried by these things, I could never have done as much as I have. I fear in my desire to avoid present vexations, I have laid up a bitter store for the future.

Perhaps I may see you here this evening if there be any news?—If not, I shall hold myself in readiness to come down to you whenever you wrote.4

  • Ever Yours my Dear Forster
  •     Faithfully
  •           Charles Dickens

Of course I shall not forget Sunday.

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 The second Miscellany Agreement, signed 17 Mar 37. For text see p. 650.
Editor’s Note
2 Underlined 3 times.
Editor’s Note
3 The Agreement of 22 Aug 36. For text see p. 648.
Editor’s Note
4 Thus in MS.
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