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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pg 25To T. J. SERLE, [18] JANUARY 1844

MS Mr Peter Brandt. Date: Thurs was 18 Jan; presumably the day rather than the date is correct.

Devonshire Terrace | Thursday January Nineteen | 1844.

My Dear Serle.

My individual opinion is distinctly opposed to the settlement of Miss Angell's claim.1 No such thing was contemplated by the donors of the Money. And if we have run a risk in respect of Fifty Pounds, that is no reason, to me, for making it Seventy.

The family seems to be of an odd kind, and especially liable to odd influences. I shall take an opinion about the possibility of any one among them who may have less of the Fund than another, putting me into chancery one of these fine days, before I formally accept my Trustee Ship.

I don't value M'Ian's idea that nobody else would come forward if we paid Miss Angell—one peppercorn. He is a very good fellow, and I like him much. But if there be two commodities with which he is especially unfurnished, I should say they were judgment and discretion.

We must formally debate Miss A, and vote pro and con, when we meet. At Forsters let it be.

  • Yours up to his eyes in work     
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Editor’s Note
1 Miss Angell, an actress from Edinburgh, was acting at the Lyceum at about this time; presumably she claimed that Elton had borrowed money from her. Marshall (Lives of the Most Celebrated Actors and Actresses, p. 153n) called her "this would-be actress" and hinted at other objections ("we could add much more, but … no particle can possibly redound to her credit").
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