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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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MS Huntington Library. Date: 7 Nov, when he left for Bristol.

Furnivals Inn | Saturday Morning 5 O'Clock

My Dear Sir.

I never regretted anything in my life so much as I do the unpleasant circumstance (the probability of which I hinted to you on Thursday) of pg 89my having to start for Bristol this morning. The journey would not have been a very enviable one under ordinary circumstances, but the contents of your last night's note render it still more "aggrawatin'".

I have two objects in perspective in writing this note,—and they are these. First and foremost will you have the kindness to tell Mr. Cruikshank how very much I regret the impossibility of seeing him this evening, and thereby gratifying my long cherished wish to obtain an introduction to a gentleman whose much appreciated talents (I don't say it egotistically) no one appreciates so highly as myself?—Secondly, will you add that I shall be most happy to accompany you to Myddleton Terrace1 on either Thursday, Friday, or Saturday Evening next? Thirdly—I quite forgot that thirdly before—will you write me a note on Monday informing me what evening you have fixed? My brother sends me some letters by post on that day; he will call in Saint James's Square between 12 and 1, forward yours, and I will take care to be in town again by the time you appoint.

You have thrown me into a fever of anxiety to see the sketches already done—why didn't you inclose them?—They would have done my heart good even now; and it must be2 something very special to excite any feeling half a degree removed from misery in my bosom at this moment. I am writing by candle-light shivering with cold, and choaked with smoke. The fire (which has been fed like a furnace at the gas works all night, with a view to my "early breakfast") has turned unaccountably white and dusty at the very moment when it ought to boil the kettle, and on the best calculation I am enabled to make at the moment I should say that event would occur about the time that I reach Hounslow Heath. I think it's rather a disagreeable morning, but I can't say exactly—because it's so foggy. My Laundress who is asthmatic, has dived into a closet—I suppose to prevent her cough annoying me—and is emitting from behind the door, an uninterrupted succession of the most unearthly, and hollow noises I ever heard. My portmanteau resolutely refuses to suffer itself to be locked, although it has3 been strapped and buckled and stood upon 'till no Guard will know it by that appellation, and rumours have just reached me that there "ain't no cabs on the stand". Conceive my feelings!

Looking forward to hearing from you in the mode I have mentioned, and trusting that before another week has passed over, we may have commenced operations in good earnest I am

  • My Dear Sir
  •    Ever Yours most truly
  •          Charles Dickens

John Macrone Esqre.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1 23 Myddleton Terrace, Pentonville, Cruikshank's home.
Editor’s Note
2 MS reads "and it is must be".
Editor’s Note
3 Uncertain whether a small line under "has" was intended as an underlining.
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