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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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pg 331To W. C. MACREADY, [15 NOVEMBER 1837]

MS Morgan Library. Date: Presumably this was the "very nice note from Dickens" which Macready answered on Wednesday night 15 Nov 37 (Dianes, i, 425). On mourning paper.

48 Doughty Street. | Wednesday Evening.

My Dear Sir.

There is a semi-business semi-pleasure little dinner which I intend to give at Degex's the Prince of Wales in Leicester Place Leicester Square, on Saturday at five for half past precisely, at which only Talfourd, Forster, Ainsworth, Jerdan, and the publishers will be present.1 It is to celebrate (that is too great a word, but I can think of no better) the conclusion of my Pickwick labours; and as I intend before you take that roll upon the grass you spoke of, to beg your acceptance of one of the first complete copies of the work, I should be very much delighted if you would join us.

I know too well the many anxieties that press upon you just now,2 to seek to persuade you to come if you would prefer a night's repose and quiet. Let me assure you notwithstanding most honestly and heartily that there is no one I should be more happy or gratified to see, and that among your brilliant circle of well-wishers and admirers you number none more unaffectedly or faithfully yours, than

  •                                         My Dear Sir
  •                                              Yours most truly
  • W. C. Macready Esqre.                         Charles Dickens

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Editor’s Note
1 In addition there were Browne, Lover and John Dickens, besides Macready. The dinner—probably for 14—cost CD, who was in the chair, £41.7 (CD's account book, MS Messrs Coutts). Ainsworth wrote to James Crossley that it was "a capital dinner"; and that just before Talfourd, as Vice-Chairman, proposed CD's toast, "a glittering temple of confectionary", made by Degex himself, was placed on the table, "beneath the canopy of which stood a little figure of the illustrious Mr. Pickwick" (Ellis, Ainsworth and his Friends, i, 330). Macready recorded that CD replied to Talfourd's toast "under strong emotion—most admirably" (Diaries, i, 426).
Editor’s Note
2 A reference to Macready's financial difficulties at Covent: Garden.
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