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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. 2: 1840–1841

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MS Benoliel Collection.

Broadstairs | Sunday Twenty Sixth September | 1841.

My Dear Fred.

Unless you have strong reason for changing your mind, write and tell Mr. Percy,2 when you hear from him, that I entertained strong doubts whether his case was one which called for such relief as I could afford; and pg 392that you cannot make any report to me which will alter that impression. I think he's a damned rascal, but that you needn't tell him.

You havegot your promotion on very handsome terms, and I am heartily rejoiced.—In the matter of Collinson,1 Beard told me of Easthope's intention when he was here. Therefore I am not surprised.

Kate and I are going to America for five or six months (but I don't tell her how long)—and we sail on the Fourth of January. We must, I grieve to say (for everyone advises me to do so) leave the darlings behind us, which will be a very severe trial.

If I don't let the house,—and I don't think, at present, I shall try to do so,—I shall ask you to take up your residence there, and to board, and lodge, and keep the Cellar key 'till we return.2 It will be a great comfort to us to know that you see them every day; and I hope you will dine there, for our peace and happiness, every Sunday, and have them down after dinner. Of course you can always have whom you like, to dine with you. This is our earnest desire, and I trust you will think of us, and be very careful of our dear children.

I announce my intention in the Clock,3 next Saturday Week. Until then, it will be best not to talk of it. All our arrangements are made, and we go to Boston by the British and North American Mail Packet,4 from Liverpool.

It makes me very down-hearted when I think of the parting. But the conviction that it will be a great thing to do, and the knowledge that I do it for their advantage, brings me up again.

  •                                                 Always Affectionately Yours
  • Frederick Dickens Esquire.                   Charles Dickens
  •                                                                           Over

Anne5 goes with us.—Will you get the inclosed cheque in one note, and let me have it, half by the next post, and half by the next after.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2 Name not clearly written; probably "Percy".
Editor’s Note
1 Presumably this was the Collinson whose name had been used to disguise Talfourd's authorship of Glencoe (see To Macready, 16 May 40, fn), and who had dined with CD on 1 Jan 40 (Diary entry: see Appx, p. 461), and on 23 Aug 40 in the company of Forster, Macready, Maclise, Angus Fletcher and Fanny Burnett (Macready, Diaries, ii, 75).
Editor’s Note
2 CD in fact let 1 Devonshire Terrace to General Sir John Wilson, and took lodgings for Fred and the children in Osnaburgh Street, near the Macreadys.
Editor’s Note
5 Anne Brown, Catherine's maid, who was with the family until her marriage 1855; returned (as Mrs Cornelius) two years later; and stayed on at Tavistock House after CD and Catherine had separated.
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