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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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Text from Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post, 13 Nov 41, quoting the New York Courier; date and salutation from MDGH, iii, 19. From Broad-stairs (see fit to next).

September 28th, 1841.

My dear Sir,

I condole with you, from my heart, on the loss you have sustained;4 andpg 394 I feel proud of your permitting me to sympathise with your affliction. It is a great satisfaction to me to have been addressed under similar circumstances by many of your countrymen, since the "Curiosity Shop" came to a close. Some simple and honest hearts in the remote wilds of America, have written me letters on the loss of their children; so numbering my little book, or rather heroine, with their household gods, and so pouring out their trials and sources of comfort in them, before me as a friend, that I have been inexpressibly moved—and am, whenever I think of them—I do assure you.1 … You have already all the comfort that I could lay before you—all, I hope, that the affectionate spirit of your brother, now in happiness, can shed into your soul. The peaceful memory of the dead be with you!

I am going to bring you an article for good old Diedrick.2 For on the fourth of next January, if it pleases God, I am coming, with my wife, on a three or four months' visit to America. The British and North American Steam Packet will bring me, I hope, to Boston, and enable me in the third week of the New Year to set my foot upon the soil I have trodden in my day-dreams many times, and whose sons (and daughters) I yearn to know and be among.

I hope you are surprised—and I hope not unpleasantly.

  • Ever faithfully yours,
  •       Charles Dickens

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