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Charles Dickens

Madeline House, Graham Storey, and Kathleen Mary Tillotson (eds), The British Academy/The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens, Vol. 3: 1842–1843

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To D. M. MOIR, 19 MAY 1843

MS Brotherton Library, Leeds.

  • 1 Devonshire Terrace | York Gate Regents Park
  •                         Nineteenth May 1843.

My Dear Sir

Very many thanks to you for your beautiful book,2 and for your affectionate letter. I can very truly say that I have not received half as much pain from the sources you mentioned,3 as I have received pleasure from any one piece in your volume, or any one sentence in your note. I have a strong spice of the Devil in me; and when I am assailed, as I think falsely or unjustly, my red hot anger carries me through it bravely, until I have forgotten all about it.

When I first began to write, too, I suffered intensely, from reading Reviews. And I made a solemn compact with myself, at last, that I would only know them, for the future, from such General report as might reach my ears. For five years4 I have never broken this Rule, once. I am unquestionably the happier for it—and certainly lose no Wisdom.

pg 494Upon the whole I have as little to complain of in this respect, as any man perhaps. I set your note against the worst thing1 I have heard of within these six months—and find the balance in my favor.

It gives me great pleasure to read your account of Jeffrey.2 I have ever found him a warm-hearted, zealous, kindly-natured friend, and I love him very much. I know no man who would be more truly and keenly alive to the tenderness and pathos of your verse.

God bless you and all your house! Mrs. Dickens unites with me in cordial regards to Mrs. Moir. And I am always

  •                                         My Dear Moir
  •                          (For here I vow never to call you 'Sir' again)
  •                                         Faithfully Your friend
  • D. M. Moir Esquire                         Charles Dickens

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2 Domestic Verses: see To Moir, ?Jan–Feb 43 and fn. The volume, considerably enlarged by the addition of many other elegiac pieces, was published by Blackwood on 18 May. Copy (uninscribed) in CD's library at his death.
Editor’s Note
3 Clearly Moir had expressed his sympathy with CD over adverse reviews of American Notes—perhaps especially over Warren's, in view of his own close association with Blackwood's. Moir would feel this the more keenly because of his own hesitation about publishing his elegies.
Editor’s Note
4 Perhaps referring back to the Quarterly's article in Oct 37; but an obvious overstatement.
Editor’s Note
1 Blackwood's and Fraser's were noted as the only bad reviews in To Felton, 31 Dec 42; the Edinburgh could now be added.
Editor’s Note
2 CD met Jeffrey again on 25 May when he dined with Sydney Smith in the company of Lady Stepney, Fanny Kemble, and others (F. Kemble, Records of Later Life, 1882, iii, 4).
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