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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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MS Lytton Papers.

Devonshire Terrace | Thirteenth June 1843.2

My Dear Sir Edward

The Duke appoints 12 for 1, instead of 1 for 2.

"There's no such thing"3—as an Honorary Secretary. Some phantom with pg 509that name, once flitted through the books at Coutts's, but has long since passed away;1 and unlike old Aubrey's spectres left no "melodious twang" behind.2

I found two or three restless men, wandering in the depths of the Drury Lane Scenery last night, and plundered them of as many Guineas. They had heard of the Testimonial in their infancy, and thought it a pleasant fiction. One hoary sage had been a Member of the Committee of Taste,3 he mournfully said.

  •                          Always | Faithfully Yours
  • Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer.                    Charles Dickens

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2 Dated 1849, incorrectly, in N, ii, 156.
Editor’s Note
3 Macbeth, i, ii, 47.
Editor’s Note
1 William Brydone, the business manager dismissed by Macready in 1842, had been the honorary secretary of the Macready testimonial in 1840 (T. Marshall, Lives of the Most Celebrated Actors and Actresses, p. 24).
Editor’s Note
2 John Aubrey, Miscellanies, 1696, p. 67, on the apparition which "being demanded, whether a good Spirit, or a bad? returned no answer, but disappeared with a curious perfume and most melodious Twang".
Editor’s Note
3 For choosing the plate; on the model of the various Committees of Taste concerned with public memorials, e.g. for the Waterloo monument in 1826.
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