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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 Dickens House. Address: Thomas Beard Esquire | 42 Portman Place | Edgeware Road.

Devonshire Terrace | Eighteenth July 1843

My Dear Beard

I have been in Yorkshire all the month, and am only just now in the receipt of your note. I address my answer to the old house: hoping that by this time you have come home, round and sound. You know who has always treated you successfully, and you know where that great physician is to be found, during the months of August and September. Kate agrees with me that to make your cure complete, there would be nothing like eight undisturbed weeks at Broadstairs with that distinguished man. Now, do think of this. There are a hundred things you could do for the paper on the Margin of the Sea—abstracting Parliamentary reports, and so forth—matters of great use in the Recess. The bedroom you had last year, is ready for you. The bathing machine beckons its wooden finger—and cocks its preposterous eye—on the sands. The tide rushes in, demanding pg 524to be breasted. Dick is all joviality, and very brown in the face from Northern toasting. Mac swears "he'll swim to the Goodwin Sands if HE will—there!" Forster asserts with dignified emphasis that "it is the very sort of thing my dear boy that Beard requires to set him on his legs". Timber makes himself as unlike a dog as possible, in confirmation of these sentiments. Topping forgets even "Mount Consumious''1 at the Surrey Zoological Gardens (his crack subject just now) and overhearing these discussions, redly2 remarks to me that "a little pickling 'ud make Mister Beard wot he used to be, wen we wos down at whats his name"—meaning Petersham3—in short, everything and everybody are decisive on the subject; so take the Sussex card4 off your Portmanteau, and label it afresh Pashangermarjit.

Have you come back? If so, will you ride out on Sunday, and dine here afterwards? Say yes: and I will call for you at half past two.

I am so full of Broadstairs and your going there, that I have scarcely left room to say, with my regards to Mr. Blackburn, that we have sent out Powers of attorney to divers parts of India,5 for the enforcement of the new law as far as my books are concerned; and that I don't think I can entertain any proposal for an arrangement, after handing the matter over to others by these means. But if he would like to make a distinct proposal, I will take counsel with the Publishers upon it.

  •                Regards from all to all. Ever Faithfully My Dear Beard.
  • Thomas Beard Esquire                                   CD.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
1 The firework display of Mount Vesuvius.
Editor’s Note
2 Unmistakable in MS; presumably Topping was blushing.
Editor’s Note
3 In June 39, at Elm Cottage; see Vol. i, pp. 552, 557.
Editor’s Note
4 Beard was staying at Lewes where CD's letter had been forwarded.
Editor’s Note
5 See To Mitton, 17 Jan 43. "J. Blackburn" (see Vol. ii, p. 46n) in a letter to Beard from the Colonial Club, St. James's Square, 24 June 43, had said that the home agents of the Englishman had asked him, in view of the "recent enactments", whether CD would permit republication of his writings for a fee; he hesitated to approach him direct and asked Beard to do so. He also offered Beard some of the Himalayan plant cheratah, a tonic and febrifuge (MS Dickens House). The Englishman was a Calcutta weekly periodical, formerly named John Bull and in 1838 owned and edited by J. H. Stocqueler.
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