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following was the cast: "Kitely, Mr. Forster;
'The Cricket on the Hearth: a Fairy Tale ol Home,' is reviewed on the 20th of December. Newsvendors' The Newsvendors' Benevolent Institution held Institution, its first dinner on Wednesday, the 21st of November, 1849, when Mr. Dickens took the chair. The Athenceum of the 24th says: "Mr. Dickens made a clever, earnest, and amusing speech on the occasion. His description of a newsvendor's boy was in his best style."
On Saturday, the 30th of March, 1850, the
Household first number of Household Words was pubWords.
lished, Mr. Wills being the assistant-editor. Mrs. Gaskell and Mr. George Augustus Sala were among the early contributors.
"A new form of entertainment, which, should it become the fashion, will lead to odd sights and, perhaps, sounds," is referred to on the 7th of January, 1854: "Mr. C. Dickens has been Dickens reading aloud his 'Christmas Carol' and 'Christmas * Cricket,' with great success, to large and Caro1 cheerful audiences of the working and middle classes. Fancy a circulating library on this principle—Mr. Thackeray 'following suit' with
his ' Hoggarty Diamond' and Sir E. Lytton
Bulwer with his ' Pilgrims of the Rhine.'"
On the 22nd of December, 1855, it is an- 'Little nounced that thirty-five thousand of the first 1 I;ornt' number of 'Little Dorrit' has been sold.
On the 30th of April, 1859, the first number of All the Year Round appeared, and contained All the Year the commencement of a new story by Charles Aom"/Dickens, 'A Tale of Two Cities.' This was followed by novels by Mr. Edmund Yates, Mr. Charles Lever, Mr. Percy Fitzgerald, Mr. Wilkie Collins, Mr. Reade, Lord Lytton, and others. Household Words was discontinued on the 28th of May, from which date it was merged in All the Year Round.
Charles Dickens was out for the last time on Death. Monday, the 6th of June, 1870, when he walked
* Household Words was sold (by order of the Court of Chancery) by Mr. Hodgson on the 16th of May, 1S59. The biddings commenced at 500/., but from 1,100/. the biddings were between Mr. Dickens and Messrs. Bradbury & Evans. Ultimately the copyright was purchased by Mr. Dickens for the sum of 3,550/.
VOL. II. 2 M
from his house at Gad's Hill into Rochester, having his favourite dogs with him. On the Wednesday he was at work all day on ' Edwin Drood,' and just before dinner wrote to his friend Charles Kent, appointing to see him in London next day. During dinner he was taken alarmingly ill, and in a few minutes became unconscious, in which state he continued for twenty-four hours. The end came at ten minutes past six on Thursday evening, the 9th of June. He had lived four months beyond his fifty-eighth year.* Obituary The obituary notice in the Athetueum of the
H. F. 18th of June bears the signature of his old Chorle}. friend Henry F. Chorley. After reference to the literary life of Charles Dickens, Mr. Chorley says: "Those who were admitted to know Charles Dickens in the intimacy of his own home cannot—without such emotion as almost incapacitates the heart and hand—recall the charm of his bounteous and genial hospitality. Nothing can be conceived more perfect in tact, more freely equal, whatever the rank of his guests, than was his warm welcome. The frank grasp of his hand —the bright smile on his manly face—the cheery greeting — are things not to be forgotten while life and reason last by
those who were privileged to share them
* Forster's ' Life of Dickens.'
There was no possibility of anything passing where he was which the most sensitive woman or the simplest child might not have heard. There was for every guest, the smallest as the greatest, perfect ease and security in the shelter of his house. Whatever he did, he did with all his heart and soul and strength. The munificent sacrifices he made of time, money and sympathy per.ona1 to men of letters, to artists, to obscure persons character, who had not the shadow of a shade of a claim on him, will never be summed up. There are thousands of persons living who could bear grateful testimony to this boundless generosity of his nature. But his geniality was as great as his generosity. Whether the matter in hand was a country walk through the district which his residence has made haunted ground to so many persons of all countries,—or a fireside game,—or the coming of some poor play in which he had been induced to interest himself, —nothing was to be done by halves,—nothing affectedly: and such youth and vivacity were doubly surprising in a man whose life was passed under the grave responsibility of many cares and burdens, and who prepared and completed what he gave to the world—whether in his works or in his personal intercourse with the public—with an honest care and earnestness which should put to shame all such rash and
random persons as, on the strength of a few fancies and much impertinence, conceive themselves artists. When the story of his life shall come to be told on some distant day, then, and not till then, this amazing vitality, which set him apart from every human being I have approached, will present itself as one of the most remarkable features in the life and works of one of the greatest and most beneficent men of genius England has produced since the days of Shakspearc."
The Athenceum also reports on the same date that "All the Year Round has been left to his eldest son by Mr. Dickens, in a codicil appended C Dickens to nis only a week before his death. Mr. C
jun. Dickens, jun., has for some time been acting editor of the journal, and in a gracefully written address which appears in the last number he declares his resolution to conduct the journal in the same spirit in which his father conducted it, and aided by the contributors who have hitherto contributed to it."
• The 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood '* is reviewed MEdwfn° on the 17th of September: "Besides the portrait Drood. to this volume, there is a vignette representing Rochester Castle and Cathedral. We take this to be a tacit confession that Cloister
* The accompanying facsimile of the front page of the cover is given as indicating the events of the story.