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and in another sphere, quite lifted out English, yet the French eye is so quick of the present. “By heavens !' I said to detect expression that it never failed to myself, 'a man who can do this can instantly to understand what he meant do anything.' I never saw two people by a look or an act. “Thus, for instance,” more purely and instantly elevated by he said, “when I was impersonating the power of love. The manner, also,” Steerforth in “ David Copperfield,” and he continued, “in which he presses gave that peculiar grip of the hand to the hem of the dress of Lucy in the Emily's lover, the French audience Bride of Lammermoor is something burst into cheers and rounds of apwonderful. The man has genius in plause.” He said with reference to him which is unmistakable."
the preparation of his readings, that it Life behind the scenes was always was three months' hard labor to get up a fascinating study to Dickens.
one of his own stories for public recitaof the oddest sights a green-room can tion, and he thought he had greatly impresent,” he said one day, “is when proved his presentation of the “ Christthey are collecting children for a pan mas Carol” while in this country. He tomime. For this purpose the prompt considered the storm scene in “ David er calls together all the women in the Copperfield” one of the most effective ballet, and begins giving out their of his readings. The character of Jack names in order, while they press about Hopkins in “ Bob Sawyer's Party” he him eager for the chance of increasing took great delight in representing. their poor pay by the extra pittance It gave him a natural pleasure when their children will receive. “Mrs. John- he heard quotations from his own books son, how many?' Two, sir.' "What introduced without effort into converages?' 'Seven and ten.' Mrs. B., sation. He did not always remember, how many ?' and so on, until the re when his own words were quoted, that quired number is made up. The peo- he was himself the author of them, and ple who go upon the stage, however appeared astounded at the memory of poor their pay or hard their lot, love it others in this regard. He said Mr. too well ever to adopt another vocation Secretary Stanton had a most extraorof their free-will. A mother will fre- dinary knowledge of his books and a quently be in the wardrobe, children power of taking the text up at any in the pantomime, elder sisters in the point, which he supposed to belong to ballet, etc.”
only one person, and that person not
himself. Dickens's habits as a speaker differed It was said of Garrick that he was from those of most orators. He gave no the cheerfullest man of his age. This thought to the composition of the speech can be as truly said of Charles Dickhe was to make till the day before he ens. In his presence there was perwas to deliver it. No matter whether petual sunshine, and gloom was banthe effort was to be a long or a short ished as having no sort of relationone, he never wrote down a word of ship with him. No man suffered more what he was going to say; but when the keenly or sympathized more fully than proper time arrived for him to consider he did with want and misery; but his his subject, he took a walk into the motto was,
6 Don't stand and cry ; country and the thing was done. When press forward and help remove the he returned he was all ready for his task. difficulty.” The speed with which he
He liked to talk about the audiences was accustomed to make the deed folthat came to hear him read, and he low his yet speedier sympathy was gave the palm to his Parisian one, i seen pleasantly on the day of his visit saying it was the quickest to catch his to the School-ship in Boston Harbor. meaning. Although he said there were He said, previously to going on board many always present in his room in that ship, nothing would tempt him to Paris who did not fully understand make a speech, for he should always
VOL. XXVI. — NO. 154.
be obliged to do it on similar occa- situation of the sightless man. To help sions, if he broke through his rule so him to his feet and aid him homeward early in his reading tour. But Judge in the most natural and simple way Russell had no sooner finished his afforded Dickens such a pleasure as simple talk, to which the boys listened, only the benevolent by intuition can as they always do, with eager faces, understand. than Dickens rose as if he could not Throughout his life Dickens was help it, and with a few words so mag- continually receiving tributes from those netized them that they wore their hearts he had benefited, either by his books in their eyes as if they meant to keep or by his friendship. There is an odd the words forever. An enthusiastic and very pretty story (vouched for here critic once said of John Ruskin, “that as true) connected with the influence he he could discover the Apocalypse in a so widely exerted. Last winter, soon daisy.” As noble a discovery may be after he came up to London to reside claimed for Dickens. He found all the for a few months, he received a letter fair humanities blooming in the low-, from a man telling him that he had liest hovel. He never put on the good begun life in the most humble way Samaritan : that character was native possible, and that he considered he to him. Once while in this country,' owed his subsequent great success and on a bitter, freezing afternoon, — night such education as he had given himcoming down in a drifting snow-storm, self entirely to the encouragement and - he was returning from a long walk cheering influence he had derived from in the country with a single compan- Dickens's books, of which he had been ion. The wind and baffling sleet were a constant reader from his childhood. so furious that the street in which they He had been made a partner in his happened to be fighting their way was master's business, and when the head quite deserted; it was almost impos- of the house died, the other day, it was sible to see across it, the air was so found he had left the whole of his thick with the tempest; all conversa- large property to this man. As soon tion between the friends had ceased, as he came into possession of this for it was only possible to breast the fortune, his mind turned to Dickens, storm by devoting their whole energies whom he looked upon as his beneto keeping on their feet; they seemed factor and teacher, and his first desire to be walking in a different atmosphere was to tender him some testimonial from any they had ever before encoun- of gratitude and veneration. He then tered. All at once Dickens was missed begged Dickens to accept a large sum from his companion's side. What had of money. Dickens declined to receive become of him ? Had he gone down the money, but his unknown friend sent in the drift, utterly exhausted, and was him instead two silver table ornaments the snow burying him out of sight? of great intrinsic value bearing this inVery soon the sound of his cheery voice scription : "To Charles Dickens, from was heard on the other side of the way. one who has been cheered and stimuWith great difficulty, over the piled-up lated by his writings, and held the ausnow, his companion struggled across thor amongst his first Remembrances the street, and there found him lifting when he became prosperous.” One of up, almost by main force, a blind old these silver ornaments was supported man who had got bewildered by the by three figures, representing three storm, and had fallen down unnoticed,
In the original design there quite unable to proceed. Dickens, a were, of course, four, but the donor long distance away from him, with that was so averse to associating the idea tender, sensitive, and penetrating vis- of Winter in any sense with Dickion, ever on the alert for suffering in ens that he caused the workman to any form, had rushed at once to the alter the design and leave only the rescue, comprehending at a glance the cheerful seasons. No event in the great author's career was ever more rise against Death, carried the place gratifying and pleasant to him. by assault, and built a city with the
His friendly letters were exquisitely gravestones; in which they were turned, and are among his most charm- trying to look alive, but with very ining compositions. They abound in fe- different success.” licities only like himself. In 1860 he In a little note to a friend who had writes to an American traveller sojourn- been consulting him the day before ing in Italy : “I should like to have a about the purchase of some old furniwalk through Rome with you this bright ture in London he wrote: “There is morning (for it really is bright in Lon- a chair (without a bottom) at a shop don), and convey you over some favor- near the office, which I think would ite ground of mine. I used to go up suit you. It cannot stand of itself, but the street of Tombs, past the tomb of will almost seat somebody, if you put Cecilia Metella, away out upon the it in a corner, and prop one leg up with wild campagna, and by the old Ap- two wedges and cut another leg off. pian Road (easily tracked out among The proprietor asks £ 20, but says he the ruins and primroses), to Albano. admires literature and would take £18. There, at a very dirty inn, I used to He is of republican principles and I have a very dirty lunch, generally with think would take £17 19 s. 6 d., from a the family's dirty linen lying in a cor- cousin; shall I secure this prize ? It is ner, and inveigle some
very dirty very ugly and wormy, and it is related, Vetturino in sheep-skin to take me but without proof, that on one occasion back to Rome."
Washington declined to sit down in it.” Writing from a Western city in 1868, After his return home from America he says: “ The hotel here is a dreary he was constantly boasting in his letinstitution, but I have an impression ters of his renewed health. In one of we must be in the wrong one, and buoy them he says: “I am brown now beyond myself up with a devout belief in the belief, and cause the greatest disapother over the way. The awakening pointment in all quarters by looking so to consciousness this morning on a well. It is really wonderful what those lop-sided bedstead facing nowhere, in fine days at sea did for me. My doctor a room holding nothing but sour dust, was quite broken down in spirits when was more terrible than the being afraid to he saw me for the first time since my go to bed last night. To keep ourselves return last Saturday. "Good heavens,' up, we played whist (double dummy) he said, recoiling, 'seven years younguntil neither of us could bear to speak to
er!"" the other any more. We had previous- Bright colors were a constant dely supped on a tough old nightmare, light to him; and the gay hues of flownamed Buffalo. What do you think of ers were those most welcome to his a 'fowl de poulet ’? or a • Paettie de eye. When the rhododendrons were Shay'? or "celary'? or 'murange in bloom in Cobham Park, the seat of with cream'? Because all these deli- his friend and neighbor, Lord Darncacies are in the printed bill of fare! ley, he always counted on taking his We asked the Irish waiter what'Paet- guests there to enjoy the magnificent tie de Shay' was, and he said it was show. In a letter dated in April, 'the Frinch name the steward giv' to 1869, he says to a friend who anticiOyster pattie.'".
pated making him a visit from AmeriIn a letter written during his last “ Please look sharp in the matter of course of readings in various parts of landing on this used-up, worn-out, and England he wrote: “B— (setting rotten old parient. I rather think that
aside remembrances of Roderick Ran- when the 12th of June shall have sha- dom and Humphrey Clinker) looked, I ken off these shackles” (he was then
fancied, just as if a cemetery full of old reading in London)“there will be borpeople had somehow made a successful age on the lawn at Gad's. Your heart's
desires in that matter and in the minor notice that about once in every seven particulars of Cobham Park, Rochester years I become the victim of a paraCastle, and Canterbury shall be ful- graph disease. It breaks out in Engfilled, please God! The red jackets land, travels to India by the overland shall turn out again on the turnpike route, gets to America per Cunard line, road, and picnics among the cherry or strikes the base of the Rocky Mounchards and hop gardens shall be heard tains, and rebounding back to Europe, of in Kent.” (He delighted to turn out mostly perishes on the steppes of Rusfor the delectation of his Transatlantic sia from inanition and extreme cold.” cousins a couple of postilions in the When he felt he was not under obserold red jackets of the old red royal vation, and that tomfoolery would not Dover road, making the ride as much be frowned upon or gazed at with asas possible like a holiday drive in Eng- tonishment, he gave himself up withland fifty years ago.)
out reserve to healthy amusement and When in the mood for humorous strengthening mirth. It was his mischaracterization, Dickens's hilarity was sion to make people happy. Words of most amazing.
To hear him tell a good cheer were native to his lips, and ghost story with a very florid imitation he was always doing what he could to of a very pallid ghost, or hear him lighten the lot of all who came into his sing an old-time stage song, such as he beautiful presence. His talk was simused to enjoy in his youth at a cheap ple, natural, and direct, never dropping London theatre, to see him imitate a into circumlocution nor elocution. Now lion in a menagerie-cage, or the clown that he is gone, whoever has known him in a pantomime when he flops and folds intimately for any considerable period himself up like a jack-knife, or to join of time will linger over his tender rewith him in some mirthful game of gard for, and his engaging manner his own composing, was to become ac with, children; his cheery“ Good Day” quainted with one of the most delightful to poor people he happened to be passand original companions in the world. ing in the road ; his trustful and ear
On one occasion, during a walk, he nest“ Please God," when he was promchose to run into the wildest of vagaries ising himself any special pleasure, like about conversation. The ludicrous vein rejoining an old friend or returning he indulged in during that two hours' again to scenes he loved. At such stretch can never be forgotten. Among times his voice had an irresistible paother things, he said he had often hos in it, and his smile diffused a senthought how restricted one's conversa
sation like music. When he came into tion must become when one was visit the presence of squalid or degraded ing a man who was to be hanged in persons, such as one sometimes enhalf an hour. He went on in a most counters in almshouses or prisons, he surprising manner to imagine all sorts had such soothing words to scatter of difficulties in the way of becoming here and there, that those who had interesting to the poor fellow. “Sup- been “most hurt by the archers ” lispose,” said he, “ it should be a rainy tened gladly, and loved him without morning while you are making the call, knowing who it was that found it in you could not possibly indulge in the his heart to speak so kindly to them. remark, “We shall have fine weather Oftentimes during long walks in the to-morrow, sir,' for what would that be streets and by-ways of London, or to him ? For my part, I think,” said through the pleasant Kentish lanes, or he, “I should confine my observations among the localities he has rendered to the days of Julius Cæsar or King forever famous in his books, his comAlfred."
panion has recalled the sweet words At another time when speaking of in which Shakespeare has embalmed what was constantly said about him in one of the characters in Love's Labor certain newspapers, he observed : “I Lost:
"A merrier man,
charity for having been visited and Within the limit of becoming mirth, I never spent an hour's talk withal :
watched by Charles Dickens. To use His eye begets occasion for his wit;
his own words, through his whole life For every object that the one doth catch he did what he could "to lighten the The other turns to a mirth-moving jest,
lot' of those rejected ones whom the Which his fair tongue, conceit's expositor, Delivers in such åpt and gracious words world has too long forgotten and too That aged ears play truant at his tales, often misused.” And younger hearings are quite ravished;
These inadequate, and, of necessity, So sweet and voluble is his discourse."
hastily written, records must suffice for Twenty years ago Daniel Webster the present and stand for what they are said that Dickens had already done worth as personal recollections of the more to ameliorate the condition of the Igreat author who has made so many English poor than all the statesmen millions happy by his inestimable geGreat Britain had sent into Parliament. nius and sympathy. His life will no During the unceasing demands upon his doubt be written out in full by some time and thought, he found opportuni- competent hand in England ; but howties of visiting personally those haunts ever numerous the volumes of his biogof suffering in London which needed raphy, the half can hardly be told of the keen eye and sympathetic heart to the good deeds he has accomplished bring them before the public for relief. for his fellow-men. Whoever has accompanied him on his And who could ever tell, if those volmidnight walks into the cheap lodging- umes were written, of the subtle qualihouses provided for London's lowest ties of insight and sympathy which renpoor cannot have failed to learn les- dered him capable of friendship above sons never to be forgotten. Newgate most men, — which enabled him to reand Smithfield were lifted out of their instate its ideal, and made his presence abominations by his eloquent pen, and a perpetual joy, and separation from many a hospital is to-day all the better him an ineffaceable sorrow ?
Alaska and its Resources. By WILLIAM H. ple care to acquire. Of course, the very
DALL, Director of the Scientific Corps of curious will go to the present volume for the late Western Union Telegraph Expe- information, but its size, cost, and chardition. Boston : Lee and Shepard. acter will hinder it from becoming pop
ular, — though no one is so well qualified The impression of faithful observation as Mr. Dall to tell us of that strange counand of honest work is one that attends the try. reader everywhere in Mr. Dall's somewhat Mr. Dall does not lead us to believe that ponderous book, and that goes far towards Alaska is going to exercise any very poconsoling him for want of an attractive ar tent or immediate influence upon our desrangement of facts. But the subject is so tinies. His claims for a region in which he interesting, and Mr. Dall's material is so spent two years of active study are modest abundant, that now, having handsomely ful- enough, and are succinctly stated at the filled whatever duty he owed to science by close of his personal narrative :the methodical and straightforward state “ The territory is not likely to be popment of results and opinions, we wish he ulous for many years, and should rather might find it practicable to produce a be regarded as a great storehouse of fish, smaller and lighter book embodying such timber, and fur; from which American citigeneral knowledge of Alaska as most peo zens alone should be allowed to draw sup