« PreviousContinue »
with the Russian navy. This he has made good use of in the preparation of the “Life” which the Scribner's have just published in two handsome volumes.
AUGUSTUS C. BUELL
The illustrated chronicle of “Lord Leighton, P. R. A.,” by Ernest Rhys, just published by the Macmillan Company, affords a very complete survey of the famous academician's life and work, and contains two photogravures and about eighty half tone reproductions of his pictures. Another notable book issued by the same firm is “Roman Art; Some of its Principles and their Application to Early Christian Painting," by Franz Wickhoff. It is illustrated with fourteen plates and eighty half tone reproductions
in the text. “Fra Angelico and his Art," the earliest times down to the present. by Langton Douglas with sixty-four illusThe book is in no sense a war book, but a
trations, among which are some fine photowork of reference for the use of those who gravures, is still another book of note from have not the time to read the many vol
the same publishers. umes which cover the relations of China with the great powers. It may be added Mr. Oliver Herford has had a prolonged that Mr. Ireland's chapter on “The interval of industry this autumn, and part United States and China” will be the
of the fruits thereof are to be seen in two first complete account of American inter
of the season's new books. “Overheard in course with China that has yet been at
a Garden," is the title of a collection of tempted.
his verses and pictures which the Scribners are to bring out very soon.
It will his portrait of the author of “ Paul include many rhymes and drawings not Jones: Founder of the American Navy," previously published, and will be a rival the new historical biography of the fam- to that much admired brochure “ The ous patriot, privateer or pirate, as he is Bashful Earthquake, and Other Poems," variously regarded by prejudiced and un- which was successful from its day of pubprejudiced minds, is made from a recent lication, last year. Moreover, Mr. Herphotograph. Mr. Buell is a ship-builder ford has done some thoroughly delightful associated with the great business of work in illustrating a new fairy book by the Cramps, in Philadelphia, who has Mrs. Mabel Osgood Wright, “ The Dream found interest and relaxation for years in Fox Story Book," which the Macmillans the study of Paul Jones's career. A few have in press. Mrs. Wright's story is as years ago he went to Russia on business charming as her earlier books, and Mr. for his firm, and while there came across Herford has contributed more than eighty a great quantity of entirely new material capital pictures. regarding Paul Jones and his connection
VIEW OF TAE STRAND, SHOWING (ON THE LEFT) THE OFFICE OF THE OLD Morning Chronicle, WHERE DICKENS WAS EMPLOYED FROM 1835 to 1836, AND THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY IN WHICH HIS PARENTS WERE MARRIED
[From a photograph by Lionel Gowing.) ** To the wholesome training of severe newspaper work, when I was a very young man, I constantly refer my first
successes."—DICKENS, Speech to New York Editors.
THE WRITING OF PICKWICK
THE twenty-one months over which for the child sister-in-law, Mary Hogarth, ,
the writing of the “Pickwick Pa- who was so soon to be snatched away. pers” extended were, undoubtedly, the They found him an almost unknown youth most interesting and the most important with a youth's boundless prospect of hapin the life of Charles Dickens. They in- piness. They left him a famous man with cluded his happiest and his most distress- an outlook obscured by the gloom of a ful days; they knew his frankest and most
great sorrow. natural manner. They saw the rise of his The story of the origin of the “ Pickfame, before the world had hailed him as wick Papers ”—how it was proposed that the most popular novelist of the age, be- Seymour, the artist, should draw a series fore the burden of a great reputation and of sketches illustrating the adventures of a the cares of a large family had worn their sporting club, and that Messrs. Chapman lines upon his character. They saw his & Hall, the publishers, should find some marriage, the birth of his eldest child, the one to write a story to fit them; how they beginning of his life-long friendship with found young Dickens; how young DickForster and the growth of his affection ens pointed out that the plan put the cart before the horse, and that the work would lar “Sketches by Boz” to the Evening be in every way more satisfactory if the Chronicle, a new venture edited by Mr. sketches illustrated the text instead of the George Hogarth, to whose eldest daughter, text illustrating the sketches; how his Catherine, he is about to be married. views were accepted; how he“ thought of Two years have passed since the first of Mr. Pickwick," and how poor Seymour the first series of his“ Sketches" appeared killed himself before the second number in the Monthly Magazine, and in the was published-all this has been told by man who now stands before him he recogthe author of the “Pickwick Papers" in nizes the publisher at whose hands he his preface to the first cheap edition of then bought-in a shop at the corner of the book. It is not necessary to repeat it Arundel Street, Strand, on the site now here in detail, but before turning to Dick- covered by the premises of Messrs. W. H. ens's life during the writing of the story, it Smith & Son, news agents—the precious may be interesting to glance in fancy over periodical which contained his first printed the shoulder of Mr. William Hall, of the contribution to imaginative literature. firm of Chapman & Hall, as he waits upon He has just sold for £150 the copyright Dickens with the first suggestion of the of the first series of the “Sketches," and work, and see what manner of man is this has prepared them for publication in two young author who has the assurance to volumes, which are destined to find for a argue with a publisher. The date is De- season a wider popularity than the early cember, 1835, or January, 1836. Dickens numbers of the “ Pickwick Papers." He has not quite completed his twenty-fourth is an able young man, well satisfied with year, but for nine years he has been earn- what he has done, and conscious of the ing wages, first as office boy to a firm of power to do greater things yet, but there solicitors at thirteen shillings and sixpence is no trace of affectation or conceit in the a week, then as shorthand writer to the handsome face which greets the visitor. proctors * of Doctors' Commons, and “ It has the life and soul in it," wrote lastly as a newspaper reporter, parliamen- Leigh Hunt, “of fifty human beings.” tary and descriptive. He is now a val- “As if made of steel,” said Jane Welch ued member of the staff of the Morning Carlyle, thus suggesting in a word the Chronicle, a newspaper published at 332, diverse capabilities of flashing brightness Strand, † within a stone's throw of the and cool reflection, of flexibility and church of St. Mary, where his father and strength which go to make a character mother were married in 1809. In the that is both vigorous and engaging . service of his paper he has seen as much
I have said that the date of Mr. Hall's of England as any man of his years, for he visit to Dickens's rooms in Furnival's Inn has traveled North, East, South and West, was either December, 1835, or January, and (to quote his own words) has been 1836. If in December, the interview “ upset in almost every description of probably took place in the chambers at vehicle known in this country.” A year No. 13, which Dickens occupied for twelve ago his weekly salary was raised from five months ; but it is more likely that the to seven guineas in consideration of his date was January or perhaps February, contributing a second series of the popu- 1836, when he had moved from No. 13,
to the top floor of No. 15, having taken *For a full explanation of the now extinct profession of the new and larger rooms, no doubt, in proctor, see “ David Copperfield," Chapter XXIII.
view of his approaching marriage, from +Now the office of the Weekly Despatch. The front of the building above the first floor is unaltered to this day. Christmas, 1835, “ for three years certain'
ROOM IN WHICH THE GREATER PART OF "PICKWICK " WAS WRITTEN, AS FURNISHED BY ITS LAST TENANT "I wish you could know how I weary now for the three rooms in Furnival's Inn, and how I miss that pleasant
smile and those sweet words which, bestowed upon our evening's work in our merry banterings round the fire, were more precious to me than the applause of a whole world would be."-Dickens, Letter to Mrs. Hogarth, October 26, 1837.
at a rental of £50 (“History of Pick- Messrs. Chapman & Hall the payment wick "). An undated letter to his be- for two numbers of “Pickwick.” The trothed describing Messrs. Chapman and price which had been verbally agreed Hall's proposal is said by the editors of upon was, according to the letter already “ The Letters of Charles Dickens” to mentioned from Dickens to Miss Hogarth, have been written in '1835; but their com fourteen pounds a month; according to ments upon another letter to which they Mr. Chapman fifteen pounds a month. give the same date show so much confu The receipt shows that the sum actually sion that little weight can be given to paid for the first two numbers was their opinions on the subject. We know twenty-nine pounds, but the payment for certain that the prospectus of “ Pick was to depend to wick” was issued at the end of February, sales, which, from a miserable average 1836, and that the first number, consisting of fifty for the first four or five numof twenty-four pages of letter-press with bers, rose so quickly after the introducfour drawings by Seymour, was published tion of Sam Weller that with No. 15 they on March 31st. Two days later, on April amounted to 40,000, and steadily increased 2nd, Easter Eve, Dickens was married at to the end. The total sum paid to DickSt. Luke's Church, Chelsea, to Catherine ens in cash for the work was £2,500 or Hogarth. To meet the expenses of the £3,000. wedding he had drawn in advance from In the first number of the “ Pickwick
Papers" Dickens carried his hero to Roch- “I wish you could know how I weary now for ester, “the neighborhood to which at all the three rooms in Furnival's Inn, and how I miss times of interest in his life he turned with
that pleasant smile and those sweet words which,
bestowed upon our evening's work, in our merry a strange recurring fondness” (Forster), banterings round the fire, were more precious to and to Chalk, a village about five miles
me than the applause of a whole world would from Rochester, about two miles from be." Gravesend, and about two miles from his
And in a Diary now preserved in the future home at Gad's Hill, he took his
Forster Collection at South Kengington bride for the honeymoon. The farm
The farm- he wrote : house in which they lodged still stands. The late Mr. E. L. Blanchard has stated
SATURDAY, 6th January, 1838.
“Our boy's birthday-One year old . . This day (Kitton's "Charles Dickens by Pen and
last year Mary and I wandered up and down HolPencil ”) that in later years, when he was born and the streets about for hours, looking after living at Rosherville and Dickens at Gad's a little table for Kate's Bedroom, which we bought Hill, they often met in their daily walk at last at the very first broker's which we had “at about the same spot.”
looked into, and which we had passed half a dozen
times, because I didn't like to ask the price. I “This was on the outskirts of the village of
took her out to Brompton at night, as we had no Chalk, where a picturesque lane branches off to
place for her to sleep in (the two mothers being wards Shorne and Cobham. Here the brisk walk
with us). She came back again next day to keep of Charles Dickens was always slackened, and he
house for me, and stopped nearly the rest of the never failed to gaze meditatively for a few mo
month. I shall never be so happy again as in ments at the windows of a corner house on the
those Chambers three stories high-never, if I roll southern side of the road, advantageously situated in wealth and fame. I would hire them to keep for commanding views of the river and the far
empty if I could afford it.” stretching landscape beyond. It was in that house he had lived immediately after his marriage." The chambers, as has been said, exist
It seems likely that the honeymoon hol- no longer. By the courtesy of the last iday lasted for a fortnight-from Satur- tenant I visited them a few days before day, April 2nd, to Saturday, April 16th. their destruction, and wrote for the LonAt all events, before April 20th, the date don Graphic a description, from which I of Seymour's death and before the second may be permitted to refresh my recollecnumber of “Pickwick” was “completelytion of an experience which gave me at written,” the newly-married pair, as we the time a very vivid picture of the early learn from two letters which Dickens ad- domestic life of the most popular novelist dressed thirty years afterwards to the
of the century. Athenwum, had come home to the cham-' As one mounted the stone stairs (there bers in Furnival's Inn. Until the inn were sixty-one) that led to the chambers, was pulled down, in 1897, to make place one's left hand on the well-worn brass for new buildings, there was no place banister, it needed little effort of mind haunted with such pathetic memories of flight to see the figures coming and going the great novelist as the three rooms on as they came and went in those young the top floor of No. 15. “I wish you days. One saw the young man with the could know,” he wrote to his mother-in- brown hair and merry eyes, bounding up law, Mrs. Hogarth, in a letter dated “Oc- two or three stairs at a stretch; one heard tober 26, 1837,” five months after Mary's from the heights above the girlish laughdeath and seven months after he had ter which greeted his homecoming, and moved his household from Furnival's Inn one knew-all the Inn knew that the to Doughty Street:
“ House was up.” One saw Charles's