LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Recollections of Writers
Charles Dickens to Mary Cowden Clarke, 22 July 1848

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX
John Keats
Charles Lamb
Mary Lamb
Leigh Hunt
Douglas Jerrold
Charles Dickens
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Devonshire Terrace, Monday Evening, 22nd July, 1848.

My dear Mrs. Clarke,—I have no energy whatever, I am very miserable. I loathe domestic hearths. I yearn to be a vagabond. Why can’t I marry 1Mary? Why have I seven children—not engaged at sixpence a-night a-piece, and dismissible for ever, if they tumble down, not taken on for an indefinite time at a vast expense, and never,—no never, never,—wearing lighted candles round their heads.2 I am deeply miserable. A real house like this is insupport-

1 A character in “Used Up.”

2 As fairies in “Merry Wives.”

able, after that canvas farm wherein I was so happy. What is a humdrum dinner at half-past five, with nobody (but John) to see me eat it, compared with that soup, and the hundreds of pairs of eyes that watched its disappearance? Forgive this tear.3 It is weak and foolish, I know.

Pray let me divide the little excursional excesses of the journey among the gentlemen, as I have always done before, and pray believe that I have had the sincerest pleasure and gratification in your co-operation and society, valuable and interesting on all public accounts, and personally of no mean worth nor held in slight regard.

You had a sister once, when we were young and happy—I think they called her Emma. If she remember a bright being who once flitted like a vision before her, entreat her to bestow a thought upon the “Gas” of departed joys. I can write no more.

Y. G.4 the (darkened) G. L. B.5