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    Miscellaneous Papers

    by Charles Dickens
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    • Category: Non-Fiction
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    Book Description

    CHARLES DICKENS BORN I 81 2-DIED I 8 7 0 Editors Note This collection of Dickens miscellaneous writings comprises what is considered the best of those contributions contained in the two collections first, that published by him in 1858 under the title of Reprinted Pieces second, the miscellaneous papers 9ublished by the late B. W. Matz, who extracted them from Household Words, The Examiner, and other periodicals. The task of identifying his miscellaneous writings, except those reprinted by him, was not completely manageable for many years-even by his son and by expert Dickensians. The dificulties that long existed in the case of Household Words are interesting. Dickens so much edited, and even re-wrote, the anonymous articles written for that paper by his brilliant yomg men, who also dropped into the masters style, that identification was extremely hazardous. Fortunately, however, the Conpib tors Book kept in connection with Household Words came to light and, as this gave details of all contributions, their writers, and the fees paid for them, it was the means of solving many problems and correcting wrong attributions. MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS BY CHARLES DICKENS LONDON HAZELL, WATSON VINEY, LTD. MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS THE BEGGING-LETTER WRITER THE amount of money e annually diverts from wholesome and useful purposes in the United Kingdom, would be a set-off against the Window Tax. He is one of the most shameless frauds and impositions of this time. In his idleness, his mendacity, and the immeasurable harm he does to the deserving, -dirtying the stream of true benevolence, and muddling the brains of foolish justices, with inability to distinguish between the base coin of distress, and the truecurrency we have always among us, -he is more worthy of Norfolk Island than three-fourths of the worst characters who are sent there. Under any rational system, he would have been sent there long ago. I, the writer of this paper, have been, for some time, a chosen receiver of Begging Letters. For fourteen years, my house has been made as regular a Receiving House for such communications as any one of the great branch Post-Offices is for general correspondence. I ought to know something of the Begging-Letter Writer. He has besieged my door at all hours of the day and night he has fought my servant he has lain in ambush for me, going out and coming in he has followed me out of town into the country he has appeared at provincial hotels, where I have been staying for only a few hours he has written to me from immense distances, when I have been out of England. He has fallen sick he has died and been buried he has come to life again, and again departed from this transitory scene he has been his own son, his own mother, his own baby, his idiot brother, his uncle, his aunt, his aged grandfather. He has wanted a greatcoat, to go to India in a pound to set him up in life for ever a pair of boots to take him to the coast of China a hat to get him into a permanent situation under Government. He has frequently been exactly sevenand-sixpence short of independence. He has had such openings at 1, iverpool-posts of great trust and confidence in merchants houses, which nothing but seven-and-sixpence was wanting to him to secure - that I wonder he is not Mayor of that flourishing town at the present moment. The natural phenomena of which he has been the victim, are of a most astounding nature. He has hadtwo children who have never grown up who have never had anything to cover them at night who have been continualIy driving him mad, by asking in vain for food who have never come out of fevers and measles which, I suppose, 7 8 Miscellaneous Papers has accounted for his fuming his letters with tobacco smoke, as a disinfectant who have never changed in the least degree through fourteen long revolving years...

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