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^ ^V^^*<t^Zyv^6«M/«J»^i»^/S^,^.^^ 

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twcvavtt College Xibrari? 



The DeVinne Press certifies that 
this copy of **A Strayr^af from the 
Correspondence of^^Kishington Ir- 
ving and Charles Diriteris" is one of 
an edition of sevehxy-seven copies, 
all of which we^^rinted on Japan 
paper, in the iQ^nth of September, 
1894. The fii^^fteen copies, num- 
bered I to I j^ontain proofs of three 
states of thOcopperplate engraving 
of the steamship Britannia. 


OfficsL tofjy. 





















S^a : • : ^o//-J ^ V . /c/t < U 

Copyright, 1894, 
By William Loring Andrews 

'' .^ *> >, ^^* .-,' 


The Steamship Britannia . Frontispiece 

Engraved on copper by Edwin Davis French, 
after an engraving of the drawing by Clarkson 
Stanfield, R. A., formerly in the possession of 
Charles Dickens. 


Houses in which Dickens Lived 12 

Furnival's Inn. 

Tavistock House, Tavistock Square. 

48, Doughty Street, Mecklenburgh Square. 

Gad's Hill. 

Pamphlet Cover, ** The Boz Ball " 27 
No. I, Devonshire Terrace . .32 

Residence of Charles Dickens in 1841. 

Grave of Charles Dickens . . 40 
Imprimatur of W. L. Andrews . 41 

Engraved on copper by Edwin Davis French. 

furnival's inn. 










"N a letter to his niece, Mrs. 
Storrow, dated October 
29th, 1 84 1, Washington 
Irving conveys the wel- 
come tidings that his 
friend Charles Dickens 
is on the eve of depart- 
ure for the United States. 
**What do you think?" 
he writes. ** Dickens is actually com- 
ing to America. He has engaged 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

passage for himself and wife in the 
steam -packet for Boston for the 
fourth of January next." In support 
of this positive statement Irving 
quotes the following lines from a let- 
ter he had recently received from Mr. 
Dickens : **I look forward to shaking 
hands with you, with an interest I 
cannot (and would not, if I could) de- 
scribe. You can imagine, I dare say, 
something of the feelings with which 
I look forward to being in America. 
I can hardly believe I am coming." 

The subject-matter of the letter 
from which the foregoing extract is 
taken is of so interesting a character, 
and the letter has such direct connec- 
tion with the first visit of Dickens to 
this country, that it is surprising that 
it has not in its entirety found a place 
in the biographies of either Irving or 
Dickens, nor has it appeared hereto- 
fore complete in print — so far as we 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

This visit of Charles Dickens to 
America, which long and repeatedly 
he had been urged to undertake by 
his friends and admirers on this side 
the "salt sea," was determined upon 
by him in the fall of 184 1. In a 
letter to John Forster, his friend and 
biographer, he says, " I have made 
up my mind, with God's leave, to go 
to America, and to start as soon after 
Christmas as it will be safe to go." 
A transatlantic voyage was a more 
formidable undertaking in the mid- 
dle of the nineteenth century than it 
is in these days of record-breaking 
ocean greyhounds, and the separation 
from her family which it involved, 
with no electric wire at command 
to convey swift and reassuring mes- 
sages from home and dear ones, was 
a trial to Mrs. Dickens. We are in 
the dark as to the character of the 
persuasive arguments used by her 
husband to overcome her real or 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

fancied objections to the long and 
wearisome journey, but at all events 
they proved sufficiently potent, and 
he was finally able to announce that 
** Kate is quite reconciled." 

Of all the months in the calendar, 
he chose one of the worst for a maiden 
venture upon the sea, and on the 
fourth day of January, 1842, Charles 
Dickens, his wife, and her maid Anne, 
who in the bliss of her ignorance 
was ** amazingly cheerful and light 
of heart upon it," left Liverpool in 
the paddle-box steamship Britannia. 
They called at Halifax (as was then 
the practice of the British and North 
American Packet Line), and arrived 
safely at Boston on the twenty-first 
of the same month, overjoyed to find 
themselves once more on solid ground 
after seventeen days of tossing to and 
fro in midwinter upon the boisterous 
North Atlantic. Head winds, hurri- 
canes, and a sea ^'horribly disturbed" 

A sbay leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Ch^u^es Dickens 

had been their trying experience dur- 
ing the entire passage. 

Mr. Dickens proved an indifferent 
sailor, and Neptune, totally regard- 
less even of the claims of genius when 
it trespasses upon his domain, fav- 
ored him not a whit. For the first 
week of the voyage he was unable 
** to get to work at the dinner table," 
so that for that interval his pen for 
once lay idle, and there was no *' chiel 
amang" the ships company taking 
notes with the deliberate intention of 
putting them into print at the very 
first favorable opportunity. In a let- 
ter indited as the good ship which 
had borne them bravely across the 
storm-swept sea was nearing their 
desired haven, Dickens indulges in a 
reminiscence of his first salt-water 
experience, which has the true Pick- 
wickian flavor. *' Apropos of rolling, 
I have forgotten to mention that in 
playing whist we are obliged to put 

A stray leaf fix>in the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Chsurles Dickens 

the tricks in our pockets to keep them 
from disappearing altogether, and 
that several times in the course of 
every rubber we are all flung from 
our seats, roll out at different doors, 
and keep on rolling until we are 
picked up by the stewards." Dickens 
frankly admits that in fourteen days 
upon the ocean he had failed to mas- 
ter the difficulties of the situation and 
had ventured to make but one soli- 
tary appearance upon the deck of the 
vessel, and he goes on to say that his 
experience upon that occasion suf- 
ficed to remove any further lingering 
desires on his part to stray beyond 
the safe shelter and seclusion of the 
cabin. In a subsequent letter to 
Forster, he affirmed with emphasis 
that he had seen enough on the voy- 
age out to convince him that steam- 
ing across the ocean in heavy weather 
was as yet an experiment of the ut- 
most hazard. The greatest danger 

A sbay leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charies Dickens 

that he apprehended was fire — a cat- 
astrophe which he felt assured would 
inevitably befall a steamer in case the 
funnel was carried overboard. He 
announces his fixed determination 
to return home in a packet ship — 
not in a steamer. " I will never," he 
writes, ''trust myself upon the wide 
ocean, if it pleases Heaven, in a 
steamer again." 

A letter written from Boston by 
Richard H. Dana, Jr., to Edward 
Moxon, and dated ten days after the 
arrival of Charles Dickens, supplies 
some entertaining anecdotes in con- 
nection with his reception in the 
modern Athens. *' We have Dickens 
here with us, & the whole town is 
crazy. I doubt if a literary man ever 
made such a 'progress' through a 
country as he is making through 
ours. Indeed, I am certain it will be 
an era in literary history. D'Israeli 
must get out a new vol. of Curiosities. 

3 19 

A stray leaf from the conespondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

From the moment the steamer was 
signaled, up to this hour, the whole 
community has been in a high fever. 
A deputation from the young men 
of the city sprang on board to invite 
him to a dinner, & two artists, with 
commendatory letters, asking him to 
sit to them. It is said that a mob 
followed him to his lodgings, & two 
men burst into his room before he 
had got his coat off, introduced them- 
selves as 'Americans,' & said they 
were going off in the early cars & 
could not go South without having 
shaken his hand. This is but a 
sample of the attentions he receives. 
Indeed, he is obliged to refuse all 
visitors except at certain hours, & 
then he holds a regular levee. The 
other day, when he went to sit for 
his portrait, on coming out, he found 
the ante room, staircase, &c. lined 
with females, young & old. One 
old lady asked him to stand still & 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

let the ladies form a ring round, so 
that all could see him. This was too 
much for his risibles, & he laughed 
out, & told her eager ladyship that 
he was sorry &c, but was in a hurry 
— & was going off; when the ladies 
called out to the artist, 'Do, Mr. A. 
stop him ! Don't let him go ! ' 

"In the meanwhile the standard 
men of literature & wealth are pay- 
ing him every attention, & like him 
exceedingly. He bears his blushing 
honours very well indeed. 

"I have met him several times & 
like him very much. How full of 
life he is? He looks *up to any- 
thing.' . . . 

" Dickens has told us many anec- 
dotes of Lamb, some of which are not 
ye^ published, & which interested us 
very much. You don't know what a 
feeling there is here about Lamb. 

*' By the way, Mr. Allston, at the 
age of sixty, is to ride into the city as 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Chsuies Dickens 

an invited guest at the great 'Dick- 
ens Dinner' to-morrow." ^ 

The genial author of that so happily 
styled " exquisite miscellany," ** The 
Sketch Book," had been in correspon- 
dence with the already famous Eng- 
lish novelist for some time before he 
had the gratification of clasping his 
hand in welcome to the shores of 
the New World. *' Now," exclaims 
Irving, ** comes the third letter from 
that glorious fellow Boz, in reply 
to one I wrote him expressing my 
heartfelt delight with his writings 
and my yearnings toward himself 
See how completely we sympathize 
in feeling!" Dickens is equally de- 
monstrative. **I have been so accus- 
tomed," he writes, "to associate you 
with my pleasantest and happiest 
thoughts, and with my leisure hours, 
that I rush at once into full confidence 
with you, and fall, as it were, natu- 

1 Mr. AUston died the following year. 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

rally, and by the very laws of gravita- 
tion, into your open arms." The in- 
itiative in this postal interchange of 
thought and sentiment which had 
proved so mutually agreeable, was 
taken by Mr. Irving, as was pleas- 
antly related by Mr. Dickens at the 
dinner given to him in New York 
on the sixteenth of February, at the 
City Hotel.^ ''There is in this city a 
gentleman who at the reception of 
one of my books — I well remember 
it was the *01d Curiosity Shop' — 
wrote to me in England a letter so 
generous, so affectionate, and so 
manly, that if I had written the 
book under every circumstance of 
disappointment, of discouragement, 
and difficulty, instead of the re- 
verse, I should have found in the 
receipt of that letter my best and 

^A famous hostelry of olden times — the property of 
Johnjacob Astor. It occupied the block between Cedar 
and Thames streets on the west side of Broadway, and 
contained a large and fine apartment which was used for 
concerts, balls, and public dmners. 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

most happy reward. I answered him 
and he answered me, and so we kept 
shaking hands autographically, as if 
no ocean rolled between us. I came 
here eager to see him, and," laying 
his hand upon Irving's shoulder, 
''here he sits. I need not tell you 
how happy I am to see him here to- 
night in this capacity." 

There was a wide difference in the 
years of these two gifted men, be- 
tween whom there grew up so rap- 
idly and spontaneously an almost fra- 
ternal affection. Washington Irving 
was a veteran in the walks of litera- 
ture, with all his honors thick upon 
him, while Charles Dickens, still in 
the full flush of his vigorous young 
manhood, had barely passed the 
threshold of his brilliant career. It 
was destined to have an earlier end- 
ing than that of the man who, more, 
perhaps, by his gentle life and at- 
tractive personality than by the 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

charming products of his wit and 
genius, — the '* store of graceful fan- 
cies " he had poured out so abundant- 
ly, — had captivated and endeared 
himself to "Boz " with the same facil- 
ity as he long before had won the 
love, the admiration, and the esteem 
of his fellow-townsmen. Dickens 
was Irving's junior by twenty-nine 
years, but he survived him by less 
than a decade. 

Their first interview took place at 
the Carlton Hotel in New York, Feb- 
ruary 12, 1842. Dickens and *'his 
lady," as announced in the columns 
of the daily press, had arrived from 
New Haven by the afternoon boat, 
and were installed in a very splendid 
suite of rooms which had been pre- 
pared for them, where they found 
everything "very comfortable," but 
feared that, as at Boston, it would 
prove "enormously dear." The first 
fortnight's bill was seventy pounds 


A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

English ! — although, as the victim of 
this extortionate demand, as he just- 
ly considered it, explains, they had 
dined out every day, except when he 
was laid up with a sore throat, and 
had in all only four bottles of wine. 
"Just as we sat down to dinner," 
writes Dickens, "David Golden made 
his appearance, and when he had 
gone and we were taking our wine, 
Washington Irving came in alone, 
with open arms, and here he stopped 
until ten o'clock." 

First in the gay round of festivities 
in honor of Charles Dickens's arrival 
in New York, came the great ball 
on Monday, February 14. This com- 
ing event, — the sensation of the 
day, — which set the whole town in a 
buzz of pleasurable excitement, cast 
its shadow before in a pamphlet is- 
sued by a "Committee of Citizens of 
New York," which bore the follow- 
ing cover : 




TMd Lg®S ©^[LlUo 











J. C. House, Printer, 88 Barclay-street. 


A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

The ** Dickens Ball" was by far the 
largest and most brilliant entertain- 
ment of the kind that the city, up 
to that time, had witnessed. Between 
twenty-five hundred and three thou- 
sand people were present in full dress. 
The stage and auditorium of the 
Park Theater, in which the ball was 
given, were elaborately decorated 
for the occasion with bunting and 
banners painted with scenes from 
Dickens's stories. The light, the glit- 
ter, the glare, the show, the noise, the 
cheering, Dickens declared, baffled 
his descriptive powers. The lavish 
and extensive bill of fare of the sup- 
per he preserved as a curiosity. The 
New York papers in their issues 
of the following morning described 
the affair as being very fine, very 
brilliant, very gay, very costly, very 
superb, very satisfactory, and very 
everything else that could be de- 
sired. Terpsichorean and epicurean 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

attractions were not the only ones 
offered by the management of this 
grand social function. A series of 
tableaux vivants was presented on 
the stage of the theater, in which, 
with the exception of two which 
represented Irving in England and 
Dickens in America, the characters 
were taken from the most popular 
works of the distinguished guest of 
the evening. The ** Bachelors' Ball " 
was also graced by the presence of 
Dickens and " his lady." This very 
aristocratic affair usually took place 
on St. Valentine's night, but was 
postponed one week to accommo- 
date the '* Dickens Ball," which it 
was said to have equaled in mag- 
nificence and may be presumed to 
have surpassed in exclusiveness. 
The '* Bachelors " were by no means 
disposed to allow the ** Great Boz 
Ball " to take the wind out of their 
silken sails. 

A stray leaf from the ccMrespondence of 
Washington Irving and Chaurles Dickens 

Following the ball came the din- 
ner, at which Irving sacrificed him- 
self upon the altar of his friendship 
by consenting (to his great mental 
discomfort for days previous to the 
occasion) to occupy the chair and 
propose Dickens's health as **The 
Literary Guest of the Nation." The 
role of toast-master was one which 
the diffident **Geoffi-ey Crayon" was 
never able to fill with credit or sat- 
isfaction, at least to himself No 
one would have admitted more read- 
ily and with deeper feeling than he 
the force and pungency of the wit- 
ticism of James Russell Lowell, that 
to have the making of an after-din- 
ner speech in prospect turned all 
the white bait into bete noire. With 
his friend Halleck he would beg to 
be excused from speaking on his 
legs, for then ** the brains ran to his 

We need not follow our visitor 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

further in his triumphal progress 
through the ** States," and will give 
place to the letter which the good 
genius who presides over the des- 
tinies of an autograph -hunter, and 
who occasionally rewards his pa- 
tience and perseverance with an 
exceptional piece of good fortune, 
threw in our pathway on a red-letter 
day. It is only a creased and time- 
stained piece of paper ; but how pleas- 
antly and with how much vividness 
it brings before us him who penned 
and him who scanned its pages more 
than half a century ago! 

The epistle covers three sides of 
quarto letter-paper, the fourth being 
left blank for the address, after the 
fashion of that primitive and leisurely 
age, before the introduction of envel- 
opes, postal-cards, and penny post- 
age ; when the art of graceful epis- 
tolary composition was studied, and 
the correct mode of folding a missive 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Chsirles Dickens 

and the secret of wafering it securely 
against the prying eyes of the village 
gossip was one of the sundry and 
necessary parts of polite learning. 

/ Devonshire Terracey York Gate, 
Regents Tark, London. 

Twenty eighth September 1841 . 

My dear IVashington Irving 

I was very sorry to hear f other day from 
Mr Clark, ^ of the Knickerbocker and New 

• Lewis Gaylord Clark, from the year i8^ until its dis- 
continuance in 1859, \\2LsX\ie &\\ior oiihe Knickei^ocker, one 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

York, that you were unwell. I hope you 
are better ; and furthermore that in proof 
of your being so, you will write me one line 
by the next Packet, to certify the fact. 

I told Leslie what you bad written about 
bim, and be was much pleased, I know him, 
but have not known bim long or intimately 
— / neednt tell you that London keeps a 
great many people apart, who incline strongly 
towards each other. His great abilities and 
uncommon gift of humour , with bis pencil (a 
kind of Charles Lamb-like humour of the 
very best quality) I have always doted on. 
We agreed that in your honor we would 
dine together instantly, and that we would be 
constant associates for evermore. 

It has been a toss up for some weeks, 
whether I should write you a long letter, or a 
short one. I am happy to say the latter 
carries it. For why should I inflict four 
sides of paper on you, when I am coming to 
see you? And are there not at this moment 

of the most ably conducted and popular of the earlier New 
York monthly magazines. The following paragraph is from 
an unpublished letter of Mr. Clark to Charles Dickens, 
headed " Knickerbocker Sanctum, February 23, '56 " : " My 
country residence is directly next to Mr. Irving's — that is, 
• over the left ' bank of the Hudson, on the Tappaan-Zee. 
He • ages ' not at all. I never saw him looking better." 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

in the books of the British and North Ameri- 
can Mail Packet Company ^ the words — 
' ' fourth of January eighteen hundred and 
forty two, Mr and Mrs Charles Dickens — 
for Boston " ? 

I look forward to shaking hands with you, 
with an interest I cannot (and would not, if 
I could) describe. You can imagine, I dare 
say, something of the feelings with which I 
look forward to being in America. I can 
hardly believe I am coming. 

Bogus [?] has been in great distress and 
desolation at having missed your niece. He 
was with us last night, and bewailed his af- 
fliction in very moving terms. He begged 
me to say as much to you, and to remember 
him heartily — though I am not clear whether 
it is a recent occurrence, or whether my pro- 
jected voyage reminded him of it. 

Did you know poor ? He 

has left a widow (poor creature, she was not 
married to him, but there is mourning out 
of matrimony, and it is no disparagement to 
the word) with four illegitimate daughters — 
/ am not sure whether I should not have writ- 
ten, five. I heard yesterday at the Athence- 
um, that the King of . . . has sent them 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

five hundred pounds. It is a good thing to 
find gratitude in Kings y and better when the 
King is a bad one, so I hope it's true, J . . 
. . . . declined to join in a sub- 
scription for rescuing these girls from pov- 
erty — it may be, from the very streets — 
because they were not born in wedlock. I 
hardly know what your politics are; remem- 
bering the Squire in Bracebridge Hall, and 
the radical. — But I am sure this is not your 

Murray has just re-published in a new 
form, Lockbarfs translation of the Spanish 
and Moorish ballads, with all manner of gold 
and silver borders, and variegated colours. 
He is said to be making rather a desperate 
stake with it, having suffered from recent 
failures in the trade. It looks tawdry and 
poor; and I fear will not do. 

You knew tVilkie, I think, in Spain. A 
very handsome subscription has been already 
made for raising a monument to him in 
London. They are going to raise another, in 
Edinburgh. Poor fellow! He gave me a lit- 
tle picture of bis painting, shortly before he 
went away, and I little thought I had seen 
him for the last time. His sister is so sadly 

5 35 

A stray leaf from the con?espondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

changed by grief for bis loss, tbatsbeisbardly 
to be recognised for the person she used to be. 
She bad dressed herself as gaily as a bride, 
and was waiting for Us coming home, when 
they had to tell her that he lay under the blue 
waters of the Mediterranean. 
Believe me, always 

Faithfully Yours 

Charles Dickens 
Washington Irving Esquire 

Late in the autumn of 1867, with 
his unaccountable preference for a 
winter passage, Charles Dickens 
made a second pilgrimage to the 
United States. In the quarter of a 
century that had elapsed, time had 
wrought impressive changes in men, 
in manners, and in the face of things. 
New York had more than doubled in 
size and population, and vastly altered 
in appearance. It certainly had lost 
much of the quality of picturesque- 
ness. There were more evidences 
of newly acquired wealth and less 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charies Dickens 

of quiet good-taste in domestic ar- 
chitecture. The cheerful and home- 
like red-brick front of the post-colo- 
nial period had largely given place 
to the more costly but irredeema- 
bly ugly, painfully monotonous, and 
perishable Connecticut brownstone. 
Few remained of the old landmarks 
which may have been pointed out to 
that **fine fellow Boz" with some de- 
gree of civic pride by the veracious 
chronicler of his native ancient city as 
arm in arm they rambled about its 
shady streets. In the circle of cul- 
tured men and kindred spirits who 
had welcomed him with so much 
warmth and cordiality at his first 
coming, Charles Dickens found many 
a vacant chair besides that of his 
dear friend Irving. Longfellow, 
whom he characterized as a frank, 
accomplished man, as well as a fine 
writer, Bryant, as "a sad and re- 
served one," and '* Clark of the 

A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

Knickerbocker and New York " were 
among the handful of his old ac- 
quaintances that remained. A new 
generation of literary aspirants had 
arisen and were actively engaged in 
attempts to scale the *'airy heights 
of fame " from which Halleck,^ the 
** merry little man," Washington 
Allston, the **fine specimen of a glo- 
rious old genius," Felton and Jared 
Sparks, ** noble fellows," Cooper, 
Prescott, Poe, and Hawthorne had 
been summoned away forever. Eight 
years before, all that was mortal of 
Washington Irving had been laid at 
rest in the old graveyard of Sleepy 
Hollow, and the boats plying upon the 
river over which his pen had thrown 
its magic witchery had begun to toll 
their bells as with bated speed they 
passed the grassy slopes of Sunny- 

1 Fitz-Greene Halleck was carried to his grave in the 
quiet New England village of Guilford — his birthplace — 
on the same day, November 19, 1867, that Dickens ar- 
rived for the second time in Boston. 


A stray leaf from the correspondence of 
Washington Irving and Charles Dickens 

side — a graceful custom which too 
soon was allowed to fall into disuse. 
In the spring of 1868 Dickens, 
much broken in health, returned to 
England. Two short years passed 
away, and a slab was set in the 
pavement of the Poets' Corner of 
Westminster Abbey, over which for 
many a month the wreaths of im- 
mortelles were strewn so thickly that 
the traveler could with difificulty de- 
cipher the inscription it bore when, 
crossing the ** great and wide sea," 
he came to lay a '* sweet wild-flower" 
from Irving's beloved island of Man- 
nahatta upon the grave of his friend 
Charles Dickens. 

Such graves as his are pilgrim-shrines y 
Shrines to no code or creed confined, — 

The Delphian vales, the Palestines, 
The Meccas, of the mind. 

Halleck's lines on Bums. 

This book Bhoiild be roturned to 
the Library on or before the last date 
stamped below, 

A fine of five cents a day is incurred 
by retaining it beyond the apecifled 

Please retnm promptly. 


V^«fiflr LfUfBry 002735633 

2044 086 821