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which several generations of children havo heartily enjoyed for its
stories without bestowing athought
on Its philosophy, was bom in Well-close Square in IMS. . .
His father held a place in the Custom House, and left him a fortune of f 1^00 a year. He was educated at the Charterhouse and Oxford, and spent some time in France, wbere he received the new philosophy of education. .
Having resolved on marriage, he determined that his wife should lie modelled in accordance with the new light.
He therefore wont to an orphan asylum at Shrewsbury and picked out a flaxen-haired girl of twelve, whom he named Sabrina Sidney, after the Severn and Algernon Bldnev, and then to the Foundling Hospital in London, where he selected a second, whom he called Lncretim. .
In taking these girls he gave a written pledge that wlthlu a year he would place one of them with a respectable tradesman, glylng 4100 to bind her apprentice, and that lie. should maintain her If she should turn ont well nntll she married or commenced business, in cither of which cases he would advance #00.
With Babrlna and Lucrctia he set o@ for Prance,in order that in quiet be might discover mnd discipline their characters. He, however, qunrrelled with the girls.
Next day they took smallpox, and he had to nurse them night and day, and by-and-by he iVas glad to return to London and get Lucrctia off his hands by apprenticing her to a milliner on Ludgate Hill. She be-baved well, and on her marriage to a substantial linendraper, Day cheerfully produced his promised dowry of #03.
Poor Babrlna conld by no means qualify for Mr. Day. Against the sense of pain and danger no discipline could fortify her. When Day dropped melting sealing-wax on her arms, she flinched, and when he Bred pistols at her garments, she stArtcd and screamed. When ho cold her secrets, she divulged them. „
He packed her off to an ordinary boarding school, kept her there for three years, allowed her j&O a year, gave her 4500 on her marriage to a barrister, and when she became a widow, with two boys,he pensioned her with jE80 a year. . _
In 1788 he marned Miss Milnes. of WakcBeld. a lady whose opinions coincided with Ills own.
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O writer ever lived whose method was more exact, whose industry was more constant, and whose punctuality was more marked, than those of Chirlcs
^He^iever shirked labour, mental or bodily. He rarely declined, if the object were a good one, iaking the chair at a public meeting, or accepting a charitable trust. Many widows and orphans of deceased literary men have been benefited by his wise trusteeship or counsel, and he spent a great portion of his time personally looking after the property of the poor whose Interests were under his control.
Els studies were all from nature and life, and his habits of observation were untiring. If he contemplated writing " Hard Times," he arranged with the master of Astley s circus to spend many hours behind the scenes with the riders and among the horses; and if the composition of the -Tale of Two Cities" were occupying his thonghts, he could go to France for two years to prepare for that great work.
Hogarth pencilled on his thumb-nail a striking fhee in a crowd that he wished to preserve; Dickens with his transcendent memory chronicled in his mind whatever of interest met his eye or reached his ear, any time or anywhere.
Speaking of memory one day, he said the memory of Children was prodigious; it was a mistake to fancy children over forgot anything. When he was delineating the character of Mrs. Pipchin, he had in his mind an old lodging-house keeper in an English watering place where he was living with his father and mother when he was but two years old.
After the book was written he sent it to his sister, who wrote back at once: " Good heavens I what does this mean ? you have painted our lodging-house keeper, and you were but two years old at that time!" . ^ ., . , . ,.
Characters and incidents crowded the chambers of his brain all ready for use when occasion required. No subject of human interest was ever indifferent to him, and never a day went by that did not afford him some suggestion to be utilised in the future. ...
His favourite mode of exorcise was walking; and when in health, scarcely a day passed, no matter what the weather, that he did not accomplish his eight or ten miles. It was on these expeditions that he liked to recount to the companion of his rambles stories and incidents of his early life; and when ho was in the mood, his fun and humour knew no
^Bbwonld then frequently discuss the numerous characters in his delightful books, and would act out, on the road, dramatic situations, where Nlckleby or CopperOeld or Bwiveller would play distinguished parts. , , . n
In answer one day to a question, prompted by psychological curiosity, if he ever dreamed of any of his characters, his reply was, "Never; and I am convinced that no writer (iudMn* from my own experience, which cannot be altogether sincnlar, but must be a type of the experience of others) has ever dreamed of the creatures of his own imagination. It would," he went on to say, " be like a man's dreaming of meeting himself, which Is clearly an impossibility. Things exterior to one's self must always be the basis of dreams.'
The "rowing up of diameters in his mind never lost for him asenseof the marvellous. " What an unfathomable mystery there is in it all I" he said one day. Taking up a wineglass, lie continued: " Suppose I choose to call this a character, fancy it a man, endue it with certain qualities, and soon the One, filmy webs of thought, almost impalpable, coming from every direction, we know nob whence, spin and weave about it, until it assumes form and beauty, and becomes instinct with
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