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The Dickens Dictionary.


“As for the olarities of Mr. Dickens, multiplied kindnesses which he has con ferred upon us all, upon our children, upon people educated and uneducated, upon the myriads who speak our common tongue, have not you, have not I, all of us, reason to be thankful to this kind friend, who soothed and charmed so many hours, brought pleasure and sweet laughter to so many homes, made such multitudes of children happy, endowed us with such a sweet store of gracious thoughts, fair fancies, soft sympathies, hearty enjoyments? ... I may quarrel with Mr. Dickens's art a thousand and a thousand times: I delight and wonder at his genius; I recognize in it-I speak with awe and reverence - A commission from that Divine Beneficence, whose blessed task we know it will one day be to wipe every tear from every eye. Thankfully I take my share of the feast of love and kindness which this gentle and generous and charitable soul has contributed to the happiness of the world. I take and enjoy my share, and say a benediction for the meal.” - THACKERAY.

“WERE all his books swept by some intellectual catastrophe out of the world, there would still exist in the world some score, at least, of people, with all whose ways and sayings we are more intimately acquainted than with those of our brothers and sisters, who would owe to him their being. While we live, and while our children live, Sam Weller and Dick Swiveller, Mr. Pecksniff and Mrs. Gamp, the Micawbers and the Squeerses, can never die. ... They are more real than we are ourselves, and will outlive and outlast us as they have outlived their creator. This is the one proof of genius which no critic, not the most carping or dissatisfied, can gainsay." - Blackwood's Mag., vol. cix. p. 605.



On bringing the First Series of All the Year Round" to a close, Mr. Dickens used these words, It is better that every kind of work, honestly undertaken and discharged, should speak for itself than be spoken for.Now, as the general intent of this volume, the manner of its execution, and its usefulness to the rading public, will be sufficiently obvious on even a cursory inspection, they need not be spoken forhere. A few facts, however, crave to be stated by way of explanation and acknowledgment.

The arrangement of the names of characters under each tale is alphabetical; but the order in which the tales themselves are treated is chronological. The latter remark, however, does not apply to the Reprinted Pieces," which are put at the end of the list, as having been originally published in Household Wordsat various dates between the years 1850 and 1856. Nor does it apply to Some Uncollected Pieces," which, though among the earliest of our author's productions, are placed after all the rest, as being little known, and, at present, inaccessible to the majority of readers.

Besides these, a number of other sketches and tales still remain to be gathered from Household Worils,and All the Year Round," and from other sources. To theChristmas numberspublisher in connection with these two periodicals, Mr. Dickens was generally a contributor; and in 1867 he collected and revised, expressly for the "Diamond" edition of his works (issued by the publishers of this volume), " the portions of those numbers" written by him. self; namely, Somebody's Luggage,” “Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgings," " Mrs. Lirriper's Legacy," " Doctor Marigold," Two Ghost Stories,"

," The Boy at Mugby,and The Holly-Tree.He is said to have written the first and third portions ofThe Perils of Certain English Prisoners(1857), and more or less of The Haunted House(1859), "A Message from the Sea(1860), “No Thoroughfare" (1867), &c.; but as he did not see fit to acknowl. edge any share in these composite productions, and as it would be impossible to separate his contributions from those of the other writers associated with him, these stories have been wholly omitted. It is to be noted, however, that although, in the " Diamond" edition, he claimed as his own only those portions of Mugby Functionentitled The Boy at Mugbyand The Signal-Man" (reprinted as the second of Two Ghost Stories"), yet, in the Contents prefixed to this Christmas number of All the Year Round," he put his name as author to two other portions, entitled Barbox Brothers," and Barbox Brothers and Co." These are accordingly included in the present work.

In three or four cases, the extracts from Dickens are taken from his Readings, as Condensed by Himself," and not directly from his novels. In the case of other extracts, omissions and explanatory additions are always carefully indicated.

The summaries of the Principal Incidents in the longer tales have been borrowed (with some slight additions and changes) from the Diamondedition; but, as the original references were to the pages in that edition only, these have been omitted, and chapter references given in their stead. They will be found to furnish an excellent analysis of the tales, and to be exceedingly convenient for reference. A general synopsis of each story may also be readily obtained by reading the account of the principal character » characters figuring in it.

The Illustrations are selected from those designed by Mr. S Eytinge, jun., for the "Library," " Household," and " Diamond

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