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peared in the Monthly,' and said I should like to make an arrangement with the writer for a continuance of them under my editorship. With that view I asked him the name of the author. It will sound strange in most ears when I state, that a name which has for so many years filled the whole civilized world with its fame was not remembered by Captain Holland. But he added, after expressing his regret that he could not at the moment recollect the real name of 'Boz,' that he had received a letter from him a few days previously, and that if I would meet him at the same time and place next day, he would bring me that letter, because it related to the Sketches' of the writer in the Monthly Magazine.' As Captain Holland knew I was at the time a parliamentary reporter on the 'Morning Chronicle,' then a journal of high literary reputation, and of great political influence, he supplemented his remark by saying that 'Boz' was a parliamentary reporter; on which I observed that I must, in that case, know him, at least by sight, as I was acquainted, in that respect, more or less, with all the reporters in the gallery of the House of Commons.



Captain Holland and I met, according to appointment, on the following day, when he brought me the letter to which he had referred. I then found that the name of the author of 'Sketches by Boz' was Charles Dickens. The letter was written in the most moderate terms. It was simply to the effect that as he (Mr. Dickens) had hitherto given all his contributions those signed 'Boz'- gratuitously, he would be glad if Captain Holland thought his 'Sketches' to be worthy of any small remuneration, as otherwise he would be obliged to discontinue them, because he was going very soon to get married, and therefore would be subjected to more expenses than he was while living alone, which he was during the time, in Furnival's Inn.

"It was not quite clear from Mr. Dickens's letter to Captain Holland, whether he meant he would be glad to receive any small consideration for the series of 'Sketches,' about a dozen in number, which he had furnished to the 'Monthly Magazine' without making any charge, or whether he only

expected to be paid for those he might afterwards send. Neither do I know whether Captain Holland furnished him with any pecuniary expression of his admiration of the 'Sketches by Boz' which had appeared in the 'Monthly.' But immediately on receiving Mr. Dickens's letter, I wrote to him, saying that the editorship of the 'Monthly Magazine' had come into my hands, and that, greatly admiring his 'Sketches' under the signature of 'Boz,' I should be glad if we could come to any arrangement for a continuance of them. I concluded my note by expressing a hope that he would, at his earliest convenience, let me know on what terms per sheet he would be willing to furnish me with similar sketches every month for an indefinite period.


"By return of post I received a letter from Mr. Dickens, to the effect that he had just entered into an arrangement with Messrs. Chapman & Hall to write a monthly serial. He did not name the work, but I found in a few weeks it was none other than the 'Pickwick Papers.' He added, that as this serial would occupy much of his spare time from his duties as a reporter, he could not undertake to furnish me with the proposed sketches for less than eight guineas per sheet, which was at the rate of half a guinea per page.

"I wrote to him in reply that the price was not too much, but that I could not get the proprietor to give the amount, because when the 'Monthly Magazine' came into his hands it was not in the same flourishing state as it once had been. I was myself, at this time, getting ten guineas a sheet from Captain Marryat for writing for his 'Metropolitan Magazine,' which was started by Thomas Campbell and Tom Moore, in opposition to the New Monthly Magazine,' and at the rate of twenty guineas per sheet for my contributions to the 'Penny Cyclopædia.'


"Only imagine," concludes Mr. Grant, with pardonable fervor, “Mr. Dickens offering to furnish me with a continuation, for any length of time which I might have named, of his 'Sketches by Boz' for eight guineas a sheet, whereas in little more than six months from that date he could so great in

the interval had his popularity become have got 100 guineas per sheet of sixteen pages from any of the leading periodicals of the day!"

Dr. Charles Mackay writes: "John Black, of the 'Morning Chronicle,' was always keen to discover young genius, and to help onward in the struggle of life. He very early discovered the talents of Dickens - not only as a reporter, but as a writer." Dr. Mackay was sub-editor of the 'Morning Chronicle' when Dickens was a reporter. He continues: "I have often heard Black speak of him, and predict his future fame. When Dickens had become famous, Black exerted all his influence with Sir John Easthope, principal proprietor of the ‘Chronicle,' to have Dickens engaged as a writer of leading articles. He (Black) had his wish, and Dickens wrote several articles; but he did not seem to take kindly to such work, and did not long continue at it.”

And Mr. Gruneisen writes: "I believe I must add my name to the remaining list of editorial workers who became acquainted with Charles Dickens when he was in the Gallery. I hope my memory is not deceiving me when I claim for Vincent Dowling, once à reporter, and for years the respected editor of 'Bell's Life in London,' the credit of having been the first to discover the genius for sketching characters of Dickens. 'J. G.' may remember that the proprietary of the 'Morning Chronicle,' the ‘Observer,' and 'Bell's Life' was in the hands, if I remember rightly, exclusively of Mr. Perry, and the publication of the several papers was at the Strand office. I have a distinct recollection that Dr. Black's notice of Dickens was based on writings which had been in print prior to his joining the reporting staff of the 'Morning Chronicle.' Dr. Black was always very emphatic in his prognostications of the brilliant future of Charles Dickens. In 1835 the famed novelist was spoken of among his colleagues as a man of mark. The 'Boz' sketches, if not the rage of the general public, had attracted the attention of the literary circles of the day.


'Respecting the marvelous facility of Dickens as a re

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porter, many versions of his note-taking of a speech of the late Lord Derby (when Lord Stanley) have been current, and I had a correspondence with Dickens on the subject only some months since, he promising to give me the accurate record of his stenographic feat when he met me. This promise he fulfilled the last time, alas! I ever saw him alive, at the anniversary dinner of the Newsvenders' Benevolent Institution, when he took the chair in Freemasons' Hall the last banquet at which he presided. It was in consequence of a reporter having broken down for the 'Mirror of Parliament' that the late Lord Derby, after complimenting Dickens for his report in the Chronicle,' dictated to him his speech the Mirror,' as you are aware, giving in those days verbatim reports."



When Charles Dickens first become acquainted with Mr. Vincent Dowling, editor of "Bell's Life” · or Sleepless Life,” as he facetiously termed it, from its Latin heading, "Nunquam Dormio" (" wide awake")- he would generally stop at Old Tom Goodwin's oyster and refreshment rooms, opposite the office, in the Strand. On one occasion, Mr. Dowling, not knowing who had called, desired that the gentleman would leave his name, to be sent over to the office, whereupon young Dickens wrote:



In search of a Subject.

Some recent cases of body-snatching had then made the matter a general topic for public discussion, and Goodwin pasted up the strange address-card for the amusement of the medical students who patronized his oysters. It was still upon his wall when "Pickwick" had made Dickens famous, and the old man was never tired of pointing it out to those whom he was pleased to call his "bivalve demolishers!"

We may just mention that it was Dowling who rushed down from the reporters' gallery and seized Bellingham, after his assassination of Spencer Perceval.


Mr. James Grant has favored us with some personal recollections of the fortune which attended the first publication of "Pickwick":

"In connection with the rapidity of Mr. Dickens's rise, and the heights to which he soared in the regions of literature, I may mention a few facts which have not before found their way into print. The terms on which he concluded an arrangement with Messrs. Chapman & Hall for the publication of the 'Pickwick Papers' were fifteen guineas for each number, the number consisting of two sheets, or thirty-two pages. That was a rather smaller sum than that at which he offered, just at the same time, to contribute to the Monthly Magazine,' then under my editorship.

"For the first five months of its existence Mr. Dickens's first serial, the 'Pickwick Papers,' was a signal failure, and notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Charles Tilt, at that time a publisher of considerable eminence, made extraordinary exertions, out of friendship for Messrs. Chapman & Hall, to insure its success. He sent out, on what is called sale or return, to all parts of the provinces, no fewer than fifteen hundred copies of each of the first five numbers. This gave the 'Pickwick Papers' a very extensive publicity, yet Mr. Tilt's only result was an average sale of about fifty copies of each of the five parts. A certain number of copies sold, of course, through other channels, but commercially the publication was a decided failure. Two months before this Mr. Seymour, the artist, died suddenly, but left sketches for two parts more, and the question was then debated by the publishers whether they ought not to discontinue the publication of the serial. But just while the matter was under their consideration, Sam Weller, who had been introduced in the previous number,

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