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Artists' Edition

THE

COMPLETE WORKS

OF

CHARLES DICKENS

(IN SIXTEEN VOLUMES)

_V.7

WITH PHOTOGRAVURE AND HALF TONE ILLUSTRATIONS
FROM ORIGINAL Designs BY F. BARNARD

AND OTHERS


DOMBEY AND SON

*

PHILADELPHIA

THE GEBBIE PUBLISHING CO., LTD.

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PREFACE.

I MAKE so bold as to believe that the faculty (or the habit) of correctly observing the characters of men, is a rare one. I have not even found, within my experience, that the faculty (or the habit) of correctly observing so much as the faces of men, is a general one by any means. The two commonest mistakes in judgment that I suppose to arise from the former default, are, the confounding of shyness with arrogance—a very common mistake indeed--and the not understanding that an obstinate nature exists in a perpetual struggle with itself.

Mr. Dombey undergoes no violent change, either in this book, or in real life. A sense of his injustice is within him, all along. The more he represses it, the more unjust he necessarily is. Internal shame and external circumstances may bring the contest to a close in a week, or a day; but, it has been a contest for years, and is only fought out after a long balance of victory.

I began this book by the Lake of Geneva, and went on with it for some months in France, before pursuing it in England. The association between the writing and the place of writing is so curiously strong in my mind, that at this day, although I know, in my fancy, every stair in the little midshipman's house, and could swear to every pew in the church in which Florence was married, or to every young gentleman's bedstead in Doctor Blimber's establishment, I yet confusedly imagine Captain Cuttle as secluding himself from Mrs. MacStinger among the mountains of Switzerland. Similarly, when I am

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