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Charles Dickens, the great English novelist, was born in Landsport, England, in 1812.

He was one of the eight children of Mr. John Dickens, a poorly paid clerk in the navy pay office.

When Charles was nine, the family removed to London where the father soon became bankrupt, and with his family, was imprisoned several


Charles had already given a hint of what his life work was to be, in a little drama which he had written, called "Misnar, the Sultan of India."

He was now, however, set to work in a blacking factory where he pasted labels on bottles, visiting the family in prison on Sundays.

Mr. Dickens having inherited a small legacy was now released and soon obtained employment as a reporter. Charles was sent to school for two years.

He then worked for a brief time in a lawyer's office, but soon left to learn shorthand. At nineteen he became a reporter. He had seen a good deal of London life, for he was a keen observer. He went all over the city, photographing upon his mind the interesting places and scenes.

At the same time he was writing stories signed "Boz." This was a corruption of Moses, a nick

name given to a younger brother of Dickens, on account of his resemblance to Moses, in Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield."

The fame of Boz grew. His stories attracted attention, and it was not long before he was well paid for them. "The Pickwick Papers," "Oliver Twist," and "Nicholas Nickleby" were among his first works.

At twenty-four he married Miss Catharine Hogarth, daughter of a London newspaper writer. Five sons and two daughters were born to them.

Mr. and Mrs. Dickens, in 1842, visited America, where they were warmly welcomed. Indeed, the Americans, not so much used to foreign celebrities as now, almost overdid their welcome. Dickens, alive to the humorous, could not help poking a little fun at them in his next book, "Martin Chuzzlewit." He visited Italy in 1844, remaining one year.

"Little Dorrit," "Dombey and Son," "David Copperfield," and "The Tale of Two Cities" were now given to the public. He also produced a number of poems and an interesting history of England, designed for young people. He was the busy editor, first of a paper called Household Words, and afterwards of All the Year Round. His works first appeared in the papers.

All of his stories were written for some high purpose; all attack some wrong against which he

wished to arouse public feeling. "Oliver Twist" exposes the abuse of the poor-house system. "Nicholas Nickleby" shows the miseries of cheap boarding-schools. "Hard Times" depicts the sufferings of the manufacturing classes.

Dickens made a second visit to America in 1867, giving public readings from his own works in the eastern cities. They were brilliantly successful, but he overtaxed his strength. On returning to England he was obliged to seek the services of a physician.

His famous home known as Gad's Hill is a most beautiful place. When a boy, Dickens longed to own it; at forty-five he purchased the place. It stands on the high road running from London to Dover, half way between Gravesend and Rochester. The road divides the vast estate into two parts.

On one side is the house, with its lawns, pleasure grounds, driveways, and stables. On the other is a wilderness of large, stately elms and sturdy oaks, ivy-covered banks, and beds of mignonette and nasturtiums, threaded by winding woodland walks.

The house, built in 1780, is a two-story, red brick building with a cupola and a quaint porch which has two large bay windows opening into it, and a broad flight of stone steps leading up to it.

The highway is reached from the house by circular carriage-ways leading through massive oak gates at each corner.

For thirteen years Gad's Hill was the scene of a most generous hospitality. Many American guests have been kindly entertained there. Children loved the place and its master, for Dickens was always genial and hearty. The stables and kennels were of great interest to visitors, for Dickens was fond of horses and dogs. His enormous St. Bernard and Newfoundland dogs - Linda, Turk, Sultan, and Bumble -defended his property very efficiently.

On the 8th of June, 1870, Dickens suddenly died at his pleasant home. He had strictly forbidden that any monument should be erected to him, desiring that his books and the memories of his friends should perpetuate his name.

Accordingly, he was buried in the poet's corner of Westminster Abbey, where a plain marble slab, bearing the name of Charles Dickens, marks his resting-place.


"My uncle lay with his eyes half closed, and his nightcap drawn almost down to his nose. His fancy was already wandering, and began to mingle up the present scene with the crater of Vesuvius, the French Opera, the Coliseum at Rome, Dolly's Chop-house in London, and all the farrago of noted places with which the brain of a traveler is crammed; in a word, he was just falling asleep."

Thus, that delightful writer, WASHINGTON IRVING, in his "Tales of a Traveller." But, it happened to me the other night to be lying: not with my eyes half closed, but with

my eyes wide open; not with my nightcap drawn almost down to my nose, for on sanitary principles I never wear a nightcap: but with my hair pitchforked and tozzled all over the pillow; not just falling asleep by any means, but glaringly, persistently, and obstinately, broad awake. Perhaps, with no scientific intention or invention, I was illustrating the theory of the Duality of the Brain; perhaps one part of my brain, being wakeful, sat up to watch the other part which was sleepy. Be that as it may, something in me was as desirous to go to sleep as it possibly could be, but something else in me would not go to sleep, and was as obstinate as George the Third.

Thinking of George the Third-for I devote this paper to my train of thoughts as I lay awake: most people lying awake sometimes, and having some interest in the subjectput me in mind of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, and so Benjamin Franklin's paper on the art of procuring pleasant dreams, which would seem necessarily to include the art of going to sleep, came into my head. Now, as I often used to read that paper when I was a very small boy, and as I recollect everything I read then, as perfectly as I forget everything I read now, I quoted "Get out of bed, beat up and turn your pillow, shake the bed clothes well with at least twenty shakes, then throw the bed open and leave it to cool; in the meanwhile, continuing undressed, walk about your chamber. When you begin to feel the cold air unpleasant, then return to your bed, and you will soon fall asleep, and your sleep will be sweet and pleasant." Not a bit of it! I performed the whole ceremony, and if it were possible for me to be more saucer-eyed than I was before, that was the only result that came of it.

Except Niagara. The two quotations from Washington Irving and Benjamin Franklin may have put it in my head by an American association of ideas; but there I was, and the Horse-shoe Fall was thundering and tumbling in my

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