ALs to Mary Hurnall

Charles Dickens
ALs to Mary Hurnall

Item Info

Item No: cdc301101
Title: ALs to Mary Hurnall
Accession Number: 87-382
Physical Description: [4] pages + envelope
Material: paper

                1 Devonshire Terrace
                                York Gate Regents Park.
                                                July The Twenty First 1841.
Dear Madam.
                I have been in Scotland for some weeks past, and find so many letters to answer on my return, that I am obliged to send a more brief reply to yours than I desire.
                Accept my sincere thanks, both for your note, and the Invitation it contains. I fear it is not likely that it will ever be in my power to accept it in deed, but in spirit I do, and so do Mrs. Dickens and my children – you are right; I have four.
                Be assured that I am not unmindful of my promise, and that if you should come back to London at any time, I shall, please God, make a point of seeing you.
                Your remark – a very natural and proper one – on the blind man in Barnaby, is only another proof to me, among many others which present themselves in various forms every day, of the great disadvantages which attend a detailed and desultory form of publication. My intention in the management of this inferior and subordinate character, was to remind the World who have eyes, that they have no right to expect in sightless men a degree of virtue and goodness to which they, in full possession of all their senses, can lay no claim – that it is a very easy thing for those who misuse every gift of Heaven to consider resignation and cheerfulness the duty of those whom it has deprived of some great blessing – that whereas we look upon a blind man who does wrong, as a kind of monster, we ought in Truth and Justice to remember that a man who has eyes and is a vicious wretch, is by his very abuse of the glorious faculty of sight, an immeasurably greater offender than his afflicted fellow. In a word, I wished to show that the hand of God is at least as manifest in making eyes as in unmaking them, and that we do not sufficiently consider the sorrows of those who walk in darkness on this earth, when we set it up as a rule that they ought to be better than ourselves, and that they are required to be by their calamity. Calamity with us, is made an excuse for doing wrong. With them, it is erected into a reason for their doing right. This is really the justice of rich to poor, and I protest against it because it is so.
                All this you would have seen if you could have had the whole book before your mental vision. As it is, I can only hope to bring my meaning before you by very slow and gradual degrees, and after you have formed a first impression on the subject.
                That it is a real pleasure and delight to me to know that I afford you any consolation or amusement, you may believe with your whole heart. And believe also that I am, Dear Madam with an unaffected interest in your happiness
                                Faithfully Yours
                                Charles Dickens
Mrs. Hurnall.

MssDate: July The Twenty First 1841
Media Type: Letters
Source: Rare Book Department
Recipient: Hurnall, Mary
Provenance: Bequest of William M. Elkins, 8/5/47.


Volume 2, pp. 336-337, The Letters of Charles Dickens, edited by Madeline House & Graham Storey ; associate editors, W.J. Carlton … [et al.].

Country: Creation Place Note:1 Devonshire Terrace York Gate Regents Park

Call Number: DL H941 1841-07-21
Creator Name: Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 - Author