Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/189

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office; … have got workmen in; have ordered the paper; settled with the printer; and am getting an immense system of advertising ready. Blow to be struck on the 12th of March!"

Whether the room behind the window-panes seen in my sketch still boasts the wall-paper which the great author selected when he first moved in (it certainly must have been "wall-paper" not printing paper that was ordered in connection with the workmen) I do not know. Nor did I think it best, as the Great Head had suggested, to thrust myself and my curiosity upon Miss Dickens, the lives of distinguished descendants of distinguished people being too often made miserable by the Paul Prys of this earth. What mattered it, anyway, when the grime and soot and stain of the years are still to be seen both on the rounded nose of the old building in which her grandfather had corrected his proofs and on the measly row of houses on which Dickens looked and in one of which she herself—God bless her!—is to-day earning her living.