Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/58

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CHAPTER III

NUMBER 48 DOUGHTY STREET, WHERE DICKENS LIVED AND WHERE HE WROTE THE LAST CHAPTERS OF "THE PICKWICK PAPERS"


The fronts, rear elevations, stoops, and area ways of the many homes in which Mr. Dickens had his sojourn would fill any ordinary-sized sketch-book, leaving no room for those that housed his characters: Portsea, where he was born; Chatham; Bayham Street; Lant Street; Furnival's Inn; Chalk; Doughty Street; Devonshire Terrace; Tavistock House; Gad's Hill where he died—their names are legion, to say nothing of the various inns, and the several out-of-the-way places which at different times sheltered him and his family. But I had only room for one of these homes, and so I chose that of No. 48 Doughty Street.

There was no question about its identity. His name was prominently displayed in the middle of the second panel, plain as print, in black letters over the door, or directly on the door itself, I forget which. The brisk young maid said the lady was at home and "Would I please walk into the parlour," which I did.

And a queer old parlour it was; full of everything a queer old parlour should have—a cushiony tall rocker—knitted tidy—haircloth sofa—and plenty of photographs sort of

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