Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/66

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Mr. Dickens's London residences," says Miss Lang in her "Literary London," "which remains unchanged."

My sketch completed, I opened Mr. Snowdon Ward's delightful "In Real Dickens Land"—I had brought the book with me—and learned that Mr. Dickens moved from his small rooms in Furnival's, where "Pickwick" was begun, to 48 Doughty Street, where the book was finished, in March, 1837; that "at this time Mary Hogarth, his wife's younger sister, and Fred, his own next younger brother, were living with him, for even in the Furnival's Inn days he commenced that open-hearted hospitality, always beginning with the members of his own family, and which throughout his life was one of his great characteristics. It was a gay, happy, enthusiastic household," continues Ward, "working hard, laughing hard, and playing hard; always busy, always restless, and every member enthusiastically bound up in the happiness of all the rest. But a great shock and a great separation were in store for them. On May 7th the whole party had been to some entertainment and returned home in the best of spirits, when, almost as soon as they entered the house, poor Mary Hogarth fell back into Dickens's arms and died almost immediately. The terrible impression made upon him by this loss remained through all his life, and coloured many of his scenes of pathos." Her tombstone bears the simple epitaph written by Dickens—"Young, beautiful, and good, God numbered her among his angels at the early age of seventeen." The shock was so great that for two months the publication of "Pickwick" was interrupted. It was in this house, too, that Dickens's second daughter, Kate Macready, now Mrs. Perugini, was born in 1839. At the close of that