Page:Works of Charles Dickens, ed. Lang - Volume 1.djvu/26

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xvi
PREFACE.

That, Mr. Seymour never originated or suggested an incident, a phrase, or a word, to be found in this book. That, Mr. Seymour died when only twenty-four pages of this book were published, and when assuredly not forty-eight were written. That, I believe I never saw Mr. Seymour's hand-writing in my life. That, I never saw Mr. Seymour but once in my life, and that was on the night but one before his death, when he certainly offered no suggestion whatsoever. That I saw him then in the presence of two persons, both living, perfectly acquainted with all these facts, and whose written testimony to them I possess. Lastly, that Mr. Edward Chapman (the survivor of the original firm of Chapman and Hall) has set down in writing, for similar preservation, his personal knowledge of the origin and progress of this book, of the monstrosity of the baseless assertions in question, and (tested by details) even of the self-evident impossibility of there being any truth in them. In the exercise of the forbearance on which I have resolved, I do hot quote Mr. Edward Chapman's account of his deceased partner's reception, on a certain occasion, of the pretences in question.

"Boz," my signature in the Morning Chronicle, and in the Old Monthly Magazine, appended to the monthly cover of this book, and retained long afterwards, was the nickname of a pet child, a younger brother, whom I had dubbed Moses, in honour of the Vicar of Wakefield; which being facetiously pronounced through the nose, became Boses, and being shortened, became Boz. Boz was a very familiar household word to me, long before I was an author, and so I came to adopt it.

It has been observed of Mr. Pickwick, that there is a decided change in his character, as these pages proceed, and