Skip to content
Gad’s Hill Place
Higham by Rochester, Kent
Friday Tenth July 1863
I hope you will excuse this tardy reply to your letter. It is often impossible for me by any means to keep pace with my correspondents.
I must take leave to say that if there be any general feeling on the part of the intelligent Jewish people, that I have done them what you describe as “a great wrong”, they are a far less sensible, a far less just, and a far less good tempered people than I have always supposed them to be. Fagin in Oliver Twist is a Jew, because it unfortunately was true of the time to which that story refers, that that class of criminal almost invariably was a Jew. But surely no sensible man or woman of your persuasion can fail to observe – firstly, that all the rest of the wicked dramatis personae are Christians; and secondly, that he is called “ The Jew”, not because of his religion, but because of his race. If I were to write a lie, I should do a very indecent and unjustifiable thing but I make mention of Fagin as the Jew, because he is one of the Jewish people, and because it conveys that kind of idea of him, which I should give my readers of a Chinaman by calling him a Chinese.
The enclosed is quite a nominal subscription towards the good object in which you are interested, but I hope it may serve to shew you that I have no feeling towards the Jewish people but a friendly one. I always speak well of them, whether in public, or in private, and bear my testimony (as I ought to do) to their perfect good faith in such transactions as I ever had with them. And in my “Child’s History of England” I have lost no opportunity of setting forth their cruel persecution in old times.
Office of All the Year Round
A WEEKLY JOURNAL CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS
No. 26 Wellington Street, Strand, London WC
Friday Twenty Fourth July 1863
My Dear Chadwick
I have been on a visit in Hertfordshire,and have therefore not received your kind letter in due course.
It seems to me that it is best to leave the news boys to be addressed by the Cooking Depots, in common with all the other classes of London working people who need them. So far as I know, the news boys’ case is no worse than the general case; and to take it out of the great category, would be in some sort to weaken the Cookery cause. When I was at the Whitechapel Establishment some ten days ago, its Managers had a notion of forming a company to buy St Martin’s Hall (in Long Acre here) for another Cooking Depot. In such a situation it would address the news men, whose exchange is hard by, at a great advantage. And I think they ought to find out the merit of the thing – as I think they will find out the merit of the thing – for themselves.
I hope you will not deem that I misuse your cheque, in cancelling it for the present. I am President of the News Vendors’ Society, and when I find that there is one of these establishments in a central place, I will send for the Secretary, and speak to him as to the expediency of helping to make it known to this particular class. (You are mistaken in supposing that I am going to preside at any meeting of their Society). Then, if I see any hopeful way of advancing the object by spending your guinea, I will reclaim it, and add mine.
Faithfully Yours always
Edwin Chadwick Esquire
Paris. Hotel du Helder, Rue du Helder
Saturday Seventeenth January 1863
My Dear Lord Brougham,
I venture to trouble you with a letter from this place, because I believe you would readily help me in a matter I have at heart, if you could.
Is there any possibility of your influence assisting me to get one of my seven boys into the Registrar’s office in Chancery Lane? He is Jeffrey’s godson, and Francis Jeffrey by name; - a well educated youth between 17 and 18, brought up in England, France, and Germany. Whatever knowledge of legal formalities may be necessary to the proper discharge of such duties, he could, with his previous training, easily acquire.
Forgive my troubling you. I make my letter as short as possible, that your trouble may be the less.
The Faithfully Yours
Lord Brougham Charles Dickens