The Life of Charles Dickens, and Favorite Stories

The Life of Charles Dickens, and Favorite Stories

The Life of Charles Dickens, and Favorite Stories

The Life of Charles Dickens, and Favorite Stories

Excerpt

But the hardships, deprivations and sufferings of his childhood had not been in vain. Later they were to furnish him with first-hand material for the greatest novels mortal man ever penned. If one would see into the heart and soul and mind of Charles Dickens as a child, he has only to turn to the immortal pages of David Copperfield .

CHAPTER II
THE CHILD GROWS UP

THE duties of the clerkship which young Dickens now held resembled those of a modern office boy, rather than those of the articled clerk who looks to the law for a career, and who pays his employer for legal training. But simple as his duties were, his employer, Mr. Edward Blackmore, called him "a clever youth," and was quick to acknowledge that the boy was industrious and did his work well.

The situation was a fortunate one for Charles in more ways than one. He had advanced his earnings to thirty shillings a week. He now had a real home to return to at night, and leisure for such amusements as appealed to him, as well as spending money. He felt that at last he was getting on in the world--a fact which made him both happy and proud.

It was also in the office of Mr. Edward Blackmore that Dickens gained that deep contempt for legal chicanery, and his bitter hatred of the tyranny and injustice of the law, which he was to exhibit in a number of his future books. Here, as in all his adventures with life, he was accumulating material for stories destined to bring him fame and fortune as the greatest novelist of his time.

During the two years he spent in the attorney's office, Dickens took advantage of every opportunity to gratify his unconquerable love of theatricals. Keenly aware of his own histrionic ability, the conviction was growing in him that the one thing he wanted above everything else was to achieve greatness as an actor.

This lofty ambition was encouraged by a fellow-clerk, Potter . . .

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