Dickens pp 61-64 | Cite as

Maddest Nonsense and Tragic Depths

  • Thomas Carlyle
  • Jane Welsh Carlyle
Part of the Interviews and Recollections book series (IR)


Jane Welsh Carlyle, to Jeannie Welsh, Dec 1843. …it was the very most agreeable party that ever I was at in London — everybody there seemed animated with one purpose to make up to Mrs. Macready and her children for the absence of ‘The Tragic Actor’, and so amiable a purpose produced the most joyous results. Dickens and Forster above all exerted themselves till the perspiration was pouring down and they seemed drunk with their efforts! Only think of that excellent Dickens playing the conjuror for one whole hour — the best conjuror I ever saw — (and I have paid money to see several) — and Forster acting as his servant. This part of the entertainment concluded with a plum pudding made out of raw flour, raw eggs — all the usual raw ingredients — boiled in a gentleman‘s hat — and tumbled out reeking — all in one minute before the eyes of the astonished children and astonished grow people! That trick-and his other of changing ladies’ pocket handkerchiefs into comfits — and a box full of bran into a box full of-a live guinea-pig! would enable him to make a handsome sub-sistence, let the bookseller trade go as it please — ! Then the dancing… !! Dickens did all but go down on his knees to make me-waltz with him! …


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Carlyle
  • Jane Welsh Carlyle

There are no affiliations available

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