Gad's Hill Place,
Higham by Rochester, Kent,
Office, Thirteenth March, 1867.
My dear Wilkie,
This from a disconsolate Voyager with the Fenians before him. I should as soon have thought of going to Ireland at this time, out of my own head, as of going to read at--what was its name in those geological periods when you sprained your foot?--Aspatria. But Chappell's head thinks differently.
Glad to hear of our friend Regnier [of the Theatre Francais]. As Carlyle would put it: "A deft and shifty little man, brisk and sudden, of a most ingenious carpentering faculty, and not without constructive qualities of a higher than the Beaver sort. Withal an actor, though of a somewhat hard tone. Think pleasantly of him, O ye children of men !''
Ever UnPatrick-iotically, C. D.
-from the Letters of Charles Dickens to Wilkie Collins edited by Laurence Hutton (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1891) p. 140-41.