Friday Evening, Twenty-second May, 1857.
My dear Collins,---Hooray ! ! !
From our lofty heights let us look down on the toiling masses with mild complacency--with gentle pity--with dove-eyed benignity. To-morrow I am bound to Forster; on Sunday to solemn Chief Justice's, in remote fastnesses beyond Norwood; on Monday to Geographical Societies dining to cheer on Lady Franklin's Expedition; on Tuesday to Procter's; on Wednesday, sir--on Wednesday--if the mind can devise anything sufficiently in the style of sybarite Rome in the days of its culminating voluptuousness, I am your man.
Shall we appoint to meet at the Household Words office at 1/2 past 5? I have an appointment with Russell [W. H.] at 3 that afternoon, which may, but which I don't think will, detain me a few minutes after my time. In that unlikely case, will you wait for me at the office?
If you can think of any tremendous way of passing the night, in the mean time, do. I don't care what it is. I give (for that night only) restraint to the Winds!
I am very much excited by what you tell me of Mr, F.'s aunt.* I already look upon her as mine. Will you bring her with you?
Wills tells me that he thinks the principles of Story-writing are scarcely understood in this age and Empire
[* A picture by an artist named Gale, of that character in Little Dorrit, and bought by Charles Dickens through Collins.]
-from the Letters of Charles Dickens to Wilkie Collins edited by Laurence Hutton (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1891) p. 75-77.