Will Fern carrying Lilian
7.9 x 3.7 cm. vignetted
Dickens's The Chimes, The Pears' Centenary Edition, vol. 2, page 66.
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Toby discharged himself of his commission, therefore, with all possible speed, and set off trotting homeward. But what with his pace, which was at best an awkward one in the street; and what with his hat, which didn't improve it; he trotted against somebody in less than no time, and was sent staggering out into the road.
"I beg your pardon, I'm sure!" said Trotty, pulling up his hat in great confusion, and between the hat and the torn lining, fixing his head into a kind of bee-hive. "I hope I haven't hurt you."
As to hurting anybody, Toby was not such an absolute Samson, but that he was much more likely to be hurt himself: and indeed, he had flown out into the road, like a shuttlecock. He had such an opinion of his own strength, however, that he was in real concern for the other party: and said again,
"I hope I haven't hurt you?"
The man against whom he had run; a sun-browned, sinewy, country-looking man, with grizzled hair, and a rough chin; stared at him for a moment, as if he suspected him to be in jest. But, satisfied of his good faith, he answered:
"No, friend. You have not hurt me."
"Nor the child, I hope?" said Trotty.
"Nor the child," returned the man. "I thank you kindly."
As he said so, he glanced at a little girl he carried in his arms, asleep: and shading her face with the long end of the poor handkerchief he wore about his throat, went slowly on.
The tone in which he said "I thank you kindly," penetrated Trotty's heart. He was so jaded and foot-sore, and so soiled with travel, and looked about him so forlorn and strange, that it was a comfort to him to be able to thank any one: no matter for how little. Toby stood gazing after him as he plodded wearily away, with the child's arm clinging round his neck.
At the figure in the worn shoes — now the very shade and ghost of shoes — rough leather leggings, common frock, and broad slouched hat, Trotty stood gazing, blind to the whole street. And at the child's arm, clinging round its neck.
Before he merged into the darkness the traveller stopped; and looking round, and seeing Trotty standing there yet, seemed undecided whether to return or go on. After doing first the one and then the other, he came back, and Trotty went half-way to meet him.
["Second Quarter," p. 66-67, 1912 edition]
The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang An Old Year Out and a New Year In (1844) provides no equivalent for this illustration of Will Fern's wandering the streets of the metropolis, looking for an old family friend. However, Daniel Maclise's picture of Will and Lilian as Trotty's guest in his modest accommodation, Trotty at Home ("Second Quarter," p. 49) in the original sequence depicts a rather more brawny countryman with long sideburns; Maclise gives him the same sort of linen smock-frock worn by rural labourers, but provides him with breeches and shoes rather than boots. The child, Lilian, appears in Trotty's Dream by Harry Furniss (1910), but her uncle, the radical, Will Fern, does not, whereas in the original sequence he appears once again, a diminutive figure in the picturesque Will Fern's Cottage. His most significant appearance in any other the previous series occurs in Fred Barnard's "Whither thou goest, I can Not go; where thou lodgest, I do Not lodge; thy people are Not my people; Nor thy God my God!" in which, in Trotty's dream-vision, a haggard Will Fern, but recently released from prison, denounces Sir Joseph Bowley and his dinner guests as callous, unfeeling aristocrats who do not care about the welfare of the workers whose labouring in the fields has made these aristocrats rich and powerful for generations. There is no hint of the rebel in Green's small-scale lithograph.
Illustrations from the first edition (1844), the British Household Edition (1878), and the Charles Dickens Library Edition (1910)
Left: Daniel Maclise's scene of Trotty entertaining the two travellers from Dorset, Trotty at Home. Right: Harry Furniss's study of Trotty's dreaming a happy ending for his daughter, Trotty's Dream [Click on images to enlarge them.]
Above: Fred Barnard's 1878 wood-engraving of Will's denouncing Sir Joseph and his guests, "Whither thou goest, I can Not go; where thou lodgest, I do Not lodge; thy people are Not my people; Nor thy God my God!" [Click on images to enlarge them.]
Dickens, Charles. The Chimes. Introduction by Clement Shorter. Illustrated by Charles Green. The Pears' Centenary Edition. London: A & F Pears, [?1912].
Dickens, Charles. The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang An Old Year Out and a New Year In. Illustrated by John Leech, Richard Doyle, Clarkson Stanfield, and Daniel Maclise. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1844.
Dickens, Charles. The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang An Old Year Out and a New Year In. Illustrated by John Leech, Richard Doyle, Clarkson Stanfield, and Daniel Maclise. (1844). Rpt. in Charles Dickens's Christmas Books, ed. Michael Slater. Hardmondsworth: Penguin, 1971, rpt. 1978. Pp. 137-252.
Dickens, Charles. Christmas Books. Illustrated by Fred Barnard. The Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1878.
Dickens, Charles. Christmas Books. Illustrated byHarry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book, 1910.
_____. Christmas Stories. Illustrated by E. A. Abbey. The Household Edition. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1876.
Created 5 May 2015