The pages of this little book were in type and about to be sent for correction to my sister--who had been for some months in very delicate health--when she suddenly became still more gravely ill. The hand which had traced the words of love and veneration dedicated to our father's memory grew too feeble to hold a pen, and before the proofs of her little volume could be submitted to her for revision, my dear sister died.
Seeing "Gad's Hill" as a child.--His domestic side and home love.--His love of children.--His neatness and punctuality.--At the table, and as host.--The original of "Little Nell."
Buying Christmas presents.--In the dance.--The merriest of them all.--As a conjurer.--Christmas at "Gad's Hill."--Our Christmas dinners.--A New Year's Eve frolic.--New Year on the Green.--Twelfth Night festivities.
My father at his work.--Rooms in which he wrote.--Love for his child characters.--Genius for character drawing.--Nicholas Nickleby.--His writing hours.--His only amanuensis.--"Pickwick" and "Boz."--Death of Mr. Thackeray.
Fondness for Athletic Sports.--His love of bathing.--His study of the raven.--Calling the doctor in.--My father with our dogs.--The cats of "Gad's Hill."--"Bumble" and "Mrs. Bouncer."--A strange friendship.
Interest in London birds.--Our pet bird "Dick."--Devotion of his dogs.--Decision to visit America.--His arrival in New York.--Comments on American courtesies.--Farewell public appearances.
Last words spoken in public.--A railroad accident in 1865.--At home after his American visit.--"Improvements" at "Gad's Hill."--At "Gad's Hill" once more.--The closing day of his life.--Burial at Westminster.