"Christmas stories" by Charles Dickens

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As usual as Christmas the extra member of Household of Words contains a story, the greater part of which is writing by Charles Dickens, but which on this occasions less a festive tribute to the season that a celebration of the great qualities displayed by our race in recent emergences, Crimean and Indian. The reader may, indeed, object to this description that there is no mention of India or the Crimea in its pages, that its scenery belongs to fable land, and that its characters and incidents are purely imaginary. But the moral elements are the same in either case, in his events and the ideal narrative, and there is so far and identity in both series of transcriptions that the novelist may be charged with a public function and convicted of a patriotic interest in political crisis.

In the prevalent spent of criticism we have little doubt that Charles Dickens will be sat on his trill for this great irregularity. It may be argued that The Perils of Certain English Prisoners and the treasure in women, children, silver and jewels are a sort of professional or preoccupied ground, and that the novelist has no title to seek in public transactions which are passing under his eyes materials for his idealization, or to furnish romantic types of the actual achievements which his well ascribe to the heroism of the countryman and contemporaries. His readers on the other hand, may reply to this objection that its clearly symptomatic of a growing tendency to extend patterned rights over the residue of creation, and so may evince their sympathy with the trespasser.

At all events, his offence has its phrase of utility, and is not insignificant as a part of the dispensation by which national virtues are kept alight, and their splendor lives in familiar .

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