Speeches: Literary and Social, by Charles Dickens

SPEECH: LONDON, MAY 1, 1858.

[The following short speech was made at the Banquet of the Royal Academy, after the health of Mr. Dickens and Mr. Thackeray had been proposed by the President, Sir Charles Eastlake:-]

Following the order of your toast, I have to take the first part in the duet to be performed in acknowledgment of the compliment you have paid to literature. In this home of art I feel it to be too much an interchange of compliments, as it were, between near relations, to enter into any lengthened expression of our thanks for the honour you have done us. I feel that it would be changing this splendid assembly into a sort of family party. I may, however, take leave to say that your sister, whom I represent, is strong and healthy; that she has a very great affection for, and an undying interest in you, and that it is always a very great gratification to her to see herself so well remembered within these walls, and to know that she is an honoured guest at your hospitable board.

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