[E7] "What is He About?," Spirit of the Times, Feb. 22, 1842

WHAT IS HE ABOUT?—What is the Dickens "up to?" What does he intend to do? Where does he intend to go? We can't answer these oft repeated questions, but we suppose that Charles will be coming south shortly.

Come this way if you please, Mr. Dickens, and you can count upon a warm and hearty reception, but we won't dine, speechify, and fete you, by a good deal.

If extended hands, and warm hearts, are what you seek, we think you will find them here. In no place in this wide Union, have you more admirers than in Philadelphia. In no place will you find fewer worshippers. It was in this city that the best editions of your works were issued from the press of Messrs. Carey and Hart; and it was here that your pictures of Madame Mastaleni, Miss Knogg, and old Ralph Nickleby, were recognized as familiar characters; while the trials of Kate Nickleby, were faithful representations of scenes which occur every day in our city. In nine cases out of ten, however, the sufferings and privations endured in a millinery or mantua making establishment here, terminate in driving the unfortunate girl into the course of profligacy and crime.

We would like to see you here, Mr. Dickens, but we won't "come" the Boston or New York game over you. As Spoons of the N. Y. Sunday Mercury, observes:

'Tis well enough to pay respect

To Genius as it passes;

But folks should not allow themselves

To act like stupid asses;

Come along Mr. Dickens. Come and be treated like a man of intellect, not like the "jack jumper" of a puppet show.