Chapter 7. Familiar Epistle from a Parent to a Child Aged Two Years and Two Months

by Charles Dickens

In fact, my child, you have changed hands.  Henceforth I resign you to the guardianship and protection of one of my most intimate and valued friends, Mr. Ainsworth, with whom, and with you, my best wishes and warmest feelings will ever remain.  I reap no gain or profit by parting from you, nor will any conveyance of your property be required, for, in this respect, you have always been literally ‘Bentley’s’ Miscellany, and never mine.

Unlike the driver of the old Manchester mail, I regard this altered state of things with feelings of unmingled pleasure and satisfaction.

Unlike the guard of the new Manchester mail, your guard is at home in his new place, and has roystering highwaymen and gallant desperadoes ever within call.  And if I might compare you, my child, to an engine; (not a Tory engine, nor a Whig engine, but a brisk and rapid locomotive;) your friends and patrons to passengers; and he who now stands towards you in loco parentis as the skilful engineer and supervisor of the whole, I would humbly crave leave to postpone the departure of the train on its new and auspicious course for one brief instant, while, with hat in hand, I approach side by side with the friend who travelled with me on the old road, and presume to solicit favour and kindness in behalf of him and his new charge, both for their sakes and that of the old coachman,

Boz

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