In testimony of the sense entertained by the Magistrates and Council of his distinguished abilities as an author.
"I never have forgotten and I never can forget that I have the honour to be a burgess and gild-brother of the Corporation of Edinburgh. As long as sixteen or seventeen years ago, the first great public recognition and encouragement I ever received was bestowed on me in this generous and magnificent city - in this city so distinguished in literature and so distinguished in the arts. You will readily believe that I have carried into the various countries I have since traversed, and through all my subsequent career, the proud and affectionate remembrance of the eventful epoch in my life; and that coming back to Edinburgh is to me like coming home."
(Taken from a speech in acknowledgment of the presentation of a silver wassail cup by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, when Dickens read his "Christmas Carol" to the Philosophical Institution, in the Music Hall, 1858.)
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