Dickens writes to his clock maker:
Since my hall clock was sent to your establishment to be cleaned, it has gone (as indeed it always has) perfectly well, but has struck the hours with great reluctance, and after enduring internal agonies of a most distressing nature, it has now ceased striking altogether. Though a happy release for the clock, this is not convenient for the household. If you can send down any confidential person with whom the clock can confer, I think it may have something in its works that it would be glad to make a clean breast of.
September 14 1863
Even in his business correspondence Dickens reveals his queer imagination, which sees things as people and people as things. Compare the description of Mr Twemlow from Our Mutual Friend:
There was an innocent piece of dinner furniture that went upon easy castors and was kept over a livery stable yard in Duke Street, St James's when not in use...The name of this article was Twemlow.