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30+ quotes from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens by Charles Dickens

Quotes from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens ·  0 pages

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“G. K. Chesterton wrote in Charles Dickens, that The Pickwick Papers was neither a good novel nor a bad novel but in fact ‘not a novel at all.’ He believed it was “something nobler than a novel”. Certainly it was never conceived as a novel but merely as the letterpress to accompany the “cockney sporting plates”. Unfortunately Robert Seymour committed suicide after the first two instalments so the third one was undertaken by Robert Buss whose work Dickens did not like and consequently the task fell to Hablot Knight Browne, who took the name “Phiz” and continued an artistic relationship with Dickens, illustrating many of his novels.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“From the outset Dickens seemed to take charge even though he was younger than Seymour and less well known. His narrative input seemed to drive the content of the comic plates, which eventually led to the story becoming the main point of interest and with the death of Seymour the plates were reduced to two an instalment whereas the text increased to 16,000 words. Dickens succeeded where his predecessors had failed, making the print more important than the illustration.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“The rich mould of dead men’s graves. Creeping where grim death has been, A rare old plant is the Ivy green. Whole ages have fled and their works decayed, And nations have scattered been; But the stout old Ivy shall never fade, From its hale and hearty green. The brave old plant in its lonely days, Shall fatten upon the past; For the stateliest building man can raise, Is the Ivy’s food at last. Creeping on where time has been, A rare old plant is the Ivy green.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“What are the fifty newspapers, which those precocious urchins are bawling down the street, and which are kept filed within, what are they but amusements? Not vapid, waterish amusements, but good strong stuff; dealing in round abuse and blackguard names; pulling off the roofs of private houses, as the Halting Devil did in Spain; pimping and pandering for all degrees of vicious taste, and gorging with coined lies the most voracious maw; imputing to every man in public life the coarsest and the vilest motives; scaring away from the stabbed and prostrate body-politic, every Samaritan of clear conscience and good deeds; and setting on, with yell and whistle and the clapping of foul hands, the vilest vermin and worst birds of prey.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“Quiet people avoid the question of the Presidency, for there will be a new election in three years and a half, and party feeling runs very high: the great constitutional feature of this institution being, that directly the acrimony of the last election is over, the acrimony of the next one begins;”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“But there are many kinds of hunters engaged in the Pursuit of Happiness, and they go variously armed. It is the Inalienable Right of some among them, to take the field after THEIR Happiness equipped with cat and cartwhip, stocks, and iron collar, and to shout their view halloa! (always in praise of Liberty) to the music of clanking chains and bloody stripes.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“Why, I don’t exactly know about that,’ replied Bob Sawyer. ‘I am—’ ‘Not buff, Mr. Pickwick,’ interrupted Pott, drawing back his chair, ‘your friend is not buff, sir?’ ‘No, no,’ rejoined Bob, ‘I’m a kind of plaid at present; a compound of all sorts of colours.’ ‘A waverer,’ said Pott solemnly, ‘a waverer. I should like to show you a series of eight articles, Sir, that have appeared in the Eatanswill Gazette. I think I may venture to say that you would not be long in establishing your opinions on a firm and solid blue basis, sir.’ ‘I dare say I should turn very blue, long before I got to the end of them,’ responded Bob.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“as the most stupendous objects in nature are but vast collections of minute particles, so the slightest and least considered trifles make up the sum of human happiness or misery.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“there is a natural propriety in the companionship: always to be noted in confidence between a child and a person who has any merit of reality and genuineness: which is admirably pleasant.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“full well knowing that, whatever little motes my beamy eyes may have descried in theirs, they belong to a kind, generous, large-hearted, and great people.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“If ever you’re attacked with the gout, sir, jist you marry a widder as has got a good loud woice, with a decent notion of usin’ it, and you’ll never have the gout agin. It’s a capital prescription, sir. I takes it reg’lar, and I can warrant it to drive away any illness as is caused by too much jollity.’ Having imparted this valuable secret, Mr. Weller drained his glass once more, produced a laboured wink, sighed deeply, and slowly retired.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“domino, and mixes with the masquers.' 'And”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“Count,’ said Mrs. Leo Hunter. ‘Mrs. Hunt,’ replied the count. ‘This is Mr. Snodgrass, a friend of Mr. Pickwick’s, and a poet.’ ‘Stop,’ exclaimed the count, bringing out the tablets once more. ‘Head, potry — chapter, literary friends — name, Snowgrass; ver good. Introduced to Snowgrass — great poet, friend of Peek Weeks — by Mrs. Hunt, which wrote other sweet poem — what is that name? — Fog — Perspiring Fog — ver good — ver good indeed.’ And the count put up his tablets, and with sundry bows and acknowledgments walked away, thoroughly satisfied that he had made the most important and valuable additions to his stock of information. ‘Wonderful man, Count Smorltork,’ said Mrs. Leo Hunter. ‘Sound philosopher,’ said Mr. Pott. ‘Clear-headed, strong-minded person,’ added Mr. Snodgrass.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“I stood upon a chair when I was left alone, and looked into the glass to see how red my eyes were, and how sorrowful my face. I considered, after some hours were gone, if my tears were really hard to flow now, as they seemed to be, what, in connection with my loss, it would affect me most to think of when I drew near home — for I was going home to the funeral. I am sensible of having felt that a dignity attached to me among the rest of the boys, and that I was important in my affliction. If ever child were stricken with sincere grief, I was. But I remember that this importance was a kind of satisfaction to me, when I walked in the playground that afternoon while the boys were in school. When I saw them glancing at me out of the windows, as they went up to their classes, I felt distinguished, and looked more melancholy, and walked slower.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“The wind is rushing after us, and the clouds are flying after us, and the moon is plunging after us, and the whole wild night is in pursuit of us; but, so far, we are pursued by nothing else.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“If they examined their own hearts, they would, perhaps, find at the bottom of all this, more self-love and egotism than they think of.  Self-love and egotism are bad qualities, of which the unrestrained exhibition, though it may be sometimes amusing, never fails to be wearisome and unpleasant.  Couples”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“Contemplating the scene?’ inquired the dismal man. ‘I was,’ said Mr. Pickwick. ‘And congratulating yourself on being up so soon?’ Mr. Pickwick nodded assent. ‘Ah! people need to rise early, to see the sun in all his splendour, for his brightness seldom lasts the day through. The morning of day and the morning of life are but too much alike.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“The sands are the children’s great resort. They cluster there, like ants: so busy burying their particular friends, and making castles with infinite labour which the next tide overthrows, that it is curious to consider how their play, to the music of the sea, foreshadows the realities of their after lives.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“My loneliness since then, in all this noise and riot, has been very dreadful. May God forgive me! He has seen my solitary, lingering death.’ He folded his hands, and murmuring something more they could not hear, fell into a sleep — only a sleep at first, for they saw him smile. They whispered together for a little time, and the turnkey, stooping over the pillow, drew hastily back. ‘He has got his discharge, by G — !’ said the man. He had. But he had grown so like death in life, that they knew not when he died.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“An ugly woman, very poorly clothed, hurried in while I was glancing at them, and coming straight up to the mother, said, “Jenny! Jenny!” The mother rose on being so addressed and fell upon the woman’s neck. She also had upon her face and arms the marks of ill usage. She had no kind of grace about her, but the grace of sympathy; but when she condoled with the woman, and her own tears fell, she wanted no beauty. I say condoled, but her only words were “Jenny! Jenny!” All the rest was in the tone in which she said them. I thought it very touching to see these two women, coarse and shabby and beaten, so united; to see what they could be to one another; to see how they felt for one another, how the heart of each to each was softened by the hard trials of their lives. I think the best side of such people is almost hidden from us. What the poor are to the poor is little known, excepting to themselves and God.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“Because,” said Scrooge, “a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“Now general benevolence was one of the leading features of the Pickwickian theory, and no one was more remarkable for the zealous manner in which he observed so noble a principle than Mr. Tracy Tupman. The number of instances recorded on the Transactions of the Society, in which that excellent man referred objects of charity to the houses of other members for left-off garments or pecuniary relief is almost incredible. ‘I should be very happy to lend you a change of apparel for the purpose,’ said Mr. Tracy Tupman, ‘but you are rather slim, and I am—’ ‘Rather fat — grown-up Bacchus — cut the leaves — dismounted from the tub, and adopted kersey, eh? — not double distilled, but double milled — ha! ha! pass the wine.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“He was very obliging, and as he handed me into a fly after superintending the removal of my boxes, I asked him whether there was a great fire anywhere? For the streets were so full of dense brown smoke that scarcely anything was to be seen. “Oh, dear no, miss,” he said. “This is a London particular.” I had never heard of such a thing.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“Wherever religion is resorted to, as a strong drink, and as an escape from the dull monotonous round of home, those of its ministers who pepper the highest will be the surest to please. They who strew the Eternal Path with the greatest amount of brimstone, and who most ruthlessly tread down the flowers and leaves that grow by the wayside, will be voted the most righteous; and they who enlarge with the greatest pertinacity on the difficulty of getting into heaven, will be considered by all true believers certain of going there: though it would be hard to say by what process of reasoning this conclusion is arrived at.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“My poor girl, you have not been very well taught how to make a home for your husband, but unless you mean with all your heart to strive to do it, you had better murder him than marry him — if you really love him.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“Other men’s fathers may have died of the rheumatism or may have taken base contagion from the tainted blood of the sick vulgar, but the Dedlock family have communicated something exclusive even to the levelling process of dying by dying of their own family gout. It has come down through the illustrious line like the plate, or the pictures, or the place in Lincolnshire. It is among their dignities. Sir Leicester is perhaps not wholly without an impression, though he has never resolved it into words, that the angel of death in the discharge of his necessary duties may observe to the shades of the aristocracy, “My lords and gentlemen, I have the honour to present to you another Dedlock certified to have arrived per the family gout.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“Somethin’ to this here effect. “Veller,” she says, “I’m afeered I’ve not done by you quite wot I ought to have done; you’re a wery kind-hearted man, and I might ha’ made your home more comfortabler. I begin to see now,” she says, “ven it’s too late, that if a married ‘ooman vishes to be religious, she should begin vith dischargin’ her dooties at home, and makin’ them as is about her cheerful and happy, and that vile she goes to church, or chapel, or wot not, at all proper times, she should be wery careful not to con-wert this sort o’ thing into a excuse for idleness or self-indulgence.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“As to the beef, it’s shameful. It’s not beef. Regular beef isn’t veins. You can chew regular beef. Besides which, there’s gravy to regular beef, and you never see a drop to ours.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“Once a subscription was raised for him; and, to keep up his spirits, he was presented before the holidays with two white mice, a rabbit, a pigeon, and a beautiful puppy. Old Cheeseman cried about it — especially soon afterwards, when they all ate one another.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


“Well! It was only their love for me, I know very well, and it is a long time ago. I must write it even if I rub it out again, because it gives me so much pleasure. They said there could be no east wind where Somebody was; they said that wherever Dame Durden went, there was sunshine and summer air.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from The Complete Works of Charles Dickens


About the author

Charles Dickens
Born place: in Portsmouth, England
Born date February 7, 1812
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