Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Birthday Wishes

200 years ago, on February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens opened his eyes onto the world.

As we spend birthdays in our home with relaxation and enjoyment, I'll do the same here. Below is a picture gallery from Dickens' works, along with a few brief quotes:

Mr. McCawber
Every happiness and prosperity! If, in the progress of revolving years, I could persuade myself that my blighted destiny had been a warning to you, I should feel that I had not occupied another man's place altogether in vain. - (David Copperfield, Chapter 12)
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. (Mr. McCawber-David Copperfield)

File:Miss Dorrit and Little Dorrit by Phiz.jpg
Amy and Fanny Dorrit
What [Little Dorrit's] pitiful look saw, at that early time, in her father, in her sister, in her brother, in the jail; how much, or how little of the wretched truth it pleased God to make visible to her; lies hidden with many mysteries. It is enough that she was inspired to be something which was not what the rest were, and to be that something, different and laborious, for the sake of the rest. (Little Dorrit-referring to Amy Dorrit)

Thomas Gradgrind with his children Louisa and Tom
"NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!" (Hard Times)

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. (A Tale of Two Cities)

Pip and Magwitch
"Be ever grateful, boy, to them that brought you up by hand." (Uncle Pumblechook-Great Expectations)

Traddles and I, in conversation with the Misses Spenlow

David Copperfield, Traddles, and the Misses Spenlow
"Accidents will occur in the best-regulated families."
(David Copperfield)

"She dotes on poetry, sir. She adores it; I may say that her whole soul and mind are wound up, and entwined with it. She has produced some delightful pieces, herself, sir. You may have met with her `Ode to an Expiring Frog,' sir." (Pickwick Papers)

"Battledore and shuttlecock's a wery good game, vhen you ain't the shuttlecock and two lawyers the battledores, in which case it gets too excitin' to be pleasant." (Pickwick Papers)

File:Seth Pecksniff 85.jpg
"If ever Mr. Pecksniff wore an apostolic look, he wore it on this memorable day. If ever his unruffled smile proclaimed the words, "I am a messenger of peace!" that was its mission now. If ever man combined within himself all the mild qualities of the lamb with a considerable touch of the dove, and not a dash of the crocodile, or the least possible suggestion of the very mildest seasoning of the serpent, that man was he." (Martin Chuzzlewit, Chapter 4)

He turned a whimsical face and a very merry pair of blue
eyes on Mr. Pinch.
Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/barnard/mc8.html
 Mark Tapley and Tom Pinch
"I'm always thinking that with my good health and spirits it would be more creditable in me to be jolly where there's things a going on to make one dismal. It may be a mistake of mine, you see, but nothing short of trying how it acts, will set it right." (Mark Tapley, Martin Chuzzlewit) 
I could say so much more, following the worthy example of the man who was paid by the word. But I think in this case, I'll leave it as it stands. In celebration of Dickens' birthday, do you have any favorite quotes or characters that you would like to share? I would love to see them!

Lady Bibliophile

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite quotes is Trabb's boy in Great Expectations- "Don't know ya."


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