Charles Dickens

(7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870 / Landport, Portsea)

Charles Dickens Quotes

  • ''A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.''
    Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. A Tale of Two Cities, bk. 1, ch. 3 (1859).
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  • ''Along the Paris streets, the death-carts rumble, hollow and harsh. Six tumbrils carry the day's wine to La Guillotine.''
    Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. A Tale of Two Cities, Part 3, ch. 15 (1859).
  • ''Three meals of thin gruel a day, with an onion twice a week, and half a roll on Saturdays.''
    Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. Oliver Twist, ch. 2, p. 11 (1838).
  • ''There is a passion for hunting something deeply implanted in the human breast.''
    Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. Oliver Twist, ch. 10 (1838). Referring to chasing pickpockets.
  • ''Dignity, and even holiness too, sometimes, are more questions of coat and waistcoat than some people imagine.''
    Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. Oliver Twist, ch. 37, p. 267 (1838).
  • ''It was a good thing to have a couple of thousand people all rigid and frozen together, in the palm of one's hand.''
    Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. Quoted in Fred Kaplan, Dickens: A Biography, ch. 11 (1988). Referring to reading in public.
  • ''A lady of what is commonly called an uncertain temper—a phrase which being interpreted signifies a temper tolerably certain to make everybody more or less uncomfortable.''
    Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. Barnaby Rudge, ch. 7 (1841). Of Martha Varden.
  • ''They are so filthy and bestial that no honest man would admit one into his house for a water-closet doormat.''
    Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. Quoted in Hesketh Pearson, Dickens, ch. 8 (1949). Comment on the U.S. press, March 1842, while on an American tour.
  • ''I am quite serious when I say that I do not believe there are, on the whole earth besides, so many intensified bores as in these United States. No man can form an adequate idea of the real meaning of the word, without coming here.''
    Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. Comment, March 1842, while on an American tour. Quoted in Hesketh Pearson, Dickens, ch. 8 (1949).
  • ''No man ever walked down to posterity with so small a book under his arm.''
    Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. Quoted in Hesketh Pearson, Dickens, ch. 20 (1949). Of poet Thomas Gray.

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Lucy's Song

How beautiful at eventide
To see the twilight shadows pale,
Steal o'er the landscape, far and wide,
O'er stream and meadow, mound and dale!

How soft is Nature's calm repose
When ev'ning skies their cool dews weep:
The gentlest wind more gently blows,
As if to soothe her in her sleep!

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