Sunday, August 29, 2010


We are so very 'umble.
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!
Great men are seldom over-scrupulous in the arrangement of their attire.

It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes, and softens down the temper; so cry away.

(Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. Mr. Bumble, in Oliver Twist, ch. 37 (1837-1839). Mr. Bumble, speaking to Mrs. Bumble, was "pleased and exalted" by tears: "Like washable beaver hats that improve with rain, his nerves were rendered stouter and more vigorous by showers of tears."
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 evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

(Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British novelist. A Tale of Two Cities, ch. 1, p. 1, "The Period," (1859). The famous opening sentence of A Tale of Two Cities, of which only the first phrase is usually cited.) )
Please, sir, I want some more.

Pale and pinched-up faces hovered about the windows where was tempting food; hungry eyes wandered over the profusion guarded by one thin sheet of brittle glass—an iron wall to them; half-naked shivering figures stopped to gaze at Chinese shawls and golden stuffs of India.

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.
... one of those fortunate men who, if they were to dive under one side of a barge stark-naked, would come up on the other with a new suit of clothes on, and a ticket for soup in the waistcoat-pocket.
The civility which money will purchase, is rarely extended to those who have none.
It is a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations.
To be shelterless and alone in the open country, hearing the wind moan and watching for day through the whole long weary night; to listen to the falling rain, and crouch for warmth beneath the lee of some old barn or rick, or in the hollow of a tree; are dismal things—but not so dismal as the wandering up and down where shelter is, and beds and sleepers are by thousands; a houseless rejected creature.
Three meals of thin gruel a day, with an onion twice a week, and half a roll on Saturdays.
It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
The very dogs were all asleep, and the flies, drunk with moist sugar in the grocer's shop, forgot their wings and briskness, and baked to death in dusty corners of the window.
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.
Vices are sometimes only virtues carried to excess!

By the by, who ever knew a man who never read or wrote neither who hadn't got some small back parlour which he would call a study!
May not the complaint, that common people are above their station, often take its rise in the fact of uncommon people being below theirs?
It is sometimes called the City of Magnificent Distances, but it might with greater propriety be termed the City of Magnificent Intentions.... Spacious avenues, that begin in nothing, and lead nowhere; streets, mile-long, that only want houses, roads, and inhabitants; public buildings that need but a public to be complete; and ornaments of great thoroughfares, which only lack great thoroughfares to ornament—are its leading features.

Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you've conquered human natur'.

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