The Old Curiosity Shop Quotes

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The Old Curiosity Shop The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
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The Old Curiosity Shop Quotes (showing 1-30 of 38)
“It is a pleasant world we live in, sir, a very pleasant world. There are bad people in it, Mr. Richard, but if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“Thus violent deeds live after men upon the earth, and traces of war and bloodshed will survive in mournful shapes long after those who worked the desolation are but atoms of earth themselves.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“On the eve of long voyages or an absence of many years, friends who are tenderly attached will seperate with the usual look, the usual pressure of the hand, planning one final interview for the morrow, while each well knows that it is but a poor feint to save the pain of uttering that one word, and the meeting will never be. Should possibilities be worse to bear than certainties?”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“Have I yet to learn that the hardest and best-borne trials are those which are never chronicled in any earthly record, and are suffered every day!”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“The pony preserved his character for independence and principle down to the last moment of his life; which was an unusually long one, and caused him to be looked upon, indeed, as the very Old Parr of ponies. He often went to and fro with the little phaeton between Mr. Garland's and his son's, and, as the old people and the young were frequently together, had a stable of his own at the new establishment, into which he would walk of himself with surprising dignity. He condescended to play with the children, as they grew old enough to cultivate his friendship, and would run up and down the little paddock with them like a dog; but though he relaxed so far, and allowed them such freedoms as caresses, or even to look at his shoes or hang on by his tail, he never permitted anyone among them to mount his back or drive him; thus showing that even their familiarity must have its limits, and that there were points between them far too serious for trifling.
He was not unsusceptible of warm attachments in his later life, for when the good Bachelor came to live with Mr. Garland upon the clergyman's decease, he conceived a great friendship for him, and amiably submitted to be driven by his hands without the least resistance. He did no work for two or three years before he died, but lived on clover; and his last act (like a choleric old gentleman) was to kick his doctor.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“The fire? It has been alive as long as I have. We talk and think together all night long. It’s like a book to me – the only book I ever learned to read; and many an old story it tells me. It’s music, for I should know its voice among a thousand, and there are other voices in its roar. It has its pictures too. You don’t know how many strange faces and different scenes I trace in the red-hot coals. It’s my memory, that fire, and shows me all my life.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“To this it must be added, that life in a wig is to a large class of people much more terrifying and impressive than life with its own head of hair …”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“She seemed to exist in a kind of allegory, and having these shapes about her, claimed my interest so strongly, that (as I have already remarked) I could not dismiss her from my recollection, do what I would.

'It would be a curious speculation' said I after some restless turns across and across the room, 'to imagine her in her future life holding her solitary way among a crowd of wild grotesque companions, the only pure, fresh, youthful object among the throng.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“Because the memory of those who lie below, passes away so soon. At first they tend them, morning, noon, and night; they soon begin to come less frequently; from once a day, to once a week; from once a week to once a month; then, at long and uncertain intervals; then, not at all. Such tokens seldom flourish long. I have known the briefest summer flowers outlive them.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“When Death strikes down the innocent and young, for every fragile form from which he lets the panting spirit free, a hundred virtues rise, in shapes of mercy, charity, and love, to walk the world, and bless it. Of every tear that sorrowing mortals shed on such green graves, some good is born, some gentler nature comes. In the Destroyer's steps there spring up bright creations that defy his power, and his dark path becomes a way of light to Heaven.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“The lady carried upon her upper lip certain reddish demonstrations, which, if the imagination had been assisted by her attire, might have been mistaken for a beard. These were, however, in all probability, nothing more than eyelashes in a wrong place, as the eyes of Miss Brass were quite free from any such natural impertinencies. In complexion Miss Brass was sallow - rather a dirty sallow, so to speak - but this hue was agreeably relieved by the healthy glow which mantled in the extreme tip of her laughing nose.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“The ties that bind the wealthy and the proud to home may be forged on earth, but those which link the poor man to his humble hearth are of truer metal and bear the stamp of Heaven.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“Heaven be thanked, I love its light and feel the cheerfulness it sheds upon the earth, as much as any creature living.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“...if they would but think how hard it is for the very poor to have engendered in their hearts, that love of home from which all domestic virtues spring, when they live in dense and squalid masses where social decency is lost, or rather never found ... and [those who rule] strive to improve the wretched dwellings in bye-ways where only Poverty may walk ... In hollow voices from Workhouse, Hospital, and jail, this truth is preached from day to day, and has been proclaimed for years.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“Where, in the dull eyes of doating men, are the laughing light and life of childhood, the gaiety that has known no check, the frankness that has felt no chill, the hope that has never withered, the joys that fade in blossoming?”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“Let me persuade you then--oh, do let me persuade you," said the child, "to think no more of gains or losses, and to try no fortune but the fortune we pursue together.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“In the Destroyer’s steps there spring up bright creations that defy his power, and his dark path becomes a way of light to Heaven.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“The world, being in the constant commission of vast quantities of injustice, is a little too apt to comfort itself with the idea that if the victim of its falsehood and malice have a clear conscience, he cannot fail to be sustained under his trials, and somehow or other to come right at last; 'in which case,' say they who have hunted him down, '—though we certainly don't expect it—nobody will be better pleased than we.' Whereas, the world would do well to reflect, that injustice is in itself, to every generous and properly constituted mind, an injury, of all others the most insufferable, the most torturing, and the most hard to bear; and that many clear consciences have gone to their account elsewhere, and many sound hearts have broken, because of this very reason; the knowledge of their own deserts only aggravating their sufferings, and rendering them the less endurable.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“The magic reel, which, rolling on before has led the chronicler thus far, now slackens its pace, and stops. It lies before the goal; the pursuit is at anend.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“Thank Heaven that the temples of such spirits are not made with hands, and that they may be even more worthily hung with poor patch-work than with purple and fine linen!”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“I believe, sir,' said Richard Swiveller, taking his pen out of his mouth, 'that you desire to look at these apartments. They are very charming apartments, sir. They command an uninterrupted view of - of over the way, and they are within one minute's walk of - of the corner of the street.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“A long suburb of red brick houses -some with patches of garden-ground, where coal-dust and factory smoke darkened the shrinking leaves, and coarse rank flowers, and where the struggling vegetation sickened and sank under the hot breath of kiln and furnace.

On mounds of ashes by the wayside, sheltered only by a few rough boards, or rotten pent-house roofs, strange engines spun and writhed like tortured creatures; clanking their iron chains, shrieking in their rapid whirl from time to time as though in torment unendurable, and making the ground tremble with their agonies.

Dismantled houses here and there appeared, tottering to the earth, propped up by fragments of others that had fallen down, unroofed, windowless, blackened, desolate, but yet inhabited. Men, women, children, wan in their looks and ragged in attire, tended the engines, fed their tributary fire, begged upon the road, or scowled half-naked from the doorless houses.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“The church was old and grey, with ivy clinging to the walls, and round the porch. Shunning the tombs, it crept about the mounds, beneath which slept poor humble men: twining for them the first wreaths they had ever won, but wreaths less liable to wither and far more lasting in their kind, than some which were graven deep in stone and marble, and told in pompous terms of virtues meekly hidden for many a year, and only revealed at last to executors and mourning legatees.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“Slight and ridiculous as the incident was, it made him appear such a little fiend, and withal such a keen and knowing one, that the old woman felt too much afraid of him to utter a single word, and suffered herself to be led with extraordinary politeness to the breakfast-table. Here he by no means diminished the impression he had just produced, for he ate hard eggs, shell and all, devoured gigantic prawns with the heads and tails on, chewed tobacco and water-cresses at the same time and with extraordinary greediness, drank boiling tea without winking, bit his fork and spoon till they bent again, and in short performed so many horrifying and uncommon acts that the women were nearly frightened out of their wits, and began to doubt if he were really a human creature.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“The place through which he made his way at leisure was one of those receptacles for old and curious things which seem to crouch in odd corners of this town and to hide their musty treasures from the public eye in jealousy and distrust.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“Nothing seemed to be going on but the clocks, and they had such drowzy faces, such heavy lazy hands, and such cracked voices that they surely must have been too slow. 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.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“I won't go so far as to say, that, as it is, I've seen wax-work quite like life, but I've certainly seen some life that was exactly like wax-work.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“Now,’ said Quilp, passing into the wooden counting-house, ‘you mind the wharf. Stand upon your head agin, and I’ll cut one of your feet off.’ The boy made no answer, but directly Quilp had shut himself in, stood on his head before the door, then walked on his hands to the back and stood on his head there, and then to the opposite side and repeated the performance. There were indeed four sides to the counting-house, but he avoided that one where the window was,”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
“The streets were very clean, very sunny, very empty, and very dull. A few idle men lounged about the two inns, and the empty market-place, and the tradesmen’s doors, and some old people were dozing in chairs outside an alms-house wall; but scarcely any passengers who seemed bent on going anywhere, or to have any object in view, went by; and if perchance some straggler did, his footsteps echoed on the hot bright pavement for minutes afterwards. Nothing seemed to be going on but the clocks, and they had such drowzy faces, such heavy lazy hands, and such cracked voices that they surely must have been too slow. 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.”
Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop

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