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801 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1837
There sat the man who had traced to their source the mighty ponds of Hampstead, and agitated the scientific world with his Theory of Tittlebats, as calm and unmoved as the deep waters of the one on a frosty day, or as a solitary specimen of the other in the inmost recesses of an earthen jar.
"Ah! poetry makes life what light and music do to the stage--strip the one of the false embellishments, and the other of its illusions, and what is there real in either to live or care for?"
"There is no month in the whole year in which nature wears a more beautiful appearance than in the month of August. Spring has many beauties, and May is a fresh and blooming month, but the charms of this time of year are enhanced by their contrast with the winter season. August has no such advantage. It comes when we remember nothing but clear skies, green fields, and sweet-smelling flowers--when the recollection of snow, and ice, and bleak winds, has faded from our minds completely as they have disappeared from the earth--and yet what a pleasant time it is! Orchards and cornfields ring with hum of labour; trees bend beneath the thick clusters of rich fruit which bow their branches to the ground; and the corn, piled in graceful sheaves, or waving in every light breath that sweeps above it, as if it wooed the sickle, tinges the landscape with a golden hue. A mellow softness appears to hang over the whole earth; and the influence of the season seems to extend itself to the very wagon, whose slow motion across the well-reaped field is perceptible only to the eye, but strikes with no harsh sound upon the ear."
“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.”
“Can I view thee panting, lying
On thy stomach, without sighing;
Can I unmoved see thee dying
On a log
...Pickwick Papers persists as a 'classic' entirely on its own merits; it does not, like so much of our greatest literature, have to be kept alive by schools or colleges. Nor does it have to be rediscovered.