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Barnaby Rudge > BR Chapters 77-82

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Peter | 3038 comments Mod
Chapter 77

Hello Fellow Curiosities

This week we come to the final chapters of Barnaby Rudge. We will wind up the plot and discover what happens to many of the characters we have followed. I imagine there will be some delight and no doubt even disappointment with the conclusion. For our overall assessment and final comments on the novel we will do that in a week’s time. But, for now, here comes our last chapters.

As the chapter begins we read that “time wore on” and slowly the building of the scaffold and gibbet continues. As the sun comes up the crowds slowly begin to filter towards the jail. Some people stand. Some look for better vantage points. As the people continue to gather Dickens tells us that the sun began to shine and the city of London was all “brightness and promise.” The time marches towards dawn, and then noon. More and more people converge on the area surrounding the scaffold. There were to be two rioters who formally attacked the prison who were to be hanged in front of that same prison. These two people are Dennis and Hugh.

Dickens takes his time and sets the scene of the impending hangings with a deliberate slowness. We as readers are held in suspense as Dennis and Hugh await their fate. As the prison bell begins to toll twelve the people remove their hats and some call out “Poor fellows!” When Hugh hears the bell, he seems almost jubilant; Dennis, on the other hand, trembles and all his joints “seemed racked by spasms.” For his part, Barnaby is not afraid to die. As the fateful time approaches Dennis grovelled and begged. He cannot believe that he is moments from death by hanging, the exact thing he took so lightly when he was himself the hangman. He believes there is a reprieve on its way. When he calls out “[d]on’t hang me here. It’s murder” the irony of the reversal in his life is complete. Dennis claims he knows a secret of Hugh’s birth and that Hugh’s father is a man of influence and rank.

Hugh, for his part, in his final words, pleads for Barnaby’s life to be spared, and confesses that it was he who lead Barnaby astray. Hugh then reveals parts of his own past life and curses his father and hopes that he will die a violent death and only have the night-wind for his only mourner. Hugh’s last words were ones of concern for his dog. Hugh and Dennis are then put to death: “as soon as [Hugh] had passed the door, his miserable associate was carried out; and the crowd beheld the rest.”


Hugh and Dennis face their impending deaths in very dissimilar ways. What might have Dickens been commenting upon by making their approach to death so different?

Hugh’s final words are directed towards saving Barnaby and asking if someone will look after his dog. Do these two examples of Hugh's humanity change your opinion of him in any way? Is he the novel’s “bad boy?”

After Dennis's prolonged begging and whimpering he dies and Dickens calls him Hugh’s “miserable associate.” Were you surprised that the man who relished the opportunity to hang others died such an ignoble death himself?

Barnaby is to be hanged at Bloomsbury Square. As the chapter ends Dickens moves his focus to others who were put to death the same day as Dennis and Hugh. There were two children who were cripples, “another boy”, [f]our wretched women ... . We are told that “those who suffered as rioters were, for the most part, the weakest meanest, and most miserable ... . It was a most exquisite satire upon the false religious cry which had led to so much misery, that some of these people owned themselves to be Catholics, and begged to be attended by their own priests.”

Our chapter ends with some of the crowd still jostling to get near the gibbet at Newgate and some eagerly following Barnaby to his place of execution.


What do you think Dickens’s opinion is of the mob who watch the executions?

How can we account for the fact that it appears only the crippled, the poor, and even some Catholics were guilty of the riots and bound to be hanged? To what extent does Dickens seem to pass judgement of the nature of mobs?

Is it possible from the events of this chapter to detect what Dickens’s own opinion on capital punishment was?

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Peter | 3038 comments Mod
Chapter 78

This chapter opens with John Willet sitting by the fireplace of the Black Lion, not the Maypole. We are told he is in a state of “profound cogitation.” It is evident that much of his memory and personality have been severely altered by the destruction of the Maypole and his traumatic confrontation with the rioters. Will the Maypole ever be restored to its former glory? Joe offers his father comfort and I think it is interesting that Dickens positions the two men so that now Joe is described as “looking down into [his father’s] face.” I do not see this as in any way a position of condescension but rather as one of role reversal. It is now Joe who will tend to his father, and perform the role of the parent.

In this chapter we also learn some of Edward Chester’s back history. Edward had left England and joined a school friend who was already settled and working in the West Indies. Edward prospered along with his friend and returned to England “on business of his own.” He plans to return to the West Indies “speedily.” When he recently met Joe Willet in England he offered him employment in the West Indies. As both the reader and John Willet are absorbing this information Dolly “came running into the room, in tears, [and] threw herself on Joe’s breast without a word of explanation, and clasped her white arms round his neck.” What follows, to be brief, is a total reconciliation between these two young lovers. Dolly has learned the value of a constant lover and mate, and Joe, well, Joe hears a wondrous promise of fidelity from Dolly. Dickens doesn’t forget to offer his readers a touch of humour as he assures us that Joe was able to hug Dolly very tightly with his one arm.

And John Willet? Well, the joy and charm of his son and Dolly finally being together was somewhat beyond his comprehension. Willet does manage to burst out and say “Certainly, Joseph. Oh yes! Why not?” as a blessing to the young lovers. Having offered his blessing to the young couple, John went out for a walk.


Did we ever doubt that Joe and Dolly would get together? Were you satisfied with the manner Dickens finally brought this couple together? Do you think that Dolly always did love Joesph?

Do you think there is any significance to the fact that Dickens has re-introduced Joseph to us as an amputee?

What would have been Dickens’s purpose in altering John Willet’s mental capacity? Do you enjoy the new John Willet?

We learn that Edward Chester emigrated to the West Indies where he has been very successful. In this chapter Dickens touches upon some of the prejudices of the day. Dickens says that “the West Indies, and indeed all foreign countries, were inhabited by savage nations, who were perpetually burying pipes of peace, flourishing tomahawks, and puncturing strange patterns in their bodies.” To what extent do you think Dickens was being insensitive to the people of the West Indies? How do you think a 21st century reader should respond to this description of the indigenous people of the West Indies?

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Peter | 3038 comments Mod
Chapter 79

I enjoyed how Dickens transitioned from the previous chapter to this one. Chapter 78 ends with John Willet going for a walk. In the beginning of this chapter Dickens picks up the thread of the walk, leaves John to his walk, and takes the reader on a walk themselves in the direction of the Golden Key. For the original readers of this novel, and indeed for those who know London today, this walk would have been an intimate connection between the novel and the reader. The Golden Key, we are reminded, was recently a victim of the rioters, but now it has been fully restored. Time has passed, Dickens reminds us. Dolly is now with Joe. Love has been restored to its rightful course. And now, we are assured that the structures of the riot are similarly being repaired and restored.

The Golden Key functions as a safe harbour and meeting place for many of the characters in the novel. For example, Mr Haredale and Edward Chester meet there and have a reunion which is one of peace and not confrontation. They both sing the praises of Mr Varden and agree that he is “the cheeriest, stoutest-hearted fellow in the world.” Haredale reflects on his past life, his mistakes, and the price he has paid for his errors. For his part, Edward offers his understanding. Haredale confirms that Edward and Emma are still in love after all this time and is now glad for them both. Haredale then brings his niece into the room and presents her to Edward. More words of contrition come from Mr Haredale and he asks for Edward’s forgiveness.

Haredale tells the young lovers that they have a bright future. For himself, he forecasts one of peace and freedom “from care or passion.” He plans to leave England and go to a foreign cloister for the remainder of his life. Haredale then tells Emma that she is the beneficiary of her father’s property as well as his own “poor pittance.” In this way Emma and Edward will bring equal assets into their marriage. The Haredale house, unlike the Golden Key and the Maypole, will remain in ruins. The futures of Edward, Emma, and Haredale are established.


Dolly and Joe’s love and future is already established. Here, our second set of lovers have their course well-charted as well. Which set of lovers do you find the most believable? Why?

Mr Haredale appears to be a very somber man in this chapter. What was Dickens’s purpose in defining him in this manner?

John Willet has lost much grasp on the world and Mr Haredale plans to enter a cloister. Why do you think Dickens has given these characters such a future? Are are these two seemingly good men being punished in any way by Dickens? If so, for what - to this point in the novel.

In terms of symbolism, we learn that the Golden Key has been totally restored whereas the Warren will be left in ruins. What could be the meaning for the different fates of these two structures?

Our chapter progresses to a wild, joyous tumult outside the Golden Key with Mr Varden, once again, in the middle of a mob scene. What’s happening? Well, Barnaby is free! Barnaby is alive! Barnaby rushes upstairs and falls on his knees beside his mother’s bed. It turns out that many people spoke of Barnaby’s innocence, many arms were twisted (no doubt gently), and finally he was granted a pardon at the last moment. Thus, what Dennis believed in his arrogance would happen to him has happened for Barnaby. We learn that Grip is also safe and well.

While this chapter was one of joy up to this point, it ends on a somber note. The last scene in the chapter is a graveyard where we find Edward Chester, a clergyman, a gravedigger, and four coffin bearers. The coffin had no name attached to it. Edward tells the clergyman that he had often seen the deceased long ago, yet never knew it was his brother. This corpse is, of course, Hugh, Edward’s half-brother.


Why did Dickens not take his readers into the room and record in detail the reunion of Barnaby and his mother?

Edward acknowledges that Hugh is his half-brother. The nature and the mood of this chapter has swung from one of joy and celebration in anticipation of futures to come to one that ends with the death of a man who never was offered any compassion in his life, let alone a future. How has this chapter helped you form your opinion of Edward? Of Hugh? Of Edward’s father?

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Peter | 3038 comments Mod
Chapter 80

Chapter 80 brings us into Mr Varden’s snug back parlour. Mrs Varden has undergone a major transformation in character and now is the model wife and housekeeper. Hmmm ... a Victorian necessity and convention for a good female matronly character at the end of a novel? No doubt she has been brushing up on Mrs Beaton’s famous book. Mrs Varden claims she always knew that Dolly and Joe were meant for one another. Let us accept her at her word and keep her happy.

The tranquility of their home is suddenly interrupted by the return of Miggs who is gushing a wall of tears. Mr Varden comments that Miggs “was born to be a damper.” After Miggs lets loose a torrent of words, praises, warnings, and other assorted comments, Mr Varden asks his wife if she desires to have Miggs back. To this request, Mrs Varden answers “Let her leave the house this minute.” Miggs assumes that the reason for her dismissal must be because Mrs Varden is now able to control her husband without her help. Miggs continues to rationalize her dismissal and offers some rather pointed barbs at the Varden’s which they decline to respond to in any manner. Miggs finally leaves the Golden Key. Varden calls for another Toby to drink, and hopes that Dolly will sing a song.


A short chapter to counteract the long-winded Miggs. Do you have any sympathy for Miggs?

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Peter | 3038 comments Mod
Chapter 81

Another month passes and we find Mr Haredale in Bristol. Time has taken its toil, and he looks “much older, and more care-worn ... . He was now a solitary man, and the heart within him was dreary and lonesome.” He decides to take one last look at the ruins of the Warren. A waiter in the hotel reminds him that the roads and countryside are not safe and hands Haredale his sword. As he passes the Maypole he envisions it open again and resolves to have that image in his mind in the future. Finally, as the darkness thickens, he arrives at the ruins of the Warren and walks around his former home. Suddenly, before him, he encounters Chester who has an expression of pleasure and triumph on his face.

Their conversation is focussed on the destroyed Warren. Chester is polite and amused; Haredale is somber and resigned. They spar with words. Sir John is self-satisfied while Haredale is philosophical. Haredale knows that Sir John through hints and crafty words urged Gashford to “gratify the hate he owes me.” Haredale knows it was Sir John that urged Gashford to kidnap Emma. Sir John then counters and points out the degrading situation Hugh was placed in by his employers. To this Haredale recounts how Sir John “purchased the absence of the poor idiot and his mother” and spread rumours about how Haredale had benefitted from his brother’s death. Haredale then strikes Sir John on the breast. They draw their swords and Haredale runs Sir John Chester through. Sir John, ever concerned for his outward appearance, dies with a slight smile on his face while attempting to hide his blood from the linen of his vest.


Did you anticipate that there would be a final showdown between Haredale and Sir John Chester? If so, were you expecting the conclusion Dickens provides to their hatred for each other?

With the death of Sir John and the self-imposed exile of Haredale we have the end of two old established families in England. To what extent do you think Dickens was signalling that the established social fabric of England was slowing beginning to change towards a new social structure and culture? What other events, symbols and, circumstances further suggest that the old ways of England were slowing beginning to change?

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Peter | 3038 comments Mod
Chapter 82

And so we arrive at the last chapter. We began our journey in late May and now here we are in early September. Where does the time go? We hope you enjoyed Barnaby Rudge. Let’s see how Dickens sends his characters off into their futures.

Our last chapter begins with Dickens assuring us he will offer “a parting glance” of many of the actors “in this little history.” We learn that Mr Haredale fled England and went to a religious establishment in Europe known for its “rigour and severity of its discipline.” There, after a few remorseful years he was buried “in its gloomy cloisters.” Sir John Chester’s body was not discovered for a couple of days. Upon news of Sir John’s death his valet took as much cash and moveables as possible and set himself up as a gentleman, only to die of what was called “jail fever.”

Lord George Gordon’s life after the Riots was circuitous. He was found innocent of the riots because there was no evidence he had any murderous or unlawful intentions during the protests. Gordon’s zeal for Protestantism continued but he was still excommunicated from the Church of England. He then became a member of the Jewish faith, was tossed into Newgate, and fined heavily. He grew his beard to his waist and lingered in jail until he died. At the time of his death he was 43 years old. John Grueby remained his servant. Gashford deserted Sir George Gordon, became a spy, was miserable for some 10-12 years, and then committed suicide.

The United Bulldogs were “to a man all killed, imprisoned, or transported.” Tappertit was discharged from prison and wore two wooden legs. His appeal for Mr Varden’s help was not a success and Tappertit eventually got a job as a shoeblack. He opened a shop near the Horse Guards. There is a touch of irony here as Tappertit was therefore consigned to polishing the boots of those who pursued and arrested him. I wonder if, as he polished the boots of the soldiers, Sim ever saw a pair of legs as fine as his own used to be. He married and did well in his new occupation. We are told that when Sim fought with his wife she would retaliate by taking off his legs. Thus, it seems, his attachment to his legs continued, but in very different circumstances.

Miggs, we are told, became very sharp and sour after her dismissal from the Golden Key. She never married. Miggs became a turnkey in a jail and held that position for 30 years. I wonder if the inmates of the prison ever thought that by being a captive audience and thus obliged to listen to her it was like an extra sentence for them? I am sure Mrs Varden’s last years were made all the much better because of Miggs’ absence.

And for our lovers... Joe and Dolly reopened the Maypole and had many children. Their cheerfulness and joy kept them looking young. Joe always respected and served army veterans at the Maypole. The king sent Joe a silver snuffbox to commemorate his help during the Riots. Earlier I suggested that in Joe Willet’s character we see threads of the knightly chivalric code of love and honour. As the story ends we see how Joe is linked with both the concept of the warrior and the winning of the maiden. Thus, the martial and the marital elements of the novel are blended together.

Mr Langdale the vintner became a fixture at the Maypole. John Willet retired to a private life in Chigwell where he had a fireplace, and where all his cronies came for a pint and a pipe for the next seven years before he passed and Joe inherited his father’s money.

Barnaby was slow to recover from his various ordeals, but, with time, did, and with his mother lived on the Maypole farm. It should be noted that Barnaby sought out and found Hugh’s dog. Barnaby refused to go to London for the rest of his life.

Edward and Emma had many children as well and visit with Joe and Dolly on their return visits to England.

And Grip. Let us end with Grip. He soon recovered his good looks but became silent for a year. After that time he “improved himself in the vulgar tongue.”

And so we say goodbye to the novel Barnaby Rudge.


Were there any characters whose lives beyond our main narrative surprised you? Delighted you? Confounded you?

Was there a character in the novel who was not mentioned in these final chapters whose fate you would have liked to learn? What do you think their post-novel life would have been like?


I’ll keep my final overall reflections for next week when we look at the novel in its entirety. Please bring your general, specific, and every other question and comment you have and share with us then.

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Mary Lou | 2315 comments Peter wrote: "Chapter 77..."

It is a wonder to me that people used to flock to the scene of hangings as if they were a form of entertainment. I think I mentioned once before an old photo I saw of a hanging at which there was a huge crowd, and people who had climbed trees in order to watch over a wall. I guess this is the same bloodlust that brought people to the Colosseum in Rome to watch the lions maul the Christians. I just don't get it.

I remember it being mentioned that Dickens "attended" a hanging, though I don't recall the circumstances. But I suppose he used that experience to give us an accurate picture of what may have transpired.

Re: Hugh - yes, he redeemed himself somewhat for me in his final moments. I'm sure his plea for Barnaby's life was the tipping point, and it almost made me cry to think of him worrying about his dog (and his dog wondering where Hugh had gone).

As for Dennis...who's walking around wearing HIS clothes now? Karma.

message 8: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2315 comments Peter wrote: "Chapter 78
...Dickens positions the two men so that now Joe is described as “looking down into [his father’s] face.” I do not see this as in any way a position of condescension but rather as one of role reversal. It is now Joe who will tend to his father, and perform the role of the parent...."

I saw it that way, also. A bittersweet time in any parent-child relationship.

Peter wrote: What would have been Dickens’s purpose in altering John Willet’s mental capacity? Do you enjoy the new John Willet?

Willet, Sr. had to go through this trauma and change of mental capacity, as you put it, so that he and Joe could have the role reversal you mentioned. It allowed them to have a good relationship going forward, (view spoiler)

message 9: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2315 comments Peter wrote: "Chapter 79..."

So much going on in this chapter!

My thoughts.

Haredale has spent the last 25 years or so of his life raising his orphaned niece, and trying to make sense of his brother's murder, and then seeing that justice was served. His niece is now settled, the murderer has been punished, and the Warren is gone. Haredale is mentally and physically exhausted. There's no point in rebuilding if Emma will be living abroad. He deserves a rest and, I think, is looking forward to the thought of a quiet, spiritual life. I think, too, that this mental exhaustion is allowing him to loosen his convictions about Emma being in a Protestant/Catholic mixed marriage. He's just too tired to fight it anymore. Interesting that Dickens didn't address the couple's religious future. Who will convert? What religion will their children practice? In 2019 these aren't significant issues, but in the 1780s they certainly were. Dickens is leaving it to the reader to fill in those blanks, which was probably the safest thing to do back then, in order to please everyone in his audience.

Why did Dickens not take his readers into the room and record in detail the reunion of Barnaby and his mother? ... Edward acknowledges that Hugh is his half-brother.

Can you imagine the syrupy melodrama that would have been Dickens' description of Barnaby's reunion with his mother?! This is one instance where I'm glad that we didn't have to witness the scene. I think every reader could well imagine it.

That said, who told Ned that Hugh was his brother, Varden or Chester, himself? I'm guessing Varden. That would have been an interesting scene to witness. It would have been interesting to let the brothers have their moment, but perhaps that would have just been too sad to bear. I like to think that Ned's overtures, though they were rejected, must have contributed to the final act of kindness Hugh showed Barnaby. At any rate, knowing that Ned was able to give Hugh a proper burial and claim him as a brother made the chapter containing that revelation (with Varden and Chester) a bit more worthwhile.

message 10: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2315 comments Peter wrote: "Chapter 80 A short chapter to counteract the long-winded Miggs. Do you have any sympathy for Miggs? ..."


And I continue to find Mrs. Varden's transformation completely unbelievable. One is meant to assume, I suppose, that Miggs was the toxin in that relationship. After all, Gabriel loved his wife, so she must have had some redeeming value (hopefully their marriage was deeper than the dimples Martha may have shared with Dolly!). So maybe when Miggs entered the picture, she stirred things up and made Martha the way she was. I'll buy that. But then there has to have been some point when Miggs crossed a line even Martha couldn't ignore. And we were robbed of that, darn it!

message 11: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2315 comments Peter wrote: "Chapter 82
And so we arrive at the last chapter...."

Haredale: I thought/hoped Haredale's last years would be serene ones, but Dickens' choice of adjectives in this paragraph certainly don't lead us to believe that he was at peace. Though it could be argued that Chester deserved what he got, Haredale, a good Catholic, must have felt terrible guilt for Chester's death. I quite liked Haredale, and feel sorry for him.

Gordon: Eh. As a character, I didn't really care what happened to him.

John Grueby remained his servant Like Staggs, Grueby is one of those minor characters that I would have liked to have learned more about. I imagine him being somewhat like a favorite of mine from Great Expectations, Wemmick.

Tappertit: His appeal for Mr Varden’s help was not a success and Tappertit eventually got a job as a shoeblack. Slight correction -- Varden helped to get him set up as a shoeblack so his appeal actually was successful. Varden showed kindness, but was also smart enough not to allow Sim back into his home or business. I thought it was a bit much to have Sim end up with not one, but two wooden legs! Varicose veins might have been more realistic.

Miggs: I didn't really care much what happened to her, as long as I never had to listen to her again! There are some character one loves, and some that one loves to hate. Miggs is neither - she was just like a pesky fly that needed to be squashed.

Dolly and Joe: no surprises there. I'm glad they didn't have to go off to the West Indies for Joe to work. And I'm glad the Maypole lives on (despite the relocation of the boiler). Some Dickensian wisdom I'll try to remember - "...cheerfulness and content are great beautifiers, and are famous preservers of youthful looks."

Mr. Langdale, the vintner: Was anyone else surprised that he was included in the round-up? It would never have occurred to me to wonder what had become of him.

The Rudges: No surprises here. I had a soppy moment when we were told that Barnaby took in Hugh's dog. :-)

Edward and Emma: eh, okay.

Grip: the lifespan of a wild raven is only 10-15 years. One that is domesticated, though, can live about 70 years. So Dickens contention that "he was a mere infant for a raven when Barnaby was grey" may be only a slight exaggeration. I was disappointed that the phrases Grip used ("I'm a devil" and "Never say die") weren't somehow tied in to the mystery. Red herrings.

message 12: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1145 comments Peter wrote: "As both the reader and John Willet are absorbing this information Dolly “came running into the room, in tears, [and] threw herself on Joe’s breast without a word of explanation, and clasped her white arms round his neck.” What follows, to be brief, is a total reconciliation between these two young lovers."

This was very enjoyable, and I am so accustomed to shrinking modest Victorian women that it pleased me especially that it's Dolly who proposes to Joe here--jumping right in and explaining the kind of wife she is going to be. She takes it for granted that he'll go along with it and of course she's right. It was Joe who was the more modest in the couple (even before he lost his arm), and that was refreshing and fun.

Contrast Dolly's paragraphs of impassioned speeches with... did Emma say anything at all to Edward when her uncle handed her over?

Of course, Mr. Haredale has plenty to say. Here he is:

In goods and fortune you are now nearly equal; I have been her faithful steward, and to that remnant of a richer property which my brother left her, I desire to add, in token of my love, a poor pittance, scarcely worth the mention, for which I have no longer any need. I am glad you go abroad. Let our ill-fated house remain the ruin it is.

I read this and felt very relieved I am not a gentleman because it must be so much effort to have to speak like one all the time.

Seriously, though, what style is Haredale channelling here? I was thinking maybe he's talking like the prologue or afterword of a play? Does anyone else have ideas?

message 13: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1145 comments Mary Lou wrote: "The Rudges: No surprises here. I had a soppy moment when we were told that Barnaby took in Hugh's dog. :-)"

Yes, that helped console me for Barnaby turning up again, which I hadn't expected and didn't really want.

I was glad to see the revival of the Maypole, though.

message 14: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1145 comments Peter wrote: "Did you anticipate that there would be a final showdown between Haredale and Sir John Chester? If so, were you expecting the conclusion Dickens provides to their hatred for each other? ..."

Mary Lou wrote: "I thought/hoped Haredale's last years would be serene ones, but Dickens' choice of adjectives in this paragraph certainly don't lead us to believe that he was at peace. Though it could be argued that Chester deserved what he got, Haredale, a good Catholic, must have felt terrible guilt for Chester's death. I quite liked Haredale, and feel sorry for him."

I don't feel there was enough Haredale in the book. He's such a conflicted person, so full of loves and hates and remorse that he doesn't very fully get to work out. We never get a clear backstory on his losing a woman to Chester, and on top of it Haredale in his last chapter seems haunted or doomed:

Such conditions of the mind as that to which he was a prey when he lay down to rest, are favourable to the growth of disordered fancies, and uneasy visions. He knew this, even in the horror with which he started from his first sleep, and threw up the window to dispel it by the presence of some object, beyond the room, which had not been, as it were, the witness of his dream. But it was not a new terror of the night; it had been present to him before, in many shapes; it had haunted him in bygone times, and visited his pillow again and again. If it had been but an ugly object, a childish spectre, haunting his sleep, its return, in its old form, might have awakened a momentary sensation of fear, which, almost in the act of waking, would have passed away. This disquiet, however, lingered about him, and would yield to nothing. When he closed his eyes again, he felt it hovering near; as he slowly sunk into a slumber, he was conscious of its gathering strength and purpose, and gradually assuming its recent shape; when he sprang up from his bed, the same phantom vanished from his heated brain, and left him filled with a dread against which reason and waking thought were powerless.

What's this dream about? He tries to leave afterwards without his sword, and the servant who returns it to him (without his asking) worries that he's suicidal. Was the dream an impulse to suicide? But instead of killing himself, Haredale kills Chester, really through some kind of combination of accident (there's no good reason for Chester to turn up at this point, as even Chester points out) and inability to control his anger. Granted Haredale should have more control, but overall their meeting seems oddly fated.

Of course, Hugh did curse Chester to die of violence--but that doesn't explain why Haredale has to be the instrument of that death.

message 15: by Jantine (new)

Jantine (eccentriclady) | 578 comments Okay, only read the first post, I have not read all of the last chapters yet, so I will respond chapter by chapter and then read the other comments.

I must admit that Hugh certainly grew on me during the last chapters of his life. He is a scoundrel, but he is an honest one, and I much prefer that over ones like Chester or Dennis. I also want to point out the gap between Hugh trying to save Barnaby's life (even if it is very late) by telling the people he's the one who led a boy with not all his mental faculties present astray, piling the burden of guilt on his own shoulders rather than Barnaby's. And then Dennis, who rather wants to believe there will be a reprieve for him than for Barnaby, and who tries to get Barnaby hanged in his place. Had he had his way, Barnaby would have been dead when his reprieve came, and Dennis would have been killed anyway, although he would probably also have felt no shame in taking the reprieve as his own if possible. So basically Hugh owns his deeds and tries to save the (relatively, for Barnaby was not there for his sweaty feet) innocent, while Dennis still lies and tries to get the innocent killed instead of himself.

I think Dickens makes it pretty clear that it are mostly the people who were some kind of burden on the city anyway that were hanged. Perhaps Dennis was not that off in his hopes to be released after all, and perhaps his downfall was that he was one of the riot leaders and not 'just a rioter', like the others.

message 16: by Jantine (last edited Sep 08, 2019 04:42AM) (new)

Jantine (eccentriclady) | 578 comments Chapter 78 I already believed Dolly loved Joe deep in her heart when she cried herself to sleep after he left. I think she had wanted him to say more romantic things, because she learned that she should expect that, and his reaction was different than she hoped. Perhaps Joe's missing a limb is correlated to his missing romanticism - off course you notice it, but he does not need his arm/he does not need to be romantic to be a good, steady and loving husband. And that is what Dolly learned.

message 17: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2315 comments Jantine wrote: "He is a scoundrel, but he is an honest one, and I much prefer that over ones like Chester or Dennis...."

Well put. No pretense with Hugh.

message 18: by Jantine (last edited Sep 08, 2019 04:55AM) (new)

Jantine (eccentriclady) | 578 comments Chapter 79: I wondered about how Edward knew Hugh to be his half-brother, but off course it was Varden who brought the news to Chester in the fist place. He probably also told Edward. This does make me like Edward even better - his making sure Hugh gets a burial somewhere else than under the prison's flagstones.
This picture cannot be embedded somehow, but it shows the Newgate cemetary. It is rather depressing.

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Jantine (eccentriclady) | 578 comments Chapter 80: So there is Miggs! She ran off to her family, and thought she could return just like that when she needed the money, or something like that.

I still think it is strange how Mrs. Varden turned around, mostly because no background is given. I suppose it is a combination of seeing how dangerous and wrong the cause she had been following was, combined with a period - after her initial change even prolongued for weeks - without the toxic influence of Miggs. I think Miggs has done quite some evil in that quarter, especially since Mrs. V seems to be very prone to being influenced by others. She is now just being influenced by the right and good people, is all.

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Jantine (eccentriclady) | 578 comments Chapter 81: I must admit that at the start I expected their hatred for each other to end like this, but when since the start of the riots they were not thrust together anymore within the story, it moved to the back of my mind. So I did not expect this to happen anymore, I more expected Chester to be found out for who he was, and thrust from society or something like that. Although, when I think about it, Dickens was - even in this chapter - very much calling him 'the knight' all the time, I suppose to remind us that Chester was almost - if not all - untouchable by law.

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Jantine (eccentriclady) | 578 comments As for the last chapter, I enjoyed it so much! I feel bad for Haredale (I guess I would like it if he had more peace of mind in the end), but for the rest ... Gashford ends badly, Miggs becomes a sour turnkey because no one wants her in 'normal society', Edward and Emma - we don't hear a lot about them, but what we hear is fine. I am glad Barnaby took Hugh's dog in, and Grip gave a bit of comic relief.

What made me happy the most was the overly wholesome end of Joe and Dolly, and John Willet. John was happy in his own way, Joe and Dolly were a happy and beautiful and blessed couple, and the Maypole was restored and a booming business again. It was almost like I was walking there, hearing their children laugh and play, feeling the sun on my skin and smelling some delicious roast they were making.

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Peter | 3038 comments Mod
Julie wrote: "Peter wrote: "As both the reader and John Willet are absorbing this information Dolly “came running into the room, in tears, [and] threw herself on Joe’s breast without a word of explanation, and c..."

Hi Julie

Yes. There is much to discuss and think about when it comes to Haredale. He is an intriguing character and one that deserves more than a final glancing summary comment.

Your question as to Haredale’s speech got me thinking. I agree with you that it has the sound and tone of the afterword of a play. Dare I suggest Shakespearean to a degree? Haredale’s speech sounds more like one that should come from a principle character than one from the supporting cast. Haredale’s comments do have a touch and tone of grandeur.

Would it be too much to suggest that in The Tempest’s Epilogue Prospero’s words are, in some way, vaguely similar in intent and meaning?

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Jantine wrote: "Chapter 79: I wondered about how Edward knew Hugh to be his half-brother, but off course it was Varden who brought the news to Chester in the fist place. He probably also told Edward. This does mak..."

Hi Jantine

First, thank you for the link. The Newgate cemetery is certainly suitably grim.

I’m glad to read that you too find Haredale’s character and his story to be interesting. His life was one given to the raising Emma and seeking justice. His conflict with Chester was one of the best conflicts of character and beliefs in the novel. The duel an unexpected twist. Dickens did tell us earlier that Haredale was going to join a strict religious order but with the death of Chester the exile of Haredale has an unexpected spin to it.

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Jantine (eccentriclady) | 578 comments I certainly feel a kind of admiration for the guy. He was probably young and full of plans, and then the girl he loves marries a bad guy, and instead of having the time to look for another nice girl to marry (or do whatever else he wanted to do) the brother he loves is murdered, and at once he has to take care of an estate that will never be his, and his niece. As a young man who had not married, no one at his side to trust and to help him, no kids of his own and so no experience in raising kids. He was thrown into it and he gave it (and especially his niece) his all. He practically devoted his whole life to her. Pfew. And then ending in a cloister like that.

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Julie Kelleher | 1145 comments Jantine wrote: "I certainly feel a kind of admiration for the guy. He was probably young and full of plans, and then the girl he loves marries a bad guy, and instead of having the time to look for another nice gir..."

It's too bad practically nobody outside these hallowed web pages has read Barnaby Rudge, because Haredale's life would make such a good spinoff novel.

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Julie Kelleher | 1145 comments Peter wrote: "Would it be too much to suggest that in The Tempest’s Epilogue Prospero’s words are, in some way, vaguely similar in intent and meaning?."

Oh, that's excellent, right down to the giving his daughter/niece away to the guy he's previously thwarted, and then handing off his power.

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Tristram Shandy | 4465 comments Mod
What Haredale could have done was employ some kind of steward to look after the Warren, to increase its wealth and do his duty by his niece, and in the meantime find himself a wife and start a life on his own with his own family. Maybe, he would even have had a son who could have inherited the Warren ... just in case something unforeseen - and there are many unforeseen things of a beastly nature - might have happened to Emma before she came into the possession of the Warren. ;-) That would be something for a spin-off novel.

It was just bleak pessimism and an adherence to the past preventing Haredale from creating his own life.

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Jantine (eccentriclady) | 578 comments Well, you do have a point off course. That would have been the wisest course of action. But please, let me bask in my romantic view of what Hardale did for Emma for a moment ;-)

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Peter's summaries of the last few chapters made me realize that, in a strange kind of way, there is hardly a difference between the mob of rioters and the mob of gloaters at the executions: Both are driven by base desires for blood, by indolence and by ruthlessness. It would not be too difficult to imagine that many of those who now enjoy the spectacle of former rioters' being hanged were at these very people's side during the upheavals, plundering and pillaging themselves.

What we learn about mobs through Dickens is probably that there is never any reason in them - after all, why were Catholics amongst those who raged against Catholics? Probably because the Catholics raged against were rich Catholics and some of them even representing noble families and such that had political influence. What it boils down to is that those who took part in the riots probably did not see it so much as a fight against Catholics as such but against people they could not have got at in their everyday lives. The rage was anti-Catholic on the surface, but anti-establishment at the bottom, maybe?

Be that as it may, Barnaby Rudge with its mob scenes is strikingly modern, although nowadays we may not have real mobs running through the street but other kinds of mass movements - some even viral - that exert their influence, often in an irrational way.

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Tristram Shandy | 4465 comments Mod
I was very impressed by Hugh's last words and how he cared about his dog but also how he tried to do right by Barnaby. After all, it was due to Hugh that Barnaby was made a member of the mob, and Hugh's attempts at sparing Barnaby the death penalty show that there is some honour and decency in him. Coming to think of him, Hugh is maybe one of the more interesting Dickens characters because of his moral ambiguities, the line between good and evil running through every human heart. Why not, then, through Hugh's as well?

I'd also like to think that he acted in this noble way at the end out of his own conviction and motivation, and not because he had a talk with his newly-found brother Edward. That makes this last action even nobler.

message 31: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1145 comments Tristram wrote: "I'd also like to think that he acted in this noble way at the end out of his own conviction and motivation, and not because he had a talk with his newly-found brother Edward. That makes this last action even nobler. "

I agree with that, but I also found myself wondering why Edward ended up so flat as a character. He was admirable to start with, breaking with his despicable father to make his own way, and he was admirable at the end, acknowledging the brother his father wouldn't own. And then he's a rescuer midway through--but this is very easy to forget. I think on the whole he gets upstaged by Joe and by Haredale making things all about himself at the Emma handoff.

Though I think it speaks well of Haredale that he didn't just pass Emma off to a steward, and she seems to think so too. And there's no reason that should have kept him from moving ahead with his own life. I agree pessimism and really, misanthropy, is the greater problem. It's interesting that when he comes back to London, right before his dream, one of his resolutions is not to visit anyone.

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Mary Lou | 2315 comments Tristram wrote: "The rage was anti-Catholic on the surface, but anti-establishment at the bottom, maybe?..."

Dickens illustrates this through Sim. Remember the group he originally sneaks out to meet with is the Apprentice Knights (I think that's what they called themselves) - a group of disgruntled apprentices gathered together with the sole purpose of griping about their employers, and big talk about revolting against them. No mention of Catholics in those early meetings. They saw a riot coming and decided to latch on to it, regardless of its supposed agenda.

nowadays we may not have real mobs running through the street

Regrettably, here in some US cities we do sometimes have mobs in the streets. And too often, the leadership in those cities are about as effective as the Lord Mayor was in Rudge -- I'm thinking specifically of the mayor of Baltimore who said of the violent protests in her city, "we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well." I'm sure the citizens and business owners were delighted that the rioters were given space for their destruction. Thankfully no one was killed in those riots, but there was plenty of vandalism, arson, etc.

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Hi everybody, I'm home from Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, I don't want to be but I am, so here are your illustrations. A little late, but here they are.

Hugh's curse

Chapter 77


Text Illustrated:

It was at this moment that the clock struck the first stroke of twelve, and the bell began to toll. The various officers, with the two sheriffs at their head, moved towards the door. All was ready when the last chime came upon the ear.

They told Hugh this, and asked if he had anything to say.

‘To say!’ he cried. ‘Not I. I’m ready.—Yes,’ he added, as his eye fell upon Barnaby, ‘I have a word to say, too. Come hither, lad.’

There was, for the moment, something kind, and even tender, struggling in his fierce aspect, as he wrung his poor companion by the hand.

‘I’ll say this,’ he cried, looking firmly round, ‘that if I had ten lives to lose, and the loss of each would give me ten times the agony of the hardest death, I’d lay them all down—ay, I would, though you gentlemen may not believe it—to save this one. This one,’ he added, wringing his hand again, ‘that will be lost through me.’

‘Not through you,’ said the idiot, mildly. ‘Don’t say that. You were not to blame. You have always been very good to me.—Hugh, we shall know what makes the stars shine, NOW!’

‘I took him from her in a reckless mood, and didn’t think what harm would come of it,’ said Hugh, laying his hand upon his head, and speaking in a lower voice. ‘I ask her pardon; and his.—Look here,’ he added roughly, in his former tone. ‘You see this lad?’

They murmured ‘Yes,’ and seemed to wonder why he asked.

‘That gentleman yonder—’ pointing to the clergyman—‘has often in the last few days spoken to me of faith, and strong belief. You see what I am—more brute than man, as I have been often told—but I had faith enough to believe, and did believe as strongly as any of you gentlemen can believe anything, that this one life would be spared. See what he is!—Look at him!’

Barnaby had moved towards the door, and stood beckoning him to follow.

‘If this was not faith, and strong belief!’ cried Hugh, raising his right arm aloft, and looking upward like a savage prophet whom the near approach of Death had filled with inspiration, ‘where are they! What else should teach me—me, born as I was born, and reared as I have been reared—to hope for any mercy in this hardened, cruel, unrelenting place! Upon these human shambles, I, who never raised this hand in prayer till now, call down the wrath of God! On that black tree, of which I am the ripened fruit, I do invoke the curse of all its victims, past, and present, and to come. On the head of that man, who, in his conscience, owns me for his son, I leave the wish that he may never sicken on his bed of down, but die a violent death as I do now, and have the night-wind for his only mourner. To this I say, Amen, amen!’

His arm fell downward by his side; he turned; and moved towards them with a steady step, the man he had been before.

‘There is nothing more?’ said the governor.

Hugh motioned Barnaby not to come near him (though without looking in the direction where he stood) and answered, ‘There is nothing more.’

‘Move forward!’

‘—Unless,’ said Hugh, glancing hurriedly back,—‘unless any person here has a fancy for a dog; and not then, unless he means to use him well. There’s one, belongs to me, at the house I came from, and it wouldn’t be easy to find a better. He’ll whine at first, but he’ll soon get over that.—You wonder that I think about a dog just now,’ he added, with a kind of laugh. ‘If any man deserved it of me half as well, I’d think of HIM.’

He spoke no more, but moved onward in his place, with a careless air, though listening at the same time to the Service for the Dead, with something between sullen attention, and quickened curiosity. As soon as he had passed the door, his miserable associate was carried out; and the crowd beheld the rest.

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Dolly embraces Joe

Chapter 78


Text Illustrated:

In the mind’s eye of Mr Willet, the West Indies, and indeed all foreign countries, were inhabited by savage nations, who were perpetually burying pipes of peace, flourishing tomahawks, and puncturing strange patterns in their bodies. He no sooner heard this announcement, therefore, than he leaned back in his chair, took his pipe from his lips, and stared at his son with as much dismay as if he already beheld him tied to a stake, and tortured for the entertainment of a lively population. In what form of expression his feelings would have found a vent, it is impossible to say. Nor is it necessary: for, before a syllable occurred to him, Dolly Varden came running into the room, in tears, threw herself on Joe’s breast without a word of explanation, and clasped her white arms round his neck.

‘Dolly!’ cried Joe. ‘Dolly!’

‘Ay, call me that; call me that always,’ exclaimed the locksmith’s little daughter; ‘never speak coldly to me, never be distant, never again reprove me for the follies I have long repented, or I shall die, Joe.’

‘I reprove you!’ said Joe.

‘Yes—for every kind and honest word you uttered, went to my heart. For you, who have borne so much from me—for you, who owe your sufferings and pain to my caprice—for you to be so kind—so noble to me, Joe—’

He could say nothing to her. Not a syllable. There was an odd sort of eloquence in his one arm, which had crept round her waist: but his lips were mute.

‘If you had reminded me by a word—only by one short word,’ sobbed Dolly, clinging yet closer to him, ‘how little I deserved that you should treat me with so much forbearance; if you had exulted only for one moment in your triumph, I could have borne it better.’

‘Triumph!’ repeated Joe, with a smile which seemed to say, ‘I am a pretty figure for that.’

‘Yes, triumph,’ she cried, with her whole heart and soul in her earnest voice, and gushing tears; ‘for it is one. I am glad to think and know it is. I wouldn’t be less humbled, dear—I wouldn’t be without the recollection of that last time we spoke together in this place—no, not if I could recall the past, and make our parting, yesterday.’

Did ever lover look as Joe looked now!

‘Dear Joe,’ said Dolly, ‘I always loved you—in my own heart I always did, although I was so vain and giddy. I hoped you would come back that night. I made quite sure you would. I prayed for it on my knees. Through all these long, long years, I have never once forgotten you, or left off hoping that this happy time might come.’

The eloquence of Joe’s arm surpassed the most impassioned language; and so did that of his lips—yet he said nothing, either.

‘And now, at last,’ cried Dolly, trembling with the fervour of her speech, ‘if you were sick, and shattered in your every limb; if you were ailing, weak, and sorrowful; if, instead of being what you are, you were in everybody’s eyes but mine the wreck and ruin of a man; I would be your wife, dear love, with greater pride and joy, than if you were the stateliest lord in England!’

‘What have I done,’ cried Joe, ‘what have I done to meet with this reward?’

‘You have taught me,’ said Dolly, raising her pretty face to his, ‘to know myself, and your worth; to be something better than I was; to be more deserving of your true and manly nature. In years to come, dear Joe, you shall find that you have done so; for I will be, not only now, when we are young and full of hope, but when we have grown old and weary, your patient, gentle, never-tiring wife. I will never know a wish or care beyond our home and you, and I will always study how to please you with my best affection and my most devoted love. I will: indeed I will!’

Joe could only repeat his former eloquence—but it was very much to the purpose.

‘They know of this, at home,’ said Dolly. ‘For your sake, I would leave even them; but they know it, and are glad of it, and are as proud of you as I am, and as full of gratitude.—You’ll not come and see me as a poor friend who knew me when I was a girl, will you, dear Joe?’

Well, well! It don’t matter what Joe said in answer, but he said a great deal; and Dolly said a great deal too: and he folded Dolly in his one arm pretty tight, considering that it was but one; and Dolly made no resistance: and if ever two people were happy in this world—which is not an utterly miserable one, with all its faults—we may, with some appearance of certainty, conclude that they were.

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Mr. Haredale bestows his niece's hand

Chapter 79


Text Illustrated:

‘You think so,’ Mr Haredale answered, ‘and I am glad you do. I know myself better, and therefore distrust myself more. Let us leave this subject for another—not so far removed from it as it might, at first sight, seem to be. Sir, you still love my niece, and she is still attached to you.’

‘I have that assurance from her own lips,’ said Edward, ‘and you know—I am sure you know—that I would not exchange it for any blessing life could yield me.’

‘You are frank, honourable, and disinterested,’ said Mr Haredale; ‘you have forced the conviction that you are so, even on my once-jaundiced mind, and I believe you. Wait here till I come back.’

He left the room as he spoke; but soon returned with his niece. ‘On that first and only time,’ he said, looking from the one to the other, ‘when we three stood together under her father’s roof, I told you to quit it, and charged you never to return.’

‘It is the only circumstance arising out of our love,’ observed Edward, ‘that I have forgotten.’

‘You own a name,’ said Mr Haredale, ‘I had deep reason to remember. I was moved and goaded by recollections of personal wrong and injury, I know, but, even now I cannot charge myself with having, then, or ever, lost sight of a heartfelt desire for her true happiness; or with having acted—however much I was mistaken—with any other impulse than the one pure, single, earnest wish to be to her, as far as in my inferior nature lay, the father she had lost.’

‘Dear uncle,’ cried Emma, ‘I have known no parent but you. I have loved the memory of others, but I have loved you all my life. Never was father kinder to his child than you have been to me, without the interval of one harsh hour, since I can first remember.’

‘You speak too fondly,’ he answered, ‘and yet I cannot wish you were less partial; for I have a pleasure in hearing those words, and shall have in calling them to mind when we are far asunder, which nothing else could give me. Bear with me for a moment longer, Edward, for she and I have been together many years; and although I believe that in resigning her to you I put the seal upon her future happiness, I find it needs an effort.’

He pressed her tenderly to his bosom, and after a minute’s pause, resumed:

‘I have done you wrong, sir, and I ask your forgiveness—in no common phrase, or show of sorrow; but with earnestness and sincerity. In the same spirit, I acknowledge to you both that the time has been when I connived at treachery and falsehood—which if I did not perpetrate myself, I still permitted—to rend you two asunder.’

‘You judge yourself too harshly,’ said Edward. ‘Let these things rest.’

‘They rise in judgment against me when I look back, and not now for the first time,’ he answered. ‘I cannot part from you without your full forgiveness; for busy life and I have little left in common now, and I have regrets enough to carry into solitude, without addition to the stock.’

‘You bear a blessing from us both,’ said Emma. ‘Never mingle thoughts of me—of me who owe you so much love and duty—with anything but undying affection and gratitude for the past, and bright hopes for the future.’

‘The future,’ returned her uncle, with a melancholy smile, ‘is a bright word for you, and its image should be wreathed with cheerful hopes. Mine is of another kind, but it will be one of peace, and free, I trust, from care or passion. When you quit England I shall leave it too. There are cloisters abroad; and now that the two great objects of my life are set at rest, I know no better home. You droop at that, forgetting that I am growing old, and that my course is nearly run. Well, we will speak of it again—not once or twice, but many times; and you shall give me cheerful counsel, Emma.’

‘And you will take it?’ asked his niece.

‘I’ll listen to it,’ he answered, with a kiss, ‘and it will have its weight, be certain. What have I left to say? You have, of late, been much together. It is better and more fitting that the circumstances attendant on the past, which wrought your separation, and sowed between you suspicion and distrust, should not be entered on by me.’

‘Much, much better,’ whispered Emma.

‘I avow my share in them,’ said Mr Haredale, ‘though I held it, at the time, in detestation. Let no man turn aside, ever so slightly, from the broad path of honour, on the plausible pretence that he is justified by the goodness of his end. All good ends can be worked out by good means. Those that cannot, are bad; and may be counted so at once, and left alone.’

He looked from her to Edward, and said in a gentler tone:

‘In goods and fortune you are now nearly equal. I have been her faithful steward, and to that remnant of a richer property which my brother left her, I desire to add, in token of my love, a poor pittance, scarcely worth the mention, for which I have no longer any need. I am glad you go abroad. Let our ill-fated house remain the ruin it is. When you return, after a few thriving years, you will command a better, and a more fortunate one. We are friends?’

Edward took his extended hand, and grasped it heartily.

‘You are neither slow nor cold in your response,’ said Mr Haredale, doing the like by him, ‘and when I look upon you now, and know you, I feel that I would choose you for her husband. Her father had a generous nature, and you would have pleased him well. I give her to you in his name, and with his blessing. If the world and I part in this act, we part on happier terms than we have lived for many a day.’

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The locksmith's ruddy face and burly form could be descried

Chapter 79

Fred Barnard

Text Illustrated:

It was a loud shouting, mingled with boisterous acclamations, that rent the very air. It drew nearer and nearer every moment, and approached so rapidly, that, even while they listened, it burst into a deafening confusion of sounds at the street corner.

‘This must be stopped—quieted,’ said Mr Haredale, hastily. ‘We should have foreseen this, and provided against it. I will go out to them at once.’

But, before he could reach the door, and before Edward could catch up his hat and follow him, they were again arrested by a loud shriek from above-stairs: and the locksmith’s wife, bursting in, and fairly running into Mr Haredale’s arms, cried out:

‘She knows it all, dear sir!—she knows it all! We broke it out to her by degrees, and she is quite prepared.’ Having made this communication, and furthermore thanked Heaven with great fervour and heartiness, the good lady, according to the custom of matrons, on all occasions of excitement, fainted away directly.

They ran to the window, drew up the sash, and looked into the crowded street. Among a dense mob of persons, of whom not one was for an instant still, the locksmith’s ruddy face and burly form could be descried, beating about as though he was struggling with a rough sea. Now, he was carried back a score of yards, now onward nearly to the door, now back again, now forced against the opposite houses, now against those adjoining his own: now carried up a flight of steps, and greeted by the outstretched hands of half a hundred men, while the whole tumultuous concourse stretched their throats, and cheered with all their might. Though he was really in a fair way to be torn to pieces in the general enthusiasm, the locksmith, nothing discomposed, echoed their shouts till he was as hoarse as they, and in a glow of joy and right good-humour, waved his hat until the daylight shone between its brim and crown.

But in all the bandyings from hand to hand, and strivings to and fro, and sweepings here and there, which—saving that he looked more jolly and more radiant after every struggle—troubled his peace of mind no more than if he had been a straw upon the water’s surface, he never once released his firm grasp of an arm, drawn tight through his. He sometimes turned to clap this friend upon the back, or whisper in his ear a word of staunch encouragement, or cheer him with a smile; but his great care was to shield him from the pressure, and force a passage for him to the Golden Key. Passive and timid, scared, pale, and wondering, and gazing at the throng as if he were newly risen from the dead, and felt himself a ghost among the living, Barnaby—not Barnaby in the spirit, but in flesh and blood, with pulses, sinews, nerves, and beating heart, and strong affections—clung to his stout old friend, and followed where he led.

And thus, in course of time, they reached the door, held ready for their entrance by no unwilling hands. Then slipping in, and shutting out the crowd by main force, Gabriel stood between Mr Haredale and Edward Chester, and Barnaby, rushing up the stairs, fell upon his knees beside his mother’s bed.

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Migg's short lived joy

Chapter 80


Text Illustrated:

‘Who’s coming in? what’s coming in?’ Mrs Varden, as much at a loss as her husband, could only shake her head in answer to his inquiring look: so, the locksmith wheeled his chair round to command a better view of the room-door, and stared at it with his eyes wide open, and a mingled expression of curiosity and wonder shining in his jolly face.

Instead of some person or persons straightway appearing, divers remarkable sounds were heard, first in the workshop and afterwards in the little dark passage between it and the parlour, as though some unwieldy chest or heavy piece of furniture were being brought in, by an amount of human strength inadequate to the task. At length after much struggling and humping, and bruising of the wall on both sides, the door was forced open as by a battering-ram; and the locksmith, steadily regarding what appeared beyond, smote his thigh, elevated his eyebrows, opened his mouth, and cried in a loud voice expressive of the utmost consternation:

‘Damme, if it an’t Miggs come back!’

The young damsel whom he named no sooner heard these words, than deserting a small boy and a very large box by which she was accompanied, and advancing with such precipitation that her bonnet flew off her head, burst into the room, clasped her hands (in which she held a pair of pattens, one in each), raised her eyes devotedly to the ceiling, and shed a flood of tears.

‘The old story!’ cried the locksmith, looking at her in inexpressible desperation. ‘She was born to be a damper, this young woman! nothing can prevent it!’

‘Ho master, ho mim!’ cried Miggs, ‘can I constrain my feelings in these here once agin united moments! Ho Mr Warsen, here’s blessedness among relations, sir! Here’s forgivenesses of injuries, here’s amicablenesses!’

The locksmith looked from his wife to Dolly, and from Dolly to Joe, and from Joe to Miggs, with his eyebrows still elevated and his mouth still open. When his eyes got back to Miggs, they rested on her; fascinated.

‘To think,’ cried Miggs with hysterical joy, ‘that Mr Joe, and dear Miss Dolly, has raly come together after all as has been said and done contrairy! To see them two a-settin’ along with him and her, so pleasant and in all respects so affable and mild; and me not knowing of it, and not being in the ways to make no preparations for their teas. Ho what a cutting thing it is, and yet what sweet sensations is awoke within me!’

Either in clasping her hands again, or in an ecstasy of pious joy, Miss Miggs clinked her pattens after the manner of a pair of cymbals, at this juncture; and then resumed, in the softest accents:

‘And did my missis think—ho goodness, did she think—as her own Miggs, which supported her under so many trials, and understood her natur’ when them as intended well but acted rough, went so deep into her feelings—did she think as her own Miggs would ever leave her? Did she think as Miggs, though she was but a servant, and knowed that servitudes was no inheritances, would forgit that she was the humble instruments as always made it comfortable between them two when they fell out, and always told master of the meekness and forgiveness of her blessed dispositions! Did she think as Miggs had no attachments! Did she think that wages was her only object!’

To none of these interrogatories, whereof every one was more pathetically delivered than the last, did Mrs Varden answer one word: but Miggs, not at all abashed by this circumstance, turned to the small boy in attendance—her eldest nephew—son of her own married sister—born in Golden Lion Court, number twenty-sivin, and bred in the very shadow of the second bell-handle on the right-hand door-post—and with a plentiful use of her pocket-handkerchief, addressed herself to him: requesting that on his return home he would console his parents for the loss of her, his aunt, by delivering to them a faithful statement of his having left her in the bosom of that family, with which, as his aforesaid parents well knew, her best affections were incorporated; that he would remind them that nothing less than her imperious sense of duty, and devoted attachment to her old master and missis, likewise Miss Dolly and young Mr Joe, should ever have induced her to decline that pressing invitation which they, his parents, had, as he could testify, given her, to lodge and board with them, free of all cost and charge, for evermore; lastly, that he would help her with her box upstairs, and then repair straight home, bearing her blessing and her strong injunctions to mingle in his prayers a supplication that he might in course of time grow up a locksmith, or a Mr Joe, and have Mrs Vardens and Miss Dollys for his relations and friends.


Illustrations for Barnaby Rudge (1841)

Dickens made the expensive decision to have the illustrations dropped into the text, rather than printed on separate pages, so that they would retain the closest possible relationship to his story. This meant that the illustrators had to create their designs for wood instead of steel because wood engravings can be inked and printed simultaneously with the raised typeface, whereas etching plates, with their ink in grooves rather than on the surface, must be sent through a rolling press and printed on individual dampened pages. [Browne Lester, 77-78]

Comparing the plates that appeared in the 1849 edition of Barnaby Rudge to those in a good modern edition, such as the volume in the New Oxford Illustrated Dickens, gives us an idea of how the Victorian reader might have experienced the plates by Phiz — that is, simultaneously with the letterpress illustrated rather than facing such text. In the first place, whereas the illustrations in the New Oxford edition appear on a page 18.3 x 11.5 centimetres, those that Bradbury and Evans published in 1849 appear on a larger page (25 by 16.5 centimetres). The paper on which the original wood-cuts were printed provides a more important difference than their slightly larger page: in the 1849 edition, the plates appear on the same paper as does the text of the novel, and this arrangement permits printing text on the reverse of each illustration. In the New Oxford, the illustrations are free-standing rather than dropped into the text, usually facing the passages realised. In contrast, the original bound volume of 1849 has the plates on much heavier stock; in the 1849 edition the text bleeds through slightly, but in the New Oxford it does not, thus making the plates look somewhat better but also more important. Moreover, the ornamental capital letter vignettes designed by Phiz are not reproduced in modern editions, and pictures that served as head- and tailpieces merely appear on separate pages in the New Oxford. On the whole, the seventy-seven New Oxford Illustrated Dickens plates for Barnaby Rudge are quite clear, but those in the original often seem darker, sharper, and more dramatic, even though the plates are not printed on separate sheets but are integrated into the text, often with the print from the verso showing through.

Originally, when he proposed the novel to publisher Richard Bentley, Dickens had had veteran illustrator George Cruikshank in mind as his sole illustrator for the historical novel. However, when his editorial squabbles with Bentley came to a head, Dickens ceased work on the project, and Cruikshank took the commissions of a number of other authors, so that in January 1841 Dickens, taking up the novel again in earnest, suddenly found himself without Cruikshank. Thus, Dickens chose to revert to Phiz, his partner in The Pickwick Papers, who produced (according to Browne Lester) for the roaring tale fifty-nine illustrations, "mainly of characters, Cattermole producing about nineteen, usually of settings". Browne Lester describes Phiz's specialty at this point as the "low" characters such as Hugh and Sim Tappertit, "active moments, and comic rascality, while Cattermole would embark upon loftier, antiquarian, angelic, and architectural subjects".

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Reclining, in an easy attitude, with his back against a tree

Chapter 81

Fred Barnard

Text Illustrated:

He resumed his walk, and bent his steps towards the Warren. It was a clear, calm, silent evening, with hardly a breath of wind to stir the leaves, or any sound to break the stillness of the time, but drowsy sheep-bells tinkling in the distance, and, at intervals, the far-off lowing of cattle, or bark of village dogs. The sky was radiant with the softened glory of sunset; and on the earth, and in the air, a deep repose prevailed. At such an hour, he arrived at the deserted mansion which had been his home so long, and looked for the last time upon its blackened walls.

The ashes of the commonest fire are melancholy things, for in them there is an image of death and ruin,—of something that has been bright, and is but dull, cold, dreary dust,—with which our nature forces us to sympathise. How much more sad the crumbled embers of a home: the casting down of that great altar, where the worst among us sometimes perform the worship of the heart; and where the best have offered up such sacrifices, and done such deeds of heroism, as, chronicled, would put the proudest temples of old Time, with all their vaunting annals, to the blush!

He roused himself from a long train of meditation, and walked slowly round the house. It was by this time almost dark.

He had nearly made the circuit of the building, when he uttered a half-suppressed exclamation, started, and stood still. Reclining, in an easy attitude, with his back against a tree, and contemplating the ruin with an expression of pleasure,—a pleasure so keen that it overcame his habitual indolence and command of feature, and displayed itself utterly free from all restraint or reserve,—before him, on his own ground, and triumphing then, as he had triumphed in every misfortune and disappointment of his life, stood the man whose presence, of all mankind, in any place, and least of all in that, he could the least endure.

Although his blood so rose against this man, and his wrath so stirred within him, that he could have struck him dead, he put such fierce constraint upon himself that he passed him without a word or look. Yes, and he would have gone on, and not turned, though to resist the Devil who poured such hot temptation in his brain, required an effort scarcely to be achieved, if this man had not himself summoned him to stop: and that, with an assumed compassion in his voice which drove him well-nigh mad, and in an instant routed all the self-command it had been anguish—acute, poignant anguish—to sustain.

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Raising himself upon his hands, he gazed at him for an instant with scorn and hatred in his look

Chapter 81

Fred Barnard

Text Illustrated:

With that he raised his arm, and struck him on the breast so that he staggered. Sir John, the instant he recovered, drew his sword, threw away the scabbard and his hat, and running on his adversary made a desperate lunge at his heart, which, but that his guard was quick and true, would have stretched him dead upon the grass.

In the act of striking him, the torrent of his opponent’s rage had reached a stop. He parried his rapid thrusts, without returning them, and called to him, with a frantic kind of terror in his face, to keep back.

‘Not to-night! not to-night!’ he cried. ‘In God’s name, not tonight!’

Seeing that he lowered his weapon, and that he would not thrust in turn, Sir John lowered his.

‘Not to-night!’ his adversary cried. ‘Be warned in time!’

‘You told me—it must have been in a sort of inspiration—’ said Sir John, quite deliberately, though now he dropped his mask, and showed his hatred in his face, ‘that this was the last time. Be assured it is! Did you believe our last meeting was forgotten? Did you believe that your every word and look was not to be accounted for, and was not well remembered? Do you believe that I have waited your time, or you mine? What kind of man is he who entered, with all his sickening cant of honesty and truth, into a bond with me to prevent a marriage he affected to dislike, and when I had redeemed my part to the spirit and the letter, skulked from his, and brought the match about in his own time, to rid himself of a burden he had grown tired of, and cast a spurious lustre on his house?’

‘I have acted,’ cried Mr Haredale, ‘with honour and in good faith. I do so now. Do not force me to renew this duel to-night!’

‘You said my “wretched” son, I think?’ said Sir John, with a smile. ‘Poor fool! The dupe of such a shallow knave—trapped into marriage by such an uncle and by such a niece—he well deserves your pity. But he is no longer a son of mine: you are welcome to the prize your craft has made, sir.’

‘Once more,’ cried his opponent, wildly stamping on the ground, ‘although you tear me from my better angel, I implore you not to come within the reach of my sword to-night. Oh! why were you here at all! Why have we met! To-morrow would have cast us far apart for ever!’

‘That being the case,’ returned Sir John, without the least emotion, ‘it is very fortunate we have met to-night. Haredale, I have always despised you, as you know, but I have given you credit for a species of brute courage. For the honour of my judgment, which I had thought a good one, I am sorry to find you a coward.’

Not another word was spoken on either side. They crossed swords, though it was now quite dusk, and attacked each other fiercely. They were well matched, and each was thoroughly skilled in the management of his weapon.

After a few seconds they grew hotter and more furious, and pressing on each other inflicted and received several slight wounds. It was directly after receiving one of these in his arm, that Mr Haredale, making a keener thrust as he felt the warm blood spirting out, plunged his sword through his opponent’s body to the hilt.

Their eyes met, and were on each other as he drew it out. He put his arm about the dying man, who repulsed him, feebly, and dropped upon the turf. Raising himself upon his hands, he gazed at him for an instant, with scorn and hatred in his look; but, seeming to remember, even then, that this expression would distort his features after death, he tried to smile, and, faintly moving his right hand, as if to hide his bloody linen in his vest, fell back dead—the phantom of last night.

message 40: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5700 comments Mod

Grip the raven

Chapter the last

Fred Barnard

message 41: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2315 comments Kim wrote: "
Grip the raven
Fred Barnard"

Interesting that Barnard crammed the horses into the sketch. They seem superfluous.

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Peter | 3038 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "

Mr. Haredale bestows his niece's hand

Chapter 79


Text Illustrated:

‘You think so,’ Mr Haredale answered, ‘and I am glad you do. I know myself better, and therefore distrust myself more. ..."

Welcome back Kim, or Nell to some of us.

The final illustrations clearly show the two worlds of the characters. When we see the illustrations of Hugh they are ones of turmoil and anger. The tone is one of disruption, of breaking apart. On the other hand, we see this one of Ned and Emma. They are going to marry, and so the tone of their life is one of beginnings, of union.

The connection is that Ned and Hugh share the same father. I can’t help but think of the question “nature or nature” when we think of why a person turns out to be the way they are. Interestingly, we actually know more about Hugh’s early life than we do of Ned’s. I wonder if that was intentional on Dickens’s part?

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Kim wrote: "

Migg's short lived joy

Chapter 80


Text Illustrated:

‘Who’s coming in? what’s coming in?’ Mrs Varden, as much at a loss as her husband, could only shake her head in answer to his inquirin..."

The commentary on the process of illustrations and how the wood cuts differ from the steel engravings was very interesting. How we perceive the illustration varies greatly and the reading of the visual text directly influences how we read the written text. Woodcuts were more intimately tied to the written word on the page because of their immediacy. The Plot Thickens: Illustrated Victorian Serial Fiction from Dickens to du Maurier is very helpful in teaching how to “read” the illustrations within a Victorian novel.

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Tristram Shandy | 4465 comments Mod
I must say that I really like Barnard's work here: The sombre woods which, at a closer look, seems to consist of dead trees and of which Mr. Haredale apparently makes part. I am very thankful to you, Kim, for including Barnard in the selection of pictures you have provided.

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