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Dombey and Son
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Dombey and Son > D&S, Chp. 35-38

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message 1: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Hello Curiosities,

Once again, I hope I find you well and still safety hiding away inside your homes with plenty of time for reading. I am posting early this week because I am about to go practice social distancing at our camp by the river where no one else is near us and things like the internet don't exsist, so it's now or Sunday, and I'm picking now. I came to realize something during these last few months that I never even considered before and am amazed to know. Since we've been locked inside our homes all our activities have been cancelled. Therefore I haven't, gone to church, practiced for communion, practiced the voice parts for the choir, practiced for singing at nursing homes, gone to nursing homes, had small group here on Wednesday nights, gone to any girl's softball games, gone to any school concerts/plays/programs, you get the idea. All I've done is sit at home, or go to our camp at the river, where no one is there but us, and my migraines are so much better I can hardly believe it. My triggers have always been, 1. Sunlight, 2. Loud noise, 3. Bright lights, and 4. strong smells, I've said that for years and now I get to move "going out and doing anything at all" in front of everything. So I guess some good came out of this virus, more than is coming out of this marriage between Dombey and Edith.

We're at Chapter 35 with the deceiving title "The Happy Pair". At the end of my last recap I had asked the question,

May I hope that this marriage may be a good thing after all?

I think I've answered my own question and the answer is "no". They don't even seem to be trying all that hard. I was wondering earlier what that proposal must have been like, now I'm wondering how awful the honeymoon must have been. Can you imagine spending weeks alone with these two? Especially if you're one of them? It would have seemed hot at the North Pole to these two icy people. I keep picturing them sitting at a fancy restaurant never looking at each other and never saying a word to each other, and this is on their honeymoon! But the icy honeymoon is over and those living at the newly renovated Dombey home are excitedly awaiting the return of the happy pair. Why I can't imagine. We're told the lights are sparkling in the windows, the glow of fires are warm and bright, the dinner waits to be served, and finally they arrive. They are first embraced by Mrs. Skewton and I was wishing I could have seen Dombey's face during that, then Edith embraces Florence while Dombey shakes her hand and looks on her "cold and distant enough, but it stirred her heart to think that she observed in it something more of interest than he had ever shown before." But now we have this short conversation between the adoring couple:

‘You will not be long dressing, Mrs Dombey, I presume?’ said Mr Dombey.

‘I shall be ready immediately.’

‘Let them send up dinner in a quarter of an hour.’

With that Mr Dombey stalked away to his own dressing-room, and Mrs Dombey went upstairs to hers.


Hmm, they just can't stand to be apart from each other can they? I wonder how they are going to have another Dombey son to carry on the greatness if they don't share the same room. And then this is Dombey's glowing description of their trip to to his mother-in-law:

‘And how, my dearest Dombey, did you find that delightfullest of cities, Paris?’ she asked, subduing her emotion.

‘It was cold,’ returned Mr Dombey.

‘Gay as ever,’ said Mrs Skewton, ‘of course.

‘Not particularly. I thought it dull,’ said Mr Dombey.

‘Fie, my dearest Dombey!’ archly; ‘dull!’

‘It made that impression upon me, Madam,’ said Mr Dombey, with grave politeness. ‘I believe Mrs Dombey found it dull too. She mentioned once or twice that she thought it so.’


Maybe they took the dull time to get started on that son, if they could thaw out enough. But now Edith enters the room and we have this:

‘My dear Dombey,’ said Mrs Skewton, ‘how charmingly these people have carried out every idea that we hinted. They have made a perfect palace of the house, positively.’

‘It is handsome,’ said Mr Dombey, looking round. ‘I directed that no expense should be spared; and all that money could do, has been done, I believe.’

‘And what can it not do, dear Dombey?’ observed Cleopatra.

‘It is powerful, Madam,’ said Mr Dombey.

He looked in his solemn way towards his wife, but not a word said she.

‘I hope, Mrs Dombey,’ addressing her after a moment’s silence, with especial distinctness; ‘that these alterations meet with your approval?’

‘They are as handsome as they can be,’ she returned, with haughty carelessness. ‘They should be so, of course. And I suppose they are.’

An expression of scorn was habitual to the proud face, and seemed inseparable from it; but the contempt with which it received any appeal to admiration, respect, or consideration on the ground of his riches, no matter how slight or ordinary in itself, was a new and different expression, unequalled in intensity by any other of which it was capable.


And I am left puzzled. Why in the world did she marry him? If I'm understanding this right, she hates his money. She hates that he thinks it is important, she hates what his wealth can do, she hates that she married him because of it, she feels degraded for doing so, it turns her whole soul against him, but it is her right to use it for the power it gives her. If she feels such strong hatred about it, then why did she marry him? Did she really do it for her mother? She doesn't seem the type of person to give in to her mother. She knew what he was like before she married him, she isn't surprised by how he acts now, so why so much hatred now? And so they go to dinner, Edith sitting at one end like a statue, Dombey at the other doing a rather good job of being a statue himself. He is actually pleased to see his wife proud and cold. He finds her behavior in general agreeable to him, but she still must bow down to the great Dombey and the great Dombey wealth. Soon after this dinner Edith and her mother leave the room, but surprisingly Dombey let's Florence stay in the room with him. And finding these two alone, I want to remember this for later:

Florence entered, and sat down at a distant little table with her work: finding herself for the first time in her life—for the very first time within her memory from her infancy to that hour—alone with her father, as his companion. She, his natural companion, his only child, who in her lonely life and grief had known the suffering of a breaking heart; who, in her rejected love, had never breathed his name to God at night, but with a tearful blessing, heavier on him than a curse; who had prayed to die young, so she might only die in his arms; who had, all through, repaid the agony of slight and coldness, and dislike, with patient unexacting love, excusing him, and pleading for him, like his better angel!

And so Dombey sits with Florence, covers his head with a handkerchief and goes to sleep. This isn't the first time someone in a Dickens novel puts a handkerchief on their head to sleep. I fail to see how this would help you sleep. But really, he isn't sleeping, he is studying Florence, perhaps for the first time in his life, and oh, I am so happy, finally perhaps, there is going to be a change in his feelings to Florence:

And what were his thoughts meanwhile? With what emotions did he prolong the attentive gaze covertly directed on his unknown daughter? Was there reproach to him in the quiet figure and the mild eyes? Had he begun to her disregarded claims and did they touch him home at last, and waken him to some sense of his cruel injustice?

There are yielding moments in the lives of the sternest and harshest men, though such men often keep their secret well. The sight of her in her beauty, almost changed into a woman without his knowledge, may have struck out some such moments even in his life of pride. Some passing thought that he had had a happy home within his reach—had had a household spirit bending at has feet—had overlooked it in his stiffnecked sullen arrogance, and wandered away and lost himself, may have engendered them. Some simple eloquence distinctly heard, though only uttered in her eyes, unconscious that he read them as ‘By the death-beds I have tended, by the childhood I have suffered, by our meeting in this dreary house at midnight, by the cry wrung from me in the anguish of my heart, oh, father, turn to me and seek a refuge in my love before it is too late!’ may have arrested them. Meaner and lower thoughts, as that his dead boy was now superseded by new ties, and he could forgive the having been supplanted in his affection, may have occasioned them. The mere association of her as an ornament, with all the ornament and pomp about him, may have been sufficient. But as he looked, he softened to her, more and more. As he looked, she became blended with the child he had loved, and he could hardly separate the two. As he looked, he saw her for an instant by a clearer and a brighter light, not bending over that child’s pillow as his rival—monstrous thought—but as the spirit of his home, and in the action tending himself no less, as he sat once more with his bowed-down head upon his hand at the foot of the little bed. He felt inclined to speak to her, and call her to him. The words ‘Florence, come here!’ were rising to his lips—but slowly and with difficulty, they were so very strange—when they were checked and stifled by a footstep on the stair.


I could have screamed, for Edith comes in the room, takes Florence away with her, and the moment and the feeling passes, perhaps forever. So much for the night the happy pair came home.


message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Chapter 36 is titled "Housewarming" which would take a lot of warming and we find that Mrs. Skewton holds little levees in her own apartments, and Major Bagstock was a frequent attendant, I can't imagine who else was. Also, Florence never gets a second look from her father, even though she sees him every day, and doesn't even see that much of Edith. Edith seems to spend her time visiting, who I don't know, but no matter how late she gets home she always goes to Florence's room and spends time with her even though she is often silent and thoughtful. We're also told that Florence had hoped for so much from this marriage, that she had hoped it would become a home, but it hadn't and she spent many an hour of sorrowful reflection and many a tear of blighted hope.

Then came the homecoming party on which a great number of incongruous people would come to dinner on the same day. Mr. Dombey made his list, and Mrs Skewton made her list and Edith didn't care. The night came and the people began to arrive, and finally Mrs. Dombey arrived "beautiful and proud, and as disdainful and defiant of them". And Dombey's guests stayed in their room, and Mrs. Dombey's guests stayed in the other room, and Mrs. Dombey ignored them all:

Yet her thoughts were busy with other things; for as she sat apart—not unadmired or unsought, but in the gentleness of her quiet spirit—she felt how little part her father had in what was going on, and saw, with pain, how ill at ease he seemed to be, and how little regarded he was as he lingered about near the door, for those visitors whom he wished to distinguish with particular attention, and took them up to introduce them to his wife, who received them with proud coldness, but showed no interest or wish to please, and never, after the bare ceremony of reception, in consultation of his wishes, or in welcome of his friends, opened her lips. It was not the less perplexing or painful to Florence, that she who acted thus, treated her so kindly and with such loving consideration, that it almost seemed an ungrateful return on her part even to know of what was passing before her eyes.

Finally, the guest are all gone and we are left with Dombey and Mr. Carker, Edith and her mother. And now there is this:

At last, the guests were all gone, and the linkmen too; and the street, crowded so long with carriages, was clear; and the dying lights showed no one in the rooms, but Mr Dombey and Mr Carker, who were talking together apart, and Mrs Dombey and her mother: the former seated on an ottoman; the latter reclining in the Cleopatra attitude, awaiting the arrival of her maid. Mr Dombey having finished his communication to Carker, the latter advanced obsequiously to take leave.

‘I trust,’ he said, ‘that the fatigues of this delightful evening will not inconvenience Mrs Dombey to-morrow.’

‘Mrs Dombey,’ said Mr Dombey, advancing, ‘has sufficiently spared herself fatigue, to relieve you from any anxiety of that kind. I regret to say, Mrs Dombey, that I could have wished you had fatigued yourself a little more on this occasion.

She looked at him with a supercilious glance, that it seemed not worth her while to protract, and turned away her eyes without speaking.

‘I am sorry, Madam,’ said Mr Dombey, ‘that you should not have thought it your duty—’

She looked at him again.

‘Your duty, Madam,’ pursued Mr Dombey, ‘to have received my friends with a little more deference. Some of those whom you have been pleased to slight to-night in a very marked manner, Mrs Dombey, confer a distinction upon you, I must tell you, in any visit they pay you.’

‘Do you know that there is someone here?’ she returned, now looking at him steadily.

‘No! Carker! I beg that you do not. I insist that you do not,’ cried Mr Dombey, stopping that noiseless gentleman in his withdrawal. ‘Mr Carker, Madam, as you know, possesses my confidence. He is as well acquainted as myself with the subject on which I speak. I beg to tell you, for your information, Mrs Dombey, that I consider these wealthy and important persons confer a distinction upon me:’ and Mr Dombey drew himself up, as having now rendered them of the highest possible importance.

‘I ask you,’ she repeated, bending her disdainful, steady gaze upon him, ‘do you know that there is someone here, Sir?’


Who ever thought it was a good idea for these two people to marry?


message 3: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Chapter 37 is titled "More Warnings Than One", and I could have done with a little break from the Dombey home, but such is not to be, yet. It is the next morning and Florence, Edith and Mrs. Skewton are sitting together when Carker arrives. Edith tries to avoid him, but Mrs. Skewton insists she see him. Florence leaves the room, probably to avoid the brightness of the teeth so early in the morning, and he asks Edith if he may see her for a minute alone on business. He tells her that Florence has unhappily been neglected by her father. He also says he has noticed that Edith has taken an interest in her. He says he should actually tell Mr. Dombey that Florence has fallen in with Walter, a very low person, also one of a type of scheming people, but if he told Dombey, which is really what he should do, it would probably increase her father's negative attitude towards her, and of course Edith wouldn't want that to happen. Dombey has already been contemplating a separation an alienation of her from his home, and this would surely do it. Carker assures her he knows this is true because he knows Dombey so well. He says if Dombey has a fault it is lofty stubbornness, rooted in that noble pride and sense of power which belong to him, that they all must defer to, the perfect thing to say to Edith. So Carker has been "kind" enough in telling it to Edith - especially since this is like telling it to Mr. Dombey since Edith is his wife, in whom he trusts - and he will leave it to her discretion what to do with this information.

So not only does Mr. Carker show that he knows the truth about the relationship between Edith and Dombey, although I'm pretty sure no one could miss it - by stressing the opposite of what Edith already knows that Carker knows, but he also forces Edith into an alliance against Dombey for the sake of Florence. They now share a secret and have some common knowledge, which must be particularly hateful to Edith seeing how much she despises him. So loyal Carker is willing to use his knowledge of Dombey for getting what he wants, although I'm not sure yet what that is. I used to think he wanted Florence, now I'm not sure.

To me Carker seems to be a scheming villain without giving us, or me anyway, any idea what he is scheming toward, he doesn't seem all that interested in Florence anymore, as a future wife that is. Perhaps he is just very good at being a villian. He must spend a great deal of time planning his next act, maybe while brushing his teeth. But whatever his scheme may be, it works:

He long remembered the look she gave him—who could see it, and forget it?—and the struggle that ensued within her. At last she said:

‘I accept it, Sir You will please to consider this matter at an end, and that it goes no farther.’

He bowed low, and rose. She rose too, and he took leave with all humility. But Withers, meeting him on the stairs, stood amazed at the beauty of his teeth, and at his brilliant smile; and as he rode away upon his white-legged horse, the people took him for a dentist, such was the dazzling show he made. The people took her, when she rode out in her carriage presently, for a great lady, as happy as she was rich and fine. But they had not seen her, just before, in her own room with no one by; and they had not heard her utterance of the three words, ‘Oh Florence, Florence!’


But we have more in this chapter, that evening they are planning on eating out, Dombey is waiting in the drawing room and Edith in her dressing room when Mrs. Skewton's maid appears:

‘If you please, Ma’am, I beg your pardon, but I can’t do nothing with Missis!’

‘What do you mean?’ asked Edith.

‘Well, Ma’am,’ replied the frightened maid, ‘I hardly know. She’s making faces!’

Edith hurried with her to her mother’s room. Cleopatra was arrayed in full dress, with the diamonds, short sleeves, rouge, curls, teeth, and other juvenility all complete; but Paralysis was not to be deceived, had known her for the object of its errand, and had struck her at her glass, where she lay like a horrible doll that had tumbled down.

They took her to pieces in very shame, and put the little of her that was real on a bed. Doctors were sent for, and soon came. Powerful remedies were resorted to; opinions given that she would rally from this shock, but would not survive another; and there she lay speechless, and staring at the ceiling, for days; sometimes making inarticulate sounds in answer to such questions as did she know who were present, and the like: sometimes giving no reply either by sign or gesture, or in her unwinking eyes.


She slowly recovers, but only to a point. There is now a weakening of her intellect, and she became exacting in respect of Edith, jealous of having any rival to her. And I feel sorry for Edith, I didn't think it was possible for her mother to be worse than she already was, but I was wrong.


message 4: by Kim (last edited May 21, 2020 01:26PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Chapter 38 is titled "Miss Tox Renews An Old Aquaintance", and I am so glad to get away from the house of Dombey for a while. We are back with Miss Tox who is now very lonely. She has lost the companionship of Mrs. Chick, although that isn't anything to be sad about, and she misses the Dombeys. We're told for a time the Bird Waltz was unheard, the plants were neglected, and dust collected on the miniature of Miss Tox's ancestor. But she still felt an interest in the House of Dombey and decides to renew her acquaintance with the Toodles. Poor, poor Miss Tox. If we continue to see the faithlessness of one person to another as in the Carker/Dombey relationship hopefully we will get to see a humorous, love of Miss Tox for Dombey more often, may I hope for a one day union of the two, and a un-union of the other two? I can't imagine the Edith/Dombey disaster will last forever, and I've come to like Miss Tox. We're told she never felt that she had a reason of complaint against Mr. Dombey. Her sense of his magnificence remained, and it was perfectly natural that in looking for a wife he would aim high, so she thought anyway. She never thought that he may have had made her subservient to him, only that she had passed a great many happy hours in that house. And so one day she goes off to visit the Toodles. And that brings me to Rob the Grinder, or Rob the whiner as I usually think of him, he can cry on any occasion:

‘Well, mother!’ said Rob, dutifully kissing her; ‘how are you, mother?’

‘There’s my boy!’ cried Polly, giving him a hug and a pat on the back. ‘Secret! Bless you, father, not he!’

This was intended for Mr Toodle’s private edification, but Rob the Grinder, whose withers were not unwrung, caught the words as they were spoken.

‘What! father’s been a saying something more again me, has he?’ cried the injured innocent. ‘Oh, what a hard thing it is that when a cove has once gone a little wrong, a cove’s own father should be always a throwing it in his face behind his back! It’s enough,’ cried Rob, resorting to his coat-cuff in anguish of spirit, ‘to make a cove go and do something, out of spite!’

‘My poor boy!’ cried Polly, ‘father didn’t mean anything.’

‘If father didn’t mean anything,’ blubbered the injured Grinder, ‘why did he go and say anything, mother? Nobody thinks half so bad of me as my own father does. What a unnatural thing! I wish somebody’d take and chop my head off. Father wouldn’t mind doing it, I believe, and I’d much rather he did that than t’other.’


It is now that Miss Tox arrives and seems to have a very pleasant visit with the Toodles, well except for this comment from Mr. Toodles perhaps:

‘You have almost forgotten me, Sir, I daresay,’ said Miss Tox to Mr Toodle.

‘No, Ma’am, no,’ said Toodle. ‘But we’ve all on us got a little older since then.’

‘And how do you find yourself, Sir?’ inquired Miss Tox, blandly.

‘Hearty, Ma’am, thank’ee,’ replied Toodle. ‘How do you find yourself, Ma’am? Do the rheumaticks keep off pretty well, Ma’am? We must all expect to grow into ‘em, as we gets on.’

‘Thank you,’ said Miss Tox. ‘I have not felt any inconvenience from that disorder yet.’

‘You’re wery fortunate, Ma’am,’ returned Mr Toodle. ‘Many people at your time of life, Ma’am, is martyrs to it. There was my mother—’ But catching his wife’s eye here, Mr Toodle judiciously buried the rest in another mug of tea.


This has me wondering how old Miss Tox is, if we were told I don't remember. And being introduced to Rob the grinder we find almost overpowers Miss Tox, with the memories of Dombey and how he first made Rob a Grinder, but she manages to shake hands with him and congratulates his mother on his frank, ingenuous face. A look he tries and fails to make. She tells them that she is still interested in the proceedings of the family, and would like to visit some times to discuss anything that reaches them regarding the Dombey family. She says she will bring a few little books with her and of an evening now and then to teach the children. Everyone agrees with the idea, and it is late when she leaves, so the Grinder offers to see her home. I wonder if we're supposed to like the grinder? Because I don't, not at all, I find him annoying. But I was glad to spend a day with Miss Tox and the Toodle's far away from the icy home of the Dombeys.


Jantine (eccentriclady) | 612 comments Kim, you're not the only one who dislikes the Whiner. I think I will stick to that one for a while ;-) All of interest we ever see him do is plot or whine basically. And the way he talked, I got the feeling he still hopes for some mean business that isn't completely honest too. I was hoping Captain Cuttle would have a positive effect on the boy, but apparently all he can do is laugh at his elders, while he doesn't know anything about the business either. It's not like he's doing better.

Miss Tox might be closer to Dombey's age than Edith is. I also wonder about her age sometimes. To have her hopes up for marriage, especially in this time and after little Paul died, she must have been no older than, say, 40 yet. But as I mentioned in an earlier thread, people often didn't get much older than that, and under the Victorian conditions you were seen as older and would get illnesses like rheumatism much quicker.

The chapters about the Dombey house indeed felt long this time. I hate to admit it, but I get tired of Carker so much! He is so good at being a villain who plays other people, that I hoped for Edith to kick him out of the house. She of course would have given hem ammo to shoot her with then, but it feels like all of the other characters give him ammo to shoot with all the time, or he manages to find it, and he seems to be infallible. I cannot find the hole in his demeanor through which anyone who realizes how he really is could parry him, and I hate that.


message 6: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1263 comments Jantine wrote: "I cannot find the hole in his demeanor through which anyone who realizes how he really is could parry him, and I hate that..."

My bet is on Alice to know something useful.


message 7: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1263 comments Kim wrote: "Then came the homecoming party on which a great number of incongruous people would come to dinner on the same day. Mr. Dombey made his list, and Mrs Skewton made her list and Edith didn't care. The night came and the people began to arrive, and finally Mrs. Dombey arrived "beautiful and proud, and as disdainful and defiant of them". And Dombey's guests stayed in their room, and Mrs. Dombey's guests stayed in the other room, and Mrs. Dombey ignored them all."

It's interesting that this is pretty close to Dombey's pre-marital fantasy party where Edith would be his wife and too good for everyone else. But I think his guest who tells the story about a woman who clearly only married her husband for his money ruins it all for Dombey--because it turns out backwards: everyone thinks Edith is too good for him.


Peter | 3211 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Hello Curiosities,

Once again, I hope I find you well and still safety hiding away inside your homes with plenty of time for reading. I am posting early this week because I am about to go practic..."


The newly furnished matrimonial house of Dombey is certainly not a fun house. From the street the house may be bright and inviting, but in the inside, oh my. As Kim notes, this is not a marriage based on love. What this marriage is, to me anyway, is a union without an adequate phrase to describe it. Cold, frigid, loveless, a psychological torture chamber, a battle of unrelenting wills, or something else?

The social dynamic of the house is twisted. Dombey lives with three females. Edith, his wife, does not and never did love him. Mrs Skewton is a shopworn, insincere, and cruelly calculating woman. Florence loves her father truly and deeply but seemingly remains outside her father’s interest or concern.

Dombey demands Edith's submission to his will but has no chance of getting it. Dombey apparently allows Mrs Skewton to worm her way into the affairs of the house. Finally, Dombey is unwilling to move beyond his “stiffnecked sullen arrogance” to embrace his daughter, the one person in the house who loves him unconditionally.

Dombey’s self-absorption is so “wrapped in his own greatness” he sees nothing but his own vision of the way the world should be.


David Taylor (datamonkey) | 48 comments I have only read 35-37, but I had to check in here to try to work out what was going on in chapter 37. What exactly is Carker trying to blackmail Edith (and Florence) with ? That she felt kindly towards Walter ? He saved her when she was lost - it would be surprising if she didn't feel well-disposed towards him.
And young Paul was much closer to Walter, Paul even preferring the presence of Walter to Mr D on his deathbed.
And since Walter is presumed dead some time ago, would it really cause such outrage now ?
I'm getting more and more tired of Edith now. She knew exactly what she was getting into, and now seems intent on taking it out on everyone when she has the new life she chose. For all her breeding, she is behaving like a spoilt teenager !


Jantine (eccentriclady) | 612 comments Edith acts like she always did: you could say she chose this, but she feels like she never had a choice, apart from her behaviour. Not accepting Dombey would have gotten her loads and loads of backlash. So she does what she always did, acting proud and haughty, and thus showing everybody this was not her choise, she was made to do it by society. Tbh, I don't see a spoilt teenager, but a teenager who is abused into fitting a mold, who has always been told she has to behave, and who is trying to lash out and keep her freedom and autonomy in any way she can while being held back by all those internalized rules.


Peter | 3211 comments Mod
David wrote: "I have only read 35-37, but I had to check in here to try to work out what was going on in chapter 37. What exactly is Carker trying to blackmail Edith (and Florence) with ? That she felt kindly to..."

Hi David

Carker - like Edith - is a fascinating character, one who I believe has more psychological depth than most previous characters in Dickens’s novels

Earlier, Carker saw Edith's crying and I believe connected the dots to the fact that Edith was not looking forward to marrying Dombey. I think Carker is a bit of a magpie. He will collect and then store information until such a time such information can be turned to his advantage. To know Edith’s feelings towards Dombey may be useful to him in the future. In Chapter 32 Dickens tells us that “ [Carker] knows her thoroughly, and reads her right, and that she is more degraded by his knowledge of her ...” Carker is subtle, but as we have seen with his physical mistreatment of Rob the grinder, Carker is capable of physical violence as well.

As to the Carker - Florence dynamic I think it is two fold. As Dombey’s daughter, should Carker ever marry Florence he would place himself in an even more secure position of influence, and perhaps even future power. By removing Walter from any possible future connection with Dombey, the firm of Dombey and Son, and any future relationship between Walter and Florence, Carker further secures his own position.

Carker is, to me, a very cold and calculating person. What else is he capable of in the later stages of this novel?


message 12: by Julie (last edited May 19, 2020 11:57AM) (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1263 comments David wrote: "What exactly is Carker trying to blackmail Edith (and Florence) with ? That she felt kindly towards Walter ?"

I think what he's saying is:

1. Florence has had low associates (Walter's family). I can make this sound really bad. (Not surprising, given how freaked out Dombey was about the Tootles/Richards family contaminating his household.)

2. If I, Carker, tell Dombey about his daughter's low associates, he may ban her from his household. (Also not a stretch. He'd practically banned her from the household before he married Edith anyway.)

3. If you ask me to, I won't tell Dombey. But then, a) I will have the ability to blackmail you, and b) you will actually have expressed a preference over something, so I will own a little bit of the soul you have refused to give to anyone else.

I feel sorry for Edith, who's now lost the one thing she tried to keep for herself--her psychological independence--and lost it to Carker.

Keep in mind Dombey, legally, has pretty close to the power of God over his children. Even if his wife had survived, she would have no right to determine their future or well-being: legally they belong to their father. So Edith, legally, has no ability to keep Florence from harm at all. Dombey could pass Florence off to Mrs. Skewton in a heartbeat if he liked, and Skewton would absolutely marry Florence off to Carker if it suited her.


David Taylor (datamonkey) | 48 comments Julie wrote: "David wrote: "What exactly is Carker trying to blackmail Edith (and Florence) with ? That she felt kindly towards Walter ?"

I think what he's saying is:

1. Florence has had low associates (Walter..."


That's really made me gloomy about pretty well everyone's prospects apart from Carker and Dombey.
I'm just hoping that we're getting close to the point at which things start to look up, although Carker obviously has lots of conniving to go yet. I see that the next chapter sees the return of Captain Cuttle so hopefully he can brighten things up a bit.
I assume we also have the return of Walter and Gills to come as well, and even Alice must have something in store for Carker, so I still have some faith in the forces for good (or at least anti-Carker) yet.


message 14: by Julie (last edited May 21, 2020 09:18AM) (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1263 comments David wrote: "I see that the next chapter sees the return of Captain Cuttle so hopefully he can brighten things up a bit.
I assume we also have the return of Walter and Gills to come as well, and even Alice must have something in store for Carker, so I still have some faith in the forces for good (or at least anti-Carker) yet..."


It's got to turn at some point!

Also as much as I like Edith, I do think she's misguided in believing aloof indifference will save her soul, so I expect this is all just part of her necessary journey.


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Kim | 5978 comments Mod





original sketch

Mrs. Dombey at home

Chaptr 36

Phiz

Text Illustrated:

There was a throng in the state-rooms upstairs, increasing every minute; but still Mr Dombey’s list of visitors appeared to have some native impossibility of amalgamation with Mrs Dombey’s list, and no one could have doubted which was which. The single exception to this rule perhaps was Mr Carker, who now smiled among the company, and who, as he stood in the circle that was gathered about Mrs Dombey—watchful of her, of them, his chief, Cleopatra and the Major, Florence, and everything around—appeared at ease with both divisions of guests, and not marked as exclusively belonging to either.

Florence had a dread of him, which made his presence in the room a nightmare to her. She could not avoid the recollection of it, for her eyes were drawn towards him every now and then, by an attraction of dislike and distrust that she could not resist. Yet her thoughts were busy with other things; for as she sat apart—not unadmired or unsought, but in the gentleness of her quiet spirit—she felt how little part her father had in what was going on, and saw, with pain, how ill at ease he seemed to be, and how little regarded he was as he lingered about near the door, for those visitors whom he wished to distinguish with particular attention, and took them up to introduce them to his wife, who received them with proud coldness, but showed no interest or wish to please, and never, after the bare ceremony of reception, in consultation of his wishes, or in welcome of his friends, opened her lips. It was not the less perplexing or painful to Florence, that she who acted thus, treated her so kindly and with such loving consideration, that it almost seemed an ungrateful return on her part even to know of what was passing before her eyes.

Happy Florence would have been, might she have ventured to bear her father company, by so much as a look; and happy Florence was, in little suspecting the main cause of his uneasiness. But afraid of seeming to know that he was placed at any disadvantage, lest he should be resentful of that knowledge; and divided between her impulse towards him, and her grateful affection for Edith; she scarcely dared to raise her eyes towards either. Anxious and unhappy for them both, the thought stole on her through the crowd, that it might have been better for them if this noise of tongues and tread of feet had never come there,—if the old dulness and decay had never been replaced by novelty and splendour,—if the neglected child had found no friend in Edith, but had lived her solitary life, unpitied and forgotten.



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Kim | 5978 comments Mod


Withers, meeting him on the stairs, stood amazed at the beauty of his teeth

Chapter 37

Fred Barnard

Text Illustrated:

May I aspire to the distinction of believing that my confidence is accepted, and that I am relieved from my responsibility?’

He long remembered the look she gave him—who could see it, and forget it?—and the struggle that ensued within her. At last she said:

‘I accept it, Sir You will please to consider this matter at an end, and that it goes no farther.’

He bowed low, and rose. She rose too, and he took leave with all humility. But Withers, meeting him on the stairs, stood amazed at the beauty of his teeth, and at his brilliant smile; and as he rode away upon his white-legged horse, the people took him for a dentist, such was the dazzling show he made. The people took her, when she rode out in her carriage presently, for a great lady, as happy as she was rich and fine. But they had not seen her, just before, in her own room with no one by; and they had not heard her utterance of the three words, ‘Oh Florence, Florence!’



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Kim | 5978 comments Mod





original sketch

Miss Tox pays a visit to the Toddle family

Chapter 38

Phiz

Text Illustrated:

‘How do you do, Mrs Richards?’ said Miss Tox. ‘I have come to see you. May I come in?’

The cheery face of Mrs Richards shone with a hospitable reply, and Miss Tox, accepting the proffered chair, and grab fully recognising Mr Toodle on her way to it, untied her bonnet strings, and said that in the first place she must beg the dear children, one and all, to come and kiss her.

The ill-starred youngest Toodle but one, who would appear, from the frequency of his domestic troubles, to have been born under an unlucky planet, was prevented from performing his part in this general salutation by having fixed the sou’wester hat (with which he had been previously trifling) deep on his head, hind side before, and being unable to get it off again; which accident presenting to his terrified imagination a dismal picture of his passing the rest of his days in darkness, and in hopeless seclusion from his friends and family, caused him to struggle with great violence, and to utter suffocating cries. Being released, his face was discovered to be very hot, and red, and damp; and Miss Tox took him on her lap, much exhausted.



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Kim | 5978 comments Mod


Ran sniggering off to get change and tossed it away with a pieman

Chapter 38

Fred Barnard

Text Illustrated:

After shaking hands with Mr Toodle and Polly, and kissing all the children, Miss Tox left the house, therefore, with unlimited popularity, and carrying away with her so light a heart that it might have given Mrs Chick offence if that good lady could have weighed it.

Rob the Grinder, in his modesty, would have walked behind, but Miss Tox desired him to keep beside her, for conversational purposes; and, as she afterwards expressed it to his mother, ‘drew him out,’ upon the road.

He drew out so bright, and clear, and shining, that Miss Tox was charmed with him. The more Miss Tox drew him out, the finer he came—like wire. There never was a better or more promising youth—a more affectionate, steady, prudent, sober, honest, meek, candid young man—than Rob drew out, that night.

‘I am quite glad,’ said Miss Tox, arrived at her own door, ‘to know you. I hope you’ll consider me your friend, and that you’ll come and see me as often as you like. Do you keep a money-box?’

‘Yes, Ma’am,’ returned Rob; ‘I’m saving up, against I’ve got enough to put in the Bank, Ma’am.

‘Very laudable indeed,’ said Miss Tox. ‘I’m glad to hear it. Put this half-crown into it, if you please.’

‘Oh thank you, Ma’am,’ replied Rob, ‘but really I couldn’t think of depriving you.’

‘I commend your independent spirit,’ said Miss Tox, ‘but it’s no deprivation, I assure you. I shall be offended if you don’t take it, as a mark of my good-will. Good-night, Robin.’

‘Good-night, Ma’am,’ said Rob, ‘and thank you!’

Who ran sniggering off to get change, and tossed it away with a pieman. But they never taught honour at the Grinders’ School, where the system that prevailed was particularly strong in the engendering of hypocrisy. Insomuch, that many of the friends and masters of past Grinders said, if this were what came of education for the common people, let us have none. Some more rational said, let us have a better one. But the governing powers of the Grinders’ Company were always ready for them, by picking out a few boys who had turned out well in spite of the system, and roundly asserting that they could have only turned out well because of it. Which settled the business of those objectors out of hand, and established the glory of the Grinders’ Institution.



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Kim | 5978 comments Mod


"Do you know that there is someone here?"

Chapter 36

Fred Barnard

Text Illustrated:

At last, the guests were all gone, and the linkmen too; and the street, crowded so long with carriages, was clear; and the dying lights showed no one in the rooms, but Mr Dombey and Mr Carker, who were talking together apart, and Mrs Dombey and her mother: the former seated on an ottoman; the latter reclining in the Cleopatra attitude, awaiting the arrival of her maid. Mr Dombey having finished his communication to Carker, the latter advanced obsequiously to take leave.

‘I trust,’ he said, ‘that the fatigues of this delightful evening will not inconvenience Mrs Dombey to-morrow.’

‘Mrs Dombey,’ said Mr Dombey, advancing, ‘has sufficiently spared herself fatigue, to relieve you from any anxiety of that kind. I regret to say, Mrs Dombey, that I could have wished you had fatigued yourself a little more on this occasion.

She looked at him with a supercilious glance, that it seemed not worth her while to protract, and turned away her eyes without speaking.

‘I am sorry, Madam,’ said Mr Dombey, ‘that you should not have thought it your duty—’

She looked at him again.

‘Your duty, Madam,’ pursued Mr Dombey, ‘to have received my friends with a little more deference. Some of those whom you have been pleased to slight to-night in a very marked manner, Mrs Dombey, confer a distinction upon you, I must tell you, in any visit they pay you.’

‘Do you know that there is someone here?’ she returned, now looking at him steadily.

‘No! Carker! I beg that you do not. I insist that you do not,’ cried Mr Dombey, stopping that noiseless gentleman in his withdrawal. ‘Mr Carker, Madam, as you know, possesses my confidence. He is as well acquainted as myself with the subject on which I speak. I beg to tell you, for your information, Mrs Dombey, that I consider these wealthy and important persons confer a distinction upon me:’ and Mr Dombey drew himself up, as having now rendered them of the highest possible importance.

‘I ask you,’ she repeated, bending her disdainful, steady gaze upon him, ‘do you know that there is someone here, Sir?’



Peter | 3211 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "




original sketch

Miss Tox pays a visit to the Toddle family

Chapter 38

Phiz

Text Illustrated:

‘How do you do, Mrs Richards?’ said Miss Tox. ‘I have come to see you. May I come in?’

The ch..."


Thanks for the illustrations Kim, and the inclusion of the original sketches. In this week’s selections we see scenes with multiple characters, and I am amazed that Browne was able to capture such detail in the features of the people and their faves in such a small amount of space.

The illustration for “Mrs Dombey at Home” (Chapter 36) shows us the extravagant setting for the rich and powerful who come to the party at Dombey’s house. As we learn in the chapter these people are not the close friends of Dombey. The Dombey-Carker relationship is not a friendship either; it is, rather, a business association, with Dombey clearly the superior person.

The illustration “Miss Tox pays a visit to the Toodle’s family (Chapter 38) functions as the companion illustration to “Mrs Dombey at home.” (Chapter 36). These two contrasting illustrations serve to highlight and comment on two very distinctive families and two very different plot lines. The Dombey party is one of business people, men of power and influence, Their faces are set. They are playing a role, performing a business ritual more than creating or expanding any personal friendships.

Browne’s illustration in Chapter 38 enhances Dickens’s narrative in another way. In Chapter 38’s illustration we have a family portrait. The Toodle’s are comfortable with each other. The children are happy, the family home bearing witness to love and joy. There are toys strewn on the floor, the family is joined around a dinner table and the symbolic hearth is prominent in the illustration. Miss Tox is being greeted as a welcome addition to the family setting.

Miss Tox, having been rejected by the glamour and icy trappings of the world of Dombey, is welcomed into the warmth of the Toodle family. Browne’s illustrations demonstrate the separate worlds of Dombey and the Toodle’s. I do not think it is by chance that Miss Tox is the agent that Dickens incorporates into these contrasting chapters. She has lost all entry to the business world of Dombey where even his wife is a commodity, but has found a place in the harmonious home of the Toodle’s.


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
Hello everyone,

My apologies for not having joined this week's discussion earlier, but at the moment, Covid-19 is giving me a hard time because in Germany, students are slowly, by and by, flocking back into school, and that means I am now doing a mixture of homeschooling and teaching at school. Apart from that, there is a discussion as to how pupils are going to be marked at the end of the school year, and how you can count what they did at home in the previous weeks, and then there are my own children whose homework I have to check and survey. I am worried about my own son, because I see clearly that the past six or seven weeks set him back in English considerably, and that he cannot learn a language by simply sitting at home and doing exercises and trying to figure out the grammar on his own. Yet, he won't let me help him a bit, at least not in English, and so he can't form the past tense properly, gets all the irregular verbs wrong, doesn't know the difference between past tense and present perfect and has no clue about question tags. The class won't even have an English teacher for the rest of the school year but they will still have marks, and at the moment I am fighting a battle against his school about that because I want the school to explain to me how the children can get English marks when they don't have an English teacher. Is it like mannah falling from the sky?

Well, enough of that.

I noticed, once again, how much I love Dombey and Son and how well Dickens succeeds in creating a veritable universe of characters and conflicts. Reading this, and most of the other Dickens books following Dombey and Son actually feels like coming home to me, because it's all so vivid and real. Dickens's novels capture me like nobody else's works.

I only want to add one thought to this week's chapters, and it is based on the scene when Dombey is stealthily watching his daughter and feels himself relenting towards her when suddenly Edith is stepping in, and Dombey's shutter jam back into place. I think the key to this behaviour is that Dombey, for all his pride and the coldness in his behaviour, wants to be loved. He wanted to be loved by his son, and, being Dombey the Great, hold the first place in his son's heart, and then he had to realize that little Paul focuses the lion's share of his love on Florence, and then there came Walter, and his filial love for Dombey was not unmingled with fear. This gave Dombey a pang, and he blamed Florence for it. Now, he sees how Florence wins the heart of Edith, a woman who clearly scorns and despises Dombey the Great. Dombey realizes that there is a certain quality in Florence that he misses - the ability to win people's hearts. Now, Dombey might not generally want to win people's hearts because for him it is sufficient to ice people's hearts into veneration and submission but this he can never get from Edith, and so he is doubly vexed when he sees that Edith can be a different woman in Florence's presence. I am sure that Dombey would love Edith not only to submit to him - his deliberate humiliation of his wife in Carker's presence was an attempt of making her submit to him, but a futile one - but also to love him. He cannot get her love, and that makes him feel small. But Florence can. So, this adds to his own humiliation but it also frustrates him. That's my reading of the whole situation.


message 22: by Julie (new)

Julie Kelleher | 1263 comments Tristram wrote: "Hello everyone,

My apologies for not having joined this week's discussion earlier, but at the moment, Covid-19 is giving me a hard time because in Germany, students are slowly, by and by, flocking..."


Solidarity, Tristram, with the simultaneous homeschooling and teaching at home. It's exhausting. I will be glad in three weeks when my academic quarter is over.


Peter | 3211 comments Mod
Julie wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Hello everyone,

My apologies for not having joined this week's discussion earlier, but at the moment, Covid-19 is giving me a hard time because in Germany, students are slowly, by..."


Julie and Tristram

I am glad to be retired and I am also very thankful I am not in your positions. It must be very tiring and stressful. Take care, my friends.


message 24: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Hello everyone,

My apologies for not having joined this week's discussion earlier, but at the moment, Covid-19 is giving me a hard time because in Germany, students are slowly, by and by, flocking..."


Hmm...your son doesn't let you help him, I am always amazed at how smart he is! I wouldn't let you help me either knowing the English words you are fond of using, words no normal person, especially a person not even a teenager yet, has no idea what they mean. Have him call me, I'll talk English with him. As for irregular verbs and such things, you tell me what they are and I'll tell him, then you really will be teaching him after all! Two of us if you count me as learning that kind of thing. As to past, present type of thing, just pick one, they'll get the idea. :-)


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Kim | 5978 comments Mod
One thing I've noticed in Dombey illustrations more than any other novel, while Phiz gives us two each installment no matter what, and Fred Barnard is fairly regular, by far the rest of them stopped, or nearly stopped with Paul's death as if the important things worth illustrating ended with him. I don't agree with that at all, but I'm not illustrating the book so it really doesn't matter what I think.


Peter | 3211 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "One thing I've noticed in Dombey illustrations more than any other novel, while Phiz gives us two each installment no matter what, and Fred Barnard is fairly regular, by far the rest of them stoppe..."

Now Kim, it does matter what you think because you are our link to the illustrations and our reading the illustrations just as we read the letterpress.

Besides, as long as Phiz is illustrating what could be better anyway? :-)


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
Yes, Phiz's illustrations are quite regular in that we have two per instalment. As far as I know he was the only illustrator that worked on a contract basis with Dickens on Dombey and Son, and so he would have been obliged to provide two illustrations each month. Maybe, he was even not as free to pick the scenes he wanted to illustrate because I can just imagine that Dickens wanted to have a say in this as well. I love his art a lot and I am always sad to know that the last few novels by Dickens were not illustrated by him any more because the two fell out with each other.


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Hello everyone,

My apologies for not having joined this week's discussion earlier, but at the moment, Covid-19 is giving me a hard time because in Germany, students are slowly, by..."


Kim, it is beyond me why my son should decline my help in his English tasks. :-) You should have seen his face when he told me that we was going to do Latin next school year and when I said that that is brilliant because I loved doing Latin at school and can help him with it, e.g. checking on his vocabulary, his conjugations and declensions. What's not to love about Latin?


Peter | 3211 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Yes, Phiz's illustrations are quite regular in that we have two per instalment. As far as I know he was the only illustrator that worked on a contract basis with Dickens on Dombey and Son, and so h..."

Hi Tristram

Yes. Browne was the only illustrator for the original parts of Dombey and Son. As you know Dickens was a micro-manager and kept his eye on what Browne was producing.

I too mourn the fact that they fell out after TTC. There were several reasons but the subsequent original illustrators of the remaining novels do provide us with a different way of conceiving and “reading” Dickens visually.

Still, for me, Browne will always be the best.


message 30: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "Now Kim, it does matter what you think because you are our link to the illustrations and our reading the illustrations just as we read the letterpress."

Well, I was really just referring to the illustrators. It doesn't matter to them what I think of their all abandoning the book after Paul's death because I'm not one of them. That's what I meant. Of course it also doesn't matter to them what I think because they're all dead anyway. :-)


message 31: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "I loved doing Latin at school and can help him with it, e.g. checking on his vocabulary, his conjugations and declensions. What's not to love about Latin?"

Your poor son. Not only do you threaten to help him with Latin, but you use words like conjugations and declensions when doing it. I looked them both up to make sure they were English and not Latin.

For conjugation I get things like this:

In linguistics, conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a verb from its principal parts by inflection.

I'll take their word for it, or better yet:

Conjugated verbs are verbs which have been changed to communicate one or more of the following: person, number, gender, tense, aspect, mood, or voice. Those will be explained in detail in just a moment: but first, here's an example of the verb "break" conjugated in several different ways.

Present Simple

I, You, We, They: break

He, She, It: breaks

Present Continuous (Progressive)

I: am breaking

You, We, They: are breaking

He, She, It: is breaking

Present Perfect

I, You, We, They: have broken

He, She, It: has broken

Past Simple

I, You, We, They, He, She, It: broke

Past Continuous

I, He, She, It: was breaking

You, We, They: were breaking

Past Perfect

I, You, We, They, He, She, It: had broken


I never made it to the "these things will be explained in more detail in a moment" section. I don't want to know more in a moment. Besides, I still have to deal with declension:

de·clen·sion:

(in the grammar of Latin, Greek, and other languages) the variation of the form of a noun, pronoun, or adjective, by which its grammatical case, number, and gender are identified.

the class to which a noun or adjective is assigned according to the manner of this variation.
plural noun: declensions


The plural part I understood. I could even have figured that out on my own. Here's another definition. I guess that's what it is:

In linguistics, declension is the changing of the form of a word, generally to express its syntactic function in the sentence, by way of some inflection.


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Kim | 5978 comments Mod
What is Carker getting out of blackmailing Edith, or whatever he's doing. He already knows more about Dombey than Edith does or ever will. He must know he has more control over Dombey than Edith does, so what will he get out of this control over Edith? What can she give him he doesn't already have? Anything he could want from Dombey he would be more likely to get going directly to Dombey and not through his wife, she doesn't seem to have any control over her husband at all.


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "What is Carker getting out of blackmailing Edith, or whatever he's doing. He already knows more about Dombey than Edith does or ever will. He must know he has more control over Dombey than Edith do..."

I have just finished the recaps for our next few chapters, and was asking (myself) the same kind of questions there.


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Tristram wrote: "I loved doing Latin at school and can help him with it, e.g. checking on his vocabulary, his conjugations and declensions. What's not to love about Latin?"

Your poor son. Not only..."


Do you see what a wonderful thing grammar is, Kim? The fascination of conjugation and declension? Especially when you compare how different languages convey one and the same thing. Did you know, for example, that German has no systematic way of conveying aspect like English does with simple (I read books every day) and progressive (Hush! I'm reading!)? Knowing this doesn't help you when you have got a puncture, but it helps you keep talking until someone arrives who can fix your puncture ;)


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Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Do you see what a wonderful thing grammar is, Kim? "

No.


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Do you see what a wonderful thing grammar is, Kim? "

No."


Then look again. More carefully. :-)


message 37: by Kim (last edited Jun 11, 2020 03:02PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Kim wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Do you see what a wonderful thing grammar is, Kim? "

No."

Then look again. More carefully. :-)"


No.


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
Your resistance to grammar reminds me of my son's attitude :-)


message 39: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Smart kid.


message 40: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
You should see my resistance to math.


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
"I am Mathematicus. Resistance is futile." (Slightly adapted) ;-)


message 42: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Poor, poor any children of yours. :-)


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
Now our summer holidays have begun, but I insisted that the new Latin textbook be ordered today so that my son and I can you the next few weeks doing a little bit of Latin. Ain't I an exemplary father, a bit in the line of Dr. Blimber?


message 44: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Or Squeers perhaps. Please send those children of yours to me for the holidays. Oh never mind, I forgot about the virus for a moment, keep them far, far away from me.


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
I could never be like Squeers, because I always keep both my eyes on my children and their homework.


message 46: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim | 5978 comments Mod
And confuse them while doing it.


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
Oh, it would be very hard to confuse my children, they being so different from each other. My son, for instance, lets people win in boardgames just because he fees they might be sad, disappointed or angry. My daughter is a chip of the old block, meaning myself, in that she plays to win: She concentrates and takes a game seriously, just as her father does; by the way, she and I are both sore losers.


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Kim | 5978 comments Mod
As usual I side with your son, I have often cheated to lose a game just because I could see how important it was to the other person to win, and it didn't matter to me at all. I've also done it just to get the game over with if it has been going on for what seems like forever.


Tristram Shandy | 4662 comments Mod
I have sometimes cheated, but not exactly to lose a game. Just when I had the impression that the other person might be cheating, and so I did the same to re-establish cosmic order ;-)


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Kim | 5978 comments Mod
Who won?


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