Monday, February 6, 2012

Guest Post: Dickens’ Quotables by Charity

Old-Fashioned Charm

Guest Post by Charity of Austenitis

During his life, and in his books, Charles Dickens wrote (and said) many quotable things. Some are funny; others make you think; some just make you go “Ok!”
I’ve collected a few quotes that I like and have included them here.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
~~A Tale of Two Cities

I love this quote. Obviously, the beginning is something that everyone’s heard of – but not everyone has read the entire quote. Such funny opposites! It makes me smile.

"There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor." 
~~A Christmas Carol

This is from one of Dickens’ best known books, and my personal favorite. And you know what? This quote is totally true. Laughter is often “irresistibly contagious” as he says. And yes, so is good humor.

"Give me moment, because I like to cry for joy. It’s so delicious, John, dear, to cry for joy." 
~~Our Mutual Friend

I’m including this quote because I actually have a friend or two who completely agree with it. Personally, I dislike crying for joy, but apparently whoever said this in the book enjoyed it!

"You can't make a head and brains out of a brass knob with nothing in it."
~~Little Dorrit

Laugh out loud! He’s so right. It’s not quite as funny when it’s in context, but it’s still a great line.

"In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong."
~~Great Expectations

I suppose we’ve all had times like these. It’s the kind of quote that makes you think “Yup. Been there, done that.”

"There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts."
~~Oliver Twist

The really funny part of this quote is that it’s occasionally true. You do actually come across an occasional book where the cover and the back-cover blurb are far better than the book itself.

Now, a few more quotes that were said by Dickens – so far as I know, they weren’t in any book.
My remarks (when I have some) are after the dashes. 

"There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate." --Very true.

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another."

"What greater gift than the love of a cat." --Another one that’s funny because it’s true!

"Family not only need to consist of merely those whom we share blood, but also for those whom we'd give blood."

"If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."

"To a young heart everything is fun." --Most of the time, at least.

"Although a skillful flatterer is a most delightful companion if you have him all to yourself, his taste becomes very doubtful when he takes to complimenting other people." --Ouch. Yup, that’s another one of those true ones.

"Credit is a system whereby a person who can't pay gets another person who can't pay to guarantee that he can pay."

Back to me again. One final quote to speed you on your way…may we all strive to be able to say this.

"My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest." 
~~David Copperfield

Charity is the author of Austenitis where she posts interesting reviews of books, films and music. Some of her Charles Dickens related posts include reviews of Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol (1999) and Little Dorrit (2008)
Thank you Charity for sharing some of your favorite quotes with us!

Now, dear readers, it is your turn: 
What are some of your favorite Charles Dickens quotes?


JaneGS said...

Nice set of Dickens quotes. Enjoyed reading them in the context of the novels in which they appear.

Christine said...

I quote Dickens all the time, some of my favorites are:

"Oh, my bones!" (Smallweed, from Bleak House) After a hard day of violin practise, house work and grooming/exercising my dog this quote often comes to my lips.

"For first impressions, you know, often go a long way, and last a long time." (Martin Chuzzlewit) My sister and I often use this one after meeting someone for the first time.

"He wanted to know, you know." (Young Barnacle, Little Dorrit) My family uses this quote when someone is being inquisitive.

"When found, make note of." (Captain Cuttle, Dombey & Son) My sister and use this one when we are discussing something we can't quite remember exactly.

"Pernicious snug." (Mr. Lenville, Nicholas Nickleby) My sister and I say this when describing a Very Tight Place.

"He calls the knaves Jacks!"
(Estella, Great Expectations)
Whenever we play a card game this quote invariably comes to mind.

Melody said...

Oh! I didn't know that chocolate quote was his! I think I've seen it before... it made me laugh. A lot.

Nice post! Quotes are the go.

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