Bits & Pieces

hard-timesStephen says, ‘Fortnet or misfortnet, a man can but try; there’s nowt to be done wi’out tryin’ – cept laying down and dying.’

Rachael says, ‘May it bless thee, Stephen, too, in all thy wanderings, and send thee peace and rest at last!’

Dickens says, ‘Utilitarian economists, skeletons of schoolmasters, Commissioners of Fact,
genteel and used-up infidels, gabblers of many little dog’s-eared
creeds, the poor you will have always with you.  Cultivate in them,
while there is yet time, the utmost graces of the fancies and
affections, to adorn their lives so much in need of ornament; or,
in the day of your triumph, when romance is utterly driven out of
their souls, and they and a bare existence stand face to face,
Reality will take a wolfish turn, and make an end of you.’

Upon Stephen hiking out of town, Dickens says, ‘So strange to turn from the chimneys to the birds. So strange, to have the road-dust on his feet instead of the coal-grit. So strange to have lived to his time of life, and yet to be beginning like a boy this summer morning! With these musings in his mind, and his bundle under his arm, Stephen took his attentive face along….’

Many politicians in the 21st century haven’t changed, have they?–‘With the aid of a little more coaching for the political sages, a little more genteel listlessness for the general society, and a tolerable management of the assumed honesty in dishonesty, most effective and most patronized of the polite deadly sins, [Harthouse] speedily came to be considered of much promise. The not being troubled with earnestness was a grand point in his favour, enabling him to take to the hard Fact fellows with as good a grace as if he had been born one of the tribe, and to throw all other tribes overboard, as conscious hypocrites. “Whom none of us believe, my dear Mrs. Bounderby [Louise], and who do not believe themselves. The only difference between us and the professors of virtue or benevolence, or philanthropy – never mind the name – is, that we know it is all meaningless, and say so; while they know it equally and will never say so.” ‘

Some of the main characters can be signified by double letters. I wonder if Dickens intended this?

  • gg=Gradgrind
  • bb=Bounderby
  • hh=Harthouse
  • ss=Sparsit


  • lg=Louise
  • tg=Tom
  • sb=Stephen
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