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date: 25 September 2022

Charles Dickens 1812–70
English novelist 

  1. Jarndyce and Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the Court, perennially hopeless.
    Bleak House (1853) ch. 1
  2. This is a London particular…A fog, miss.
    Bleak House (1853) ch. 3
  3. Telescopic philanthropy.
    Bleak House (1853) ch. 4, chapter heading
  4. ‘Not to put too fine a point upon it’—a favourite apology for plain-speaking with Mr Snagsby.
    Bleak House (1853) ch. 11
  5. The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself.
    Bleak House (1853) ch. 39
  6. O let us love our occupations,
    Bless the squire and his relations,
    Live upon our daily rations,
    And always know our proper stations.
    The Chimes (1844) ‘The Second Quarter’
  7. ‘Bah,’ said Scrooge. ‘Humbug!’
    A Christmas Carol (1843) stave 1
  8. I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.
    A Christmas Carol (1843) stave 2
  9. ‘God bless us every one!’ said Tiny Tim.
    A Christmas Carol (1843) stave 3
  10. I am a lone lorn creetur … and everythink goes contrairy with me.
    Mrs Gummidge
    David Copperfield (1850) ch. 3
  11. Barkis is willin'.
    David Copperfield (1850) ch. 5
  12. I have known him come home to supper with a flood of tears, and a declaration that nothing was now left but a jail; and go to bed making a calculation of the expense of putting bow-windows to the house, ‘in case anything turned up,’ which was his favourite expression.
    of Mr Micawber
    David Copperfield (1850) ch. 11
  13. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
    Mr Micawber
    David Copperfield (1850) ch. 12
  14. We are so very 'umble.
    Uriah Heep
    David Copperfield (1850) ch. 17
  15. Accidents will occur in the best-regulated families.
    Mr Micawber
    David Copperfield (1850) ch. 28
  16. Ride on! Rough-shod if need be, smooth-shod if that will do, but ride on! Ride on over all obstacles, and win the race!
    David Copperfield (1850) ch. 28
  17. When found, make a note of.
    Captain Cuttle
    Dombey and Son (1848) ch. 15
  18. In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, as injustice.
    Great Expectations (1861) ch. 8
  19. It is a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home.
    Great Expectations (1861) ch. 14
  20. What larks.
    message from Joe Gargery to Pip
    Great Expectations (1861) ch. 27
  21. Now, what I want is, Facts…Facts alone are wanted in life.
    Mr Gradgrind
    Hard Times (1854) bk. 1, ch. 1
  22. Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving—how not to do it.
    Little Dorrit (1857) bk. 1, ch. 10
  23. The word Papa, besides, gives a pretty form to the lips. Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes, and prism, are all very good words for the lips: especially prunes and prism.
    Mrs General
    Little Dorrit (1857) bk. 2, ch. 5
  24. Here's the rule for bargains: ‘Do other men, for they would do you.’
    Jonas Chuzzlewit
    Martin Chuzzlewit (1844) ch. 11
  25. Some people…may be Rooshans, and others may be Prooshans; they are born so, and will please themselves. Them which is of other naturs thinks different.
    Martin Chuzzlewit (1844) ch. 19
  26. He'd make a lovely corpse.
    Mrs Gamp
    Martin Chuzzlewit (1844) ch. 25
  27. We never knows wot's hidden in each other's hearts; and if we had glass winders there, we'd need keep the shutters up, some on us, I do assure you!
    Martin Chuzzlewit (1844) ch. 29
  28. education.—At Mr Wackford Squeers's Academy, Dotheboys Hall, at the delightful village of Dotheboys, near Greta Bridge in Yorkshire, Youth are boarded, clothed, booked, furnished with pocket-money, provided with all necessaries, instructed in all languages living and dead, mathematics, orthography, geometry, astronomy, trigonometry, the use of the globes, algebra, single stick (if required), writing, arithmetic, fortification, and every other branch of classical literature. Terms, twenty guineas per annum. No extras, no vacations, and diet unparalleled.
    Nicholas Nickleby (1839) ch. 3
  29. Subdue your appetites my dears, and you've conquered human natur.
    Mr Squeers
    Nicholas Nickleby (1839) ch. 5
  30. C-l-e-a-n, clean, verb active, to make bright, to scour. W-i-n, win, d-e-r, der, winder, a casement. When the boy knows this out of the book, he goes and does it.
    Nicholas Nickleby (1839) ch. 8
  31. As she frequently remarked when she made any such mistake, it would be all the same a hundred years hence.
    Nicholas Nickleby (1839) ch. 9
  32. There are only two styles of portrait painting; the serious and the smirk.
    Nicholas Nickleby (1839) ch. 10
  33. Language was not powerful enough to describe the infant phenomenon.
    Nicholas Nickleby (1839) ch. 23
  34. It is a pleasant thing to reflect upon, and furnishes a complete answer to those who contend for the general degeneration of the human species, that every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last.
    Nicholas Nickleby (1838–9) ch. 36
  35. All is gas and gaiters.
    The Gentleman in the Small-clothes
    Nicholas Nickleby (1839) ch. 49
  36. My life is one demd horrid grind!
    Nicholas Nickleby (1839) ch. 64
  37. I never nursed a dear Gazelle, to glad me with its soft black eye, but when it came to know me well, and love me, it was sure to marry a market-gardener.
    The Old Curiosity Shop (1841) ch. 56; see Moore
  38. Please, sir, I want some more.
    Oliver Twist (1838) ch. 2
  39. Known by the sobriquet of ‘The artful Dodger’.
    Oliver Twist (1838) ch. 8
  40. There is a passion for hunting something deeply implanted in the human breast.
    Oliver Twist (1838) ch. 10
  41. ‘If the law supposes that,’ said Mr Bumble…‘the law is a ass—a idiot.’
    Oliver Twist (1838) ch. 51; see Chapman
  42. I want to be something so much worthier than the doll in the doll's house.
    Our Mutual Friend (1865) bk. 4, ch. 5
  43. He had used the word in its Pickwickian sense…He had merely considered him a humbug in a Pickwickian point of view.
    Mr Blotton
    Pickwick Papers (1837) ch. 1
  44. Kent, sir—everybody knows Kent—apples, cherries, hops, and women.
    Pickwick Papers (1837) ch. 2
  45. I wants to make your flesh creep.
    The Fat Boy
    Pickwick Papers (1837) ch. 8
  46. ‘It's always best on these occasions to do what the mob do.’ ‘But suppose there are two mobs?’ suggested Mr Snodgrass. ‘Shout with the largest,’ replied Mr Pickwick.
    Pickwick Papers (1837) ch. 13
  47. Poverty and oysters always seem to go together.
    Sam Weller
    Pickwick Papers (1837) ch. 22
  48. She'll vish there wos more, and that's the great art o' letter writin'.
    Pickwick Papers (1837–8) ch. 33
  49. ‘Do you spell it with a “V” or a “W”?’ inquired the judge. ‘That depends upon the taste and fancy of the speller, my Lord,’ replied Sam [Weller].
    Pickwick Papers (1837) ch. 34
  50. A good uniform must work its way with the women, sooner or later.
    Pickwick Papers (1837) ch. 37
  51. Anythin' for a quiet life, as the man said wen he took the sitivation at the lighthouse.
    Pickwick Papers (1837) ch. 43
  52. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
    A Tale of Two Cities (1859) bk. 1, ch. 1
  53. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.
    Sydney Carton's thoughts on the steps of the guillotine, taking the place of Charles Darnay whom he has smuggled out of prison
    A Tale of Two Cities (1859) bk. 3, ch. 15
  54. My faith in the people governing is, on the whole, infinitesimal; my faith in The People governed is, on the whole, illimitable.
    speech at Birmingham and Midland Institute, 27 September 1869