Book//mark - Bleak House | Charles Dickens, 1853

Cover of first serial, March 1852                                                              Charles Dickens (1812-1870)



"I don’t know why. At least I don’t think I know why. At least, perhaps I do,
but I don’t think it matters."

“There were two classes of charitable people: one, the people who did a little and made a 
great deal of noise; the other, the people who did a great deal and made no noise at all.”

“Fog everywhere. Fog up the river where it flows among green airs and meadows; fog down 
the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping, and the waterside pollutions of 
a great (and dirty) city.... Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a 
nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon and hanging
 in the misty clouds.”

“Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with 
fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds.”

“Constancy in love is a good thing; but it means nothing, and is nothing, without 
constancy in every kind of effort.”

“A word in earnest is as good as a speech.”

“If the world go wrong, it was, in some off-hand manner, never meant to go right.”

“The universe makes rather an indifferent parent, I'm afraid.”

“I found every breath of air, and every scent, and every flower and leaf and blade of grass and 
every passing cloud, and everything in nature, more beautiful and wonderful to me than I had 
ever found it yet. This was my first gain from my illness. How little I had lost, when the wide 
world was so full of delight for me.”

“When he has nothing else to do, he can always contemplate his own greatness. 
It is a considerable advantage to a man, to have so inexhaustible a subject.”

“As all partings foreshadow the great final one, - so, empty rooms, bereft of a familiar
 presence, mournfully whisper what your room and what mine must one day be.”

“I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free. Mankind will surely not deny to 
Harold Skimpole what it concedes to the butterflies.”

“We went our several ways," said Lady Dedlock, "and had little in common even before 
we agreed to differ. It is to be regretted, I suppose, but it could not be helped.”

“Why, Mrs. Piper has a good deal to say, chiefly in parentheses and without 
punctuation, but not much to tell.”

“I don't feel any vulgar gratitude to you[for helping me]. I almost feel as if You ought to 
be grateful to ME, for giving you the opportunity of enjoying the luxury of generosity. . . 
I may have come into the world expressly for the purpose of increasing your stock of 
happiness. I may have been born to be a benefactor to you, by giving you an opportunity 
of assisting me. ”

“But injustice breeds injustice; the fighting with shadows and being defeated 
by them necessitates the setting up of substances to combat.”

“I am not at all respectable, and I don't want to be. Odd perhaps, but so it is!”

“You can be nothing better than yourself; be that [...]”

“And I am bored to death with it. Bored to death with this place, 
bored to death with my life, bored to death with myself.”


Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1853

Dickens, Bleak House, 1853, first edition


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