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The Week in Words


As I write this, I’m still in the midst of absorbing the first Charles Dickens novel I’ve read in some twenty years (!!).   I can’t resist sharing a few quotes from A Tale of Two Cities again this week. 

Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat away at him.  (97)

This is, of course, a description of Sydney Carton, whom the back-of-book summary tells me is “heroic.”  I wonder what turn of evens in the novel will bring about this change?  (Don’t tell me!  Don’t tell me!  I don’t want to know.)

This other quote is self-explanatory, but it made me think of Judy Plum in Pat of Silver Bush and Mistress Pat, so I just had to share it:

Mr. Lorry knew Miss Pross to be very jealous, but he also knew her by this time to be, beneath the surface of her eccentricity, one of those unselfish creatures–found only among women–who will, for pure love and admiration, bind themselves willing slaves, to youth when they have lost it, to beauty that they never had, to accomplishments that they were never fortunate enough to gain, to bright hopes that never shone upon their own sombre lives.  He knew enough of the world to know that there is nothing better in it than the faithful service of the heart; so rendered and so free from any mercenary taint, he had such an exalted respect for it, than in the retributive arrangements, more or less–he stationed Miss Pross much nearer to the lower Angels than many ladies immeasurably better got up both by Nature and Art, who had balances at Tellson’s.  (102)

I like this description, especially since I find such characters in book to be endearing.  (I’d have to think very hard to figure out if I know any such women nowadays.)  I also like the idea of “faithful service of the heart” that is “free from any mercenary taint.”  Surely service offered out of a pure heart is the most rewarding (and rewarded).

I’m really enjoying both A Tale of Two Cities and saving little snippets to share for The Week in Words.  Won’t you consider joining in this fun carnival at Breath of Life?


9 Responses

  1. You’re making me want to read some Dickens! Love these descriptions.

  2. OK, I won’t tell you about Sydney, but, but…I think you will like how he turns out. I’m biting my tongue to keep from saying more…

  3. Jonathan absolutely loves this book and, it being Dickens, I’m rather wary of it. I know I SHOULD read it. I’m just having a hard time getting there….

  4. great quotes. Two Cities is on my TBR list this year. I read Great Expectations in January so I think I will wait a few months to tackle it though. I do love Dickens.

  5. Such description! I especially like the second one.

  6. I’ve never read Charles Dickens but you are making me want to go put it on hold at the library! :v)

  7. I’ve never read any Dickens, either…but now I’m wanting to. My favorite college professor gave me The Pickwick Papers, maybe I’ll start there.

  8. Great

    Nice source of information


  9. […] Sydney Carton.  Sydney Carton.  Sydney Carton.  He surprised me.  Way back when I posted these quotes from the novel, I had nothing more than a mere inkling of an idea of how it would all work out.  I have to say […]

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