Writing I Love

from Dombey and Son (New American Library, 1964) by Charles Dickens

Of those years he had been married ten – married, as some said, to a lady with no heart to give him; whose happiness was in the past, and who was content to bind her broken spirit to the dutiful and meek endurance of the present. (p.12)

“Blockitt, sir?” suggested the nurse, a simpering piece of faded gentility, who did not presume to state her name as a fact, but merely offered it as a mild suggestion. (p.14)

The lady thus specially presented was a long lean figure, wearing such a faded air that she seemed not to have been made in what linen-drapers call “fast colours” originally and to have, by little and little, washed out.  (p.17)

The kindling eye and heightened colour of the boy, who had risen from his seat in the earnestness of what he said and felt, seemed to remind old Sol of something he had forgotten, or that his encircling mist had hitherto shut out. Instead of proceeding with any more anecdotes, as he had evidently intended but a moment before, he gave a short dry cough, and said, “Well! suppose we change the subject.”

The truth was that the simple-minded uncle in his secret attraction towards the marvellous and adventurous – of which he was, in some sort, a distant relation, by his trade – had greatly encouraged the same attraction in the nephew, and that everything that had ever been put before the boy to deter him from a life of adventure had had the usual, unaccountable effect of sharpening his taste for it. This is invariable. It would seem as if there never was a book written, or a story told, expressly with the object of keeping boys on shore, which did not lure and charm them to the ocean, as a matter of course. (p.53)

No comments: