Charles Dickens

Biography
Charles Dickens' father was a clerk at the Naval Pay Office, and because of this the family had to move from place to place: Plymouth, London, Chatham. It was a large family and despite hard work, his father couldn't earn enough money. In 1823 he was arrested for debt and Charles had to start working in a factory, labeling bottles for six shillings a week. The economy eventually improved and Charles was able to go back to school. After leaving school, he started to work in a solicitor's office. ...  Read more »
Born
February 07, 1812, Portsmouth, United Kingdom,England
Occupation
NovelistWriterCourt reporterJournalist
Religion
Anglicanism

Family

Parents
John DickensElizabeth Dickens
Children
Sydney Smith Haldimand DickensKate PeruginiCharles Dickens JrHenry Fielding DickensMary DickensDora Annie DickensFrancis DickensWalter Landor DickensEdward DickensAlfred D'Orsay Tennyson Dickens

Quotes

The men who learn endurance, are they who call the whole world, brother.

Anything for the quick life, as the man said when he took the situation at the lighthouse.

A prison taint was on everything there.
The imprisoned air, the imprisoned light, the imprisoned damps, the imprisoned men, were all deteriorated by confinement.
As the captive men were faded and haggard, so the iron was rusty, the stone was slimy, the wood was rotten, the air was faint, the light was dim.
Like a well, like a vault, like a tomb, the prison had no knowledge of the brightness outside; and would have kept its polluted atmosphere intact, in one of the spice islands of the Indian Ocean.

Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine.

When you're a married man, Samivel, you'll understand a good many things as you don't understand now; but whether it's worth while, going through so much, to learn so little, as the charity-boy said when he got to the end of the alphabet, is a matter o taste.

Industry is the soul of business and the keystone of prosperity.

There is a passion for hunting something deeply implanted in the human breast.

Now, what I want is, facts.
Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts.
Facts alone are wanted in life.
Plant nothing else, and root out everything else.
You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them.
This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children.
Stick to Facts, sir!,There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

Credit is a system whereby a person who can not pay gets another person who can not pay to guarantee that he can pay.

Charity begins at home, and justice begins next door.

If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.

Its very strange, said Mr.
Dick that I never can get that quite right; I never can make that perfectly clear.

Minds, like bodies, will fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort.

Keep out of Chancery.
It's being ground to bits in a slow mill; it's being roasted at a slow fire; it's being stung to death by single bees; it's being drowned by drops; it's going mad by grains.

I do not know the American gentleman, God forgive me for putting two such words together.

God bless us every one! said Tiny Tim, the last of all.

If its individual citizens, to a man, are to be believed, it always is depressed, and always is stagnated, and always is at an alarming crisis, and never was otherwise; though as a body, they are ready to make oath upon the Evangelists, at any hour of the day or night, that it is the most thriving and prosperous of all countries on the habitable globe.

It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes, and softens down the temper; so cry away.

Minerva House was a finishing establishment for young ladies, where some twenty girls of the ages from thirteen to nineteen inclusive, acquired a smattering of everything and a knowledge of nothing.

Such is hope, heaven's own gift to struggling mortals, pervading, like some subtle essence from the skies, all things both good and bad.

A loving heart is the truest wisdom.

Take example by your father, my boy, and be very careful of vidders all your life, specially if they've kept a public house, Sammy.

It's my old girl that advises.
She has the head.
But I never own to it before her.
Discipline must be maintained.

Vices are sometimes only virtues carried to excess!,I am quite serious when I say that I do not believe there are, on the whole earth besides, so many intensified bores as in these United States.
No man can form an adequate idea of the real meaning of the word, without coming here.

With affection beaming in one eye, and calculation shining out of the other.

Lord, keep my memory green.

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.

My other piece of advice, Copperfield, said Mr.
Micawber, you know.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, andand, in short, you are for ever floored.
As I am!,We know, Mr.
Weller -- we, who are men of the world -- that a good uniform must work its way with the women, sooner or later.

He would make a lovely corpse.

A man in public life expects to be sneered at -- it is the fault of his elevated situation, and not of himself.

Mind like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort.

Great men are seldom over-scrupulous in the arrangement of their attire.

It was a foggy day in London, and the fog was heavy and dark.
Animate London, with smarting eyes and irritated lungs, was blinking, wheezing, and choking; inanimate London was a sooty spectre, divided in purpose between being visible and invisible, and so being wholly neither.

There are strings in the human heart that had better not be vibrated.

Philosophers are only men in armor after all.

Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.

The bright old day now dawns again; the cry runs through the land, in England there shall be dear bread -- in Ireland, sword and brand; and poverty, and ignorance, shall swell the rich and grand, so rally round the rulers with the gentle iron hand, of the fine old English Tory days; hail to the coming time!,I feel an earnest and humble desire, and shall till I die, to increase the stock of harmless cheerfulness.

I never see any difference in boys.
I only know two sorts of boys.
Mealy boys and beef-faced boys.

Let us be moral.
Let us contemplate existence.

Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you've conquered human nature .

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

A lady of what is commonly called an uncertain temper -- a phrase which being interpreted signifies a temper tolerably certain to make everybody more or less uncomfortable.

I believe no satirist could breathe this air.
If another Juvenal or Swift could rise up among us tomorrow, he would be hunted down.
If you have any knowledge of our literature, and can give me the name of any man, American born and bred, who has anatomized our follies as a people, and not as this or that party; and who has escaped the foulest and most brutal slander, the most inveterate hatred and intolerant pursuit; it will be a strange name in my ears, believe me.

The whole difference between construction and creation is this; that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.

A boy's story is the best that is ever told.

Change begets change.
Nothing propagates so fast.
If a man habituated to a narrow circle of cares and pleasures, out of which he seldom travels, step beyond it, though for never so brief a space, his departure from the monotonous scene on which he has been an actor of importance would seem to be the signal for instant confusion.
The mine which Time has slowly dug beneath familiar objects is sprung in an instant; and what was rock before, becomes but sand and dust.

To be shelterless and alone in the open country, hearing the wind moan and watching for day through the whole long weary night; to listen to the falling rain, and crouch for warmth beneath the lee of some old barn or rick, or in the hollow of a tree; are dismal things -- but not so dismal as the wandering up and down where shelter is, and beds and sleepers are by thousands; a houseless rejected creature.

It is a pleasant thing to reflect upon, and furnishes a complete answer to those who contend for the gradual degeneration of the human species, that every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last.

Bring in the bottled lightning, a clean tumbler, and a corkscrew.

Many merry Christmases, friendships, great accumulation of cheerful recollections, affection on earth, and Heaven at last for all of us.

Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigor.
With such people the gray head is but the impression of the old fellow's hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.

Life is made of ever so many partings welded together.

A person who can't pay gets another person who can't pay to guarantee that he can pay.
Like a person with two wooden legs getting another person with two wooden legs to guarantee that he has got two natural legs.
It don't make either of them able to do a walking-match.

It was a good thing to have a couple of thousand people all rigid and frozen together, in the palm of one's hand.

I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face.
Don't trust that conventional idea.
Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.

There are only two styles of portrait painting; the serious and the smirk.

Regrets are the natural property of gray hairs.

the most interesting woman he met in the United States,Oh the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called man! Oh the little that unhinges it, poor creatures that we are!,He had but one eye and the pocket of prejudice runs in favor of two.

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.

Here's the rule for bargains: Do other men, for they would do you.
That's the true business precept.

This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in.

The word of a gentleman is as good as his bond; and sometimes better.

If the law supposes that, said Mr.
Bumble, the law is a assa idiot.
If thats the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experienceby experience.

There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth.

They are so filthy and bestial that no honest man would admit one into his house for a water-closet doormat.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other wayin short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Dollars! All their cares, hopes, joys, affections, virtues, and associations seemed to be melted down into dollars.
Whatever the chance contributions that fell into the slow cauldron of their talk, they made the gruel thick and slab with dollars.
Men were weighed by their dollars, measures were gauged by their dollars; life was auctioned, appraised, put up, and knocked down for its dollars.
The next respectable thing to dollars was any venture having their attainment for its end.
The more of that worthless ballast, honor and fair-dealing, which any man cast overboard from the ship of his Good Nature and Good Intent, the more ample stowage-room he had for dollars.
Make commerce one huge lie and mighty theft.
Deface the banner of the nation for an idle rag; pollute it star by star; and cut out stripe by stripe as from the arm of a degraded soldier.
Do anything for dollars! What is a flag to them!,Accidents will occur in the best-regulated families; and in families not regulated by that pervading influence which sanctifies while it enhances.
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in short, by the influence of Woman, in the lofty character of Wife, they may be expected with confidence, and must be borne with philosophy.

Cheerfulness and contentment are great beautifiers and are famous preservers of youthful looks.

It is a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations.

I revere the memory of Mr.
F.
as an estimable man and most indulgent husband, only necessary to mention Asparagus and it appeared or to hint at any little delicate thing to drink and it came like magic in a pint bottle; it was not ecstasy but it was comfort.

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.

A day wasted on others is not wasted on one's self.

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.

I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.
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