Charles Dickens

(Charles John Huffam Dickens)

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
  • Born: February 7, 1812
  • Died: June 9, 1870
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Novelist









Quote Topics Cited
... the day intended for rest and cheerfulness into one of universal gloom, bigotry, and persecution.... [A day for] constables ... invested with arbitrary, vexatious, and the most extensive powers.... You cannot make people religious by act of Parliament, or force them to church by constables; they display their feelings by staying away. Religion & God
… cases of injustice, and oppression, and tyranny, and the most extravagant bigotry, are in constant occurrence among us every day. It is the custom to trumpet forth much wonder and astonishment at the chief actors therein setting at defiance so completely the opinion of the world; but there is no greater fallacy; it is precisely because they do consult the opinion of their own little world that such things take place at all, and strike the great world dumb with amazement. Justice & Injustice
… there are times of moral danger when the hardest virtuous resolution to form is flight, and when the most heroic bravery is flight. Human Nature
… vices are sometimes only virtues carried to excess! Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
A fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work is ever my partner’s motto. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
A man ain't got not right to be a public man, unless he meets the public views. Legislating & Legislative Process
American newspapers are so filthy and bestial that no honest man would admit one into his house for a water-closet doormat. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Change begets change. Nothing propagates so fast. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Charity begins at home, and justice begins next door. Justice & Injustice
Circumstances may accumulate so strongly even against an innocent man, that directed, sharpened, and pointed, they may slay him. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
'Do other men, for they would do you.' That's the true business precept. Business, Commerce & Finance
Don't you think that any secret course is an unworthy one? Secrecy & Transparency
From these cities they would go on again, by the roads of vines and olives, through squalid villages, where there was not a hovel without a gap in its filthy walls, not a window with a whole inch of glass or paper; where there seemed to be nothing to support life, nothing to eat, nothing to make, nothing to grow, nothing to hope, nothing to do but die. Poverty
I believe that a sight so inconceivably awful as the wickedness and levity of the immense crowd collected at that execution this morning could be imagined by no man, and could be presented in no heathen land under the sun. The horrors of the gibbet and of the crime which brought these wretched murderers to it faded in my mind before the atrocious bearing, looks, and language of the assembled spectators. I came upon the scene at midnight…As the night went on, screeching and laughing, and yelling in strong chorus of parodies on Negro melodies, with substitutions of “Mrs Manning” for “Susannah” and the like were added to these. When the day dawned, thieves, low prostitutes, ruffians, and vagabonds of every kind, flocked on the ground, with every variety of offensive and foul behaviour…When the sun rose brightly, it gilded thousands upon thousands of upturned faces, so inexpressibly odious in their brutal mirth or callousness that a man had cause to feel ashamed of the shape he wore. When these two miserable creatures, who attracted all this ghastly sight about them, were turned quivering into the air there was no more emotion, no more pity, no more thought that two immortal souls had gone to judgement, than if the name of Christ had never been heard in this world Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
I believe that the heaviest blow ever dealt at liberty's head will be dealt by this nation [America] in the ultimate failure of its example to the earth. Miscellaneous
If the law supposes that ... the law is a ass – a idiot. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It is an old prerogative of kings to govern everything but their passions. Leaders & Leadership
It was as true ... as taxes is. And nothing's truer than them. Taxes
It’s over, and can’t be helped, and that’s one consolation, as they always say in Turkey, ven they cut the wrong man’s head off. Miscellaneous
Keep out of Chancery [English court] .... 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. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
My faith in the people governing is, on the whole, infinitesimal; my faith in the people governed is, on the whole, illimitable. Loyalty & Loyalty Oaths
No form of punishment could be more effective. Transportation
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! Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
On the haggard faces of every man among these prisoners, the same expression sat … It had something of that strained attention which we see upon the faces of the blind ad deaf mingled with a kind of horror as thought they had all been secretly terrified. I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain, to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body … Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Once a gentleman, and always a gentleman. Miscellaneous
The city of magnificent intentions. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself. There is no other principle distinctly, certainly, and consistently maintained through all its narrow turnings. Business, Commerce & Finance
The System is rigid, strict and hopeless solitary confinement, and I believe it, in its effects, to be cruel and wrong. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
There are people (men and women both, unfortunately) who have no good in them--none. That there are people whom it is necessary to detest without compromise. That there are people who must be dealt with as enemies of the human race. That there are people who have no human heart, and who must be crushed like savage beasts and cleared out of the way Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
These sequestered nooks are the public offices of the legal profession, where writs are issued, judgments signed, declarations filed, and numerous other ingenious machines put in motion for the torture and torment of His Majesty's liege subjects, and the comfort and emolument of the practitioners of the law. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Thus violent deeds live after men upon the earth, and traces of war and bloodshed will survive in mournful shapes long after those who worked the desolation are but atoms of earth themselves. War & Peace
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. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. Bureaucracy
A boy's story is the best that is ever told.
A day wasted on others is not wasted on one's self.
A loving heart is the truest wisdom. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
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.
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
Although a skillful flatterer is a most delightful companion if you have him all to yourself, his taste becomes very doubtful when he takes to complimenting other people.
An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.
Any man may be in good spirits and good temper when he's well dressed. There ain't much credit in that.
Anything for the quick life, as the man said when he took the situation at the lighthouse. Life
Bring in the bottled lightning, a clean tumbler, and a corkscrew.
Cows are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a Swiss farm, and live entirely surrounded by cows - and china.
Credit is a system whereby a person who can not pay gets another person who can not pay to guarantee that he can pay.
Dignity, and even holiness too, sometimes, are more questions of coat and waistcoat than some people imagine.
'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'.
Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true. Communication & Communications
Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine. Friendship
Great men are seldom over-scrupulous in the arrangement of their attire.
Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!
Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.
He had but one eye and the pocket of prejudice runs in favor of two.
He would make a lovely corpse.
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.
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. Trust
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. Time
I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.
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.
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.
It is a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations. Truth
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.
It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes, and softens down the temper; so cry away.
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
It's my old girl that advises. She has the head. But I never own to it before her. Discipline must be maintained.
Let us be moral. Let us contemplate existence.
Little Red Riding Hood was my first love. I felt that if I could have married Little Red Riding Hood, I should have known perfect bliss. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
May not the complaint, that common people are above their station, often take its rise in the fact of uncommon people being below theirs?
Most men are individuals no longer so far as their business, its activities, or its moralities are concerned. They are not units but fractions. Business, Commerce & Finance
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. Time ;Nature ;Morning
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.
Oh the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called man! Oh the little that unhinges it, poor creatures that we are!
Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
Regrets are the natural property of grey hairs.
Renunciation remains sorrow, though a sorrow borne willingly.
Send forth the child and childish man together, and blush for the pride that libels our own old happy state, and gives its title to an ugly and distorted image.
Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you've conquered human nature. Nature
That sort of half sigh, which, accompanied by two or three slight nods of the head, is pity's small change in general society. Society
The age of chivalry is past. Bores have succeeded to dragons.
The civility which money will purchase, is rarely extended to those who have none. Money, Coins & Minting
The first rule of business is: Do other men for they would do you. Business, Commerce & Finance
The men who learn endurance, are they who call the whole world, brother.
The one great principle of English law is to make business for itself. Business, Commerce & Finance
The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.
The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.
There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.
There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.
There are not a few among the disciples of charity who require, in their vocation, scarcely less excitement than the votaries of pleasure in theirs.
There are only two styles of portrait painting; the serious and the smirk.
There are strings in the human heart that had better not be vibrated.
There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart.
There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth. Truth ;Life
This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in.
'Tis love that makes the world go round, my baby. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart. Nature
Vices are sometimes only virtues carried to excess!
We are so very 'umble.
We forge the chains we wear in life. Life
Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do it well; whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself completely; in great aims and in small I have always thoroughly been in earnest. Life
When a man bleeds inwardly, it is a dangerous thing for himself; but when he laughs inwardly, it bodes no good to other people.
You don't carry in your countenance a letter of recommendation.