“‘These young ladies,’ said Mrs Pardiggle, with great volubility, after the first salutations, ‘are my five boys. You may have seen their names in a printed subscription list (perhaps more than once), in the possession of our esteemed friend Mr. Jardyce. Egbert, my eldest (twelve), is the boy who sent out his pocket-money, to the amount of five-and-threepence, to the Tackahoopo Indians. Oswald, my second (ten-and-a-half), is the child who contributed two-and-nine-pence to the Great National Smithers Testimonial. Francis my third (nine), one-and-six-halfpenny; Felix, my fourth (seven), eightpence to the Superannuated Widows; Alfred my youngest (five), has voluntarily enrolled himself in the Infant Bonds of Joy, and is pledged never, through life, to use tobacco in any form’
We had never seen such dissatisfied children.
It was not merely that they were weazen and shriveled — though they were certainly that too– but they looked absolutely ferocious with discontent. At the mention of the Tackahoopo Indians, I could really have supposed Egbert to be one of the most baleful members of that tribe, he gave me such a furious frown.”
This is one of the most brilliant passages I’ve ever read in my entire life. I seriously laughed out loud. I am in love with it. Whats that? Oh yes, I am a huge nerd, thanks.
Charles Dickens gets an unfortunately and ill deserved bad rap (might have something to do with his books being so damn long. One thousand pages is a lot Charles). But seriously, don’t take Oprah’s word for it, take mine (I entirely forgot about that little development until just a second ago and now I feel like a copy cat). Bleak House – read it, or watch the 18 hour mini series with Sculley from The X Files and Cary Mulligan. I know what I’m doing over Christmas break (besides getting ahead and reading Crime and Punishment… again)!
By the way, Dickens is honest to God the only thing I’m thinking about right now, sorry to be so dull. 10 – 15 pages, due Friday, GO!