Quotes by Charles Dickens

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Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA (7 February 1812 - 9 June 1870), pen-name "Boz", was an English novelist. During his career Dickens achieved massive worldwide popularity, winning acclaim for his rich storytelling and memorable characters. Considered one of the English language's greatest writers, he was the foremost novelist of the Victorian era as well as a vigorous social campaigner. more

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A loving heart is the truest wisdom.

There are strings in the human heart that had better not be vibrated.
Such is hope, heaven's own gift to struggling mortals, pervading, like some subtle essence from the skies, all things both good and bad.
It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes, and softens down the temper; so cry away.
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.
If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.
Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you've conquered human nature .
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.
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.
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
A day wasted on others is not wasted on one's self.
I do not know the American gentleman, God forgive me for putting two such words together.
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.
Fan the sinking flame of hilarity with the wing of friendship; and pass the rosy wine.
Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.
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 boy's story is the best that is ever told.
There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth.
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.
This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in.
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.
With affection beaming in one eye, and calculation shining out of the other.
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.
The word of a gentleman is as good as his bond; and sometimes better.
He had but one eye and the pocket of prejudice runs in favor of two.
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.
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.
There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.
Bring in the bottled lightning, a clean tumbler, and a corkscrew.
Vices are sometimes only virtues carried to excess!
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.
Life is made of ever so many partings welded together.
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!
Oh the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called man! Oh the little that unhinges it, poor creatures that we are!
Philosophers are only men in armor after all.
Regrets are the natural property of gray hairs.
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.
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.
There is a passion for hunting something deeply implanted in the human breast.
It is a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations.
Accidents will occur in the best-regulated families; and in families not regulated by that pervading influence which sanctifies while it enhances... 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.
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!
The men who learn endurance, are they who call the whole world, brother.
Great men are seldom over-scrupulous in the arrangement of their attire.
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...
Industry is the soul of business and the keystone of prosperity.
I never see any difference in boys. I only know two sorts of boys. Mealy boys and beef-faced boys.
They came to see that family need not be defined merely as those with whom they share blood but for those whom they would give their blood.
You will be surprised that he proposed seven times once in a hackney-coach once in a boat once in a pew once on a donkey at Tunbridge Wells and the rest on his knees.
Anything for the quick life, as the man said when he took the situation at the lighthouse.
Mind like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort.
Minds, like bodies, will fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort.
They are so filthy and bestial that no honest man would admit one into his house for a water-closet doormat.
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!
There are only two styles of portrait painting; the serious and the smirk.
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.
A man in public life expects to be sneered at -- it is the fault of his elevated situation, and not of himself.

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