I want to learn all I can, live as wisely as I can, and savor every moment on the journey.
I’m about halfway through this tome and am in no hurry to reach the end, because I want it to last and last! Yet my enjoyment of it and engrossment in the plot keep me reading steadily.
I think Dickens must have had such fun writing this book (which was wildly popular when it was originally published as a serial), because it’s filled with playfully humorous details, character sketches, and scenes, along with scenes that are more poignant or suspenseful.
Reading this book is like taking my time at a huge banquet table filled with a variety of delicious foods!
Here are some little snippets I underlined for their articulate insight into human nature:
The uninteresting talker:
“Mrs. Piper has a good deal to say, chiefly in parentheses and without punctuation, but not much to tell.”
The suspicious simpleton:
“He was exceedingly distrustful, as ignorance usually was.”
“She cannot, therefore, go too fast from Paris. Weariness of soul lies before her, as it lies behind…but the imperfect remedy is always to fly, from the last place where it has been experienced.”
The praisers of their own generosity and the genuinely generous:
“There were two classes of charitable people; one, the people who did a little and made a great deal of noise; the other, the people who did a great deal and made no noise at all.”
And, finally, continuing on the subject of generosity, this line is indirectly spoken by Esther (one of the main characters) to a woman who is urging her to devote herself to the cause of African charity; Esther’s words represent the ideal I aspire to:
“I thought it best to be as useful as I could, and to render what kind services I could, to those immediately about me; and to try to let that circle of duty gradually and naturally expand itself.”
I’m sure I’ll have more quotes and thoughts about Bleak House to share with you as I read further. (I’m also overdue for a “mind cleanup” post about all the things I’ve been writing and reading in the past few months. I hope to get to that soon.)
I will say, though, that as a side effect of reading so much Dickens, I have apparently developed a tendency, which my writing group recently pointed out to me, of writing in very long sentences! 🙂
May your day be delightful and not bleak.