« ZurückWeiter »
Died, at Gadshill, near Rochester, England, June 9, 1870. Dickens has a broad, full brow, a fine head, —which, for a man of such power and energy, is singularly small at the base of the brain,-and a cleanly cut profile. There is a slight resemblance between him and Louis Napoleon in the latter respect, owing mainly 5 to the nose; but it is unnecessary to add that the faces of the
two men are totally different. Dickens's eyes are light blue, and his mouth and jaw, without having any claim to beauty, possess a strength that is not concealed by the veil of iron-gray mustache and generous imperial. His head is but slightly graced with 10 iron-gray hair, and his complexion is florid. If any one thinks
to obtain an idea of Dickens from the photographs that flood the country, he is mistaken. He will see Dickens's clothes, Dickens's features, as they appear when Nicholas Nickleby is in the act
of knocking down Mr. Wackford Squeers; but he will not see 15 what makes Dickens's face attractive, the geniality and expression that his heart and brain put into it.
KATE FIELD, 1870.
To give so much pleasure, to add so much to the happiness of the world, by his writings, as Mr. Dickens has succeeded in
doing, is a felicity that has never been attained in such full measure 20 by any other author. For the space of a generation he has done his beneficent work, and there are few English-speaking men or women who do not feel themselves under peculiar obligation to the great novelist, and bound to him, not by any mere cold literary
tie, but by the warm and vital cords of personal sympathy. ... 25 No one thinks first of Mr. Dickens as a writer. He is at once, through his books, a friend. He belongs among the intimates of every pleasant-tempered and large-hearted person. He is not so much the guest as the inmate of our homes. He keeps holidays with us, he helps us to celebrate Christmas with heartier cheer, 30 he shares at every New Year in our good wishes; for, indeed, it is not in his purely literary character that he has done most for us; it is as a man of the largest humanity, who has simply used literature as the means by which to bring himself into relation with his fellow-men, and to inspire them with something of his 35 own sweetness, charity, and good will. He is the great magician
of our time. His wand is a book, but his power is in his own heart. It is a rare piece of good fortune for us that we are the contemporaries of this benevolent genius, and that he comes among us in bodily presence, brings in his company such old and valued friends 40 as Mr. Pickwick, and Sam Weller, and Nicholas Nickleby, and David Copperfield, and Boots at the Swan, and Dr. Marigold.
CHARLES ELIOT NORTON, 1868..
I emphatically direct that I be buried in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner, that no public announcement be made of the time or place of my burial, that at the utmost 45 not more than three plain mourning coaches be employed, and
that those who attend my funeral wear no scarf, cloak, black bow, long hatband, or other such revolting absurdity. I direct that my name be inscribed in plain English letters on my tomb, without the addition of “Mr.” or “Esquire.” I conjure my friends on 50 no account to make me the subject of any monument, memorial,
or testimonial whatever. I rest my claims to the remembrance of my country on my published works, and to the remembrance of my friends upon their experience of me; in addition thereto,
I commit my soul to the mercy of God, through our Lord and 55 Savior Jesus Christ, and I exhort my dear children to try to guide
themselves by the teaching of the New Testament in its broad spirit, and to put no faith in any man's narrow construction of its letter here or there.
From Charles Dickens's Will.
Short is my date, but deathless my renown.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Come see the north wind's masonry.
GLOSSARY. Tumultuous; artificer; bastions; Parian; mauger.
from the first five lines? What indicates how completely the family
is snow-bound? Explain “tumultuous privacy." Who is the “fierce artificer" of line 12? Why call him “myriad-handed"? What are the characteristics of his work? Picture some of the results. Consider the meaning of the last two lines.
HENRY WARD BEECHER The Cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never
seeing noble game. 5 The Cynic puts all human actions into only two classesopenly bad, and secretly bad. All virtue, and generosity, and disinterestedness, are merely the appearance of good, but selfish at the bottom. He holds that no man does a good thing except
for profit. The effect of his conversation upon your feelings is 10 to chill and sear them; to send you away sour and morose.
His criticisms and innuendoes fall indiscriminately upon every lovely thing, like frost upon the flowers. If Mr. A. is pronounced a religious man, he will reply: yes, on Sundays. Mr. B. has just joined the church: certainly; the elections are coming 15 on. The minister of the gospel is called an example of diligence: it is his trade. Such a man is generous: of other men's money. This man is obliging: to lull suspicion and cheat you. That man is upright: because he is green.
Thus his eye strains out every good quality, and takes in only 20 the bad. To him religion is hypocrisy, honesty a preparation for fraud, virtue only a want of opportunity, and undeniable purity, asceticism. The livelong day he will coolly sit with sneering lip, transfixing every character that is presented.
It is impossible to indulge in such habitual severity of opinion 25 upon our fellow-men, without injuring the tenderness and deli
cacy of our own feelings. A man will be what his most cherished feelings are. If he encourage a noble generosity, every feeling will