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I. The Period It was the best of times,it was the worst of times,it was the age of wisdom,it was the age of foolishness,it was the epoch of belief,it was the epoch of incredulity,it was the season of Light,it was the season of Darkness,it was the spring of hope,it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the... more...

CHAPTER 1. I AM BORN Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously. In consideration of the day and hour of my birth, it was... more...

THE WRECK I was apprenticed to the Sea when I was twelve years old, and I have encountered a great deal of rough weather, both literal and metaphorical.  It has always been my opinion since I first possessed such a thing as an opinion, that the man who knows only one subject is next tiresome to the man who knows no subject.  Therefore, in the course of my life I have taught myself whatever I could, and although I am not an educated... more...

CHAPTER I—THE DAWN An ancient English Cathedral Tower?  How can the ancient English Cathedral tower be here!  The well-known massive gray square tower of its old Cathedral?  How can that be here!  There is no spike of rusty iron in the air, between the eye and it, from any point of the real prospect.  What is the spike that intervenes, and who has set it up?  Maybe it is set up by the Sultan’s orders for the... more...

CHAPTER 1. Sun and Shadow Thirty years ago, Marseilles lay burning in the sun, one day. A blazing sun upon a fierce August day was no greater rarity in southern France then, than at any other time, before or since. Everything in Marseilles, and about Marseilles, had stared at the fervid sky, and been stared at in return, until a staring habit had become universal there. Strangers were stared out of countenance by staring white houses, staring... more...


CHAPTER I—ANCIENT ENGLAND AND THE ROMANS If you look at a Map of the World, you will see, in the left-hand upper corner of the Eastern Hemisphere, two Islands lying in the sea.  They are England and Scotland, and Ireland.  England and Scotland form the greater part of these Islands.  Ireland is the next in size.  The little neighbouring islands, which are so small upon the Map as to be mere dots, are chiefly little bits... more...

CHAPTER I—PICKING UP SOOT AND CINDERS “And why Tom Tiddler’s ground?” said the Traveller. “Because he scatters halfpence to Tramps and such-like,” returned the Landlord, “and of course they pick ’em up.  And this being done on his own land (which it is his own land, you observe, and were his family’s before him), why it is but regarding the halfpence as gold and silver, and turning the... more...

FOREWORD The story contained herein was written by Charles Dickens in 1867. It is the first of four stories entitled "Holiday Romance" and was published originally in a children's magazine in America. It purports to be written by a child aged eight. It was republished in England in "All the Year Round" in 1868. For this and four other Christmas pieces Dickens received £1,000. "Holiday Romance" was published in book form by Messrs Chapman... more...

CHAPTER I—IN THE OLD CITY OF ROCHESTER Strictly speaking, there were only six Poor Travellers; but, being a Traveller myself, though an idle one, and being withal as poor as I hope to be, I brought the number up to seven.  This word of explanation is due at once, for what says the inscription over the quaint old door? RICHARD WATTS, Esq.by his Will, dated 22 Aug. 1579,founded this Charityfor Six poor Travellers,who not being... more...

CHAPTER I. THE PICKWICKIANS The first ray of light which illumines the gloom, and converts into a dazzling brilliancy that obscurity in which the earlier history of the public career of the immortal Pickwick would appear to be involved, is derived from the perusal of the following entry in the Transactions of the Pickwick Club, which the editor of these papers feels the highest pleasure in laying before his readers, as a proof of the careful... more...