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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 Night is generally my time for walking. In the summer I often leave home early in the morning, and roam about fields and lanes all day, or even escape for days or weeks together; but, saving in the country, I seldom go out until after dark, though, Heaven be thanked, I love its light and feel the cheerfulness it sheds upon the earth, as much as any creature living. I have fallen insensibly into this habit, both because it favours my... more...

Chapter 1 ON THE LOOK OUT In these times of ours, though concerning the exact year there is no need to be precise, a boat of dirty and disreputable appearance, with two figures in it, floated on the Thames, between Southwark bridge which is of iron, and London Bridge which is of stone, as an autumn evening was closing in. The figures in this boat were those of a strong man with ragged grizzled hair and a sun-browned face, and a dark girl of... 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...

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—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...

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...

FIRST BRANCH—MYSELF I have kept one secret in the course of my life.  I am a bashful man.  Nobody would suppose it, nobody ever does suppose it, nobody ever did suppose it, but I am naturally a bashful man.  This is the secret which I have never breathed until now. I might greatly move the reader by some account of the innumerable places I have not been to, the innumerable people I have not called upon or received, the... more...

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTORY, CONCERNING THE PEDIGREE OF THE CHUZZLEWIT FAMILY As no lady or gentleman, with any claims to polite breeding, can possibly sympathize with the Chuzzlewit Family without being first assured of the extreme antiquity of the race, it is a great satisfaction to know that it undoubtedly descended in a direct line from Adam and Eve; and was, in the very earliest times, closely connected with the agricultural interest. If it... more...