Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Character sketches

Bleak House is giving me much entertainment. The character sketches are so brilliant. Take this one:
"Whether Young Smallweed...was ever a boy, is much doubted in Lincoln's Inn. He is now something under fifteen, and an old limb of the law. He is facetiously understood to entertain a passion for a lady at a cigar shop, in the neighbourhood of Chancery Lane, and for her sake to have broken off a contract with another lady, to whom he had been engaged some years. He is a town-made article, of small stature and wizened features; but may be perceived from a considerable distance by means of his very tall hat...he is a weird changeling, to whom years are nothing. He stands precociously possessed of centuries of owlish wisdom. If he ever lay in a cradle, it seems as if he must have lain there in a tail-coat. He has an old, old eye has Smallweed; and he drinks , and smokes, in a monkeyish way; and his neck is stiff in his collar; and he is never to be taken in; and he knows all about it, whatever it is...
Into the Dining House...Mr Smallweed leads the way. They know him there, and defer to him. He has his favourite box, he bespeaks all the papers, he is down upon bald patriarchs, who keep them more than ten minutes afterwards. It is of no use trying him with anything less than a full-sized "bread", or proposing to him any joint in cut, unless it is in the very best cut. In the matter of gravy he is adamant."

5 Comments:

Anonymous Ellee said...

What wonderful vivid descriptions, I would love to read Dickens, if only I had the time.

4:17 pm  
Blogger kinglear said...

Ellee - try reading it is it was wrote - weekly installmenets.
WW - I love being adamant about gravy. Couldn't agree more!

11:08 am  
Blogger kinglear said...

Ellee - try reading it is it was wrote - weekly installmenets.
WW - I love being adamant about gravy. Couldn't agree more!

11:08 am  
Blogger Mopsa said...

This reminds me of a luscious Jeeves and Wooster moment:"if you'd have smeared what was left of the jam on the bleeding lips of the starving poor it would hardly have made them sticky" (or summat like).

11:29 am  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree. They don't write 'em like that any more!

8:19 pm  

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