portrait of Charles Dickens
(Ca. 1867)

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Quotes of the Day for 7 February 2003 – Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born at Landport, Portsmouth on this day in 1812. His father John was a clerk, a pay officer for the nearby naval facilities but a spendthrift. He was thrown into debtors' prison when Charles was only twelve, and the boy was put to work in a "blacking" factory scraping carbon out of lamp flues. Actually, they threw the whole family in prison where they stayed three months, while Charles lived alone and earned 6 schillings a week. It took John three years to put his finances back in order and rescue Charles from the drudge labor, apparently his mother favored leaving the boy there so the family would continue to receive his wages. After gaining fame and fortune, Charles provided far better for his parents than they had for him. It's no wonder Dickens was so able to write so vividly about the bleak conditions of his time.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

Any man may be in good spirits and good temper when he's well dressed. There ain't much credit in that.

Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.

It is a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations.

It will be generally found that those who sneer habitually at human nature and affect to despise it, are among its worst and least pleasant examples.

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.

Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you've conquered human natur'.
     - All from Charles Dickens, 1812 - 1870

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