CHARLES DICKENS’ CREED.
Dickens preached —not in church, not from a pulpit, but a gospel whic » the people understood—the gospel of kindness, sympathy—in a word humanity. His creed may be found in the following beautiful extracts on the subjects of death :
Tale of Two Cities, Book 2, Chap. 21
“Even when golden hair lay in a halo on the pillow, round the worn face of a little boy, he said with a radiant smile, ‘ Dear papa and mamma, I am very sorry to leave you both and to leave my pretty sister, but I am called away and I must go. ’ Thus the rustling of an angel’s wings got blended with the other echoes, and had in them the breath of heaven. ” Ibid, Book 2, Chap. 14.
“ There is no time there, and no trouble there. The spare hand does not tremble ; nothing worse than a sweet, bright constancy is in her face. She goes next before him —is gone.” Nicholas Nickleby, Chap. 58.
“ The dying boy made answer ‘ I shall soon bo there.’ He spoke of beautiful gardens that stretched out before him, and were filled with figures of many men, and many children, all with light upon their faces ; then whispered that it was Eden, and so died.”
Bleak House, Chap. 47'
“It’s turned very dark, sir ; is there any light a-coming ? The cart is shaken all to pieces, and the rugged road is very near to its end. I’m a-gropiu’—a gropin’ —let me catch hold of your hand. Hallowed be thy name. ‘ Dead ! my lords and gentlemen. Dead! men and women bom with heavenly compassion in your hearts. And dying thus around us every day !’ ”
Ibid, Chap. 65,
“He slowly laid his face down on her bosom, drew his arm closer round her neck, and with one parting sob began the world. Not this world. Oh, not this ! The world that sets this right.” David Copperjield, Chap. 9.
“ ‘lf this is sleep, sit by me while I sleep ; turn me to you, for your face is going far off, and I want it to be near.’ And she died like a child that had gone to sleep. ’ ”
Ibid, Chap. 30.
“Time and the world were slipping from beneath him. He’s .going out with the tide. * * * And it being low water, he went out with the tide.”
Ibid, Chap. 53,
“ ‘ Don’t cry ; is my chair there, in its old place j * * * * That face so full of pity and of grief that would appeal to me, that solemn hand, upraised towards heaven ! It is over. ” Martin Chuzzlezoit, Chap. 19-
“ One new mould was there, which had not been there last night. Time, burrowing like a mole below the ground, had marked his track by throwing up another heap of earth.” Old Curiosity Shop, Chap. 71.
“ She was dead. No sleep so beautiful and calm, so free from trace of pain, so fair to look upon. She seemed a creature fresh from the hand of God, and waiting for the breath of life, not one who had lived and suffered death. She was pasi all help or need of it. We will not wake her. ”
Hard Times, Chap. 9.
“ The hand soon stopped in the midst of them ; the light that had always been feeble and dim behind the weak transparency, went out.” Dombey and Son, Vol. I, Chap. I.
“ For a moment the closed eyelids trembled ; and the faintest shadow of a smile was seen. Thus clinging to that slight spar within her arms, the mother drifted out upon the dark and unknown sea that rolls around the world. ” Ibid, Chap 17. “It’s very near the sea, I hear the waves! The light about the head is shining on me as I go !’ The old, old fashion that came in with our first garments, and will last unchanged until our race has run its course, and the wide firmament is rolled up like a scroll. Oh ! thank God for that old fashion yet of immortality ! And look upon us, angels of your children, when the swift river bears us to the ocean. ”
Ibid, Chap. 34.
“ In this round world of so many circles within circles, do we make a weary journey from the high grade to the low to find at last that they lie close together, that the two extremes touch, and that our journey's end is but our starting place ! Cricket on the Hearth, Chap. 2.
“ A cricket sings upon the hearth ; a broken child’s toy lies upon tho ground, and nothing else x-emains. ”
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