Love, though said to be afflicted with blindness, is a vigilant watchman. ~ Our Mutual Friend
“You know what I am going to say. I love you. What other men may mean when they use that expression, I cannot tell; what I mean is, that I am under the influence of some tremendous attraction which I have resisted in vain, and which overmasters me. You could draw me to fire, you could draw me to water, you could draw me to the gallows, you could draw me to any death, you could draw me to anything I have most avoided, you could draw me to any exposure and disgrace. This and the confusion of my thoughts, so that I am fit for nothing, is what I mean by your being the ruin of me. But if you would return a favourable answer to my offer of myself in marriage, you could draw me to any good–every good–with equal force. ~ Our Mutual Friend
More About this Quote
This quote is from Our Mutual Friend, the last novel that Dickens completed before his death.
In the novel, Bradley Headstone says the above to Lizzie Hexam.
Headstone is a schoolmaster. Lizzie is the daughter of a waterman who makes his living by finding and retrieving dead bodies from the Thames.
The gap between Headstone’s and Lizzie’s social stations is huge. However, there is another issue that torments Bradley Headstone.
Lizzie loves someone else!
When she took her opposite place in the carriage corner, the brightness in her face was so charming to behold, that on her exclaiming, “What beautiful stars and what a glorious night!” the Secretary said “Yes,” but seemed to prefer to see the night and the stars in the light of her lovely little countenance, to looking out of window. ~ Our Mutual Friend
She rowed hard–rowed desperately, but never wildly–and seldom removed her eyes from him in the bottom of the boat. She had so laid him there, as that she might see his disfigured face; it was so much disfigured that his mother might have covered it, but it was above and beyond disfigurement in her eyes. ~ Our Mutual Friend
“Oh, what a misfortune is mine,” cried Bradley, breaking off to wipe the starting perspiration from his face as he shook from head to foot, “that I cannot so control myself as to appear a stronger creature than this, when a man who has not felt in all his life what I have felt in a day can so command himself!” He said it in a very agony, and even followed it with an errant motion of his hands as if he could have torn himself. ~ Our Mutual Friend
No one has the least regard for the man; with them all, he has been an object of avoidance, suspicion, and aversion; but the spark of life within him is curiously separable from himself now, and they have a deep interest in it, probably because it IS life, and they are living and must die. ~ Our Mutual Friend
So, she leaning on her husband’s arm, they turned homeward by a rosy path which the gracious sun struck out for them in its setting. And O there are days in this life, worth life and worth death. And O what a bright old song it is, that O ’tis love, ’tis love, ’tis love that makes the world go round! ~ Our Mutual Friend
“O Mr. Rokesmith, before you go, if you could but make me poor again! O! Make me poor again, Somebody, I beg and pray, or my heart will break if this goes on! Pa, dear, make me poor again and take me home! I was bad enough there, but I have been so much worse here. Don’t give me money, Mr. Boffin, I won’t have money. Keep it away from me, and only let me speak to good little Pa, and lay my head upon his shoulder, and tell him all my griefs. Nobody else can understand me, nobody else can comfort me, nobody else knows how unworthy I am, and yet can love me like a little child. I am better with Pa than any one–more innocent, more sorry, more glad!” ~ Our Mutual Friend
“Lizzie! I never thought before, that there was a woman in the world who could affect me so much by saying so little. But don’t be hard in your construction of me. You don’t know what my state of mind towards you is. You don’t know how you haunt me and bewilder me. You don’t know how the cursed carelessness that is over-officious in helping me at every other turning of my life, WON’T help me here. You have struck it dead, I think, and I sometimes almost wish you had struck me dead along with it.” ~ Our Mutual Friend
They were all silent for a long while. As it got to be flood-tide, and the water came nearer to them, noises on the river became more frequent, and they listened more. To the turning of steam-paddles, to the clinking of iron chain, to the creaking of blocks, to the measured working of oars, to the occasional violent barking of some passing dog on shipboard, who seemed to scent them lying in their hiding-place. The night was not so dark but that, besides the lights at bows and mastheads gliding to and fro, they could discern some shadowy bulk attached; and now and then a ghostly lighter with a large dark sail, like a warning arm, would start up very near them, pass on, and vanish. ~ Our Mutual Friend