“I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul. In my degradation I have not been so degraded but that the sight of you with your father, and of this home made such a home by you, has stirred old shadows that I thought had died out of me. Since I knew you, I have been troubled by a remorse that I thought would never reproach me again, and have heard whispers from old voices impelling me upward, that I thought were silent for ever. I have had unformed ideas of striving afresh, beginning anew, shaking off sloth and sensuality, and fighting out the abandoned fight. A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it.” ~ A Tale of Two Cities
“You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since – on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may. O God bless you, God forgive you!’ ~ Great Expectations
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!
“There can be no disparity in marriage like unsuitability of mind and purpose.” ~ David Copperfield
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
A silent look of affection and regard when all other eyes are turned coldly away–the consciousness that we possess the sympathy and affection of one being when all others have deserted us–is a hold, a stay, a comfort, in the deepest affliction, which no wealth could purchase, or power bestow. ~ The Pickwick Papers
“You see,” said Mr. Toots, “what I wanted in a wife was – in short, was sense. Money, Feeder, I had. Sense I – I had not, particularly.” ~ Dombey and Son
“Well, well!” said my aunt. “I only ask. I don’t depreciate her. Poor little couple! And so you think you were formed for one another, and are to go through a party-supper-table kind of life, like two pretty pieces of confectionery, do you, Trot?” ~ David Copperfield
“My little woman, I wondered how,” gasped Mr. Tetterby, supporting himself by his chair, “I wondered how I had ever admired you – I forgot the precious children you have brought about me, and thought you didn’t look as slim as I could wish. I – I never gave a recollection,” said Mr. Tetterby, with severe self-accusation, “to the cares you’ve had as my wife, and along of me and mine, when you might have had hardly any with another man, who got on better and was luckier than me (anybody might have found such a man easily I am sure); and I quarrelled with you for having aged a little in the rough years you have lightened for me. Can you believe it, my little woman? I hardly can myself.” ~ The Haunted Man