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GREAT EXPECTATIONS

by: Charles Dickens


My fathers family name being Pirrip, and my christian name Phillip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.

--Chapter 1

Ask no questions, and you'll be told no lies.

--Chapter 2

Some medical beast had revived tar-water in those days as a fine medicine, and Mrs. Joe always kept a supply of it in the cupboard; having a belief in its virtues correspondent to its nastiness. At the best of times, so much of this elixir was administered to me as a choice restorative, that I was conscious of going about, smelling like a new fence.

--Chapter 2

Mrs. Joe was a very clean housekeeper, but had an exquisite art of making her cleanliness more uncomfortable and unacceptable than dirt itself.

--Chapter 4

I was always treated as if I had insisted on being born, in opposition to the dictates of reason, religion, and morality, and against the dissuadinig arguments of my best friends.

--Chapter 4

In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, as injustice.

--Chapter 8

If you can't get to be oncommon through going straight, you'll never get to do it through going crooked.

--Chapter 9

That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.

--Chapter 9

You must be a common scholar afore you can be a oncommon one, I should hope! The king upon his throne, with his crown upon his ed, can't sit and write his acts of parliament in print, without having begun, when he were a unpromoted prince, with the Alphabet.

--Chapter 9

I kissed her cheek as she turned it to me. I think I would have gone through a great deal to kiss her cheek. But I felt that the kiss was given to the coarse common boy as a piece of money might have been, and that it was worth nothing.

--Chapter 11

It is a most miserable thing to feel ashamed of home.

--Chapter 14

Now, I return to this young fellow. And the communication I have got to make is, that he has great expectations.

--Chapter 18

Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.

--Chapter 19

Take another glass of wine, and excuse my mentioning that society as a body does not expect one to be so strictly conscientious in emptying one's glass, as to turn it bottom upwards with the rim on one's nose.

--Chapter 21

Georgiana was ... an indigestive single woman, who called her rigidity religion, and her liver love.

--Chapter 25

I have an affection for the road yet (though it is not so pleasant a road as it was then), formed in the impressibility of untried youth and hope.

--Chapter 25

Life is made of ever so many partings welded together, and as I may say, one man's a blacksmith, one's a whitesmith, and one's a goldsmith, and one's a coppersmith.

--Chapter 27

So, throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.

--Chapter 27

All other swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers.

--Chapter 28

Estelle was the inspiration.... But, though she had taken such strong possession of me, though my fancy and my hope were so set upon her, though her influence on my boyish life and character had been all-powerful, I did not, even that romantic morning, invest her with any attributes save those she possessed.... According to my experience, the conventional notion of a lover cannot be always true. The unqualified truth is, that when I loved Estelle with the love of a man, I loved her because I found her irresistible. Once for all; I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. Once for all; I loved her none the less because I knew it, and it had no more influence in restraining me, than if I had devoutly believed her to be human perfection.

--Chapter 29

Love her, love her, love her! If she favors you, love her. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces--and as it gets older and stronger, it will tear deeper--love her, love her, love her!

--Chapter 29

I'll tell you what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter.

--Chapter 29

So now, as an infallible way of making little ease great ease, I began to contract a quantity of debt.

--Chapter 34

We spent as much money as we could, and got as little for it as people could make up their minds to give us. We were always more or less miserable, and most of our acquaintance were in the same condition. There was a gay fiction among us that we were constantly enjoying ourselves, and a skeleton truth that we never did.

--Chapter 34

The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me.

--Chapter 38

Moths, and all sorts of ugly creatures ... hover about a lighted candle. Can the candle help it?

--Chapter 38

As to what I dare, I'm a old bird now, as has dared all manner of traps since first he was fledged, and I'm not afeerd to perch upon a scarecrow. If there's Death hid inside of it, there is, and let him come out, and I'll face him, and then I'll believe in him and not afore.

--Chapter 40

Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule.

--Chapter 40

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.

--Chapter 44

She had secluded herself from a thousand natural and healing influences; that, her mind, brooding solitary, had grown diseased, as all minds do and must and will that reverse the appointed order of their Maker.

--Chapter 49

Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching ... I have been bent and broken, but -- I hope -- into a better shape.

--Chapter 59

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