Martin Chuzzlewit

Martin Chuzzlewit

by Charles Dickens

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781666821
Publisher: Andrews UK
Publication date: 06/18/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Charles Dickens (1812-70) was a political reporter and journalist whose popularity was established by the phenomenally successful PICKWICK PAPERS (1836-7). His novels captured and held the public imagination over a period of more than thirty years. Dickens is considered one of the greatest novelists in the English language.
Patricia Ingham is Fellow of St Anne's College, Reader in English, and The Times Lecturer in English at the University of Oxford.


Charles Dickens (1812-70) is one of the most recognized celebrities of English literature. His many books include Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol.
Patricia Ingham is Senior Research Fellow and Reader at St Anne's College, Oxford. She has written on the Victorian novel and on Hardy in particular. she is the General Editor of all Hardy's fiction in the Penguin Classics and has edited Gaskell's North and South for the series.

Date of Birth:

February 7, 1812

Date of Death:

June 18, 1870

Place of Birth:

Portsmouth, England

Place of Death:

Gad's Hill, Kent, England

Education:

Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER I
The One Thing Needful

“Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, Sir!”

The scene was a plain, bare, monotonous vault of a schoolroom, and the speaker’s square forefinger emphasized his observations by underscoring every sentence with a line on the schoolmaster’s sleeve. The emphasis was helped by the speaker’s square wall of a forehead, which had his eyebrows for its base, while his eyes found commodious cellerage in two dark caves, overshadowed by the wall. The emphasis was helped by the speaker’s mouth, which was wide, thin, and hard set. The emphasis was helped by the speaker’s voice, which was inflexible, dry, and dictatorial. The emphasis was helped by the speaker’s hair, which bristled on the skirts of his bald head, a plantation of firs to keep the wind from its shining surface, all covered with knobs, like the crust of a plum pie, as if the head had scarcely warehouse-room for the hard facts stored inside. The speaker’s obstinate carriage, square coat, square legs, square shoulders,—nay, his very neckcloth, trained to take him by the throat with an unaccommodating grasp, like a stubborn fact, as it was,—all helped the emphasis.

“In this life, we want nothing but Facts, Sir; nothing but Facts!”

Thespeaker, and the schoolmaster, and the third grown person present, all backed a little, and swept with their eyes the inclined plane of little vessels then and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim.

CHAPTER II
Murdering the Innocents

Thomas Gradgrind, Sir. A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle that two and two are four, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over. Thomas Gradgrind, Sir—peremptorily Thomas—Thomas Gradgrind. With a rule and a pair of scales, and the multiplication table always in his pocket, Sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to. It is a mere question of figures, a case of simple arithmetic. You might hope to get some other nonsensical belief into the head of George Gradgrind, or Augustus Gradgrind, or John Gradgrind, or Joseph Gradgrind (all supposititious, non-existent persons), but into the head of Thomas Gradgrind—no, Sir!

In such terms Mr. Gradgrind always mentally introduced himself, whether to his private circle of acquaintance, or to the public in general. In such terms, no doubt, substituting the words “boys and girls,” for “Sir,” Thomas Gradgrind now presented Thomas Gradgrind to the little pitchers before him, who were to be filled so full of facts.

Indeed, as he eagerly sparkled at them from the cellarage before mentioned, he seemed a kind of cannon loaded to the muzzle with facts, and prepared to blow them clean out of the regions of childhood at one discharge. He seemed a galvanizing apparatus, too, charged with a grim mechanical substitute for the tender young imaginations that were to be stormed away.

“Girl number twenty,” said Mr. Gradgrind, squarely pointing with his square forefinger, “I don’t know that girl. Who is that girl?”

“Sissy Jupe, sir,” explained number twenty, blushing, standing up, and curtseying.

“Sissy is not a name,” said Mr. Gradgrind. “Don’t call yourself Sissy. Call yourself Cecilia.”

“It’s father as calls me Sissy, sir,” returned the young girl in a trembling voice, and with another curtsey.

“Then he has no business to do it,” said Mr. Gradgrind. “Tell him he mustn’t. Cecilia Jupe. Let me see. What is your father?”

“He belongs to the horse-riding, if you please, sir.”

Mr. Gradgrind frowned, and waved off the objectionable calling with his hand.

“We don’t want to know anything about that, here. You mustn’t tell us about that, here. Your father breaks horses, don’t he?”

“If you please, sir, when they can get any to break, they do break horses in the ring, sir.”

“You mustn’t tell us about the ring, here. Very well, then. Describe your father as a horsebreaker. He doctors sick horses, I dare say?”

“Oh yes, sir.”

“Very well, then. He is a veterinary surgeon, a farrier and horsebreaker. Give me your definition of a horse.”

(Sissy Jupe thrown into the greatest alarm by this demand.)

“Girl number twenty unable to define a horse!” said Mr. Gradgrind, for the general behoof of all the little pitchers. “Girl number twenty possessed of no facts, in reference to one of the commonest of animals! Some boy’s definition of a horse. Bitzer, yours.”

The square finger, moving here and there, lighted suddenly on Bitzer, perhaps because he chanced to sit in the same ray of sunlight which, darting in at one of the bare windows of the intensely whitewashed room, irradiated Sissy. For, the boys and girls sat on the face of the inclined plane in two compact bodies, divided up the centre by a narrow interval; and Sissy, being at the corner of a row on the sunny side, came in for the beginning of a sunbeam, of which Bitzer, being at the corner of a row on the other side, a few rows in advance, caught the end. But, whereas the girl was so dark-eyed and dark-haired, that she seemed to receive a deeper and more lustrous colour from the sun, when it shone upon her, the boy was so light-eyed and light-haired that the self-same rays appeared to draw out of him what little colour he ever possessed. His cold eyes would hardly have been eyes, but for the short ends of lashes which, by bringing them into immediate contrast with something paler than themselves, expressed their form. His short-cropped hair might have been a mere continuation of the sandy freckles on his forehead and face. His skin was so unwholesomely deficient in the natural tinge, that he looked as though, if he were cut, he would bleed white.

“Bitzer,” said Thomas Gradgrind. “Your definition of a horse.”

“Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth.” Thus (and much more) Bitzer.

“Now girl number twenty,” said Mr. Gradgrind. “You know what a horse is.”

She curtseyed again, and would have blushed deeper, if she could have blushed deeper than she had blushed all this time. Bitzer, after rapidly blinking at Thomas Gradgrind with both eyes at once, and so catching the light upon his quivering ends of lashes that they looked like the antennæ of busy insects, put his knuckles to his freckled forehead, and sat down again.

The third gentleman now stepped forth. A mighty man at cutting and drying, he was; a government officer; in his way (and in most other people’s too), a professed pugilist; always in training, always with a system to force down the general throat like a bolus, always to be heard of at the bar of his little Public-office, ready to fight all England. To continue in fistic phraseology, he had a genius for coming up to the scratch,2 wherever and whatever it was, and proving himself an ugly customer. He would go in and damage any subject whatever with his right, follow up with his left, stop, exchange, counter, bore his opponent (he always fought All England)3 to the ropes, and fall upon him neatly. He was certain to knock the wind out of common sense, and render that unlucky adversary deaf to the call of time. And he had it in charge from high authority to bring about the great public- office Millennium, when Commissioners should reign upon earth.

“Very well,” said this gentleman, briskly smiling, and folding his arms. “That’s a horse. Now, let me ask you girls and boys, Would you paper a room with representations of horses?”

After a pause, one half of the children cried in chorus, “Yes, Sir!” Upon which the other half, seeing in the gentleman’s face that Yes was wrong, cried out in chorus, “No, Sir!”—as the custom is, in these examinations.

“Of course, No. Why wouldn’t you?”

A pause. One corpulent slow boy, with a wheezy manner of breathing, ventured the answer, Because he wouldn’t paper a room at all, but would paint it.

“You must paper it,” said the gentleman, rather warmly.

“You must paper it,” said Thomas Gradgrind, “whether you like it or not. Don’t tell us you wouldn’t paper it. What do you mean, boy?”

Copyright 2001 by Charles Dickens

Table of Contents


  • PREFACE
  1. INTRODUCTORY, CONCERNING THE PEDIGREE OF THE CHUZZLEWIT FAMILY
  2. WHEREIN CERTAIN PERSONS ARE PRESENTED TO THE READER, WITH WHOM HE MAY, IF HE PLEASE, BECOME BETTER ACQUAINTED
  3. IN WHICH CERTAIN OTHER PERSONS ARE INTRODUCED; ON THE SAME TERMS AS IN THE LAST CHAPTER
  4. FROM WHICH IT WILL APPEAR THAT IF UNION BE STRENGTH, AND FAMILY AFFECTION BE PLEASANT TO CONTEMPLATE, THE CHUZZLEWITS WERE THE STRONGEST AND MOST AGREEABLE FAMILY IN THE WORLD
  5. CONTAINING A FULL ACCOUNT OF THE INSTALLATION OF MR PECKSNIFF’S NEW PUPIL INTO THE BOSOM OF MR PECKSNIFF’S FAMILY. WITH ALL THE FESTIVITIES HELD ON THAT OCCASION, AND THE GREAT ENJOYMENT OF MR PINCH
  6. COMPRISES, AMONG OTHER IMPORTANT MATTERS, PECKSNIFFIAN AND ARCHITECTURAL, AND EXACT RELATION OF THE PROGRESS MADE BY MR PINCH IN THE CONFIDENCE AND FRIENDSHIP OF THE NEW PUPIL
  7. IN WHICH MR CHEVY SLYME ASSERTS THE INDEPENDENCE OF HIS SPIRIT, AND THE BLUE DRAGON LOSES A LIMB
  8. ACCOMPANIES MR PECKSNIFF AND HIS CHARMING DAUGHTERS TO THE CITY OF LONDON; AND RELATES WHAT FELL OUT UPON THEIR WAY THITHER
  9. TOWN AND TODGER’S
  10. CONTAINING STRANGE MATTER, ON WHICH MANY EVENTS IN THIS HISTORY MAY, FOR THEIR GOOD OR EVIL INFLUENCE, CHIEFLY DEPEND
  11. WHEREIN A CERTAIN GENTLEMAN BECOMES PARTICULAR IN HIS ATTENTIONS TO A CERTAIN LADY; AND MORE COMING EVENTS THAN ONE, CAST THEIR SHADOWS BEFORE
  12. WILL BE SEEN IN THE LONG RUN, IF NOT IN THE SHORT ONE, TO CONCERN MR PINCH AND OTHERS, NEARLY. MR PECKSNIFF ASSERTS THE DIGNITY OF OUTRAGED VIRTUE. YOUNG MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT FORMS A DESPERATE RESOLUTION
  13. SHOWING WHAT BECAME OF MARTIN AND HIS DESPARATE RESOLVE, AFTER HE LEFT MR PECKSNIFF’S HOUSE; WHAT PERSONS HE ENCOUNTERED; WHAT ANXIETIES HE SUFFERED; AND WHAT NEWS HE HEARD
  14. IN WHICH MARTIN BIDS ADIEU TO THE LADY OF HIS LOVE; AND HONOURS AN OBSCURE INDIVIDUAL WHOSE FORTUNE HE INTENDS TO MAKE BY COMMENDING HER TO HIS PROTECTION
  15. THE BURDEN WHEREOF, IS HAIL COLUMBIA!
  16. MARTIN DISEMBARKS FROM THAT NOBLE AND FAST–SAILING LINE–OF–PACKET SHIP, ‘THE SCREW’, AT THE PORT OF NEW YORK, IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. HE MAKES SOME ACQUAINTANCES, AND DINES AT A BOARDING– HOUSE. THE PARTICULARS OF THOSE TRANSACTIONS
  17. MARTIN ENLARGES HIS CIRCLE OF AQUAINTANCE; INCREASES HIS STOCK OF WISDOM; AND HAS AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY OF COMPARING HIS OWN EXPERIENCES WITH THOSE OF LUMMY NED OF THE LIGHT SALISBURY, AS RELATED BY HIS FRIEND MR WILLIAM SIMMONS
  18. DOES BUSINESS WITH THE HOUSE OF ANTHONY CHUZZLEWIT AND SON, FROM WHICH ONE OF THE PARTNERS RETIRES UNEXPECTEDLY
  19. THE READER IS BROUGHT INTO COMMUNICATION WITH SOME PROFESSIONAL PERSONS, AND SHEDS A TEAR OVER THE FILAIL PIETY OF GOOD MR JONAS
  20. IS A CHAPTER OF LOVE
  21. MORE AMERICAN EXPERIENCES, MARTIN TAKES A PARTNER, AND MAKES A PURCHASE. SOME ACCOUNT OF EDEN, AS IT APPEARED ON PAPER. ALSO OF THE BRITISH LION. ALSO OF THE KIND OF SYMPATHY PROFESSED AND ENTERTAINED BY THE WATERTOAST ASSOCIATION OF UNITED SYMPATHISERS
  22. FROM WHICH IT WILL BE SEEN THAT MARTIN BECAME A LION OF HIS OWN ACCOUNT. TOGETHER WITH THE REASON WHY
  23. MARTIN AND HIS PARTNER TAKE POSSESSION OF THEIR ESTATE. THE JOYFUL OCCASION INVOLVES SOME FURTHER ACCOUNT OF EDEN
  24. REPORTS PROGRESS IN CERTAIN HOMELY MATTERS OF LOVE, HATRED, JEALOUSY, AND REVENGE
  25. IS IN PART PROFESSIONAL, AND FURNISHES THE READER WITH SOME VALUABLE HINTS IN RELATION TO THE MANAGEMENT OF A SICK CHAMBER
  26. AN UNEXPECTED MEETING, AND A PROMISING PROSPECT
  27. SHOWING THAT OLD FRIENDS MAY NOT ONLY APPEAR WITH NEW FACES, BUT IN FALSE COLOURS. THAT PEOPLE ARE PRONE TO BITE, AND THAT BITERS MAY SOMETIMES BE BITTEN.
  28. MR MONTAGUE AT HOME. AND MR JONAS CHUZZLEWIT AT HOME
  29. IN WHICH SOME PEOPLE ARE PRECOCIOUS, OTHERS PROFESSIONAL, AND OTHERS MYSTERIOUS; ALL IN THEIR SEVERAL WAYS
  30. PROVES THAT CHANGES MAY BE RUNG IN THE BEST–REGULATED FAMILIES, AND THAT MR PECKNIFF WAS A SPECIAL HAND AT A TRIPLE–BOB–MAJOR
  31. MR PINCH IS DISCHARGED OF A DUTY WHICH HE NEVER OWED TO ANYBODY, AND MR PECKSNIFF DISCHARGES A DUTY WHICH HE OWES TO SOCIETY
  32. TREATS OF TODGER’S AGAIN; AND OF ANOTHER BLIGHTED PLANT BESIDES THE PLANTS UPON THE LEADS
  33. FURTHER PROCEEDINGS IN EDEN, AND A PROCEEDING OUT OF IT. MARTIN MAKES A DISCOVERY OF SOME IMPORTANCE
  34. IN WHICH THE TRAVELLERS MOVE HOMEWARD, AND ENCOUNTER SOME DISTINGUISHED CHARACTERS UPON THE WAY
  35. ARRIVING IN ENGLAND, MARTIN WITNESSES A CEREMONY, FROM WHICH HE DERIVES THE CHEERING INFORMATION THAT HE HAS NOT BEEN FORGOTTEN IN HIS ABSENCE
  36. TOM PINCH DEPARTS TO SEEK HIS FORTUNE. WHAT HE FINDS AT STARTING
  37. TOM PINCH, GOING ASTRAY, FINDS THAT HE IS NOT THE ONLY PERSON IN THAT PREDICAMENT. HE RETALIATES UPON A FALLEN FOE
  38. SECRET SERVICE
  39. CONTAINING SOME FURTHER PARTICULARS OF THE DOMESTIC ECONOMY OF THE PINCHES; WITH STRANGE NEWS FROM THE CITY, NARROWLY CONCERNING TOM
  40. THE PINCHES MAKE A NEW ACQUAINTANCE, AND HAVE FRESH OCCASION FOR SURPRISE AND WONDER
  41. MR JONAS AND HIS FRIEND, ARRIVING AT A PLEASANT UNDERSTANDING, SET FORTH UPON AN ENTERPRISE
  42. CONTINUATION OF THE ENTERPRISE OF MR JONAS AND HIS FRIEND
  43. HAS AN INFLUENCE ON THE FORTUNES OF SEVERAL PEOPLE. MR PECKSNIFF IS EXHIBITED IN THE PLENITUDE OF POWER; AND WIELDS THE SAME WITH FORTITUDE AND MAGNANIMITY
  44. FURTHER CONTINUATION OF THE ENTERPRISE OF MR JONAS AND HIS FRIEND
  45. IN WHICH TOM PINCH AND HIS SISTER TAKE A LITTLE PLEASURE; BUT QUITE IN A DOMESTIC WAY, AND WITH NO CEREMONY ABOUT IT
  46. IN WHICH MISS PECKSNIFF MAKES LOVE, MR JONAS MAKES WRATH, MRS GAMP MAKES TEA, AND MR CHUFFEY MAKES BUSINESS
  47. CONCLUSION OF THE ENTERPRISE OF MR JONAS AND HIS FRIEND
  48. BEARS TIDINGS OF MARTIN AND OF MARK, AS WELL AS OF A THIRD PERSON NOT QUITE UNKNOWN TO THE READER. EXHIBITS FILIAL PIETY IN AN UGLY ASPECT; AND CASTS A DOUBTFUL RAY OF LIGHT UPON A VERY DARK PLACE
  49. IN WHICH MRS HARRIS ASSISTED BY A TEAPOT, IS THE CAUSE OF A DIVISION BETWEEN FRIENDS
  50. SURPRISES TOM PINCH VERY MUCH, AND SHOWS HOW CERTAIN CONFIDENCES PASSED BETWEEN HIM AND HIS SISTER
  51. SHEDS NEW AND BRIGHTER LIGHT UPON THE VERY DARK PLACE; AND CONTAINS THE SEQUEL OF THE ENTERPRISE OF MR JONAS AND HIS FRIEND
  52. IN WHICH THE TABLES ARE TURNED, COMPLETELY UPSIDE DOWN
  53. WHAT JOHN WESTLOCK SAID TO TOM PINCH’S SISTER; WHAT TOM PINCH’S SISTER SAID TO JOHN WESTLOCK; WHAT TOM PINCH SAID TO BOTH OF THEM; AND HOW THEY ALL PASSED THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY
  54. GIVES THE AUTHOR GREAT CONCERN. FOR IT IS THE LAST IN THE BOOK

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Martin Chuzzlewit 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
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I gtg to bed now. BIA!