For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

What Larks

The passage below is from Dickens' Great Expectations - which book a judicious friend once settled upon as the greatest English novel, and which I am reading again after many a long year. Pip, come into his fortune and got up as a gentleman, is embarrassed by the expected arrival of his old friend the blacksmith, the large-hearted, awkward and untutored Joe Gargery in his new lodgings in London:
I had little objection to his [Joe's] being seen by Herbert or his father, for both of whom I had a respect; but I had the sharpest sensitiveness as to his being seen by Drummle, whom I held in contempt. So throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.
To which one can but say O me miserum! O me infelicem!

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L'Ascensione (I)