Post by Will Parsons Post by Harrison Hill
The second-greatest book by the second-greatest English writer. If you
want to argue about Mark Twain, then I'll happily concede :)
Forget Mark Twain - he's overrated.
Post by Harrison Hill
Making his way through the tainted crowd, dispersed up and down this
hideous scene of action, with the skill of a man accustomed to make his
way quietly, the messenger found out the door he sought, and handed in
his letter through a trap in it. For, people then paid to see the play
at the Old Bailey, just as they paid to see the play in Bedlam--only the
former entertainment was much the dearer. Therefore, all the Old Bailey
doors were well guarded--except, indeed, the social doors by which the
criminals got there, and those were always left wide open.
After some delay and demur, the door grudgingly turned on its hinges a
very little way, and allowed Mr. Jerry Cruncher to squeeze himself into
“What’s on?” he asked, in a whisper, of the man he found himself next
“What’s coming on?”
“The Treason case.”
“The quartering one, eh?”
“Ah!” returned the man, with a relish; “he’ll be drawn on a hurdle to
be half hanged, and then he’ll be taken down and sliced before his own
face, and then his inside will be taken out and burnt while he looks on,
and then his head will be chopped off, and he’ll be cut into quarters.
That’s the sentence.”
“If he’s found Guilty, you mean to say?” Jerry added, by way of proviso.
“Oh! they’ll find him guilty,” said the other. “Don’t you be afraid of
I'd forgotten that passage. I agree that's from "the second-greatest book by
the second-greatest English writer", and I think we are also in agreement
with you on who's the "greatest English writer", but what do you consider the
"the greatest book by the second-greatest English writer"? I wonder if we
Although Dickens' late works are fantastic, I enjoy the
early stuff even more. So before I play my hand, some
short passages. The Epsom Derby is free to attend, and
is coming up in a couple of weeks. No one has ever brought
it to life as well as Dickens:
hum of voices a bell rings. What's that?
What's the matter? They are clearing the
course. Never mind. Try the pigeon-pie.
A roar. What's the matter? It's only the
dog upon the course. Is that all? Glass of
wine. Another roar. What's that? It's
only the man who wants to cross the course,
and is intercepted, and brought back. Is that
all? I wonder whether it is always the same
dog and the same man, year after year!
A great roar. What's the matter? By
Jupiter, they are going to start.
A deeper hum and a louder roar. Every-
body standing on Fortnum and Mason. Now
they're off! No. Now they're off! No.
Now they're off. No. Now they are! Yes!
There they go! Here they come! Where?
Keep your eye on Tattenham Corner, and
you'll see 'em coming round in half a minute.
Good gracious, look at the Grand Stand, piled
up with human beings to the top, and at the
wonderful effect of changing light as all their
faces and uncovered heads turn suddenly this
way! Here they are! Who is? The
horses! Where? Here they come! Green
first. No: Red first. No: Blue first. No:
the Favorite first. Who says so? Look!
Hurrah! Hurrah! All over. Glorious race.
Favorite wins! Two hundred thousand
pounds lost and won. You don't say so?
Pass the pie!