Dombey and Son (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens

Dombey and Son (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens

Author:Charles Dickens [Dickens, Charles]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Published: 2006-04-27T04:00:00+00:00

Coming home from Church

The Major very hoarsely indicates his approval. Mr Carker, bending his head forward over the table in the direction of Cousin Feenix, smiles and nods a great many times.

‘A – in fact it’s not a –’ Cousin Feenix beginning again, thus, comes to a dead stop.

‘Hear, hear!’ says the Major, in a tone of conviction.

Mr Carker softly claps his hands, and bending forward over the table again, smiles and nods a great many more times than before, as if he were particularly struck by this last observation, and desired personally to express his sense of the good it has done him.

‘It is,’ says Cousin Feenix, ‘an occasion, in fact, when the general usages of life may be a little departed from, without impropriety; and although I never was an orator in my life, and when I was in the House of Commons, and had the honour of seconding the address, was – in fact, was laid up for a fortnight with the consciousness of failure’ –’

The Major and Mr Carker are so much delighted by this fragment of personal history, that Cousin Feenix laughs, and addressing them, individually, goes on to say:

‘And in point of fact, when I was devilish ill – still, you know, I feel that a duty devolves upon me. And when a duty devolves upon an Englishman, he is bound to get out of it, in my opinion, in the best way he can. Well! our family has had the gratification, to-day, of connecting itself, in the person of my lovely and accomplished relative, whom I now see – in point of fact, present –’

Here there is general applause.

‘Present,’ repeats Cousin Feenix, feeling that it is a neat point which will bear repetition, – ‘with one who – that is to say, with a man, at whom the finger of scorn can never – in fact, with my honourable friend Dombey, if he will allow me to call him so.’

Cousin Feenix bows to Mr Dombey; Mr Dombey solemnly returns the bow; everybody is more or less gratified and affected by this extraordinary, and perhaps unprecedented, appeal to the feelings.

‘I have not,’ says Cousin Feenix, ‘enjoyed those opportunities which I could have desired, of cultivating the acquaintance of my friend Dombey, and studying those qualities which do equal honour to his head, and, in point of fact, to his heart; for it has been my misfortune to be, as we used to say in my time in the House of Commons, when it was not the custom to allude to the Lords, and when the order of parliamentary proceedings was perhaps better observed than it is now – to be in – in point of fact,’ says Cousin Feenix, cherishing his joke, with great slyness, and finally bringing it out with a jerk, ‘“in another place!”’10

The Major falls into convulsions, and is recovered with difficulty.

‘But I know sufficient of my friend Dombey,’ resumes Cousin Feenix in a graver tone, as if he had suddenly


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