Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lagniappe: Mr. F's Legacy and Mr. Pancks

A momentary silence that ensued was broken by Mr F.'s Aunt, who had been sitting upright in a cataleptic state since her last public remark. She now underwent a violent twitch, calculated to produce a startling effect on the nerves of the uninitiated, and with the deadliest animosity observed:

"You can't make a head and brains out of a brass knob with nothing in it. You couldn't do it when your Uncle George was living; much less when he's dead."

Mr Pancks was not slow to reply, with his usual calmness, "Indeed, ma'am! Bless my soul! I'm surprised to hear it."
Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit
Mr. Pancks is one of my favorite characters in Little Dorrit. The first notice we have of his well meaning nature is the way that he knows how to deal with Mr. F.'s Aunt, who clearly is suffering from some form of dementia.

Having known several similarly afflicted elderly people, I applaud his tactics.

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