Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Well Said: "Lor! Wasn't it prime!"

I have mentioned my liking for Mr. Pancks in Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. Another favorite of mine is Maggy.
"Now, Little Mother, let's have a good 'un!"

"What shall it be about, Maggy?"

"Oh, let's have a Princess," said Maggy, "and let her be a reg'lar one. Beyond all belief, you know!"

Little Dorrit considered for a moment; and with a rather sad smile upon her face, which was flushed by the sunset, began:

"Maggy, there was once upon a time a fine King, and he had everything he could wish for, and a great deal more. He had gold and silver, diamonds and rubies, riches of every kind. He had palaces, and he had —"

"Hospitals," interposed Maggy, still nursing her knees. "Let him have hospitals, because they're so comfortable. Hospitals with lots of Chicking."

"Yes, he had plenty of them, and he had plenty of everything."

"Plenty of baked potatoes, for instance?" said Maggy.

"Plenty of everything."

"Lor!" chuckled Maggy, giving her knees a hug. "Wasn't it prime!"
I particularly love the way Maggy, her mind permenantly that of a 10-year-old, works hospitals into any conversation where comfort is concerned, that institution being the most comfortable place she has ever been in her poverty-stricken life.

The way this story continues makes me think of Charles Dickens' own experience with his numerous tribe of kiddos. He had to be drawing on experience because it is so natural sounding and, often, so funny because of Maggy's tenacity on the points she finds most interesting.

1 comment:

  1. I've never read Little Dorrit, but Dickens is great on characterization. Certainly one of the best.