The Pickwick Papers

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Sam Weller and his father Tony Weller (The Valentine)
The Goblin and the Sexton

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1836), better known as The Pickwick Papers, is the first novel by Charles Dickens, containing a sequence of loosely-related adventures. The novel's main character, Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, and the founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. To extend his researches into the quaint and curious phenomena of life, he suggests that he and three other "Pickwickians" (Mr Nathaniel Winkle, Mr Augustus Snodgrass, and Mr Tracy Tupman) should make journeys to places remote from London and report on their findings to the other members of the club.


  • He had used the word in its Pickwickian sense.
    • Chapter 1, referring to the word "humbug".
  • Great men are seldom over-scrupulous in the arrangement of their attire.
    • Chapter 2.
  • Heads, heads — take care of your heads!... Five children — mother — tall lady, eating sandwiches — forgot the arch — crash — knock — children look round — mother's head off — sandwich in her hand—no mouth to put it in — head of a family off—shocking, shocking!
    • Chapter 2.
  • "I am ruminating," said Mr. Pickwick, "on the strange mutability of human affairs." "Ah! I see — in at the palace door one day, out at the window the next. Philosopher, Sir?" "An observer of human nature, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick. "Ah, so am I. Most people are when they've little to do and less to get."
    • Chapter 2.
  • Ah! you should keep dogs — fine animals — sagacious creatures — dog of my own once — pointer — surprising instinct — out shooting one day — entering inclosure — whistled — dog stopped — whistled again — Ponto — no go; stock still — called him — Ponto, Ponto — wouldn't move — dog transfixed — staring at a board — looked up, saw an inscription — "Gamekeeper has orders to shoot all dogs found in this inclosure" — wouldn't pass it — wonderful dog — valuable dog that — very.
  • Kent, sir — everybody knows Kent — apples, cherries, hops, and women.
    • Chapter 2.
  • There are very few moments in a man's existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.
    • Chapter 4.
  • There was a fine gentle wind, and Mr. Pickwick's hat rolled sportively before it. The wind puffed, and Mr. Pickwick puffed, and the hat rolled over and over as merrily as a lively porpoise in a strong tide.
    • Chapter 4.
  • Did it ever strike you, on such a morning as this, that drowning would be happiness and peace?
    • Chapter 5.
  • "It wasn't the wine," murmured Mr. Snodgrass, in a broken voice. "It was the salmon."
    • Chapter 8.
  • I wants to make your flesh creep.
    • Chapter 8.
  • Whenever the Buffs and Blues met together at public meeting ... disputes and high words arose between them... Everything in Eatanswill was made a party question. If the Buffs proposed to new skylight the market-place, the Blues got up public meetings, and denounced the proceeding; if the Blues proposed the erection of an additional pump in the High Street, the Buffs rose as one man and stood aghast at the enormity.
    • Chapter 13.
  • "It's always best on these occasions to do what the mob do." "But suppose there are two mobs?" suggested Mr. Snodgrass. "Shout with the largest," replied Mr. Pickwick.
    • Chapter 13.
  • Can I view thee panting, lying
    On thy stomach, without sighing;
    Can I unmoved see thee dying
    On a log
    Expiring frog!
    • Chapter 15.
  • And a wery good name it is; only one I know that ain't got a nickname to it.
    • Chapter 16.
  • Tongue —, well that's a wery good thing when it ain't a woman's.
    • Chapter 19.
  • Battledore and shuttlecock's a wery good game, vhen you ain't the shuttlecock and two lawyers the battledores, in which case it gets too excitin' to be pleasant.
    • Chapter 20.
  • Mr. Weller's knowledge of London was extensive and peculiar.
    • Chapter 20.
  • Take example by your father, my boy, and be very careful o’ widders all your life, specially if they’ve kept a public house, Sammy.
    • Chapter 20.
  • I took a good deal o’ pains with his eddication, sir; let him run in the streets when he was wery young, and shift for his-self. It’s the only way to make a boy sharp, sir.
    • The elder Weller, on the rearing of his son
    • Chapter 20.
  • "Think, Sir!" replied Mr. Weller; "why, I think he's the wictim o' connubiality, as Blue Beard's domestic chaplain said, vith a tear of pity, ven he buried him."
    • Chapter 20.
  • "It’s a wery remarkable circumstance, Sir", said Sam, "that poverty and oysters seems to go together."
    • Chapter 22.
  • It's over, and can't be helped, and that's one consolation, as they always says in Turkey, ven they cuts the wrong man's head off.
    • Chapter 23.
  • Dumb as a drum vith a hole in it, Sir.
    • Chapter 25.
  • Oh, my young friend, who else could have resisted the pleading of sixteen of our fairest sisters, and withstood their exhortations to subscribe to our noble society for providing the infant negroes in the West Indies with flannel waistcoats and moral pocket-handkerchiefs?
    • Chapter 27.
  • Ven you’re a married man, Samivel, you’ll understand a good many things as you don’t understand now; but vether it’s worth goin’ through so much, to learn so little, as the charity-boy said ven he got to the end of the alphabet, is a matter o' taste.
    • Chapter 27.
  • Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside and his quiet home!
    • Chapter 28.
  • "Eccentricities of genius, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. "You may retire."
    • Chapter 30.
  • When a man bleeds inwardly, it is a dangerous thing for himself; but when he laughs inwardly, it bodes no good to other people.
    • Chapter 31.
  • Keep yourself TO yourself.
    • Chapter 32.
  • Poetry's unnat'ral; no man ever talked poetry 'cept a beadle on Boxin'-Day, or Warren's blackin', or Rowland's oil, or some of them low fellows; never you let yourself down to talk poetry, my boy.
    • The elder Weller, commenting on his son’s composition of a valentine
    • Chapter 33.
  • Never mind the character, and stick to the alleybi.
    • Chapter 33.
  • It's my opinion, sir, that this meeting is drunk, sir.
    • Chapter 33.
  • "Do you spell it with a 'V' or a 'W'?" inquired the judge. "That depends upon the taste and fancy of the speller, my Lord," replied Sam.
  • "Yes, I have a pair of eyes," replied Sam, "and that's just it. If they wos a pair o' patent double million magnifyin' gas microscopes of hextra power, p'raps I might be able to see through a flight o' stairs and a deal door; but bein' only eyes, you see, my wision 's limited."
    • Chapter 34.
  • By the bye, who ever knew a man who never read or wrote either, who hadn't got some small back parlour which he WOULD call a study!
    • Chapter 35.
  • Miss Bolo rose from the table considerably agitated, and went straight home, in a flood of tears and a sedan-chair.
    • Chapter 35.
  • She knows wot's wot, she does.
    • Chapter 37.
  • WE know, Mr. Weller—we, who are men of the world—that a good uniform must work its way with the women, sooner or later.
    • Chapter 37.
  • You're a amiably-disposed young man, Sir, I don't think.
    • Chapter 38.
  • They don't mind it; it's a reg'lar holiday to them — all porter and skittles.
    • Chapter 41.
  • We still leave unblotted in the leaves of our statute book, for the reverence and admiration of successive ages, the just and wholesome law which declares that the sturdy felon shall be fed and clothed, and that the penniless debtor shall be left to die of starvation and nakedness. This is no fiction.
    • Chapter 42.
  • Anythin' for a quiet life, as the man said wen he took the sitivation at the lighthouse.
    • Chapter 43.
  • Wotever is, is right, as the young nobleman sveetly remarked wen they put him down in the pension list 'cos his mother's uncle's vife's grandfather vunce lit the king's pipe vith a portable tinder-box.
    • Chapter 51.