Friday, September 30

A Human Stew

Reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, I'm so enjoying his little frequent comic reliefs.  They're so tasteful, and so unusual and fresh that they unfailingly surprise me when they pop up.  Here are two of my favourites, (both from Part Two: A Golden Thread, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, published 1859.)  The first is referring to the dingy, traditional old bank of Tellson's, and the second, the crowds in the court after a disappointing treason trial. 

Cramped in all kinds of dim cupboards and hutches at Tellson's, the oldest of men carried on the business gravely.  When they took a young man into Tellson's London house, they hid him somewhere till he was old.  They kept him in a dark place, like a cheese, until he had the full Tellson flavour and blue-mould upon him.  Then only was he permitted to be seen , spectacularly poring over large books, and casting his breeches and gaiters into the general weight of the establishment. 

From the dimly-lighted passages of the court, the last sediment of the human stew that had been boiling there all day was straining off...
Where does he come up with such ideas?  I love these metaphors!  My almost complete inability to come up with a clever one makes these analogies such much more incredible.   

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