Watched by the Dead

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Page 155 - ... was to consist in the review of the murderer's career by himself at the close, when its temptations were to be dwelt upon as if, not he the culprit, but some other man, were the tempted.
Page 36 - Mr. Sapsea. Old Tory jackass. ' Connect Jasper with him. (He will want a solemn donkey 'by and by) :' which was effected by bringing together both Durdles and Jasper, for connection with Sapsea, in the matter of the epitaph for Mrs. Sapsea's tomb. The...
Page 16 - ... idea which we have thus found in more or less important parts of Dickens's chief works. It is the undying hate, handed on from generation to generation, of the despised French peasantry — a hate patiently waiting for vengeance, even on the innocent descendants of the feudal tyrants of old — which brings about the series of events leading to the catastrophe. Dickens himself called attention to this point. The objection was raised that the feudal cruelties did not come sufficiently within the...
Page 72 - There is not one note of death in aught that he does or says. As the time approaches for Jasper's attack on him, there is much in the music of the story to suggest that trouble is approaching; but he is not to die, albeit the reader is to think him dead. The music of his words was under Dickens's control in the same sense that the timbre of his natural voice was under his control.
Page 71 - But he comes to life again in Act IV., as we have felt all along that he will, despite what seems the clearest evidence to the contrary—simply because George Vendale is not the sort of character whom Dickens ever kills. Nellie and Paul, Richard Carson and Neville Landless, all the characters who die in Dickens's stories, are marked for death from the beginning. George Vendale is not marked for death, and he does not die; though everything is done to suggest the idea first that he is to be killed,...
Page 155 - ... the culprit, but some other man, were the tempted. The last chapters were to be written in the condemned cell, to which his wickedness, all elaborately elicited from him as if told of another, had brought him. Discovery by the murderer of the utter needlessness of the murder for its object, was to follow hard upon the commission of the deed...
Page 6 - ... know, the point has not yet been noticed ; but I think there can be no doubt that one special idea had more attraction for him than any other, and seemed to him the most effective leading idea for a plot. The idea which more than any other had a fascination for Dickens, and was apparently regarded by him as likely to be most potent in its influence on others, was that of a wrong-doer watched at every turn by one of whom he has no suspicion, for whom he even entertains a feeling of contempt.
Page 17 - Gargery, till he strikes her a death blow, and then long and patiently on Pip, till finally he succeeds in inveigling him to the lonely place by the marshes, where he had intended that not only should Pip be slain, but destroyed from off the face of the earth. Another villain was to have planned a similar end for his victim in Dickens's latest story. Never surely had any leading idea been so thoroughly worked by a novelist as this pet theme of Dickens had been worked — and overworked, one would...
Page 156 - So much was told to me before any of the book was written; and it will be recollected that the ring, taken by Drood to be given to his betrothed only if their engagement went on, was brought away with him from their last interview. Rosa was to marry Tartar, and Crisparkle the sister of Landless, who was himself, I think, to have perished in assisting Tartar finally to unmask and seize the murderer.
Page 21 - The two men to be guarded against, as to their revenge. One, whom I openly hold in some serious animosity, whom I am at the pains to wound and defy, and whom I estimate as worth wounding and defying; — the other, whom I treat as a sort of insect, and contemptuously and pleasantly flick aside with my glove. But, it turns out to be the latter who is the really dangerous man ; and, when I expect the blow from the other, it comes from him.

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