I am the only child of parents who weighed, measured, and priced everything; for whom what could not be weighed, measured, and priced, had no existence.

Background.

Little Dorrit.itemI am the only child of parents who weighed, measured, and priced everything; for whom what could not be weighed, measured, and priced, had no existence.” is a quotation taken from Little Dorrit. Book 1, Chapter 2.

item Little Dorrit was the eleventh novel from Charles Dickens, serialised between 1855 and 1857. A rags to riches story set in the 1820’s, Little Dorrit centres around the changing fortunes of the Dorrit family.

 

Context.

Quotation from the character Arthur Clennam, who is talking to Mr Meagles. The two men are in Marseilles, France, waiting in a quarantined area before being allowed to cross the English Channel and return to England. Arthur has been in China on business for around 20 years, and following the death of his father there around a year previously is now returning to sort out family affairs with his mother in London. In this quote, Arthur is complaining how his parents put business needs before his own needs and desires growing up as a child.

The quotation is taken from the following passage in Chapter 2 of Book 1 (Fellow Travellers):

“Ah! Easily said. I am the son, Mr Meagles, of a hard father and mother. I am the only child of parents who weighed, measured, and priced everything; for whom what could not be weighed, measured, and priced, had no existence. Strict people as the phrase is, professors of a stern religion, their very religion was a gloomy sacrifice of tastes and sympathies that were never their own, offered up as a part of a bargain for the security of their possessions. Austere faces, inexorable discipline, penance in this world and terror in the next—nothing graceful or gentle anywhere, and the void in my cowed heart everywhere—this was my childhood, if I may so misuse the word as to apply it to such a beginning of life.”

 

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