A girl, whose miserable and emaciated appearance was only to be equalled by that of the candle which she shaded with her hand.

Background.

Sketches by Boz

 “A girl, whose miserable and emaciated appearance was only to be equalled by that of the candle which she shaded with her hand.” is a quotation taken Sketches by BozTales, Chapter 12 (The Drunkard’s Death).

Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.

 

Context.

Taken from the following passage in The Drunkard’s Death (Sketches by Boz, Tales, Chapter 12):

The man whom we have followed into this den, walked on in the darkness, sometimes stumbling into the main gutter, and at others into some branch repositories of garbage which had been formed by the rain, until he reached the last house in the court.  The door, or rather what was left of it, stood ajar, for the convenience of the numerous lodgers; and he proceeded to grope his way up the old and broken stair, to the attic story.

He was within a step or two of his room door, when it opened, and a girl, whose miserable and emaciated appearance was only to be equalled by that of the candle which she shaded with her hand, peeped anxiously out.

‘Is that you, father?’ said the girl.

‘Who else should it be?’ replied the man gruffly.  ‘What are you trembling at?  It’s little enough that I’ve had to drink to-day, for there’s no drink without money, and no money without work.  What the devil’s the matter with the girl?

‘I am not well, father—not at all well,’ said the girl, bursting into tears.

 

 

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