A large yellow man with a fat smile and a general appearance of having a good deal of train oil in his system.

Background.

Bleak House

itemA large yellow man with a fat smile and a general appearance of having a good deal of train oil in his system.” is a quotation from Bleak House (Chapter 19).

item Bleak House was the ninth novel by Charles Dickens, intended to illustrate the evils caused by long, drawn-out legal cases in the Court of Chancery.

 

Context.

item Description of the pompous preacher Mr. Chadband.

item The characteristics of Mr. Chadband has led to the adjective Chadbandian entering the Oxford English Dictionary, meaning sanctimoniously hypocritical or sermonizing.

item Taken from the following passage in Chapter 19 of Bleak House:

Here, Guster, who had been looking out of the bedroom window, comes rustling and scratching down the little staircase like a popular ghost, and falling flushed into the drawing-room, announces that Mr. and Mrs. Chadband have appeared in the court. The bell at the inner door in the passage immediately thereafter tinkling, she is admonished by Mrs. Snagsby, on pain of instant reconsignment to her patron saint, not to omit the ceremony of announcement. Much discomposed in her nerves (which were previously in the best order) by this threat, she so fearfully mutilates that point of state as to announce “Mr. and Mrs. Cheeseming, least which, Imeantersay, whatsername!” and retires conscience-stricken from the presence.

Mr. Chadband is a large yellow man with a fat smile and a general appearance of having a good deal of train oil in his system. Mrs. Chadband is a stern, severe-looking, silent woman. Mr. Chadband moves softly and cumbrously, not unlike a bear who has been taught to walk upright. He is very much embarrassed about the arms, as if they were inconvenient to him and he wanted to grovel, is very much in a perspiration about the head, and never speaks without first putting up his great hand, as delivering a token to his hearers that he is going to edify them.

“My friends,” says Mr. Chadband, “peace be on this house! On the master thereof, on the mistress thereof, on the young maidens, and on the young men! My friends, why do I wish for peace? What is peace? Is it war? No. Is it strife? No. Is it lovely, and gentle, and beautiful, and pleasant, and serene, and joyful? Oh, yes! Therefore, my friends, I wish for peace, upon you and upon yours.”

 

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2018-09-07T21:55:38+00:00Categories: Bleak House|Tags: |

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