‘In this life, we want nothing but Facts, sir; nothing but Facts!’
The speaker, and the schoolmaster, and the third grown person present, all backed a little, and swept with their eyes the inclined plane of little vessels then and there arranged in order, ready to have imperial gallons of facts poured into them until they were full to the brim.
Chapter 1 of Hard Times is set in a schoolroom in the dirty, industrial Coketown. Thomas Gradgrind is airing his mechanical views of educational tuition to the schoolmaster, reliant on drumming in facts. Both of them, and a third person present, look over towards the children, which Dickens comically, and in keeping with a number of industrial metaphors in the novel, describes as little vessels, waiting to have these facts poured into them.
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