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.
Quotation from the character Arthur Clennam, who is speaking to his Mother.
The quotation is taken from the following passage in Chapter 5 of Book 1 (Family Affairs):
‘Mother, our House has done less and less for some years past, and our dealings have been progressively on the decline. We have never shown much confidence, or invited much; we have attached no people to us; the track we have kept is not the track of the time; and we have been left far behind. I need not dwell on this to you, mother. You know it necessarily.’
‘I know what you mean,’ she answered, in a qualified tone. ‘Even this old house in which we speak,’ pursued her son, ‘is an instance of what I say. In my father’s earlier time, and in his uncle’s time before him, it was a place of business—really a place of business, and business resort. Now, it is a mere anomaly and incongruity here, out of date and out of purpose. All our consignments have long been made to Rovinghams’ the commission-merchants; and although, as a check upon them, and in the stewardship of my father’s resources, your judgment and watchfulness have been actively exerted, still those qualities would have influenced my father’s fortunes equally, if you had lived in any private dwelling: would they not?’
‘Do you consider,’ she returned, without answering his question, ‘that a house serves no purpose, Arthur, in sheltering your infirm and afflicted—justly infirm and righteously afflicted—mother?’
‘I was speaking only of business purposes.’
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