The child sat down in the old, silent place — Chap. LIV by Charles Green. 1876. 9.3 cm high by x 13.5 cm wide. Dickens's The Old Curiosity Shop, thirtieth illustration in the British Household Edition, IV: 197. Running head: "The Bachelor's Reverence for the Dead" (197). [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Passage Illustrated: Sanctuary from Quilp's Pursuit

Full of these meditations, she reached the church. It was easy to find the key belonging to the outer door, for each was labelled on a scrap of yellow parchment. Its very turning in the lock awoke a hollow sound, and when she entered with a faltering step, the echoes that it raised in closing, made her start.

If the peace of the simple village had moved the child more strongly, because of the dark and troubled ways that lay beyond, and through which she had journeyed with such failing feet, what was the deep impression of finding herself alone in that solemn building, where the very light, coming through sunken windows, seemed old and grey, and the air, redolent of earth and mould, seemed laden with decay, purified by time of all its grosser particles, and sighing through arch and aisle, and clustered pillars, like the breath of ages gone! Here was the broken pavement, worn, so long ago, by pious feet, that Time, stealing on the pilgrims’ steps, had trodden out their track, and left but crumbling stones. Here were the rotten beam, the sinking arch, the sapped and mouldering wall, the lowly trench of earth, the stately tomb on which no epitaph remained — all — marble, stone, iron, wood, and dust — one common monument of ruin. The best work and the worst, the plainest and the richest, the stateliest and the least imposing—both of Heaven’s work and Man’s — all found one common level here, and told one common tale. [Chapter LIII, 196]

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Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Dickens, Charles. The Old Curiosity Shop. Illustrated by Charles Green. The Household Edition. 22 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1876. XII.

Created 8 May 2020

Last modified 22 November 2020