The fourteenth full-page illustration for The Old Curiosity Shop and Reprinted Pieces, Old Cheeseman from "The School-Boy's Story," one of Dickens's contributions to the Christmas number of Household Words, in Another Round of Stories by the Christmas Fire, December 1853. Sol Eytinge, Jr. 7.5 cm high by 10 cm wide, framed. The Diamond Edition of Dickens's Works, Volume XII (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867), second illustration for the incidental material, facing 374. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Passage Illustrated: Great Expectations Realised

"My dear companions and old friends," said Old Cheeseman, "you have heard of my good fortune. I have passed so many years under this roof — my entire life so far, I may say — that I hope you have been glad to hear of it for my sake. I could never enjoy it without exchanging congratulations with you. If we have ever misunderstood one another at all, pray, my dear boys, let us forgive and forget. I have a great tenderness for you, and I am sure you return it. I want in the fulness of a grateful heart to shake hands with you every one. I have come back to do it, if you please, my dear boys."

Since the President had begun to cry, several other fellows had broken out here and there: but now, when Old Cheeseman began with him as first boy, laid his left hand affectionately on his shoulder and gave him his right; and when the President said, "Indeed, I don't deserve it, sir; upon my honour I don't;" there was sobbing and crying all over the school. Every other fellow said he didn't deserve it, much in the same way; but Old Cheeseman, not minding that a bit, went cheerfully round to every boy, and wound up with every master--finishing off the Reverend last.

Then a snivelling little chap in a corner, who was always under some punishment or other, set up a shrill cry of "Success to Old Cheeseman! Hooray!" ["The Schoolboy's Story," 374]

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 Schoolboy's Story." The Old Curiosity Shop and Reprinted Pieces. 18 Illustrations by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867. XII: 323-27.

Created 6 June 2020

Last modified 20 November 2020