Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit - Charles Dickens - Страница 1 из 1249


LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT
by Charles Dickens
PREFACE
What is exaggeration to one class of minds and perceptions, is plain
truth to another. That which is commonly called a long-sight, perceives
in a prospect innumerable features and bearings non-existent to
a short-sighted person. I sometimes ask myself whether there may
occasionally be a difference of this kind between some writers and some
readers; whether it is ALWAYS the writer who colours highly, or whether
it is now and then the reader whose eye for colour is a little dull?
On this head of exaggeration I have a positive experience, more curious
than the speculation I have just set down. It is this: I have never
touched a character precisely from the life, but some counterpart of
that character has incredulously asked me: "Now really, did I ever
really, see one like it?"
All the Pecksniff family upon earth are quite agreed, I believe, that
Mr Pecksniff is an exaggeration, and that no such character ever
existed. I will not offer any plea on his behalf to so powerful and
genteel a body, but will make a remark on the character of Jonas
Chuzzlewit.
I conceive that the sordid coarseness and brutality of Jonas would be
unnatural, if there had been nothing in his early education, and in the
precept and example always before him, to engender and develop the vices
that make him odious. But, so born and so bred, admired for that which
made him hateful, and justified from his cradle in cunning, treachery,
and avarice; I claim him as the legitimate issue of the father upon whom


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