My “Mr Micawber” quote

04 Apr

One lunchtime at work we spoke about whether or not we’d ever read Dickens. It seemed the general consensus that he was a classic, but the books were really a bit on the fat side for actually reading.

My concession was that I just loved some of the quotes he had, and to prove it, here’s one of my all-time favourites:

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and six pence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds and six pence, result misery.”

And here’s us *still* arguing about whether money buys happiness or not… despite Dickens having hit the nail on the head with such a resounding twang!


Posted by on Wednesday, April 4, 2007 in philosophy


Tags: ,

8 responses to “My “Mr Micawber” quote

  1. cath

    Friday, April 6, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    A resounding twang? from hitting a nail? what onomatopoeic madness is this??


  2. justmerach

    Friday, April 6, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Well, if you hit it *just so* the nail would vibrate afterwards…

    I think that’s what I was trying to get at 😉 but I must confess to a rather poorer turn of expression than Dickens himself.

  3. Grant

    Friday, April 6, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    If only you’d opted to hit the nail with a banjo all would have been well…

  4. justmerach

    Saturday, April 7, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    Aha… now why didn’t I think of that!

    Thanks, Grant

  5. Pauline

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Couldn’t care what you hit the nail with. I just wanted the quote from Micawber and was lucky enough to find it on your page. Thank you very much for that 🙂

  6. rach

    Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    You’re welcome, Pauline 🙂

    (I quite like doing favours for people that involve no effort on my part whatsoever 😛 )

  7. AnthonyL

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Your friends, nice though they may be, are foolish if they view Dickens’ books as too “fat”. Quantity is not the point, unless you think you can have too much of a good thing. Quality is the point. Word by word, Dicken’s infuses his stories with such dynamic emotion and philosophy that each page is worth more than some current bestsellers in total!

    In other words, it is not information, it is writing – choosing the right words makes every page live forever. That’s Dickens.

    Fat is a matter of quantity, which can be a good thing, not even bad, if the words are good.

    As a matter of fact, reading Dickens for an hour will fill you with more joy and interest than ten days of the New York Post or whatever trash we read on the subway.

  8. George Harris

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    My all time favourite quote from Mr Micawber. SOMETHING WILL TURN UP.


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