124+ Best Charles Dickens Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Charles John Huffam Dickens FRSA was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world’s best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. Profoundly inspirational Charles Dickens quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

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Famous Charles Dickens Quotes

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! – Charles Dickens

To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart. – Charles Dickens

A modest ring at the bell at length allayed her fears, and Miss Benton, hurrying into her own room and shutting herself up, in order that she might preserve that appearance of being taken by surprise which is so essential to the polite reception of visitors, awaited their coming with a smiling countenance. – Charles Dickens

I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time. – Charles Dickens

Come, let’s be a comfortable couple and take care of each other! How glad we shall be, that we have somebody we are fond of always, to talk to and sit with. – Charles Dickens

Accidentally consumed five biscuits when I wasn’t paying attention. Those biscuits are wily fellows – they leap in like sugary ninjas – Charles Dickens

Do all the good you can and make as little fuss about it as possible. – Charles Dickens

He would make a lovely corpse. – Charles Dickens

We need never be ashamed of our tears. – Charles Dickens

Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts. – Charles Dickens

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. – Charles Dickens

A very little key will open a very heavy door. – Charles Dickens

There are chords in the human heart- strange, varying strings- which are only struck by accident, which will remain mute and senseless to appeals the most passionate and earnest and respond at last to the slightest casual touch. – Charles Dickens

A man must take the fat with the lean. – Charles Dickens

The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again. – Charles Dickens

Yes. He is quite a good fellow – nobody’s enemy but his own. – Charles Dickens

Bleak, dark, and piercing cold, it was a night for the well-housed and fed to draw round the bright fire and thank God they were at home; and for the homeless starving wretch to lay him down and die. Many hunger-worn outcasts close their eyes in our bare streets at such times, who, let their crimes have been what they may, can hardly open them in a more bitter world. – Charles Dickens

A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it. – Charles Dickens

I find my breath gets short, but it seldom gets longer as a man gets older. I take it as it comes and make the most of it. That’s the best way, ain’t it? – Charles Dickens

There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor. – Charles Dickens

All of us have wonders hidden in our breasts, only needing circumstances to evoke them. – Charles Dickens

Try to do unto others as you would have them do to you, and do not be discouraged if they fail sometimes. It is much better that they should fail than you should. – Charles Dickens

Moths, and all sorts of ugly creatures, hover about a lighted candle. Can the candle help it? – Charles Dickens

Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities. – Charles Dickens

Every failure teaches a man something, if he will learn; and you are too sensible a man not to learn from this failure. – Charles Dickens

There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts. – Charles Dickens

Spite is a little word, but it represents as strange a jumble of feelings and compound of discords, as any polysyllable in the language. – Charles Dickens

But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,’ faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself. Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business! – Charles Dickens

Man cannot really improve himself without improving others. – Charles Dickens

You are too young to know how the world changes every day,’ said Mrs Creakle, ‘and how the people in it pass away. But we all have to learn it, David; some of us when we are young, some of us when we are old, some of us at all times in our lives. – Charles Dickens

True love believes everything, and bears everything, and trusts everything. – Charles Dickens

Once a gentleman, and always a gentleman. – Charles Dickens

My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time. – Charles Dickens

For nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress. – Charles Dickens

The world belongs to those who set out to conquer it armed with self-confidence and good humour. – Charles Dickens

And it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us. – Charles Dickens

Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it cannot be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues – faith and hope. – Charles Dickens

It opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes, and softens down the temper; so, cry away. – Charles Dickens

And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Everyone! – Charles Dickens

Keep up appearances whatever you do. – Charles Dickens

We need be careful how we deal with those about us, when every death carries to some small circle of survivors, thoughts of so much omitted, and so little done- of so many things forgotten, and so many more which might have been repaired! There is no remorse so deep as that which is unavailing; if we would be spared its tortures, let us remember this, in time. – Charles Dickens

The ocean asks for nothing but those who stand by her shores gradually attune themselves to her rhythm. – Charles Dickens

She was too intent upon her work, and too earnest in what she said, and too composed and quiet altogether, to be on the watch for any look he might direct towards her in reply; so the shaft of his ungrateful glance fell harmless, and did not wound her. – Charles Dickens

The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world. – Charles Dickens

Let no man turn aside, ever so slightly, from the broad path of honor, on the plausible pretense that he is justified by the goodness of his end. All good ends can be worked out by good means. – Charles Dickens

The sun, the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to man–burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory. Through costly-colored glass and paper-mended window, through cathedral dome and rotten crevice, it shed its equal ray. – Charles Dickens

We forge the chains we wear in life. – Charles Dickens

And yet I love him. I love him so much and so dearly, that when I sometimes think my life may be but a weary one, I am proud of it and glad of it. I am proud and glad to suffer something for him, even though it is of no service to him, and he will never know of it or care for it. – Charles Dickens

I feel an earnest and humble desire, and shall do till I die, to increase the stock of harmless cheerfulness. – Charles Dickens

They are Man’s and they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. – Charles Dickens

He was bolder in the daylight-most men are. – Charles Dickens

Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort. – Charles Dickens

I must be taken as I have been made. The success is not mine; the failure is not mine, but the two together make me. – Charles Dickens

No one who can read, ever looks at a book, even unopened on a shelf, like one who cannot. – Charles Dickens

In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong. – Charles Dickens

In the moonlight, which is always sad, as the light of the sun itself is–as the light called human life is–at its coming and its going. – Charles Dickens

Have I yet to learn that the hardest and best-borne trials are those which are never chronicled in any earthly record and are suffered every day! – Charles Dickens

External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chills him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. – Charles Dickens

The talker has found a hearer but not a listener; and though he may talk his very best for his own sake, you will find that his mental movements are erratic: they have no fixed center and no definite object. His talk is like the water of a canal whose banks have given way, which rolls aimlessly hither and thither, without fulfilling any useful function, though it is the same water which was so helpful and serviceable, when it was confined within clearly marked limits by the restraining force of its earthy boundaries. – Charles Dickens

Morning drew on apace. The air became more sharp and piercing, as its first dull hue: the death of night, rather than the birth of day: glimmered faintly in the sky. The objects which had looked dim and terrible in the darkness, grew more and more defined, and gradually resolved into their familiar shapes. The rain came down, thick and fast; and pattered, noisily, among the leafless bushes. – Charles Dickens

The more man knows of man, the better for the common brotherhood among men. – Charles Dickens

You have been the last dream of my soul. – Charles Dickens

How beautiful you are! You are more beautiful in anger than in repose. I don’t ask you for your love; give me yourself and your hatred; give me yourself and that pretty rage; give me yourself and that enchanting scorn; it will be enough for me. – Charles Dickens

Although a skillful flatterer is a most delightful companion if you have him all to yourself, his taste becomes very doubtful when he takes to complimenting other people. – Charles Dickens

The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists. – Charles Dickens

Your tale is of the longest, observed Monks, moving restlessly in his chair. It is a true tale of grief and trial, and sorrow, young man, returned Mr. Brownlow, and such tales usually are; if it were one of unmixed joy and happiness, it would be very brief. – Charles Dickens

Family not only need to consist of merely those whom we share blood, but also for those whom we’d give blood. – Charles Dickens

It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor. – Charles Dickens

Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule. – Charles Dickens

No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused – Charles Dickens

One should never be ashamed to cry. Tears are rain on the dust of earth. – Charles Dickens

Think! I’ve got enough to do, and little enough to get for it, without thinking. – Charles Dickens

There are some upon this earth of yours,’ returned the Spirit, ‘who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name; who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us. – Charles Dickens

It is an old prerogative of kings to govern everything but their passions. – Charles Dickens

Trifles make the sum of life. – Charles Dickens

Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true. – Charles Dickens

They whirled past the dark trees, as feathers would be swept before a hurricane. Houses, gates, churches, hay-stacks, objects of every kind they shot by, with a velocity and noise like roaring waters suddenly let loose. Still the noise of pursuit grew louder, and still my uncle could hear the young lady wildly screaming, Faster! Faster! – Charles Dickens

A word in earnest is as good as a speech. – Charles Dickens

Our affections, however laudable, in this transitory world, should never master us; we should guide them, guide them. – Charles Dickens

The civility which money will purchase, is rarely extended to those who have none. – Charles Dickens

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else. – Charles Dickens

The American elite is almost beyond redemption… Moral relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush–sophistry washed down with Chardonnay. The ordinary citizens, thank goodness, still adhere to absolutes…. It is they who have saved the republic from creeping degradation while their ‘betters’ were derelict. – Charles Dickens

I love your daughter fondly, dearly, disinterestedly, devotedly. If ever there were love in the world, I love her. – Charles Dickens

The aim of talk should be like the aim of a flying arrow — to hit the mark; but to this end there must be a mark to hit, that is, there must be a listener. – Charles Dickens

Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape. – Charles Dickens

There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. – Charles Dickens

Many merry Christmases, many happy New Years. Unbroken friendships, great accumulations of cheerful recollections and affections on earth, and heaven for us all. – Charles Dickens

Probably every new and eagerly expected garment ever put on since clothes came in, fell a trifle short of the wearer’s expectation. – Charles Dickens

Love her, love her, love her! If she favors you, love her. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces – and as it gets older and stronger, it will tear deeper – love her, love her, love her! – Charles Dickens

I loved you madly; in the distasteful work of the day, in the wakeful misery of the night, girded by sordid realities, or wandering through Paradises and Hells of visions into which I rushed, carrying your image in my arms, I loved you madly. – Charles Dickens

May I tell you why it seems to me a good thing for us to remember wrong that has been done us? That we may forgive it. – Charles Dickens

I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. – Charles Dickens

Do you spell it with a ‘V’ or a ‘W’?’ inquired the judge. That depends upon the taste and fancy of the speller, my Lord. – Charles Dickens

You know what I am going to say. I love you. What other men may mean when they use that expression, I cannot tell. What I mean is that I am under the influence of some tremendous attraction which I have resisted in vain, and which overmasters me. You could draw me to fire, you could draw me to water, you could draw me to the gallows, you could draw me to any death, you could draw me to anything I have most avoided, you could draw me to any exposure and disgrace. This and the confusion of my thoughts, so that I am fit for nothing, is what I mean by your being the ruin of me. – Charles Dickens

A man is lucky if he is the first love of a woman. A woman is lucky if she is the last love of a man. – Charles Dickens

There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart. – Charles Dickens

I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out. – Charles Dickens

Rich folks may ride on camels, but it ain’t so easy for ’em to see out of a needle’s eye. – Charles Dickens

There was something very comfortable in having plenty of stationery. – Charles Dickens

Constancy in love is a good thing; but it means nothing, and is nothing, without constancy in every kind of effort. – Charles Dickens

Thus violent deeds live after men upon the earth, and traces of war and bloodshed will survive in mournful shapes long after those who worked the desolation are but atoms of earth themselves. – Charles Dickens

What lawsuits grow out of the graves of rich men, every day; sowing perjury, hatred, and lies among near kindred, where there should be nothing but love! – Charles Dickens

Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. – Charles Dickens

A loving heart is the truest wisdom. – Charles Dickens

I am what you designed me to be.I am your blade. You cannot now complain if you also feel the hurt – Charles Dickens

I don’t remember who was there, except Dora. I have not the least idea what we had for dinner, besides Dora. My impression is, that I dined off Dora, entirely, and sent away half-a-dozen plates untouched. I sat next to her. I talked to her. She had the most delightful little voice, the gayest little laugh, the pleasantest and most fascinating little ways, that ever led a lost youth into hopeless slavery. She was rather diminutive altogether. So much the more precious, I thought. – Charles Dickens

I should never have made my success in life if I had not bestowed upon the least thing I have ever undertaken the same attention and care that I have bestowed upon the greatest. – Charles Dickens

Nothing is discovered without God’s intention and assistance, and I suppose every new knowledge of His works that is conceded to man to be distinctly a revelation by which men are to guide themselves. – Charles Dickens

The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’ Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities. – Charles Dickens

I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape. – Charles Dickens

Vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule. – Charles Dickens

Pause you who read this and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day. – Charles Dickens

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself. – Charles Dickens

But tears were not the things to find their way to Mr. Bumble’s soul; his heart was waterproof. – Charles Dickens

I had considered how the things that never happen, are often as much realities to us, in their effects, as those that are accomplished. – Charles Dickens

Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes. – Charles Dickens

Never close your lips to those whom you have already opened your heart. – Charles Dickens

I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free. Mankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole what it concedes to the butterflies. – Charles Dickens

In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, as injustice. – Charles Dickens

A new heart for a New Year, always! – Charles Dickens

The night crept on apace, the moon went down, the stars grew pale and dim, and morning, cold as they, slowly approached. Then, from behind a distant hill, the noble sun rose up, driving the mists in phantom shapes before it, and clearing the earth of their ghostly forms till darkness came again. – Charles Dickens

But injustice breeds injustice; the fighting with shadows and being defeated by them necessitates the setting up of substances to combat. – Charles Dickens

Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do it well; whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself completely; in great aims and in small I have always thoroughly been in earnest. – Charles Dickens

But I am sure that I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely. – Charles Dickens

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