After holding her to his breast with a passionate cry,
he took up his bundle and darted out at the door, with an arm across his eyes.

"After holding her to his breast with a passionate cry, he took up his bundle and darted out at the door, with an arm across his eyes." (p. 40)." James Mahoney's seventh illustration for Dickens's Our Mutual Friend, Household Edition, 1875. Wood engraving by the Dalziels, 10.5 cm high x 13.4 cm wide.

Reverting to the plotline which focuses on Lizzie Hexam, Mahoney illustrates another interaction between brother and sister, in chapter 6, "Cut Adrift," which follows the scene depicted in the frontispiece. Having thrown together her limited financial resources, Lizzie commands the boy to leave the family hovel for his own good and take up the vocation of teaching through the school he has been attending. She enjoins him to remember her, behave himself, and "get learning" (37) before she wishes him good-bye.

Though so young, she infused into these parting words a love that was far more like a mother's than a sister's, and before which the boy was quite bowed down. After holding her to his breast with a passionate cry, he took up his bundle and darted out at the door, with an arm across his eyes. [37]

Immediately after Charley's emotional departure, Lizzie goes down to the docks in search of her father, a scene depicted by Mahoney in the book's frontispiece, "Lizzie, looking for her father, saw him coming, and stood upon the causeway that he might see her."

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.]

Bibliography

Dickens, Charles. Our Mutual Friend. Il. James Mahoney. Household Edition. London: Chapman and Hall; New York, Harper Brothers, 1875.


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Last modified 12 December 2010