Mrs. Bagnet Returns from her Expedition by "Phiz" (Hablot Knight Browne) for Bleak House, p. 530 (ch. 55, "Flight"). 4 1/8 x 5 1/16 inches. For passage illustrated, see below. Image scan and text by George P. Landow. [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.]

Passage Illustrated

Approaching the cell, they find the door opening and a warder in the act of coming out. The old girl promptly makes a sign of entreaty to him to say nothing; assenting with a nod, he suffers them to enter as he shuts the door.

So George, who is writing at his table, supposing himself to be alone, does not raise his eyes, but remains absorbed. The old housekeeper looks at him, and those wandering hands of hers are quite enough for Mrs. Bagnet's confirmation, even if she could see the mother and the son together, knowing what she knows, and doubt their relationship.

Not a rustle of the housekeeper's dress, not a gesture, not a word betrays her. She stands looking at him as he writes on, all unconscious, and only her fluttering hands give utterance to her emotions. But they are very eloquent, very, very eloquent. Mrs. Bagnet understands them. They speak of gratitude, of joy, of grief, of hope; of inextinguishable affection, cherished with no return since this stalwart man was a stripling; of a better son loved less, and this son loved so fondly and so proudly; and they speak in such touching language that Mrs. Bagnet's eyes brim up with tears and they run glistening down her sun-brown face.

"George Rouncewell! Oh, my dear child, turn and look at me!" [Project Gutenberg etext (see bibliography below)]

References

Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. London: Bradbury & Evans. Bouverie Street, 1853.

Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. Project Gutenberg etext prepared by Donald Lainson, Toronto, Canada (charlie@idirect.com), with revision and corrections by Thomas Berger and Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D. Seen 9 November 2007.


Victorian Web Overview Victorian Book Illustration Charles Dickens Phiz (Hablot K. Browne)

Last modified 15 November 2007