Note 3 to the author's "Great Expectations in "The Tuggses at Ramsgate," or, The Importance of Being Cymon"
In the Dryden version, Iphigenia's father, Cipseus, has an unidentified obligation to marry his daughter to "a Foreign Spouse" (p. 550), Pasimond, a native of Rhodes. Consequently, for the original Cymon as for Dickens': as Fate decreed, Tho' better lov'd, he spoke too late to speed. (p. 550) The Dryden version offers as its argument the notion that Love, studious how to please, improves our Parts, With polish'd Manners, and adorns with Arts. (p. 542) Perhaps Dickens had this passage in mind when he had Simon re-name himself, for the young shopkeeper is definitely trying to adorn himself, improve his image, and acquire manners appropriate to his new social station. However, whereas Dryden's Cymon possesses a natural grace ('his limbs with due Proportion join'd," p. 543) that Love may liberate from "A clownish Mien," Dickens' Cymon never loses "that tendency to weakness in his interesting legs" (335).
Last modified October 28 2000