The Old Curiosity Shop, Charles Dickens Library Edition (1910), facing V, 489. Original caption: [Click on the image to enlarge it.](p. 491) — Chapter 66, 9 cm high x 14 cm wide, vignetted, in Charles Dickens's
Context of the Illustration: Sally Brass cornered
With a smile upon her face, and looking at each of the three by turns, Miss Brass took two or three more pinches of snuff, and having by this time very little left, travelled round and round the box with her forefinger and thumb, scraping up another. Having disposed of this likewise and put the box carefully in her pocket, she said, —
"I am to accept or reject at once, am I?"
"Yes," said Mr. Witherden.
The charming creature was opening her lips to speak in reply, when the door was hastily opened too, and the head of Sampson Brass was thrust into the room.
"Excuse me," said the gentleman hastily. "Wait a bit!" [Chapter LXVI, 491]
Kyd's Player's Cigarette Card No. 30, Sally Brass (1910).
Looking at the single gentleman, the Notary, and Mr. Garland by turns, Miss Brass took two or three more pinches of snuff. Soon after the door was hastily opened, and the head of Sampson Brass was thrust into the room. [caption, facing 489] — 491.
Furniss renders this somewhat theatrical quasi-legal "examination" scene as a horizontally-oriented plate in order to accommodate Sally and her interrogators: the youngest of the three gentlemen must be Abel Garland, centre; the oldest, bearded interrogator is the Single Gentleman, leaving the notary, Mr. Witherden, nearest the door. The illustrator shows Sally taking the last of her snuff, a gesture by which she is (presumably) trying to buy herself time before responding to the demand that she explain her role in manufacturing the trumped-up charges against Kit Nubbles."I am to accept or reject at once, am I?" No sooner has she attempted to ascertain whether she can avoid answering at this very moment when her pusillanimous brother interrupts the proceedings.
The Original Conception of the Interrogation
Phiz's original illustration for this chapter, Mr. Brass Unexpectedly Appears (9 January 1841).
Related Material about The Old Curiosity Shop
- Dickens's The Old Curiosity Shop (homepage)
- The Old Curiosity Shop Illustrated: A Team Effort by "The Clock Works"
- Illustrated Editions of The Old Curiosity Shop
- Kyd's Characters from Dickens (1889)
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 in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]
Dickens, Charles. The Old Curiosity Shop. Illustrated by Harry Furniss. The Charles Dickens Library Edition. 18 vols. London: Educational Book Company, 1910. V.
Created 7 May 2020
Last modified 28 November 2020