"Whether he lives or dies, what does it come to?" Chapter VII of Dickens's Old Curiosity Shop by Thomas Worth in the first Household Edition volume published by Harper & Bros., New York (1872), 30: 4 x 5 ¼ inches (10.2 x 13.4 cm) framed. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Passage Illustrated: Fred Trent reaches an understanding with Dick Swiveller

"I tell you," returned the other with an increased earnestness, which,  whether it were real or assumed, had the same effect on his companion, "that he livesfor her, that his whole energies and thoughts are bound up in her, that he would no more disinherit her for an act of disobedience than he would take me into his favor again for any act of obedience or virtue that I could possibly be guilty of. He could not do it. You or any other man with eyes in his head may see that, if he chooses."

"It seems improbable certainly," said Dick, musing.

"It seems improbable because it is improbable," his friend returned. "If you would  furnish him with an additional inducement to forgive you, let there be an irreconcilable  breach, a most deadly quarrel, between you and me — let there be a pretense of such a thing, I mean, of course — and he’ll do fast enough. As to Nell, constant dropping will  wear away a stone; you know you may trust to me as far as she is concerned. So, whether he lives or dies, what does it come to? That you become the sole inheritor of the wealth of this rich old hunks, that you and I spend it together, and that you get into the bargain a beautiful young wife."

"I suppose there’s no doubt about his being rich" — said Dick. [Chapter VII, 30]

Related Material about The Old Curiosity Shop

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 Thomas Worth. The Household Edition. 16 vols. New York: Harper & Bros., 1872. I.

Created 4 August 2020

Last modified 26 November 2020