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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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“I received this letter by the post on Monday morning, and therefore its appointment was for next day. Let me confess exactly with what feelings I looked forward to Joe’s coming.
Not with pleasure, though I was bound to him by so many ties; no; with considerable disturbance, some mortification, and a keen sense of incongruity. If I could have kept him away by paying money, I certainly would have paid money. My greatest reassurance was, that he was coming to Barnard’s Inn, not to Hammersmith, and consequently would not fall in Bentley Drummle’s way. I had little objection to his being seen by Herbert and his father, for both of whom I had a respect; but I had the sharpest sensitiveness as to his being seen by Drummle, whom I held in contempt. So throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually comitted for the sake of the people whom we most despise.”

Philip “Pip” Pirrip (narrator) from Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Chapter 27. Page 176.

Thanks to collaborator Ananda Almeida.

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Good people go to heaven, bad people get rich

“Herbert Pocket had a frank and easy way with him that was very taking. I had never seen anyone then, and I have never seen anyone since, who more strongly expressed to me, in every look and tone, a natural incapacity to do anything secret and mean. There was something wonderfully hopeful about his general air, and something that at the same time whispered to me he would never be successful or rich. I don’t know how this was. I became imbued with the notion on that first occasion before we sat down to dinner, but I cannot define by what means.”

Philip “Pip” Pirrip (narrator) from Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Chapter 22. Page 143.

Thanks to collaborator Ananda Almeida.

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To be or not to be

‘(…)What would it signify to me, being coarse and common, if nobody had told me so!’
Biddy turned her face suddenly towards mine, and looked far more attentively at me than she had looked at the sailing ships.
‘It was neither a very true nor a very polite thing to say,’ she remarked, directing her eyes to the ships again. ‘Who said it?’
I was disconcerted, for I had broken away without quite seeing where I was going. It was not to be shuffled off now, however, and I answered. ‘The beautiful young lady at Miss Havisham’s, and she’s more beautiful than anybody ever was, and I admire her dreadfully, and I want to be a gentleman on her account.’ Having made this lunatic confession, I began to throw my torn-up grass into the river, as if I had some thoughts of following it.
‘Do you want to be a gentleman, to spite her or gain her over?’ Biddy quietly asked me, after a pause.
‘I don’t know,’ I moodily answered.
‘Because, if it is to spite her,’ Biddy pusued, ‘I should think – but you know best – that might be better and more independently done by caring nothing for her words. And if it is to gain her over, I should think – but you know best – she was not worth gaining over.’
Exactly what I myself had thought, many times. Exactly what was perfectly manifest to me at the moment. But how could I, a poor dazed village lad, avoid that wonderful inconsistency into which the best and wisest men fall every day?”

Pip (narrator) and Biddy from Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Chapter 17. Page 105.

Thanks to collaborator Ananda Almeida.

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CSI Brazil

“The Constables, and the Bow Street men from London – for this happened in the days of the extinct red-waistcoated police – were about the house for a week or two, and did pretty much what I have heard and read of like authorities doing in other such cases. They took up several obviously wrong people, and they ran their heads very hard against wrong ideas, and persisted in trying to fit the circumstances to the ideas, instead of trying to extract ideas from the circumstances. Also, they stood about the door of the Jolly Bargemen, with knowing and reserved looks that filled the whole neighbourhood with admiration; and they had a mysterious manner of taking their drink, that was almost as good as taking the culprit. But not quite, for they never did it.”

Philip “Pip” Pirrip (narrator) from Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Chapter 16. Page 99.

Thanks to collaborator Ananda Almeida.

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The Fury within

‘What did you say?’ cried my sister, beginning to scream. ‘What did you say? What did that fellow Orlick say to me, Pip? What did he call me, with my husband standing by? Oh! Oh! Oh!’ Each of these exclamations was a shriek; and I must remark of my sister, what is equally true of all the violent women I have ever seen, that passion was no excuse for her, because it is undeniable that instead of lapsing into passion, she consciously and deliberately took extraordinary pains to force herself into it, and became blindly furious by regular stages.”

Philip “Pip” Pirrip (narrator) from Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Chapter 15. Page 93.

Thanks to collaborator Ananda Almeida.

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Finding one’s way to being “oncommon”

“And then I told Joe that I felt very miserable and that I hadn’t been able to explain myself to Mrs. Joe and Pumblechook who were so rude to me, and that there had been a beautiful young lady at Miss Havisham’s who was dreadfully proud , and that she had said I was common, and that I knew I was common, and that I wished I was not common, and that the lies had come of it somehow, though I didn’t know how.
This was a case of metaphysics, at least as difficult for Joe to deal with as for me. But Joe took the case altogether out of the region of metaphysics and by that means vanquished it.
‘There’s one thing you may be sure of, Pip,’ said Joe after some rumination, ‘namely, that lies is lies. Howsever they come, they didn’t ought to come, and they come from the father of lies, and work round to the same. Don’t you tell no more of’em, Pip. That an’t the way to get out of being common, old chap. And as to being common, I don’t make it out all clear. You are oncommon in some things. You’re oncommon small. Likewise, you’re a oncommon scholar.’
‘No, I am ignorant and backward, Joe.’
‘Why, see what a letter you wrote last night. Wrote in print even! I’ve seen letters – Ah! and from gentlefolks! – that I’ll swear weren’t wrote in print,’ said Joe.
‘I’ve learnt next to nothing, Joe. You think much of me. It’s only that.’
‘Well, Pip,’ said Joe, ‘be so or be son’t, you must be a common scholar before you are a oncommon one, I should hope” The king upon his throne, with his crown upon his ed, can’t sit and write his acts of Parliament in print, without having begun, when he were a unpromoted Prince, with the alphabet – Ah!’ added Joe, with a shake of the head that was full of meaning, ‘and begun at A too, and worked his way to Z. And I know what that is to do, though I can’t say I’ve exactly done it.'”

Pip (narrator) and Joe Gargery, from Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Chapter 9. Page 58.

Thanks to collaborator Ananda Almeida.