Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm Currently Reading...Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens (Part 5)

Chapter the Forty-First - Chapter the Seventy-Second:  I've been so busy reading Barnaby Rudge that I havent taken time to give a proper update about reading it.  Obviously all my reading shows how very fond I am of everything that is happening.
I've found the descriptions of the Gordon Riots very haunting, Hugh's character quite hilarious, some of the riot business and talks about the prison a little confusing, but the whole story overall intriguing.  Since a ton has happened since my last update, I'll give a summary of the most important parts:

- Emma does not know where Mr. Haredale is, and Dolly has been staying with her.  It turns out he's been staying at Mrs. Rudge's house.
- Haredale has an encounter with some Protestants, including Sir John and Gashford, and informs everyone that Gashford is basically a cad.
- Mary Rudge is living in a cottage far away with Barnaby.  She is told by a visiting blind man that this same stranger she's been escaping from needs money.  She gives the blind man all she has for the stranger, and says she'll get him the rest.  She and Barnaby flee.
- Barnaby is talked into becoming an advocate of the Protestants.  I hated this part because Barnaby is just so sweet and good and wants to make his mother proud so badly that he thinks joining this group will impress her.
- The "No Popery" group takes a petition to parliament to try and have the rights of the Catholics revoked, but it's rejected.  This causes mayhem.
- The Maypole basically gets destroyed.  The stranger comes and poked around it.
- Mr. Haredale - gasp! - finds Mr. Rudge (OMG HE'S ALIVE) and sends him to jail for the murder of Rueben Haredale.

- Barnaby gets put in jail for being part of the "No Popery" group.
- Hugh and his people kidnap Dolly and Emma.  Gashford wants to take Emma as his wife.
-  Barnaby meets his father in jail.
- Sim and the rioters kidnaps Mr. Varden to pick the lock of the jail that Barnaby is at, but he refuses so they destroy the entire jail.  The description of this - melting bodies, hands becoming withered from the heat, people trapped in the jail - was just terrifying.
- Mr. Haredale finds Joe (who has lost an arm in the military) and Edward.
- Gashford attempts to kidnap Emma by telling her some lame story about her father that is not true, but Mr. Haredale, the Vardens, Joe, and Edward appear just in time to save the day and the girls are rescued.
- Dennis and Hugh are now in jail as well.

  Whew!  Now wasn't that a lot that happened?  I'm nearly done, I've got about 10 chapters to left, and  I should finish it tomorrow or Wednesday.  Some of the parts with Hugh, Dennis, Sim, and the rioters are a little boring to me and I find myself not paying quite as much attention to it as I probably should.  But I still enjoy the parts with Joe and Dolly.  Gosh, there is one part where Joe is talking to Dolly and it was just so pitiful:

" ‘Your voice,’ said Joe, ‘brings up old times so pleasantly, that, for the moment, I feel as if that night—there can be no harm in talking of that night now—had come back, and nothing had happened in the mean time. I feel as if I hadn’t suffered any hardships, but had knocked down poor Tom Cobb only yesterday, and had come to see you with my bundle on my shoulder before running away.—You remember?’
Remember! But she said nothing. She raised her eyes for an instant. It was but a glance; a little, tearful, timid glance. It kept Joe silent though, for a long time.
‘Well!’ he said stoutly, ‘it was to be otherwise, and was. I have been abroad, fighting all the summer and frozen up all the winter, ever since. I have come back as poor in purse as I went, and crippled for life besides. But, Dolly, I would rather have lost this other arm—ay, I would rather have lost my head—than have come back to find you dead, or anything but what I always pictured you to myself, and what I always hoped and wished to find you. Thank God for all!’
Oh how much, and how keenly, the little coquette of five years ago, felt now! She had found her heart at last. Never having known its worth till now, she had never known the worth of his. How priceless it appeared!
‘I did hope once,’ said Joe, in his homely way, ‘that I might come back a rich man, and marry you. But I was a boy then, and have long known better than that. I am a poor, maimed, discharged soldier, and must be content to rub through life as I can. I can’t say, even now, that I shall be glad to see you married, Dolly; but I am glad—yes, I am, and glad to think I can say so—to know that you are admired and courted, and can pick and choose for a happy life. It’s a comfort to me to know that you’ll talk to your husband about me; and I hope the time will come when I may be able to like him, and to shake hands with him, and to come and see you as a poor friend who knew you when you were a girl. God bless you!’
His hand did tremble; but for all that, he took it away again, and left her." - Barnaby Rudge  by Charles Dickens, pp. 603 - 604

  Dolly made such a stupid mistake, Joe's awesome. :P

Pictures from Google Images.


Rissi said...

Good luck! Despite my best intentions I cannot get through the classics.

Lydia said...

Thanks! :) I've read a lot of the classics because I was introduced to them at a pretty young age, but I know what you mean. They DEFINITELY can be hard to get into sometimes. :/