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  • On the Surrey side of the river was a small rat-infested dreary yard called 'Quilp's

    The Old Curiosity Shop

  • We are talking about your heroes and your villains: Pecksniff, Squeers, Quilp, Murdstone, Headstone; your jokes and your pathos; your silly, pretty little women; your strong women – Betsey Trotwood, Peggotty – and your glorious comic women: Mrs Gamp, Mrs Todgers, Flora Finching.

    A letter to Charles Dickens on his 200th birthday

  • There are occasional surreal moments, like Nell's visit to the prison, but with the exception of Quilp, the novel's physical grotesques have all been toned down to mere eccentricity.


  • Quilp would certainly suffer nobody to contract him but the boy, and the boy would assuredly not have submitted to be so knocked about by anybody but Quilp, when he had the power to run away at any time he chose.

    The Old Curiosity Shop

  • Every time he came to this concluding word, and had exhausted all possible stress upon it, Quilp burst into a shriek of laughter, and began again.

    The Old Curiosity Shop

  • With that they parted; Mr Swiveller to make the best of his way home and sleep himself sober; and Quilp to cogitate upon the discovery he had made, and exult in the prospect of the rich field of enjoyment and reprisal it opened to him.

    The Old Curiosity Shop

  • Quilp having remained, throughout the interruption, in his old attitude, without moving his eyes from the ceiling, or appearing to take the smallest notice of anything that passed.

    The Old Curiosity Shop

  • ‘Such a fresh, blooming, modest little bud, neighbour,’ said Quilp, nursing his short leg, and making his eyes twinkle very much;

    The Old Curiosity Shop

  • ‘Bless your eyes, how I love you,’ muttered Quilp.

    The Old Curiosity Shop

  • After a few words of confidence in the result of their project had been exchanged, they bade the grinning Quilp good night.

    The Old Curiosity Shop


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