14 Charles Dickens Quotes That Prove That Literature And Blackouts Are Timeless


I’ve always gravitated to Dickens for his ability to concoct a grand, complex plot with crazy characters, but these quotes from David Copperfield are so relatable, they read like questions in a game of “Never Have I Ever”. Save them for your next shame spiral of a hangover, if you’re physically able to read without puking that is, and find comfort in the fact that you’re really not such a hot mess because people have been blacking out for centuries…

1. “I went on, by passing the wine faster and faster yet, and continually starting up with a corkscrew to open more wine, long before any was needed.”

2. “I broke my glass in going round the table to shake hands with him…”

3. “Somebody was smoking. We were all smoking. I was smoking, and trying to suppress a rising tendency to shudder. Steerforth had made a speech about me, in the course of which I had been affected to tears.”

4. “Somebody was leaning out of my bedroom window, refreshing his forehead against the cool stone of the parapet, and feeling the air upon his face. It was myself. I was addressing myself as ‘Copperfield,’ and saying, “Why did you try to smoke? You might have known you couldn’t do it.’ Now somebody was contemplating his features in the looking-glass. That was I too. I was very pale in the looking-glass; my eyes had a vacant appearance.”

5. “And my hair – only my hair, nothing else – looked drunk.”

6. “Owing to some confusion in the dark, the door was gone. I was feeling for it in the window-curtains, when Steerforth, laughing, took me by the arm and led me out.”

7. “…somebody fell, and rolled down. Somebody else said it was Copperfield. I was angry at that false report, until, finding myself on my back in the passage, I began to think there might be some foundation for it.”

8. “Steerforth dusted me under a lamp-post, and put my hat into shape, which somebody produced from somewhere in a most extraordinary manner, for I hadn’t had it on before. Steerforth then said, “You are all right, Copperfield, are you not?’ and I told him, ‘Neverberrer.'”

9. “The whole building looked to me, as if it were learning to swim; it conducted itself in such an unaccountable manner, when I tried to steady it.”

10. “Then I was being ushered into one of these boxes, and found myself saying something as I sat down, and people about me crying ‘Silence!’ to somebody, and ladies casting indignant glances at me…”

11. “I felt ashamed, and with a short ‘Goori!’ (which I intended for ‘Good night!’) got up and went away.”

12. “…I stepped at once out of the box-door into my bedroom, where only Steerforth was with me, helping me to undress, and where I was by turns telling him that Agnes was my sister, and adjuring him to bring the corkscrew, that I might open another bottle of wine.”

13. “How somebody, lying in my bed, lay saying and doing all this over again, at cross purposes, in a feverish dream all night — the bed a rocking sea that was never still! How, as that somebody slowly settled down into myself, did I begin to parch, and feel as if my outer covering of skin were a hard board; my tongue the bottom of an empty kettle, furred with long service, and boring up over a slow fire; the palms of my hands, hot plates of metal which no ice could cool!”

14. “But the agony of mind, the remorse, and shame I felt, when I became conscious the next day! My horror of having committed a thousand offenses I had forgotten, and which nothing could ever expiate…my disgust of the very sight of the room where the revel had been held – my racking head – the smell of smoke, the sight of glasses, the impossibility of going out, or even getting up! Oh, what a day it was!”