‘He had a great idea of his own abilities, which must have been a great comfort to him, as no one else had.” is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Tales. Chapter 3 (Sentiment).
Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a book in 1836.
Description of the Member of Parliament, Cornelius Brook Dingwall.
Taken from the following passage in the sketch Sentiment:
Cornelius Brook Dingwall, Esq., M.P., was very haughty, solemn, and portentous. He had, naturally, a somewhat spasmodic expression of countenance, which was not rendered the less remarkable by his wearing an extremely stiff cravat. He was wonderfully proud of the M.P. attached to his name, and never lost an opportunity of reminding people of his dignity. He had a great idea of his own abilities, which must have been a great comfort to him, as no one else had; and in diplomacy, on a small scale, in his own family arrangements, he considered himself unrivalled. He was a county magistrate, and discharged the duties of his station with all due justice and impartiality; frequently committing poachers, and occasionally committing himself. Miss Brook Dingwall was one of that numerous class of young ladies, who, like adverbs, may be known by their answering to a commonplace question, and doing nothing else.
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