- ‘He had to pass the public-house. He lingered for an instant, walked past it, turned back again, lingered once more, and finally slunk in‘ is a quotation taken Sketches by Boz, Tales, Chapter 12 (The Drunkard’s Death).
- Sketches by Boz is a collection of short pieces written by Charles Dickens and published as a two-volume collected work in 1836.
Description of a drunkard man, the basis of the story, who should be returning home to attend to his ill daughter, but succumbs to temptation whilst passing a public-house, spending the much-needed money on drink instead.
Taken from the following passage in the sketch The Drunkard’s Death:
For two whole days, all three remained in the wretched room, without stirring out. On the third evening, however, the girl was worse than she had been yet, and the few scraps of food they had were gone. It was indispensably necessary that somebody should go out; and as the girl was too weak and ill, the father went, just at nightfall.
He got some medicine for the girl, and a trifle in the way of pecuniary assistance. On his way back, he earned sixpence by holding a horse; and he turned homewards with enough money to supply their most pressing wants for two or three days to come. He had to pass the public-house. He lingered for an instant, walked past it, turned back again, lingered once more, and finally slunk in. Two men whom he had not observed, were on the watch. They were on the point of giving up their search in despair, when his loitering attracted their attention; and when he entered the public-house, they followed him.
‘You’ll drink with me, master,’ said one of them, proffering him a glass of liquor.
‘And me too,’ said the other, replenishing the glass as soon as it was drained of its contents.
The man thought of his hungry children, and his son’s danger. But they were nothing to the drunkard. He did drink; and his reason left him.
Have Your Say.
Give your view on ‘He had to pass the public-house. He lingered for an instant, walked past it, turned back again, lingered once more, and finally slunk in‘ with a rating and help us compile the very best Charles Dickens quotations.
- Click here to see our collection of quotations from the Charles Dickens sketch The Drunkard’s Death.
- If you like this, we think you might also be interested in these related quotations:
Read more Sketches by Boz.
Discover more quotations from Sketches by Boz.