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Her stately frame so racked by continual sneezes that it seemed in danger of dismemberment.‘ is a quotation from Hard Times (Book 3, Chapter 3).

Hard Times – For These Times (more commonly now known as Hard Times) is the tenth novel by Charles Dickens, first published in 1854.

 

Context.

item This quote is a description of Mrs. Sparsit, who, racked with a cold, is having a sneezing fit. Mrs. Sparsit has pursued Josiah Bounderby to London and tracked him down to his hotel.

Taken from the following opening passages of Chapter 3 Book 3 of Hard Times:

The indefatigable Mrs. Sparsit, with a violent cold upon her, her voice reduced to a whisper, and her stately frame so racked by continual sneezes that it seemed in danger of dismemberment, gave chase to her patron until she found him in the metropolis; and there, majestically sweeping in upon him at his hotel in St. James’s Street, exploded the combustibles with which she was charged, and blew up.  Having executed her mission with infinite relish, this high-minded woman then fainted away on Mr. Bounderby’s coat-collar.

Mr. Bounderby’s first procedure was to shake Mrs. Sparsit off, and leave her to progress as she might through various stages of suffering on the floor.  He next had recourse to the administration of potent restoratives, such as screwing the patient’s thumbs, smiting her hands, abundantly watering her face, and inserting salt in her mouth.  When these attentions had recovered her (which they speedily did), he hustled her into a fast train without offering any other refreshment, and carried her back to Coketown more dead than alive.

 

 

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