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The Old Curiosity Shop - Charles Dickens

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The Old Curiosity Shop

By Charles Dickens


Night is generally my time for walking. In the summer I often leave
home early in the morning, and roam about fields and lanes all day,
or even escape for days or weeks together; but, saving in the
country, I seldom go out until after dark, though, Heaven be
thanked, I love its light and feel the cheerfulness it sheds upon the
earth, as much as any creature living.

I have fallen insensibly into this habit, both because it favours my
infirmity and because it affords me greater opportunity of speculating
on the characters and occupations of those who fill the streets. The
glare and hurry of broad noon are not adapted to idle pursuits like
mine; a glimpse of passing faces caught by the light of a street-lamp
or a shop window is often better for my purpose than their full
revelation in the daylight; and, if I must add the truth, night is kinder
in this respect than day, which too often destroys an air-built castle
at the moment of its completion, without the least ceremony or remorse.

That constant pacing to and fro, that never-ending restlessness, that
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