NOTES ON ISSUE 10: ALLUSIONS
Mrs. Sparsit, fallen from her pinnacle
of exultation into the Slough of Despond
The Slough of Despond was one of
the obstacles faced by Christian, the hero of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim's
Progress (1678). This text was very popular during the nineteenth
century, and Dickens alluded to Bunyan's work often.
Aged and bent he looked, and quite bowed down; and yet he looked
a wiser man, and a better man
This description of Gradgrind after
his long night of contemplation may allude to the closing lines
of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.
making his facts and figures subservient
to Faith, Hope, and Charity; and no longer trying to grind that
Heavenly trio in his dusty little mills
A reference to the well-known passage from 1 Corinthians 13:13:
"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but
the greatest of these is charity."
the plainest national prosperity
figures can show will be the Writing on the Wall
A reference to the story of how the hand of God wrote words
foretelling disaster on the wall of King Belshazzar’s palace,
related in Daniel 5:5-31.