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the shadows of a dream

The phrase derives from Keats's Endymion (I:857): "A hope beyond the shadow of a dream."

"Oh, my child, my child!" he said, in a forlorn manner

Gradgrind's outcry may be an allusion to King David's anguish at the death of his son, depicted in 2 Samuel 18:33: "And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!"

The once deserted girl shone like a beautiful light upon the darkness of the other.

The phrasing of this description may echo Isaiah 9:2: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."

my band of brothers in a sacred bond

This phrase derives from Shakespeare's Henry V, Act IV, Scene iii: "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers."

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