BOOK THE FIRST - SOWING
2. Chapter Ii - Murdering the Innocents (continued)
'If you please, sir, I am very fond of flowers,' returned the girl.
'And is that why you would put tables and chairs upon them, and
have people walking over them with heavy boots?'
'It wouldn't hurt them, sir. They wouldn't crush and wither, if
you please, sir. They would be the pictures of what was very
pretty and pleasant, and I would fancy - '
'Ay, ay, ay! But you mustn't fancy,' cried the gentleman, quite
elated by coming so happily to his point. 'That's it! You are
never to fancy.'
'You are not, Cecilia Jupe,' Thomas Gradgrind solemnly repeated,
'to do anything of that kind.'
'Fact, fact, fact!' said the gentleman. And 'Fact, fact, fact!'
repeated Thomas Gradgrind.
'You are to be in all things regulated and governed,' said the
gentleman, 'by fact. We hope to have, before long, a board of
fact, composed of commissioners of fact, who will force the people
to be a people of fact, and of nothing but fact. You must discard
the word Fancy altogether. You have nothing to do with it. You
are not to have, in any object of use or ornament, what would be a
contradiction in fact. You don't walk upon flowers in fact; you
cannot be allowed to walk upon flowers in carpets. You don't find
that foreign birds and butterflies come and perch upon your
crockery; you cannot be permitted to paint foreign birds and
butterflies upon your crockery. You never meet with quadrupeds
going up and down walls; you must not have quadrupeds represented
upon walls. You must use,' said the gentleman, 'for all these
purposes, combinations and modifications (in primary colours) of
mathematical figures which are susceptible of proof and
demonstration. This is the new discovery. This is fact. This is
The girl curtseyed, and sat down. She was very young, and she
looked as if she were frightened by the matter-of-fact prospect the
'Now, if Mr. M'Choakumchild,' said the gentleman, 'will proceed to
give his first lesson here, Mr. Gradgrind, I shall be happy, at
your request, to observe his mode of procedure.'