Study Guide

Our Mutual Friend Quotes

  • Family

    "Venerable parent promptly resorts to anathematization, and turns him out." (1.2.60)

    Eugene Wrayburn is a sarcastic dude, which is why he uses a million-dollar word here when he could have simply said, "Old Man Harmon told his kid to get lost." This line is one of the first accounts we hear of John Harmon's split with his dad.

    "That it is a great work to have cut your way from father's life, and to have made a new and good beginning. So there am I, Charley, left alone with father, keeping him as straight as I can." (1.3.165)

    Lizzie knows that the only way her brother Charley will ever rise in the world is if he gets away from his father, Gaffer. Lizzie, however, is too loyal to her father to leave him completely alone.

    "And above all things, mind this Charley! Be sure you always speak well of father. Be sure you always give father his full due." (2.6.128)

    Even though Lizzie wants Charley to get away from Gaffer, she wants to make sure that Charley always speaks well of the man. Family reputation means a lot to her, and she doesn't want her father getting a worse name than he already has.

    "My respected father has found, down in the parental neighbourhood, a wife for his not-generally-respected son." (4.12.18)

    Eugene Wrayburn has learned that his father has found a young lady for him (Eugene) to marry. But Eugene is a rebellious son. He has no plans to marry anyone, let alone some girl he's never met. Take that, Daddy-o.

    "How to your father? Can you ask! By perpetuating the consequences of his ignorant and blind obstinacy." (6.2.42)

    Eugene thinks that Lizzie is ruining her life by refusing to get an education. He considers this a betrayal not only of herself, but also of her father. After all, it's her father's prejudices that made him forbid her from getting an education. And by giving into these prejudices, Lizzie is ruining Gaffer's legacy: herself.

    "Upon my soul […] you are a nice picture of a sister! Upon my soul, you are a pretty piece of disinterestedness! And so all my endeavours to cancel the past and to raise myself in the world, and to raise you with me, are to be beaten down by your low whims; are they?" (10.15.113)

    Charley is furious that his sister Lizzie has turned down a marriage proposal from his schoolmaster, Bradley Headstone. Charley has worked hard to raise himself up in the world, and he wants to raise Lizzie with him. But he can't do that if Lizzie throws away her best chance at advancing, which is marriage. Then again, Lizzie can't stand Headstone.

    "I'll not unsay them. I'll say them again. You are an inveterately bad girl, and a false sister, and I have done with you. For ever, I have done with you!" (10.15.138)

    Way harsh, Tai. Charley can't accept Lizzie's rejection of Mr. Headstone, so he decides to break with her once and for all. He doesn't want to see her or speak with her anymore, which strikes us as a trip to Crazytown.

    As for the children of the union, their experience of these festivities had been sufficiently uncomfortable to lead them annually to wish, when out of their tenderest years, either that Ma had married somebody else instead of much-teased Pa, or that Pa had married somebody else instead of Ma. (11.4.3)

    The wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Wilfer is always an awkward occasion. It's so awkward that their two daughters wish they hadn't married one another in the first place. Which is surprising, considering that these daughters wouldn't exist if their parents hadn't gotten together.

    "I wish I had never brought him up. He'd be sharper than a serpent's tooth, if he wasn't as dull as ditch water. Look at him. There's a pretty object for a parent's eyes!" (13.10.12)

    Jenny Wren has a weird relationship with her father, to say the least. She speaks of her father as though he's her son, and the longer the book goes, the weirder this family dynamic is. The father is basically such a drunk that his mental age is somewhere around eight for most of the book. So Jenny, being a teenager, takes it upon herself to treat him like a child.

    "If I had any breath to cry with, I should have cried again. Now poor dear darling little Pa, you are going to see your lovely woman unexpectedly." (15.15.166)

    Bella eventually breaks with Mr. and Mrs. Boffin because she can't stand the horrible way Mr. Boffin has treated his secretary, Mr. Rokesmith. When she leaves, she knows that she's given up a lifetime of easy money. But the first thing she thinks of when she's gone is going to see her father, a poor clerk who has always given Bella his love.

  • Jealousy

    "Now, you see […] a literary man—with a wooden leg—is liable to jealousy. I shall therefore cast about for comfortable ways and means of not calling up Wegg's jealousy." (5.15.46)

    Mr. Boffin knows that Silas Wegg will be jealous that he's hired Mr. Rokesmith as a secretary instead of him (Wegg). So Mr. Boffin is going to search for all kinds of ways to soothe Wegg's anger, since Boffin is such a nice dude.

    He could hardly get the words out, even then and there, so fierce did he grow (though keeping himself down with infinite pains of repression), when the careless and contemptuous bearing of Eugene Wrayburn rose before his mind. (10.14.79)

    Bradley Headstone is pretty much insane with jealousy for Eugene's bond with Lizzie Hexam. And his jealousy is made only worse by the way Eugene constantly dismisses him and hits him with zinger after clever zinger.

    "He can be a rival to me among other things." (10.15.90)

    Headstone is jealous of Eugene Wrayburn and he's not afraid to show it. He practically tells strangers on the street that he hates Eugene's guts because the two of them are rivals for Lizzie Hexam.

    Looking like the hunted, and not the hunter, baffled, worn, with the exhaustion of deferred hope and consuming hate and anger in his face, white-lipped, wild-eyed, draggle-haired, seamed with jealousy and anger, and torturing himself with the conviction that he showed it all and they exulted in it. (13.10.147)

    As the book unfolds, you can see Bradley Headstone getting more and more frantic in his hatred of Eugene Wrayburn. Just imagine how he'll feel when he finds out that Lizzie's actually in love with Eugene? Oh that's right. He becomes a murderer.

    He knew equally well that he fed his wrath and hatred, and that he accumulated provocation and self-justification, by being made the nightly sport of the reckless and insolent Eugene. (14.11.3)

    Headstone isn't just jealous. He's downright paranoid. All he can do is sit around and fantasize about how Eugene is sitting around making fun of him. But here's the worst part of all: Eugene doesn't think about him, period. How's that for an ego-killer?

    "I know something more than you name about you; I knew something about Gaffer Hexam. When did you last set eyes upon his daughter?" (14.11.72)

    The first time Headstone runs into Mr. Riderhood, he wants to know when he (Riderhood) last saw Gaffer Hexam's daughter Lizzie. Again, Headstone seems incapable of talking to anyone without making the conversation about Lizzie and/or his rival Eugene.

    "Now I think of it," said Mr. Riderhood, evasively, for he was substituting those words for "Now I see you so jealous," which was the phrase really in his mind. (14.11.89)

    Riderhood knows that Headstone is motivated by jealousy. But he's a crafty enough dude to manipulate Headstone by playing on his emotions.

    "Let him look to that […] Let him look to that! It will be bad for him when men he has injured, and at whom he has jeered, are thinking of getting hanged." (16.1.42)

    Eugene doesn't really know how much he's playing with fire when he constantly insults and makes fun of Headstone. He doesn't realize that Headstone is willing to risk execution if it means shutting Eugene up once and for all.

    "You've seen him with her!" exclaimed Riderhood, starting up.

    "I have." (16.1.90-91)

    Well that just about does it. Headstone has seen Lizzie Hexam walking alone with Eugene Wrayburn… which in Dickens' time was as bad as making out. The gloves are coming off, and it's probably around this time that Headstone decides to murder Eugene.

    "I don't know. I can't keep it back. It has happened twice—three times—four times—I don't know how many times—since last night. I taste it, smell it, see it, it chokes me, and then it breaks out like this." (16.1.99)

    Headstone's jealousy of Eugene eventually gets so bad that the dude bursts into huge nosebleeds whenever he thinks of Eugene with Lizzie. It's like his entire body is rejecting the fact that he has so badly lost the battle to Eugene.

  • Marriage

    [Their] horses were new, their pictures were new, they themselves were new, they were as newly married as was lawfully compatible with their having a brand-new baby. (1.2.1)

    Dickens likes to make fun of the Veneerings as a husband and wife who are new to British high society. Everything about them is super new, from their house to their baby to their marriage itself. It's like they decided to check everything off life's to-do list in a single stroke.

    —Except that the son's inheritance is made conditional on his marrying a girl, who at the date of the will, was a child of four or five years old, and who is now a marriageable young woman. (1.2.72)

    It looks like John Harmon can only claim his inheritance if Harmon marries a young woman named Bella Wilfer. This is a weird thing to have in a will, since John has never met this girl and Old Man Harmon saw her for only a second before he died.

    "Our friends, Alfred and Sophronia […] you will be glad to hear, my dear fellows, are going to be married. As my wife and I make it a family affair, the entire direction of which we take upon ourselves, of course our first step is to communicate the fact to our family friends." (3.7.10)

    It looks like Alfred and Sophronia are getting married. The funny thing is that it seems as though Mr. Veneering has decided this fact more than either Alfred or Sophronia. But then again, people are pretty meddling in British high society.

    "Then you married me on false pretenses." (3.7.67)

    Alfred and Sophronia Lammle are pretty angry to find out that they've been lying to each other throughout their engagement. Each one of them thought the other had plenty of money, but now it looks like neither of them does.

    "So the happy pair, with this hopeful marriage contract thus signed, sealed, and delivered, repair homeward." (3.7.119)

    Well, there's nothing left to do now but for Alfred and Sophronia to go home and live with the mess they've made. That's what they get for marrying each other purely for money's sake. Now they're both poor and they have no clue where their money is going to come from.

    "Why the last news is, that I don't mean to marry your brother." (6.2.4)

    Jenny Wren likes to fantasize about the day she gets married. She likes to picture herself as a tyrant wife, bossing her future husband around and making him worship her. The problem is that Jenny's a bit deluded about how many men find her attractive.

    The reversion falling in soon after they were married. (7.5.4)

    The property laws of 19th-century England were pretty tough on women. For starters, women tended to lose all of their property once they got married, because this property would belong to their husbands. As you can imagine, this fact led to more than a few fights between husbands and wives.

    "You were obliged to tell him! Do you know he is worth fifty of you?" (10.15.109)

    Charley Hexam can't believe that his sister Lizzie would turn down a marriage proposal from someone as great as Bradley Headstone. He can't imagine why a lower-class woman like Lizzie wouldn't marry Bradley, especially since a marriage to Bradley would raise her status in society.

    "I feel persuaded that I shall live long enough to be married, dear fellow." (18.10.88)

    Eugene knows that he's dying. But before he goes, he wants Lizzie Hexam to marry him. His buddy Mortimer is skeptical about whether he has enough time, but Eugene is confident he can hold out until the wedding.

    "He is conscious, Jenny […] He knows his wife." (18.10.91)

    Sure enough, Eugene reaches deep inside himself and finds the strength to live long enough to marry Jenny. This is a big turn of character for him, since he's spent this entire book being as lazy and lethargic as he can possibly be.

  • Manipulation

    "Before my eyes he grows suspicious, capricious, hard, tyrannical, unjust." (11.4.125)

    Bella Wilfer is devastated to see that money has turned the once-kind Mr. Boffin into a paranoid and cruel jerk. Little does she know that Boffin is faking it in order to test her character.

    For Silas Wegg felt it to be quite out of the question that he could lay his head upon his pillow in peace, without first hovering over Mr. Boffin's house in the superior character of its Evil Genius. (12.7.95)

    Wegg is the kind of guy who is always looking to turn any situation to his advantage. Rather than be grateful for the money and housing Mr. Boffin has given him, he thinks about how he can get more and more money out of Boffin.

    "Though that wouldn't quite do […] That's what would happen to him if he didn't buy us up. We should get nothing by that." (12.7.106)

    Wegg likes to play out all of the different ways he could blackmail Boffin. He knows he can't ask for all of Boffin's money because Boffin would then have nothing to lose. Thus begins Wegg's long process of trying to nickel-and-dime Mr. Boffin out of as much money as possible.

    "It's as much for that as anything else. It's something to be agreed with, on a subject that occupies so much of one's thoughts." (14.11.66)

    Bradley Headstone gives Mr. Riderhood some money the moment he realizes he can manipulate him. Riderhood doesn't know it yet, but Bradley Headstone plans on murdering Eugene Wrayburn and framing Riderhood for the murder.

    "Coax him to use his influence with the Jew. His name is Riah, of the house of Pubsey and Co." (14.12.85)

    Mr. Fledgeby is probably the most manipulative jerk in this whole book. He's a moneylender who constantly puts people into misery. But he won't take responsibility for any of it, because he pretends that one of his lackeys (Mr. Riah) is actually the one running the show when it's the other way around.

    "I'll put him in harness, and I'll bear him up tight, and I'll break him and drive him." (14.14.76)

    Silas Wegg would be a bad dude if he just wanted to blackmail kind old Mr. Boffin out of his money. But he's an even worse dude because he revels in the idea of forcing Boffin to do whatever he wants. Wegg isn't just greedy… he's totally sadistic.

    "I reflected—clearly reflected for the first time, that in bending my neck to the yoke I was willing to wear, I bent the unwilling necks of the whole Jewish people." (18.9.15)

    Mr. Riah feels awful about working for Mr. Fledgeby. In agreeing to Fledgeby's deal, Mr. Riah has given a bad name to Jewish people everywhere because he has allowed people to believe that he (a Jewish man) is a cruel and greedy moneylender… playing right into the anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews as greedy.

    "He held me to certain months of servitude, which were his lawful term of notice." (18.9.21)

    Mr. Riah finally explains to Jenny how Mr. Fledgeby has used him as a smokescreen to make people think that an old Jewish man has been cheating them when it's been Mr. Fledgeby all along. Jenny is quick to forgive him; since she now knows Riah had no choice.

    "[If] you could have seen him of a night, at that time of it! The way he'd sit and chuckle over himself!" (19.13.41)

    Bad guys aren't the only ones who can be manipulative in this book. Mr. Boffin also gets in on the fun by pretending to turn into a big meanie once he inherits Old Man Harmon's money. All he's actually doing though is checking whether Bella Wilfer has the strength of character to stand up for what's right instead of standing by and quietly taking his money.

    Mr. Boffin, with his face bent over his heavy hand, made no sound, but rolled his shoulders when thus referred to, as if he were vastly enjoying himself. (19.13.43)

    Mr. Boffin gets a real kick out of playing the villain, which is something he's done for most of this book. It's a good thing the whole villain thing is just a show.

  • Drugs and Alcohol

    With that flourish, and seeming to have talked himself rather more drunk and much more ferocious than he had begun by being, Mr. Riderhood took up his pint pot and swaggered off to the taproom. (2.6.43)

    It's no secret that alcohol can make a person chatty. In Riderhood's case, this means he talks more often and more loudly. This is all pretty consistent with his character, really, since the guy isn't known for his restraint or self-discipline.

    The honest man who gained his living by the sweat of his brow remained in a state akin to stupefaction, until the footless glass and the unfinished bottle conveyed themselves into his mind. (9.12.165)

    Riderhood is so used to having alcohol that his brain only snaps into action after he gives himself something to drink. Now that's what you call a chemical dependence.

    This had a modest self-denying appearance; but it soon turned out that as, by reason of the impossibility of standing the glass upright while there was anything in it, it required to be emptied as soon as filled. (9.12.52)

    Riderhood has a clever trick whenever he splits a bottle of booze with someone else. He specifically uses a type of glass that has no feet, meaning he can't set it on a table. This means that whenever someone fills his glass, he tends to empty it almost immediately and gets more of the bottle in the process.

    The visitor first held the bottle against the light of the candle, and next examined the top of the cork. (9.12.84)

    John Harmon has been drugged before, and he's not going to let it happen again. It's only after examining the cork on a bottle of alcohol that he's satisfied to drink it.

    "If you'll give me something to quench my thirst first." (16.1.106)

    It's not only drunks who want a drink of liquor now and then. Bradley Headstone tries to rest after a stressful day by asking Mr. Riderhood for a drink of gin. His logic is: how's a guy supposed to get to sleep without a tipple?

    The bottle and jug were again produced, and he mixed a weak draught, and another, and drank from both in quick succession. (16.1.107)

    Headstone likes alcohol as much as the next man. But unlike some of the serious drunks in this book, he mixes his alcohol weakly. He might be doing this on purpose to make Riderhood think he's drunker than he is. After all, Headstone has a lot to gain by tricking Riderhood.

    [He] went out with two objects; firstly, to establish a claim he conceived himself to have upon any licensed victualler living, to be supplied with threepennyworth of rum for nothing. (18.9.39)

    Jenny Wren's father doesn't just love liquor. He feels downright entitled to it. That's why he tends to wander the streets all day asking for booze money, even though he has a job where he could earn this money if he wanted.

    This market of Covent Garden was quite out of the creature's line of road, but it had the attraction for him which it has for the worst of the solitary members of the drunken tribe. (18.9.40)

    Jenny's father has a particular area where he likes to do his drinking, because this area seems like it was designed for men like himself—dudes who like to drink alone until they barely know where they are. He even considers himself to be part of a special "tribe" of drinkers who go to this area.

    Of dozing women-drunkards especially, you shall come upon such specimens here. (18.9.40)

    Most of this book only mentions male examples of alcoholism. But this line reminds us that there were plenty of female drunks in Dickens' time as well. The book doesn't tell us anything more about these women, though, like where they come from or what first drove them to alcohol.

    Mr. Dolls, accepting the shilling, promptly laid it out in two threepennyworths of conspiracy against his life, and two threepennyworths of raging repentance. (18.9.42)

    Young Blight is kind enough to give Mr. Dolls money for cab fare home, but the man promptly spends the money on alcohol. Or as Dickens like to call it "conspiracy against his life." Here, Dickens is reminding us that alcohol is a poison, which we remember even more when we find that Mr. Dolls ends up dying of alcoholism.

  • Society and Class

    Mr. Podsnap was well to do, and stood very high in Mr. Podsnap's opinion. (4.11.1)

    If you're looking for an example of an upper-class snob whom you should avoid being like, look no further than Mr. Podsnap. This dude is a rich jerk who thinks that the world revolves around him and that he has a direct line to capital "T" Truth on any subject he talks about.

    Thus happily acquainted with his own merit and importance, Mr. Podsnap settled that whatever he put behind him he put out of existence. (4.11.2)

    As far as the rich Mr. Podsnap is concerned, anything he doesn't think about isn't worthwhile. Worse yet, anything he's dismissed no longer exists in his eyes. He's just about as self-absorbed as a human being can get.

    "My marriage being thus solemnly recognized at the family altar, I have no further trouble on that score." (9.16.95)

    Eugene Wrayburn has a tough time explaining to his father how he has married a poor girl like Lizzie Hexam. But what's done is done, and the dad needs to accept it one way or another.

    "The knowledge shall be brought home to you that such a ridiculous affair is condemned by the Voice of Society." (9.17.17)

    Lady Tippins likes to think that she has a direct line on "The Voice of Society." In other words, she thinks she has the right to judge other people because her values conform to the general views of society.

    "Never. But she had some employment in a paper mill. I believe." General sensation repeated. (9.17.27)

    When people at a dinner party learn that Eugene Wrayburn has married a working-class girl, they nearly faint. Yup, these people are pretty judgmental when it comes to issues of social class. Little do they know that Dickens has spent this entire book making them look like entitled fools.

    "For Bella is ambitious, Mr. Rokesmith, and I think I may predict will marry fortune." (10.14.50)

    Mr. Wilfer wants Mr. Rokesmith to be clear about his daughter Bella. The girl cares a whole lot about what people think of her, and that means she'll probably get married to someone rich. As the book goes on, though, we see that this might not be the real Bella after all.

    Howbeit, Twemlow doth at length invest himself with collar and cravat and wristbands to his knuckles, and goeth forth to breakfast. (10.16.3)

    Mr. Twemlow is a nice enough guy, but he's also super insecure. That's why he always dresses up to the nines, even for a casual breakfast. He just does it because he's worried about what people might think of him otherwise.

    "A hackney coachman may admire me," remarked Bella, with a touch of her mother's loftiness. (11.4.98)

    When Mr. Wilfer tells Bella he thinks Mr. Rokesmith is in love with her, she replies that anyone can be in love with her. It doesn't mean they're worthy of her. At this point in the book, Bella is still pretty full of herself and hard to sympathize with.

    "Before my eyes he grows suspicious, capricious, hard, tyrannical, unjust." (11.4.125)

    Bella begins the book being pretty selfish and status-oriented. But once she sees the kind Mr. Boffin becoming cruel and paranoid, she blames his money and his newfound status for his sudden dirtbag behavior. This moment causes a change in Bella, and from this point, she cares more about people's character than she does about their social status.

    "Nonsense! Recollect we are not our old selves. Recollect, we must scrunch or be scrunched. Recollect, we must hold our own. Recollect, money makes money." (12.5.144)

    Mr. Boffin proudly declares that he is no longer his old self. He's gone from being a servant to being a rich master, and he plans on acting the part of rich master instead of being a naïve softie like he used to be.

  • Religion

    So, on their return, they met brisk Mrs. Milvey coming to seek them, with the agreeable intelligence that there was no fear for the village children, there being a Christian school in the village, and no worse Judaical interference with it than to plant its garden. (13.9.98)

    Mrs. Milvey is pretty paranoid when it comes to Jewish people. She suspects nearly every Jewish person of trying to convert Christians to Judaism.

    "I have had an interview to-day, Eugene, with a Jew, who seems determined to press us hard. Quite a Shylock, a quite a Patriarch." (13.10.39)

    Mortimer Lightwood—like everyone else in London—suspects that Mr. Riah is cruel and greedy because he's Jewish. She even calls him Shylock, after The Merchant of Venice's villain. But little does he know that Mr. Riah is just a smokescreen for Mr. Fledgeby, the book's true moneylending villain.

    "So I had a mind […] to come and have a talk with you about our dodging friend, the child of Israel." (18.8.14)

    Mr. Fledgeby is more than happy to let people think that Mr. Riah is the cause of their problems. He'll lie right to people's faces, telling them he's trying to help them when he's actually the one calling in their debts and making them bankrupt.

    "I reflected—clearly reflected for the first time, that in bending my neck to the yoke I was willing to wear, I bent the unwilling necks of the whole Jewish people." (18.9.15)

    Mr. Riah eventually realizes that in making himself Mr. Fledgeby's errand-boy, he's also giving a bad name to Jewish people everywhere. Mr. Fledgeby orders him to act like a Jewish stereotype, and in doing so, Riah is letting down his entire religion and not just himself.

    "But doing it as a Jew, I could not choose but compromise the Jews of all conditions and all countries." (18.9.15)

    Again, Mr. Riah sadly admits that he has sold out his entire religion by allowing Mr. Fledgeby to use him as a moneylending puppet.

    "He has got a bad name as an old Jew, and he is paid for the use of it, and I'll have my money's worth of him." (14.13.18)

    Mr. Fledgeby doesn't end up using Mr. Riah by accident. He knows exactly what he's doing when he chooses an old Jewish man as the face of his moneylending operation. He knows that people will be willing to believe that a Jewish man is greedy, so he uses this prejudice to his own financial advantage.

    "You cultivate society and society cultivates you, but Mr. Riah's not society. In society, Mr. Riah is kept dark; eh, Mr. Twemlow?" (14.13.56)

    Mr. Fledgeby is very clear on the idea that Mr. Riah (as a Jew) is a social outsider. This is what makes Riah such a perfect scapegoat for Fledgeby's dishonest business practices.

    "Sir […] I do as I am directed. I am not the principal here. I am but the agent of a superior, and I have no choice, no power." (14.13.77)

    Mr. Riah does his best to explain how he can't act any differently than the way he does. If he's going to be Fledgeby's scapegoat, he'll at least be honest about it.

    The old man looked into Fledgeby's little eyes for any sign of leave to be easy with Mr. Twemlow; but there was no sign in them. (14.13.83)

    Mr. Riah is constantly hoping that Mr. Fledgeby will take pity on the people who've borrowed money from him. But again and again, he is disappointed in this hope.

    This very exacting member of the fold appeared to be endowed with a sixth sense, in regard of knowing when the Reverend Frank Milvey least desired her company, and with promptitude appearing in his little hall. (18.11.50)

    Whenever Reverend Milvey needs to be somewhere, there is one particular member of his parish who is bound to get in his way with all sorts of annoying questions and small talk.

  • Education

    "There you are, Charley, working your way, in secret from father, at the school, and you get prizes." (1.3.159)

    Lizzie likes to predict her brother's future by staring into the flames of her fireplace. In this scene, she predicts that Charley will raise himself in the world by getting into a good school and winning prizes for his hard work and intelligence.

    "You come to be a pupil-teacher, and you still go on better and better, and you rise to be a master full of learning and respect." (1.3.161)

    Lizzie is glad to think that her brother Charley will become a big success by getting an education. The only sad part is that he'll have to leave home to do it, because his dad Gaffer has a real hate-on for education. He doesn't want his children thinking they're too good for him and for the life he's provided.

    "Don't be angry, dear. It seems, father, that he has quite a gift of learning." (2.6.147)

    Lizzie doesn't want her father to get angry, but she's got her work cut out for her. Once he learns that his son Charley has run off to school, Gaffer Hexam practically disowns the kid and says he never wants to see the boy again. As you can imagine, the dude is really insecure about his own lack of education.

    "Unnat'ral young beggar!" (2.6.148)

    Gaffer Hexam thinks it's " unnatural" for his son Charley to run off and get a good education. For him, people are born into a certain position in life and they should stay there.

    "—And that having this gift, and not being equally good at other things, he has made shift to get some schooling." (2.6.149)

    Lizzie tries to explain Charley's desertion as lightly as possible, but Gaffer Hexam is having none of it. For him, the whole thing's pretty clear. If Charley gets an education, then he thinks he's too good for his dad. And Gaffer is a proud, proud man.

    "He went away this morning, father, and he cried very much at going, and he hoped you would forgive him." (2.6.151)

    The truth is that Charley didn't cry at all when he left home. In fact, he practically danced his way out the door when he realized he wouldn't have to deal with his dad anymore. But Lizzie says he cried so that her father won't be hard on Charley. Unfortunately, the effort fails and Gaffer never wants to see Charley again.

    "I don't want, as I raise myself, to shake you off, Liz. I want to carry you up with me." (6.1.162)

    Charley Hexam doesn't want to abandon his sister Lizzie, but he'll do it if he has to. He was hoping that by raising himself with education, he could raise her too. But when he hears that she's rejected a marriage proposal by his respected schoolmaster, he pretty much gives up on her.

    "I'll get a school, and then you must come and live with me, and you'll have to control your fancies then, so why not now?" (6.1.169)

    Charley makes one last appeal for Lizzie to let go of her "fancies" and marry for status instead of love. He plans on running a school someday and having Lizzie live with him, but he can't do that if she insists on following her heart and marrying for love.

    "You know that it's good to have it, or you would never have so devoted yourself to your brother's having it." (6.2.40)

    Eugene isn't convinced when Lizzie Hexam turns down his offer to become her personal tutor. He knows that she cares about education because she has gone to such trouble to make sure her brother has one. She's just holding out on him because she's suspicious of his motives.

    "How to your father? Can you ask! By perpetuating the consequences of his ignorant and blind obstinacy." (6.2.42)

    For Eugene, Lizzie owes it to herself not to continue her father's terrible policy of no education. If she doesn't try to educate herself, she's allowing her father (who's already dead, btw) to keep ruining her life from beyond the grave.