Dickens goes up to the counter and orders a cup of tea. He quickly finishes it and asks for more. He can’t afford to pay for the refill. The barista drags him out into the street and sends him to the poorhouse, where he pines away for his lost love, who is married to another man. He works his fingers to the bone in a factory, eventually rising to the upper echelons of society. Ten years later, he walks into the same Starbucks and orders a cup of tea. When he asks for a refill, the barista gives it to him free of charge. He pays for it anyway.

[…] l'amai semplicemente perché non potevo resisterle. Una volta per tutte: spesso, anche se non sempre, mi resi conto, patendone, che l’amavo contro ogni possibile ragione, promessa, pace, speranza, felicità, contro ogni possibile scoraggiamento.
—  Charles Dickens, Grandi speranze

Fagin goes up to the counter and orders 30 tall hot chocolates. Fagin pays for the drinks using a crisp one hundred-pound note. The barista watches him leave and then puts his hand into his pocket, only to find that his wallet is gone. He runs out to the street, only to see Fagin wave at him cheerfully and then disappear around a corner, followed a group of boys in tattered tailcoats.

In honor of Ron Moody, our favorite Fagin.


The influx of ads during December reminded me of some of my favorite ads in our serial copy of Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Printed and circulated from March 1852 to September1853, each of the twenty parts includes multiple advertisements at the back for clocks, cure-all pills, bedding, presses, and my favorite, crochet patterns from Marsland, Son, & Co. Issue no.10’s December snowflake design (the last image), promised a new design issued each month, but you can see one of the bird patterns was a repeat!


Leigh Hunt Collection PR4556 .A1 1853