John Harmon wins the love of Bella Wilfer in "Our Mutual Friend"
You gave me dozens of my dearest friends
You let me hide between your pages when the world seemed ostracizing
Somehow you understood me so much you threw Amy Dorrit and Bella Wilfer in my way.
You hold a mirror up to myself when I am in need of self-reflection: when greed and jealousy blights my path when I need to be re-told that love leads to redemption and that characters from the lowest depths to the highest heights can pepper a graceless world with a sense of ardent light
You string romance and set my cheeks burning
You paint pathos and my eyes will never cease to tear
There are times when living in the vast world you created usurps my present reality as I slink, comfortably, as if to the hearth of a friend.
Many have been the times when I have looked up, enraptured, frazzled and heated from a spree between your pages and been surprised not to find you sitting across from me: spilling your strange head-tilts and myriad of dialects and voices from across a table or beyond my bedpost.
Lucie and Sydney Carton in "A Tale of Two Cities"
I have friends, yes, of the flesh and blood sort; but sometimes we imaginative types are beyond the grind of the traditional world. I yearn for sentiment and the groggy depths of your mired world; of the bells tolling and ash on cobblestone, of the wayward path that leads orphans to makeshift home and teaches the ungrateful of higher power and metes justice and humanity to those deserving.
It's not just a case of your indelible print on social construction or the way that people were forced to extend a knowing hand to charity, to wake up and realize the potently unscrupulous world around them, it is the light and happy way you doled out moments of sheer trifle.... they are, as you said, the sum of life.
Arthur Clennam, "Little Dorrit"
Sometimes my life is tumultuous and my world doesn't make any sense so, without you minding, I hope, I slink into yours. I have for years. You teach me about myself time and again, you urge me to strive to see people as my equals, to extend a hand of courtesy, to take a moment and steal a thought for the downtrodden. I never met you and yet I have spent more time with you than I have people of my nearest acquaintance. It's because I cannot separate myself from your thumbprint: your existence has stolen miles of my imaginary construct and not one day goes by when something you taught me: consciously or inadvertently doesn't scrape across my mind's eye.