- "Now, what I want is, Facts. . . . Facts alone are wanted in life."
Gradgrind explains his educational philosophy. Book 1, chapter 1
- "A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle that two and two are four, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over."
A description of Gradgrind. Book 1, chapter 2
- "It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage."
A description of Coketown. Book 1, chapter 5
- "You don't expect to be set up in a coach and six, and to be fed on turtle soup and venison, with a gold spoon, as a good many of 'em do!"
Bounderby speaks to Stephen, giving his opinion of what dissatisfied factory hands expect. Book 1, chapter 11
- "There's a sanctity in this relation of life . . . and-and-it must be kept up."
Bounderby lecturing Stephen about the institution of marriage. Book 1, chapter 11
- "'Tis a muddle."
Stephen's often-made remark about the divorce laws, and many other things he does not understand. Book 1, chapter 11
- "I assure you I attach not the least importance to any opinions. . . . [A]ny set of ideas will do just as much good as any other set, and just as much harm as any other set."
Harthouse describes his cynical philosophy. Book 2, chapter 2
- "Some persons hold . . . that there is a wisdom of the Head, and that there is a wisdom of the Heart."
Gradgrind as he begins to realize the inadequacy of the philosophy he has lived by. Book 3, chapter 1
- "The star had shown him where to find the God of the poor; and through humility, and sorrow, and forgiveness, he had gone to his Redeemer's rest."
The death of Stephen Blackpool. Book 3, chapter 6
- "Oh, Tom, Tom, do we end so, after all my love!"
Louisa speaks to her brother in anguish at his rejection of her. Book 3, chapter 7
Hard Times: Top Ten Quotes