Bleak House

Bleak House fue primero publicada en serie entre 1852 y 1853 y es una de las novelas más grandes de Charles Dickens.

London. Michaelmas term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snowflakes—gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in trouble. Horses, scarcely better; splashed to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, pushing one another's umbrellas in a general infection of ill temper…

Fog everywhere… Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the sun may, from the spongey fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and ploughboy. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time—as the gas seems to know, for it has a tired and unwilling look…
On such an afternoon, if ever, the Lord High Chancellor ought to be sitting here—as here he is—with a foggy glory round his head, softly fenced in with crimson cloth and curtains, addressed by a large advocate with great whiskers, a little voice, and an interminable brief, and outwardly directing his contemplation to the lantern in the roof, where he can see nothing but fog. On such an afternoon some score of members of the High Court of Chancery bar ought to be—as here they are—indefinitely engaged in one of the ten thousand stages of an endless cause, tripping one another up on slippery precedents, groping knee-deep in technicalities, running their goat-hair and horsehair warded heads against walls of words and making a pretence of equity with serious faces, as players might…
This is the Court of Chancery, which has its decaying houses and its blighted lands in every shire, which has its worn-out lunatic in every madhouse and its dead in every churchyard…
Who happen to be in the Lord Chancellor's court this murky afternoon besides the Lord Chancellor, the counsel in the cause, two or three counsel who are never in any cause, and the well of solicitors before mentioned? There is the registrar below the judge, in wig and gown; and there are two or three maces, or petty-bags, or secret purses, or whatever they may be, in legal court suits. These are all yawning, for no crumb of amusement ever falls from Jarndyce and Jarndyce (the cause in hand), which was squeezed dry years upon years ago. The short-hand writers, the reporters of the court, and the reporters of the newspapers invariably leave with the rest of the regulars when Jarndyce and Jarndyce comes on. Their places are a blank. Standing on a seat at the side of the hall, the better to peer into the curtained sanctuary, is a little mad old woman in a squeezed bonnet who is always in court, from its sitting to its rising, and always expecting some incomprehensible judgment to be given in her favour…
Jarndyce and Jarndyce drones on. This figure of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least, but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce and Jarndyce without knowing how or why…
How many people out of the suit Jarndyce and Jarndyce has stretched forth its unwholesome hand to spoil and corrupt would be a very wide question…
"Mr. Tangle," says the Lord High Chancellor, latterly something restless under the eloquence of that learned gentleman.
"Mlud," says Mr. Tangle. Mr. Tangle knows more of Jarndyce and Jarndyce than anybody. He is famous for it—supposed never to have read anything else since he left school.
"Have you nearly concluded your argument?"
"Mlud, no—variety of points—feel it my duty tsubmit—ludship," is the reply that slides out of Mr. Tangle.
"Several members of the bar are still to be heard, I believe?" says the Chancellor with a slight smile.
Eighteen of Mr. Tangle's learned friends, each armed with a little summary of eighteen hundred sheets, bend like eighteen hammers in a pianoforte, make eighteen bows, and drop into their eighteen places of obscurity.
"We will proceed with the hearing on Wednesday fortnight," says the Chancellor. For the question at issue is only a question of costs, a mere bud on the forest tree of the parent suit, and really will come to a settlement one of these days.
The Chancellor rises; the bar rises; the prisoner is brought forward in a hurry; the man from Shropshire cries, "My lord!" Maces, bags, and purses indignantly proclaim silence and frown at the man from Shropshire.
"In reference," proceeds the Chancellor, still on Jarndyce and Jarndyce, "to the young girl—"
"Begludship's pardon—boy," says Mr. Tangle prematurely. "In reference," proceeds the Chancellor with extra distinctness, "to the young girl and boy, the two young people"—Mr. Tangle crushed—"whom I directed to be in attendance to-day and who are now in my private room, I will see them and satisfy myself as to the expediency of making the order for their residing with their uncle."… (Paragraphs from Bleak House, chapter 1, by Charles Dickens, in easier English)

Reemplazadas
Jostling  haggard  mistily  privy  decamp  scarecrow  bob up
Vocabulario
Waddle: to walk with short steps, moving the body from one side to the other.
Groping: searching.
Maces: a ceremonial staff symbolic of office.
Drone: To pass or act in a monotonous way.
Bleak House
La novela tiene muchos personajes y diferentes sub argumentos, y la historia es contada en parte por Esther Summerson y en parte por un narrador omnisciente. En el centro de Bleak House está un caso legal, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, que tiene lugar porque alguien escribió varios testamentos conflictivos. Este caso es usado por Charles Dickens para satirizar el sistema judicial inglés.
Artículos relacionados
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Recursos
Bleak House, to read the novel from the Internet
Bleak House, to read the novel´s characters, plot and analysis. Wikipedia.


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