Ferocious doctrine

“Does he gloomily profess to be (I am ashamed to use the word in such association) religious still?” I inquired.
“You anticipate, sir,” said Mr. Chillip, his eyelids getting quite red with the unwonted stimulus in which he was indulging. “One of Mrs. Chillip’s most impressive remarks. Mrs. Chillip,” he proceeded, in the calmest and slowest manner, “quite electrified me, by pointing out that Mr. Murdstone sets up an image of himself, and calls it the Divine Nature. You might have knocked me down on the flat of my back, sir, with the feather of a pen, I assure you, when Mrs. Chillip said so. The ladies are great observers, sir?”
“Intuitively,” said I, to his extreme delight.
“I am very happy to receive such support in my opinion, sir,” he rejoined. “It is not often that I venture to give a non-medical opinion, I assure you. Mr. Murdstone delivers public addresses sometimes, and it is said,–in short, sir, it is said by Mrs. Chillip,–that the darker tyrant he has lately been, the more ferocious is his doctrine.”
“I believe Mrs. Chillip to be perfectly right,” said I.
“Mrs. Chillip does go so far as to say,” pursued the meekest of little men, much encouraged, “that what such people miscall their religion, is a vent for their bad-humours and arrogance. And do you know I must say, sir,” he continued, mildly laying his head on one side, “that I don’t find authority for Mr. and Miss Murdstone in the New Testament?”
…”as Mrs. Chillip says, sir, they undergo a continual punishment; for they are turned inward, to feed upon their own hearts, and their own hearts are very bad feeding.”
Mr. Chillip in David Copperfield


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