Then, stepping into his extended hand, and condescending to be held out at arm’s length, he gave vent to a succession of sounds, not unlike the drawing of some eight or ten dozen of long corks, and again asserted his brimstone birth and parentage with great distinctness.

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

  • 2
    Brimstone is sulfur, a sign of God's wrath in the Hebrew Bible (e.g., Gen 19:24-25) and associated with the fires of hell in the Christian tradition: in Revelation those bearing the mark of the Beast are "cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone". Jul 1 '17 at 22:21

In your passage


refers to the place of birth of the bird in Barnaby's hand. To have a

brimstone birth

is to be borne a devil, which is a reference to a few paragraphs earlier when the bird is saying

"I'm a devil, I'm a devil, I'm a devil"

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