Thomas Gradgrind, sir. A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle tht two and two are four, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over. Thomas Gradgrind, sir--peremptorily Thomas--Thomas Gradgrind. With a rule and a pair of scales and the multiplication table always in his pocket, sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to. It is a mere question of figures, a case of simple arithmetic.That's Charles Dickens, Hard Times, Chapter II.