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Chapter XXIII : WHICH CONTAINS THE SUBSTANCE OF A PLEASANT CONVERSATION BETWEEN MR. BUMBLE AND A LADY; AND SHOWS THAT EVEN A BEADLE MAY BE SUSCEPTIBLE ON SOME POINTS

18 May 2023

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The night was bitter cold. The snow lay on the ground, frozen into a hard thick crust, so that only the heaps that had drifted into byways and corners were affected by the sharp wind that howled abroad: which, as if expending increased fury on such prey as it found, caught it savagely up in clouds, and, whirling it into a thousand misty eddies, scattered it in air. Bleak, dark, and piercing cold, it was a night for the well-housed and fed to draw round the bright fire and thank God they were at home; and for the homeless, starving wretch to lay him down and die. Many hunger-worn outcasts close their eyes in our bare streets, at such times, who, let their crimes have been what they may, can hardly open them in a more bitter world.

Such was the aspect of out-of-doors affairs, when Mrs. Corney, the matron of the workhouse to which our readers have been already introduced as the birthplace of Oliver Twist, sat herself down before a cheerful fire in her own little room, and glanced, with no small degree of complacency, at a small round table: on which stood a tray of corresponding size, furnished with all necessary materials for the most grateful meal that matrons enjoy. In fact, Mrs. Corney was about to solace herself with a cup of tea. As she glanced from the table to the fireplace, where the smallest of all possible kettles was singing a small song in a small voice, her inward satisfaction evidently increased,–so much so, indeed, that Mrs. Corney smiled.

‘Well!’ said the matron, leaning her elbow on the table, and looking reflectively at the fire; ‘I’m sure we have all on us a great deal to be grateful for! A great deal, if we did but know it. Ah!’

Mrs. Corney shook her head mournfully, as if deploring the mental blindness of those paupers who did not know it; and thrusting a silver spoon (private property) into the inmost recesses of a two-ounce tin tea-caddy, proceeded to make the tea.

How slight a thing will disturb the equanimity of our frail minds! The black teapot, being very small and easily filled, ran over while Mrs. Corney was moralising; and the water slightly scalded Mrs. Corney’s hand.

‘Drat the pot!’ said the worthy matron, setting it down very hastily on the hob; ‘a little stupid thing, that only holds a couple of cups! What use is it of, to anybody! Except,’ said Mrs. Corney, pausing, ‘except to a poor desolate creature like me. Oh dear!’

With these words, the matron dropped into her chair, and, once more resting her elbow on the table, thought of her solitary fate. The small teapot, and the single cup, had awakened in her mind sad recollections of Mr. Corney (who had not been dead more than five-and-twenty years); and she was overpowered.

‘I shall never get another!’ said Mrs. Corney, pettishly; ‘I shall never get another–like him.’

Whether this remark bore reference to the husband, or the teapot, is uncertain. It might have been the latter; for Mrs. Corney looked at it as she spoke; and took it up afterwards. She had just tasted her first cup, when she was disturbed by a soft tap at the room-door.

‘Oh, come in with you!’ said Mrs. Corney, sharply. ‘Some of the old women dying, I suppose. They always die when I’m at meals. Don’t stand there, letting the cold air in, don’t. What’s amiss now, eh?’

‘Nothing, ma’am, nothing,’ replied a man’s voice.

‘Dear me!’ exclaimed the matron, in a much sweeter tone, ‘is that Mr. Bumble?’

‘At your service, ma’am,’ said Mr. Bumble, who had been stopping outside to rub his shoes clean, and to shake the snow off his coat; and who now made his appearance, bearing the cocked hat in one hand and a bundle in the other. ‘Shall I shut the door, ma’am?’

The lady modestly hesitated to reply, lest there should be any impropriety in holding an interview with Mr. Bumble, with closed doors. Mr. Bumble taking advantage of the hesitation, and being very cold himself, shut it without permission.

‘Hard weather, Mr. Bumble,’ said the matron.

‘Hard, indeed, ma’am,’ replied the beadle. ‘Anti-porochial weather this, ma’am. We have given away, Mrs. Corney, we have given away a matter of twenty quartern loaves and a cheese and a half, this very blessed afternoon; and yet them paupers are not contented.’

‘Of course not. When would they be, Mr. Bumble?’ said the matron, sipping her tea.

‘When, indeed, ma’am!’ rejoined Mr. Bumble. ‘Why here’s one man that, in consideration of his wife and large family, has a quartern loaf and a good pound of cheese, full weight. Is he grateful, ma’am? Is he grateful? Not a copper farthing’s worth of it! What does he do, ma’am, but ask for a few coals; if it’s only a pocket handkerchief full, he says! Coals! What would he do with coals? Toast his cheese with ’em and then come back for more. That’s the way with these people, ma’am; give ’em a apron full of coals to-day, and they’ll come back for another, the day after to-morrow, as brazen as alabaster.’

The matron expressed her entire concurrence in this intelligible simile; and the beadle went on.

‘I never,’ said Mr. Bumble, ‘see anything like the pitch it’s got to. The day afore yesterday, a man–you have been a married woman, ma’am, and I may mention it to you–a man, with hardly a rag upon his back (here Mrs. Corney looked at the floor), goes to our overseer’s door when he has got company coming to dinner; and says, he must be relieved, Mrs. Corney. As he wouldn’t go away, and shocked the company very much, our overseer sent him out a pound of potatoes and half a pint of oatmeal. “My heart!” says the ungrateful villain, “what’s the use of _this_ to me? You might as well give me a pair of iron spectacles!” “Very good,” says our overseer, taking ’em away again, “you won’t get anything else here.” “Then I’ll die in the streets!” says the vagrant. “Oh no, you won’t,” says our overseer.’

‘Ha! ha! That was very good! So like Mr. Grannett, wasn’t it?’ interposed the matron. ‘Well, Mr. Bumble?’

‘Well, ma’am,’ rejoined the beadle, ‘he went away; and he _did_ die in the streets. There’s a obstinate pauper for you!’

‘It beats anything I could have believed,’ observed the matron emphatically. ‘But don’t you think out-of-door relief a very bad thing, any way, Mr. Bumble? You’re a gentleman of experience, and ought to know. Come.’

‘Mrs. Corney,’ said the beadle, smiling as men smile who are conscious of superior information, ‘out-of-door relief, properly managed: properly managed, ma’am: is the porochial safeguard. The great principle of out-of-door relief is, to give the paupers exactly what they don’t want; and then they get tired of coming.’

‘Dear me!’ exclaimed Mrs. Corney. ‘Well, that is a good one, too!’

‘Yes. Betwixt you and me, ma’am,’ returned Mr. Bumble, ‘that’s the great principle; and that’s the reason why, if you look at any cases that get into them owdacious newspapers, you’ll always observe that sick families have been relieved with slices of cheese. That’s the rule now, Mrs. Corney, all over the country. But, however,’ said the beadle, stopping to unpack his bundle, ‘these are official secrets, ma’am; not to be spoken of; except, as I may say, among the porochial officers, such as ourselves. This is the port wine, ma’am, that the board ordered for the infirmary; real, fresh, genuine port wine; only out of the cask this forenoon; clear as a bell, and no sediment!’

Having held the first bottle up to the light, and shaken it well to test its excellence, Mr. Bumble placed them both on top of a chest of drawers; folded the handkerchief in which they had been wrapped; put it carefully in his pocket; and took up his hat, as if to go.

‘You’ll have a very cold walk, Mr. Bumble,’ said the matron.

‘It blows, ma’am,’ replied Mr. Bumble, turning up his coat-collar, ‘enough to cut one’s ears off.’

The matron looked, from the little kettle, to the beadle, who was moving towards the door; and as the beadle coughed, preparatory to bidding her good-night, bashfully inquired whether–whether he wouldn’t take a cup of tea?

Mr. Bumble instantaneously turned back his collar again; laid his hat and stick upon a chair; and drew another chair up to the table. As he slowly seated himself, he looked at the lady. She fixed her eyes upon the little teapot. Mr. Bumble coughed again, and slightly smiled.

Mrs. Corney rose to get another cup and saucer from the closet. As she sat down, her eyes once again encountered those of the gallant beadle; she coloured, and applied herself to the task of making his tea. Again Mr. Bumble coughed–louder this time than he had coughed yet.

‘Sweet? Mr. Bumble?’ inquired the matron, taking up the sugar-basin.

‘Very sweet, indeed, ma’am,’ replied Mr. Bumble. He fixed his eyes on Mrs. Corney as he said this; and if ever a beadle looked tender, Mr. Bumble was that beadle at that moment.

The tea was made, and handed in silence. Mr. Bumble, having spread a handkerchief over his knees to prevent the crumbs from sullying the splendour of his shorts, began to eat and drink; varying these amusements, occasionally, by fetching a deep sigh; which, however, had no injurious effect upon his appetite, but, on the contrary, rather seemed to facilitate his operations in the tea and toast department.

‘You have a cat, ma’am, I see,’ said Mr. Bumble, glancing at one who, in the centre of her family, was basking before the fire; ‘and kittens too, I declare!’

‘I am so fond of them, Mr. Bumble, you can’t think,’ replied the matron. ‘They’re _so_ happy, _so_ frolicsome, and _so_ cheerful, that they are quite companions for me.’

‘Very nice animals, ma’am,’ replied Mr. Bumble, approvingly; ‘so very domestic.’

‘Oh, yes!’ rejoined the matron with enthusiasm; ‘so fond of their home too, that it’s quite a pleasure, I’m sure.’

‘Mrs. Corney, ma’am,’ said Mr. Bumble, slowly, and marking the time with his teaspoon, ‘I mean to say this, ma’am; that any cat, or kitten, that could live with you, ma’am, and _not_ be fond of its home, must be a ass, ma’am.’

‘Oh, Mr. Bumble!’ remonstrated Mrs. Corney.

‘It’s of no use disguising facts, ma’am,’ said Mr. Bumble, slowly flourishing the teaspoon with a kind of amorous dignity which made him doubly impressive; ‘I would drown it myself, with pleasure.’

‘Then you’re a cruel man,’ said the matron vivaciously, as she held out her hand for the beadle’s cup; ‘and a very hard-hearted man besides.’

‘Hard-hearted, ma’am?’ said Mr. Bumble. ‘Hard?’ Mr. Bumble resigned his cup without another word; squeezed Mrs. Corney’s little finger as she took it; and inflicting two open-handed slaps upon his laced waistcoat, gave a mighty sigh, and hitched his chair a very little morsel farther from the fire.

It was a round table; and as Mrs. Corney and Mr. Bumble had been sitting opposite each other, with no great space between them, and fronting the fire, it will be seen that Mr. Bumble, in receding from the fire, and still keeping at the table, increased the distance between himself and Mrs. Corney; which proceeding, some prudent readers will doubtless be disposed to admire, and to consider an act of great heroism on Mr. Bumble’s part: he being in some sort tempted by time, place, and opportunity, to give utterance to certain soft nothings, which however well they may become the lips of the light and thoughtless, do seem immeasurably beneath the dignity of judges of the land, members of parliament, ministers of state, lord mayors, and other great public functionaries, but more particularly beneath the stateliness and gravity of a beadle: who (as is well known) should be the sternest and most inflexible among them all.

Whatever were Mr. Bumble’s intentions, however (and no doubt they were of the best): it unfortunately happened, as has been twice before remarked, that the table was a round one; consequently Mr. Bumble, moving his chair by little and little, soon began to diminish the distance between himself and the matron; and, continuing to travel round the outer edge of the circle, brought his chair, in time, close to that in which the matron was seated.

Indeed, the two chairs touched; and when they did so, Mr. Bumble stopped.

Now, if the matron had moved her chair to the right, she would have been scorched by the fire; and if to the left, she must have fallen into Mr. Bumble’s arms; so (being a discreet matron, and no doubt foreseeing these consequences at a glance) she remained where she was, and handed Mr. Bumble another cup of tea.

‘Hard-hearted, Mrs. Corney?’ said Mr. Bumble, stirring his tea, and looking up into the matron’s face; ‘are _you_ hard-hearted, Mrs. Corney?’

‘Dear me!’ exclaimed the matron, ‘what a very curious question from a single man. What can you want to know for, Mr. Bumble?’

The beadle drank his tea to the last drop; finished a piece of toast; whisked the crumbs off his knees; wiped his lips; and deliberately kissed the matron.

‘Mr. Bumble!’ cried that discreet lady in a whisper; for the fright was so great, that she had quite lost her voice, ‘Mr. Bumble, I shall scream!’ Mr. Bumble made no reply; but in a slow and dignified manner, put his arm round the matron’s waist.

As the lady had stated her intention of screaming, of course she would have screamed at this additional boldness, but that the exertion was rendered unnecessary by a hasty knocking at the door: which was no sooner heard, than Mr. Bumble darted, with much agility, to the wine bottles, and began dusting them with great violence: while the matron sharply demanded who was there.

It is worthy of remark, as a curious physical instance of the efficacy of a sudden surprise in counteracting the effects of extreme fear, that her voice had quite recovered all its official asperity.

‘If you please, mistress,’ said a withered old female pauper, hideously ugly: putting her head in at the door, ‘Old Sally is a-going fast.’

‘Well, what’s that to me?’ angrily demanded the matron. ‘I can’t keep her alive, can I?’

‘No, no, mistress,’ replied the old woman, ‘nobody can; she’s far beyond the reach of help. I’ve seen a many people die; little babes and great strong men; and I know when death’s a-coming, well enough. But she’s troubled in her mind: and when the fits are not on her,–and that’s not often, for she is dying very hard,–she says she has got something to tell, which you must hear. She’ll never die quiet till you come, mistress.’

At this intelligence, the worthy Mrs. Corney muttered a variety of invectives against old women who couldn’t even die without purposely annoying their betters; and, muffling herself in a thick shawl which she hastily caught up, briefly requested Mr. Bumble to stay till she came back, lest anything particular should occur. Bidding the messenger walk fast, and not be all night hobbling up the stairs, she followed her from the room with a very ill grace, scolding all the way.

Mr. Bumble’s conduct on being left to himself, was rather inexplicable. He opened the closet, counted the teaspoons, weighed the sugar-tongs, closely inspected a silver milk-pot to ascertain that it was of the genuine metal, and, having satisfied his curiosity on these points, put on his cocked hat corner-wise, and danced with much gravity four distinct times round the table.

Having gone through this very extraordinary performance, he took off the cocked hat again, and, spreading himself before the fire with his back towards it, seemed to be mentally engaged in taking an exact inventory of the furniture.
 

53
Articles
Oliver Twist
4.7
The story follows the titular orphan, who, after being raised in a workhouse, escapes to London, where he meets a gang of juvenile pickpockets led by the elderly criminal Fagin, discovers the secrets of his parentage, and reconnects with his remaining family.
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Chapter I : TREATS OF THE PLACE WHERE OLIVER TWIST WAS BORN AND OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING HIS BIRTH

15 May 2023
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Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently common to mo

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Chapter II : TREATS OF OLIVER TWIST’S GROWTH, EDUCATION, AND BOARD

15 May 2023
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For the next eight or ten months, Oliver was the victim of a systematic course of treachery and deception. He was brought up by hand. The hungry and destitute situation of the infant orphan was duly r

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Chapter III : RELATES HOW OLIVER TWIST WAS VERY NEAR GETTING A PLACE WHICH WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A SINECURE

15 May 2023
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For a week after the commission of the impious and profane offence of asking for more, Oliver remained a close prisoner in the dark and solitary room to which he had been consigned by the wisdom and m

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Chapter IV : OLIVER, BEING OFFERED ANOTHER PLACE, MAKES HIS FIRST ENTRY INTO PUBLIC LIFE

16 May 2023
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In great families, when an advantageous place cannot be obtained, either in possession, reversion, remainder, or expectancy, for the young man who is growing up, it is a very general custom to send hi

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Chapter V : OLIVER MINGLES WITH NEW ASSOCIATES. GOING TO A FUNERAL FOR THE FIRST TIME, HE FORMS AN UNFAVOURABLE NOTION OF HIS MASTER’S BUSINESS

16 May 2023
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Oliver, being left to himself in the undertaker’s shop, set the lamp down on a workman’s bench, and gazed timidly about him with a feeling of awe and dread, which many people a good deal older than he

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Chapter VI : OLIVER, BEING GOADED BY THE TAUNTS OF NOAH, ROUSES INTO ACTION, AND RATHER ASTONISHES HIM

16 May 2023
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The month’s trial over, Oliver was formally apprenticed. It was a nice sickly season just at this time. In commercial phrase, coffins were looking up; and, in the course of a few weeks, Oliver acquire

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Chapter VII : OLIVER CONTINUES REFRACTORY

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Noah Claypole ran along the streets at his swiftest pace, and paused not once for breath, until he reached the workhouse-gate. Having rested here, for a minute or so, to collect a good burst of sobs a

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Chapter VIII : OLIVER WALKS TO LONDON. HE ENCOUNTERS ON THE ROAD A STRANGE SORT OF YOUNG GENTLEMAN

16 May 2023
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Oliver reached the stile at which the by-path terminated; and once more gained the high-road. It was eight o’clock now. Though he was nearly five miles away from the town, he ran, and hid behind the h

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Chapter IX : CONTAINING FURTHER PARTICULARS CONCERNING THE PLEASANT OLD GENTLEMAN, AND HIS HOPEFUL PUPILS

16 May 2023
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It was late next morning when Oliver awoke, from a sound, long sleep. There was no other person in the room but the old Jew, who was boiling some coffee in a saucepan for breakfast, and whistling soft

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Chapter X : OLIVER BECOMES BETTER ACQUAINTED WITH THE CHARACTERS OF HIS NEW ASSOCIATES; AND PURCHASES EXPERIENCE AT A HIGH PRICE. BEING A SHORT, BUT VERY IMPORTANT CHAPTER, IN THIS HISTORY

16 May 2023
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For many days, Oliver remained in the Jew’s room, picking the marks out of the pocket-handkerchief, (of which a great number were brought home,) and sometimes taking part in the game already described

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Chapter XI : TREATS OF MR. FANG THE POLICE MAGISTRATE; AND FURNISHES A SLIGHT SPECIMEN OF HIS MODE OF ADMINISTERING JUSTICE

16 May 2023
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The offence had been committed within the district, and indeed in the immediate neighborhood of, a very notorious metropolitan police office. The crowd had only the satisfaction of accompanying Oliver

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Chapter XII : IN WHICH OLIVER IS TAKEN BETTER CARE OF THAN HE EVER WAS BEFORE. AND IN WHICH THE NARRATIVE REVERTS TO THE MERRY OLD GENTLEMAN AND HIS YOUTHFUL FRIENDS.

17 May 2023
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The coach rattled away, over nearly the same ground as that which Oliver had traversed when he first entered London in company with the Dodger; and, turning a different way when it reached the Angel a

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Chapter XIII : SOME NEW ACQUAINTANCES ARE INTRODUCED TO THE INTELLIGENT READER, CONNECTED WITH WHOM VARIOUS PLEASANT MATTERS ARE RELATED, APPERTAINING TO THIS HISTORY

17 May 2023
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‘Where’s Oliver?’ said the Jew, rising with a menacing look. ‘Where’s the boy?’ The young thieves eyed their preceptor as if they were alarmed at his violence; and looked uneasily at each other. But

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Chapter XIV : COMPRISING FURTHER PARTICULARS OF OLIVER’S STAY AT MR. BROWNLOW’S, WITH THE REMARKABLE PREDICTION WHICH ONE MR. GRIMWIG UTTERED CONCERNING HIM, WHEN HE WENT OUT ON AN ERRAND

17 May 2023
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Oliver soon recovering from the fainting-fit into which Mr. Brownlow’s abrupt exclamation had thrown him, the subject of the picture was carefully avoided, both by the old gentleman and Mrs. Bedwin, i

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Chapter XV : SHOWING HOW VERY FOND OF OLIVER TWIST, THE MERRY OLD JEW AND MISS NANCY WERE

17 May 2023
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In the obscure parlour of a low public-house, in the filthiest part of Little Saffron Hill; a dark and gloomy den, where a flaring gas-light burnt all day in the winter-time; and where no ray of sun e

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Chapter XVI : RELATES WHAT BECAME OF OLIVER TWIST, AFTER HE HAD BEEN CLAIMED BY NANCY

17 May 2023
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The narrow streets and courts, at length, terminated in a large open space; scattered about which, were pens for beasts, and other indications of a cattle-market. Sikes slackened his pace when they re

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Chapter XVII : OLIVER’S DESTINY CONTINUING UNPROPITIOUS, BRINGS A GREAT MAN TO LONDON TO INJURE HIS REPUTATION

17 May 2023
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It is the custom on the stage, in all good murderous melodramas, to present the tragic and the comic scenes, in as regular alternation, as the layers of red and white in a side of streaky bacon. The h

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Chapter XVIII : HOW OLIVER PASSED HIS TIME IN THE IMPROVING SOCIETY OF HIS REPUTABLE FRIENDS

17 May 2023
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About noon next day, when the Dodger and Master Bates had gone out to pursue their customary avocations, Mr. Fagin took the opportunity of reading Oliver a long lecture on the crying sin of ingratitud

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Chapter XIX : IN WHICH A NOTABLE PLAN IS DISCUSSED AND DETERMINED ON

17 May 2023
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It was a chill, damp, windy night, when the Jew: buttoning his great-coat tight round his shrivelled body, and pulling the collar up over his ears so as completely to obscure the lower part of his fac

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Chapter XX : WHEREIN OLVER IS DELIVERED OVER TO MR. WILLIAM SIKES

18 May 2023
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When Oliver awoke in the morning, he was a good deal surprised to find that a new pair of shoes, with strong thick soles, had been placed at his bedside; and that his old shoes had been removed. At fi

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Chapter XXI : THE EXPEDITION

18 May 2023
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It was a cheerless morning when they got into the street; blowing and raining hard; and the clouds looking dull and stormy. The night had been very wet: large pools of water had collected in the road:

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Chapter XXII : THE BURGLARY

18 May 2023
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‘Hallo!’ cried a loud, hoarse voice, as soon as they set foot in the passage. ‘Don’t make such a row,’ said Sikes, bolting the door. ‘Show a glim, Toby.’ ‘Aha! my pal!’ cried the same voice. ‘A glim

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Chapter XXIII : WHICH CONTAINS THE SUBSTANCE OF A PLEASANT CONVERSATION BETWEEN MR. BUMBLE AND A LADY; AND SHOWS THAT EVEN A BEADLE MAY BE SUSCEPTIBLE ON SOME POINTS

18 May 2023
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The night was bitter cold. The snow lay on the ground, frozen into a hard thick crust, so that only the heaps that had drifted into byways and corners were affected by the sharp wind that howled abroa

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Chapter XXIV : TREATS ON A VERY POOR SUBJECT. BUT IS A SHORT ONE, AND MAY BE FOUND OF IMPORTANCE IN THIS HISTORY

18 May 2023
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It was no unfit messenger of death, who had disturbed the quiet of the matron’s room. Her body was bent by age; her limbs trembled with palsy; her face, distorted into a mumbling leer, resembled more

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Chapter XXV : WHEREIN THIS HISTORY REVERTS TO MR. FAGIN AND COMPANY

18 May 2023
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While these things were passing in the country workhouse, Mr. Fagin sat in the old den–the same from which Oliver had been removed by the girl–brooding over a dull, smoky fire. He held a pair of bello

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Chapter XXVI : IN WHICH A MYSTERIOUS CHARACTER APPEARS UPON THE SCENE; AND MANY THINGS, INSEPARABLE FROM THIS HISTORY, ARE DONE AND PERFORMED

18 May 2023
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The old man had gained the street corner, before he began to recover the effect of Toby Crackit’s intelligence. He had relaxed nothing of his unusual speed; but was still pressing onward, in the same

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Chapter XXVII : ATONES FOR THE UNPOLITENESS OF A FORMER CHAPTER; WHICH DESERTED A LADY, MOST UNCEREMONIOUSLY

18 May 2023
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As it would be, by no means, seemly in a humble author to keep so mighty a personage as a beadle waiting, with his back to the fire, and the skirts of his coat gathered up under his arms, until such t

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CHAPTER XXVIII : LOOKS AFTER OLIVER, AND PROCEEDS WITH HIS ADVENTURES

19 May 2023
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‘Wolves tear your throats!’ muttered Sikes, grinding his teeth. ‘I wish I was among some of you; you’d howl the hoarser for it.’ As Sikes growled forth this imprecation, with the most desperate feroc

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CHAPTER XXIX : HAS AN INTRODUCTORY ACCOUNT OF THE INMATES OF THE HOUSE, TO WHICH OLIVER RESORTED

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In a handsome room: though its furniture had rather the air of old-fashioned comfort, than of modern elegance: there sat two ladies at a well-spread breakfast-table. Mr. Giles, dressed with scrupulous

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CHAPTER XXX : RELATES WHAT OLIVER’S NEW VISITORS THOUGHT OF HIM

19 May 2023
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With many loquacious assurances that they would be agreeably surprised in the aspect of the criminal, the doctor drew the young lady’s arm through one of his; and offering his disengaged hand to Mrs.

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CHAPTER XXXI : INVOLVES A CRITICAL POSITION

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‘Who’s that?’ inquired Brittles, opening the door a little way, with the chain up, and peeping out, shading the candle with his hand. ‘Open the door,’ replied a man outside; ‘it’s the officers from B

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CHAPTER XXXII : OF THE HAPPY LIFE OLIVER BEGAN TO LEAD WITH HIS KIND FRIENDS

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Oliver’s ailings were neither slight nor few. In addition to the pain and delay attendant on a broken limb, his exposure to the wet and cold had brought on fever and ague: which hung about him for man

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CHAPTER XXXIII : WHEREIN THE HAPPINESS OF OLIVER AND HIS FRIENDS, EXPERIENCES A SUDDEN CHECK

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Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came. If the village had been beautiful at first it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness. The great trees, which had looked shrunken and bare in t

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CHAPTER XXXIV : CONTAINS SOME INTRODUCTORY PARTICULARS RELATIVE TO A YOUNG GENTLEMAN WHO NOW ARRIVES UPON THE SCENE; AND A NEW ADVENTURE WHICH HAPPENED TO OLIVER

19 May 2023
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It was almost too much happiness to bear. Oliver felt stunned and stupefied by the unexpected intelligence; he could not weep, or speak, or rest. He had scarcely the power of understanding anything th

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CHAPTER XXXV : CONTAINING THE UNSATISFACTORY RESULT OF OLIVER’S ADVENTURE; AND A CONVERSATION OF SOME IMPORTANCE BETWEEN HARRY MAYLIE AND ROSE

19 May 2023
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When the inmates of the house, attracted by Oliver’s cries, hurried to the spot from which they proceeded, they found him, pale and agitated, pointing in the direction of the meadows behind the house,

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CHAPTER XXXVI : IS A VERY SHORT ONE, AND MAY APPEAR OF NO GREAT IMPORTANCE IN ITS PLACE, BUT IT SHOULD BE READ NOTWITHSTANDING, AS A SEQUEL TO THE LAST, AND A KEY TO ONE THAT WILL FOLLOW WHEN ITS TIME ARRIVES

19 May 2023
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‘And so you are resolved to be my travelling companion this morning; eh?’ said the doctor, as Harry Maylie joined him and Oliver at the breakfast-table. ‘Why, you are not in the same mind or intention

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CHAPTER XXXVII : IN WHICH THE READER MAY PERCEIVE A CONTRAST, NOT UNCOMMON IN MATRIMONIAL CASES

20 May 2023
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Mr. Bumble sat in the workhouse parlour, with his eyes moodily fixed on the cheerless grate, whence, as it was summer time, no brighter gleam proceeded, than the reflection of certain sickly rays of t

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CHAPTER XXXVIII : CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF WHAT PASSED BETWEEN MR. AND MRS. BUMBLE, AND MR. MONKS, AT THEIR NOCTURNAL INTERVIEW

20 May 2023
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It was a dull, close, overcast summer evening. The clouds, which had been threatening all day, spread out in a dense and sluggish mass of vapour, already yielded large drops of rain, and seemed to pre

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CHAPTER XXXIX : INTRODUCES SOME RESPECTABLE CHARACTERS WITH WHOM THE READER IS ALREADY ACQUAINTED, AND SHOWS HOW MONKS AND THE JEW LAID THEIR WORTHY HEADS TOGETHER

20 May 2023
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On the evening following that upon which the three worthies mentioned in the last chapter, disposed of their little matter of business as therein narrated, Mr. William Sikes, awakening from a nap, dro

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CHAPTER XL : A STRANGE INTERVIEW, WHICH IS A SEQUEL TO THE LAST CHAMBER

20 May 2023
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The girl’s life had been squandered in the streets, and among the most noisome of the stews and dens of London, but there was something of the woman’s original nature left in her still; and when she h

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CHAPTER XLI : CONTAINING FRESH DISCOVERIES, AND SHOWING THAT SUPRISES, LIKE MISFORTUNES, SELDOM COME ALONE

20 May 2023
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Her situation was, indeed, one of no common trial and difficulty. While she felt the most eager and burning desire to penetrate the mystery in which Oliver’s history was enveloped, she could not but h

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CHAPTER XLII : AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE OF OLIVER’S, EXHIBITING DECIDED MARKS OF GENIUS, BECOMES A PUBLIC CHARACTER IN THE METROPOLIS

20 May 2023
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Upon the night when Nancy, having lulled Mr. Sikes to sleep, hurried on her self-imposed mission to Rose Maylie, there advanced towards London, by the Great North Road, two persons, upon whom it is ex

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CHAPTER XLIII : WHEREIN IS SHOWN HOW THE ARTFUL DODGER GOT INTO TROUBLE

20 May 2023
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‘And so it was you that was your own friend, was it?’ asked Mr. Claypole, otherwise Bolter, when, by virtue of the compact entered into between them, he had removed next day to Fagin’s house. ”Cod, I

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CHAPTER XLIV : THE TIME ARRIVES FOR NANCY TO REDEEM HER PLEDGE TO ROSE MAYLIE. SHE FAILS.

20 May 2023
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Adept as she was, in all the arts of cunning and dissimulation, the girl Nancy could not wholly conceal the effect which the knowledge of the step she had taken, wrought upon her mind. She remembered

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CHAPTER XLV : NOAH CLAYPOLE IS EMPLOYED BY FAGIN ON A SECRET MISSION

20 May 2023
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The old man was up, betimes, next morning, and waited impatiently for the appearance of his new associate, who after a delay that seemed interminable, at length presented himself, and commenced a vora

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CHAPTER XLVI : THE APPOINTMENT KEPT

22 May 2023
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The church clocks chimed three quarters past eleven, as two figures emerged on London Bridge. One, which advanced with a swift and rapid step, was that of a woman who looked eagerly about her as thoug

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CHAPTER XLVII : FATAL CONSEQUENCES

22 May 2023
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It was nearly two hours before day-break; that time which in the autumn of the year, may be truly called the dead of night; when the streets are silent and deserted; when even sounds appear to slumber

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CHAPTER XLVIII : THE FLIGHT OF SIKES

22 May 2023
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Of all bad deeds that, under cover of the darkness, had been committed within wide London’s bounds since night hung over it, that was the worst. Of all the horrors that rose with an ill scent upon the

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CHAPTER XLIX : MONKS AND MR. BROWNLOW AT LENGTH MEET. THEIR CONVERSATION, AND THE INTELLIGENCE THAT INTERRUPTS IT

22 May 2023
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The twilight was beginning to close in, when Mr. Brownlow alighted from a hackney-coach at his own door, and knocked softly. The door being opened, a sturdy man got out of the coach and stationed hims

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CHAPTER L : THE PURSUIT AND ESCAPE

22 May 2023
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Near to that part of the Thames on which the church at Rotherhithe abuts, where the buildings on the banks are dirtiest and the vessels on the river blackest with the dust of colliers and the smoke of

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CHAPTER LI : AFFORDING AN EXPLANATION OF MORE MYSTERIES THAN ONE, AND COMPREHENDING A PROPOSAL OF MARRIAGE WITH NO WORD OF SETTLEMENT OR PIN-MONEY

22 May 2023
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The events narrated in the last chapter were yet but two days old, when Oliver found himself, at three o’clock in the afternoon, in a travelling-carriage rolling fast towards his native town. Mrs. May

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CHAPTER LII : FAGIN’S LAST NIGHT ALIVE

22 May 2023
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The court was paved, from floor to roof, with human faces. Inquisitive and eager eyes peered from every inch of space. From the rail before the dock, away into the sharpest angle of the smallest corne

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CHAPTER LIII : AND LAST

22 May 2023
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The fortunes of those who have figured in this tale are nearly closed. The little that remains to their historian to relate, is told in few and simple words. Before three months had passed, Rose Flem

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