Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/130

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118
Oliver Twist.

CHAPTER XXVI.

Atones for the unpoliteness of a former chapter, which deserted a lady most unceremoniously.

As it would be by no means seemly in an 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 time as it might suit his pleasure to relieve him; and as it would still less become his station or his gallantry to involve in the same neglect a lady on whom that beadle had looked with an eye of tenderness and affection, and in whose ear he had whispered sweet words, which, coming from such a quarter, might well thrill the bosom of maid or matron of whatsoever degree—the faithful historian whose pen traces these words, trusting that he knows his place, and entertains