Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/142

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Oliver Twist.

glasses, a porter-pot, and a wine-bottle. At the upper end of the table Mr. Noah Claypole lolled negligently in an easy—chair with his legs thrown over one of the arms, an open clasp-knife in one hand, and a mass of buttered bread in the other; close beside him stood Charlotte, opening oysters from a barrel, which Mr. Claypole condescended to swallow with remarkable avidity. A more than ordinary redness in the region of the young gentleman's nose, and a kind of fixed wink in his right eye, denoted that he was in a slight degree intoxicated; and these symptoms were confirmed by the intense relish with which he took his oysters, for which nothing but a strong appreciation of their cooling properties in cases of internal fever could have sufficiently accounted.

"Here's a delicious fat one, Noah, dear!" said Charlotte; "try him, do; only this one."

"What a delicious thing is a oyster!" remarked Mr. Claypole after he had swallowed it. "What a pity it is a number of 'em should ever make you feel uncomfortable, isn't it, Charlotte?"