Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/278

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260
Oliver Twist.

sleeping thoughts and the visionary scenes that pass before us will be influenced, and materially influenced, by the mere silent presence of some external object which may not have been near us when we closed our eyes, and of whose vicinity we have had no waking consciousness.

Oliver knew perfectly well that he was in his own little room, that his books were lying on the table before him, and that the sweet air was stirring among the creeping plants outside,—and yet he was asleep. Suddenly the scene changed, the air became close and confined, and he thought with a glow of terror that he was in the Jew's house again. There sat the hideous old man in his accustomed corner pointing at him, and whispering to another man with his face averted who sat beside him.

"Hush, my dear!" he thought he heard the Jew say; "it is him, sure enough. Come away."

"He!" the other man seemed to answer; "could I mistake him, think you? If a crowd of devils were to put themselves into his exact