Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/316

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296
Oliver Twist.

couple of old women at the washtub, who were comparing notes of admiration at the workhouse-master's humility.

"You thought they were talking too much?" said Mrs. Bumble. "What business is it of yours?"

"Why, my dear—" urged Mr. Bumble submissively.

"What business is it of yours?" demanded Mrs. Bumble again.

"It's very true you're matron here, my dear," submitted Mr. Bumble; "but I thought you mightn't be in the way just then."

"I 'll tell you what, Mr. Bumble," returned his lady, "we don't want any of your interference, and you're a great deal too fond of poking your nose into things that don"t concern you, making every body in the house laugh the moment your back is turned, and making yourself look like a fool every hour in the day. Be off; come!"

Mr. Bumble, seeing with excruciating feelings the delight of the two old paupers who Were tittering together most rapturously, hesi-