Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/65

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Oliver Twist.

actly 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, stooping 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 afternoon,—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 the top of a chest of drawers, folded the handkerchief in which