Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/69

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Oliver Twist.

"hard!" Mr. Bumble resigned his cup without another word, squeezed Mrs. Corney's little finger as she took it, and inflicting two open handed slaps upon his laced waistcoat gave a mighty sigh, and hitched his chair a very little morsel farther from the fire.

It was a round table; and as Mrs. Corney and Mr. Bumble had been sitting opposite each other, with no great space between them, and fronting the fire, it will be seen that Mr. Bumble, in receding from the fire, and still keeping at the table, increased the distance between himself and Mrs. Corney; which proceeding some prudent readers will doubtless be disposed to admire, and to consider an act of great heroism on Mr. Bumble's part, he being in some sort tempted by time, place, and opportunity to give utterance to certain soft nothings, which, however well they may become the lips of the light and thoughtless, do seem immeasurably beneath the dignity of judges of the land, members of parliament, ministers of state, lord-mayors, and other great public function-