Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/87

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75
Oliver Twist.

his face. Poor girl! poor girl!—she was so young, too!—such a gentle lamb!—Wait; there's more to tell. I have not told you all, have I?"

"No, no," replied the matron, inclining her head to catch the words as they came more faintly from the dying woman.—"Be quick, or it may be too late!"

"The mother," said the woman, making a more violent effort than before—"the mother, when the pains of death first came upon her, whispered in my ear that if her baby was born alive, and thrived, the day might come when it would not feel so much disgraced to hear its poor young mother named. 'And oh, my God!' she said, folding her thin hands together, 'whether it be boy or girl, raise up some friends for it in this troubled world, and take pity upon a lonely, desolate child, abandoned to its mercy!'"

"The boy's name?" demanded the matron.

"They called him Oliver," replied the woman, feebly. "The gold I stole was—"

"Yes, yes—what?" cried the other.

She was bending eagerly over the woman to