Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/68

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54
OLIVER TWIST.

"Take it up for her, Joe, can't you?" said this person.

"What's the good?" replied the man. "You don't suppose the young lady will see such as her, do you?"

This allusion to Nancy's doubtful character raised a vast quantity of chaste wrath in the bosoms of four housemaids, who remarked with great fervour that the creature was a disgrace to her sex, and strongly advocated her being thrown ruthlessly into the kennel.

"Do what you like with me," said the girl, turning to the men again; "but do what I ask you first; and I ask you to give this message for God Almighty's sake."

The softhearted cook added his intercession, and the result was that the man who had first appeared undertook its delivery.

"What's it to be?" said the man, with one foot on the stairs.

"That a young woman earnestly asks to speak to Miss Maylie alone," said Nancy; "and, that if the lady will only hear the first word she has to say, she will know whether to