Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/68

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

more shallow than they used to be; but we must have some profit, Mr. Bumble. Well-seasoned timber is an expensive article, sir; and all the iron handles come by canal from Birmingham."

"Well, well," said Mr. Bumble, "every trade has its drawbacks, and a fair profit is of course allowable."

"Of course, of course," replied the undertaker; "and if I don't get a profit upon this or that particular article, why, I make it up in the long run, you see—he! he! he!"

"Just so," said Mr. Bumble.

"Though I must say,"—continued the undertaker, resuming the current of observations which the beadle had interrupted,—"though I must say, Mr. Bumble, that I have to contend against one very great disadvantage, which is, that all the stout people go off the quickest—I mean that the people who have been better off, and have paid rates for many years, are the first to sink when they come into the house; and let me tell you, Mr. Bumble, that three or