Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/69

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four inches over one's calculation makes a great hole in one's profits, especially when one has a family to provide for, sir."

As Mr. Sowerberry said this, with the becoming indignation of an ill-used man, and as Mr. Bumble felt that it rather tended to convey a reflection on the honour of the parish, the latter gentleman thought it advisable to change the subject; and Oliver Twist being uppermost in his mind, he made him his theme.

"By the bye," said Mr. Bumble, "you don't know anybody who wants a boy, do you—a porochial 'prentis, who is at present a dead-weight—a millstone, as I may say—round the porochial throat? Liberal terms, Mr. Sowerberry—liberal terms;"—and, as Mr. Bumble spoke, he raised his cane to the bill above him, and gave three distinct raps upon the words "five pounds," which were printed thereon in Roman capitals of gigantic size.

"Gadso!" said the undertaker, taking Mr. Bumble by the gilt-edged lappel of his official coat; "that 's just the very thing I wanted to