intense malignity,—"well, of all the ungratefullest and worst-disposed boys as ever I see, Oliver, you are the——"
"No, no, sir," sobbed Oliver, clinging to the hand which held the well-known cane; "no, no, sir; I will be good indeed; indeed, indeed I will, sir! I am a very little boy, sir; and it is so—so—"
"So what?" inquired Mr. Bumble in amazement.
"So lonely, sir—so very lonely," cried the child. "Everybody hates me. Oh! sir, don't, don't pray be cross to me." The child beat his hand upon his heart, and looked into his companion's face with tears of real agony.
Mr. Bumble regarded Oliver's piteous and helpless look with some astonishment for a few seconds, hemmed three or four times in a husky manner, and, after muttering something about "that troublesome cough," bid Oliver dry his eyes and be a good boy; and, once more taking his hand, walked on with him in silence.
The undertaker had just put up the shutters of his shop, and was making some entries in his