Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 1.djvu/99

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grovelling upon the floor, his eyes fixed, and the foam gushing from his lips.

The terrified children cried bitterly; but the old woman, who had hitherto remained as quiet as if she had been wholly deaf to all that passed, menaced them into silence, and having unloosened the man's cravat, who still remained extended on the ground, tottered towards the undertaker.

"She was my daughter," said the old woman, nodding her head in the direction of the corpse, and speaking with an idiotic leer, more ghastly than even the presence of death itself.—"Lord, Lord!—well, it is strange that I who gave birth to her, and was a woman then, should be alive and merry now, and she lying there so cold and stiff! Lord, Lord!—to think of it;— it's as good as a play—as good as a play!"

As the wretched creature mumbled and chuckled in her hideous merriment, the undertaker turned to go away.

"Stop, stop!" said the old woman in a loud whisper. "Will she be buried to-morrow—or next day—or to-night ? I laid her out, and I