Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/131

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
119
Oliver Twist.

a becoming reverence for those upon earth to whom high and important authority is delegated, hastens to pay them that respect which their position demands, and to treat them with all that duteous ceremony which their exalted rank and (by consequence) great virtues imperatively claim at his hands. Towards this end, indeed, he had purposed to introduce in this place a dissertation touching the divine right of beadles, and elucidative of the position that a beadle can do no wrong, which could not fail to have been both pleasurable and profitable to the right- minded reader, but which he is unfortunately compelled by want of time and space to postpone to some more convenient and fitting opportunity; on the arrival of which, he will be prepared to show, that a beadle properly constituted—that is to say, a parochial beadle attached to a parochial workhouse, and attending in his official capacity the parochial church,—is, in right and virtue of his office, possessed of all the excellences and best qualities of humanity; and that to none of those excellences can mere companies' beadles, or court-of-law