Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/140

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Oliver Twist.

"If I thought it was," continued Mr. Bumble,—"if I thought any one of 'em had dared to lift his wulgar eyes to that lovely countenance—"

"They wouldn't have dared to do it, love," responded the lady.

"They had better not!" said Mr. Bumble, clenching his fist. "Let me see any man, porochial or extra-porochial, as would presume to do it, and I can tell him that he wouldn't do it a second time!"

Unembellished by any violence of gesticulation, this might have sounded as no very high compliment to the lady's charms; but, as Mr. Bumble accompanied the threat with many warlike gestures, she was much touched with this proof of his devotion, and protested with great admiration that he was indeed a dove.

The dove then turned up his coat-collar, and put on his cocked-hat, and, having exchanged a long and affectionate embrace with his future partner once again braved the cold wind of the night; merely pausing for a few minutes in the male paupers' ward to abuse them a little, with