Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/173

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Oliver Twist.

companions. The very intelligence that shone in her deep blue eye and was stamped upon her noble head, seemed scarcely of her age or of the world, and yet the changing expression of sweetness and goodhumour, the thousand lights that played about the face and left no shadow there; above all, the smile—the cheerful happy smile—were intwined with the best sympathies and affections of our nature.

She was busily engaged in the little offices of the table, and chancing to raise her eyes as the elder lady was regarding her, playfully put back her hair, which was simply braided on her forehead, and threw into one beaming look such a gush of affection and artless loveliness, that blessed spirits might have smiled to look upon her.

The elder lady smiled; but her heart was full, and she brushed away a tear as she did so.

"And Brittles has been gone upwards of an hour, has he?" asked the old lady after a pause.

"An hour and twelve minutes, ma'am," re-