Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/237

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Oliver Twist.

assembling there together; and, though the singing might be rude, it was real, and sounded more musical (to Oliver's ears at least) than any he had ever heard in church before. Then there were the walks as usual, and many calls at the clean houses of the labouring men; and at night Oliver read a chapter or two from the Bible, which he had been studying all the week, and in the performance of which duty he felt more proud and pleased than if he had been the clergyman himself.

In the morning Oliver would be a—foot by six o'clock, roaming the fields and surveying the hedges far and wide, for nosegays of wild flowers, with which he would return laden home, and which it took great care and consideration to arrange to the best advantage for the embellishment of the breakfast-table. There was fresh groundsel, too, for Miss Maylie's birds, with which Oliver,—who had been studying the subject under the able tuition of the village clerk,—would decorate the cages in the most approved taste. When the birds were