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Oliver Twist.

Oliver, who watched the old lady anxiously, observed that she was alarmed by these appearances, and so, in truth, was he; but, seeing that she affected to make light of them, he endeavoured to do the same, and they so far succeeded, that when Rose was persuaded by her aunt to retire for the night, she was in better spirits, and appeared even in better health, and assured them that she felt certain she should wake in the morning quite well.

"I hope, ma'am," said Oliver, when Mrs. Maylie returned, "that nothing serious is the matter? Miss Maylie doesn't look well tonight, but—"

The old lady motioned him not to speak, and, sitting herself down in a dark corner of the room, remained silent for some time. At length she said, in a trembling voice,—

"I hope not, Oliver. I have been very happy with her for some years—too happy, perhaps, and it may be time that I should meet with some misfortune; but I hope it is not this."

"'What misfortune, ma'am?" inquired Oliver.