Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/257

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Oliver Twist.

bitterest we can have. There is no remorse so deep as that which is unavailing; if we would be spared its tortures, let us remember this in time.

When he reached home, Mrs. Maylie was sitting in the little parlour. Oliver's heart sank at sight of her, for she had never left the bedside of her niece, and he trembled to think what change could have driven her away. He learnt that she had fallen into a deep sleep, from which she would waken either to recovery and life, or to bid them farewell, and die.

They sat, listening, and afraid to speak for hours. The untasted meal was removed; and with looks which showed that their thoughts were elsewhere, they watched the sun as he sank lower and lower, and at length cast over sky and earth those brilliant hues which herald his departure. Their quick ears caught the sound of an approaching footstep, and they both involuntarily darted towards the door as Mr. Losberne entered.

"What of Rose?" cried the old lady. "Tell