Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/266

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Oliver Twist.

"This is unkind, mother," said Harry. "Do you still suppose that I am so much a boy as not to know my own mind, or to mistake the impulses of my own soul?"

"I think, my dear fellow," returned Mrs. Maylie, laying her hand upon his shoulder, "that youth has many generous impulses which do not last, and that among them are some which, being gratified, become only the more fleeting. Above all, I think," said the lady, fixing her eyes on her son's face, "that if an enthusiastic, ardent, ambitious young man has a wife on whose name is a stain, which, though it originate in no fault of hers, may be visited by cold and sordid people upon her, and upon his children also, and, in exact proportion to his success in the world, be cast in his teeth, and made the subject of sneers against him, he may—no matter how generous and good his nature—one day repent of the connexion he formed in early life, and she may have the pain and torture of knowing that he does so."

"Mother," said the young man impatiently,