Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/30

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Oliver Twist.

and the streets through which they passed were noiseless and empty.

By the time they had turned into the Bethnal Green road, the day had fairly begun to break. Many of the lamps were already extinguished, a few country waggons were slowly toiling on towards London, and now and then a stagecoach, covered with mud, rattled briskly by; the driver bestowing, as he passed, an admonitory lash upon the heavy waggoner who by keeping on the wrong side of the road, had endangered his arriving at the office a quarter of a minute after his time. The public-houses, with gas-lights burning inside, were already open. By degrees other shops began to be unclosed, and a few scattered people were met with. Then came straggling groups of labourers going to their work; then men and women with fish-baskets on their heads; donkey-carts laden with vegetables, chaise-carts filled with live-stock or whole carcasses of meat; milkwomen with pails; and an unbroken concourse of people trudging out with various supplies to the eastern suburbs of the town. As they approached the City, the noise