Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 2.djvu/31

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Oliver Twist.

and traffic gradually increased; and, when they threaded the streets between Shoreditch and Smithfield, it had swelled into a roar of sound and bustle. It was as light as it was likely to be till night came on again, and the busy morning of half the London population had begun.

Turning down Sun-street and Crown-street and crossing Finsbury-square, Mr. Sikes struck, by way of Chiswell-street into Barbican, thence into Long-lane, and so into Smithfield, from which latter place arose a tumult of discordant sounds that filled Oliver Twist with surprise and amazement.

It was market-morning. The ground was covered nearly ankle-deep with filth and mire; and a thick steam perpetually rising from the reeking bodies of the cattle, and mingling with the fog, which seemed to rest upon the chimney-tops, hung heavily above. All the pens in the centre of the large area, and as many temporary ones as could be crowded into the vacant space were filled with sheep; and, tied up to posts by the gutter side were long lines of