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Oliver Twist.

scowl, but, on the contrary, treated it with great disdain, and even raised a laugh thereat, which sounded as though it were genuine.

On hearing this most unexpected sound, Mr. Bumble looked first incredulous, and afterwards amazed. He then relapsed into his former state; nor did he rouse himself until his attention was again awakened by the voice of his partner.

"Are you going to sit snoring there all day?" inquired Mrs. Bumble.

"I am going to sit here as long as I think proper, ma'am," rejoined Mr. Bumble; "and although I was not snoring, I shall snore, gape, sneeze, laugh, or cry, as the humour strikes me, such being my prerogative."

"Your prerogative!" sneered Mrs. Bumble with ineffable contempt.

"I said the word, ma'am," observed Mr. Bumble. "The prerogative of a man is to command."

"And what's the prerogative of a woman, in the name of goodness?" cried the relict of Mr. Corney deceased.