Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/186

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OLIVER TWIST.

and preached of flames and vengeance," cried the girl. "Oh, dear lady, why ar'n't those who claim to he God's own folks as gentle and as kind to us poor wretches as you, who, having youth and beauty and all that they have lost, might be a little proud instead of so much humbler!"

"Ah!" said the gentleman, "a Turk turns his face, after washing it well, to the East when he says his prayers; these good people, after giving their faces such a rub with the World as takes the smiles off, turn with no less regularity to the darkest side of Heaven. Between the Mussulman and the Pharisee, commend me to the first."

These words appeared to be addressed to the young lady, and were perhaps uttered with the view of affording Nancy time to recover herself. The gentleman shortly afterwards addressed himself to her.

"You were not here last Sunday night," he said.

"I couldn't come," replied Nancy; "I was kept by force."