Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/222

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OLIVER TWIST.

gentleman wants to prove his, he has only need to. bolt one little square, and he has put it beyond question—for it 's quite as satisfactory as a pistol-bullet, and a great deal nastier in the flavour, consequently the more credit in taking it. One penny a square. With all these virtues, one penny a square."

There were two buyers directly, and more of the listeners plainly hesitated. The vender observing this, increased in loquacity.

"It 's all bought up as fast as it can be made," said the fellow. "There are fourteen water-mills, six steam-engines, and a galvanic battery always a-working upon it, and they can't make it fast enough, though the men work so hard that they die off, and the widows is pensioned directly with twenty pound a-year for each of the children, and a premium of fifty for twins. One penny a square—two halfpence is all the same, and four farthings is received with joy. One penny a-square. Wine-stains, fruit-stains, beer-stains, water-stains, paint-stains, pitch-stains, mud-stains, blood-stains—here is a stain upon the hat of a gentleman in company