Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/243

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

me of brothers? You know that, as well as I."

"Attend to what I do know and you may not," said Mr. Brownlow. "I shall interest you by and by. I know that of the wretched marriage, into which family pride and the most sordid and narrowest of all ambition forced your unhappy father when a mere boy, you were the sole and most unnatural issue," returned Mr. Brownlow.

"I don't care for hard names," interrupted Monks with a jeering laugh. "You know the fact, and that 's enough for me."

"But I also know," pursued the old gentleman, "the misery, the slow torture, the protracted anguish of that ill-assorted union; I know how listlessly and wearily each of that wretched pair dragged on their heavy chain through a world that was poisoned to them both; I know how cold formalities were succeeded by open taunts; how indifference gave place to dislike, dislike to hate, and hate to loathing, until at last they wrenched the clanking bond asunder, and retiring a wide space apart, carried