Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/337

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
313
OLIVER TWIST.

sition and a good purpose, succeeded in the end; and, from being a farmer's drudge and a carrier's lad, is now the merriest young grazier in all Northamptonshire.

And now the hand that traces these words falters as it approaches the conclusion of its task, and would weave for a little longer space the thread of these adventures.

I would fain linger yet with a few of those among whom I have so long moved, and share their happiness by endeavouring to depict it. I would show Rose Maylie in all the bloom and grace of early womanhood, shedding upon her secluded path in life such soft and gentle light, as fell on all who trod it with her, and shone into their hearts,—I would paint her the life and joy of the fireside circle and the lively summer group; I would follow her through the sultry fields at noon, and hear the low tones of her sweet voice in the moonlit evening walk; I would watch her in all her goodness and charity abroad, and the smiling untiring discharge of domestic duties at home; I would paint her and her dead sister's child happy in their mutual