Page:Oliver Twist (1838) vol. 3.djvu/82

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
68
OLIVER TWIST.

luntary- bearer of this intelligence, but as a woman lost almost beyond redemption, "Will you return to this gang of robbers and to this man, when a word can save you? What fascination is it that can take you back, and make you cling to wickedness and misery? Oh! is there no chord in your heart that I can touch—is there nothing left to which I can appeal against this terrible infatuation?"

"When ladies as young, and good, and beautiful as you are," replied the girl steadily, "give away your hearts, love will carry you all lengths—even such as you who have home, friends, other admirers, every thing to fill them. When such as me, who have no certain roof but the coffin-lid, and no friend in sickness or death but the hospital nurse, set our rotten hearts on any man, and let him fill the place that parents, home, and friends filled once, or that has been a blank through all our wretched lives, who can hope to cure us? Pity us, lady—pity us for having only one feeling of the woman left, and for having that turned by a heavy judgment