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* Hold your tongue, beadle,” said the second old gentleman, when Mr. Bumble had given vent to this compound adjective,
" I beg your worship’s pardon,” said Mr. Bumble, incredulous of his having heard a-right," did your worship speak to me ?"
Yes—hold your tongue. Mr. Bumble was stupified with astonishment. A beadle ordered to hold his tongue. A moral revolution.
The old gentleman in the tortoise-shell spectacles looked at his com. pan ion : he nodded significantly.
“We refuse to sanction these indentures," said the old gentleman, tossing aside the piece of parchment as he spoke.
" I hope,” stammered Limbkins," I hope the magistrates will not form the opinion that the authorities have been guilty of any improper eonduct, on the unsupported testimony of a mere child.”
“ The magistrates are not called upon to pronounce any opinion on the matter;" said the second old gentleman sharply. ** Take the boy back to the workhouse, and treat him kindly. He seems to want it.”,
That same evening the gentleman in the white waistcoat most possi. tively and decidedly affirmed, not only that Oliver would be hung, but that he would be drawn and quartered into the bargain. Mr. Bumble shook his head with gloomy mystery, and said he wished he might come to good ; to which Mr. Gamfield replied, that he wished he might come to him, which although he agreed with the beadle in most matters, would seem to be a wish of a totally opposite description.
The next morning the public were once more informed that Oliver Twist was again to let, and that five pounds would be paid to anybody who would take possession of him.
CHAPTER THE FOURTH.
OLIVER BEING OFFERED ANOTHER PLACE, MAKES HIS FIRST ENTRY INTO PUBLIC LIFE.
In great families, when an advantageous place cannot be obtained, ei. ther in possession, reversion, remainder or expectancy, for the young man who is growing up, it is a very general custom to send him to sea. — The board, in imitation of so wise and salutary an example, took counsel together, on the expediency of shipping off Oliver Twist in some small trading vessel, bound to a good unhealthy port, which suggested itself as the best thing that could possibly be done with him; the probability being, that the skipper would either flog him to death, in a playful mood, some day after dinner, or knock his brains out with an iron bar-both pas. times being, as is pretty generally known, very favorite and common recreations among gentlemen of that class. The more the case present, ed itself to the board, in this point of view, the more manifold the advan. tages of the step appeared; so they came to the conclusion that the only way of providing for Oliver effectually was to send him to sea without delay.
Mr. Bumble had been despatched to make various preliminary inquiries, with the view of finding out some captain or other who wanted a cabin boy without any friends; and was returning to the workhouse to commu. nicate the result of his mission, when he encountered just at the gate no less a person than Mr. Sowerberry, the parochial undertaker.
Mr. Sowerberry was a tall, gaunt, large-jointed man, attired in a suit of