If he were really not in the habit of drinking rather more than was exactly good for him, he might have brought action against his countenance for libel, and have recovered heavy damages.
The poor people were so neat and clean, and knelt so reverently in prayer, that it seemed a pleasure, not a tedious duty, their assembling there together; and though the singing might be rude, it was real, and sounded more musical (to Oliver’s ears at least) than he had ever heard in church before.
We need be careful how we deal with those about us, when every death carries to some small circle of survivors, thoughts of so much omitted, and so little done – of so many things forgotten, and so many more which might have been repaired!
Strip the bishop of his apron, or the beadle of his hat and lace; what are they? Men. Mere men. Dignity, and even holiness too, sometimes, are more questions of coat and waistcoat than some people imagine.
‘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, everything, to fill them. When such as I, who have no certain roof but the coffinlid, 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 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, from a comfort and a pride, into a new means of violence and suffering.’
When a man’s his own enemy, it’s only because he’s too much his own friend; not because he’s careful for everybody but himself.
Without strong affection and humanity of heart, and gratitude to that Being whose code is Mercy, and whose great attribute is Benevolence to all things that breathe, happiness can never be attained.
Just like the rest of the UK I got caught up in Dickens Mania around Christmastime, and started reading Oliver Twist for the first time, using a Kindle app on my phone. As I read it, I highlighted sections which I found interesting, and I thought I’d share them here. Some are funny, some more poignant…enjoy: