Table of Contents
FROM THE PAGES OF OLIVER TWIST
“Please, sir, I want some more.”
He was, altogether, as roystering and swaggering a young gentleman as ever stood four feet six, or something less.
Having prepared his mind, by solitude and gloom, to prefer any society to the companionship of his own sad thoughts in such a dreary place, he was now slowly instilling into his soul the poison which he hoped would blacken it, and change its hue for ever.
It was a night for the well-housed and fed to draw round the bright fire and thank God they were at home; and for the homeless, starving wretch to lay him down and die.
“We have none of us long to wait for Death. Patience, patience! He’ll be here soon enough for us all.”
Men who look on nature, and their fellow-men, and cry that all is dark and gloomy, are in the right; but the sombre colours are reflections from their own jaundiced eyes and hearts. The real hues are delicate, and need a clearer vision.
Joy and grief were mingled in the cup; but there were no bitter tears: for even grief itself arose so softened, and clothed in such sweet and tender recollections, that it became a solemn pleasure, and lost all character of pain.
The boom of every iron bell came laden with the one, deep, hollow sound—Death.
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Oliver Twist was originally serialized in
Miscellany between 1837 and 1839.
The present text is that of the Charles Dickens Edition, published in 1867.
Originally published in mass market format in 2003 by Barnes & Noble Classics with
new Introduction, Notes, Biography, Chronology, Inspired By,
Comments & Questions, and For Further Reading.
This trade paperback edition published in 2004.
Introduction, Notes, and For Further Reading
Copyright © 2003 by Jill Muller.
Note on Charles Dickens, The World of Charles Dickens and
and Comments & Questions
Copyright © 2003 by Barnes & Noble, Inc.
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eISBN : 978-1-411-43389-2
LC Control Number 2004100828
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Born on February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens was the second of eight children in a family burdened with financial troubles. Despite difficult early years, he became the most successful British writer of the Victorian age.
In 1824, young Charles was withdrawn from school and forced to work at a boot-blacking factory when his improvident father, accompanied by his mother and siblings, was sentenced to three months in a debtor’s prison. Once they were released, Charles attended a private school for three years. The young man then became a solicitor’s clerk, mastered shorthand, and before long was employed as a Parliamentary reporter. When he was in his early twenties, Dickens began to publish stories and sketches of London life in a variety of periodicals.