“Rot you!” murmured the man, in a horrible passion; between his clenched teeth; “if I had only had the courage to say the word, I might have been free of you in a night. Curses on your head, and black death on your heart, you imp! What are you doing here?”
Suddenly, the scene changed; the air became close and confined; and he thought, with a glow of terror, that he was in the Jew’s house again. There sat the hideous old man, in his accustomed corner, pointing at him, and whispering to another man, with his face averted, who sat beside him.
“In a word,” said the young lady, turning away, as her temporary firmness forsook her, “there is a stain upon my name, which the world visits on innocent heads. I will carry it into no blood but my own; and the reproach shall rest alone on me.”
A field-marshal has his uniform; a bishop his silk apron; a counselor his silk gown; a beadle his cocked hat. 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.
“It’s not of him I want to hear; I’ve heard enough of him,” said the stranger, stopping Mr. Bumble in the outset of a tirade on the subject of poor Oliver’s vices, “It’s of a woman; the hag that nursed his mother. Where is she?”