The shopboys in the neighborhood had long been in the habit of branding Noah, in the public streets, with the ignominious epithets of “leathers,” “charity,” and the like; and Noah had borne them without reply. But, now that fortune had cast in his way a nameless orphan, at whom even the meanest could point the finger of scorn, he retorted on him with interest.
[F]or many months he continued meekly to submit to the domination and ill-treatment of Noah Claypole: who used him far worse than before . . . Charlotte treated him ill, because Noah did; and Mrs. Sowerberry was his decided enemy, because Mr. Sowerberry was disposed to be his friend[.]
I only hope this’ll teach master not to have any more of these dreadful creatures, that are born to be murderers and robbers from their very cradle.
A child was weeding one of the little beds; as he stopped, he raised his pale face and disclosed the features of one of his former companions. Oliver felt glad to see him, before he went; for, though younger than himself, he had been his little friend and playmate. They had been beaten and starved, and shut up together, many and many a time.
He had often heard the old men in the workhouse, too, say that no lad of spirit need want in London; and that there were ways of living in that vast city, which those who had been bred up in country parts had no idea of. It was the very place for a homeless boy, who must die in the streets unless some one helped him.