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Oliver Twist

Chapter 14
COMPRISING FURTHER PARTICULARS OF OLIVER'S STAY AT MR.
BROWNLOW'S, WITH THE REMARKABLE PREDICTION WHICH ONE MR.
GRIMWIG UTTERED CONCERNING HIM, WHEN HE WENT OUT ON AN
ERRAND
Oliver soon recovering from the fainting-fit into which Mr. Brownlow's abrupt
exclamation had thrown him, the subject of the picture was carefully avoided, both by the
old gentleman and Mrs. Bedwin, in the conversation that ensued: which indeed bore no
reference to Oliver's history or prospects, but was confined to such topics as might amuse
without exciting him. He was still too weak to get up to breakfast; but, when he came
down into the housekeeper's room next day, his first act was to cast an eager glance at the
wall, in the hope of again looking on the face of the beautiful lady. His expectations were
disappointed, however, for the picture had been removed.
'Ah!' said the housekeeper, watching the direction of Oliver's eyes. 'It is gone, you see.'
'I see it is ma'am,' replied Oliver. 'Why have they taken it away?'
'It has been taken down, child, because Mr. Brownlow said, that as it seemed to worry
you, perhaps it might prevent your getting well, you know,' rejoined the old lady.
'Oh, no, indeed. It didn't worry me, ma'am,' said Oliver. 'I liked to see it. I quite loved it.'
'Well, well!' said the old lady, good-humouredly; 'you get well as fast as ever you can,
dear, and it shall be hung up again. There! I promise you that! Now, let us talk about
something else.'
This was all the information Oliver could obtain about the picture at that time. As the old
lady had been so kind to him in his illness, he endeavoured to think no more of the
subject just then; so he listened attentively to a great many stories she told him, about an
amiable and handsome daughter of hers, who was married to an amiable and handsome
man, and lived in the country; and about a son, who was clerk to a merchant in the West
Indies; and who was, also, such a good young man, and wrote such dutiful letters home
four times a-year, that it brought the tears into her eyes to talk about them. When the old
lady had expatiated, a long time, on the excellences of her children, and the merits of her
kind good husband besides, who had been dead and gone, poor dear soul! just six-and-
twenty years, it was time to have tea. After tea she began to teach Oliver cribbage: which
he learnt as quickly as she could teach: and at which game they played, with great interest
and gravity, until it was time for the invalid to have some warm wine and water, with a
slice of dry toast, and then to go cosily to bed.
They were happy days, those of Oliver's recovery. Everything was so quiet, and neat, and
orderly; everybody so kind and gentle; that after the noise and turbulence in the midst of
which he had always lived, it seemed like Heaven itself. He was no sooner strong enough
 
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