Oliver Twist HTML version

Chapter 9
It was late next morning when Oliver awoke, from a sound, long sleep. There was no
other person in the room but the old Jew, who was boiling some coffee in a saucepan for
breakfast, and whistling softly to himself as he stirred it round and round, with an iron
spoon. He would stop every now and then to listen when there was the least noise below:
and when he had satistified himself, he would go on whistling and stirring again, as
Although Oliver had roused himself from sleep, he was not thoroughly awake. There is a
drowsy state, between sleeping and waking, when you dream more in five minutes with
your eyes half open, and yourself half conscious of everything that is passing around you,
than you would in five nights with your eyes fast closed, and your senses wrapt in perfect
unconsciousness. At such time, a mortal knows just enough of what his mind is doing, to
form some glimmering conception of its mighty powers, its bounding from earth and
spurning time and space, when freed from the restraint of its corporeal associate.
Oliver was precisely in this condition. He saw the Jew with his half-closed eyes; heard
his low whistling; and recognised the sound of the spoon grating against the saucepan's
sides: and yet the self-same senses were mentally engaged, at the same time, in busy
action with almost everybody he had ever known.
When the coffee was done, the Jew drew the saucepan to the hob. Standing, then in an
irresolute attitude for a few minutes, as if he did not well know how to employ himself,
he turned round and looked at Oliver, and called him by his name. He did not answer, and
was to all appearances asleep.
After satisfiying himself upon this head, the Jew stepped gently to the door: which he
fastened. He then drew forth: as it seemed to Oliver, from some trap in the floor: a small
box, which he placed carefully on the table. His eyes glistened as he raised the lid, and
looked in. Dragging an old chair to the table, he sat down; and took from it a magnificent
gold watch, sparkling with jewels.
'Aha!' said the Jew, shrugging up his shoulders, and distorting every feature with a
hideous grin. 'Clever dogs! Clever dogs! Staunch to the last! Never told the old parson
where they were. Never poached upon old Fagin! And why should they? It wouldn't have
loosened the knot, or kept the drop up, a minute longer. No, no, no! Fine fellows! Fine
With these, and other muttered reflections of the like nature, the Jew once more deposited
the watch in its place of safety. At least half a dozen more were severally drawn forth
from the same box, and surveyed with equal pleasure; besides rings, brooches, bracelet,