The night was fast closing in, when he returned homeward: ladenwith flowers which he had culled, with peculiar care, for theadornment of the sick chamber. As he walked briskly along theroad, he heard behind him, the noise of some vehicle, approachingat a furious pace. Looking round, he saw that it was apost-chaise, driven at great speed; and as the horses weregalloping, and the road was narrow, he stood leaning against agate until it should have passed him.。，
。， Oliver hastened to comply with her request. The young lady,making an effort to recover her cheerfulness, strove to play somelivelier tune; but her fingers dropped powerless over the keys.Covering her face with her hands, she sank upon a sofa, and gavevent to the tears which she was now unable to repress.
Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came. If the village had beenbeautiful at first it was now in the full glow and luxuriance ofits richness. The great trees, which had looked shrunken andbare in the earlier months, had now burst into strong life andhealth; and stretching forth their green arms over the thirstyground, converted open and naked spots into choice nooks, wherewas a deep and pleasant shade from which to look upon the wideprospect, steeped in sunshine, which lay stretched beyond. Theearth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed herrichest perfumes abroad. It was the prime and vigour of theyear; all things were glad and flourishing.。，
'No, no! Oh, not ill!' replied Rose: shuddering as though somedeadly chillness were passing over her, while she spoke; 'I shallbe better presently. Close the window, pray!'。， 'Has his housekeeper gone too?' inquired Mr. Losberne, after amoment's pause.
'You seem to think,' retorted the doctor, 'that everybody isdisposed to be hard-hearted to-day, except yourself, Miss Rose.I only hope, for the sake of the rising male sex generally, thatyou may be found in as vulnerable and soft-hearted a mood by thefirst eligible young fellow who appeals to your compassion; and Iwish I were a young fellow, that I might avail myself, on thespot, of such a favourable opportunity for doing so, as thepresent.'。， 'I would not for the world, sir,' replied Oliver. 'Indeed youmay believe me. Mr. Losberne's words were, that she would liveto bless us all for many years to come. I heard him say so.'
'Have received this declaration very differently?' said Harry.'Do not conceal that from me, at least, Rose.'。， 'Ah! to be sure,' replied the doctor, 'so there is. That wasyour handiwork, Giles, I understand.'
。， 'Poor fellow!' said Rose, when Oliver had been one day feeblyendeavouring to utter the words of thankfulness that rose to hispale lips; 'you shall have many opportunities of serving us, ifyou will. We are going into the country, and my aunt intendsthat you shall accompany us. The quiet place, the pure air, andall the pleasure and beauties of spring, will restore you in afew days. We will employ you in a hundred ways, when you canbear the trouble.'
， These precautions having been taken, Mr. Giles held on fast bythe tinker's arm (to prevent his running away, as he pleasantlysaid), and gave the word of command to open the door. Brittlesobeyed; the group, peeping timourously over each other'sshoulders, beheld no more formidable object than poor littleOliver Twist, speechless and exhausted, who raised his heavyeyes, and mutely solicited their compassion.。，