London!--that great place!--nobody--not even Mr. Bumble--couldever find him there! He had often heard the old men in theworkhouse, too, say that no lad of spirit need want in London;and that there were ways of living in that vast city, which thosewho had been bred up in country parts had no idea of. It was thevery place for a homeless boy, who must die in the streets unlesssome one helped him. As these things passed through his thoughts,he jumped upon his feet, and again walked forward.。，
。， 'By the bye,' said Mr. Bumble, 'you don't know anybody who wantsa boy, do you? A porochial 'prentis, who is at present adead-weight; a millstone, as I may say, round the porochialthroat? Liberal terms, Mr. Sowerberry, liberal terms?' As Mr.Bumble spoke, he raised his cane to the bill above him, and gavethree distinct raps upon the words 'five pounds': which wereprinted thereon in Roman capitals of gigantic size.
Oliver lingered no longer, but meekly followed his new mistress.。， Oliver was frightened at the sight of so many gentlemen, whichmade him tremble: and the beadle gave him another tap behind,which made him cry. These two causes made him answer in a verylow and hesitating voice; whereupon a gentleman in a whitewaistcoat said he was a fool. Which was a capital way of raisinghis spirits, and putting him quite at his ease.
。， Oliver stared innocently in Mr. Bumble's face at this somewhatcontradictory style of address; but that gentleman prevented hisoffering any remark thereupon, by leading him at once into anadjoining room: the door of which was open. It was a large room,with a great window. Behind a desk, sat two old gentleman withpowdered heads: one of whom was reading the newspaper; while theother was perusing, with the aid of a pair of tortoise-shellspectacles, a small piece of parchment which lay before him. Mr.Limbkins was standing in front of the desk on one side; and Mr.Gamfield, with a partially washed face, on the other; while twoor three bluff-looking men, in top-boots, were lounging about.
He felt cold and stiff, when he got up next morning, and sohungry that he was obliged to exchange the penny for a smallloaf, in the very first village through which he passed. He hadwalked no more than twelve miles, when night closed in again.His feet were sore, and his legs so weak that they trembledbeneath him. Another night passed in the bleak damp air, madehim worse; when he set forward on his journey next morning hecould hardly crawl along.。， 'Going to London?' said the strange boy, when Oliver had atlength concluded.