1 O liver's early life


¡¡¡¡O liver Twist was born in a workhouse£¬and when he arrived in this hard world£¬it was very doubtful whether he would live beyond the first three minutes£®He lay on a hard little bed and struggled to start breathing£®

¡¡¡¡O liver fought his first battle without much assistance from the two people present at his birth£®One was an old woman£¬who was nearly always drunk£¬ and the other was a busy local doctor£¬who was not paid enough to be very interested in O liver's survival£® After all£¬death was a common event in the workhouse£¬where only the poor and homeless lived£®

¡¡¡¡However£¬O liver managed to draw his first breath£¬and the n announced his arrival to the rest of the workhouse by crying loudly£®His mother raised her pale young face from the pillow and whispered£¬ 'Let me see the child£¬ and die£®'

¡¡¡¡The doctor turned away from the fire£¬ where he had been warming his hands£® 'You must not talk about dying yet£¬'he said to her kindly£®He gave her the child to hold£®Lovingly£¬she kissed the baby on its forehead with her cold white lips£¬the n stared wildly around the room£¬fell back-and died. 'Poor dear£¡'said the nurse£¬hurriedly putting a green glass bottle back in the pocket of her long skirt.

¡¡¡¡The doctor began to put on his coat£® 'The baby is weak and will probably have difficulties£¬' he said£® 'If so£¬ give it a little milk to keep it quiet£®'The n he looked at the dead woman. 'The mother was a good£­looking girl£®Where did she come from£¿'

¡¡¡¡'She was brought here last night£¬'replied the old woman. 'She was found lying in the street. She'd walked some distance£¬judging by her shoes£¬which were worn to pieces£®Where she came from£¬where she was going to£¬or what her name was£¬nobody knows.'

¡¡¡¡The doctor lifted the girl's left hand. 'The old story£¬'he said sadly£¬shaking his head£® 'No wedding ring£¬ I see£®Ah£¡Good night.'

¡¡¡¡And so O liver was left with only the drunken nurse£®Without clothe s£¬under his first blanket£¬ he could have been the child of a king or a beggar£®But when the woman dressed him later in rough cotton clothe s£¬ yellow with age£¬he looked exactly what he was - an orphan in a workhouse£¬ ready for a life of misery£¬hunger£¬ and neglect.

¡¡¡¡O liver cried loudly£®If he could have known that he was a workhouse orphan£¬ perhaps he would have cried even more loudly.

¡¡¡¡The re was no one to look after the baby in the workhouse£¬so O liver was sent to a special 'baby farm' nearby. The re£¬he and thirty other children rolled around the floor all day£¬without the inconvenience of too much food or too much clothing. Mrs Mann£¬the old woman who 'looked after' them£¬ was very experienced£®She knew what was good for children£¬and a full stomach was very dangerous to their health. She also knew what was good for herself£¬ so she kept for her own use the money that she was given for the children's food£®The board responsible for the orphans sometimes checked on the health of the children£¬ but They always sent the beadle£¬a kind of local policeman£¬to announce their visit the day before£®So whenever the board arrived£¬ of course£¬the children were always neat and clean£®

¡¡¡¡This was the way O liver was brought up. Consequently£¬ at the age of nine he was a pale£¬thin child and short for his age£®But despite frequent beatings by Mrs Mann£¬ his spirit was strong£¬ which was probably the reason why he managed to reach the age of nine at all£®

¡¡¡¡On O liver's ninth birthday£¬ Mr Bumble the beadle came to the house to see Mrs Mann£®Through the front window Mrs Mann saw him at the gate£¬ and turned quickly to the girl who worked with her£®

¡¡¡¡'Quick£¡Take O liver and those others upstairs to be washed£¡'she said£®The n she ran out to unlock the gate£®£¨It was always kept locked to prevent official visitors walking in unexpectedly£®£©

¡¡¡¡'I have business to talk about£¬'Mr Bumble told Mrs Mann as he entered the house£®He was a big fat man£¬ often bad-tempered£¬ and was full of self-importance. He did not like to be kept waiting at a locked gate.

¡¡¡¡Mrs Mann took his hat and coat£¬ placed a chair for him£¬and expressed great concern for his comfort£® 'You've had a long walk£¬Mr Bumble' she said£¬ 'and you must be thirsty£®'She took out a bottle from the cupboard£®

¡¡¡¡'No£¬ thank you£¬ Mrs Mann. Not a drop£®'He waved the bottle away£®

¡¡¡¡'Just a little drop£¬ Mr Bumble£¬ with cold water£¬' said Mrs Mann persuasively£®

¡¡¡¡Mr Bumble coughed£® 'What is it£¿' he asked£¬ looking at the bottle with interest£®

¡¡¡¡'Gin£®I keep it for the children's medicine drink.'

¡¡¡¡'You give the children gin£¬Mrs Mann£¿'asked Mr Bumble£¬watching as she mixed his drink£®

¡¡¡¡'Only with medicine£¬ sir£® I don't like to see the m suffer£®'

¡¡¡¡'You're a good woman£¬ Mrs Mann£®' Mr Bumble drank half his glass immediately£® 'I'll tell the board about you£®Now - the reason why I'm here£® O liver Twist is nine years old today£® We've never been able to discover anything about his parents.'

¡¡¡¡'The n how did he get his name£¿'

¡¡¡¡'I gave it to him£¬'said Mr Bumble proudly£® 'We follow the alphabet£®The last one was an S-Swubble£® The n it was T£¬ so this one is Twist£® The next one will be Unwin£®Anyway£¬Oliver Twist is now old enough to return to the workhouse£® Bring him here£¬ please£®' While Mrs Mann went to get him£¬ Mr Bumble finished the rest of his gin£®

¡¡¡¡Oliver£¬ his face and hands now almost clean£¬ was led into the room.

¡¡¡¡'Will you come along with me£¬Oliver£¿'asked Mr Bumble in a loud voice£®

¡¡¡¡Oliver was very glad to be free of Mrs Mann's violence£¬ but he said nothing because she was angrily shaking her finger at him£®However£¬as the gate closed behind O liver£¬he burst into tears. He was leaving behind the other children£¬ the only friends he had£¬and he realized at that moment how lonely he was in the world.

¡¡¡¡Mr Bumble walked on with long steps£¬with O liver on his short little legs running beside him£®The feeling of contentment produced by gin£­and£­water had now disappeared£¬and the beadle was in a bad mood once more£®

¡¡¡¡Back at the workhouse£¬ O liver was taken to see the board. He stood in front of ten fat men who were sitting around a table£®

¡¡¡¡'What's your name£¬ boy£¿' asked a particularly fat man with a very round£¬ red face£®

¡¡¡¡O liver was frightened at the sight of so many people£¬ and started to cry.

¡¡¡¡'Why are you crying£¿'

¡¡¡¡The beadle hit him on the back£¬and so naturally O liver cried even more.

¡¡¡¡'The boy is a fool£¬'one member of the board announced.

¡¡¡¡'You know you have no father or mother£¬'said the first man£¬ 'and that you have been brought up with other orphans£¿'

¡¡¡¡'Yes£¬ sir£¬'replied O liver£¬ crying bitterly£®

¡¡¡¡'Why is the boy crying£¿'repeated the other man£¬ puzzled£®

¡¡¡¡'You have come here to be educated£¬'continued the fat man£¬ 'so you will start working here tomorrow at six o'clock£®'

¡¡¡¡O liver was led away to a large room£¬ where£¬on a rough hard bed£¬he cried himself to sleep£®

¡¡¡¡The room in the workhouse where the boys were fed was a large stone hall£¬and at one end the master and two women served the food£®This consisted of a bowl of thin soup three times a day£¬ with a piece of bread on Sundays£®The boys ate everything and were always hungry£®The bowls never needed washing£®The boys polished the m with their spoons until They shone£®After three months of this slow starvation£¬one of the boys told the others he was so hungry that one night he might eat the boy who slept next to him£®He had a wild hungry eye£¬and the other boys believed him£®After a long discussion£¬They decided that one of the m should ask for more food after supper that evening£¬and O liver was chosen£®

¡¡¡¡The evening arrived£»the soup was served£¬and the bowls were empty again in a few seconds£®O liver went up to the master£¬with his bowl in his hand£®He felt very frightened£¬but also desperate with hunger£®

¡¡¡¡'Please£¬sir£¬I want some more£®'

¡¡¡¡The master was a fat£¬healthy man£¬ but he turned very pale. He looked at the little boy in front of him with amazement£®Nobody else spoke£®

¡¡¡¡'What£¿' he asked at last£¬ in a faint voice£®

¡¡¡¡'Please£¬ sir£¬' replied O liver£¬ 'I want some more.'

¡¡¡¡The master hit him with the serving spoon£¬the n seized O liver's arms and shouted for the beadle£®The beadle came quickly£¬heard the dreadful news£¬and immediately ran to tell the board£®

¡¡¡¡'He asked for more£¿' Mr Limbkins£¬the fattest board member£¬ asked in horror£® 'Bumble - is this really true£¿'

¡¡¡¡'That boy will be hanged£¡' said the man who earlier had called O liver a fool£® 'You see if I'm not right£®'

¡¡¡¡O liver was led away to be locked up£¬and a reward was offered to anybody who would take him away and use him for work.