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PinkMonkey.com-Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens




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mind--a dense and squalid crowd. Here they lay, cheek by jowl
with life: no deeper down than the feet of the throng that passed
there every day, and piled high as their throats. Here they lay, a
grisly family, all these dear departed brothers and sisters of the
ruddy clergyman who did his task so speedily when they were
hidden in the ground!

As he passed here, Ralph called to mind that he had been one of
a jury, long before, on the body of a man who had cut his throat;
and that he was buried in this place. He could not tell how he
came to recollect it now, when he had so often passed and never
thought about him, or how it was that he felt an interest in the
circumstance; but he did both; and stopping, and clasping the iron
railings with his hands, looked eagerly in, wondering which might
be his grave.

While he was thus engaged, there came towards him, with noise
of shouts and singing, some fellows full of drink, followed by
others, who were remonstrating with them and urging them to go
home in quiet. They were in high good-humour; and one of them,
a little, weazen, hump-backed man, began to dance. He was a
grotesque, fantastic figure, and the few bystanders laughed. Ralph
himself was moved to mirth, and echoed the laugh of one who
stood near and who looked round in his face. When they had
passed on, and he was left alone again, he resumed his speculation
with a new kind of interest; for he recollected that the last person
who had seen the suicide alive, had left him very merry, and he
remembered how strange he and the other jurors had thought that
at the time.

He could not fix upon the spot among such a heap of graves,
but he conjured up a strong and vivid idea of the man himself, and


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