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PinkMonkey.com-Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens




59

its business and animation, in the midst of a whirl of noise and
motion: stemming as it were the giant currents of life that flow
ceaselessly on from different quarters, and meet beneath its walls:
stands Newgate; and in that crowded street on which it frowns so
darkly--within a few feet of the squalid tottering houses--upon
the very spot on which the vendors of soup and fish and damaged
fruit are now plying their trades--scores of human beings, amidst
a roar of sounds to which even the tumult of a great city is as
nothing, four, six, or eight strong men at a time, have been hurried
violently and swiftly from the world, when the scene has been
rendered frightful with excess of human life; when curious eyes
have glared from casement and house-top, and wall and pillar; and
when, in the mass of white and upturned faces, the dying wretch,
in his all-comprehensive look of agony, has met not one--not
one--that bore the impress of pity or compassion.

Near to the jail, and by consequence near to Smithfield also,
and the Compter, and the bustle and noise of the city; and just on
that particular part of Snow Hill where omnibus horses going
eastward seriously think of falling down on purpose, and where
horses in hackney cabriolets going westward not unfrequently fall
by accident, is the coach-yard of the Saracenís Head Inn; its portal
guarded by two Saracensí heads and shoulders, which it was once
the pride and glory of the choice spirits of this metropolis to pull
down at night, but which have for some time remained in
undisturbed tranquillity; possibly because this species of humour
is now confined to St Jamesís parish, where door knockers are
preferred as being more portable, and bell-wires esteemed as
convenient toothpicks. Whether this be the reason or not, there
they are, frowning upon you from each side of the gateway. The


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PinkMonkey.com-Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens



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