Wersja dwujęzyczna polsko-angielska.
Oliver Twist to jedna z najbardziej znanych powieści Charlesa Dickensa. Autor z typową dla siebie przenikliwością przedstawia losy kilkuletniego sieroty, który przenosi się z przytułku do przytułku, by w końcu trafić do grupy przestępców, usiłującej zmusić go do kradzieży. Poruszająca historia Oliviera to zapis prawdziwych problemów, z jakimi borykała się XIX-wieczna Anglia. Główny bohater, nieludzko traktowany, cierpiący głód i zimno, wzruszy każdego czytelnika, ale Dickens wplata w swoją powieść także dobrze wyważony humor i nie pozostawia odbiorcy bez pocieszenia.
Wydawnictwo Wymownia przygotowało prezenty dla swoich Czytelników. Treść książki zdradzi sposób, w jaki można pobrać niespodzianki – darmowe ebooki naszego wydawnictwa.
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Ilustracja na okładce: Guy s Hospital, London. Oil painting
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Polska wersja językowa w tłumaczeniu anonimowym
Angielska wersja językowa zgodna z wydaniem z roku 1867
Treats Of The Place Where Oliver Twist Was Born And Of The Circumstances Attending His
Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be prudent to
refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently
common to most towns, great or small: to wit, a workhouse; and in this workhouse was born;
on a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible
consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events; the item of mortality whose
name is prefixed to the head of this chapter.
For a long time after it was ushered into this world of sorrow and trouble, by the parish surgeon,
it remained a matter of considerable doubt whether the child would survive to bear any name
at all; in which case it is somewhat more than probable that these memoirs would never have
appeared; or, if they had, that being comprised within a couple of pages, they would have
possessed the inestimable merit of being the most concise and faithful specimen of biography,
extant in the literature of any age or country.
Although I am not disposed to maintain that the being born in a workhouse, is in itself the most
fortunate and enviable circumstance that can possibly befall a human being, I do mean to say
that in this particular instance, it was the best thing for Oliver Twist that could by possibility
have occurred. The fact is, that there was considerable difficulty in inducing Oliver to take upon
himself the office of respiration,--a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered
necessary to our easy existence; and for some time he lay gasping on a little flock mattress,
rather unequally poised between this world and the next: the balance being decidedly in favour
of the latter. Now, if, during this brief period, Oliver had been surrounded by careful
grandmothers, anxious aunts, experienced nurses, and doctors of profound wisdom, he would
most inevitably and indubitably have been killed in no time. There being nobody by, however,
but a pauper old woman, who was rendered rather misty by an unwonted allowance of beer;
and a parish surgeon who did such matters by contract; Oliver and Nature fought out the point
between them. The result was, that, after a few struggles, Oliver breathed, sneezed, and
proceeded to advertise to the inmates of the workhouse the fact of a new burden having been
imposed upon the parish, by setting up as loud a cry as could reasonably have been expected
from a male infant who had not been possessed of that very useful appendage, a voice, for a
much longer space of time than three minutes and a quarter.
As Oliver gave this first proof of the free and proper action of his lungs, the patchwork coverlet
which was carelessly flung over the iron bedstead, rustled; the pale face of a young woman was
raised feebly from the pillow; and a faint voice imperfectly articulated the words, Let me see
the child, and die.
The surgeon had been sitting with his face turned towards the fire: giving the palms of his hands
a warm and a rub alternately. As the young woman spoke, he rose, and advancing to the bed s
head, said, with more kindness than might have been expected of him:
Oh, you must not talk about dying yet.
Lor bless her dear heart, no! interposed the nurse, hastily depositing in her pocket a green glass
bottle, the contents of which she had been tasting in a corner with evident satisfaction.
Lor bless her dear heart, when she has lived as long as I have, sir, and had thirteen children of
her own, and all on em dead except two, and them in the wurkus with me, she ll know better
than to take on in that way, bless her dear heart! Think what it is to be a mother, there s a dear
young lamb do.
Apparently this consolatory perspective of a mother s prospects failed in producing its due
effect. The patient shook her head, and stretched out her hand towards the child.
The surgeon deposited it in her arms. She imprinted her cold white lips passionately on its
forehead; passed her hands over her face; gazed wildly round; shuddered; fell back--and died.
They chafed her breast, hands, and temples; but the blood had stopped forever. They talked of
hope and comfort. They had been strangers too long.
It s all over, Mrs. Thingummy! said the surgeon at last.
Ah, poor dear, so it is! said the nurse, picking up the cork of the green bottle, which had fallen
out on the pillow, as she stooped to take up the child. Poor dear!
You needn t mind sending up to me, if the child cries, nurse, said the surgeon, putting on his
gloves with great deliberation. It s very likely it _will_ be troublesome. Give it a little gruel if
it is. He put on his hat, and, pausing by the bed-side on his way to the door, added, She was a
good-looking girl, too; where did she come from?
She was brought here last night, replied the old woman, by the overseer s order. She was found
lying in the street. She had walked some distance, for her shoes were worn to pieces; but where
she came from, or where she was going to, nobody knows.
The surgeon leaned over the body, and raised the left hand. The old story, he said, shaking his
head: no wedding-ring, I see. Ah! Good-night!
The medical gentleman walked away to dinner; and the nurse, having once more applied herself
to the green bottle, sat down on a low chair before the fire, and proceeded to dress the infant.
What an excellent example of the power of dress, young Oliver Twist was! Wrapped in the
blanket which had hitherto formed his only covering, he might have been the child of a
nobleman or a beggar; it would have been hard for the haughtiest stranger to have assigned him
his proper station in society. But now that he was enveloped in the old calico robes which had
grown yellow in the same service, he was badged and ticketed, and fell into his place at once--
a parish child--the orphan of a workhouse--the humble, half-starved drudge--to be cuffed and
buffeted through the world--despised by all, and pitied by none.
Oliver cried lustily. If he could have known that he was an orphan, left to the tender mercies of
church-wardens and overseers, perhaps he would have cried the louder.
Treats Of Oliver Twist s Growth, Education, And Board
For the next eight or ten months, Oliver was the victim of a systematic course of treachery and
deception. He was brought up by hand. The hungry and destitute situation of the infant orphan
was duly reported by the workhouse authorities to the parish authorities. The parish authorities
inquired with dignity of the workhouse authorities, whether there was no female then domiciled
in the house who was in a situation to impart to Oliver Twist, the consolation and nourishment
of which he stood in need. The workhouse authorities replied with humility, that there was not.
Upon this, the parish authorities magnanimously and humanely resolved, that Oliver should be
farmed, or, in other words, that he should be dispatched to a branch-workhouse some three
miles off, where twenty or thirty other juvenile offenders against the poor-laws, rolled about
the floor all day, without the inconvenience of too much food or too much clothing, under the
parental superintendence of an elderly female, who received the culprits at and for the
consideration of sevenpence-halfpenny per small head per week. Sevenpence-halfpenny s
worth per week is a good round diet for a child; a great deal may be got for sevenpence-
halfpenny, quite enough to overload its stomach, and make it uncomfortable. The elderly female
was a woman of wisdom and experience; she knew what was good for children; and she had a
very accurate perception of what was good for herself. So, she appropriated the greater part of
the weekly stipend to her own use, and consigned the rising parochial generation to even a
shorter allowance than was originally provided for them. Thereby finding in the lowest depth a
deeper still; and proving herself a very great experimental philosopher.
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