It is the custom on the stage in all good, murderous melodramas, to present the tragic and the comic scenes in as regular alternation as the layers of red and white in a side of streaky, well-cured bacon […] Such changes appear absurd, but they are by no means unnatural. The transitions in real life from well-spread boards to death-beds, and from mourning weeds to holiday garments, are not a whit less startling, only there we are busy actors instead of passive lookers-on, which makes a vast difference. (17.1-2)
[…] I have no room for digressions, even if I possessed the inclination; and I merely make this one in order to set myself quite right with the reader, between whom and the historian it is essentially necessary that perfect faith should be kept, and a good understanding preserved. (17.3)
Mr. Bumble […] after a few moments’ reflection, commenced his story.
It would be tedious if given in the beadle’s words, occupying as it did some twenty minutes in the telling; but the sum and substance of it was, that Oliver was a foundling […] who had terminated his brief career in the place of his birth, by making a sanguinary and cowardly attack on an unoffending lad, and then running away in the night-time from his master’s house. (17.82-3)