’If you please, mistress,’ said a withered old female pauper, hideously ugly: putting her head in at the door, ’Old Sally is a-going fast.’
With those words, the old lady very gently placed Oliver’s head upon the pillow; and, smoothing back his hair from his forehead, looked so kindly and loving in his face, that he could not help placing his little withered hand in hers, and drawing it round his neck.
When they had sat in silence for some time, the two old women rose from the bed, and crouching over the fire, held out their withered hands to catch the heat.
’My dear young lady,’ rejoined the surgeon, mournfully shaking his head; ’crime, like death, is not confined to the old and withered alone.
Busy recollections of old hopes, cherished as a girl, long ago, crowded into the mind of Rose, while making this avowal; but they brought tears with them, as old hopes will when they come back withered; and they relieved her.
’What have you got to say for yourself, you withered old fence, eh?’
’I don’t feel like myself when you lay that withered old claw on my shoulder, so take it away,’ said Sikes, casting off the Jew’s hand.
His face is dark, like his hair and eyes; and, although he can’t be more than six or eight and twenty, withered and haggard.
Oliver could not help noticing that the withered flowers were never thrown away, although the little vase was regularly replenished; nor, could he help observing, that whenever the doctor came into the garden, he invariably cast his eyes up to that particular corner, and nodded his head most expressively, as he set forth on his morning’s walk.
It was not until the night of this last awful day, that a withering sense of his helpless, desperate state came in its full intensity upon his blighted soul; not that he had ever held any defined or positive hope of mercy, but that he had never been able to consider more than the dim probability of dying so soon.