A minute ago, the boy had looked the quiet child, mild, dejected creature that harsh treatment had made him.
’Run to Mr. Bumble, Noah, and tell him to come here directly, and not to lose a minute; never mind your cap!
The board then proceeded to converse among themselves for a few minutes, but in so low a tone, that the words ’saving of expenditure,’
It wouldn’t have loosened the knot, or kept the drop up, a minute longer.
This was all done in a minute’s space.
’His worship will be disengaged in half a minute.
’Stop a minute, my dear,’ said the Jew, producing, a little covered basket.
Don’t stop here a minute.
I wish you had been the dog, Fagin, half a minute ago.’
’Wait a minute!’ said the girl: ’I wouldn’t hurry by, if it was you that was coming out to be hung, the next time eight o’clock struck, Bill.
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The receding footsteps of the speaker were heard; and, in another minute, the form of Mr. John Dawkins, otherwise the Artful Dodger, appeared.
’I’ll bring him to you in one minute, sir,’ replied Mrs. Mann.
’Your master’s not at home; there’s not a man in the house, and he’ll kick that door down in ten minutes.’
Mr. Fang sat silent for some minutes, and then, turning round to the prosecutor, said in a towering passion.
I could get nobody till five minutes ago; and I’ve run here all the way.’
Mr. Dawkins whistled for a couple of minutes; then, taking off his hat, scratched his head, and nodded thrice.
’I won’t be ten minutes, sir,’ said Oliver, eagerly.
’Let me see; he’ll be back in twenty minutes, at the longest,’ said Mr. Brownlow, pulling out his watch, and placing it on the table.
Mr. Brownlow paced the room to and fro for some minutes; evidently so much disturbed by the beadle’s tale, that even Mr. Grimwig forbore to vex him further.
In about ten minutes’ time, Mr. Fagin was seized with a fit of coughing; upon which Nancy pulled her shawl over her shoulders, and declared it was time to go.
There seemed to be some very minute inscription on it; for the Jew laid it flat upon the table, and shading it with his hand, pored over it, long and earnestly.
With this irrepressible ebullition of mirth, Master Bates laid himself flat on the floor: and kicked convulsively for five minutes, in an ectasy of facetious joy.
Standing, then in an irresolute attitude for a few minutes, as if he did not well know how to employ himself, he turned round and looked at Oliver, and called him by his name.
’Wait a minute!
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, born of low and vicious parents.
Mr. Bumble then thrashed a boy or two, to keep up appearances; and the reverend gentleman, having read as much of the burial service as could be compressed into four minutes, gave his surplice to the clerk, and walked away again.
Mr. Bumble opened his eyes; read the advertisement, slowly and carefully, three several times; and in something more than five minutes was on his way to Pentonville: having actually, in his excitement, left the glass of hot gin-and-water, untasted.
I’ve seen older hands of his age took the same way, for a minute or two, on a cold night.’
You put me up for a minute; but now I’m stupid again.’
Nothing was said on either side, for a minute or two afterwards.
The honest gentleman held the curtain in his hand, and looked on, for a minute or so, in silence.
Spyers loses sight of him a minute as he turns a corner; shoots round; sees a little crowd; dives in; "Which is the man?"
At last, he couldn’t help shutting ’em, to ease ’cause a minute; and the very moment he did so, he hears Chickweed a-roaring out, "Here he is!"
Another minute, and it was suffused with a crimson flush: and a heavy wildness came over the soft blue eye.
If you’ll wait ten minutes, he’ll be—’
’An hour and twelve minutes, ma’am,’ replied Mr. Giles, referring to a silver watch, which he drew forth by a black ribbon.
Have you got a coach ’us here, that you could put it up in, for five or ten minutes?’
Bless me, my man should have come in a minute; and so would I; and my assistant would have been delighted; or anybody, I’m sure, under such circumstances.
The noise of footsteps on the creaking stairs, a few minutes after the occurrence of this conversation, roused the merry old gentleman as he sat over the fire with a saveloy and a small loaf in his hand; a pocket-knife in his right; and a pewter pot on the trivet.
After running abstractedly over the keys for a few minutes, she fell into a low and very solemn air; and as she played it, they heard a sound as if she were weeping.
He remained lost in thought for some minutes; and then, with a heavy sigh, snuffed the candle, and, taking up the book which the Jew had left with him, began to read.
After musing for some minutes, the old gentleman walked, with the same meditative face, into a back anteroom opening from the yard; and there, retiring into a corner, called up before his mind’s eye a vast amphitheatre of faces over which a dusky curtain had hung for many years.
The tears stood in Oliver’s eyes as he recalled the scene which was the beginning of so much happiness; and the gentleman turned his face away, and remained silent, for some minutes.
After ruminating for some minutes with his chin sunk on his breast, he raised his head and said, with a deep sigh, that if flash Toby Crackit reported aright, he feared the game was up.
There is a drowsy state, between sleeping and waking, when you dream more in five minutes with your eyes half open, and yourself half conscious of everything that is passing around you, than you would in five nights with your eyes fast closed, and your senses wrapt in perfect unconsciousness.
Master Bates nodded assent, and would have spoken, but the recollection of Oliver’s flight came so suddenly upon him, that the smoke he was inhaling got entangled with a laugh, and went up into his head, and down into his throat: and brought on a fit of coughing and stamping, about five minutes long.
Having rested here, for a minute or so, to collect a good burst of sobs and an imposing show of tears and terror, he knocked loudly at the wicket; and presented such a rueful face to the aged pauper who opened it, that even he, who saw nothing but rueful faces about him at the best of times, started back in astonishment.
Oliver and Sikes got in without any further ceremony; and the man to whom he belonged, having lingered for a minute or two ’to bear him up,’ and to defy the hostler and the world to produce his equal, mounted also.
Oliver’s sobs checked his utterance for some minutes; when he was on the point of beginning to relate how he had been brought up at the farm, and carried to the workhouse by Mr. Bumble, a peculiarly impatient little double-knock was heard at the street-door: and the servant, running upstairs, announced Mr. Grimwig.
If the truth must be told, he was a little out of temper, for a minute or two, at being disappointed in procuring corroborative evidence of Oliver’s story on the very first occasion on which he had a chance of obtaining any.
Being assisted by the doctor, he managed to sit up in bed for a minute or so; and looked at the strangers without at all understanding what was going forward—in fact, without seeming to recollect where he was, or what had been passing.
This gentleman walked with much deliberation into the bar to make out the bill: which took a long time making out: and after it was ready, and paid, a horse had to be saddled, and a man to be dressed, which took up ten good minutes more.
’Stand still, a minute,’ cried the voice; ’I’ll be with you directly.’
I will take you there directly, without a minute’s loss of time.
’Let me go, will you,—this minute—this instant.’
And if I hear you for half a minute longer, the dog shall have such a grip on your throat as’ll tear some of that screaming voice out.
There were twenty score of violent deaths in one long minute of that agony of fear.
Not ten minutes, my dear.’
Oliver needed no prompting to despatch, and in little more than five minutes they were on their way to Craven Street.
Grimwig, will you leave us for a few minutes?’
Fagin nodded to him to take no further notice just then; and, in a few minutes, the girl subsided into her accustomed demeanour.
Such commendations had been bestowed upon his bravery, that he could not, for the life of him, help postponing the explanation for a few delicious minutes; during which he had flourished, in the very zenith of a brief reputation for undaunted courage.
Mr. Sowerberry was closeted with the board for five minutes; and it was arranged that Oliver should go to him that evening ’upon liking’—a phrase which means, in the case of a parish apprentice, that if the master find, upon a short trial, that he can get enough work out of a boy without putting too much food into him, he shall have him for a term of years, to do what he likes with.
He followed up this remarkable declaration, by shaking his head in a waggish manner for ten minutes, as though he were remonstrating with himself for being such a pleasant dog; and then, he took a view of his legs in profile, with much seeming pleasure and interest.
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.
The apothecary’s apprentice, having completed the manufacture of the toothpick, planted himself in front of the fire and made good use of it for ten minutes or so: when apparently growing rather dull, he wished Mrs. Corney joy of her job, and took himself off on tiptoe.
The fog was much heavier than it had been in the early part of the night; and the atmosphere was so damp, that, although no rain fell, Oliver’s hair and eyebrows, within a few minutes after leaving the house, had become stiff with the half-frozen moisture that was floating about.
Now, he started up, every minute, and with gasping mouth and burning skin, hurried to and fro, in such a paroxysm of fear and wrath that even they—used to such sights—recoiled from him with horror.
At length, all was ready; and the little parcel having been handed up, with many injunctions and entreaties for its speedy delivery, the man set spurs to his horse, and rattling over the uneven paving of the market-place, was out of the town, and galloping along the turnpike-road, in a couple of minutes.
The hour had not struck two minutes, when a young lady, accompanied by a grey-haired gentleman, alighted from a hackney-carriage within a short distance of the bridge, and, having dismissed the vehicle, walked straight towards it.
Sikes looked on, for a minute, watching his opportunity, and suddenly pinioning her hands dragged her, struggling and wrestling with him by the way, into a small room adjoining, where he sat himself on a bench, and thrusting her into a chair, held her down by force.
But, death, fires, and burglary, make all men equals; so Mr. Giles sat with his legs stretched out before the kitchen fender, leaning his left arm on the table, while, with his right, he illustrated a circumstantial and minute account of the robbery, to which his bearers (but especially the cook and housemaid, who were of the party) listened with breathless interest.
He shifted his position restlessly; and, after dozing again, and again, for two or three minutes, and as often springing up with a look of terror, and gazing vacantly about him, was suddenly stricken, as it were, while in the very attitude of rising, into a deep and heavy sleep.
Many of the lamps were already extinguished; a few country waggons were slowly toiling on, towards London; now and then, a stage-coach, covered with mud, rattled briskly by: the driver bestowing, as he passed, an admonitory lash upon the heavy waggoner who, by keeping on the wrong side of the road, had endangered his arriving at the office, a quarter of a minute after his time.
…(every other house in Barnet was a tavern, large or small), gazing listlessly at the coaches as they passed through, and thinking how strange it seemed that they could do, with ease, in a few hours, what it had taken him a whole week of courage and determination beyond his years to accomplish: when he was roused by observing that a boy, who had passed him carelessly some minutes before, had returned, and was now surveying him most earnestly from the opposite side of the way.
Among other ingenious surmises, the question was then raised, whether Mr. Giles had really hit anybody; and upon examination of the fellow pistol to that which he had fired, it turned out to have no more destructive loading than gunpowder and brown paper: a discovery which made a considerable impression on everybody but the doctor, who had drawn the ball about ten minutes before.
The dove then turned up his coat-collar, and put on his cocked hat; and, having exchanged a long and affectionate embrace with his future partner, once again braved the cold wind of the night: merely pausing, for a few minutes, in the male paupers’ ward, to abuse them a little, with the view of satisfying himself that he could fill the office of workhouse-master with needful acerbity.
The landlord of the house had not withdrawn his eye from this place of espial for five minutes, and Barney had only just returned from making the communication above related, when Fagin, in the course of his evening’s business, came into the bar to inquire after some of his young pupils.
In pursuance of this request, Nancy quickly laid the cloth; disappearing for a few minutes, she presently returned with a pot of porter and a dish of sheep’s heads: which gave occasion to several pleasant witticisms on the part of Mr. Sikes, founded upon the singular coincidence of ’jemmies’ being a can name, common to them, and also to an ingenious implement much used in his profession.
The astonished listener remained motionless on his post for some minutes afterwards, and having ascertained, with many cautious glances round him, that he was again alone, crept slowly from his hiding-place, and returned, stealthily and in the shade of the wall, in the same manner as he had descended.
Giles followed as well as he could; and Oliver followed too; and in the course of a minute or two, Mr. Losberne, who had been out walking, and just then returned, tumbled over the hedge after them, and picking himself up with more agility than he could have been supposed to possess, struck into the same course at no contemptible speed, shouting all the while, most prodigiously, to know what was the matter.
…a wonderful maze of fresh contradictions and impossibilities, as tended to throw no particular light on anything, but the fact of his own strong mystification; except, indeed, his declarations that he shouldn’t know the real boy, if he were put before him that instant; that he had only taken Oliver to be he, because Mr. Giles had said he was; and that Mr. Giles had, five minutes previously, admitted in the kitchen, that he began to be very much afraid he had been a little too hasty.
…justice of the Jew’s supposition; and when, after indulging in the temporary display of violence above described, she subsided, first into dullness, and afterwards into a compound of feelings: under the influence of which she shed tears one minute, and in the next gave utterance to various exclamations of ’Never say die!’ and divers calculations as to what might be the amount of the odds so long as a lady or gentleman was happy, Mr. Fagin, who had had considerable experience of such…
’An ass,’ said the doctor again, after a further silence of some minutes.
There are no more uses of "minuteness" in the book.