Oliver spends the first nine years of his life in a badly run home for young orphans and then is transferred to a workhouse for adults. After the other boys bully Oliver into asking for more gruel at the end of a meal, Mr.
Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much. We just sprawled about exhaustedly, with home-made cigarettes sticking out of our scrubby faces. Overhead the chestnut branches were covered with blossom, and beyond that great woolly clouds floated almost motionless in a clear sky.
Littered on the grass, we seemed dingy, urban riff-raff. We defiled the scene, like sardine-tins and paper bags on the seashore.
What talk there was ran on the Tramp Major of this spike. He was a devil, everyone agreed, a tartar, a tyrant, a bawling, blasphemous, uncharitable dog. You couldn't call your soul your own when he was about, and many a tramp had he kicked out in the middle of the night for giving a back answer.
When You, came to be searched, he fair held you upside down and shook you. If you were caught with tobacco there was bell to. Pay, and if you went in with money which is against the law God help you. I had eightpence on me.
You'd get seven days for going into the spike with eightpence! Then we set about smuggling our matches and tobacco, for it is forbidden to take these into nearly all spikes, and one is supposed to surrender them at the gate. We hid them in our socks, except for the twenty or so per cent who had no socks, and had to carry the tobacco in their boots, even under their very toes.
We stuffed our ankles with contraband until anyone seeing us might have imagined an outbreak of elephantiasis. But is an unwritten law that even the sternest Tramp Majors do not search below the knee, and in the end only one man was caught.
This was Scotty, a little hairy tramp with a bastard accent sired by cockney out of Glasgow.
His tin of cigarette ends fell out of his sock at the wrong moment, and was impounded. At six, the gates swung open and we shuffled in. An official at the gate entered our names and other particulars in the register and took our bundles away from us.
THE SPIKE. It was late-afternoon. Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much. is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her. THE SPIKE. It was late-afternoon. Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much.
The woman was sent off to the workhouse, and we others into the spike. It was a gloomy, chilly, limewashed place, consisting only of a bathroom and dining-room and about a hundred narrow stone cells.
The terrible Tramp Major met us at the door and herded us into the bathroom to be stripped and searched. He was a gruff, soldierly man of forty, who gave the tramps no more ceremony than sheep at the dipping-pond, shoving them this way and that and shouting oaths in their faces.
But when he came to myself, he looked hard at me, and said: He gave me another long look. It was a disgusting sight, that bathroom.
All the indecent secrets of our underwear were exposed; the grime, the rents and patches, the bits of string doing duty for buttons, the layers upon layers of fragmentary garments, some of them mere collections of holes, held together by dirt.
The room became a press of steaming nudity, the sweaty odours of the tramps competing with the sickly, sub-faecal stench native to the spike. Some of the men refused the bath, and washed only their 'toe-rags', the horrid, greasy little clouts which tramps bind round their feet.
Each of us had three minutes in which to bathe himself. Six greasy, slippery roller towels had to serve for the lot of us. When we had bathed our own clothes were taken away from us, and we were dressed in the workhouse shirts, grey cotton things like nightshirts, reaching to the middle of the thigh.
Then we were sent into the dining-room, where supper was set out on the deal tables.
It was the invariable spike meal, always the same, whether breakfast, dinner or supper—half a pound of bread, a bit of margarine, and a pint of so-called tea. It took us five minutes to gulp down the cheap, noxious food. Then the Tramp Major served us with three cotton blankets each, and drove us off to our cells for the night.
The doors were locked on the outside a little before seven in the evening, and would stay locked for the next twelve hours. The cells measured eight feet by five, and, had no lighting apparatus except a tiny, barred window high up in the wall, and a spyhole in the door.From ‘Monty Python’ to ‘Don't Look Now’, British movies are have made cinematic history.
Here are the best British films of all time. Oliver Twist quiz that tests what you know. Perfect prep for Oliver Twist quizzes and tests you might have in school. is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her.
is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her. Britannica Classics: Early Victorian England and Charles Dickens Clifton Fadiman examining the inspiration Charles Dickens's work took from the milieu of Victorian England, with its startling contrasts of morality and hypocrisy, splendour and squalor, prosperity and poverty.
This video is a production of Encyclopædia Britannica Educational Corporation. Oliver Twist is born in a workhouse in s England. His mother, whose name no one knows, is found on the street and dies just after Oliver’s birth.
Oliver spends the first nine years of his life in a badly run home for young orphans and then is transferred to a workhouse for adults.