An orphan boy with burning cheeks and great gaunt eager eyes, who was in pressing peril of death, too, and who had no possession under the broad sky but a bottle of physic and a scrap of writing.

Background.

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itemAn orphan boy with burning cheeks and great gaunt eager eyes, who was in pressing peril of death, too, and who had no possession under the broad sky but a bottle of physic and a scrap of writing” is a quotation from A Sleep To Startle Us.

item A Sleep To Startle Us was an article, written by Charles Dickens, exploring ragged schooling. It was first published in Household Words on March 13, 1852.

 

Context.

item This quotation is taken from the passage of A Sleep To Startle Us:

Beside this wreck, but all unconnected with it and with the whole world, was an orphan boy with burning cheeks and great gaunt eager eyes, who was in pressing peril of death, too, and who had no possession under the broad sky but a bottle of physic and a scrap of writing. He brought both from the house-surgeon of a Hospital that was too full to admit him, and stood, giddily staggering in one of the little pathways, while the Chief Samaritan read, in hasty characters underlined, how momentous his necessities were. He held the bottle of physic in his claw of a hand, and stood, apparently unconscious of it, staggering, and staring with his bright glazed eyes; a creature, surely, as forlorn and desolate as Mother Earth can have supported on her breast that night. He was gently taken away, along with the dying man, to the workhouse; and he passed into the darkness with his physic-bottle as if he were going into his grave.

 

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