Hard Times Book 1 Chapter 10 Page 13

It was a room, not unacquainted with the black ladder under various tenants; but as neat, at present, as such a room could be. A few books and writings were on an old bureau in a corner, the furniture was decent and sufficient, and, though the atmosphere was tainted, the room was clean.

Going to the hearth to set the candle down upon a round three-legged table standing there, he stumbled against something. As he recoiled, looking down at it, it raised itself up into the form of a woman in a sitting attitude.

‘Heaven’s mercy, woman!’ he cried, falling farther off from the figure. ‘Hast thou come back again!’

Such a woman! A disabled, drunken creature, barely able to preserve her sitting posture