What a launch in life I think it now, on looking back, to be so mean and servile to a man of such parts and pretensions!
If he is not — and you tell me he is not; on any pretence; it is indifferent to me what — my doors are shut against him henceforth, and yours, I take it for granted, are open to him.’
I was solemnly interdicted by her, on her recovery, from touching my brother any more on any pretence whatever; and my poor mother, who, I could see, wished otherwise, meekly confirmed the interdict, by saying: ’No doubt you are right, my dear Jane.’
For myself, I am fighting my way on in the world against difficulties, and it would be ridiculous if I made a pretence of doing anything else.’
He received me in his usual fawning way, and pretended not to have heard of my arrival from Mr. Micawber; a pretence I took the liberty of disbelieving.
Although it required an effort to leave Miss Mills, I fell rather willingly into my aunt’s pretence, as a means of enabling me to pass a few tranquil hours with Agnes.
He said it was impossible to conceal the disagreeable fact, that we were chiefly employed by solicitors; but he gave me to understand that they were an inferior race of men, universally looked down upon by all proctors of any pretensions.
What irksome constraint I underwent, sitting in the same attitude hours upon hours, afraid to move an arm or a leg lest Miss Murdstone should complain (as she did on the least pretence) of my restlessness, and afraid to move an eye lest she should light on some look of dislike or scrutiny that would find new cause for complaint in mine!
Mr. Micawber, under pretence of showing me a nearer way than that by which I had come, accompanied me to the corner of the street; being anxious (he explained to me) to say a few words to an old friend, in confidence.
But Mrs. Heep had asked permission to bring herself and her knitting near the fire, in that room; on pretence of its having an aspect more favourable for her rheumatics, as the wind then was, than the drawing-room or dining-parlour.
I turned him hastily on some pretence, and held him in conversation until it was gone.
How thoughtfully remind me, yet with no pretence of doing so, of the trust in which I held the orphan child!
I occasionally made a pretence of wanting a page or two of manuscript copied.
He drew his sleeve across his face, without any pretence of concealing why; and then cleared his voice.
’ Mr. Micawber was so very much struck by this happy rounding off with a quotation, that he indulged himself, and us, with a second reading of the sentence, under pretence of having lost his place.
In short, we had resolved to take this course, when Dora again unsettled us by declaring that she never would forgive herself, and never would forgive her bad boy, if my aunt remained behind, on any pretence.
I should be an affected woman if I made any pretence of being surprised by my son’s inspiring such emotions; but I cannot be indifferent to anyone who is so sensible of his merit, and I am very glad to see you here, and can assure you that he feels an unusual friendship for you, and that you may rely on his protection.’
Let it be, in justice, merely said of me, as of a gallant and eminent naval Hero, with whom I have no pretensions to cope, that what I have done, I did, in despite of mercenary and selfish objects, For England, home, and Beauty.
CHAPTER 39 WICKFIELD AND HEEP My aunt, beginning, I imagine, to be made seriously uncomfortable by my prolonged dejection, made a pretence of being anxious that I should go to Dover, to see that all was working well at the cottage, which was let; and to conclude an agreement, with the same tenant, for a longer term of occupation.
Under the temporary pressure of pecuniary liabilities, contracted with a view to their immediate liquidation, but remaining unliquidated through a combination of circumstances, I have been under the necessity of assuming a garb from which my natural instincts recoil — I allude to spectacles — and possessing myself of a cognomen, to which I can establish no legitimate pretensions.
At last we made no more pretence of attending to the meal, which, except with Mr. Dick, had been a mere form from the first; but my aunt walked up and down the room, Traddles sat upon the sofa affecting to read the paper with his eyes on the ceiling; and I looked out of the window to give early notice of Mr. Micawber’s coming.
…his hand with a respectable short cough, changed legs, and went on: ’At last, when there had been, upon the whole, a good many words and reproaches, Mr. James he set off one morning, from the neighbourhood of Naples, where we had a villa (the young woman being very partial to the sea), and, under pretence of coming back in a day or so, left it in charge with me to break it out, that, for the general happiness of all concerned, he was’ — here an interruption of the short cough — ’gone.
…into imprudent and ill-judged speculations, and may not have had the money, for which he was morally and legally responsible, in hand; going on with pretended borrowings of money at enormous interest, really coming from — HEEP — and by — HEEP — fraudulently obtained or withheld from Mr. W. himself, on pretence of such speculations or otherwise; perpetuated by a miscellaneous catalogue of unscrupulous chicaneries — gradually thickened, until the unhappy Mr. W. could see no world beyond.