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cunning
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Nicholas Nickleby
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cunning
Used In
Nicholas Nickleby
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  • The old man’s eye was keen with the twinklings of avarice and cunning; the young man’s bright with the light of intelligence and spirit.
  • So saying, he dismissed the first class to their experiments in practical philosophy, and eyed Nicholas with a look, half cunning and half doubtful, as if he were not altogether certain what he might think of him by this time.
  • He found himself in a little floor-clothed room, with a high desk railed off in one corner, behind which sat a lean youth with cunning eyes and a protruding chin, whose performances in capital-text darkened the window.
  • Cunning scoundrel! he don’t think that.
  • ’Infernal cunning,’ echoed two voices.
  • Oh! infernal cunning.’
  • He wore a sprinkling of powder upon his head, as if to make himself look benevolent; but if that were his purpose, he would perhaps have done better to powder his countenance also, for there was something in its very wrinkles, and in his cold restless eye, which seemed to tell of cunning that would announce itself in spite of him.
  • ’Oh!’ said Squeers, who had looked cunningly at him, with his head stuck on one side, like an old raven.
  • Madame Mantalini led the way down a flight of stairs, and through a passage, to a large room at the back of the premises where were a number of young women employed in sewing, cutting out, making up, altering, and various other processes known only to those who are cunning in the arts of millinery and dressmaking.
  • But so it was; and stranger still—though this is a thing of every day—the warm young heart palpitated with a thousand anxieties and apprehensions, while that of the old worldly man lay rusting in its cell, beating only as a piece of cunning mechanism, and yielding no one throb of hope, or fear, or love, or care, for any living thing.
  • Assured that there were not, he tapped his nose several times, accompanying the action with a cunning look, as though congratulating himself on his caution; and stretching out his neck, said in a loud whisper, ’Are you a princess?’
  • ’He’s a treacherous old goat,’ said Peg, ’and cozened me with cunning tricks and lying promises, but never mind.
  • He’s an old dog; a sly, old, cunning, thankless dog!
  • And taking the candle down beside him, Mr Squeers, with great eagerness and a cunning grin overspreading his face, entered upon his task of examination.
  • ’But nobody would pay you interest for it either, you know,’ returned Arthur, leering at Ralph with all the cunning and slyness he could throw into his face.
  • ’For fear he should give me the slip, by any chance,’ observed Squeers, when he had finished, looking very cunning, ’I’ve taken three outsides for tomorrow morning—for Wackford and him and me—and have arranged to leave the accounts and the new boys to the agent, don’t you see?
  • The whole air and attitude of the form was one of stealthy cat-like obsequiousness; the whole expression of the face was concentrated in a wrinkled leer, compounded of cunning, lecherousness, slyness, and avarice.
  • To see how sly and cunning he grubbed on, day after day, a-worming and plodding and tracing and turning and twining of hisself about, till he found out where this precious Mrs Peg was hid, and cleared the ground for me to work upon.
  • That, all this had been skilfully done; but that Snawley, who was well practised in the arts of low cunning and intrigue, had successfully baffled all their attempts, until an unexpected circumstance had brought him, last night, upon his knees.
  • Long habit of weighing and noting well what clients said, and nicely balancing chances in his mind and calculating odds to their faces, without the least appearance of being so engaged, had rendered Gride quick in forming conclusions, and arriving, from puzzling, intricate, and often contradictory premises, at very cunning deductions.
  • …and as he walked to and fro in his little back-room with his hands clasped behind him, adding up in his own mind all the sums that had been, or would be, netted from the business done since morning, his mouth was drawn into a hard stern smile; while the firmness of the lines and curves that made it up, as well as the cunning glance of his cold, bright eye, seemed to tell, that if any resolution or cunning would increase the profits, they would not fail to be excited for the purpose.
  • …and as he walked to and fro in his little back-room with his hands clasped behind him, adding up in his own mind all the sums that had been, or would be, netted from the business done since morning, his mouth was drawn into a hard stern smile; while the firmness of the lines and curves that made it up, as well as the cunning glance of his cold, bright eye, seemed to tell, that if any resolution or cunning would increase the profits, they would not fail to be excited for the purpose.
  • These were proud times for Mrs Nickleby; never was anybody half so discreet and sage as she, or half so mysterious withal; and never were there such cunning generalship, and such unfathomable designs, as she brought to bear upon Mr Frank, with the view of ascertaining whether her suspicions were well founded: and if so, of tantalising him into taking her into his confidence and throwing himself upon her merciful consideration.

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  • She came up with a cunning scheme to cheat him.
  • The worst mix — greedy, cunning, and without morals.

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