Affecting not to see him, Mr Squeers feigned to be intent upon mending a pen, and offering benevolent advice to his youthful pupil.
Nobody who knows me would believe this story of the ring; but it may suit the purpose, or gratify the hatred of Mr Ralph Nickleby to feign to attach credence to it.
He was lame; and as he feigned to be busy in arranging the table, glanced at the letters with a look so keen, and yet so dispirited and hopeless, that Nicholas could hardly bear to watch him.
The box was packed at last, and then there came supper, with some little delicacy provided for the occasion, and as a set-off against the expense of which, Kate and her mother had feigned to dine when Nicholas was out.
Mr Mantalini, who, in his eagerness to make up matters with his wife, had overlooked, or feigned to overlook, Miss Nickleby hitherto, took the hint, and laying his finger on his lip, sunk his voice still lower.
’As you promise that, my lord,’ said Ralph, with feigned reluctance, ’and as I am most anxious to oblige you, and as there’s no harm in it—no harm—I’ll tell you.
Mr Pluck, after feigning to be in a condition of great embarrassment for some minutes, resumed the conversation by entreating Mrs Nickleby to take no heed of what he had inadvertently said—to consider him imprudent, rash, injudicious.
Do not think so poorly of me as to believe that I feign a love I do not feel.
In such scenes and occupations the time wore on until nine o’clock, when Kate, jaded and dispirited with the occurrences of the day, hastened from the confinement of the workroom, to join her mother at the street corner, and walk home:—the more sadly, from having to disguise her real feelings, and feign to participate in all the sanguine visions of her companion.
’And how have you been?’ said Gride, feigning great interest in Ralph’s state of health.
’Oh!’ returned old Arthur feigning to be suddenly enlightened.
Sir Mulberry turned away to speak to one of his own party, and feigned not to hear.
For this reason, partly, and partly because I do not wish to be disgraced by the acts of a vicious stripling whom I was obliged to disown, and who, afterwards, in his boyish majesty, feigns to—ha! ha!
But there being now an appearance of a temporary calm, in which the proceedings of little Wackford could scarcely fail to be observed, he feigned to be aware of the circumstance for the first time, and inflicted upon the face of that young gentleman a slap that made the very tea-cups ring.
The young lord, feigning to be equally impressed with the necessity of this precaution, Ralph disclosed the present address and occupation of his niece, observing that from what he heard of the family they appeared very ambitious to have distinguished acquaintances, and that a lord could, doubtless, introduce himself with great ease, if he felt disposed.
As Ralph looked vacantly out across the yard towards the window of the other office, he became suddenly aware of the earnest observation of Newman Noggs, who, with his red nose almost touching the glass, feigned to be mending a pen with a rusty fragment of a knife, but was in reality staring at his employer with a countenance of the closest and most eager scrutiny.
While she was feigning to write it, and Nicholas was ruminating upon the extraordinary but by no means uncommon character thus presented to his observation, the invalid, who appeared at times to suffer great bodily pain, sank back in his chair and moaned out a feeble complaint that the girl had been gone an hour, and that everybody conspired to goad him.