’I hope no inquiries will be made,’ said the lady, ’or I shall be compelled to throw myself on the protection of the other gentlemen.
’Eh!’ growled Ralph, whose quick ears had caught the inquiry.
Miss Nickleby offered no reply to this inquiry, but turned her back upon the questioner, as if addressing herself to make answer to what his wife might demand.
’Dear Pugstyles’ having taken a very long stare at Mr Gregsbury over the tops of his spectacles, resumed his list of inquiries.
It was finally arranged that inquiries should be made, and a decisive answer addressed to Miss Nickleby under cover of her uncle, within two days.
With this comprehensive inquiry, Mr Pugstyles folded up his list of questions, as did all his backers.
’Then how came you here, sir?’ was the natural inquiry of Mr Gregsbury, MP.
’He is above stairs, I believe,’ replied Kate, a little reassured by this inquiry.
The inquiries were made.
This inquiry produced in Miss Knag violent symptoms of a relapse; and several young ladies, darting angry looks at Kate, applied more vinegar and hartshorn, and said it was ’a shame.’
She raised her veil, for an instant, while she preferred the inquiry, and disclosed a countenance of most uncommon beauty, though shaded by a cloud of sadness, which, in one so young, was doubly remarkable.
After a very hasty breakfast, and the prosecution of some inquiries in the village, the result of which seemed to show that he was on the right track, Squeers started forth in the pony-chaise, intent upon discovery and vengeance.
Tom made no other reply than thrusting his tongue into his cheek, and pointing the feather of his pen towards Nicholas—reminders which elicited from the fat lady an inquiry, of ’Now, sir, what can we do for YOU?’
This playful inquiry was accompanied with another poke, and another, and then the old lord caught the parasol, and wouldn’t give it up again, which induced the other lady to come to the rescue, and some very pretty sportiveness ensued.
The vacant apartment to which the bill in the parlour window bore reference, appeared, on inquiry, to be a small back-room on the second floor, reclaimed from the leads, and overlooking a soot-bespeckled prospect of tiles and chimney-pots.
’It is, worse luck!’ replied Squeers, becoming more and more easy and familiar in his manner, as Ralph pursued his inquiries with the less reserve.
’When you say that, no further inquiries are needed.
But of these he asked his way from time to time, and by dint of repeated inquiries, he at length reached the dwelling of Newman Noggs.
With which inquiry he turned his face away, and seemed to occupy himself in an attempt to fall asleep.
’How do you DO?’ said one gentleman, laying great stress on the last word of the inquiry.
Thinking no longer of his own misfortunes, but wondering what could be those of the beautiful girl he had seen, Nicholas, with many wrong turns, and many inquiries, and almost as many misdirections, bent his steps towards the place whither he had been directed.
This was a young lady who could be scarcely eighteen, of very slight and delicate figure, but exquisitely shaped, who, walking timidly up to the desk, made an inquiry, in a very low tone of voice, relative to some situation as governess, or companion to a lady.
Mr Squeers was observed to draw the grey-headed gentleman on one side, and to ask a question with great apparent interest; it bore reference to the Five Sisters of York, and was, in fact, an inquiry whether he could inform him how much per annum the Yorkshire convents got in those days with their boarders.
With which inquiry, Tim turned his back, and pretending to be absorbed in his accounts, took an opportunity of hastily wiping his eyes when he supposed Nicholas was looking another way.
All that evening, Newman had been hunting and searching in byways and corners for the very person who now knocked at his door, while Nicholas had been pursuing the same inquiry in other directions.
We must make proper inquiries into his statements, in justice to him as well as to ourselves, and if they are confirmed—as I feel assured they will be—we must assist him, we must assist him, brother Ned.’
Miss Snevellicci’s modest double-knock was answered by a foot-boy, who, in reply to her inquiry whether Mrs Curdle was at home, opened his eyes very wide, grinned very much, and said he didn’t know, but he’d inquire.
Ralph relieved her from her perplexity by taking his departure without delay: Madame Mantalini making many gracious inquiries why he never came to see them; and Mr Mantalini anathematising the stairs with great volubility as he followed them down, in the hope of inducing Kate to look round,—a hope, however, which was destined to remain ungratified.
Poor Noggs literally gasped for breath as this flood of questions rushed upon him, and moved spasmodically in his chair at every fresh inquiry, staring at Nicholas meanwhile with a most ludicrous expression of perplexity.
Upon further inquiry, it turned out, to the good lady’s unbounded astonishment, that Smike had, that moment, gone upstairs to bed.
Sir Mulberry Hawk honoured him with an angry glance, but condescended to return no verbal answer to this inquiry.
This was a puzzling inquiry; but Newman evaded it, by replying to Mr Lillyvick, that he thought the baby might possibly come like him in time.
’For what do you take me, if not for a man?’ was the inquiry.
’Yes, yes,’ said Gride, startled by the fierce tone of the inquiry.
’She don’t know what it is; she can’t read!’ shrieked Gride, not heeding the inquiry.
With this inquiry Mr Crummles unfolded a red poster, and a blue poster, and a yellow poster, at the top of each of which public notification was inscribed in enormous characters—’First appearance of the unrivalled Miss Petowker of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane!’
He did not stop to set on foot an inquiry into his train of thought or state of feeling, however; but went thinking on all the way home, and continued to dream on in the same strain all night.
Disregarding these sallies, which were uncommonly well received, as sallies at the expense of the best-dressed persons in a crowd usually are, Nicholas glanced carelessly round, and addressing the young gentleman, who had by this time picked up his slippers and thrust his feet into them, repeated his inquiries with a courteous air.
He took an extraordinary interest in her fortunes when he first happened to encounter her; and we gather from the inquiries we have made of him, that it was she in whose behalf he made that turmoil which led to your first acquaintance.’
A liveried footman opened the door, and in reply to Ralph’s inquiry whether Madame Mantalini was at home, ushered them, through a handsome hall and up a spacious staircase, into the show saloon, which comprised two spacious drawing-rooms, and exhibited an immense variety of superb dresses and materials for dresses: some arranged on stands, others laid carelessly on sofas, and others again, scattered over the carpet, hanging on the cheval-glasses, or mingling, in some other way, with…
Directly I came home again, I travelled down into Yorkshire, and, skulking in the village of an evening-time, made inquiries about the boys at the school, and found that this one, whom I had placed there, had run away with a young man bearing the name of his own father.
Making towards a faint gleam of light which streamed across the pavement from a cellar, Nicholas was about to descend two or three steps so as to render himself visible to those below and make his inquiry, when he was arrested by a loud noise of scolding in a woman’s voice.
His attention wandered; although he heard the manager’s voice, he was deaf to what he said; and when Mr Vincent Crummles concluded the history of some long adventure with a loud laugh, and an inquiry what Nicholas would have done under the same circumstances, he was obliged to make the best apology in his power, and to confess his entire ignorance of all he had been talking about.
Nicholas was somewhat at a loss, on entering the theatre at night, to account for the unusual perturbation and excitement visible in the countenances of all the company, but he was not long in doubt as to the cause, for before he could make any inquiry respecting it Mr Crummles approached, and in an agitated tone of voice, informed him that there was a London manager in the boxes.
Being answered in the affirmative, he became restless again, and, after some thought, and an unsuccessful inquiry ’whether he couldn’t go another fifty,’ said he supposed he must try and do the most he could for a friend: which was always his maxim, and therefore he undertook the job.
As you have been found in company with this woman; as you were detected in possession of this document; as you were engaged with her in fraudulently destroying others, and can give no satisfactory account of yourself; I shall remand you for a week, in order that inquiries may be made, and evidence got.
Tantalised and excited, beyond all bearing, and unable to fathom the mystery without neglecting his duty, he confided the whole secret to Newman Noggs, imploring him to be on the watch next night; to follow the girl home; to set on foot such inquiries relative to the name, condition, and history of her mistress, as he could, without exciting suspicion; and to report the result to him with the least possible delay.
To this inquiry, put with a dogged inflexibility of manner, the old gentleman returned no answer, but went on to say, that to show him how much they were in earnest, it would be necessary to tell him, not only what accusations were made against him, but what proof of them they had, and how that proof had been acquired.
And as Mrs Nickleby instantly became very curious respecting it, and made a great number of inquiries touching what they had had for dinner, and how it was put on table, and whether it was overdone or underdone, and who was there, and what ’the Mr Cherrybles’ said, and what Nicholas said, and what the Mr Cherrybles said when he said that; Nicholas described the festivities at full length, and also the occurrences of the morning.
Following them, he discovered, to his surprise, that they repaired to various low lodging-houses, and taverns kept by broken gamblers, to more than one of whom Ralph was known, and that they were in pursuit—so he found by inquiries when they had left—of an old woman, whose description exactly tallied with that of deaf Mrs Sliderskew.
Rumours having gone abroad that Arthur was to be married that morning, very particular inquiries were made after the bride, who was held by the majority to be disguised in the person of Mr Ralph Nickleby, which gave rise to much jocose indignation at the public appearance of a bride in boots and pantaloons, and called forth a great many hoots and groans.
When he could persuade him to remain, for a few moments, in the care of the people to whom the house belonged, he instituted a strict inquiry whether any stranger had been seen, and searched himself behind the tree, and through the orchard, and upon the land immediately adjoining, and in every place near, where it was possible for a man to lie concealed; but all in vain.
Now, Mrs Curdle was supposed, by those who were best informed on such points, to possess quite the London taste in matters relating to literature and the drama; and as to Mr Curdle, he had written a pamphlet of sixty-four pages, post octavo, on the character of the Nurse’s deceased husband in Romeo and Juliet, with an inquiry whether he really had been a ’merry man’ in his lifetime, or whether it was merely his widow’s affectionate partiality that induced her so to report him.
The conversation threatened to take a somewhat angry tone when it had arrived thus far, but Mrs Crummles opportunely interposed to prevent its leading to any violent outbreak, by making some inquiries of the literary gentleman relative to the plots of the six new pieces which he had written by contract to introduce the African Knife-swallower in his various unrivalled performances.
…green, with a very long number, beginning with a nought and ending with a nine—no, beginning with a nine, and ending with a nought, that was it, and of course the stamp-office people would know at once whether it was a coach or a chariot if any inquiries were made there—however that was, there it was with a broken window and there was I for six weeks with a swelled face—I think that was the very same hackney coach, that we found out afterwards, had the top open all the time, and we…
By this lodger he was referred to another, and by him to someone else, from whom he learnt, that, late on the previous night, he had gone out hastily with two men, who had shortly afterwards returned for the old woman who lived on the same floor; and that, although the circumstance had attracted the attention of the informant, he had not spoken to them at the time, nor made any inquiry afterwards.
At this inquiry, the clamour was increased twenty-fold, and an astounding string of such shrill contradictions as ’He’s poisoned himself’—’He hasn’t’—’Send for a doctor’—’Don’t’—’He’s dying’—’He isn’t, he’s only pretending’—with various other cries, poured forth with bewildering volubility, until Madame Mantalini was seen to address herself to Ralph, when female curiosity to know what she would say, prevailed, and, as if by general consent, a dead silence, unbroken by a single whisper,…
There are no more uses of "inquiry" in the book.
Show samples from other sources
They created a commission of inquiry to look into the matter.
The official inquiry has ended, but the press continues to ask questions.