Mr Charles Cheeryble, indeed, Mrs Nickleby positively asserted, had, in the first transports of his surprise and delight, ’as good as’ said so.
This part of the conversation was rather unintelligible; but popular rumour in the neighbourhood asserted that Mr Squeers, being amiably opposed to cruelty to animals, not unfrequently purchased for by consumption the bodies of horned cattle who had died a natural death; possibly he was apprehensive of having unintentionally devoured some choice morsel intended for the young gentlemen.
Indeed, some ladies had gone so far as to assert, that the dark gentleman was actually a portrait of the spirted young proprietor; and the great similarity between their head-dresses—both wore very glossy hair, with a narrow walk straight down the middle, and a profusion of flat circular curls on both sides—encouraged the idea.
…most complacent kind; and under the influence of her very agreeable delusion she straightway sat down and indited a long letter to Kate, in which she expressed her entire approval of the admirable choice she had made, and extolled Sir Mulberry to the skies; asserting, for the more complete satisfaction of her daughter’s feelings, that he was precisely the individual whom she (Mrs Nickleby) would have chosen for her son-in-law, if she had had the picking and choosing from all mankind.
The better informed among the sex, however, made light of this assertion, for however willing they were (and they were very willing) to do full justice to the handsome face and figure of the proprietor, they held the countenance of the dark gentleman in the window to be an exquisite and abstract idea of masculine beauty, realised sometimes, perhaps, among angels and military men, but very rarely embodied to gladden the eyes of mortals.
…the head, upliftings of the eyes, and little beginnings of groans, converted, as they attracted attention, into short coughs), Mrs Nickleby remained until Nicholas and Kate returned with the object of their solicitude; when, having by this time asserted her own importance, and becoming besides interested in the trials of one so young and beautiful, she not only displayed the utmost zeal and solicitude, but took great credit to herself for recommending the course of procedure which her…