A mania prevailed, a bubble burst, four stock-brokers took villa residences at Florence, four hundred nobodies were ruined, and among them Mr Nickleby.
There are people enough in the world, Heaven knows! and even in London (where Mr Nickleby dwelt in those days) but few complaints prevail, of the population being scanty.
’Nickleby,’ said Squeers, spelling the name according to some eccentric system which prevailed in his own mind; ’your mother always calls things and people by their wrong names.’
A blight had fallen on the trees and shrubs; and the wind, at length beginning to break the unnatural stillness that had prevailed all day, sighed heavily from time to time, as though foretelling in grief the ravages of the coming storm.
This special proclamation had the desired effect, and a deathlike silence immediately prevailed, in the midst of which Mr Squeers went on to say: ’Boys, I’ve been to London, and have returned to my family and you, as strong and well as ever.’
Behind the scenes, the same unwonted excitement prevailed.
’Kate has been in bed—oh! a couple of hours—and I’m very glad, Nicholas my dear, that I prevailed upon her not to sit up, for I wished very much to have an opportunity of saying a few words to you.
After a very short consideration, the former inclination prevailed, and making towards the point he had had in his mind, Newman knocked a modest double knock, or rather a nervous single one, at Miss La Creevy’s door.
’Oh!’ thought Nicholas, ’that this slender chance might not be lost, and that I might prevail, if it were but for one week’s time and reconsideration!’
Nicholas could by no means be prevailed upon to borrow more than a sovereign, with which loan Mr Browdie, after many entreaties that he would accept of more (observing, with a touch of Yorkshire caution, that if he didn’t spend it all, he could put the surplus by, till he had an opportunity of remitting it carriage free), was fain to content himself.
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If the near prospect of such a husband as you have provided will not prevail upon her, I hope she may be moved by the prayers and entreaties of one of her own sex.
’If we could lighten Tim’s duties,’ said the old gentleman, ’and prevail upon him to go into the country, now and then, and sleep in the fresh air, besides, two or three times a week (which he could, if he began business an hour later in the morning), old Tim Linkinwater would grow young again in time; and he’s three good years our senior now.
Such assistance as I have prevailed upon her to accept, I have been obliged, at her own earnest request, to dole out in the smallest portions, lest he, finding how easily money was procured, should squander it even more lightly than he is accustomed to do.
Tim Linkinwater condescended, after much entreaty and brow-beating, to accept a share in the house; but he could never be prevailed upon to suffer the publication of his name as a partner, and always persisted in the punctual and regular discharge of his clerkly duties.
On this repetition of Mr Mantalini’s fatal threat, Madame Mantalini wrung her hands, and implored the interference of Ralph Nickleby; and after a great quantity of tears and talking, and several attempts on the part of Mr Mantalini to reach the door, preparatory to straightway committing violence upon himself, that gentleman was prevailed upon, with difficulty, to promise that he wouldn’t be a body.
But Newman hinted that from what had fallen from the confidante, he had been led to suspect that the young lady led a very miserable and unhappy life, under the strict control of her only parent, who was of a violent and brutal temper; a circumstance which he thought might in some degree account, both for her having sought the protection and friendship of the brothers, and her suffering herself to be prevailed upon to grant the promised interview.
…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, instantaneously succeeded.
…first night of a new melodrama; in another line by itself was an announcement of the last six nights of an old one; a third line was devoted to the re-engagement of the unrivalled African Knife-swallower, who had kindly suffered himself to be prevailed upon to forego his country engagements for one week longer; a fourth line announced that Mr Snittle Timberry, having recovered from his late severe indisposition, would have the honour of appearing that evening; a fifth line said that…
With such muttered outpourings as these, the old gentleman shed a few tears; but, they got him into the elbow-chair, and prevailed upon him, without much pressing, to make a hearty supper, and by the time he had finished his first pipe, and disposed of half-a-dozen glasses out of a crown bowl of punch, ordered by Mr Kenwigs, in celebration of his return to the bosom of his family, he seemed, though still very humble, quite resigned to his fate, and rather relieved than otherwise by the…