’Did he look in this way?’ inquired the miller’s daughter, counterfeiting, as nearly as she could, a favourite leer of the corn-factor.
’Weel, my lass, I dean’t care aboot ’un,’ said the corn-factor, bestowing a hearty kiss on Miss Matilda; ’let ’un gang on, let ’un gang on.’
To see how Miss Squeers tossed her head, and the corn-factor flattened his nose, while this conversation was carrying on!
To account for the rapidity with which this young lady had conceived a passion for Nicholas, it may be necessary to state, that the friend from whom she had so recently returned, was a miller’s daughter of only eighteen, who had contracted herself unto the son of a small corn-factor, resident in the nearest market town.
…on her bonnet, made her way, with great precipitation, to her friend’s house, and, upon a solemn renewal of divers old vows of secrecy, revealed how that she was—not exactly engaged, but going to be—to a gentleman’s son—(none of your corn-factors, but a gentleman’s son of high descent)—who had come down as teacher to Dotheboys Hall, under most mysterious and remarkable circumstances—indeed, as Miss Squeers more than once hinted she had good reason to believe, induced, by the fame of…
…confide the mighty secret to the bosom of the other, before communicating it to any living soul, and bespeak her as bridesmaid without loss of time; in fulfilment of which pledge the miller’s daughter, when her engagement was formed, came out express, at eleven o’clock at night as the corn-factor’s son made an offer of his hand and heart at twenty-five minutes past ten by the Dutch clock in the kitchen, and rushed into Miss Squeers’s bedroom with the gratifying intelligence.
Miss Squeers, having slight misgivings on the subject, was by no means ill pleased to be confirmed by a competent authority; and discovering, on further conversation and comparison of notes, a great many points of resemblance between the behaviour of Nicholas, and that of the corn-factor, grew so exceedingly confidential, that she intrusted her friend with a vast number of things Nicholas had NOT said, which were all so very complimentary as to be quite conclusive.
…first, a desire to punish her friend for laying claim to a rivalship in dignity, having no good title: secondly, the gratification of her own vanity, in receiving the compliments of a smart young man: and thirdly, a wish to convince the corn-factor of the great danger he ran, in deferring the celebration of their expected nuptials; while Nicholas had brought it about, by half an hour’s gaiety and thoughtlessness, and a very sincere desire to avoid the imputation of inclining at all to…