Very well, ma'am,' said Ralph, turning to the door, for these encomiums on poverty irritated him; 'I have done my duty, and perhaps more than I ought: of course nobody will thank me for saying what I have.
Good-morning, ma'am,' said Ralph, shutting the door abruptly after him to prevent any further conversation.
Climbing up another perpendicular flight, composed with great mechanical ingenuity of nothing but corner stairs, Mr Ralph Nickleby stopped to take breath on the landing, when he was overtaken by the handmaid, whom the politeness of Miss La Creevy had dispatched to announce him, and who had apparently been making a variety of unsuccessful attempts, since their last interview, to wipe her dirty face clean, upon an apron much dirtier.
A lady in deep mourning rose as Mr Ralph Nickleby entered, but appeared incapable of advancing to meet him, and leant upon the arm of a slight but very beautiful girl of about seventeen, who had been sitting by her.
Oh,' growled Ralph, with an ill-favoured frown, 'you are Nicholas, I suppose?
It was no UNcommon loss, ma'am,' returned Ralph, as he coolly unbuttoned his spencer.
inquired Ralph, wheeling back his chair, and surveying his nephew from head to foot with intense scorn.
It galled Ralph to the heart's core, and he hated Nicholas from that hour.
The mutual inspection was at length brought to a close by Ralph withdrawing his eyes, with a great show of disdain, and calling Nicholas 'a boy.
Ralph observed, with an amusement that had a tinge of irony in it, that she was now going to sidle away quickly from this dangerous approach to intimacy on to topics of general and family interest.
For some minutes after she had gone Ralph lay quiescent, resting his head on his hand, but gradually his eyes filled with thought, and the line reappeared on his brow, as the pleasant impression of companionship and ancient sympathy waned, and he was left to think on alone.
When midnight struck, Ralph shut his book, and with a candle in his hand, descended to the ground floor, to ascertain that all lights were extinct and all doors locked.
Granet's face was expressionless, the girls were bewildered, Ralph was frowning.
That sounds all right, Ralph," Thomson agreed, "but you're departing from a principle, and I wouldn't do it.
I am sorry," Thomson said, "but I think, Ralph, you had better do what Captain Granet suggested.