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should there by any fuss about this Magdalen?’

‘Her husband is much older; he is not her own choice; his
character is the very reverse of that which you have just described.
Don’t you see a broad distinction between the two cases?’ said

To this, Mrs Nickleby only replied that she durst say she was
very stupid, indeed she had no doubt she was, for her own
children almost as much as told her so, every day of her life; to be
sure she was a little older than they, and perhaps some foolish
people might think she ought reasonably to know best. However,
no doubt she was wrong; of course she was; she always was, she
couldn’t be right, she couldn’t be expected to be; so she had better
not expose herself any more; and to all Kate’s conciliations and
concessions for an hour ensuing, the good lady gave no other
replies than Oh, certainly, why did they ask her?, her opinion was
of no consequence, it didn’t matter what she said, with many other
rejoinders of the same class.

In this frame of mind (expressed, when she had become too
resigned for speech, by nods of 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 son had adopted: frequently declaring, with
an expressive look, that it was very fortunate things were AS they
were: and hinting, that but for great encouragement and wisdom

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