Now, between the italian-ironing of frills, the flouncing of trousers, the trimming of frocks, the faintings and the comings-to again, incidental to the occasion, Mrs Kenwigs had been so entirely occupied, that she had not observed, until within half an hour before, that the flaxen tails of Miss Morleena's hair were, in a manner, run to seed; and that, unless she were put under the hands of a skilful hairdresser, she never could achieve that signal triumph over the daughters of all other people, anything less than which would be tantamount to defeat.
Of these light-blue tickets, one had been presented by an ambitious neighbour to Miss Morleena Kenwigs, with an invitation to join her daughters; and Mrs Kenwigs, rightly deeming that the honour of the family was involved in Miss Morleena's making the most splendid appearance possible on so short a notice, and testifying to the dancing-master that there were other dancing-masters besides him, and to all fathers and mothers present that other people's children could learn to be genteel besides theirs, had fainted away twice under the magnitude of her preparations, but, upheld by a determination to sustain the family name or perish in the attempt, was still hard at work when Newman Noggs came home.
The cutting and curling being at last concluded, the old gentleman, who had been finished some time, and simply waiting, rose to go also, and walked out of the establishment with Miss Morleena and her escort, proceeding with them, in profound silence until they had nearly reached Miss Morleena's home, when he asked if her family had been very much overpowered by the news of his marriage.
Newman, who in power of taciturnity was excelled by few people, made no attempt to break silence; and so they went on, until they had very nearly reached Miss Morleena's home, when Mr Lillyvick said: 'Were the Kenwigses very much overpowered, Mr Noggs, by that news? 'What news? returned Newman. 'That about my being 'Married? suggested Newman.
Hearing his name pronounced, Mr. Lillyvick groaned, then coughed to hide it, and consigning himself to the hands of an assistant, commenced a colloquy with Miss Morleena's escort, rather striving to escape the notice of Miss Morleena herself, and so remarkable did this behavior seem to her, that at the imminent hazard of having her ear sliced off, she could not forbear looking round at him some score of times.