Student or Learner
Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?
With those words the passenger opened the coach-door and got in; not at all assisted by his fellow-passengers, who had expeditiously secreted their watches and purses in their boots, and were now making a general pretence of being asleep. (Ch. Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”)
She made pretence of reading the newspaper.
make a pretence of = pretend to be
He made no pretence of being objective.
He makes no pretence to profound knowledge
make pretence of/ to = claim
He saw through the pretence that lower taxes would cause unemployment.
see through pretence = to be undeceived by a pretence (see unsupported claim)
There was pretence at hand to justify the most violent proceedings.
And to think that there are Cubans–Cubans who serve these interests under a boastful pretense of patriotism!”
pretence = pretext, excuse
I would use make a pretence if I had to, but prefer the verb.