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Chapter 23

Treats of the Company of Mr Vincent Crummles,
and of his Affairs, Domestic and Theatrical.

As Mr Crummles had a strange four-legged animal in the
inn stables, which he called a pony, and a vehicle of
unknown design, on which he bestowed the appellation of
a four-wheeled phaeton, Nicholas proceeded on his journey next
morning with greater ease than he had expected: the manager and
himself occupying the front seat: and the Master Crummleses and
Smike being packed together behind, in company with a wicker
basket defended from wet by a stout oilskin, in which were the
broad-swords, pistols, pigtails, nautical costumes, and other
professional necessaries of the aforesaid young gentlemen.

The pony took his time upon the road, and--possibly in
consequence of his theatrical education--evinced, every now and
then, a strong inclination to lie down. However, Mr Vincent
Crummles kept him up pretty well, by jerking the rein, and plying
the whip; and when these means failed, and the animal came to a
stand, the elder Master Crummles got out and kicked him. By dint
of these encouragements, he was persuaded to move from time to
time, and they jogged on (as Mr Crummles truly observed) very
comfortably for all parties.

Hes a good pony at bottom, said Mr Crummles, turning to

He might have been at bottom, but he certainly was not at top,
seeing that his coat was of the roughest and most ill-favoured kind.

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