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‘And two pound of that was trust, pa,’ said the phenomenon.
‘And two pound of that was trust,’ repeated Mr Crummles. ‘Mrs
Crummles herself has played to mere handfuls.’

‘But they are always a taking audience, Vincent,’ said the
manager’s wife.

‘Most audiences are, when they have good acting--real good
acting--the regular thing,’ replied Mr Crummles, forcibly.

‘Do you give lessons, ma’am?’ inquired Nicholas.
‘I do,’ said Mrs Crummles.

‘There is no teaching here, I suppose?’
‘There has been,’ said Mrs Crummles. ‘I have received pupils
here. I imparted tuition to the daughter of a dealer in ships’
provision; but it afterwards appeared that she was insane when
she first came to me. It was very extraordinary that she should
come, under such circumstances.’

Not feeling quite so sure of that, Nicholas thought it best to hold
his peace.

‘Let me see,’ said the manager cogitating after dinner. ‘Would
you like some nice little part with the infant?’

‘You are very good,’ replied Nicholas hastily; ‘but I think
perhaps it would be better if I had somebody of my own size at
first, in case I should turn out awkward. I should feel more at
home, perhaps.’

‘True,’ said the manager. ‘Perhaps you would. And you could
play up to the infant, in time, you know.’

‘Certainly,’ replied Nicholas: devoutly hoping that it would be a
very long time before he was honoured with this distinction.

‘Then I’ll tell you what we’ll do,’ said Mr Crummles. ‘You shall
study Romeo when you’ve done that piece--don’t forget to throw

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