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Chapter 24

Of the Great Bespeak for Miss Snevellicci, and the
first Appearance of Nicholas upon any Stage.

Nicholas was up betimes in the morning; but he had
scarcely begun to dress, notwithstanding, when he heard
footsteps ascending the stairs, and was presently saluted
by the voices of Mr Folair the pantomimist, and Mr Lenville, the

‘House, house, house!’ cried Mr Folair.
‘What, ho! within there” said Mr Lenville, in a deep voice.
‘Confound these fellows!’ thought Nicholas; ‘they have come to
breakfast, I suppose. I’ll open the door directly, if you’ll wait an

The gentlemen entreated him not to hurry himself; and, to
beguile the interval, had a fencing bout with their walking-sticks
on the very small landing-place: to the unspeakable discomposure
of all the other lodgers downstairs.

‘Here, come in,’ said Nicholas, when he had completed his
toilet. ‘In the name of all that’s horrible, don’t make that noise

‘An uncommon snug little box this,’ said Mr Lenville, stepping
into the front room, and taking his hat off, before he could get in at
all. ‘Pernicious snug.’

‘For a man at all particular in such matters, it might be a trifle
too snug,’ said Nicholas; ‘for, although it is, undoubtedly, a great
convenience to be able to reach anything you want from the

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