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once again before I die!”--There it is--cue for the band, before I
die,--and off they go. that’s the regular thing; isn’t it, tommy?’

‘That’s it,’ replied Mr Folair. ‘The distressed lady, overpowered
by old recollections, faints at the end of the dance, and you close in
with a picture.’

Profiting by these and other lessons, which were the result of
the personal experience of the two actors, Nicholas willingly gave
them the best breakfast he could, and, when he at length got rid of
them, applied himself to his task: by no means displeased to find
that it was so much easier than he had at first supposed. He
worked very hard all day, and did not leave his room until the
evening, when he went down to the theatre, whither Smike had
repaired before him to go on with another gentleman as a general

Here all the people were so much changed, that he scarcely
knew them. False hair, false colour, false calves, false muscles--
they had become different beings. Mr Lenville was a blooming
warrior of most exquisite proportions; Mr Crummles, his large
face shaded by a profusion of black hair, a Highland outlaw of
most majestic bearing; one of the old gentlemen a jailer, and the
other a venerable patriarch; the comic countryman, a fighting-
man of great valour, relieved by a touch of humour; each of the
Master Crummleses a prince in his own right; and the low-spirited
lover, a desponding captive. There was a gorgeous banquet ready
spread for the third act, consisting of two pasteboard vases, one
plate of biscuits, a black bottle, and a vinegar cruet; and, in short,
everything was on a scale of the utmost splendour and

Nicholas was standing with his back to the curtain, now

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