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out of curl with the heat and anxiety; even Mr Crummles himself
kept peeping through the hole in the curtain, and running back,
every now and then, to announce that another man had come into
the pit.

At last, the orchestra left off, and the curtain rose upon the new
piece. The first scene, in which there was nobody particular,
passed off calmly enough, but when Miss Snevellicci went on in
the second, accompanied by the phenomenon as child, what a roar
of applause broke out! The people in the Borum box rose as one
man, waving their hats and handkerchiefs, and uttering shouts of
‘Bravo!’ Mrs Borum and the governess cast wreaths upon the
stage, of which, some fluttered into the lamps, and one crowned
the temples of a fat gentleman in the pit, who, looking eagerly
towards the scene, remained unconscious of the honour; the tailor
and his family kicked at the panels of the upper boxes till they
threatened to come out altogether; the very ginger-beer boy
remained transfixed in the centre of the house; a young officer,
supposed to entertain a passion for Miss Snevellicci, stuck his
glass in his eye as though to hide a tear. Again and again Miss
Snevellicci curtseyed lower and lower, and again and again the
applause came down, louder and louder. At length, when the
phenomenon picked up one of the smoking wreaths and put it on,
sideways, over Miss Snevellicci’s eye, it reached its climax, and the
play proceeded.

But when Nicholas came on for his crack scene with Mrs
Crummles, what a clapping of hands there was! When Mrs
Crummles (who was his unworthy mother), sneered, and called
him ‘presumptuous boy,’ and he defied her, what a tumult of
applause came on! When he quarrelled with the other gentleman

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