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‘There is only one phenomenon, sir,’ replied Mr Crummles
impressively, ‘and that’s a girl.’

‘Very true,’ said Nicholas. ‘I beg your pardon. Then I don’t
know what it is, I am sure.’

‘What should you say to a young lady from London?’ inquired
Mr Crummles. ‘Miss So-and-so, of the Theatre Royal, Drury

‘I should say she would look very well in the bills,’ said

‘You’re about right there,’ said Mr Crummles; ‘and if you had
said she would look very well upon the stage too, you wouldn’t
have been far out. Look here; what do you think of this?’

With this inquiry Mr Crummles unfolded a red poster, and a
blue poster, and a yellow poster, at the top of each of which public
notification was inscribed in enormous characters--‘First
appearance of the unrivalled Miss Petowker of the Theatre Royal,
Drury Lane!’

‘Dear me!’ said Nicholas, ‘I know that lady.’
‘Then you are acquainted with as much talent as was ever
compressed into one young person’s body,’ retorted Mr
Crummles, rolling up the bills again; ‘that is, talent of a certain
sort--of a certain sort. “The Blood Drinker,”’ added Mr Crummles
with a prophetic sigh, ‘“The Blood Drinker” will die with that girl;
and she’s the only sylph I ever saw, who could stand upon one leg,
and play the tambourine on her other knee, like a sylph.’

‘When does she come down?’ asked Nicholas.
‘We expect her today,’ replied Mr Crummles. ‘She is an old
friend of Mrs Crummles’s. Mrs Crummles saw what she could
do--always knew it from the first. She taught her, indeed, nearly

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