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lengths your jealousy carries you another time; and be careful,
also, before you venture too far, to ascertain your rival’s temper.’
With this parting advice Nicholas picked up Mr Lenville’s ash
stick which had flown out of his hand, and breaking it in half,
threw him the pieces and withdrew, bowing slightly to the
spectators as he walked out.

The profoundest deference was paid to Nicholas that night, and
the people who had been most anxious to have his nose pulled in
the morning, embraced occasions of taking him aside, and telling
him with great feeling, how very friendly they took it that he
should have treated that Lenville so properly, who was a most
unbearable fellow, and on whom they had all, by a remarkable
coincidence, at one time or other contemplated the infliction of
condign punishment, which they had only been restrained from
administering by considerations of mercy; indeed, to judge from
the invariable termination of all these stories, there never was
such a charitable and kind-hearted set of people as the male
members of Mr Crummles’s company.

Nicholas bore his triumph, as he had his success in the little
world of the theatre, with the utmost moderation and good
humour. The crestfallen Mr Lenville made an expiring effort to
obtain revenge by sending a boy into the gallery to hiss, but he fell
a sacrifice to popular indignation, and was promptly turned out
without having his money back.

‘Well, Smike,’ said Nicholas when the first piece was over, and
he had almost finished dressing to go home, ‘is there any letter

‘Yes,’ replied Smike, ‘I got this one from the post-office.’
‘From Newman Noggs,’ said Nicholas, casting his eye upon the

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