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with combats and hornpipes, and so stick to the legitimate drama.

For the purpose of carrying this object into instant execution,
the manager at once repaired to a small dressing-room, adjacent,
where Mrs Crummles was then occupied in exchanging the
habiliments of a melodramatic empress for the ordinary attire of
matrons in the nineteenth century. And with the assistance of this
lady, and the accomplished Mrs Grudden (who had quite a genius
for making out bills, being a great hand at throwing in the notes of
admiration, and knowing from long experience exactly where the
largest capitals ought to go), he seriously applied himself to the
composition of the poster.

‘Heigho!’ sighed Nicholas, as he threw himself back in the
prompter’s chair, after telegraphing the needful directions to
Smike, who had been playing a meagre tailor in the interlude,
with one skirt to his coat, and a little pocket-handkerchief with a
large hole in it, and a woollen nightcap, and a red nose, and other
distinctive marks peculiar to tailors on the stage. ‘Heigho! I wish
all this were over.’

‘Over, Mr Johnson!’ repeated a female voice behind him, in a
kind of plaintive surprise.

‘It was an ungallant speech, certainly,’ said Nicholas, looking up
to see who the speaker was, and recognising Miss Snevellicci. ‘I
would not have made it if I had known you had been within

‘What a dear that Mr Digby is!’ said Miss Snevellicci, as the
tailor went off on the opposite side, at the end of the piece, with
great applause. (Smike’s theatrical name was Digby.)

‘I’ll tell him presently, for his gratification, that you said so,’
returned Nicholas.

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