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plots of the six new pieces which he had written by contract to
introduce the African Knife-swallower in his various unrivalled
performances. This speedily engaged him in an animated
conversation with that lady, in the interest of which, all
recollection of his recent discussion with Nicholas very quickly

The board being now clear of the more substantial articles of
food, and punch, wine, and spirits being placed upon it and
handed about, the guests, who had been previously conversing in
little groups of three or four, gradually fell off into a dead silence,
while the majority of those present glanced from time to time at
Mr Snittle Timberry, and the bolder spirits did not even hesitate
to strike the table with their knuckles, and plainly intimate their
expectations, by uttering such encouragements as ‘Now, Tim,’
‘Wake up, Mr Chairman,’ ‘All charged, sir, and waiting for a toast,’
and so forth.

To these remonstrances Mr Timberry deigned no other
rejoinder than striking his chest and gasping for breath, and
giving many other indications of being still the victim of
indisposition--for a man must not make himself too cheap either
on the stage or off--while Mr Crummles, who knew full well that
he would be the subject of the forthcoming toast, sat gracefully in
his chair with his arm thrown carelessly over the back, and now
and then lifted his glass to his mouth and drank a little punch,
with the same air with which he was accustomed to take long
draughts of nothing, out of the pasteboard goblets in banquet

At length Mr Snittle Timberry rose in the most approved
attitude, with one hand in the breast of his waistcoat and the other

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