Nicholas is depressed as he returns to the office. His pleasant dreams of Madeline have been dashed. He had been attracted to her beauty before. However, her noble nature and difficult life have increased his admiration of her. However, his duty forbids him to act on it.
Reading a playbill, he sees an announcement for the last performance of Vincent Crummles and his family. Nicholas calls on him.
Mr. Crummles tells him that it is truly their last performance and not a ploy to draw in audiences. Due to Mrs. Crummles’ pregnancy, they have decided to go to America. He hopes the child will be gifted in tragedy—which is popular in America. They have already got an engagement over there. They hope to settle down and buy some land.
Mr. Crummles catches Nicholas up on the gossip. Miss Snevellicci married a wax chandler that used to supply their theater. Mrs. Lillyvick is a tyrannical wife. Nicholas tells Mr. Crummles his true name and the circumstances that had happened prior to his first meeting with him.
Mr. Crummles invites him to dinner. Mrs. Crummles is delighted to see Nicholas and asks after Smike. Nicholas reveals that Smike is not well with the constant harassment his uncle is giving them—and then he catches himself, apologizing for burdening them with his personal problems.
Nicholas gives the family presents and bids them goodbye.