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Summary Chapter 24


The next morning, Mr. Folair and Mr. Lenville visit Nicholas. They are hoping to sweet talk him into giving them choice parts in the new play he is translating.

Nicholas tells them the plot. A man abandons his wife and child. He murders his son. In remorse, he plans to commit suicide. However, he is reminded of a childhood memory, which causes him to repent and become a better man.

Mr. Folair is not very happy about having another part where he is paired with the young Miss Crummles. He wants Nicholas to add a dance to it. Nicholas doesn’t see how, but Folair proposes a way. He is playing a servant that is with the abandoned wife and child. Heartbroken, the wife is on her deathbed. To console her, the servant does a dance they did in happier times.

When Nicholas returns to the theater, he finds everyone transformed for the play. He watches the play from behind the curtains. He admires the ability of Miss Snevellicci. Mrs. Crummles wants Nicholas to ready the play he is translating for Miss Snevellicci’s bespeak night.

They arrange for Nicholas to call on the actress the next day, which he is at first reluctant to do. He is persuaded, despite his objections.

While he is waiting for her the next day, he looks at her scrapbook. Miss Snevellicci tells Nicholas she had been caring for her friend, who had fallen ill. She is embarrassed that the friend left her scrapbook out for Nicholas to see.

They take a walk with the manager’s daughter, whose ill-fitting clothes need constant adjusting. They visit a Mr. and Mrs. Curdle, who are respected as people who are knowledgeable of fine art. Mrs. Snevellicci is hoping they’ll sponsor her bespeak. The couple lament how drama has died in the theater. The actress tells them about the new play, which she credits Nicholas for writing.

They ask Nicholas if the play has the unities, but Nicholas doesn’t know what those are. Mr. Curdle explains it is when all the elements come together. Even though they think the stage has been degraded, they decide to support the bespeak. However, they come up short in the payment. Mrs. Snevellicci is glad they paid most of it.

They visit a family who has six children who are regulars to the theater. They supposedly admire the young Miss Crummles. The children show this in annoying ways, such as poking her in the eye. Mrs. Borum compliments Miss Snevellicci while chiding her children to stop tormenting the young Miss Crummles.

Nicholas and Miss Snevellicci visit other people, all with different tastes and opinions. Some refuse to go to the bespeak if certain other people are not going. Nicholas, Miss Snevellicci, and Miss Crummles come home exhausted.

Nicholas works hard to finish the piece. The crier is sent out once it is done to advertise. That night, they attract a good amount of people to the play. All the actors are particularly excited and nervous. Miss Snevellicci receives an ovation when she appears on stage.

Nicholas also has a part in the play. He gets his share of applause and becomes an overnight success. 

Charles Dickens