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Summary Chapter 29


Mr. Crummles extends his stay in Portsmouth due to the popularity of his shows. Nicholas portrays many characters with success, drawing an audience that has never been to the theater before. The manager holds a benefit for Nicholas, who earns twenty pounds.

Nicholas repays John Browdie, expressing his gratitude and well wishes for his matriomonial bliss. He sends half of his earning to Noggs, with the instructions to give it to Kate along with his love. He doesn’t tell how he is earning the money. He asks for details about how his mother and sister are faring.

Smike notices Nicholas is sad. Nicholas tells him he is thinking about his sister. He tells Smike that his uncle is his enemy, and he has done him wrong. This has caused him to be separated from his loved ones.

Mr. Folair enters, more dressed up than usual. He delivers a letter to Nicholas. Mr. Lenville has asked Nicholas to come to the theater the next night for a nose pulling ceremony, which will be done in front of witnesses.

Nicholas is angry. Mr. Folair says he brought it as a joke, though Lenville was in earnest. Folair explains that Nicholas has usurped Mr. Lenville. He was hoping to lay Nicholas up for a while so he could resume his place. However, this insult would have gotten him publicity.

The next morning, Nicholas comes to the theater. The women support him, and the men support Lenville. Nicholas knocks Mr. Lenville down when he tries to pull his nose. Nicholas orders him to apologize. Lenville refuses at first, but then he is persuaded by his wife. Nicholas cautions Lenville on his jealousy, particularly since Nicholas has a temper.

The attitudes of the people change towards Nicholas. His adversaries become his friends. Mr. Lenville hires a boy to hiss at Nicholas while he is on stage, but the audience has the boy thrown out of the theater.

Nicholas gets a letter from Noggs, who sends back the money. He tells Nicholas that he may need it. Kate may need his protection. He promises to keep him updated. Nicholas tells Mrs. Crummles that he may have to leave them soon. 

Charles Dickens