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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

CHAPTER.                        vu

jest could equal the effects of the Baron's indignation and sur-
prise, when the Clown, unexpectedly peeping from behind the
curtain, requested the audience "not to believe it, for it was all
gammon!" Who but a Clown could have called forth the roar
of laughter that succeeded; and what witchery but a Clown's
could have caused the junior usher himself to declare aloud, as
he shook his sides and smote his knee in a moment of irrepres-
sible joy, that that was the very best thing he had ever heard
said!

We have lost that clown now;—he Is still alive, though, for
we saw him only the day before last Bartholomew Pair, eating
a real saveloy, and we axe sorry to say he had deserted to the
illegitimate drama, for he was seated on one of " Clark's Circus"
'waggons:—we have lost that Clown and that, pantomime, but
our relish for the entertainment still remains unimpaired. Each
successive Boxing-day finds us in the same state of high excite-
ment and expectation. On that eventful day, when new panto-
mimes are played for the first time at the two great theatres,
and at twenty or thirty of the little ones, we still gloat as
formerly upon the biHs which set forth tempting descriptions of
the scenery in staring red and black letters, and still fall down
upon our knees, with other men and boys, upon the pavement
by shop-doors, to read them down to the very last line, Nay,,
we still peruse with all eagerness and avidity the exclusive
accounts of the coming wonders in the theatrical newspapers of
the Sunday before, and still believe them as devoutly as we did
before twenty years' experience had shown us that they are
always wrong.

With these feelings upon the subject of pantomimes, it is no
matter of surprise that when we first heard that Crrimaldi had
left some memoirs of his life behind him, we were in a perfect
fever until we had perused the manuscript. It was no sooner
placed in our hands by " the adventurous and spirited pub-
lisher,"—(if our recollection serve us, this is the customary stylend the per-