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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

g                           MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GEIMA1DL

which announcement appeared in large characters in front of
Ms house, in Little Kussell-street.* The idea was perfectly
successful; tut whether from the humour of the description,
or because the rioters did not happen to go down that particular
street, we are unable to determine.

On the 18th of December, 1779, the year in which Garrick
died, Joseph Grimaldi, " Old Joe," was born, in Stanhope-street, t
Clare-market; a part of the town then as now, much frequented
by theatrical people, in consequence of its -vicinity to the
theatres. At the period of his birth, his eccentric father was
sixty-five years old, and twenty-fire months afterwards another
son was born to himóJoseph's only brother.

The child did not remain very long in a state of helpless and
ttnprofitable infancy, for at the age of one year and eleven
months he was brought out by his father on the boards of Old

* Henry Angelo, in his Eeminiacences, gives a different version of this story.
"Thefather of Grimaldi, for many years the favourite clown, was my dancing-
master when I was a boy, and encouraged my harlequin and monkey tricks; he re-
lated the anecdote to me, himself, andl am therefore juatifiedinrepeating it. At
the time of the riots, in June, 1780, he resided in a front room, on the second
floor in Holborn, on the same side of the way near to Bed Lion Square, when,
the mob passing by the house, and Grimaldf being a foreigner, they thought he
mnat be a papist. On hearing b.e lived there, they all stopped, and there was a
.general shouting ; a cry of 'No Popery!' was raised, and they were about to
assail the house, when Grimaldi, who had been listening all the time, and knew
their motives, put his head out of the window from the second floor, and making
eoaaeal grimaces, called out,' Genteelmen, in dis hose dere be no religion at all.*
Laaghiag at their mistake, the mob proceeded on, first giving him three huzzas,
Uwugh his house, unlike all the others, had not written on the dooró' No
Papery?"

^ Jo%, from some erroneous information he had received, always stated he was
bom in Stanhope-street, Clare-market, December 18,1779; he mentioned this
fa Urn fiBrewel address at Sadler's Wells, and again subscribed that date at the
eod of Ms autobiographical notes. He was in error: a reference to the baptismal
register of St. dement*a Danes, proved he was bom on December 18,1778, and
tiĽt he was baptized as the son of Joseph and Bebeeoa, on the 28th of the
wmsi month and year. Irom this entry, it might be inferred that Joe was
tegifeotie; but we are sorry to be compelled to record that he wag not so.
Itebeeea was Sirs. Brooker, who had been from her infancy a dancer at Drury
Ixuift, and subsequently, at Sadler's Wells, played old women, or anything to
leader herself generally useful. Mr. Hughes and others who well rememberr, were not