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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

10

the part of clown at Drury Lane. He immediately became a
member of the regular company at this theatre, as he had clone
at the other; and here he remained (one season only excepted)
until the termination of his professional life, forty-nine years
afterwards.

2?ow that he had made, o* rather that his father had made
for him, two engagements,, by whieh he was bound to appear at
two theatres on the same evening, and at very nearly the same
time, his labours began in earnest. They would have been,
arduous for a man,, much more so for a child; and it will be
obvious, that if at any one portion of his life his gains were very
great, the actual toil both of mind and body by which they were
purchased was at least equally so. The stage-stricken young
gentlemen who hang about Sadler's Wells, and Astleys, and the
Surrey, and private theatres of aE kinds,., and who long to
embrace the theatrical profession because it is " so easy," little
dream of all the anxieties and hardships,, and privations and
sorrows, whieh make the sum of most actors' lives.

"We have already remarked that: ihe father of (Mmaldi was
aaeeeentriaman; he appears to have been peculiarly eccentric,
and rather unpleasantly so,.in the correction of- his son. The
eMH.being bred up to play all kinds of fantastic tricks, was as
much a down»-a monkey, or -anything else that .was droll and
ridienlousj off the stage, as on it; and being incited thereto by
the occupants of the-green-room, used to skip, and tumble about
as much for their diversion as that of the public. All this was
caarfully concealed.from the father, who, whenever he did
happen te observe any of the child's pranks,- always admi-
nistered flie.saiae punishment—a sound thrashing;; terminating
in Ms being lifted up by the hair of the-, head,, and stuck in a
comer, whence Ms father, with a severe countenance and awful
Toiee,,would tell him " to venture to- move at Ms peril."

Venture to- move, however,, he- did, for no sooner would the
father disappear, than aH the cries and tears of the boy wouldHermione, Miss Farren; was performed,