Skip to main content

Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

See other formats


lie was sent for that period of the year to a boarding-school at
Putney, kept by a Mr. Ford, of whose kindness and goodness of
heart to him on a later occasion of his life, he spoke, when an
old man, -with the deepest gratitude. He fell in here with
many schoolfellows who afterwards became connected one way
or another with dramatic pursuits, among whom was Mr. Henry
Harris, of Covent Garden Theatre. We do not find that any
of these schoolfellows afterwards became pantomime actors; •
but recollecting the humour and yiyacity of the boy, the wonder
to us is. that they were not all clowns when they grew up.

In the Christmas of 1782, he appeared in his second character*"
at Drury Lane, called "Harlequin Junior; or, the Magic Cestus,"
in which he represented a demon, sent by some opposing magi-
cian to counteract the power of the harlequin. In this, as in his
preceding part, he was fortunate enough to meet with great
applause; and from this period his reputation was made,
although it naturally increased with his years, strength, and

In the following Easterf he repeated the monkey at Sadler's

* The pantomime of "Harlequin. Junior; or, the Magic Oeatua," was par-
fljmed for the first time, on Wednesday, January 7,1784, not Christmas, 1782 ;
and was highly successful, from the excellence of the characters, the Ibeautiful
seeaery, and the new deceptions—Grimaldi, as Clown, obtruding into a hot-
hffltts*, became suddenly transformed into a fine large water-melon; in another
teeae, changed into a goose, Ms affected airs in displaying Ms tail in the peacock
sfjfe, set the house in roars of laughter. The change of the Bank of Paris into an
aWMlbon, was a trick that obtained a full plaudit. So great, in fact, was the
sttaetkm, it was not only frequently performed during the remainder of the
s«m, 1783-4, but also in that of 1784-5, being revived on September 28,1784
a«i repeated in Heuof a new pantomime, on December 27, in that year, and it
MB its Ml complement of representations as a new piece.

t We donot find that at Easter, 1784, any piece was withdrawn in which a
Wfflkey waa Mkely to be introduced. The Sieur Scaglkmi's troop of Dancing
Bags, and their sagacious manoeuvres, made up speedily for the losses of the
•ptemm. season. The pantomime was entitled " The Enchanted Wood • or
Hwtepfc'sYagaries;" a dance called the "Moassee;" and the whole concluded
iwth ttfi "Death and Bevival of Harlequin," wMch "ran" the whole of the
season.I