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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

26                         MEMOIRS OP JOSEPH GEIMALDI.     >

a similar engagement at Sadler's Wells, which was, in fact,
equivalent to a double salary, both theatres being open together
for a considerable period of the year.

At Sadler's Wells, where Joseph appeared as usual in 1788,*
shortly after his father's death, they were not so liberal, nor was
the aspect of things so pleasing, his salary of fifteen, shillings
a-week being very unceremoniously cut down to three, and his
mother being politely informed, upon, her remonstrating, that if
the alteration did not suit her, he was at perfect liberty to
transfer Ms valuable services to any other house. Small as the
pittance was, they could not afford to refuse it; and at that
salary he remained at Sadler's Wells for three years, occasionally
superintending the property-room, sometimes assisting in the
carpenter's, and sometimes in the painter's, and, in fact, lending
a hand wherever it was most needed.

When the defalcation of the executor took place, the family

* The season of 1788, at Sadler's Wells, was one of no common, interest. On
Whitstm Monday, May 12, in a musical piece, entitled "Saint Monday ; or, a
Cure for a Scold," Mr. Braham, then. Master Abrahams, made his first appear-
ance. He is named in the bills of August 18, but appears soon after to have left
Sadler's Wells, and on the 30th of the same month had a benefit at the 'Eoyalty
Theatre, Well-street, near Goodman's-fields, as " Master Braham," when the
celebrated tenor singer, Leoni, his master, announced that as the last time of Ins
performing on the stage. Miss Shields, who appeared at Sadler's Wells in the
same piece on Whitsun Monday, became towards the end of May, Mrs. Lefller.
Two Erenehmea, named Duranie and Bois-Maison, as pantomimists, eclipsed all
their predecessors on that stage. Boyce, a distinguished engraver, was the
Barfeqrim, and by those who remember him, he is eulogised as the most finished
actor of &e motley hero, either in his own day, or since. On the benefit night
of Joseph Dortor, Clown to the rope, and Eieher, the rope dancer, Miss Kichor
made her first appearance on two slack wires, passing through a hoop, with a
pyramid of glasses on her head; and Master Eicher performed on the tight rope,
with a skipping rope. Joseph Dortor, among other almost incredible feats,
drank a glass of wine backwards from the stage-floor, beating a drum at the
same time. Lawrence, the father of Joe's friend, Kichard Lawrence, threw a
smamersetover twelve men's heads, and Paul Bedige', "The little Devil," oa
Odwberl, threw a summerset over two men. on horseback, the riders having
each a hghted candle on his head. Dubois, as Clown to the Pantomime, had no
superior in Ms time; and the troop of Toltigeurs were pre-eminent for their
agility, skiD, and daring.ice so