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MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GKIMALDI.                          37

that it was no longer necessary, it still continued. Mr. Hughes,
who had now become principal proprietor of the theatre, and
who lived in the hoxise attached to it, had several children, the
eldest of whom was Miss Maria Hughes, a young lady of con-
siderable accomplishments, who had always been much attached
to Grrimaldi's mother, and who embraced every opportunity of
being in her society. Knowing the hours at which she was in
the dressing-room during the day, Miss Hughes was in the
habit of taking her work, and sitting with her from three or
four o'clock until six, when the other female performers begin-
ning to arrive, she retired. Grrimaldi was generally at the
theatre between four and five, always taking tea with his mother
at the last-named hour, and sitting with her until the arrival of
the ladies broke up the little party. In this way an intimacy
arose between Miss Hughes and himself, which ultimately
ripened into feelings of a warmer nature.

The day after he made his great hit in the new piece, he went
as usual to tea in the dressing-room, where Mrs. Lewis, their
lodger, who was the wardrobe-keeper of the theatre, happening
to be present, overwhelmed Trim with compliments on his great
success. Miss Hughes was there too, but she said nothing for a
long time, and Grrimaldi, who would rather have heard her
speak for a minute than Mrs. Lewis for an hour, listened as
patiently as he could to the encomiums which the good woman
lavished upon him. At length she stopped, as the best talkers
must now and then, to take breath, and then Miss Hughes,
looking up, said, with some hesitation, that she thought Mr.
Grrimaldi had played the part uncommonly well; so well that
she was certain there was no one who could have done it at all
like him.

JSTow, before he went into the room, he had turned the matter
over in his mind, and had come to the conclusion that if Miss
Hughes praised his acting he would reply by some neatly turned
compliment to her, which might afford some hint of the state ofater variety than any other