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42                         MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GEIMA1DI.

"Dear me, Joe!" exclaimed the old lady, " how wretched you
do look! Why, what is the matter ?"

He tried an excuse or two, but reposing great trust in the
sagacity and sincerity of his questioner, and sadly wanting a
confidante, he first solemnly hound her to secrecy, and then told
his tale. Mrs. Lewis at once took upon herself the office of a
go-between; undertook to sound Miss Hughes without delay;
and counselled Grimaldi to prepare a letter containing a full
statement of his feelings, which, if the conversation between
herself and Miss Hughes on that very evening were propitious,
should be delivered on the following.

Accordingly, he devoted all his leisure time that day to the
composition of various epistles, and the spoiling of many sheets
of paper, with the view to setting down his feelings in the very
best and appropriate terms he could possibly employ. One com-
plete letter was finished at last, although even that was not half
powerful enough; and going to the theatre, and carefully avoid-
ing the old dressing-room, he went through his part with
greater želat than before. Having hastily changed his dress, he
hurried to Mrs. Lewis's room, where that good lady at once
detailed all the circumstances that had occurred since the morn-
ing, which she thought conclusive, but which the lover feared
were not.

It seems that Mrs. Lewis had embraced the first opportunity
of being left alone with Miss Hughes to return to the old sub-
ject of Joe's looking very ill; to which Miss Hughes replied,
that he certainly did, and said it, too, according to the matxired
opinion of Mrs. Lewis, as if she had been longing to introduce
the subject without exactly knowing how.
" "What ean be the matter with him ?" said Miss Hughes.
"I have found it out, Miss," said Mrs. Lewis ; "Joe is in

"In love!" said Miss Hughes.

" Over head and ears," replied Mrs. Lewis; " I never saw any
poor dear young man in such a state."neatly turned