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48                        MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GBIMAIDI.

" Ladies and Gentlemen, as the new drama will not be pro-
duced, as was originally intended, on Monday next, but is de-
ferred until that night week, we shall not be compelled to trouble
you with a rehearsal to-night."

This notification occasioned a very quick dispersion of the
performers, who, very unexpectedly released from an onerous
attendance, hurried home. G-rimaldi, having something to do
at the theatre wMch would occupy him about ten minutes, sent
Ms mother and Ms friend Mrs. Lewis forward to prepare supper,
and followed them shortly afterwards, accompanied by Mr.
Lewis and two other performers attached to the theatre.

"When the females reached home they found to their great sur-
prise that the garden gate was open.

"Dearme!" said Mrs. Gximaldi,* "how careless this is of
Mr. Lewis!"

It was, undoubtedly; for at that time a most notorious gang
of tMeyes infested that suburb of London;—it was a suburb
then. Several of the boldest had been hung, and others trans-
ported, but these punishments had no effect upon their more
lucky companions, who committed their depredations -with, if
possible, increased hardihood and daring.

They were not a little surprised, after crossing the garden, to
find that not only was the garden-gate open, but that the street-
door was unlocked; and pushing it gently open, they observed
tiie reflection of a light at the end of the passage, upon which
0f course they both cried " TMeves!" and screamed for help.
A man who was employed at Sadler's "Wells happened to be
passing at the time, and tendered Ms assistance.

" Do you wait here withMrs. Lewis a minute," said Grimaldi's
mother, "and I will go into the house; don't mind me unless
you hear me scream; then come to my assistance." -So saying,
she courageously entered the passage, descended the stairs,

* Mrs, Brooker,assembling on the stage, prepared to commence the rehearsal,