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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

MEMOIBS 01? JOSEPH GEIMA1DI.                         55

which time, at all events, some of the family would he able to
reach home. The man was hired, and commenced his watch,
on the night after the rohbery; and there he continued to
remain, every evening, until the return of the servant girl from
the country released him from further attendance.

The agitation and surprise of this girl were very great, when
she was informed of what had occurred, hut they did not appear
to be the emotions of a guilty person. All agreed that there was
no good ground of suspicion against her. She was asked if she
would be afraid to be left alone in the house after what had
taken place, when she declared that she was not afraid of any
thieves, and that she would •willingly sit up alone, as she had
been accustomed to do; merely stipulating that she should be
allowed to light a fire in Lewis's sitting room, for the purpose of
inducing robbers to suppose that the family were at home, and
that she should be provided with a large rattle, with which to
alarm the neighbours at any appearance of danger. Both re-
quests were complied with; and as an additional precaution,
the street watchman, whose box was within a few yards of the
door, was fee'd to be on the alert, to keep a sharp eye upon the
house, and to attend to any summons from-within, whenever it
might be made.

The thieves, whoever they were, were very wanton fellows,
and added outrage to plunder, for with the most heartless
cruelty, and an absence of all taste for scientific pursuits, which
would stigmatise them at once as occupying a very low grade in
their profession, had broken open a closet in Grimaldi's room,
containing his chosen cabinet of insects, including Dartford
Blues, which, either because it was not portable, or because
they thought it of no value, attaching no importance to flies,
they most recklessly and barbarously destroyed. With the
exception of one small box, they utterly annihilated the whole
collection, including even his models, drawings, and colours: it
would have taken years to replace them, if the collector hadhman to the theatre,